The Team

Trustees

Dani Giles

Recruitment Lead

Dani earnt her place on the board after more than a year of creating, shaping and leading the Transforming Recruitment team (which she still leads) and also our wider HR team.

She has proven herself to be an effective charity leader and a consistent and passionate champion of the charity.

Dani is an experienced recruitment operations manager who has worked within the welfare to work sector and with private and public sector clients.

She has over 10 years' recruitment experience and specialises in practically all areas of recruitment.

Dani has a passion for working with non profit organisations.

Gilles Pelenc

Co-Founder

In 2007-8, both Gilles’ sons were diagnosed with Autism (at 2 years and 18 months respectively). As a family, they decided to do everything they could to provide the boys early professional and specialist intervention at all cost. Both boys went to a private pre-school AS specialist nursery and went on to be admitted to an AS specific state school at Reception. Alongside having to deal with a double dose of the usual every day Autism challenges - on virtually zero sleep for the first 5 years - Gilles' and his wife went on to become a school governor in an ASD school and to take on the local authorities in an successful attempt to a change of setting. They also embarked on a never-ending research for positive therapies that could help the boys with their development.

Having built a great network of resources and an even greater circle of influence within the world of Autism, it has now become a mission, to bring this experience to bear to help and support as many families as possible so their battles become easier, their limited resources can be optimised and their children's lives are improved beyond what would otherwise be possible.

Guided by this passion, he brings with him a pioneering vision for a comprehensive online hub that will act as a one-stop shop of high-quality resources and recommendations for any parent needing support for their autistic child in any area, and which will be one of the cornerstones of The Transforming Autism Project.

 

Currently seeking:

Additional committed Trustees to help drive our new charity forward, including an experienced & dynamic Chair, an outstanding Treasurer, a passionate Fundraising Trustee, and someone with a clinical background in autism.  It would be ideal (though not essential) if these could be parents of autistic children or have a strong connection with autism.  See our Trustee page for more details.

 

Leadership

Guy Shahar

Founder, CEO

Guy grew up in Wolverhampton in the 1980s. As a child and young adult, he had many undiagnosed autistic traits, especially affecting his social awareness and understanding. This continued into his 20s, but after he began practising Heartfulness meditation aged 27, many of the adverse effects of these traits began to recede and he gained more command of his life and direction.

Now married with his own son of 8 years, who himself has autism, he has worked as a radio broadcaster, a TEFL teacher and teacher trainer, and most recently as a project manager in IT, a role he left in 2016 to establish this charity.

Early in 2016, he unexpectedly found himself writing a book, (Transforming Autism), which describes his family’s remarkable quest to support his son, Daniel, and their life-changing visit to the Mifne Clinic in Israel. This turned Daniel's life around and opened Guy's eyes to the true nature of autism and to the most helpful and effective ways to bring out the best in young autistic children.

The book was written in little more than 6 weeks, and shortly following its completion, Guy launched the Transforming Autism Project as a means of raising awareness of the true potential inherent in autism and equipping parents and carers with the tools to bring out the best in their autistic children. A major step forward in this will be taken with the establishment of a UK Mifne Clinic to make this treatment available to families here.

As well as meditation, Guy loves to write, and as well as his 2 books (the other - a collection of short stories - is called Leaving Town), he has also written a 6-part TV comedy series and 2 films. He also enjoys music, playing the piano (and formerly the guitar), though not to any level of technical mastery, and only his own compositions.

 

Tim George

IT Lead

Tim has been working within Technology for over 20 years across Europe, the US and Asia. He is the founder of an IT Support company, a keen innovator, with an real appetite to blend business and Technology. He is keen to use his knowledge and network to raise awareness for the Transforming Autism project.

Outside of work, he is a keen motorcyclist and spends his spare time with his young family in Buckinghamshire.  As the father of a premature daughter, he also raises awareness for the charity Bliss.  He will be running the 2019 London Marathon.

