Our staff is a team that takes OAR’s mission to heart.

Meet the staff members who drive all of OAR’s day-to-day operations:

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Michael Maloney 

Executive Director

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Responsibilities:

Chief staff executive


Business operations


Fundraising


Events


Community outreach


Adult employment initiative

Mike is part of OAR’s founding team. A native of Weymouth, MA, and a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, he graduated from Holy Cross and later earned a master’s degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University.

Mike served 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, included tours in Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Before joining OAR, he served as executive director of the Marine Corps University Foundation in Quantico, Va. and the Autism Society of America Foundation.

Mike and his wife, Elaine, live in Burke, VA, and have two musician sons, Kevin, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, “Pershing’s Own”, and Doug, Director of Bands at Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Va.

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

In his off time, Mike enjoys: any occasion to hang out with Kevin, Doug, and their wives, being Grandpa to Maxon and Selah, writing, enjoying his sons’ musical endeavors, and rooting for Boston sports teams.

KristenEssex

Kristen Essex 

Business Manager

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Responsibilities:

Donor outreach and relations


Planned giving


Major gifts


Foundation grants


Special events


Workplace giving


Combined Federal Campaign


Office management


Grant management

Kristen, a native of the Washington metropolitan area, spent the majority of her life in Rockville. After graduating from Randolph-Macon College, she moved to Virginia briefly before trekking halfway across the country to Dallas. Despite five great years in the Lone Star State, she missed the East Coast and moved to Alexandria in 2010.

After college, Kristen spent eight years in the insurance industry working with structured settlements. Eventually, she decided she needed a career change, and after a brief stint bartending, she ended up as Publisher and Director of Sales and Marketing for the Alexandria Times. Despite enjoying her tenure with the Times, she elected to venture away from her years of sales and find a position in the nonprofit industry, which is how she became Business Manager for the Organization for Autism Research.

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Read, walk my dog, probably a lot of baby centric stuff soon…

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Diane Lingenfelter 

Manager, Hire Autism Marketing and Outreach

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Responsibilities:

Hire Autism Website


Employment Initiative


Hire Autism Events


Community Outreach and Marketing


Employment Intern Management


 

Originally from Iowa, Diane embraced life in Virginia as a military spouse. Diane worked for 15 years in special education classrooms, three of those years on a team dedicated to supporting students on the autism spectrum. Having worked many years in classrooms, she was ready for a career change. Upon completing her BS in Social Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from University of Maryland University College, and a brief stint in juvenile justice, Diane set her sights on the nonprofit world, where she could follow her passion of helping others achieve their goals.

Diane and her husband, Rusty live in Alexandria, VA. They have two sons, Jay and Lee, and a daughter Margret.

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Diane loves to read, go for walks, explore, take photographs, cook, and spend time with her mini English bulldog Daisy, French bulldog Frannie, and her kitty Goblin.

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Kimberly Ha 

Director, Research and Programs

Responsibilities:

Applied Research Competition


Partnership Funds Competition


Conferences


The OARacle newsletter


Resource development


Community outreach


Partnerships


“Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative (Curriculum in a Box, Kit for Kids, and College Guide for Self-Advocates)


Social media


Internship management

Kimberly studied cognitive psychology and neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh before receiving her master’s in education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her service to the autism community began when she led a high school autism awareness fundraiser in 2007. A few years later, she entered the nonprofit sector as an intern at The Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders (ABOARD). She then taught in the special education classroom before joining OAR.

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Jogging and playing badminton.

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Saman Kamgar-Parsi 

Programs and Outreach Associate

Responsibilities:

Graduate Research Competition


Scholarship Program


The OARacle newsletter


Community outreach


Social media & Blog


Operation Autism


Internship management


Resource development & distribution

 

 

Saman grew up in the Washington metropolitan area and moved to New York City to attend Barnard College of Columbia University. At Barnard, she double-majored in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and French Translation & Literature, and minored in Race & Ethnic Studies. 

 

 
What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Saman enjoys reading, pretending to take horoscopes very seriously, making music, and teaching song-writing for youth.

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Sean Flynn

Manager, Endurance Fundraising

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Responsibilities:

Overall management of endurance program and fundraising efforts


Sponsor relations


Future event planning


Runner support


Fundraising management

Originally from Florida, Sean graduated from the University of Central Florida. After two years of working as a RUN FOR AUTISM Coordinator with OAR, he held positions in Education and the Non-Profit sector.  Most recently he managed the Charity Partnership Program for IRONMAN. Sean is a big supporter of all things UCF – GO KNIGHTS!

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

I enjoy being active and doing anything that is outdoors. Also enjoy taking in sporting events and other fun activities going on around the DC area.

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Rachel Edrich

Coordinator, RUN FOR AUTISM

Responsibilities:

RUN marketing and communications


Runner support and fundraising

Rachel is originally from Denver, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University’s College of Business with a degree in Marketing, Management, and Human Resource Management.  Prior to joining the OAR team, she worked as the Marketing and Event Coordinator at the Fort Collins athletic event nonprofit Green Events.   While there, Rachel gained experience working with runners, volunteers, and donors while coordinating charity running events.  

 

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Rachel, like most Coloradoans, loves the mountains and exploring them with her partner and their dog by trail running, camping, hiking, and fishing. She also enjoys going back to Colorado whenever possible to visit family, hike 14ers, snowshoe, and visit Fort Collins breweries. 

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Sarah Rodis

Coordinator, RUN FOR AUTISM

Responsibilities:

 

RUN  marketing and communication


Runner support and fundraising

 

Sarah is a native to the Northern Virginia area and a graduate from East Carolina University with a degree in Recreation Management.  After graduating she spent a few years living the beach life and working for a community college in the Outer Banks.  Sarah moved back to Northern Virginia and before joining OAR she worked for SHAPE America focusing on professional development for physical education teachers.  She is a certified running coach and avid runner; completing over 25 marathons and is addicted to running crazy ultramarathons.

What do you like to do outside of OAR?

Sarah love stand up paddle boarding and anything outdoors, the higher the adrenaline factor, the better!  She also enjoy traveling to new places, playing fetch with her two dogs, and watching/playing sports.