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 come 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 (17) and Robbie (15).
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 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 (16). The Thompson family enjoys ski slopes, snow tubing, water parks, beaches, video games, pinball, movies, and travel.
Kristen Robinson, Director of Development and Communications
Kristen Robinson is the Director of Development and Communications at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Kristen has a Bachelor’s Degree in public health education from the University of Dayton. She has significant experience in the nonprofit field, which includes programming, direct service, and a variety of leadership roles. After working at Greenleaf Family Center, Kristen joined ASGA with a focus on building relationships with ASGA’s constituencies, partners, donors, and media; and to manage the development of ASGA’s communications department.
Whether it be supporting people living with disabilities, preventing adolescent suicide or helping the homeless; Kristen has always been compelled to fight for families and individuals struggling with mental health and addiction issues. It was a natural fit, as a mother of two children, for her to join the Autism Society of Greater Akron and impact as many families and individuals as possible.
Kristen currently resides in Cuyahoga Falls with her husband, Mike, and their two children, LeighAnna (13) and Beau (7).
Andrew Krieger, Communications Coordinator
Andrew Krieger is the Communications Coordinator at the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Andrew earned his Master of Arts in public relations from Kent State University in 2015, where he also served as a Graduate Assistant. Andrew previously worked for G2G Consulting LLC in Washington, D.C. as a Government Affairs Assistant, and is responsible for managing social media, graphic design and press relations at ASGA.
Improving the lives of all affected by autism is an important mission to Andrew both directly and indirectly. His cousin Donny has an 11-year-old son who is diagnosed with autism named Kobe. Donny currently drives Kobe about an hour each morning from North Ridgeville to KidsLink School in Streetsboro, in part because autism-friendly schools and programs are very limited closer to home. Andrew believes in working each day to increase the reach and impact of support for individuals affected by autism and families like his own. He also believes in utilizing his skills to improve lives and influence social change, which makes advocating on behalf of those affected by autism very fulfilling.
Andrew currently resides in Ohio City with his Yorkie/Shih Tzu named Diego.
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).