ADHD Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Russell A. Barkley, PhD

Russell Barkley headshotRussell A. Barkley, Ph.D., is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA.  He is a Diplomate (board certified) in three specialties, Clinical Psychology (ABPP), Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, ABPP).  Dr. Barkley is a clinical scientist, educator, and practitioner who has published 23 books, rating scales, and clinical manuals numbering 41 editions.  He has also published more than 290 scientific articles and book chapters related to the nature, assessment, and treatment of ADHD and related disorders.  He is the founder and Editor of the bimonthly clinical newsletter, The ADHD Report, now in its 27th year of publication.  Dr. Barkley has presented more than 800 invited addresses in more than 30 countries and appeared on nationally televised programs such as 60 Minutes, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and many other programs on behalf of those with ADHD.  He has received awards from professional societies and ADHD organizations for his lifetime achievements, career accomplishments, and contributions to research in ADHD, as well as to clinical practice, and for the dissemination of science.  His websites are and



Concurrent Session Speakers

Catherine Rice, PhD

Catherine Rice, headshotCatherine Rice, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, director of the Emory Autism Center and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University.  She has worked with people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder through teaching, diagnostic assessment, program planning, consultation, training and research for over 25 years. In her current position, Dr. Rice oversees educational and clinical programs for toddlers through adults with an emphasis on meaningful social and communicative engagement in everyday life.  These programs touch the lives of hundreds of individuals with autism and their families each year.  She also leads a statewide collaborative aimed at building professional capacity for early diagnosis of autism.  Early in her career, Cathy held several positions at the Emory Autism Center as a teacher, clinician and researcher, which led her to the field of public health in order to better understand the increases in autism seen among children in the community. Between her current and past positions at the Emory Autism Center, Dr. Rice spent 14 years as a Behavioral Scientist and Epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities.  Her work included leading the state collaboration to determine prevalence and describe the population of children with an ASD in multiple areas of the United States through the Autism Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.  She also worked with the Learn the Signs-Act Early team to improve early identification and led the effort to collect data on the important safety issue of wandering among people with autism and other developmental disabilities.  She continues to provide some expert consultation on determining autism case status and improving developmental and autism screening in the community to the CDC.

Dr. Rice has served on numerous boards for state-level and national organizations, including the role of CDC liaison to the Services Research and Policy Subcommittee of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, the advisory body to the federal government on autism-related services and research. As important as these formal roles and accomplishments may be, Dr. Rice also brings a deep dedication to respect and dignity in her interactions with individuals with autism.  Her science is informed by her commitment to social justice.  Her advocacy is informed by the best available evidence and an awareness of knowing what we don’t know.  Dr. Rice received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Emory University and her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Boston College. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia and conducts specialized training on the assessment of autism. She formerly held positions at the Emory Autism Center as a teacher, clinician and researcher, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Rice is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Georgia Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the International Society for Autism Research. She was named the Autism Society of America Professional of the Year in 2008.


Billie Abney, DC, EdS.

Billie Abney, headshotDr. Billie Abney, an award winning science teacher, instructs high school classes in anatomy, biology, physics, chemistry, and forensics.  As an adult with ADHD, Dr. Abney has developed several creative teaching strategies to actively engage her students. Because of her innovative teaching strategies, Dr. Abney received Georgia’a Teacher of Promise Award in 2009 and National CHADD’s Educator of the Year in 2013. In 2016 she was awarded Georgia’s Outstanding Biology Teacher of the year. Abney was a chiropractor for 20 years and then returned to the classroom. She presents nationally and internationally on effective teaching strategies for students with ADHD/EFD.




Joe Ackerson, PhD

Headshot Joe Ackerson

Dr. Joe Ackerson is a pediatric neuropsychologist and chair of the Alabama Statewide Sports Concussion Taskforce.  He is currently in private practice and is the senior clinician at Ackerson and Associates which houses the Ackerson ADHD Clinic.  Ackerson has been serving individuals with ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury (including concussions), and other neurological and psychological disorders for over 20 years.  He has served as director of psychology for Children's Hospital of Alabama and director of pediatric neuropsychology for The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He has 18 publications and over 50 presentations.  Dr. Ackerson has served as a consultant for the NIH, several National Neurocognitive Study Groups for demyelinating and genetic disorders, and is currently on the Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology.  He has served as a board member for the Alabama Head Injury Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation of North and Central Alabama, and Prince of Peace Catholic Church and School.   


