CASP Names Mariel Cremonie-Fernandez Vice President of Government Affairs

In the News,

Lexington, SC—The Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) has announced Mariel Cremonie-Fernandez as its new vice president of government affairs. Cremonie-Fernandez replaces Judith Ursitti, who is stepping down to focus on her leadership role with the Profound Autism Alliance.

Cremonie-Fernandez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over 20 years’ experience working directly with autistic clients as well as advocating for policy reforms to improve delivery of autism services. At Blue Sprig Pediatrics, she led its advocacy committee, promoting regulatory and legislative change in 19 states.

Prior to that, Cremonie-Fernandez directed the Applied Behavior Analysis Program at the Autism Treatment Center, expanding the program to a second location. She was also executive director of White Rock Behavioral Services as well as a behavior analyst with Easter Seals North Texas, Texana Center, and others.

“Finding Mariel is like finding a unicorn in our industry,” said Lorri Unumb, chief executive officer of CASP. “There aren’t many people who combine a strong advocacy background with decades of clinical experience. She knows first-hand why policy change is needed, as well as how to make it happen. That’s a huge boon to our membership.”

“It’s a perfect fit,” said Cremonie-Fernandez. “I’ve admired and worked with CASP for many years. It’s a rock for autism service providers, leading the charge for higher quality and better policy. I look forward to building on what Judith started and adding value for CASP membership.”

Unumb said, “We’re thrilled to add Mariel, but saying goodbye to Judith is bittersweet. She’s an incredible person and a trailblazer in autism insurance reform. At CASP, Judith has championed quality, as well as laid the groundwork for years of successful advocacy.”

“CASP is a great place with amazing people,” said Ursitti. “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together. But Mariel is the right person at the right time. I have complete confidence that she’s going to take CASP’s advocacy to another level.”

Ursitti added, “Meanwhile, I’m excited to give my full focus to an issue that’s deeply personal to me: profound autism. I look forward to working with CASP on this and other issues in the future.”

The Council of Autism Service Providers is a non-profit association of for-profit and not-for-profit agencies serving individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. CASP supports its members by cultivating, sharing, and advocating for provider best practices in autism services. CASP member agencies employ more than 80,000 professionals providing services to children and adults with autism across the United States. More information is available