Renee is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who serves as the Executive Director of the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE). She received her master's in Human Development and Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Kansas. Reneé has worked at NECC in various roles for the past 30 years as a teacher, team coordinator, program specialist, and curriculum specialist. Primary research interests include social skills development, curriculum design, and analysis of effective teaching procedures.
Michael S. Downey
EVP and CFO Michael S. Downey is responsible for NECC’s operating budget of $104 million, financial administration, and strategic planning. In addition, Mr. Downey is responsible for oversight of NECC’s facilities and IT functions. A valued member of the Executive Team, he has helped to grow the organization to achieve its mission: to transform the lives of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology.
Amy joined NECC in August 1990 and currently serves as the Executive Director of Global Consulting. Amy has worked in the Residential Program, the Staff Intensive Unit, and in the Early Intensive Instructional Program. Amy's research interests include early intensive intervention, social skills, stereotypic behavior, reinforcement and choice. Her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Amy has presented at regional and international conferences for behavior analysts, parents, educators and administrators.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, Vinnie Strully is responsible for all aspects of clinical and financial administration, program development, fundraising, facility design and strategic planning. Vinnie is a New Jersey native and graduate of Newark Academy and Hamilton College. In 1975, Vinnie and colleagues established the first NECC Program on the grounds of the Taunton State Hospital with five students. Under Vinnie’s leadership, NECC now serves hundreds of students through teaching and consulting. Additionally, more than 4,600 students are now utilizing the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia® (ACE®), a web-based “tool kit” for teachers of children with autism. With more than 44 years of experience in the field and as the CEO of NECC, Vinnie has remained focused on providing the highest quality of teaching and services to children with autism through the only scientifically validated method, Applied Behavior Analysis.
Mr. Downey’s prudent financial administration has ensured success on multiple levels. In 2016, the Center reached new milestones in all areas of facilities, operations, and fundraising including the opening of the new John and Diane Kim Autism Institute - a 33,000-square-foot, state-of-the art research, professional training, and technology center. Student enrollment increased 10 percent, staff expanded by 13 percent to 1,217, and worldwide adoption of NECC’s Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia® (ACE®) grew by 15 percent to 4,620 students. An additional 13,500-square-foot space for a student wellness center, expanded offices, and a student activity center opened in 2017.
Jared joined NECC in 2016 as the Chief Development Officer. He joins the NECC team with a strong background in Development, having spent many years in the Development offices of Massachusetts College of Health Sciences, Cooley Dickson Hospital, Kingswood-Oxford School, and Wilbraham & Monson Academy. Most recently, he spent four years as Director of Development at Boston University. As a Southborough resident and the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, Jared is a uniquely qualified member of the NECC team.
Reneé Mansfield, MA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who serves as the Director of the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE®). She received her Masters Degree in Human Development and Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Kansas. Reneé has worked at NECC in various roles for the past 30 years as a teacher, team coordinator, program specialist, and curriculum specialist. Primary research interests include social skills development, curriculum design, and analysis of effective teaching procedures. Reneé has presented research for the International Association for Behavior Analysis, the Council for Exceptional Children, and Autism Society of America. Most recently she has presented the ACE at a number of educational and technology conferences including the Council of Administrators of Special Education and the National Center for Technology Innovation.
Cathy Welch serves as Executive Director for The New England Center for Children® in Southborough. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer for NECC’s Abu Dhabi school and as Director of Admissions at NECC Southborough. Ms. Welch has a Bachelor's degree in Education from Simmons College and a master's degree in Special Education Administration with certification as a SPED Administrator. She has been with NECC since 1981.