Nancy Anderson,

Attorney Nancy Anderson is the Associate Director of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP), Alabama’s protection and advocacy agency for persons with disabilities.  ADAP provides legal services to eligible Alabamians with disabilities to protect their civil rights.  In addition to serving as Associate Director, she chairs the agency’s Children’s Advocacy Team.  Nancy graduated from Wellesley College in 1983 and Rutgers University School of Law in 1999.

Kay Davis, Ed.S.

Kay DavisKay K. Davis has spent her entire adult life educating children. She holds degrees from Jacksonville State University in: BS Education, Health, Physical Education and Recreation, MS in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, MS in Educational Administration and Ed.S in Educational Administration. She has spent time in the classroom teaching Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, as ARI Reading Coach, and Superintendent of Education for Cherokee County Schools. She is now serving as Administrator of the Cherokee County STAR Program, a day-treatment program for Saving Teens at Risk, a program funded by the Alabama Department of Youth Services. She is married to her husband of fifty years, Gary Davis. They have two sons and four grandchildren. Kay was elected to the Centre City Council two years ago. For the past twenty years, Kay has also serves as Director of the Nettie King Brown Clearinghouse, a program that provides Christmas assistance to the children of Cherokee County. 


Ms. Chris Zeigler Dendy

Chris Dendy, HeadshotChris Zeigler Dendy is a former educator, school psychologist, and children's mental health professional with more than forty years experience in these fields. Perhaps more importantly, she is the mother of three grown children with ADHD. Dendy was inducted into CHADD's Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for her outstanding contributions to the field. She is the author of four popular books and three videos on ADHD. Her first book, "Teenagers with ADD and ADHD" has sold over 100,000 copies. She was the lead author for the CHADD Educator's Manual and is a co-founder of CHADD's Teacher-to-Teacher training program.



Richard Dismukes

Richard Dismukes, headshotMr. Dismukes has practiced as a professional counselor for over twenty-five years. As a licensed counseling supervisor he has supervised many counselors through the licensing process. He periodically conducts workshops and training seminars related to behavior management, learning disorders, attention problems and special education services. He also works with adults in areas of depression, stress, anxiety and marital conflict. He is a consultant for Alabama Post Adoptions Connections, School Systems, Head Start and Early Head Start programs and is The Executive Director of Chrysalis, A Home for Girls. Mr. Dismukes works with people of all ages from pre-school to seniors and utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques. He has a particular interest in mindfulness and stress reduction techniques. Richard and Jeanne Dismukes have been married for 35 years and have one son Andrew.




Kathleen A. Duryea, DO

Kathleen Duryea, headshotKathleen A Duryea, D.O. is a board certified osteopathic family physician currently practicing in Cherokee County for the past 20 years. She served 4 years with the United States Navy as a Lieutenant Commander General Medical Officer and received the Navy Achievement Medal for service. She graduated from the Pennslyvania State University with a major in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She has been married to Kurt J. Duryea for the 29 years and have two daughters, Carlyle-age 20 and Kendal-age 19.




Fred George, PhD

Fred George, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who is celebrating his 50th year in Psychology. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1971.  He did his internship at Fort Ord United States Army Hospital, Specialized Treatment Facility.  He was stationed at Fort Rucker from 1971 to 1975 and served as a clinical psychologist in the Lyster Army Hospital.  In addition to his duties of psychological assessments and psychotherapy, he was involved in the early development of the Drug and Alcohol Program, and ran the Army Fear of Flying Program.  In 1975 he established his private practice in Enterprise and has been in practice since that time.  He has been involved over the years with psychological assessments for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and for the Disability Determination Service, as well as for his own patients.  In the past he also had done and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults.  At the present time he is providing evaluation and treatment for children and evaluation of adolescents and adults with ADHD, and continues to perform assessments for Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

He is married to Leslie George, who was the Child and Spouse Abuse Social Worker for the Family Advocacy Program at Lyster Health Clinic, Mental Health Services.  Prior to that she worked for the Department of Human Resources as an Eligibility Worker, Child Protective Services Worker, Community Organizer, and Child Protective Services Supervisor.  She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama.  They have two children.  His daughter, Kristin Anton, age 35, is currently living in Enterprise and is the Coordinator of Parent Education and the Juvenile Court Redirection Program. Kristin has two children, Maddox, age 10, and Lennox Age six.  They have one son, David, age 31, who is currently a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, serving as a Military Policeman and Squad Leader.  David is stationed at Fort Campbell Tennessee, and has had a one-year deployment in Iraq and in Korea. He has one son Justin age 11.