Chi Azubike

Finance Manager

Chi a Fellow of Chartered Association of Certified Accountants – (FCCA) has 20 years post qualification experience in corporate finance, eleven of which were spent in the BBC and five in Capita.  Chi’s extensive finance experience cut across statutory, management, project and contract accounting.  Most of all, she is motivated both by the values shared within Transforming Autism Project team as well as a keen desire to contribute towards improving the lives and wellbeing of children with autism and their families.

 

Currently Seeking:

Charity Development Pioneer, Fundraising Lead/Strategist and External Affairs Lead

Marketing

Amanda Sampson

Assistant Marketing Lead

Amanda has worked in marketing and communications for many years for a broad range of industries including the third sector (The Dogs Trust, HFMA) as well as global organisations (Virgin, Axa) and currently enjoying a specialist customer experience role within the energy industry. Amanda is really proud to be offering all the skills and experience gained from her career to date to support Transforming Autism make a difference and flourish.

 

Marina Conceicau

Marketing & Internal Communications

Marina is a marketing and communications professional with a broad range of public and private industries including working with non profits. She wants to support TAP with her experience in digital campaigns, marketing collaterals, events planning and social media.

Marina is currently looking after her three children while looking to work flexibly.

Marina is excited to be on board with the Transforming Autism Project and by raising awareness about autism

Durga Nagarajan

Marketing Volunteer

Durga Nagarajan is a post graduate in Marketing Communication from Middlesex University. Soon after completing her studies she founded her own Digital Marketing business under the name Yatra Digital.

Recently after four years of running the firm, she felt she needed a break from chasing money to a more relaxed mode of work by choosing projects that interest her on a personal level. She has started freelancing and giving back to society by working on research and studies in the field of Applied Behavioural Sciences

Durga is a specialist in marketing innovation, filming, animation, visual effects, motion graphics and projection mapping. She is also a certified electronic music producer.

 

Angele Ampasa

Digital Campaigns 

Angele is an experienced marketing and communication professional who has worked in various industries. She has a proven track record of managing successful digital campaigns.

She is excited to be joining The Transforming Autism Project team.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, blogging, and sports.

Mia Asante

Videographer

Mia Asante is a highly passionate and enthusiastic video editor for Big Door who over the past five years has taken every opportunity to study and produce films.

Mia loves exploring the world around her through filmmaking and skateboards in her free time.

 

Abdullah Moallim

Videographer

Abdullah has had over 10 years working for some of the biggest media companies in the UK including the BBC, Media Trust and the Community Channel. He graduated in 2010 from The University of Westminster studying Arabic & International Relations.  Abdullah also lived in Egypt for a year in 2008.

Abdullah is currently working on producing a brand new podcast on cartoons and television shows from the past.

Jonathan Harty

Campaigns & Communications (Occasional Advisor)

Jonathan is a dedicated activist who has managed a variety of political and charitable campaigns. He specialises in developing grassroots networks, strategic messaging and digital communications. As a campaign manager for the Labour Party he oversaw several successful campaigns in Oxford and London and is an active member of Amnesty International and the Fabian Society.

In his current role, Jonathan works for a national charity as a campaign manager building grassroots networks to achieve meaningful change across the country. He excited to be joining the Transforming Autism project on its journey to empower the families and carers of children with autism.

 

Currently seeking:

Communications, Crowdfunding, PR, Campaigns, SEO/Analytics, Web-design, Graphic-design. Videographers

 

External Affairs

Currently seeking:

External Affairs Lead, and specialists in Networking, Research, Events, Policy

 

Therapists

Andrew Shahan

Therapist

Andrew Shahan, MA has spent the last 30 years working with and learning from children with autism and their families in early intervention programs, healthcare organizations, schools and university-based research programs.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from San Francisco State University and served on the first California State Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

Andrew’s years of direct work with children and adolescents with challenging behavior inspired him to learn everything he possibly could about child development, autism and intervention from leading experts. Recognizing the widening gap between research and practice, Andrew focused his work on coaching parents and professionals to use simple strategies to promote children’s communication, social and emotional development.  Andrew is incredibly excited to bring his knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and deep trust in the power of families to impact their children’s development to The Transforming Autism Project.

