Meet Our MVPs

MVPs are driven by a vision where people living with autism are able to engage fully in the world around them—empowered to engage others, make friends, learn, live and work in the community.

Julie Alpert

More than a decade ago, Julie Alpert and her husband, Gregg, attended Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center’s (SARRC) Annual Community Breakfast. Julie had some familiarity with autism as her adult cousin had an autism diagnosis. 

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Rob and Jenni Leinbach

Rob and Jenni Leinbach's journey to becoming a Multiyear Visionary Partner began in a personal way—their son, Lucas, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 20 months old. 

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The Wallace Family

Sue and Scott Wallace’s journey with SARRC began after their grandchild was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. One of their friends passed along information about SARRC, which they then shared with their children.

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Kathy and Bob Hubbard

For the Hubbard family—parents Kathy and Bob, and their son—autism intervention has been crucial in their journey. During high school, the Hubbards connected with SARRC, where they were able to enroll their son into several inclusive volunteer and camp programs. 

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Stuart and Rebecca Rodie

Being involved with SARRC is a family affair for Stuart and Rebecca Rodie, and they’ve been avid supporters since day one. Rebecca, herself a physician, suspected autism when her son, Willie failed to respond to their voices or make eye contact. The Rodies eventually connected with SARRC co-founder Dr. Raun Melmed. 

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The Steinmetz Family

Impressed with SARRC’s long-term commitment to their granddaughter and others on the autism spectrum, Kate and Terry Steinmetz have made a long-term promise of their own. 

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Susie and Phil Goldman

A desire to help children and support critical research motivated Phil and Susie Goldman to become SARRC Multiyear Visionary Partners. Not directly impacted by autism, the Goldmans were moved hearing the story of their friends’ grandson.  

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Tom Kelly

“I believe in giving to good organizations that make excellent use of their resources,” says Tom Kelly, a retired leader in health care administration and finance. That philosophy led him to SARRC, first as a board member, then getting family members involved, and most recently becoming an MVP.  

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Patty and Phil Dion

Patty and Phil Dion were MVPs long before joining SARRC’s Multiyear Visionary Partner program. They were inspired to become involved with SARRC many years ago to honor their son, Dave. 

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Ruth Darby and Family

Ruth Darby became aware of autism when she was just 11, babysitting for a neighbor’s granddaughter who was on the autism spectrum. Later, as a single parent, she found her son struggling with unexplained symptoms as well. 

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The Harper Family

Dr. Oliver and Sharon Harper have had a major impact on the Phoenix area through Sharon’s real estate projects, Oliver’s continuing involvement in the medical community and their dedication to continuing to support community growth. 

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