Board of Directors

 Patricia Lillie, President

Pat LilliePat has served as president for her local and state (LDA of North Carolina) affiliates and is an active LDANC Board Member. She has served as an advocate and a liaison to the North Carolina State Board of Education and the State Legislature. She and husband Dave are parents of four children, two sons who have LD/ADD and a grandchild who received benefit from early identification while in preschool. Pat has served on the LDA Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and is a Past President of LDA. She has served on the following committees: Education, Grievance and Ethics, Nominating, Publications and is Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. As an advocate Pat is committed to helping parents gain a better understanding of State and Federal policies and issues such as Response to Intervention (RtI), Common Core Standards and mandated statewide standardized testing programs. Pat’s interests also include increasing the SLD/ADHD high school graduation rate and insuring students are prepared to enter the workplace or postsecondary education after leaving high school.

Robert Broudo, First Vice President

BobBoudoSince 1969, Bob Broudo has dedicated his professional interests and career to the field of learning disabilities. He currently serves as President and Headmaster of Landmark School in Massachusetts for students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities. Broudo was a teacher at Landmark during the founding year of the school in 1971, and became a supervisor and department chair. In 1975, he traveled to Israel where he was Director of Special Education for grades K-12 and Assistant Principal of the High School at the Walworth Barbour American International School. Upon his return to the States, he served as founding Director of the Landmark School Outreach and Training Program, founding Director of the Landmark Preparatory School, and Director of Landmark’s High School Campus. Broudo has been President and Headmaster of Landmark since 1990. His previous LDA service includes the LDA Board, Program Committee member and Program Committee Chair. He has served on several external boards and committees, including: the Boards of Directors of Waring School, Glen Urquhart School, and Brookwood School, and the Board of Directors of the Danversbank, among others. Broudo holds a B.A. from Bates College and an M.Ed. from Boston University.

Sylvia Youngblood, Second Vice President

SylviaSylvia is the mother of four children, one girl and three boys. All of whom have Specific Learning Disabilities and her 3 boys are on the Autism Spectrum. For over 20 years, Sylvia has been advocating for her children and assisting parents in their advocacy. Her qualifications are not from formal training, they are qualifications from real life experience. Sylvia has attended many conferences, seminars, presentations, workshops, trainings and classes to further her advocacy skills. As the parent of children with special needs, Sylvia finds that you now have to become the educator, doctor, psychologist, therapist, social skills, service provider and attorney for your children in order to understand and best advocate for their unique needs.  By trade Sylvia’s work is in administration, with over 25 years of administrative experience Sylvia has had the opportunity to work for great companies with leadership that allowed for her knowledge and experience to grow on the job. This experience proved invaluable. She applied her administrative skills in IEP’s and when advocating for her children. Sylvia is also the Co-founder and Southern California Administrator of the Community Advisory Committee Leadership Collaborative (CACLC). A grass roots organization dedicated to connecting CAC’s across California and raising awareness in the special needs community on the importance of the legislative process, community involvement, decision making and the important and vital role of public input in the special needs community. She participates in different Collaborative groups and TASK forces’ that address the needs of the Special Needs community… As well as assisting parents, students and adults in their advocacy. Sylvia is a strong supporter of giving back, positive, effective and meaning collaborations, advancing forward and most important bridging and filling the gaps to strengthen and build positive role models and leaders within our special needs community.

