In 2012 we met and recognized our shared dedication to helping families of children with disabilities gain better access to services and supports. We knew disability information was available, but that much of it was too general or inaccessible for families who needed it. To solve this problem, we began collaborating on technology to empower families. In 2013, we launched Exceptional Lives.
Anne Punzak Marcus
Co-founder and CEO
Anne Punzak Marcus has over ten years of experience working with organizations focused on brain disorders, education, and health. She was a co-founder of the Autism Consortium and previously worked for Fidelity Investments as a portfolio manager and research director. Anne was a 2012 and 2013 Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School after receiving her BS from Boston College.
Digital Marketing Expert
Carrie Menke is a digital marketing expert who has managed Google grants and other online marketing programs for more than 40 nonprofit organizations. New to Boston, she is a transplant from Southern California, where she also produced independent films. Carrie graduated cum laude from the University of Dayton (Ohio) with a BA in Communications and Journalism.
Community, Information, & Support Manager
Katie Emanuel is an entrepreneur with expertise in writing, team-building and supporting special needs families. She earned bachelor degrees in International Affairs and Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia, and she is currently working towards a master of education specializing in special education for grades pre-K to 8. She is passionate about her family and building bridges between the special needs community and the greater community.
Director of Product Content and Health Literacy Specialist
Julie McKinney is a health literacy expert with extensive experience writing and revising health information for audiences with lower literacy skills. She has a BS from Brown University and an MS from Northeastern. As a parent of a child with special needs, Julie also has a personal understanding of the barriers that complex health information presents, and a heartfelt appreciation for information that is easy to understand and use.
Ricki Meyer is a lawyer with expertise in special education law and policy. She has experience working at the state and federal levels of government. Ricki earned her B.S. from Northwestern University, Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.
Disability Expert in Parent Engagement
Julie McIsaac is a child development specialist with an interest in supporting the parent-child relationship. She has a Masters degree from Tufts University and is expected to complete her PhD in Infant and Child Development (Fielding University) in 2019. Julie is certified in the developmental, relationship-based DIR/Floortime model as an Expert Training Leader and she has gained lived experience of navigating life and services as a parent of a child with special needs. Julie enjoys connecting with families through writing and is always ready for a conversation.
A native North Carolinian, Paul has bachelor’s degrees in Music and French and a master’s degree in Voice Performance from Boston University. Paul has also been a teacher and in his spare time enjoys working on graphic design projects.
Resource, Communications & Data Specialist
Matthew Henry earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French from the University of the West Indies Mona in Kingston, Jamaica. He has taught English as a Second Language to students in Jamaica, at the Lycée George Sand in Nerác, France, and throughout Europe via Skype. Matthew is passionate about contributing to the special needs community and volunteers his weekends to work alongside his wife, who teaches therapeutic horseback riding to children, teenagers and adults with disabilities.
Michael Stanbrough is a web developer who also does marketing, SEO and training. Michael has a B.S. from the University of Minnesota, a Ph.D. from MIT and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He kindled his interest in computers from his work in genomics and biocomputation.
Fan Stanbrough is a web designer who specializes in WordPress websites. Fan is also an instructor and trainer in web design topics. She has over 15 years experience in graphics design, marketing and web technologies. She has a BS in architectural design and was trained in design by top Italian and Japanese designers.
Board of Directors
Christine Letts, MBA
Ms. Letts is the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in the Practice of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. She has extensive experience in private, nonprofit and public management. She was the founding executive director of HKS’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations (now the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Center for Public Leadership). She is the author of High Performance Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship and Societal Transformation.
Carol Raphael, MPA
Ms. Raphael is board chair of the AARP. She is former President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the largest nonprofit home health agency in the US. She also currently chairs the New York eHealth Collaborative, a public-private partnership working to advance the adoption of health information technology. She is a member of numerous advisory boards including the Harvard School of Public Health’s Health Policy Management Executive Council.
Mr. Sargent is a managing director at Duff & Phelps, where he handles M&A activities in the southwest US. He has more than 30 years of M&A origination, execution, management and board experience with middle-market public and private companies. He currently serves on the boards of Asuragen Inc., SAM Inc., and the Babson College Board of Overseers. He is a member of the 2016 Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.
Ms. Strauss has specialities in both for profit and non-profit investing and research. She recently retired from Fidelity Investments, after seven years as the Director of Research for Fidelity Charitable and 13 years in numerous senior management and investment roles for Fidelity Management & Research’s actively managed fixed income and equity funds. Prior to Fidelity she was a founding Managing Director of a French-owned merchant bank in New York and held a leadership position in leveraged finance at Citibank.