President and Founder
Although Dr. Schumacher holds a Ph.D. in psychology, it wasn’t until her younger son, Andrew, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder that her work with autism truly blossomed.
In order for Andrew to have the same opportunities as other children, she would need to be proactive in creating a non-stimulating, non-threatening environment where her son could learn, grow and develop. Exhaustive research and a never give up spirit provided the foundation for the life-changing treatment that’s helped Andrew and so many other children lead better lives.
A successful entrepreneur and businessman at the young age of 9, Harrison was voted one of Stark County’s most interesting people at age 16. Harrison has been a DJ and now runs a successful concert and entertainment promotion business while studying Business Development at The Ohio State University. Harrison brings his energy, creativity and entrepreneurial expertise to the Foundation’s endeavors. As a lifelong friend of the Schumacher family, Harrison witnessed firsthand Andrew’s struggles and the profound success of the treatment that changed the course of Andrew’s life.
Beth SchumacherFundraising Director
With more than 25 years of fundraising expertise, Beth Schumacher brings her talents to the Love, Andrew Autism Foundation. Beth’s been a top fundraiser for the Aultman Hospital Women’s Board and Junior League of Canton, yet her true love is child-centric organizations. As a fundraising chair, Beth has raised more than a million dollars for Canton Country Day School. Now Beth is pledging her time and talents to Love, Andrew.
“My nephew Andrew has been an inspiration to our entire family. I am excited to share my talents with his foundation, so that I can help deliver the fiscal resources needed to help children with autism live their best lives.”
Mary BeckerSponsorship Director
Mary began her career after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a BSN. She has worked as a nurse in special care nursery and as a surgical instructor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Following her career in nursing, she has been with Schumacher Homes, America’s largest custom home builder, where she currently holds the position of Vice President of Sales & Marketing. The National Housing Quality award winning company operates in 32 markets and 14 states.
Mary was first introduced to autism when her nephew, Andrew Schumacher, was diagnosed. She has seen the positive impact of support from the community and schools as we work together to help children and their families overcome the obstacles from autism. She truly believes in the personal potential of each child and the power we have as a society to help children and their families.
Heather DelVecchioSecretary/ Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer of the Love, Andrew Autism Foundation, Heather also currently serves as the top “Executive Administrative Ninja” for Schumacher Homes, Inc. She continues to generously donate numerous hours to the development and creation of the Love, Andrew Autism Foundation. She works closely with Nicole Schumacher on The Star Room project for public schools. Her strong passion and dedication to the project is powered by the energy and excitement of the extraordinary children with autism who experience the Star Room every day!
Alessandra GesiottoTeen Ambassador
Alessandra, a junior at Jackson High School, is no stranger to community service. The 17-year-old is a member of the F.U.S.E. (Friends Unite Students Everywhere) Club, which organizes inclusive social events for typical teens and their peers with special needs. Gesiotto, who was born with a heart defect, participates the yearly heart walk for the American Heart Association. She has worked with her family to raised more than 25,000 dollars in one night for the Wounded Warrior Project, and she has participated in and helped organize the Love, Andrew fashion show, Light Up the Runway for Autism. She currently holds the title of Miss Ohio High School America.
“I am honored and delighted to be chosen as Teen Ambassador for the Love, Andrew Autism Foundation,” said Gesiotto. “It’s because of Andrew. His genuine outlook on life and ability to be himself in all situations is a message that needs to be shared with today’s teenagers.”
Paul Schumacher Jr.Building Director
Board of Directors
Christina MorelloPresident - Board of Directors
From her training at Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism (MSJ ’98) to her years of experience in corporate, healthcare, education, financial, television and non-profit segments, Christina brings to Love, Andrew a rich background in the development and execution of communication strategy, business strategy and fundraising across a variety of industries. As a former preschool director and teacher of young children, Christina witnessed firsthand the difficulties children with autism can face in a classroom setting.
“It is my goal to help the Love, Andrew Autism Foundation celebrate the spirit of children with autism by encouraging the freedom of self-expression, and by helping provide a space where children can thrive as their authentic self. Love, Andrew strives to make a positive impact for children, parents, educators, and their community. It is my ambition to encourage others to look past the disorder, to see a child with autism first as a person with exceptional potential and natural talent that, with love and acceptance, can flourish, and live his or her best life.