Loreena D. Parks, Secretary

Loreena ParksLori Parks is an associate professor in the special education department at Eastern Michigan University.  She has degrees from Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University and attended the University of Western Ontario.  She has acquired a Sp.A. (Specialist of Arts in Curriculum), a M.A. in Learning Disabilities, a B.B.A. in Marketing and a B.S. in Hearing Impairment (K-12) and General Education (K-8).  Prior to joining the faculty at Eastern Michigan University, Lori taught and consulted in public and private schools, at the Kindergarten through University level in Michigan and Ontario, Canada. She has presented at numerous conferences, written many articles and serves on various volunteer committees such as the Pre-Ed Advising Committee for Henry Ford Community College. Lori has been involved with LDA and LDA of Michigan (LDAMI) for many years.  She started as a member of LDAMI and became quickly involved with LDA.  As an active LDAMI member, Lori was on the Board of Directors, Conference Co-chair and was State President for two years.  Parks also presented regularly at LDAMI’s fall conferences and contributed many articles for their quarterly newsletter “Outlook”.  As an active member of LDA Lori is currently serving as secretary on the Executive Board, is on the Education Committee, is Co-Chairing the Program Committee for 2017, and has been the facilitator for the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award.  Other positions and committees Lori has served on include:  Assistant States’ Representative, States’ President Representative, Healthy Child Project, Conference Program Committee, Affiliate Support Committee, and the Nominating Committee.  She presents on a regular basis at the national conference. In her spare time Lori enjoys sailing, reading, her grandchildren, watching cooking shows, and attempting to learn to play the violin.

Jonathan Jones, Treasurer

Jonathan Jones is founder and director emeritus of S.O.A.R., a non-profit organization providing year-round wilderness adventure and experiential education services for youth identified with learning disabilities and/or diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. He is also a registered nurse and travels the world doing medical mission work. Nationally, he served on the LDA Board of Directors, has been treasurer, and served on or chaired multiple committees including finance, mental health, juvenile justice, adult issues, adult life span, and adult literacy. In addition to authoring numerous fact/info sheets and Newsbriefs articles and presenting conference workshops, he has assisted the board as facilitator in discussions including strategic planning, needs assessment, and town hall meetings. For the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina, Jonathan served in a number of capacities including president, treasurer, board member, committee chair, and conference convener. He has delivered more than 550 professional presentations at state, national, and international conferences which focus on LD and ADHD issues through the life span. Jonathan brings to LDA an interest and strengths in organizational and fiscal management. He would like to see LDA return to the role of representing thousands of parents and providing support to like numbers of professionals and adults with LD. Jonathan is an adult with learning disabilities and has an adult son, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, with his own unique mix of LD and ADD characteristics.

Allen Broyles, Immediate Past President

Broyles-2015Allen Broyles is the Assistant Head of School and Middle School Principal of The Howard School, a K-12 school for students with language-based learning differences in Atlanta.  With 24 years of experience in independent school education, he has held positions that include administration at the lower, middle, and school-wide levels, teaching positions at the lower, middle and high school levels, director of technology initiatives, music and math instruction, and outdoor education.  Allen has presented and consulted at regional, national, and international conferences and schools on the topics of applying current neuroscience to teaching, the neuropsychology of math, and how mainstream schools might structure their programs to be more responsive to and inclusive of students who struggle.  He holds a M.Ed. in educational leadership and a BA in music and French, and is an active musician playing in bands and recording in the Atlanta area.

Beth McGaw, Board Liaison

Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities after her youngest son was diagnosed at an early age. She has served the LDA Georgia state chapter as Vice President, where she was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Although Beth started her career as an Industrial Engineer, she pursued her passion for education by obtaining a M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She co-founded the award winning Atlanta-based magazine, Kids Enabled, and led its conversion to a not-for-profit digital resource.  After moving to Dallas in 2010, she received her certification in nonprofit management. In 2012, Beth was elected to the LDA Board of Directors and currently serves as the  Communication Committee Co-Chair. Currently, Beth  works as an Independent Educational Consultant to help families and their students with LD/ADD/Autism Spectrum locate options to transition to the post secondary level. She also serves as the Director of Transition Services for LaunchAbility a nonprofit based in Dallas, TX.

 JoAnna Barnes

JoAnna is a lawyer and the parent of two college students with learning disabilities. She has been involved with LDA since 2002. JoAnna was active in Texas with the Park Cities LDA and was a member of the Board of Directors. In 2005 JoAnna with her family moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She became active in the Special Education PTA, served on her school district’s Special Needs Advisory Council, and served on its 504 Working Group formed to implement the changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008. She is President of the LDA of North Carolina, a Co-Chair of the LDA Public Policy Committee, and one of two LDA representatives to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. In 2015 she chaired a task force on accessibility of test accommodations for adults with learning disabilities who apply to take a high school equivalency exam. JoAnna holds a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University, and, although she no longer practices law, is a member in good standing of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.

