James R. Benjamin MD

Co-founder, Member of Board of Directors

Chief Executive Officer

ABPS certified Plastic Surgeon, husband and proud father of three sons, two of which are on the Autism Spectrum. Raised in New Jersey, he attended Penn State University where he played football and graduated with a degree in Bio-Chemistry. He attended Howard University Medical School in 1971, graduating with Honors. He joined the US Army as a physician, and trained as a General Surgeon at Letterman Army Medical Center. Relocating to Washington DC area, he completed his training in plastic surgery, received certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and served as Assistant Chief of Plastic Surgery from 1979-1981. Having completed residency he received an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences during his tour at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was part of the initial group of physicians, Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists that started the Plastic Surgery section of the National Medical Association. He left the Army as a Lt. Colonel active duty in 1981 for private practice, but continued as a reservist until 1991. After Desert Storm he retired from the Army to focus on his family needs with one son in college and two toddler sons on the Autism Spectrum. His oldest son is now a partner in a successful law firm in Towson Maryland and his two younger sons have graduated High School and reside at home. He has maintained a thriving private practice since leaving the Army, owned two of his own surgery centers, served as Chief of Plastic Surgery in two hospitals, and works with several area Nursing Homes as a Wound Care Specialist.  Residing in Bowie, Maryland with his wife and two of his sons, he loves to work in his wood shop when he gets a chance. He and his wife co-founded Autism FYI Organization in 2014, and are committed to its success for their sons and others like them.


Joyce Benjamin RN, PA-C Emeritus – Chief Operating Officer

Co-Founder, Member of Board of Directors,
Chief Operating Officer – Autism FYI Organization

Joyce Benjamin RN, PA is a Co-Founder of Autism FYI Org. and currently serves on the Board of Directors as well as Chief Operating Officer. An RN since 1975, she worked in several hospitals in the fields of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Emergency Medicine. She returned to school at Howard University in 1986 where she received honours in the Physician Assistants program in the College for Allied Health. As a Physician Assistant, she worked the Emergency Room at Laurel Hospital in Maryland, as well as Plastic Surgery with her husband James Benjamin MD. She served his practice as the Office manager, OR nurse, and Surgical Assistant in his private Surgery Center at Rivertown Surgery Center and later at Renew Plastic Surgery Center.

Joyce has two sons, now 32 and 30 years old, on the Autism Spectrum. It was her passion to find strategies to help them that instigated the start of her Alternative Medicine Practice with her husband. At this practice she served many children on the Autism Spectrum with therapies like Hyperbaric Oxygen, Chelation, Vitamin Therapy, and NAET Allergy treatments. She and her husband were certified DAN (Defeat Autism Now) practitioners for 12 years.  As an RN, PA-C, and DAN Practitioner, she was honoured to serve as a speaker to numerous Autism Society Meetings as well as Aspergers’ Parents Group and Mothers of Multiples Meetings. Today, while assisting her husband in his practice, now known as Body By Benjamin, she works her passion at Autism FYI Organization to make the future better for her sons and those like them living with Autism.


Michelle Grimes, Director of Training, Retired PGCPD Sergeant

Michelle Grimes is a retired sergeant who served 23 years with the Prince George’s County Police Department. During her tenure, she dedicated a great deal of time to community service projects. She believes such activities are important in helping to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community it serves. Michelle knows how important it is for all people to feel safe and included in the communities in which they work, live and play.Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioural Science, a Master of Science Degree in Public Relations, and an MBA. She is excited to be able to use her education to serve the Autism FYI organization. We are excited she has become a Board member this year 2016.In her spare time, Michelle is an avid writer and photographer.

Lamont Easter

Member of Board of Directors – Autism FYI Organization

Lamont Easter is a television, film and commercial actor with appearances on shows such as House of Cards, HBO Veep, CBS Madame Secretary and in various national commercials such as GIECO, Coca cola, and Carmax to name a few. Lamont is also featured in numerous national and local print advertisements. Lamont is also an accomplished musician whose instrument of choice is the drums.

Furthermore, he is a dedicated philanthropist and tirelessly champion’s causes such as Autism research and empowerment, the fight against Cancer and advocacy supporting those afflicted with Childhood Cancer.


Dr. Teresa Trabue, PsyD

Member of Board of Directors – Autism FYI Organization

Teresa Trabue, Psy.D., is a Maryland licensed psychologist with clinical practice in Prince George’s County Maryland.  Dr. Trabue has expertise in a diverse array of clinical issues including using a wide variety of psychological and neuropsychological techniques for determining learning style and learning needs, and diagnosing developmental disabilities, as well as treating children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of emotional and adjustment issues.

Dr. Trabue works with individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (such as Asperger’s Syndrome) directed toward increasing social awareness and prosocial behaviors.  In addition to individual therapy with adults, Dr. Trabue offers: relationship therapy, parent training and small group work with women.  Dr. Trabue facilitates psycho-educational seminars in the community to increase understanding of children with special needs.  She works with corporations to provide counselling, seminars, and evaluations to employees to help them identify ways to optimize their performance in the work place. She also works with social service agencies and attorneys.


