Team, Board of Directors and Advisory Board
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For over 30 years, Liz Matejka-Grossman has been dedicated to advancing social justice and equity through educational initiatives for under-resourced and marginalized communities. As a New York City public high school teacher of English and English as a second language, she was instrumental in creating after school mentoring, performing, visual arts, college prep, and community service programs for students placed at risk for school absenteeism and dropout. Liz was involved in school reform as well as a variety of research projects and initiatives addressing poverty and educational inequality in both New York City and Boston. She established and served as Director of Literacy AmeriCorps South Florida, a Corporation for National Service program addressing the pressing needs of adults and children functioning at the lowest levels of literacy and lacking the basic skills needed for today’s world.
In 1999, Liz’s first child was born with the chromosomal anomaly, 18q- syndrome which catapulted her into the world of genetics. She became proactive by taking on the role of Southeast Coordinator for the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society, while writing freelance medical articles for a series of national and international publications. A professional dancer, Liz co-founded Sharing the Arts in 2005, a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through inclusive performing arts opportunities, from studio to stage. She has since provided educational and advocacy consultation from families to institutions, such as New York City Ballet’s Access Workshops for Children, Teens and Adults with Disabilities. More recently, she has become involved in Mental Health Advocacy for which she is dedicated to stopping the silence, starting conversations and eradicating stigma.
In 2009, at the recommendation of Jannine D. Cody, Ph.D., Founder and President of The Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society, Liz was brought aboard POSITIVE EXPOSURE to develop educational models, programming and long-term sustainability.
Liz is now heading into her 34th year as a Special Olympics coach in the New York City Region of which her eldest daughter is an athlete, and her other two children and husband are coaches.
Liz trained at England’s Royal Ballet School before receiving her BA from the University of Michigan and graduate degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Quemuel is the first chief accessibility officer at the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). As Chief Accessibility Officer of the MTA, Arroyo leads the implementation of policies, initiatives, and programs that redefine and advance accessibility throughout the largest public transportation organization in North America. Before joining the MTA, Arroyo served as Interim President and Global Head of Community at Charge, an e-scooter charging and docking company. His work on accessibility and universal design is recognized worldwide by governments, nonprofits, and the private sector.
Arroyo lives in Harlem and serves on the boards of New York City Outward Bound Schools, Hudson River Community Sailing, Positive Exposure, Project Sunshine, and the Heidi Latsky Dance Company. He is a quintessential New Yorker and an avid deep-sea scuba diver.
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Kathleen spent years in the for-profit arena, working for Nielsen and Kraft Foods. After having a daughter, born with a neuromuscular disease, Kathleen switched paths and began utilizing her skills and experience to advocate for true inclusion in schools and communities. From 2013-2015, she co-chaired the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. Kathleen consults with organizations on accessibility and is co-founder of ACCESS Cincinnati. Kathleen brought Positive Exposure to Cincinnati, OH in 2011, securing a 3 month exhibition at Cincinnati Museum Center. She created programming around the city including a “cafe conversation” on inclusion within the exhibition, POSITIVE EXPOSURE grand rounds at Cincinnati Children’s, “Photography Tips for the Clinician, by Rick Guidotti,” a POSITIVE EXPOSURE presentation to medical and allied health students at University of Cincinnati, and a photo shoot. This was the beginning of POSITIVE EXPOSURE’s community based exhibitions and programming. Kathleen is also Vice President of the Board for Starfire Cincinnati.
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Seth Grossman, whose daughter was born with a mosaic deletion of her 18th Chromosome, has been involved with Positive Exposure since 2000. Seth currently serves as the CFO of PF Atlantic Holdings, LLC (Planet Fitness). Prior to joining PF Atlantic, he served as the COO and CFO of WORTH New York/The Worth Collection, an LCatterton Partners portfolio company and was the CFO/CSO of publicly traded radio and television operator, Paxson Communications Corp (c/k/a ION Television Network) after building on a banking background at Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin. In addition to serving on the board of Positive Exposure, Seth is a year-round coach at Manhattan Special Olympics and has been involved with Special Olympics since 1987. Seth is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Harvard Business School.