Dr. George currently serves on the Children’s Policy Council for Coffee County.  In the past he has helped organize a local Learning Disabilities Association chapter, a CHADD chapter, and a Mental Health Association and is celebrating his 60th year in tennis.


Marissa Gowey, PhD

Marissa Gowey, PhD Headshot

Dr. Marissa Gowey received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2008, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida in 2015. She completed an APA-approved pre-doctoral clinical internship in clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center from 2014-2015. She completed 2 years of post-doctoral fellowship training from 2015-2017 in UAB’s NIH-funded Obesity Research Training Program in the NORC, after which she transitioned to her current position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at UAB. Broadly, her clinical research focuses on identifying and understanding modifiable behavioral and cognitive factors associated with pediatric obesity that can be targeted in intervention efforts. Her current projects are focused on elucidating neuropsychological functions associated with obesity development, maintenance, and intervention outcomes across the lifespan. Dr. Gowey’s long-term goals are to develop novel, clinically effective family-based interventions for youth with or at risk for obesity that address neuropsychological dysfunction and improve lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes. She is particularly interested in working with underserved populations disproportionately affected by obesity. Dr. Gowey likes to travel, spend time with friends and family, walk her dog, cook/bake, hike, and be outside.

Nelson Handal, MD, DFAPA

Dr. Nelson Handal, PhD.Dr. Handal is the founder, owner and Medical Director of Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic (DBMC) a mental health clinic, which serves approximately 170 patients a day.  He is also founder, owner and Medical Director of Harmonex Neuroscience Research. Dr. Handal participates in extensive clinical research and has been primary investigator in over 80 clinical trials, including several studies for new ADHD medications.  In 2017, he was Chief Medical Officer for an award winning European ADHD study.  He is a national consultant and speaker.  In the late 1980s, Dr. Handal was president of one of the first telemedicine referral services in the world and the system was featured in Business Week.  In May of 2009, Dr. Handal was invited to testify before the Unites States House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs regarding innovative technologies and treatments for veterans.  Dr. Handal spoke about CliniCom®, a patent pending on-line psychiatric assessment tool he has been developing for the past 10 years which is used by nearly 35,000 patients.  CliniCom® was a semifinalist in the Innovation Lab of the American Psychiatric Association in 2017.

Awards include the 2009 Heroes in the Fight Award given by Mental Health America and The Excellence in Public Mental Health Award for 2008 given by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  In addition, Dr. Handal has also been recognized as one of America’s Top Psychiatrists for 2007 and 2008 given by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.  His private practice, Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic, received the 2008 Best of Dothan Award in the Physicians category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).  Dr. Handal has also received the 2008 Patient’s Choice Award and the 2007 Mental Health Professional of the Year Award for Alabama.  In 1996 Dr. Handal was presented with the Clinical Scholar Award conferred by the University of Miami School of Medicine.  Dr. Handal is also recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 

Dr. Handal attended Medical School in Heidelberg, Germany and Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia where he was born. Completed residency training in General Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse, New York.  After that, he completed his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.  Dr. Handal is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists.  At the present time he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. 


Lisa Heard

Lisa HeardLisa Heard is an educator who has served children in Alabama for 20 years. She has taught elementary, middle and high school students with and without disabilities. Lisa is the mother of two birth children, Rhema and Caleb, and three children for whom she served as a surrogate parent during their high school years. Lisa has served as a Director of Instruction, School Improvement Specialist, 504 Coordinator, System Test Coordinator, Gifted Coordinator, and Special Education Coordinator. She has served as the President for the Alabama Council for Exceptional Children (ALCEC), and she is on the governing board for the Alabama Council for Administrators of Special Educators ALA-CASE).  Presently, Lisa serves as the principal of a middle school in Alabama. She resides in Birmingham, Alabama.



Ruth Hughes, PhD. 

ruth hughes headshotDr. Hughes has been a national leader in the field of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for many years. During her tenure as the DEO of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), she advocated with Congress and the federal government to ensure the rights and access to treatment for children and adults with ADHD. She instituted the widely recognized Parent to Parent Training Program which has helped thousands of parents learn to manage ADHD in the family and Teacher to Teacher, a training program on ADHD for teachers was launched. She has a son with ADHD who has taught her the most important lessons of living with ADHD.

