MEET THE STAFF
Get to know the Spectrum Team: Staff
Ann Marie Sullivan, Founder & CEO
After a progressive career that included executive-level positions at several companies that she co-founded in the US and Europe, Ann Marie combined a strong entrepreneurial sense with more than two decades of experience in building and managing start-up organizations to co-found Spectrum Works. She was the co-founder/COO of Absolute Publishing which published the luxury lifestyle magazine Absolute NY and the founder/CEO of Helix Communications AB in Sweden. Helix Communications specialized in developing educational marketing products for the pharmaceutical industry in the Nordic countries. These products included 25 peer reviewed medical journals and interactive continuing medical education programs which were developed in collaboration with medical institutions and medical opinion leaders. In addition to her for-profit experience she was a management consultant for NESC and assisted in the establishment of their Social Enterprise program which helps nonprofit organizations develop earned income programs.
Beverly Ficon, Program Manager
For many years, Beverly was Dean and subsequently President of Katharine Gibbs College, located in Montclair, New Jersey. She has effectively trained young adults in their pursuit of employment and implemented a job placement program for students. Gibbs’ students have attained roles of leadership and respective positions in their employment and in communities. In recent years she has been dedicated to serving her community as a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and a member of CIACC (Children’s Inter-Agency Coordinating Council) of Essex County as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic. As a graduate of Georgian Court University, she holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration and Education and a M.S. from Seton Hall University in General Professional Education. Beverly is the mother of three and has a granddaughter diagnosed with Apraxia and Global Development Delay.
Marianne Cavallo, Training & Development Specialist
After graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.S. degree in Special and Elementary education, Marianne went on to develop and implement a Community Based Transition program to enable students with disabilities to pursue their postsecondary goals. She taught this program as a member of the faculty of Essex County Schools of Technology for twenty nine years. She organized a Parent-Student Outreach evening program to assist in learning how to access the system of services for successful transition. Marianne was a member of the staff of the Arc of Essex County for thirty years. While with the Arc, she directed an adult evening Recreation Club program and worked with the participants of a hotel weekend respite program and members of a weekly Saturday recreation program. She is a certified Autism IBCCES specialist. She is also certified as an instructor in the SLE Structured Learning Experience.
Jonathan Rojas, Training & Development Specialist, Graphic Design & Production Manager
Jonathan graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a B.A. in Visual Communication Design and a minor in Visual Arts. At the college he worked as a provost student designer and office assistant, transferring photos and DVD files to the web.
At Spectrum Works, Jonathan started as a graphic design intern and now teaches graphic design and web design to individuals with autism enrolled in the program. He also creates digital and print marketing collateral for the company's job training programs, in addition to managing customer promotional product orders with client communication, art file prep, wholesale purchases, and inventory management.
Christina Grzybowski, Development Associate
Christina graduated from Seton Hall University with a bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations and minors in Nonprofit Studies and German. Christina first worked for Spectrum Works in the Summer of 2018 as a Social Enterprise Management Intern.
Before joining the Spectrum Works team again in February 2021, Christina interned and later worked part time at the New Jersey office of the Arthritis Foundation. She also interned and transitioned to full time after graduation at Powered by Professionals, a fundraising and event management company based in New York City that specializes in helping charity and nonprofit organizations.
Katherine McGonigal, Outreach Director
Katie graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Health and a minor in Nutrition. For the past five years, she worked at the Spectrum360 schools as a classroom aide with children with autism and disabilities. She also currently works as a live-in caregiver/companion through the Easterseals of New Jersey. In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, skiing, and playing/teaching the drums with her family’s local bagpipe band. She seeks to foster an inclusive environment where all members can find purpose and community.
Edmia Nunez, DDD Program Manager
Edmia began her extensive career as program coordinator for special needs adults by providing instruction on helping them build employment skills, as well as, providing them with assistance in seeking permanent employment. She is passionate in helping all individuals seek opportunities to become independent and grow in a career that can be satisfying for them. As DDD Program Manager she will continue to provide all autistic adults with the tools necessary to strive in life.
Christopher Conti (CJ), Training & Development Specialist
CJ graduated from Montclair State University with a Master’s in Computer Science. At MSU he worked as a graduate assistant and taught college students basic and intermediate programming concepts. He also has several years of experience teaching Taekwondo at his local dojang.
Chanel Cardenas, DVRS Program Manager
Chanel graduated from New Jersey City University with a B.A in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University. Chanel has been conducting behavior therapy for two years on young children diagnosed with Autism. While still currently working with these young individuals, Chanel was given the opportunity to join the Spectrum Works team. Her goal aligns with the mission we strive to achieve in finding inclusive employment for those diagnosed with Autism. Chanel understands that a disability deviates from one’s ability to be great and successful. In her free time, she loves to read romance books, indulge in delicious foods and travel as much as possible.
