To be the premier provider of information and services helping the people we serve live full and meaningful lives.
Our Core Values
Each life should be full of:
We create and support family environments for people with autism and intellectual disabilities by attracting and retaining a nurturing and dedicated staff.
CLASP’s roots run deep within our community and with the families of those people we serve. In 1976 a small group of families who had children with developmental disabilities who were all in the same school class, began planning weekend activities together. These activities grew to become routine, and the group began to grow. In 1978 this group began to discuss the future of their children as they grew to be adults and would no longer be involved in the school system. In 1982 the group developed a limited partnership and opened CLASP's first group home on Kings Highway in Westport. Since that time, CLASP has added a dozen more homes and an apartment program to support the ever growing list of individuals needing these services. Family and community involvement continue to be a strong focus of the organization as we grow and add programs to meet the needs of people in greater Fairfield County.
Tracy Flood, President
Tracy started in 1984, working weekends while finishing grad school. Her story is very similar to many other CLASP folks. She saw this as a short term job opportunity and later realized was her calling and passion and has become her extended family. Her favorite thing about CLASP is the opportunity to learn something new every day, and to have the chance to get to know so many amazing people. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Markelon, VP of Finance
Michele started at CLASP in 1989 as our bookkeeper. In 1992 she took over as VP of finance. Michele loves that she’s making a better life for the people CLASP serves. email@example.com
Jeannine Howard, Director of Human Resources
Jeannine started at CLASP as a part time bookkeeper with insurance responsibilities in 1992. She has been in our HR Department for many years. Jeannine says the best part of her day is a “client moment” in her office.
Siobhan (Clancy) Horan, Senior Program Director
Clancy started in 1983 as a Residential Instructor at our first CLASP group home on Kings Highway, the second day it opened. She rose through the ranks to her current position as Senior Program Director, which she has held since 2006. Clancy loves that she has been able to share in the lives and experiences of so many wonderful residents.
John Tyliszczak, Program Director
John began his CLASP career in 1991 as a manager at our Woodside Circle group home, (which later became our Webb Road home.) From Webb he moved over to Blue Ridge in Wilton and in 2005 became the Program Director for the Westport group homes. What John loves most about working at CLASP is that he can do good things for people and that makes him feel good.
Jen Saracin, Director of Quality Assurance
Jen started at CLASP in 1989 when she was 17. Over her 20+ years she has held almost every position at CLASP, and worked at virtually every site until taking charge of the apartment program in 1999. Jen became our Director of Quality Assurance in 2015. Jen loves CLASP’s willingness to step “outside of the box” for the benefit of the people we serve.
Robin Hammond, Development Director
Robin started at CLASP in 1999 as a part time administrative assistant. She became Development Director in 2007. Robin loves that she’s able to make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
Octavia Catana, Manager of Accounting Processes
Octavia has worked at CLASP since 2006 and earned her MBA from the University of New Haven and her BA in engineering from Polytechnical University of Bucharest/Romania. Octavia loves the “ CLASP family atmosphere”.
Tina Martire, Behavior Specialist
Tina became part of CLASP's family in 1992 when hired as the Behavior Specialist. Tina has readily helped out, wearing many hats at CLASP, including resident go-to artist! Her happiest part of being here, is being part of the heart of the CLASP family.
Board of Directors
Julie McNamee, Chairman
Julie has worked in the field of Child Care for over 35 years, and has developed and manages her own child care program. She has 4 grown children and 2 grandsons. Julie is a dedicated volunteer for Special Olympics as well as being actively involved in other recreational programs for young adults with developmental delays. Her daughter is a very happy resident of a CLASP group home. Julie joined the CLASP board in 1996 and has held the position of Chairman since 2005. She currently resides in Fairfield with her husband, Tom.
John is a 1970 graduate of Fairfield University. He began his career in banking in 1971 at the Putnam Trust Company of Greenwich which was bought by The Bank of New York in 1995. He retired from The Bank of New York in 2007 as Vice President in the banks Trust Division in Greenwich. He is the uncle of Mark who resides in a CLASP group home.
John is Managing Director of Adulant Consulting services which advises small and medium size business clients on strategies for growth and operational excellence. His services include business plan preparation, financial forecasting, strategic plan development, marketing plan development and execution, and operations efficiency. John is also chapter chair of SCORE, a volunteer organization and an arm of SBA that provides counseling services to small businesses in Fairfield County.
Bruce Katz, Vice Chairman
Bruce, an attorney and CPA, is the brother of one of the people we serve. His hobbies include sailing, running, and home improvements. He has been on the CLASP Board since1989.
Marc started in the mortgage business in 1993 after getting his degree in Economics and International affairs from the University of Maine and went on to join Landmark Financial Group. He grew up in Fairfield and Easton and currently resides in Darien. Marc is a devoted brother to Ben, who has lived with CLASP since its inception. He enjoys crewing on a sailboat that he races with the Norwalk Islands Sailing Fleet in his spare time. Marc joined the CLASP Board in 2009.
Yvette has served as Secretary on the Board of Directors for Our Vision since 1999. She has worked as a Teacher's Aide at the Temple Israel Early Childhood Center and has held various senior administrative positions for large media and real estate companies in New York City. Yvette is a regular volunteer at the Gillespie Center in Westport. She and her husband, Steven, have raised three children, including her eldest daughter, who is a member of Our Vision.
Patty, a special education teacher in Fairfield, has been teaching elementary school age students for more than twenty years. Her brother, Tommy has been a resident in a CLASP group home for years. She and her husband, Dan live in Fairfield and are blessed with three grown children and two grandchildren.
Darleen recently retired from the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services after nearly 40 years. Over the many years, Darleen had extensive experience working with adults with developmental disabilities and their families. She has been on the CLASP Board since 2016. Darleen has three grown daughters and one grandson.