Spectrum Autism Support Group (Spectrum) is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Claire Dees as their new Executive Director. Spectrum, a 501(c)(3) organization has served the autism community in Gwinnett County and surrounding areas for the past 18 years. Spectrum was established in the fall of 1998, with a mission to provide support, education and resources for individuals and families impacted by autism.
Ms. Dees previously served in a volunteer role as Spectrum’s President and has over 28 years of experience in the field of disabilities, both as a parent and a professional. She was most recently employed by Parent to Parent of Georgia as the Community Engagement Manager. Ms. Dees is very active in the community, currently serving on the board of the Duluth Civitans, Georgia State University’s Center for Leadership in Disability Community Advisory Committee, and the Autism Plan for Georgia’s Advisory Council.
The hiring of Ms. Dees represents an organizational change for Spectrum which, up until this point, has been an entirely volunteer led organization, with a volunteer Board of Directors, comprised mostly of parents of children on the autism spectrum. Spectrum’s Board recently completed a comprehensive strategic plan for the organization, the outcome of which led the Board to determine the feasibility of hiring a full-time Executive Director.
Spectrum offers a wide variety of programs including monthly meetings for parents, social skills groups for children and adults on the autism spectrum, family events, camps and more. Spectrum is especially proud of their summer camp program which serves close to 1,000 children each summer through day camp and a week-long overnight camp. The hiring of Ms. Dees as a full-time Executive Director will enable Spectrum to enhance and expand their current program offerings. Her passion for helping families and knowledge of resources and supports will continue to help improve lives of those impacted by autism in our community.
Kelly Laco, Spectrum’s Board President, says “We are very excited to hire Claire as our new Executive Director. She has proven she is a very valuable asset to us in last 17 years she has served as our President. I cannot wait to see where she takes Spectrum with her new role.”