Dr. Hughes also spent much of her early career helping establish the field of psychiatric rehabilitation, helping people with serious mental illnesses to recover and lead fruitful lives in the community. She continues to present, train and write about ADHD. Her passion is finding ways to help young people with ADHD transition to adulthood. Her son, now an adult, is thriving.


Jane Indergaard, DNP, RN.

Jane IndergaardJane Indergaard is a licensed registered nurse in ND and MN, and a professor of nursing at Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN. She teaches theory and clinical in Behavioral Health, Advanced Adult Health Critical Care, and Fundamentals of Nursing. She recently completed her studies for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Her doctoral research and clinical implementation project focused on the design, application and implementation of Psychoeducational (PE) programming into provider treatment for ADHD. Jane is the local founder and co-coordinator of the 2014 national award winning Red River Valley CHADD Satellite – a branch of the National Organization: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Over the past 12 years Jane has developed significant personal and professional training and experience in pediatric, adolescent, and adult behavioral health education, and in particular, ADHD advocacy, and support. She is a certified CHADD Parent to Parent teacher and a frequent regional speaker on ADHD. She has presented and provided training at the International Conference on ADHD and is     also a graduate of the inaugural Chris Ziegler Dendy Executive Function Training Camp and proud member of the national network of Dendy-trained ADHD advocates. Jane is most proud of her role as a wife and mother of three adult children (whom have ADHD).

Mary Indergaard, 

Mary lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband. She works as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher. Mary graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services (RHS) and obtained a concentration in Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.  RHS is a unique and diverse degree which enables the enhancement of independence and integration for persons with physical, learning, psychiatric, cognitive, and addiction disorders.  Mary states that her personal challenges and successes with having ADHD are the main reasons she has chosen a degree that makes it possible to advocate for children with ADHD and other mental health challenges. She is grateful for the privilege of being part of the Chris Ziegler Dendy Executive Function Training.  As a member of the national network of advocates, she has presented on the under-diagnosis of girls and women with ADHD at regional, national and international conferences. 

Matthew A. Jarrett, PhD

Dr. Matthew A. JarrettDr. Jarrett is Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama. Dr. Jarrett received his Ph.D. from the Virginia Tech and completed a pre-doctoral internship at Children’s National Medical Center. His research and clinical interests are in the field of developmental psychopathology, particularly in the areas of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders. His current research explores the interface of neuropsychological functioning and co-occurring symptomatology in children, adolescents, and emerging adults with ADHD. Dr. Jarrett is also the director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Clinic, a specialty clinic within the departmental Psychology Clinic.


Ms. Linda Mays

Linda Mays HeadshotLinda Mays Welch is a parent to twins, a daughter and son, and knows the battle with ADHD in children ages six to young adulthood. Linda has served on the ADHD Regional Symposium and Conference planning committee, as well as served as a conference speaker, presenter and facilitator since 2012. Years prior, Linda attended as a health reporter. Linda received the first Chris A. Zeigler Dendy Outstanding Service Award at the 2013 ADHD Regional Symposium. CAZD service award is given to a person who has made outstanding contributions to promoting ADHD education of children, families, and professionals in the State of Alabama. As a television news health reporter, Linda organized and garnered television coverage of a crisis counseling phone bank of mental health professionals to support tornado survivors. She arranged extended television coverage to promote adoption of Alabama children in foster care and for ADHD education. Linda organized evening news reports on ADHD that included patients and treatment professionals. Linda arranged an additional hour-long call-in phone panel with mental health professionals to answer questions from viewers across Central Alabama. Chris recalls, “Linda has always scheduled us for interviews just prior to conference so we could talk about the featured speakers. She made several announcements about the conference during her noon and evening newscasts. Plus, she posted announcements on the TV station’s website.”

Linda is an award-winning television news anchor and best feature news reporter, as noted by the Alabama Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Alabama Broadcasters Association. She’s been informing, interviewing, listening, writing and telling the stories of the people of Central Alabama for nearly three decades. Linda shares her expertise and experience to train individual and groups to successfully deliver media interviews. This more than 20 year health reporter is an advocate for children’s and women’s health. Her sustained commitment to give-back to her community has not gone unnoticed, an award given by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Office of Women’s health bears her name, the Linda Mays Volunteer of The Year Award. She received the initial award in 2013. Educating and empowering people is one of Linda’s passions. Linda is Founder and Executive Director of Single Mothers Empowerment Conference, Inc. (SMEC), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. She works to empower single parent women to persevere as family leaders, especially when facing challenges involving finances, legal concerns, parenting, health and wellness, relationships, business, education, career advancement, communication and life transitions. SMEC provides mentorship, resources, motivation and a strong network of support.  The conference brings together single mothers and a variety of experts, like ADHD expert, Chris Dendy.  Chris and her late husband, Tommy, held a breakout session on ADHD education during the conference's inception in 2014.  Linda Holds a B.A. degree in Mass Communications and Broadcasting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  


