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Board of Directors - 2024-2025


The MMAA board of Directors is made up of local parents and professionals passionate

about improving communication regarding best practices, local resources, and local social

opportunities for families and individuals with IDD/DD in the mid-Michigan area. 

and contact us!

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Anamiguel Pomales -  President

Jessica Tschida - Vice-President

Jessica is pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University. Jessica enjoys working with children, adolescents, and young adults with a variety of internalizing and externalizing concerns and is passionate about working with youth on the autism spectrum and their families. Her research examines how community-engaged approaches can improve use of mental health evidence-based practices for autistic youth in community-based settings. Prior to beginning her doctoral training, Jessica was a clinical research assistant at the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined the MMAA Board in 2022. 


Cathy Blatnik -  Treasurer

Cathy is originally from Maryland but has called Michigan home since December of 2001. She has been a stay-at-home mom/wife since 1996 when her daughter was born. Cathy also has a stepson who is married and lives on the West Coast. Her son Dominic was born in 2004 and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy and Anxiety Disorder. Besides volunteering her time with the Mid-Michigan Autism Association and is the Coordinator of the Special Needs Ministry in the Diocese of Lansing.


Mariah Martinez - Secretary

Mariah was born and raised in SE Michigan. She moved to Lansing to attend Michigan State University (MSU) and has been living within the city since 2014. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from MSU. Mariah is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Potter Park Zoological Society. She coordinates the FALCONERS program that allows children or adults of all ages with special needs and unique challenges (such as autism or developmental disabilities) and their whole family to have an enriching educational experience in a safe, welcoming and sensory friendly environment.  She is certified in Autism by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). ​Mariah has worked with MMAA for a few years through FALCONERS and became a board member in early 2020.

Alisha Buehrer - Board Member

Alisha is an Autism Spectrum Disorder Teacher Consultant at Grand Ledge Public Schools. She has taught students with autism and other disabilities for the past 11 years in a variety of classroom settings. Alisha completed her Masters degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. She also completed her Bachelors degree from Eastern Michigan University in Special Education, with an endorsement in cognitive impairment in 2010. Alisha has always had a passion for teaching and helping to advocate for and support families who have children with disabilities. Alisha is married to her husband, Darren and has three sons, Thomas, Silas and Titus. In her free time Alisha enjoys the outdoors and camping.

Sheila Hartley - Board Member

Hannah Tokish - Board Member

Jody Moffett - Board Member

Julia Olivas - Board Member

Kim Jakubas - Board Member

Heidi Anderson - Board Member

Bri Luginbill - Board Member

Nikki Walker - Board Member

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