About Us

Please donate to JumpStart Learning to Learn

JumpStart Learning to Learn was developed in 2004 as a national model to provide needed training to the community of parents, teachers, and clinicians who interact personally and professional with young children with autism. JumpStart Learning to Learn began at the UCSF/CCLP Autism Clinic as a research program under the direction of Bryna Siegel, PhD and became an independent non profit in early 2006 ( find out how to donate to us) in order to allow us to serve a more diverse population of families. We remain closely tied to UCSF and have plans to our continue research collaboration.

Bryna Siegel, PhD, Founder and Board Member

Bryna Siegel

Dr. Siegel is the director of the CCLP/ UCSF Autism Clinic. She first began working with autistic children in 1973, later earning a BA in Clinical Psychology, a MA in Early Childhood Education, a PhD in Child Development, and then four years of post-doctoral training around autism as a neurobiological disorder.

Her research for the last twenty years has included over 100 papers, chapters and abstracts, as well as four books on autism. All her work is organized by her clinical-developmental approach: studying the emergence of autism (eg, the PDDST-II autism screening test), her diagnostic work on DSM-III-R and DSM-IV, and now treatment of autism (eg, the autistic learning disabilities approach) based on teaching autistic children to progress developmentally to secure a foundation of skills rather than scattered ‘behaviors’.

Dr Siegel developed JumpStart Learning to Learn to meet 2 critical needs she sees in her clinical practice—1) to empower parents with knowledge and understanding of their child’s autism and its treatment and 2) to improve the capacity of community service agencies to employ best practice techniques in the treatment of autism.

The JumpStart, Learning to Learn Team

Lina Fancy, Executive Director and Senior Behavior Coach

Lina Fancy, Executive Director and Senior Behavior Coach

Cindy Osaki, Clinic Coordinator, Junior Coach

Cindy Osaki, Clinic Coordinator, Junior Coach

Dr. Francisco Rocco PhD, Senior Play/Social Coach

Dr. Francisco Rocco PhD, Senior Play/Social Coach

Naima Contos , MS, CCC/SLP

Naima Contos , MS, CCC/SLP

Kimberly Allyn Christensen, MS, CCC/SLP

Kimberly Allyn Christensen, MS, CCC/SLP

David Neufeld, Senior Play/Social Coach

JumpStart Learning to Learn Board of Directors

Dana Fugate, Board Member

Ms. Fugate is the mother of a five year old son with autism and a three year old daughter. She is the Senior Media Strategist at Sun Microsystems, Inc., overseeing corporate marketing’s multimedia programs and planning. Prior to working for Sun, Ms. Fugate worked for over a decade as a film Producer and Production Manager, primarily in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 2006, she co-founded the legislative advocacy group of Autism Speaks’ Bay Area chapter. For the past two years, she has served as Chairperson of the San Mateo-Foster City PTA Special Ed Council. She also serves as a mentor for the WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. TEAM program.

Carolyn Klebanoff MD, Board Member

Dr Klebanoff is a general internist in private practice in Berkeley, having been a medical student and resident at UCSF. She is the mother of three - a 19 year old and 13 year old twins, one of whom is autistic. Dr Klebanoff is presently also on the Board of BIA (Behavioral Intervention Association) - the provider of intensive early-intervention programs for children on the Spectrum. She has previously been on the Board of The Little School, an inclusive preschool that her twins both attended.

Ann Lewnes, Board Secretary

Ms Lewnes is currently senior vice president of Corporate Marketing at Adobe Corp. In this capacity, she oversees Adobe’s corporate positioning, branding and identity, public relations, customer engagement marketing and vertical marketing efforts. From 1985 to 2006, Ms Lewnes was with Intel Corp., serving in a variety of senior marketing positions, including VP of Global Advertising and Consumer Marketing. Most recently Ms Lewnes had been Vice President of Partner Marketing at Intel, which included responsibility for the ‘Intel Inside’ program.

Ms Lewnes was elected into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement in 2000. Born in New York City, Ms Lewnes received her BA in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University.

Brian Ruder, Board President

Mr Ruder is a parent of a six year old child who was diagnosed with PDD-NOS who is now attending a mainstream public kindergarten. Mr. Ruder is a Partner with Francisco Partners, a technology-oriented private equity fund based in Menlo Park, CA, and has been investing in technology companies in the Bay Area for over 10 years. He previously worked as an Associate at the private equity fund Hellman   Friedman, and earlier in the Corporate Finance Department of Morgan Stanley   Co. In 1999 he co-founded Upromise, Inc., a marketing and financial services firm centered around saving for college which was eventually sold to Sallie Mae.

He graduated with Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 2000, and received his AB in Mathematics and Philosophy summa cum laude in 1994 from Harvard College. Mr. Ruder also serves on the board of directors of Foundation 9 Entertainment, GXS Corporation and Primavera Systems.

Lori Yurtin, Board Member

Ms Yurtin is a parent of a six year old boy/girl twins. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism at 20 months of age. With the help of early intervention, her son now has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS and will be fully included in kindergarten this fall. Prior to motherhood, Ms Yurtin received her B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and a MBA from San Jose University. She worked in the high tech marketing field for over 10 years, most recently a Marketing Manager for Netscape Communications. Ms Yurtin lives with her husband, Wayne, and their twins in San Jose, CA..

Professional Advisory Board

Janet Babb

Marie Caffey Director of Administration, UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute

Cynthia Charpentier MS CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Howard Cohen PhD Clinical Director Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC)

Glen Elliott MD PhD Chief Psychiatrist The Children's Health Council

Carl Feinstein MD Professor of Psychiatric and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Stanford University School of Medicine

Diane Finklestein Esq

Ron Huff PhD Director, Intake and Clinical Services Alta California Regional Center

Patrick Maher PhD Developmental Pediatrician, North Bay Regional Center

Miriam Martinez PhD

Adriana Schuler PhD Professor Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University

Jelena Vekicevic MD General Pediatrician

Pamela Wolfberg PhD Assistant Professor Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University

Philip Ziring MD FAAP Medical Consultant, MCH, CHSP