Illustration by Freepik Storyset
OUR MISSION AND VISION
Build the missing BRIDGES that connect companies, educators, service providers, autistic individuals, and caregivers to each other, as well as the knowledge and customized resources necessary to build successful employment programs that increase job opportunities for autistic individuals.
Our vision is simple: Through education and the sharing of knowledge, experience, and tailored tools, we will create a community that works together to increase autism employment opportunities and integrate autistic individuals into the workforce on a national scale.
Photo by Ian Dziuk on Unsplash
Spectrum BRIDGES is a mission driven technology platform founded by the nonprofit service provider Spectrum Works. Spectrum Works provides job training and employment to hundreds of students in New Jersey by building inclusive workforces at companies.
Recognizing the root causes for the lack of integrated employment opportunities and the increasing need for programs like Spectrum Works’ across the nation, the concept of a platform built to expand education, training and practical tools for all stakeholders with a vested interest in improving diversity, equity and inclusion was born.
Spectrum Works experience with companies, schools, other service providers, caregivers, and autistic individuals was the inspiration for our “theory of change”. If there were resources and connections available on one centralized platform, then the success Spectrum Works has seen could be replicated on a larger scale and at a faster pace.
AUTISM TERMINOLOGY PHILOSOPHY:
Spectrum Bridges subscribes to an Identity-First Language Model in corporate communications. The Bridge adopts the philosophy largely supported by autism advocacy groups. This philosophy states that a person’s identity is intertwined within and influenced by autism. This counters the alternative viewpoint that autism is a part of a person but separate from the internal frame of identity, known as Person-First Language. For additional references, visit the below links:
LEADERSHIP TEAM AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ann Marie SullivanFounder/CEO,Spectrum BRIDGES
Ann Marie has over twenty years of expertise creating for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations in the US and Europe. She is the founder/CEO of Spectrum Works, was the co-founder/COO of Absolute Publishing which published the luxury lifestyle magazine Absolute NY and was the founder/CEO of Helix Communications AB in Sweden which specialized in developing educational marketing products for the pharmaceutical industry. Ann Marie has a BBA degree in MIS and five years of experience as an IT systems analyst at Paine Webber where she designed and implemented financial systems.
Robert ButtersBoard Chair,Spectrum BRIDGES
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.
Michael DribbonBoard Member,Spectrum BRIDGES
Michael R. Dribbon, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Business Development & Chief Innovation and Research Officer at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Michael has been a member of the Children’s Specialized Hospital team for the past 20 years.
Bharat R. RaoPh.D., Board Member, Spectrum BRIDGES
Bharat, recently retired as a Principal in KPMG’s Advisory Services practice with 25 years of experience using data analytics for clinical, financial, regulatory and operational improvement for health care and life sciences (HCLS) organizations. He is a leading expert in health analytics, big data, machine learning and personalized medicine. He is the recipient of multiple innovation awards, including the highest lifetime award in data analytics, and is a frequent speaker and published author (100+ publications, 62 patents, one book).
INVESTORS AND PARTNERS
Spectrum Works partnered to launch Spectrum BRIDGES with the Center for Discovery, Innovation and Development (CDID), an initiative of Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH) which is an affiliate of RWJ Barnabas.
THE CENTER FOR DISCOVERY, INNOVATION, AND DEVELOPMENT (CDID)
CDID’s mission is to develop, innovate, and discover solutions for the advancement of the lives of children with special healthcare needs and their families.
CHILDREN’S SPECIALIZED HOSPITAL (CSH)
CSH has an active caregiver network serving 10,000 autistic children. The Center, focused on the social determinants of health and building healthy communities, shares the understanding that employment improves health outcomes for autistic individuals. CSH has as an internal and external network of autism specialists and caregiver groups, and robust connections to the communities.
RWJ BARNABAS HEALTH
RWJ is the largest healthcare system in New Jersey, bringing the best of academic medicine, research and teaching, and community partners together to create healthier communities. They provide services to more than three million patients each year. Children’s Specialized Hospital and CDID are part of their network.
Photo by Ian Dziuk on Unsplash
OUR CULTURE AND VALUES
Our work makes our members better. We bring the latest in best practices, research, training, and innovation and teach it forward to you.
Embody diversity, inclusion and belonging
Spectrum BRIDGES embodies a wholistic approach to including all stakeholders as equal partners in transforming their collective futures.
Without our members, our BRIDGE leads to nowhere. Everything we do, we do for them.
We are all in this together. As we build relationships between stakeholders, we strive to provide each member with individual solutions.
Take intelligent risks
Be bold in positioning our methodology and messaging with the knowledge that there will be differing opinions. We practice what we believe is best for our members. However, we also welcome input from other individuals, groups or organizations.
We cannot teach it unless we live it. We keep learning, iterating, and improving.