Autism Workforce > About Us

Our Mission

We prepare companies to successfully hire, train, and retain autistic employees, empowering businesses to celebrate the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace. Using well-thought-out and proven strategies, we bridge the gap between good intentions and the need to take care of business.

Our People

David Geslak, BS, ACSM EP-C, CSCS
Founder and President

David pioneered exercise for the autism community. As his students entered adulthood, he recognized their critical need for meaningful employment. David expanded his mission to provide the training and resources needed to create successful employment for both individuals and companies.

Amber Pantaleo, LBS1
Vice President

Amber’s experience as a special education teacher helps to improve all aspects of Autism Workforce (AW). She creates Standard Work for jobs, assists in candidate job placement, and teaching the Employment Prep. Program, as well as, developed the protocols to improve operations for AW.

Maria - headshot
Maria Moran
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Maria brings more than 20 years of experience in designing custom business strategies that increase corporate presence, market viability and continually foster company growth. Her skills include Sales and Marketing management, strategic planning, process standardization, branding, direct sales, market analysis and innovative solutions in both B2B and B2C business structures. She has been Director of Business Development, Partner, and consultant. Maria received her B.S. in Healthcare Management from SIU Carbondale.

Keith Coffindaffer
Workforce Coordinator

Keith has been working with those with autism in their homes, recreation settings, and on-the-job for over 10 years. He created Standard Work, assists in successful candidate job placement, and his degree in graphic design enables him to contribute to the development and communication of Autism Workforce.

Ben Schatzel
Employment Coordinator

Ben's degree in applied behavioral science, and experience as a behavioral technician, allows him to understand how individuals learn best so that he can recruit them for jobs that fit their skillset. By using these best practice teaching methods, and leveraging his years of experience, Ben is driven to create successful employment opportunities for those with autism.

Autism employment experts who understand business

Shifting the Paradigm for Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Hiring autistic employees goes beyond the social impact — it’s smart business. Companies that employ those with autism experience increased productivity, reduced turnover, and improved corporate culture, among other job-related benefits that come with hiring autistic employees.

An effective autism employment program empowers companies to leverage hiring autistic employees as a creative workforce solution, analyzing hiring pain points and identifying opportunities that could benefit from neurodiversity in the workplace.

Following a company’s standard operating procedures, the Autism Workforce model prepares the workplace to be autism ready, balancing business needs with forms of greater patience and understanding. This results in a successful hire and a return on investment for the company.

While it is critical to have neurodiversity employment initiatives by major employers, we know this is only serving a small portion of the autism community. The Autism Workforce employment model is scaling beyond Fortune 500 companies. We engage all-size companies across industries in both entry-level and highly skilled positions.

Supported in research, the Autism Workforce model is extending the boundaries of neurodiversity in the workplace. We are leading the way for companies to develop sustainable competitive futures, while making a meaningful impact on the lives of their employees, customers, and business.