Donna Brigham

Donna-BrighamDonna Brigham holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed., is a mom to two teenage girls, one of which is diagnosed with ADHD and has been a passionate educator for 24 years. She has been involved with both the LDA and IDA organizations and embodies great energy and awareness in her efforts to help make a difference. Donna brings to the LDA board a very strong voice and skills in communicating and networking. She has expanded her efforts to make an impact through lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. Donna is eager to contribute at a deeper level to LDA’s mission and goals and believes strongly that local efforts, such as hers in the Memphis, TN area, are critical for strengthening the national organization. Donna currently serves as the Director of Resource at Macon Road Baptist School and consults with other schools to help improve their Resource Programs.

 Ernie Florence


Ernie Florence recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors. He became an active member of LDA in the 1980’s and served his local affiliate, Kane-Kendall LDA, in many capacities including president, vice president, as well as a variety of committees. At the state level, he served two terms as president of LDA of Illinois as well as many committees including Membership, Awards, Nominating, Conference, and others. At the national level Ernie served a term as State Presidents’ Representative along with heading several committees including Membership/Affiliate Support, Nominating, and Program. He presently serves on the Membership/Affiliate Support and Bylaw/Policy Committees. He enjoyed a 33 year career teaching children with behavior/emotional disorders and learning disabilities before retiring in 2009. Ernie lives in Montgomery, IL.

Suzanne Fornaro

Suzanne Fornaro serves as Co-Chair, Communications Committee; Co-Editor, THE LD SOURCE; and was President of LDA from 2004-2006. Currently serving as a presidential appointee to the Board of Directors and as a member of the Public Policy Committee, she has served on the Board, Executive Committee, and/or chaired committees for LDA since 1990. At the local level, she was president of the Alabama state and Mobile County affiliates and continues to serve on the state Board of Directors. She is the parent of an adult child with learning disabilities. Suzanne brings her expertise and education in Communications and Public Relations to LDA. She is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board and retired as Director of Public Relations with a national engineering firm. She has 30+ years of experience in communications and public relations and expertise in public relations planning, external and internal communications, community and media relations. She has served on the board of directors for Public Relations Council of Alabama-PRCA (President), Southern Public Relations Federation-SPRF (VP and Secretary), and Mobile Public Relations Council (President). She has received 14 awards from public relations organizations for creation and execution of projects ranging from brochure development to strategic communications planning. Suzanne was named to the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2015 and was previously recognized with the Practitioner of the Year Award, Professional Achievement Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from PRCA and SPRF. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations) from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Communications (Mental Health Information) from Syracuse University.

Vicki Goshon


Vicki Goshon is a leader in the state of Iowa in the field of Learning Disabilities. She is a Past President of LDA Iowa and has served numerous times in this position. Vicki has taught students with Learning Disabilities for 35 years. In addition to her work with LDA, she has served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel. Throughout her career in special education, Vicki has written many successful grants in order to obtain funding for materials and educational services for students with learning disabilities. These range from materials and services for elementary students to programs in Iowa Correctional Institutions. She also operates a private tutoring service in order to provide affordable academic support to students. She has been instrumental in developing summer academies for students and developing an educational testing center in the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and an Administrator of Special Education degree. Vicki is a member of several national committees in her desire to help students and parents in the Learning Disabilities family. Honors and awards include: 2012 Helping Hands Award – Iowa LDA, 2008 Sam Kirk Award – National LDA – 2009 and 2002 President’s Award – Iowa LDA.