 

Kendall Cygan

Therapist

Kendall has been working with children with an autism diagnosis since 2016. She is passionate about working and helping children and their families. She started as a therapeutic teacher for a preschool in the USA where she worked with children who had multiple behavioural and developmental issues. Her primary role as their teacher was to teach the young children coping skills, help them understand their emotions, and engage in free play with them.

Kendall currently works to help children with autism achieve their highest potential. Her job is something that she feels such a great reward from doing and so she chose to expand her expertise and begin working as a counsellor for families and parents who have children with an ASD diagnosis. She strongly believes in developing the entirety of the child and to do this, she ensures that the child along with the family are being fully supported.

With her two master degrees, Kendall hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in the near future to help extend autism awareness worldwide. She believes that each child deserves the best possible care, regardless of their financial status. Kendall has seen first hand the impact of therapeutic work with children and is a true supporter of providing early interventions to children with autism.

 

Zuzana Camm

Supporting Therapist

Zuzana Camm, MA, is a therapeutic play coach and child psychotherapist. Zuzana is passionate about sharing her knowledge about the therapeutic potential of child-led and developmentally sensitive play.

Zuzana sees play as a wonderful tool for cultivating personal and interpersonal wellbeing and more satisfying functioning in everyday life. Her work is anchored in over 20 years of experience of supporting children from 0 – 16 years old in a variety of care, educational and therapeutic settings and also in homes.

She has been mentored by senior psychotherapists and occupational therapists to deepen and widen her understanding of the fascinating connection between the emotions and sensory integration. Zuzana’s enthusiasm for her work is fuelled by witnessing the growing connection between the children and their parents as the therapeutic process unfolds.

 

Currently seeking child therapists with an interest in autism.

 

Delivery

Olu Oderinde

Project Manager

Olu is an IT Project Manager who has worked in the IT industry for over 12 years with technical experience in the delivery of medium to large scale IT and Infrastructure projects. Past employers include Sclumberger Sema, Atos and Network Rail. He is a Prince2 practitioner and ITIL certified with a BSc (Hons.) in Information Systems and a Masters degree in Programme and Project Management.

Olu is keen to use all the skills and experience gained from his career to date to contribute towards the Transforming Autism Project and help raise awareness of Autism.

Olu’s hobbies include Football, Tennis and Music.

 

Currently seeking Delivery Leaders to oversee and drive our activities.

IT

Randy Perkins-Smart

Assistant IT Lead, Team Support

Randy is Interim IT Lead for The Transforming Autism Project.

He is an accomplished Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist / Professional, BCS Chartered IT Professional and Prince 2 Practitioner specialising in SharePoint and web based information systems. He has over 15 years’ experience working in and managing teams within various sectors.

 

Ato Abraham

IT Support

Ato has over ten years working in the IT industry, in multiple industry sectors, since graduating from Kingston University where he has gained experience performing a number of technical and project based roles. He is Microsoft, CompTIA and ITIL V3 certified.  Outside of IT he enjoys travelling, watching movies, sport and learning new languages.

 

Currently seeking:

Infrastructure, Website Management

 

Human Resources

 

Sharon Siqueira

Recruiter

Sharon is an experienced HR professional and recruiter. Her interest also lies in the area of career counselling.

She is excited to join and support the Transforming Autism Project.

 

 

Derek Sims

Team Engagement

Derek, an experienced HR specialist initially worked in the private sector but the majority of his experience has been in the public sector with the NHS and the charitable sector with Oxfam.

Derek's initial experience was with Learning and Development before enjoying a comprehensive role as a HR Director. Finally with Oxfam Derek developed a major enthusiasm for volunteering and its power to change peoples lives.

For many years Derek has been aware of the inadequate services available for autistic children and their families and is delighted to have an opportunity to work with the Transforming Autism Project.

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