Jayson ShenkVP - Board of Directors
With degrees in fine art and graphic design from The University of Mt. Union and the Cleveland Institute of Art coupled with experience creating visual solutions for an incredibly broad range of clients from manufacturing to entertainment, Jayson provides capabilities ranging from marketing strategy through copywriting, art direction and design. The son of lifelong public school educators, Jayson has a deep understanding and empathy for the challenges facing both students with autism and educators operating without the tools they need.
Robert BeckerBoard of Directors
Robert started his career with a boutique investment bank before moving into a recruitment consultant role with a publicly traded recruiting firm. He is currently with a globally recognized bank supporting their capital markets and corporate areas focusing on recruitment strategy and execution.
Robert has been involved with fundraising and supporting autism organizations since 2009 and was originally motivated to support the cause when his cousin, Andrew Schumacher, was diagnosed at a young age. Since then, he has motivated others to embrace the differences and celebrate the positive effects autism has made on his family’s lives. He is dedicated to enhancing the community and social perspective on autism and continues believing we can overcome any obstacle with the help and support of the people around you.
Sarah McIntoshBoard of Directors
Sarah Howes McIntosh is Business Development Manager for KIKO Auctioneers and Realtors. She is responsible for prospecting to new corporate clients, providing marketing support to the sale agents and managing corporate accounts. Sarah’s knowledge of banking, business development, client relationships, and marketing will be a great benefit to the Love, Andrew team.
“Love, Andrew and the Star Room are needed in schools. My cousin has autism. I have witnessed first hand what happens when he becomes agitated, and because of these outbursts, he was not able to mainstream into normal classrooms. He had nowhere to go to reset when he was having trouble. Through Love, Andrew, I hope we can provide that place where a person can go and reset.”
Before joining KIKO, Sarah was with Huntington Bank for 20 years. She is a graduate of Miami University and a 2001 graduate of Leadership Stark County.
She and her husband Angus live in North Canton, Ohio.
Kristel M. ThomasBoard of Directors
By implementing comprehensive programming that restores synchronizations between the two hemispheres of the brain, she works with children who are struggling academically, behaviorally, and/or socially. Kristel has been a family friend to the Schumachers and involved with Love, Andrew for years. Watching the foundation grow from inception to where it is today, she anticipates even further success to come.
“I share Nicole’s vision for helping children with Autism and I wholeheartedly agree with the mission of Love, Andrew. This foundation fulfills a great need in this community and beyond to create environments, like the Star Room, that will be safe havens for these children so they can receive the most benefit from their school environment.”
Kristel’s work and training though Brain Balance offers a unique perspective; an appreciation, and an understanding about brain development and sensory integration that enriches the board for Love, Andrew.
A Miami graduate, Kristel has been married to her husband Greg for 18 years and has four children in Canton, OH. She enjoys yoga, reading, writing, and cooking and watching her boys play in their sporting events.
Robert MorrowBoard of Directors
Since September 2011, Robert has worked as the creative director of the Autism Asperger’s Digest. He has more than 5 years’ experience in all facets of non-profits. Robert focuses much of his passion talking and evangelizing the holistic approach his family utilizes with his older daughter, age 11, to tackle the day-to-day challenges of autism. It’s his desire to help unite all caregivers within the autism community and to provide life tools for achieving and surpassing all goals. He believes there is no better way to manage anything than with love, a positive attitude, lots of grace, and the belief that all things are possible.
Meridith Foster WhiteBoard of Directors
“My passion for Love, Andrew strongly connects to my relationship with Andrew, himself. He is such a remarkable child. Andrew doesn’t know how to be unhappy or unkind. He is so dear to my heart.” Meridith Foster White is a member of the board for the Love, Andrew Team and works with the online merchandise. Meridith’s large networking base and heavy involvement in the community will serve the Love, Andrew Team with great benefits.
Born and raised, Meridith and her husband, Ken, live in Canton, Ohio. They also have four children. Graduated from Kent State in 1993, Meridith owns a business called Paper Couture, which provides custom invitations, stationeries, and announcements. She has been in the paper industry for a total of 15 years. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, golf, and snow skiing, but above all, she enjoys spending time with her family the most.