Jailene Ortez, Training & Development Specialist, Graphic Designer
Jailene graduated from New Jersey City University with a B.A. in Graphic Design with a minor in Marketing. She interned as a graphic designer at Jersey City city hall during university. At Spectrum Works, she teaches students graphic design and other computer skills and assists in designing for the company’s marketing. Jailene likes to learn foreign languages, read, paint and draw in her free time. With Spectrum Works, she hopes to provide the necessary skills for students to flourish and succeed in their future endeavors.
Iara Vellaro, Training & Development Specialist
Iara graduated from Montclair State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a double minor in Social Work and Child Advocacy & Policy. Iara worked for three years as a Pilot Sales Manager where she hired, trained, and developed representatives that worked in her office. As a Job Coach at Spectrum Works, she is able to use her skills from her previous management position to continue her goal of helping young students find work and gain valuable life/work skills. Iara loves to travel, go to concerts, read, and watch movies on her free time. She is excited for the new opportunity to work with such a diverse group and help them reach their goals.
Get to know the Spectrum Team: Board of Directors
Robert Butters, Board Chair
Robert is a serial entrepreneur who started his business career as an accountant at Price Waterhouse. He then worked as CFO and Vice President for Business Development for the Really Useful Company (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatrical producing and theater real estate company). In 2001 Robert started his own production company and after success producing large scale events, was the founder of Green Distribution, an apparel printing and distribution company. In 2016 with 1,000+ employees Robert sold a majority share in Green Distribution. He continued his role as CEO until 2018 when he left to start Green Light Development, an incubator company focused on servicing quick turn production to the e-retail community. Robert’s philanthropic endeavors include serving as the board chair of Spectrum Works since 2012 and former board chair of Monmouth Medical Center Foundation.
Sam offers a history of success spearheading all facets of enterprise operations. By applying strong business acumen, systems acuity, and leadership talents, Sam is much at home creating operational centers of excellence. Sam was the GM of FM Expressions championing the Spectrum Works employment program. Sam was the Operations Manager for Morgan Advanced Materials and transformed operations to achieve EBITDA percentage increase by 12%. He is currently the GM of Odeko, Chairman of the Rent Leveling Board in North Bergen, and Board Trustee on the North Bergen Board of Education.
Sedat is the President and CEO of MTS Logistics, Inc., the New York-based logistics company founded in 2000. With his energy, initiative, courage, and strong leadership, Mr. Saka has grown MTS Logistics to be one of the top logistics companies in the United States, with growth in all markets globally, and offices in NYC and LA. His leadership helped MoreThanShipping.com become one of the world's top logistics and transport blogs. He has a degree from ITU Merchant Marine Academy, where he graduated in 1986, and a Shipping & MBA degree from Istanbul University, where he graduated in 1990.
In his spare time, Sedat enjoys a very active lifestyle. He works out religiously daily, does yoga several times a week, and loves the outdoors. Some of his outdoor activities include biking, wind surfing, skiing, and swimming. He also loves cooking healthy meals for his family.
Charles is the President of Bergen Logistics which provides distribution services to the retail sector including e-commerce, wholesale, & retail. He was a partner at New London partners and the Chief Logistics Office at Rent the Runway. Charles worked in Executive level positions for several other companies. Charles is a champion for autism in the workplace and implemented Spectrum Works’ Autism hiring program at both Rent the Runway and Bergen Logistics. Charles has been a volunteer Computer literacy instructor at the Glen Ridge Public Library since 2013.
Ben is a sustainability strategy consultant working with a London based consultancy, Carnstone. He works across all areas of ESG, ranging from environmental issues such as carbon emissions and climate change, social aspects of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and governance standards with clients across multiple sectors. Ben started his career as an ACA Chartered Accountant focusing on audit, accounts, and business strategy. A keen interest in the entertainment business led him to specialize in Intellectual Property and Royalties for Media, Entertainment and Sports clients. Ben has a BSc in Geography with International Studies from the University of Manchester with a year at University of California Los Angeles and studied Business Sustainability Management at The University of Cambridge, CISL.
Brian is the Director of Government Affairs and Communications for American Dream. He has over 20 years of experience in both corporate and government relations with expertise in product branding, corporate communications, legislative lobbying, crisis management, and media training. Brian started his career as a newspaper reporter for the Star-Ledger before becoming a staff member of the Assembly Democratic Office in the New Jersey Legislature. Brian has held communications and management positions at every level of New Jersey government and the private sector -- most recently as Senior Vice President of MWWPR -- and he continues to work closely with the region’s premiere policy makers, elected officials, and esteemed members of the media. He is a board member of the New Jersey Consumers League, board member of Commerce PAC NJ, and board member of the NJ Doctor-Patient Alliance.