Brookfield-based autism awareness nonprofit organization Good Friend Inc. announced that Allison Katula has been named the executive director of the organization, starting May 9.
Since 2007, Good Friend has conducted services for students and professionals, explaining autism in age-appropriate, user-friendly terminology using positive, interactive tools to help others “step in the shoes” of someone on the autism spectrum.
Earlier this year, the organization announced that its current executive director, and co-founder, Chelsea Budde, would be stepping down to fill the position of program director, allowing her to focus more on the organization’s mission of autism awareness, acceptance, and empathy.Katula has nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience, predominantly in health care, disability advocacy and the arts. Most recently, she has been consulting nonprofit organizations and coaching business leaders as the founder of Trillium Collaborative Consulting, LLC.
Katula earned her undergraduate degree from Rollins College and her master of science in nonprofit management and leadership from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Katula is the mother of two children with autism.
“Allison is perfectly qualified to guide GoodFriend along its ambitious plan for growth,” said Budde. “I am confident that her ability to connect with both board and staff will embolden GoodFriend to stride into this next chapter with all the professionalism our donors and clients deserve. I look forward to both supporting her leadership, and stepping back to focus on programs.”
“I am excited to have Allison take the lead of our organization,” said co-founder and creative director Denise Schamens. “Having someone step in and push us into the next big movement is what we have worked so hard for. New thoughts, new energy, and the same great mission will help put GoodFriend on the national map. Teamwork really does make the dream work.”