First and foremost, on behalf of Ava's Voice, our hearts are with all of those affected by COVID-19 and their families. This is a very confusing and unprecedented time for all of us. Many of our upcoming initiates for the remainder of 2020 provide face-to-face opportunities. Our Ava's Voice Board of Directors, with the guidance of the up to date information released by the CDC, will make decisions accordingly for those events. Our discUSH Family Weekend has been canceled. Our Biennial Gala has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 20th 2020.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. We will keep you abreast of updates as decisions evolve. In the meantime, be safe, stay healthy and enjoy this unexpected quality time with your loved ones.

Board of Trustees

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Carly Fredericks, President

“Ava’s Mom” After many years of advocating for Ava, Carly has found a love for the field of Deaf-Blindness. She is now the Family Specialist for the New Jersey Consortium on Deaf-Blindness at The College of New Jersey. She is also the Program Coordinator for iCanConnect/NJ, the Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program that provides telecommunications equipment for individuals with combined hearing and vision loss. Recently she received the honor of becoming a Board Member for The National Family Association for the Deaf-Blind (NFADB). “Ava’s Voice” has been a long time dream for her along with her husband Paul. Mason and Miley, Ava’s siblings, have also become quite the little advocates for their sister and take personal pride in Ava’s Voice.
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James Bullis

Chief Financial Officer

"Ava's Dad" carries over his sense of business development in keeping the balance between personal and professional commitment to running a family business. He is a partner of New Air Heating and Cooling LLC that he shares with his brother. He has spent many years studying Corporate Finance while managing cash flows and investments for his family business. As the Treasurer for Ava's Voice, Jimmy is committed to helping Ava’s Voice operate with a conservative capital structure to achieve our mission.

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Nikki Barker

Executive Advisor/Secretary

Nikki Barker is proud to serve as Secretary for Ava's Voice. Nikki attended the University of Central Florida, graduating with her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology, and received her Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law. She married her husband Chris, despite the fact he is a Gator, and together they have three children, Elle, Charlie and Addison. They currently live in New York City, where Chris is a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Nikki is an attorney with the New York City Law Department. She is a proud cousin of one of the most amazing kids on the planet, Ava Bullis, who continues to inspire us everyday.

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Coleen Piovesan

Media Relations

​Coleen is a graphic designer who has worked in many fields including higher education, marketing and television. Having been a long-time supporter of Ava and Usher's Syndrome awareness, she feels honored to be a member of the Ava's Voice Board of Trustees.

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Heather McBride

Educational Advisor

Heather McBride attended The College of New Jersey where she completed a Master’s Degree program for Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She spent 7 years teaching at Summit Speech School in New Jersey where she had the privilege of working with dozens of wonderful and inspiring children - including Ava! After moving to Connecticut in 2015, she began working at CREC Soundbridge where she continues to fulfill her passion for teaching and supporting students with hearing loss and their families. As an Educational Consultant for Ava's Voice, she serves as a professional resource for the organization and a liaison between Ava's Voice and the other professionals.


Kathleen Spata

Accessibility Advisor

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Alison Gable

Chief Executive Officer

Ally is an Account Executive with People’s United Insurance providing over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. Ally was a long time Jersey resident and recently made the decision with her husband to relocate her family to South Windsor, CT. Ally has been a key member of Ava’s Voice since the start, assisting to launch the organization with other founding members. As Chief Executive Officer of Ava’s Voice, Ally provides resources to the organization along with overseeing all special projects, fundraising events, and committee board members. Ally has a passion for volunteering for non-profit organizations and was an active part of rebuilding families affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. With Ally’s personable character and fundraising experience she brings much expertise to the Ava’s Voice family. She is looking forward to enhancing the mission of the organization by adding her charismatic energy!

Ally enjoys spending time with her husband, Jeff, and their three sons, Myles, Christian, and Jaxon.

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Samantha Fredericks

Member Relations

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Andrew Wolf

Medical Advisor

Dr. Andrew Wolf is a board-certified specialist in Pediatric Ophthalmology. As Medical Director for Ava's Voice, he serves as a professional medical resource for families impacted by Usher Syndrome as well as a liaison between Ava's Voice and other health care professionals. Dr. Wolf is board-certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is an active member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his medical degree (M.D.) from the University of Vermont. In his personal time, he enjoys skiing, golf, and spending time with his wife, Sara, and their two children, Reese and Jonah. Dr. Wolf is currently in private practice in Stamford, CT.

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Lisa Henschel

Vice President-Committees

Lisa Henschel, is a graduate of Monmouth University with her Bachelor’s of History and her Masters in K-5 Education and Special Education. She has been a teacher since 2009, in Middletown Township, NJ. Lisa is married to her high school sweetheart Brian Henschel and they have two beautiful boys, Flynn, 5, and Gunnar, 3. Gunnar was born profoundly deaf at birth. On July 1st 2016 , just two weeks prior to his cochlear implant surgery, he was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type 1b. Lisa is proud to be a new board member and will serve as the Vice President of Committees. Lisa’s hope is to be a comforting support new parents and provide resources and education so they can make informed decisions.


Pam Aasen

Vice President-Special Projects

Pam is the proud parent of Ethan & Gavin, who have Usher Syndrome, and a graduate of UNB in Canada with Undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood and Special Education and a Master's degree in Special Education. She brings a wealth of experience professionally and as a parent leader in the deaf/hard of hearing and visually impaired communities. Pam has 25 years experience in special education working with diverse communities in the U.S., Canada and the Dominican Republic. In advocating for her own children she has successfully lead parent engagement initiatives and worked with parents in partnership to become advocates for their children in the process of finding appropriate family-centered care and ensuring an appropriate education. She is currently a Parent-Leader for the NJCDB and a Project Leader and Family Resource Specialist for SPAN's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program.