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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.

Team member: Anne Punzak Marcus

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.

Team member: Carrie Menke

Carrie Menke
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.

Team member: Julie McKinney

Julie McKinney
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.

Team member: Ricki Meyer

Ricki Meyer
Chief Operating Officer

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.

Team member: Julie McIsaac

Julie McIsaac
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.

Team member: Paul Shafer

Paul Shafer
Data Manager

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.

Team member: Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry
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.

Susan Lovelace

Susan Lovelace

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.

Jacqueline Snyder
Louisiana Resource Specialist

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.