Jennifer Harkins

JenHarkinsJennifer has worked at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, CT, a school for children with language-based learning disabilities, for 22 years.  She began as a special education teacher and moved into administration 7 years ago.  Jennifer has three children and her oldest was diagnosed with ADD in the 6th grade.  Her involvement with LDA includes presenting at the annual conferences, serving on the Program Committee and as the Program Committee co-chair.  Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Colby College, a M.S.Ed. in Literacy from University of New England and a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University.   Jennifer is particularly passionate about technology and teacher training and looks forward to working with LDA to continue to support those with learning disabilities and the parents and professionals who work with them.

Mike Helman, Affiliate Consultant Representative

Since 1996, Michael Helman has been the Executive Director of the LDA of Western New York. LDA of WNY is a consumer driven, professionally operated organization; assisting individuals with learning disabilities achieve their full potential. A multi-faceted agency, LDA of WNY provides a comprehensive array of services including residential, vocational, educational and individual and family support services to approximately 1,400 individuals annually. Mr. Helman has been instrumental in helping to create several unique programs for adults with learning disabilities with a special focus on TANF recipients. These include the development of the Empire State Spanish Language Cognitive Screening Tool and Professional Success Sessions, a multi modality job readiness program for TANF recipients with learning disabilities. Both of these programs were recognized by the US Dept of Education, Office of Vocation and Adult Education as promising practices. In addition to his role as Executive Director of LDA of WNY, Mr. Helman is the President of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State and a member of LDA’s Public Policy Committee. He also serves on the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities Commissioner’s Advisory Council and a member of the NYSED’s Advisory Council on Post-Secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities.

Evalynne W. Lindberg

evieEvalynne (Evie) W. Lindberg has experience in special education, academics, accreditation, and assessments to provide knowledgeable background for the issues facing special education today. During her career she has held the following positions: Associate professor, Undergraduate Department, College of Education at Oral Roberts University, where she prepares special education teacher candidates and published numerous articles and has authored a chapter, Religion, Culture, Curriculum, and Diversity in 21st Century America. Her most recent accolades: “Top Female of the Year” by Worldwide Branding for Excellence in Special Education Management; Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, and Scholar of the Year for the College of Education. She was a special education instructor for over 35 years; a Psychiatric Adolescent Unit instructor; a visual therapist, and advocates for individuals with disabilities. She also served as a committee member for the National Evaluation Systems and has experience administering in-service training, and diagnostic assessments for ORU and Tulsa communities. Her LDA positions include: over 35 years as an LDA member and at this time is President of LDA of Oklahoma. Currently, serving on the LDA Board of Directors, and served on the Executive Committee and co-chaired the Education Committee.  She presents at the local, state, and national levels. Lindberg holds a B.A. from Oral Roberts University, an M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and an Ed. D., Educational Leadership: Public School Administration from Oral Roberts University.

Marcia Livingston

Marcia  is an Associate Tenured Professor and Coordinator of the English Language Learner (ELL) degree program at Oral Roberts University.   She brings a wealth of experience in working with individuals who are English Language Learners. She is a member of the Oklahoma Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages (OKTESOL) and was awarded OKTESOL’s Professional of the Year in 2014. Marcia often serves as guest speaker/lecturer, professional development presenter and volunteer teacher.   She has earned the respect of her peers for her academic excellence and has received many correlated awards and recognitions.   ORU’s College of Education recognized her as the outstanding faculty for the academic year 2013-14 and 2015-16. She currently serves as Co-Councilor for ORU’s Kappa Delta Pi Chapter of the KDP International Honor Society for Educators. She desires to increase LDA’s work with teacher’s colleges and universities. Marcia sees the most critical issues facing our field as the lack of trained teachers/professionals to serve the needs of students with learning disabilities, the paucity of special education funding, and the ongoing practice of assessing special needs students without accommodations or adaptations in the same way as their peers without disabilities.

