Valisha Fullard has been named the new named new executive director of the California Autism Foundation.
For the past six months, she has been serving as the interim executive director the Richmond-based nonprofit.
For over 30 years, the foundation has provided support, resources, and education for those individuals facing challenges associated with autism and other developmental disabilities.
With the critical decision to implement a significant change in leadership over the past year, the foundation has worked to overcome serious financial obstacles.
“CAF was under immediate financial challenges, and I knew we had to make changes quickly if we wanted to stay afloat,” says Fullard when asked about her sudden tenure as executive director.
“My leadership style is proactive, not reactive. I found that with my crisis management background, I was able to lead CAF out of our financial deficit and back in a good place.”
As the first female and minority to head the foundation, Fullard uses her experiences as a barrier breaker to ensure that the organization is able to provide exciting growth opportunities for people with autism and developmental disabilities.
Fullard and her staff oversee multiple programs and opportunities that help make an impact within local communities, including Richmond, Contra Costa County, and greater Bay Area.
“My new leadership position has only heightened my passion for working with people with autism and developmental disabilities,” she says. “With each passing day, this environment inspires me to learn more about the people and families that we serve every day.”