Board of Directors

2023 - 2024

Officers

Laura Alden

President

Laura Alden is a Wake County art teacher at Heritage High School in Wake Forest. Previously she taught 9th – 12th grade students enrolled in the Occupational Course of Study (OCS) program. Laura has been teaching with WCPSS since 2008, and began her teaching career in New York in 1995. Laura and her husband Ken have two daughters, Sarah and Erin.  Laura holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts Education from Hofstra University, a Master’s in Special Education from New York University and a Professional Diploma in both School and District Administration from Queens College, City University of NY, and one day hopes to finish her Doctorate in School/District Administration & Educational Leadership.  Working with children with special needs became a passion when Sarah was formally diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at approximately a year old.  Upon relocating to North Carolina, Laura found her way to The Arc of Wake County by serving on their Board of Directors for two years.  Laura is happy to continue her advocacy work with Triangle Disability & Autism Services. Laura enjoys volunteering with her girls’ schools, Sarah’s dance class, Erin’s seasonal sports teams, taking their rescue puppy on long walks, reading historical fiction, and taking road trips with Ken, the girls, and dog in the family minivan.

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Maia Keller

Vice President

Maia Keller is a Clinical Research Specialist at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. Her last position she was Special Education Teacher Assistant at Lincoln Heights Elementary School in Fuquay Varina, and worked with students in 3rd-5th grade. Her favorite parts of her job were laughing and having fun with her students and coworkers, watching her students grow and meet goals, and attending the Special Olympics. Before becoming a TA in 2013, she spent a year and a half living and working with individuals with I/DD at the L’Arche Boston North community in Massachusetts. Maia graduated from Duke University in 2010 with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2018 with a M.S. in Aeronautics. Maia enjoys reading, running, hiking, watching movies and sports, and baking. 

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Nick Keller

Treasurer

Nick Keller is the Controller at United Methodist Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization in Garner. Prior to his career there, he was an auditor at Dixon Hughes Goodman in Raleigh where he worked primarily on healthcare and non-profit clients. Nick obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from Appalachian State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He enjoys traveling and weight training and is an avid fan of App State sports and Japanese culture. 

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Roxana Pourdeyhimi, MD

Secretary

Roxana Pourdeyhimi is a child neurologist with Raleigh Neurology Associates. She is a movement disorder specialist but also sees general neurology.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, hiking, traveling, and gardening. She enjoys serving on the Board of Directors for Triangle Disability & Autism Services as a way to give back to her community. 

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Directors

Allison Baer

Director

Allison Baer is a National Board-Certified Special Education teacher she has been teaching for 13 years at Lincoln Heights Elementary in Fuquay-Varina. Allison loves spending time with her daughter Brooklyn and her dog Lily. She enjoys dancing, baking, and shopping. She also loves to plan events. Allison has been working with Arts Access which combines things she is passionate about; access for all and the Arts. She enjoys contributing to Triangle Disability & Autism Services through her knowledge of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and her ability to plan an event.  

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Kenzie Clark

Director

Kenzie Clark is the Founder and Manager of Able Transition Consulting. As a former Special Education Teacher, Kenzie saw the need for transition services and sought out a Master’s Degree in Secondary Special Education and Transition through the University of Kansas. The transition process and preparing all families and individuals for high-quality lives is her passion. Kenzie’s masters degree provides her with expertise and knowledge regarding all things transition. Kenzie is happy to be supporting families to ensure successful post-school outcomes and peace of mind. Through building unique and comprehensive person-centered planning, she knows that clients will be able to access high quality and happy adult lives! She lives with her amazing husband, Alex, and sweet pup, Mae, in Raleigh, NC. On the weekends you can find Kenzie hiking, reading a book, teaching yoga, going to church and spending time with family and friends. 