Virginia Simank

Ginny Simank is an experienced presenter at the LDA conference, serves on the LDA Education Committee, the LDA Nominating Committee, and is collaborating with another LDA board member to start a support group for Texas LDA in the Dallas area. Ginny was the lead presenter for an LDA webinar “Fun and Engaging Reading and Math Activities” that also included activities for parents to use during the summer.  She is an instructor in Orton-Gillingham professional development trainings for the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education and teaches reading and language arts at Dallas Academy, a specialized private school serving students with learning disabilities. She is the parent of a son with learning disabilities and has a brother-in-law with SLD. Ginny considers the three most critical issues facing LDA today to be assessment and evaluation, state standards, and Response to Intervention (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support). She is passionate about literacy instruction using multi-sensory strategies.  Ginny expresses excitement and support for advocacy, education and opportunity for all individuals with learning disabilities and their loved ones.

Analisa L. Smith


Analisa L. Smith has served LDA for many years, being active at the national and state level. Smith has served on the Advocacy, Marketing, Affiliate Support/Membership, Early Childhood, and Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Committee. She is President of LDA of South Carolina and has served in several positions on the State Executive Board of Directors. Smith has worked for 20+ years in the public and private education. Dr. Smith is a distance educator, SME, and an educational consultant. Smith holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia College, a M.Ed. in Education from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctorate of Education in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Smith is the author of Transition Toolbox, a book that focuses upon transition issues and services for the mildly disabled individual. She is the mother of two children, with one son having Asperger’s and several learning disabilities. Smith’s passion is to work with LDA to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD to ease the path of learning for them.

Myrna Soule


Myrna has been a member of LDA for over 30 years. She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and an M.A. with an emphasis in Special Education from Santa Clara University. She has been Oregon’s President four times and continues to serve on LDA of Oregon’s state board. She chair of the LDA’s national Bylaws/Policies Committee, co-chair of its Education Committee, has been treasurer twice and presented on the Finance Committee and serves on the Research Committee. She is a Slingerland trained tutor and consultant after teaching for 49 years. She presently has 14 students to tutor and she tutors adults as well as elementary students including those with Asperger’s and Autism. She has started three private schools for students with learning disabilities. She is on a state committee with the Dept. of Education to establish standards for the new Dyslexic Bill passed in the state and to set up teacher training. Her life is devoted to helping individuals with learning disabilities, learn how to learn, advocate for them and to train teachers in how to teach them.

Patty Useem, State President’s Representative

Patty Useem has been involved in teaching individuals with learning disabilities for over thirty years in a variety of settings including the school classroom, the university lecture hall, and her private practice clinic. She always has had her focus on helping students strive to be successful independent learners. Also, Patty is a mother of two daughters, one with specific learning disabilities, so she has experienced the challenges of educating from a parent’s perspective too. She holds a B.A. and B.Ed. from York University, Toronto, and her M.A. in Learning Disabilities from Northwestern’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. As Patty has moved around the country, she has been involved in the LDAs in Kentucky, New Mexico and now Indiana, organizing conferences and workshops and being an active member of the executive boards of directors. Presently, Patty is the President of LDA of Indiana.

B.J. Wiemer

B.J. Wiemer has many years of LDA service in her experience. She has previously served as First and Second Vice-President, Secretary, Board Liaison, State Presidents’ Representative, and  member of the Board of Directors, as well as having served on numerous committees, including Advocacy, Affiliate Support, Membership, Education, Public Policy, Bylaws and Policies, Conference, Conference Program and Nominating. She has also served as president of her state and local affiliates. BJ is a special educator, national teacher trainer, educational consultant, and adjunct professor in special education. She has spent 39 years working in public and private settings with students with special needs, most notably as a specialist in specific learning disabilities, behavioral/emotional needs, and the at-risk reader. Since 1997, she has served as Director of Special Services at the Kirk Day School in St. Louis, Missouri, and is currently an adjunct professor with Missouri Baptist University. She is passionate about coming alongside families to provide strong support through proactive instruction and advocacy, as well as providing for staff and parent education, an extensive resource library, and community awareness. She trains and consults with teachers and administrators across the country to address the needs of the at-risk learner. She and her husband, Jack, have three grown daughters, one of whom was diagnosed with a learning disability as a young child. Their recreational time is often shared with their three grandchildren. BJ holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Louis University.