Board of directors

Our board includes individuals from a variety of backgrounds and professions that all share one thing in common - a dedication to improving the lives of children with autism and other special needs.

Jamie Dornink


Jamie Dornink is the president of The Superhero Center for Autism. She is a stay at home mom to her two kiddos, Aubrie age 5 1/2 and Brody age 4 and happily married to her husband Kirby.   Jamie graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in elementary education.  Since Brody was diagnosed with autism, Kirby and Jamie have worked to create a special place for Brody in their Poplar Grove home to foster development and encourage Brody to be the superhero he was born to be. She feels that it's incredibly important to offer this same kind of safe, nurturing environment for other kiddos with special needs as well.  Jamie's dream is coming true with the support of Kirby and her kiddos.

Sara Svetich

Vice President

Sara Svetich graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Studies and later a Masters Degree in Applied Family and Child Studies. She has been a Second grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Special Education and Early Childhood Teacher in the Harlem School District. Since 2016 she has worked as the Early Childhood Diagnostician at Parker Center and works very part-time as a Developmental Therapist in Early Intervention. Sara believes "You can do anything with children if only you play with them"-a German proverb.


Barb Bressler


Barb Bressler is a developmental therapist for the Illinois Early Intervention Program.  She has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education and have been working in the field of providing services for kids with special needs for about 40 years.  During this time, part of her role has been to help families access support services that they need to navigate the path that their superhero has led them down.  She is very excited to be a part of the dream and reality of The Superhero Center because she knows there are many families who will benefit from the information, support, and "safe place to be" that this center will offer!

Kelly Friesema


Kelly Friesema is a licensed speech/ language pathologist who provides services to students in the North Boone School District.    Kelly received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University.  She has accreditation from ASHA and holds her certificate of clinical competence.  Recently, Kelly completed coursework in the area of applied behavior analysis through Southern Illinois University to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between communication and behavior.  Additionally, Kelly provides speech/ language therapy on horseback at a private clinic.  Kelly has two wonderful children ages two and four who keep her very busy as well! 

Lucas Bressler

Member representative

Lucas has 3 years of experience working as a paraprofessional in a life skills classroom with K-4th grades. Lucas also has previously had a certified therapy dog with whom he volunteered at GiGi’s playhouse, as well as Rockford Memorial Hospital. Lucas has sensory processing difficulties of his own, so he is able to relate to sensory processing needs, and bring that knowledge to the board. Lucas is very excited to be joining the board and to have the opportunity to make sure families have a safe place to come and play!

Angie Flannery

parent educator

Angie Flannery and her husband, Brett, and son, Evan, live in Poplar Grove.  As a parent of a child with autism, she wants to contribute to the success of The Superhero Center for Autism.  Angie works as an Academic Advisor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and has been there for 17 years.  She grew up in a small town and values the community that The Superhero Center and Poplar Grove provide for Evan.  “Evan has been through so much in his short life, that I want to provide him with the very best I can.  Evan is my number one superhero.” 

Breanne Linsay

volunteer coordinator

Breanne Lindsay is the Volunteer Coordinator at BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center.  On a weekly basis, she coordinates hundreds of volunteers  to help in weekly sessions, as well as in the barn. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S in Communicative Disorders.  Breanne then continued on to receive a Master's degree in Youth and Adolescent Developmental Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.  In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, including kayaking and hiking.  She has three cats that keep her busy at home.