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Brian Austin, Founder + Executive Director

Brian is an accomplished animator, two-time Telly award-winner and Grammy-nominee, a published animation author and teacher, and a visual artist (group exhibitions at Exit Art, MoMA PS1 and Nexus Contemporary Art Center, GA; art work in the collection of MoMA’s PAD/D Archive and C.W. Post L.I.U., Art Therapy Collection). He has presented internationally and nationally, including the plenary speech at the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) conference in 2009. Brian was the inaugural chair of AATA’s Technology Committee.

After getting his BFA in Painting, Brian Austin spent two decades animating, co-creating (and trying to sell) an original cartoon series, building furniture, skateboarding, playing Capoeira Angola, and of course, painting. Brian returned to the School of Visual Arts for his Masters in Art Therapy. The idea for TAP came to life during his thesis work with adolescents in foster care. More accurately, it was the youth coming to life in the room while making their first animation that lit Brian’s fire.


Laurence Austin, Chairman and Cofounder of Endeavour Capital Partners
Lauren Macksoud, Dentons US LLP
Jennifer Friedberg, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens and Founder of Jars Full and Way2Finds
Ellen Goodman, Product Design and Development at Enterprise Growth, American Express
Frank Masiello, President and CEO at TradeMas Inc.
Rose Polidoro, Marketing Entrepreneur
Ramona Roopnarine, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion Marketing at Bloomberg L.P.
Carrie Watt, Site Supervisor, ENACT


Brian Austin, Executive Director
Cara Macksoud, Managing Director
Meredith Dean, Clinical Program Director

Dan Shefelman, Creative Director


Clarissa Cabeza, Office Manager
Lyndon Sylvester, Recruitment Specialist


Juan C. Echavez, Senior Animator, Technical Specialist, CG Supervisor
Angel Gonzalez, Animator
Daniel Grant, Animator
Nelson Marun, Assistant Animator
Eric Martinez, Animator
Branden Pericon, Animator
Christofer Rademacher, Animator
Leoandy Santana, Animator

Creative Arts Therapists

Natasha Amendolara, Drama Therapist + Clinical Workforce Development Manager
Lisa Clementi, Dance Movement Therapist + Story/Script Supervisor
Kristin Eckstein, Art Therapist
Chauncey Harrison, Dance Movement Therapist
Jessie Novik, Art Therapist
Julie Regula, Drama Therapist + Program Coordinator
Stephanie Syfert, Art Therapist


Boris Ustaev, Senior Animation Consultant