Tina Sanders

Tina Sanders, headshotTina Sanders is currently an Education Administrator with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Office of Learning Support, Special Education Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree of education (mild learning handicaps), a master’s degree in Special Education, and an Ed. S. degree in Special Education from Auburn University at Montgomery. She has worked over 30 years with children with behavioral needs in resource classrooms, self-contained classroom, detention facilities, and as a behavior specialist. She is an advanced certified CPI trainer, Champs trainer, and Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer and presents frequently on functional behavioral assessments, behavioral intervention plans, positive behavioral supports and de-escalation strategies.



Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith is a proud Alabama native with a passion for working with people and a full-hearted belief in the healing power of laughter. Matthew has over ten years of experience facilitating group processes and currently serves as Co-founding Executive Director for the AlaQuest Collaborative for Education, a nonprofit dedicated to making Social and Emotional Learning an integral part of education in Alabama. Before co-founding ACE in 2015, he worked as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program in the mountains of Georgia, served as co-director for the Anytown social justice leadership summit in Central Alabama, taught US history for a traveling school in New England, and worked as an environmental educator for the Cahaba Environmental Center near Montevallo, Alabama. While studying Human Ecology at the University of Alabama, Matthew also served as an AmeriCorps member through the YWCA of Central Alabama and traveled to local schools to facilitate discussions on dating violence prevention and crisis management. Matthew is a certified life coach, teacher and leadership trainer. He is also certified in Transformative Leadership for Organizational Development, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Social Justice Leadership, and Crisis Prevention and Intervention. In his free time, he enjoys digging in the garden, exploring the great outdoors, and working on renovations to the hundred-year-old mountaintop bungalow that he calls home.

Jay Soileau Jr, MD, FSAHM

jay soileau headshotDr. Soileau is board Certified in Adolescent Medicine, with additional certifications in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine.  He has spoken locally, regionally and nationally on ADHD, developmental and behavioral problems and conditions that co-occur with these.  In addition he has served a Co-Chair of the ADHD subcommittee for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for a number of years. Two chapters in Adolescent Medicine Text Books have been authored by Dr. Soileau including the Neinstein Handbook Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine due out this year. Two chapters in Adolescent Medicine State of the Art Reviews published by the American Academy of Pediatrics were authored by Dr. Soileau, as well, including one on psychopharmacology of ADHD and an update on ADHD developments in 2008 and 2014 respectively. 

Dr. Soileau teaches medical students and residents through Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, New Orleans, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.   He is a board member of the American Board of Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine Sub-board.  He continues to see numerous children, adolescents and adults with ADHD and co-occurring conditions in his practice, working to improve conditions in their lives and the lives of their families. 


Despina Stavrinos, PhD

Despina Stavrinos, headshotDr. Despina Stavrinos is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she directs the Translational Research for 
Injury Prevention (TRIP) laboratory.   The TRIP lab houses a fully immersive, state-of-the-art driving simulator that is customizable to various types of transportation safety research.  Dr. Stavrinos focuses on the cognitive aspects of pediatric unintentional injury – particularly injuries resulting from motor vehicle collisions related to distracted driving.  Her research addresses applied injury prevention issues from a behavioral science perspective, and advances our understanding of development’s influences on the basic psychological processes of attention and cognition, as well as how these factors impact real-world problems.  Dr. Stavrinos’ work with driving simulation has led to a better understanding of the underlying cognitive processes of distracted driving, and to translational efforts to reduce this dangerous behavior. Dr. Stavrinos has received nearly 4 million dollars in grant funding from sources such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Transportation, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has mentored nearly 100 students from various disciplines, and actively involves women and minorities in her research to increase the diversity of our nation’s transportation workforce. Her partnerships and research collaborations span both the public and private sector, as well as numerous academic disciplines. Dr. Stavrinos serves the scientific community in various capacities including appointed memberships such as the TRB Committee on Operator Education and Regulation and newly elected Chair
of Alabama’s Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund.