Marie White

Board of Directors, Director of Events – Autism FYI Organization

Marie graduated from UMUC  with a BS in Marketing.  She currently works in the local sales office for a manufacturing company and resides in Pasadena MD.  Marie has a long-standing presence in volunteerism, spending the last two decades in music ministry with a special focus on helping young people find their voice.  One of the original team members for Daytime Stars and Strikes, a charity event featuring soap opera actors, Marie has enjoyed fostering the growth and promotion of this event which raises funds for The Autism Society of America. Having both family and friends in the autism community, Marie is thrilled to be part of the Autism FYI team and can be reached at marie@autismfyi.org. We welcome Marie as an integral part of the Board of Directors.


Joseph Gentile

Board of Directors

Joseph Gentile has been working with AFYI since 2018. His expertise as a Metropolitan Police Sergeant and Press Information officer for over 40 years brings a wealth of insight to how AFYI can help law enforcement safely interact with those on the Autism Spectrum. He serves on the Board of Directors and helps introduce us to his many contacts among law enforcement. Nonprofit support is not new to Joe as he worked tirelessly with Crime solvers in the Metropolitan DC area. We are honored to have him on our board.


Bradford Benjamin

Program Assistant – Autism FYI Organization

Bradford Benjamin is 31 years old. He is tall, strong, has a gentle spirit and big heart. At the age of 3 he was diagnosed with Autism at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is now considered to be High Functioning on the Autism Spectrum. Graduating from Bowie High School in 2009, he worked for 1 year as a customer courtesy representative at Giant Food. MTV True Life Presents “The Benjamins” was aired in 2014 featuring Brad and Kenny navigating the many facets of adulthood on the Autism Spectrum. He is currently employed with Autism FYI Org. engraving, heat-pressing, creating ID cards, packaging, and shipping. He loves working on his computer, spending time with his brother Kenny, movies, comics,action figure collection and Yu-Gi-Oh cards.


­Kenneth Benjamin

Program Assistant – Autism FYI Organization

Kenneth Benjamin is 29 years old. He is charming, intelligent, friendly and personable. Kenny was originally diagnosed with PDD-NOS until he was 8 years when the diagnosis was changed to Asperger’s Syndrome. It is considered High Functioning Autism. He graduated from Bowie High School in 2009. His exceptional skills in computer and keyboarding are all self-taught. He loves gaming, writing fan-fictions, digital image creation, and movies. Co-starring on MTV’s True Life Presents “The Benjamins” in 2014, he showed how challenging it is living life as an adult on the Autism Spectrum. He currently works at Autism FYI Org. running the engraving machine, creating graphic illustrations, ID cards, packaging and shipping.


Sandra Babcock, RN, MSN

Member of Board of Directors- Autism FYI Organization

Sandra Benjamin Babcock RN, MS Health Care, practiced as a nurse from 1972 to 2015. Born in New Jersey, she moved to California where she served out most o her career in Nursing. During her career she became and served as a Certified Sickle Cell Disease Educator and CPR instructor Trainer. As a consultant on Health Management of the Developmentally and Intellectually Delayed she authored numerous training modules on care and management for the Intermediate Care Facilities for Developmentally Disabled- Habilitative in California (ICF/DD-H) . She serves on the Board Directors and regional director in Florida helping with her knowledge in health care and management. She joined AFYI in 2018 in hopes to bring more attention to Autism Spectrum Disorder and training to the Florida Region.


Dave Vogel

Member of Board of Directors- Autism FYI Organization



Charles H. Spencer

Member Board of DirectorsAutism FYI Organization

Charles Spencer is the manager of the Claude R. Boyd-Spencer Funeral Homes in Babylon, NY.


Laura Brennan, Esq.

Member of Board of Directors- Autism FYI Organization

Laura Spencer Brennan, Esq. is a practicing attorney in Babylon, NY. She is also mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum and is passionate about help change the future for those with ASD.

Stu Schrager

Member of Board of Directors -Autism FYI Organization


Dawn Moss

Member of Board of Directors-Autism FYI Organization

International Best Selling Author/Producer, Executive Managing Partner for Big City Foods,LLC, Certified Health Communicator Dawn Moss was born in Camden, NJ and is the former ” Miss Black USA 1996.” Dawn earned a full basketball scholarship to MOrgan State University in 1988. While still attending college, she found her won mini-market and became a legitimate inner city entrepreneur. In 1992 she later served as producer of the CNN 1010 program “Going Global” while working as an apprentice for the United Nations Africa Projects internship programs which was directed under the late social activists and humanitarian Ms. Yahney Sangarie, a journalist from Liberia.

A former co-host for Baltimore Channel 2 ABC television show “See America, senior editor for several  publications and producer for Miss Black USA hosted in Gambia West Africa, Las Vegas and Washington, DC from 2007 to 2011.

Her knack for writing and producing landed her a key spot to serve as one of the first Americans to join John’s Hopkins University certified communicators through the entertainment-education program. This program certifies women and health communicators from all over the world to help use the entertainment, creative, visual and performing arts to bring about social change.

This multi-talented vocalist, model, actress, Motivational speaker, author, producer and humanitarian activist will continue to use her education and life experiences to impact the lives of women and women-in-wellness globally.


Kristine M. Riggio

Fundraising Specialist 


Cathy Larner-Beckett, Ed.D

Board Member and Consultant


Kelci Reedy, B.S.

Media management


Lauri P. Miller, LSW

Education Program Developer and Trainer