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Dr. Bieke kreps is a Belgian pediatric dentist with her own hospital based referral practice in Belgium (AZ Delta, Roeselare), focused on treating children who are facing particular needs and/or challenges. She is also a scientific researcher (University of Leuven, Belgium), teacher and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry. Bieke has overcome challenges of her own, growing up with a facial difference and, later in life, contracting invisible differences. Despite it all, Bieke has never stopped working for a cause close to her heart — acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of their differences. She began using her own experiences and skills in her lectures for students and professionals, striving for inclusive medicine and dentistry.
In 2015, Bieke got involved with Positive Exposure after reaching out to Rick Guidotti to start an ongoing global project about facial differences. As a passionate advocate, she co-founded POSITIVE EXPOSURE BELGIUM/EUROPE in 2017 and brought Rick Guidotti to Belgium for the launch with POSITIVE EXPOSURE’S first digital exhibition at BNP Paribas Fortis Flagship office in Ghent.
As the director of POSITIVE EXPOSURE BELGIUM/EUROPE, Dr. Bieke kreps furthers POSITIVE EXPOSURE’S mission in Europe and around the globe.
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Suzanne Manning has worked with nonprofits for over fifteen years and served in leadership positions for a variety of boards and organizations. Most recently, Suzanne has used her skills in assisting nonprofits to improve and strengthen their branding and digital footprint.
A past trauma and neuro-trauma ICU nurse, Suzanne also taught clinical nursing for nearly ten years at a Level One Trauma Center. She later worked as Executive Director for the Greenville County Medical Society which operates under the American Medical Association. In 2015, Suzanne was honored as one of TALK Greenville’s 25 Most Beautiful Women for her impact and work in the community and as one of “Greenville’s Finest” in 2019. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for projects involving communities, nonprofits and beyond.
Suzanne resides in South Carolina with her two children, Madeline and William, along with her rescued lab, two Bernedoodles and a couple lazy cats. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for family and friends, working outside in the yard and traveling
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In 1993, Eunice Kennedy Shriver asked Dr. Perlman to bring health into the Special Olympics movement. He created the Healthy Athlete Program, which is currently the largest public health program in the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is the founder of Special Olympics Special Smiles, an oral health initiative of Special Olympics International and an integral component of bringing healthcare services to athletes – a movement that has revolutionized how the healthcare system interacts with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Additionally, Dr. Perlman co-founded the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD), an organization of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with special health needs. The
AADMD has been at the forefront of advocacy, education and training of healthcare professionals uniting them in “one voice for inclusive health.”
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JUNIOR BOARD: (Stay tuned)
Rachel Adams: Author, Director, Center for the Study of Social Difference, Professor, Department of English, Columbia University
Anita Altman, Founder, ReelAbilities Film Festival
Joseph Boggess: Make-Up Artist, Photographer
Christine Bruno: Actor, Teaching Artist, Disability Inclusion Consultant
Lawrence Carter Long: Communications Director, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Wendy Cole: Gender Transition Mentor and Transgender Heath advocate
Becky Curran Kekula: Disability Equality Index (DEI) Director at Disability:IN. TEDx Speaker and Disability Inclusion Advocate
Ian Falconer: Artist, Author, Illustrator
Edward Friedman: Policy/ Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Faye Ginsburg: David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology, New York University/ Director, NYU Center for Media, Culture and History/ Co-Director, NYU Center for Disability Studies/ President, Dysautonomia Foundation
Judith Heumann: International Disability Rights Advocate, Author
Roger Kilmartin: SVP Group Creative Director, McCann Erickson/ L’Oreal
Emily Ladau: Writer, Disability Activist, Communications Consultant
Janet LeBreck: Former Commissioner for the Blind, MA / National Rehabilitation Services Administration
Carr Massi: Disability Rights Pioneer / Advocate, NYC
Mem Nahdr: Activist, Composer, Performer, Writer, Producer, Star
Ralph Rucci: Artist, Couturier, Author
Michael Stein: Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability