Laurie Cramer, Executive Director
Laurie Cramer is the executive director at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Laurie started at ASGA in 2011 and was the very first staff member in what had been up to that point an all-volunteer parent organization. Previously, she was a long-time volunteer at ASGA and served as president of the board of directors. Laurie has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida State University and a master’s degree in organizational development from George Washington University.
Prior to her role as executive director at ASGA, Laurie worked in the communications field as a spokesperson for the Summit County Prosecutor’s office. She has also served as director and spokesperson for two national energy-related associations, senior vice president for a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C., and press secretary to two congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Laurie and her family moved to Akron from Washington, D.C. in 2003. At that time, her family learned that their two-and-a-half-year-old son had autism. From that point forward, life changed forever for her and her family. Laurie’s drive and passion to support a better life for individuals on the autism spectrum comes from her family’s personal journey raising a child with autism.
Laurie currently resides in Fairlawn with her husband, Gregg, and their two sons, Philip and Robbie.
Lisa Thompson, Director of Programs
Lisa Thompson is the Director of Programs at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Mars Hill College in Asheville, North Carolina. Her involvement in ASGA began as a volunteer camp director for iCan Bike Camp in 2011. She was then hired as ASGA’s second official employee in 2012, and she now coordinates ASGA’s programs as well as training protocols for the understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders in our community.
Lisa is a mother to twin teenage boys, one of which is on the autism spectrum. She has a passion for helping families spend less time learning how to navigate the world of autism and more time making family memories. Lisa enjoys working with community partners to provide inclusive programs for those impacted by autism.
Lisa currently resides in Copley with her husband, Greg, and their twin sons, Joshua, and Jordan. The Thompson family enjoys ski slopes, snow tubing, water parks, beaches, video games, pinball, movies, and travel.
Wendy Cline, Support Specialist
Wendy Cline is a Support Specialist at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Wendy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Grove City College and an Ohio teaching certificate for high school science from The Ohio State University. She recently earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is licensed through the State of Ohio.
As an educator and a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, Wendy witnessed the struggles that result because of a lack of understanding about autism in the classroom. She is a strong advocate for faculty and student-peer autism education, teen-to-adult independent living services, and opportunities that increase the quality of everyday life for those with autism and their families.
Northeast Ohio is service-rich, and Wendy can assist with identifying and navigating the maze of autism services available in the Greater Akron area - from education to employment, recreation to respite.
Wendy and her husband, Mike, currently reside in Ravenna with their standard poodles. The Clines have three married daughters, Abbey (29), Emma (24), and Natalie (23).
Leslie Bloom, Director of Communications and Development
Leslie Bloom is the Director of Communications and Development at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Leslie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Miami University (Ohio). Leslie’s passion for helping people with autism began 14 years ago when she joined a walk in support of her cousin, who was diagnosed with autism at age three.
Before joining ASGA in February 2021, Leslie spent six years working to support the autism community through Autism Speaks of Northeast Ohio as their Manager of Field Development. At ASGA, Leslie’s focus is on ASGA communications, community relationship building and fundraising, and planning the Step into Autism and Double Down events.
Leslie is passionate about creating partnerships and fostering understanding and acceptance within local companies and organizations, to ensure the autism community is supported and represented across the lifespan. Leslie enjoys providing event experiences that are welcoming and inclusive to all, giving the individuals we serve something to look forward to each year.
Leslie currently resides in Lake County with her husband, Walter, and their two young children. The Bloom family enjoys playing PokemonGo, board and video games, going to the beach, and watching movies.
Jane Fitz, Program Coordinator
Jane Fitz is the Program Coordinator at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Jane has a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from Kent State University, where she graduated in 2022. Jane has been working with children who have disabilities since 2013 when she began volunteering at a camp for kids with special needs. This volunteer experience sparked her passion and she has been hooked ever since!
In college, Jane earned a minor in Autism Spectrum Disorders and participated in various student organizations including 4 Paws for Ability, where she volunteered to train puppies to be service dogs for individuals with disabilities. Jane is no stranger to the ASGA, having taught swim lessons through the Swimming with Autism program at the YMCA and later serving as the facilitator for the LEGO social club for two sessions.
Jane is passionate about providing fulfilling and inclusive events for individuals with Autism and their families. She is very enthusiastic about working with the community to create programs that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.
She currently lives in Kent with her cat and enjoys art, roller skating, music, and gardening.