Meet the Team

Anne Williams

When not working on her latest DIY project (think furniture refurbishing!), strumming chords on her guitar or engrossed in a novel, Anne’s true passion is helping individuals affected by autism reach their fullest potential by teaching them independence and communication skills.

Strengths: Compassion, patience, open-mindedness.
Opportunities: Being more spontaneous and stepping outside of her comfort zone.

Cynthia Hinojosa

Cynthia is a South Texas native who came to Minnesota in 2018 as part of an SKE program. She stumbled on Erik’s after being in town two days, when a friend sent her a random link to a job listing. Within hours she was called, within days she was interviewed, and just like that—she had the job, one perfectly suited to her compassionate, empathetic, giving and spunky personality. Cynthia loves to travel, prank people and spend most of her time out in the deaf community. A true younger sister, she was first inspired to try sign language after her brother learned, and she was not to be outdone. She now spends 20-25 hours a week serving the deaf community. With Cynthia, everyone wins.

Strengths:Passionate team player, open to new ideas
Opportunities:Learn to plan, be more organized and be decisive

Emilee Reynolds

Emilee grew up near Madison, Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, where she studied communications, film & media, and design. She is most passionate about filmmaking and using storytelling to support creative people, ideas, and projects. When she's not working, she can be found hanging out with friends at local breweries, cooking for her friends and family, planning her next travel adventure, and discussing tv and movies with anyone who will listen.

Strengths: Open-minded, creative, passionate, and ambitious.
Opportunities: Learning something new every day and embracing the unexpected.

Heather Heier Lane

Heather is a mom of two, a writer, and a lover of nature (especially when near water). She is mostly filled with optimism, and big dreams, but occasionally finds herself asking life’s big questions. And when that happens you will likely find her walking around Lake Harriet, or binging on Netflix. But mostly walking, as it is meditation in motion. As a newly minted autism advocate, it is her goal to tell the world about Erik’s. The mom in her knows that when people get to share space with the talented adults who live and work at Erik’s, that they will see we all have gifts worth sharing. Understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity is a guarantee when we give each other a chance.

Strengths: Positive and creative team player with a deep sense of empathy and desire to connect
Opportunities: Not good at sticking to a plan, loathes Excel, and could benefit from a little patience

Jade Bovy

Jade has been involved in the special needs community for over 6 years. She has a strong passion for advocacy and is always looking for ways to expand her knowledge in this field. When not working, she enjoys binge watch reality TV, eating large amounts of baked goods, attending basketball games and playing with her puppy.

Strengths: Eager to learn new things, Open-minded, Persistent, Compassionate
Opportunities: Time Management and working on not overexerting myself.

James Olson

When James isn’t studying for his Master’s program to become a psychotherapist or working with young adults on the spectrum–either at Erik’s or elsewhere–he is probably skiing, sailing, or running; reading or writing a novel; or watching a movie, writing a film review, or working on producing a film of his own. Born and raised in Minnesota, James is proudly Scandinavian, speaks a little Swedish, loves Scandinavian crime fiction, and rolls a mean lefse.

Strengths: Enthusiasm, curiosity, and a knack for philosophical thinking.
Opportunities: Watch out for quixotic ideas. It’s great to dream, but important to remember that it’s plans and hard work that turn dreams into realities.

Joelle Samulis

Joelle grew up in Washington state. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.S. in Law, Society and Justice. She developed an avid passion for the equestrian sport at a young age and grew up competing and training horses. After graduating college, she worked in equestrian facilities as well as pursuing other passions which provided her with new opportunities to broaden her skill set. She is a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor and avid reader of fictional and historical novels. Joelle enjoys being in nature, spending quality time with friends and anything related to horses.

Strengths: organized, compassionate, respectful, patient
Opportunities: co-creating an environment and experiences for different types of people in a positive way

Kathryn Nordberg

Kathryn enjoys all things beautiful and elegant: people, wildlife, land/waterscapes, art, music, dance, writing, collaboration, world travel, solutions and products that simplify and enhance the world, new experiences, joy, acts of compassion and responsibility.

Strengths: Creative solution provider, courageous, tenacious.
Opportunities: Practicing patience and learning to celebrate daily successes and the individuals making them happen.

Keri Taylor

Keri is passionate about autism awareness and mentoring others to help achieve their goals, chase their dreams and be the best person they can be. When not helping others, she loves spending time with her son, Todd, which often includes movies and watching him play lacrosse. She enjoys traveling (beach please!), giving gifts, pop culture and fashion.

Strengths: Empathy, passion for helping others, organization, attention to detail.
Opportunities: Staying focused on the big picture while working through the details, stepping outside of her comfort zone/routines.

Matthew McLain

A Minnesota farm boy with an obsession for photographing anything and everything that catches his eye, Matthew celebrates the little successes daily. With over 10 years of experience in the field, he often wonders who is teaching whom to better themselves. When not torturing coworkers with thick sarcasm, he loves to run, laugh with friends, hang out on the farm with animals--especially horses--spend time with family, and make light of his life via social media.

Strengths: Bold, creative and witty with an eye for detail, and an adventurous spirit
Opportunities: Embracing an earlier bedtime, finding more time for himself, and sleep eating