In 2012 we met and recognized our shared dedication to helping families of children with disabilities gain better access to services and supports. We knew disability information was available, but that much of it was too general or inaccessible for families who needed it. To solve this problem, we began collaborating on technology to empower families. In 2013, we launched Exceptional Lives.
Anne Punzak Marcus
Co-founder and CEO
Anne Punzak Marcus has over ten years of experience working with organizations focused on brain disorders, education, and health. She was a co-founder of the Autism Consortium and previously worked for Fidelity Investments as a portfolio manager and research director. Anne was a 2012 and 2013 Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School after receiving her BS from Boston College.
Digital Marketing Expert
Carrie Menke is a digital marketing expert who has managed Google grants and other online marketing programs for more than 40 nonprofit organizations. New to Boston, she is a transplant from Southern California, where she also produced independent films. Carrie graduated cum laude from the University of Dayton (Ohio) with a BA in Communications and Journalism.
Director of Product Content and Health Literacy Specialist
Julie McKinney is a health literacy expert with extensive experience writing and revising health information for audiences with lower literacy skills. She has a BS from Brown University and an MS from Northeastern. As a parent of a child with special needs, Julie also has a personal understanding of the barriers that complex health information presents, and a heartfelt appreciation for information that is easy to understand and use.
Director of Policy and Legal Operations
Ricki Meyer is a lawyer with expertise in special education law and policy. She has experience working at the state and federal levels of government. Ricki earned her B.S. from Northwestern University, Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.
Community Engagement Specialist
Julie McIsaac is a child development expert with an interest in exploration through play and relationships. Julie believes supporting the parent is often the best way to support the child. She has a Masters degree from Tufts University and is expected to complete her PhD in Infant and Child Development (Fielding University) in 2019. Julie is certified in DIR/Floortime and she has gained lived experience of navigating life and services as a parent of child with a developmental disability.
A native North Carolinian, Paul has bachelor’s degrees in Music and French and a master’s degree in Voice Performance from Boston University. Paul has also been a teacher and in his spare time enjoys working on graphic design projects.
Resource, Communications & Data Specialist
Matthew Henry earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French from the University of the West Indies Mona in Kingston, Jamaica. He has taught English as a Second Language to students in Jamaica, at the Lycée George Sand in Nerác, France, and throughout Europe via Skype. Matthew is passionate about contributing to the special needs community and volunteers his weekends to work alongside his wife, who teaches therapeutic horseback riding to children, teenagers and adults with disabilities.
Michael Stanbrough is a web developer who also does marketing, SEO and training. Michael has a B.S. from the University of Minnesota, a Ph.D. from MIT and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He kindled his interest in computers from his work in genomics and biocomputation.
Fan Stanbrough is a web designer who specializes in WordPress websites. Fan is also an instructor and trainer in web design topics. She has over 15 years experience in graphics design, marketing and web technologies. She has a BS in architectural design and was trained in design by top Italian and Japanese designers.
Susan Lovelace has over twenty-five years of senior level non-profit management, consulting, government and public policy experience. Susan’s expertise includes high performance team building and evidence-based strategic planning and project management. As a parent of child with mental illness, Susan is passionate about ensuring parents have access to information and tools for advocating on behalf of children with special needs. Susan has a BA from Wheaton College (MA) and an MSW from Boston University School of Social Work.
Jackie Snyder has a B.S. in Information Technology as well as an extensive background in Human Resources and Accounting. Born and raised in the bayous of south Louisiana, this outgoing Cajun first encountered the Exceptional Lives organization in a focus group held to gather the unique perspective of parents in the state. She quickly realized the importance of the organization and expressed interest in joining the team. Jackie hopes the information she has garnered thus far will be as helpful to Louisiana families as it has been to her and her own child.
Board of Directors
Christine Letts, MBA
Ms. Letts is the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in the Practice of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. She has extensive experience in private, nonprofit and public management. She was the founding executive director of HKS’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations (now the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Center for Public Leadership). She is the author of High Performance Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship and Societal Transformation.
Carol Raphael, MPA
Carol Raphael is a nationally recognized expert on health care and workforce issues. She served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of AARP and CEO and President of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the largest non-profit home health agency in the US. She has held an executive position at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and was an Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration in charge of the Medicaid and Public Assistance programs in NYC. She serves as a Director on numerous Boards including the Primary Care Development Corporation, the Medicare Rights Center, the Scan Foundation, the New York eHealth Collaborative, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Henry Schein, Inc., Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, and the RAND Health Advisory Board. She has been appointed to many commissions including the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the Federal Bipartisan Commission on Long Term Care, and the Age Friendly Commission. She was a member of New York State Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team. She is the Chair of the Long-Term Quality Alliance, an alliance of payers, providers, consumers and policymakers working to strengthen and better integrate the Long Term Services & Supports system. Ms. Raphael was 2012 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard.
Mr. Sargent is a managing director at Duff & Phelps, where he handles M&A activities in the southwest US. He has more than 30 years of M&A origination, execution, management and board experience with middle-market public and private companies. He currently serves on the boards of Asuragen Inc., SAM Inc., and the Babson College Board of Overseers. He is a member of the 2016 Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.
Ms. Strauss has specialities in both for profit and non-profit investing and research. She recently retired from Fidelity Investments, after seven years as the Director of Research for Fidelity Charitable and 13 years in numerous senior management and investment roles for Fidelity Management & Research’s actively managed fixed income and equity funds. Prior to Fidelity she was a founding Managing Director of a French-owned merchant bank in New York and held a leadership position in leveraged finance at Citibank.