C.A. Stilwell, Jr., MD

CA Stilwell, HeadshotC. A. Stilwell, Jr., MD is a consultant for Attention disorders and related problems in the Nashville area, Brentwood, TN.  His background is in pediatrics, and, after beginning to expand his toolbox through courses, conferences, lectures, talking to experts, and reading, he began his ADHD consulting practice in 2004.  He has done consultations, diagnostic evaluations, and ongoing management, but, for the last 5 years, has limited his practice.  Now he does evaluations or consultations and works with primary care providers and specialists.

Dr. Stilwell is a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics and an emeritus Associate Clinical Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  He has had relevant continuing education, including multiple courses at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, courses at Stanford, and through Mayo Clinic.  He has spoken on ADHD in numerous settings, including, the Southeast Regional Conference on ADHD, the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference, and assorted local faculties and parent groups.     



Mark Thomas, MD

Mark Thomas HeadshotDr. Thomas’ career has been devoted to a passion for providing care and improving the wellbeing of adolescents and young adults. At each stop along his professional journey, treatment of patients with ADHD has taken an ever increasing proportion of his medical practice. After several years at the University of Alabama where he held a dual appointments in the Student Health Center (where he ran a busy ADHD Clinic for university students) and in the University Medical Center Department of Pediatrics (where he held a teaching appointment and was the attending physician for the Adolescent Clinic), Dr. Thomas returned to private practice in 2013 to open Tuscaloosa focusMD.  This practice is devoted to providing comprehensive and accessible care for ADHD and related conditions in adolescents, young adults and children.  In addition to his clinical pursuits, he has continued to make frequent presentations concerning ADHD in adolescents and young adults and has also been involved in related research.  As a Fellow of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, he has served as co-chairman of the ADHD Special Interest Group and the ADHD Committee.   He is also involved in CHADD, the international support group for children and young adults with ADHD.  Research interest include ADHD services in university student health centers; diversion of stimulant medication in the college setting; and the relationship between ADHD, executive functioning deficits and health risk behaviors.  He has also continued to be active in writing with publications appearing in Journal of Attention Disorders and Adolescent Medicine State of the Art Reviews. For several years, Dr. Thomas has been privileged to co-chaired the organizing committee for this conference. He is very appreciative of the efforts of the wonderful conference staff, the dedicated committee members / volunteers, and the illustrious faculty members with whom he served.

Mr. John Willson

John Willson, headshotJohn Willson is the Executive Director of SOAR, a non-profit residential boarding school, GAP program and adventure camp serving youth with
learning and attention challenges.  He has a Masters degree in Outdoor Therapeutic Recreation Administration and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.
He has served on the national board for CHADD, and as President of the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina. He has led hundreds of
adventure courses with youth diagnosed with LD & ADHD. He actively presents to parents and professionals at local, state and national conferences.




Dale Wisely, PhD

dale wisely headshotDale Wisely, PhD. is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Church & School in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham Alabama. He has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 36 years. Prior to joining Prince of Peace, Dr. Wisely was the Director of Student Services and Community Education for 12 years
with Mountain Brook School System, where he continues to serve as a consultant. Dr. Wisely practiced clinical psychology in Birmingham Alabama from 1983 to 2006 which included assessment, pediatric psychology, and psychotherapy. He was named to the 2018 “Top 50 over 50” class by Positive Maturity, a non-profit agency in Birmingham Alabama designed to enhance the lives of adults 55 and older through social service and civic engagement. Dr. Wisely has served on numerous Board
of Directors’ including the Crisis Center, the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative, Alabama Children First, All In Mountain Brook, and the Alabama Child Death Review System. He is also former President of the Birmingham Regional Association of Licensed Psychologists, and the Alabama Psychological Association by which
he has received the prestigious “Distinguished Service to Professional Psychology” award three times, most recently in 2018. Dr. Wisely received his M.S. and PhD. degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis. He completed his clinical internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine, in Charleston. Dr. Wisely also earned a Master’s in Theological Studies from Spring Hill College, a Jesuit college located in Mobile Alabama.
Dr. Wisely served as senior psychologist at the Vaughan Clinic, now Children’s Behavioral Health, at Children’s Hospital of Alabama for 14 years. Dr. Wisely has taught
and held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Alabama, Spring Hill College, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Dr. Wisely writes and operates a
public service website, Parenting Teen Drivers, which includes a free parent-teen contract which has been in wide use nationally for more than 10 years. 



For more information, please contact Sea Talantis at or 205-348-3014 or Mandy Guin at or 205-348-6222.