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The Team

Nationally renowned leaders in business, real estate, medicine, education and research who are pioneering new models in housing and community development.

The People Behind First Place®

Board of Directors (Click for bios)

Howard Sobelman

Board Chair
Snell & Wilmer Partner & Tyler's Dad

Joyce Millard Hoie Headshot

Joyce Millard Hoie

Vice Chair
Former Raising Special Kids Executive Director & Matt's Mom

Kathy Hancock

Board Secretary
Vertex Advisors Group Consultant

Jack Henry

Board Treasurer
Founder & Managing Director
of Sierra Blanca Ventures, LLC
& Clarke’s Grandfather

Tess Burleson, CPA, MBA

Board Member
TGen Chief Operating Officer
& TGen Health Ventures President

Sara Dial

Board Member
Sara Dial & Associates President & CEO

Tom Ortega

Board Member
RIESTER Chief Creative Officer & Partner

Amy Pawlowski

Board Member
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan Executive Director, Complex Care

Denise D. Resnik

Board Member
First Place Founder, President/CEO
SARRC Co-Founder & Emeritus Board Member
DRA Collective Founder & CEO
& Matt's Mom

Bruce Schwartz

Board Member
Former Jerith Manufacturing Co., Inc. Owner & President & Emily’s Dad

Susan I. Smith

Board Member
Salt River Project Director of IT Workplace Services & Aaron's Mom

Michael Trailor

Board Member
Native American Connections Chief Strategy Officer

Nancy L. White, J.D.

Board Member
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Partner
& Molly's Mom


Denise D. Resnik

President/CEO & Matt's Mom

Chuck Heimerdinger Headshot

Chuck Heimerdinger

Chief Financial Officer

Nancy Ottmann Headshot

Nancy Ottmann

Chief Operating Officer

Maureen Casey

Global Leadership Institute Center Director for Center for Public Policy & Applied Research and Creighton Elective Coordinator

Brad Herron-Valenzuela

Global Leadership Institute Center for Education, Training & Employment Director


Steven A. Betts

Betts Real Estate Advisors Founder & President

Peter Bell

Ascendigo Autism Services
President & CEO and Tyler's Dad

Joe Blackbourn

Everest Holdings
President & CEO

George Braddock

Creative Housing Solutions, LLC Director

David C. Brown

Valley Leadership CEO

Catherine Camp Boyle

Autism Housing Pathways, Inc.
Founder & President
Mother of a young man
with autism

Ellis Carter

Caritas Law Group, P.C.
Legal Counsel

Joseph Cooper

NuvOx Pharma
Chief Business Officer

James D. Howard, Jr.

Dudley Ventures Founder & Principal Shareholder

Anna Hundley, M.Ed.

Autism Treatment Center (ATC)
Texas Executive Director

Bill Karny

Col. Harland Sanders Foundation President (USA)
& Charlotte's Grandfather

The Late Natalie S. Lang

Lang Associates
Business Consultant

Raun D. Melmed, M.D.

SARRC Co-founder & Medical Director; Melmed Center Director & Developmental Pediatrician

Daniel Openden, Ph.D., BCBA-D

SARRC President & CEO

Wellington "Duke" Reiter, FAIA

Solutions Initiative at the
ASU Foundation
Senior Vice President & Managing Director

Paige Rogers, M.S.W., C.P.R.P.

Community Connections Consulting Services Founder Former SARRC VLSA Director

Jeff Ross, M.A.

First Place Adult Transition Specialist

Paul Shattuck, Ph.D.

AJ Drexel Autism Institute
Drexel University Associate Professor & Life Course Outcomes Research Program Leader

Michael Sklar

Sonata Properties
Broker & Managing Member

Christopher Smith, Ph.D.

SARRC Vice President & Research Director

Michael Trailor

Native American Connections Chief Strategy Officer

Linda J. Walder, Esq.

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJF) Founder & Executive Director