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Meredith Ellington

Director

Meredith Ellington serves as the Disability Access Coordinator in Court Programs for the State of NC’s Judicial Branch. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Meredith has called NC home for more than 15 years. She found The Arc of Wake County (now Triangle Disability & Autism Services) in 2008 via a Craig’s List job post. She worked as the office admin and later the Project SEE director for two years but never stopped supporting TDAS. She even recruited her mother and cousin to work as job coaches. Meredith earned her Master of Social Work degree from NCSU in 2010 and Juris Doctor from NCCU School of Law in 2020. Now, in addition to serving on the Development Committee, she is excited to support TDAS as a board member as well. In her spare time, Meredith loves to travel, read and spend time with her husband Brandin and their three rescue pups Blu, Crunch and Dutch. (h/t to Saving Grace Animals for Adoption)

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Robert Faircloth

Director

Robert Faircloth is an active member in several Triangle Disability & Autism Services community programs: Supported Retirement Program, Every Voice Choir and Triangle Self-Advocacy Network. He joined the Supported Retirement Program & TSAN in September 2016. He joined the Every Voice Choir in August 2015. In his spare time, Robert likes to sing and listen to various Elvis Presley songs and is a very avid bowler. Robert enjoys serving on the Board of Directors and he is looking forward to providing his years of experience within the self-advocacy volunteering community to help strengthen the Boards position to serve the community as a whole. 

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Omkar Nimbalkar

Director

Omkar Nimbalkar is a Vice President of IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software with IBM and is passionate about Tech for Good. He has been actively involved in the Call for Code program, which harnesses the ingenuity of developers across the world to create innovative solutions for Natural Disasters, Climate Change, COVID-19, and Racial Justice. While working internationally, Omkar also championed the Smarter City program for betterment of citizen services. After relocating to RTP from the Bay Area, Omkar, his wife, Vrinda, and kids, Jay & Shreya, were looking for ways to give back to the local community and were deeply moved by the noble work done by The Arc of the Triangle. Omkar enjoys being on the Board of Directors of Triangle Disability & Autism Services and serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Laura Romeo

Director

Laura Romeo is an experienced teacher educator, instructional designer, and curriculum specialist, who has dedicated her career to advancing effective instructional practices and promoting education. Through her experiences in education and research, she has gained valuable insights into creating inclusive and accessible learning environments for all students. As a board member for Triangle Disabilities and Autism Services, Laura is committed to using this knowledge to support the organization’s mission of providing services and support to individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Jennifer Thompson

Director

Jennifer Thompson is Senior Director of Compliance at GSK Pharmaceuticals. Jennifer is originally from Long Island, New York but has called Wake Forest, NC home for 11 years. She graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, VA with a Bachelors in Business Administration and went on to Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, NY. She has legal licenses in both NY and NC. Jennifer has had community service and advocacy at the center of her life since she was a teen after losing her uncle to AIDS. She enjoys supporting Triangle Disability & Autism Services as board member after contributing to its programs over the past few years with colleagues from GSK. When Jennifer is not working, she loves spending time with her husband, Brett, children, Lillian and Brett Jr., and two puppies Barkley and Mellie. She also loves to go hiking, do pilates and listen to live music.

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Jason Tibbs

Director

Jason Tibbs has worked in the health and life sciences field for over 30 years and currently serves as a Senior Vice President in the Neuroscience Delivery Division at Syneos Health. He has a passion for embracing innovation and technological advancement and to this end has held roles leading an Innovation Operations Office focused on reducing the barriers to participation and clinical research as a care option for all and heading a Connected Health Business Operations team. Jason is a father and caregiver for a uniquely abled daughter with IDD. He is highly focused on inclusion and motivated to see an increase in the network of available resources and support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jason and his family have lived and worked in Cape Town, South Africa and Victoria, Canada before moving to Raleigh in 2009. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, traveling, and enjoying the art and science of the perfect cocktail. 

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Paul Yokabitus

Director

Paul Yokabitus is an experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Cary, NC who was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The economic downturn led Paul and his wife, Alix, to the Triangle where Paul attended Campbell University School of Law and later planted his roots in the Cary community. His focus on the client-attorney relationship and the peace of mind of his clients sets Paul apart from other traditional lawyers. When he’s not helping families and business owners, you can find Paul spending time with his wife, Alix, and his sons, Mason and Conor. 

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