Have Dreams Staff

Kristina E. Johnsen, M.A.
Executive Director

With over four decades of experience in the field of autism and Special Education, Kris founded Have Dreams in 1996. As an early childhood special education teacher, Kris worked in cross-categorical and self-contained autism classrooms in public school teaching children with autism.  She is trained in administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Applied Behavior Analysis; Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), TEACCH Transition Assessment Profile (TTAP), Autism/PDD Training & Technical Assistance Project and is a member of Midwest Autism Consortium, Institute for Juvenile Research, UIC. In addition to her duties as the Executive Director of Have Dreams, Kris was also the Director of The Leventhal-Keshet Autism Center. Kris also served as a member of The Autism Project (TAP) Professional Advisory Council and Director of Affiliated Agencies for Chicago Metro Pilot Sites, and founder of AACTION (Autism Awareness Campaign Through International Organizations Networking). 



Leadership Staff

Dana Fenceroy, M.M.N.A.
Outreach Director

Andrea Franckowiak, M.A.
Program Director

Bobbi Frazes Goldman
Director of Development

Anne Westerman
Assistant Executive Director


Melanie Johnsen
Administrative Coordinator

Cathy McCarthy
Financial Manager

David Murray, M.B.A.
Business Associate

Marketing and Development

Megan Fleischel
Communications Manager

Kelly Passaneau
Community Engagement & Special Events Coordinator

Paulette Wilkins, M.S.W.
Grants Associate


Alex Bonk
Have Dreams Academy Job Coach

Aida Fuentes
Life SCILS Job Coach

Amy Fuentes
Life SCILS Job Coach

Christopher Jones
Evanston SCILS Supervisor/Life SCILS Job Coach

Deirdre King
Life SCILS Coordinator

Caroline McCarthy

Zach McCarthy
Project SEARCH Job Coach

Christine McQuinn, M.A. Ed. Special Education
Project SEARCH Lead Teacher

Megan Meredith
Employment Program Leader

Andrew Norkett
Life SCILS Job Coach

Lora Slutsky
Workforce Development Supervisor

Lydia Wissing
Training Coordinator

Samantha Wright
Employment Coach

Medical Advisors

Bennett L. Leventhal, M.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Deputy Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Director of Training, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
University of California, San Francisco
STAR Center for ASD & NDDs


Catherine Lord, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and
Founding Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB)
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College,
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
in collaboration with New York Collaborates for Autism


Lauren Wakschlag, Ph.D.
Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University
Department of Medical Social Sciences
Feinberg School of Medicine
Have Dreams Academy enrollment is now open March 2018