Dougie Jr.
Director of Inspiration

Dougie Jr., now 27, was diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), a very rare autism spectrum disorder, at the age of 3.  Like other kids with CDD, Dougie developed typically for his first three years but then lost most of his language, motor, and social skills. Shortly after, his parents Doug and Laurie Flutie, started the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism to help other families give their loved one with autism the same opportunities to live life to the fullest.  Twenty years later, Dougie continues to inspire everyone around him with his infectious smile and passion for all thing’s sports. During the day, Dougie attends the Scott Center for Autism in Florida, where he resides with his mom and dad, and his two dogs, Lou Lou and Elsa.  Dougie's favorite activities include swimming in the pool, horseback riding and spending time with his friends and family.  "People really connect with him," says his proud dad. "We give comfort to families so they feel like they're not alone."

Learn More About Dougie, Jr. » 

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Nick Savarese
Executive Director

Nick has spent his entire career working to improve lives and communities for people with disabilities. Prior to joining the Flutie Foundation, Nick spent eleven years at Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) working in a variety of capacities. Most recently, Nick was Vice President for Advancement and Marketing at SOMA. In his time at SOMA, Nick led initiatives across all disciplines of fundraising - including major gifts, foundation relations, and corporate development – as well as the organization’s communications and digital marketing efforts. Nick also worked directly to build inclusive Special Olympics sports programs in communities and schools across Massachusetts.

Prior to moving back to his home state of Massachusetts and joining SOMA, Nick founded Sky’s the Limit, a Colorado-based organization providing inclusive social and recreational programs for children with and without disabilities.  Nick also worked as an employment counselor for adults with disabilities, as well as a special education para-educator early in his career. Nick received a B.A. from Metropolitan State Universality of Denver with a concentration in Nonprofit Organization Management. Nick also recently completed the core leadership program at The Institute for Nonprofit Practice, an affiliate of Tufts University.

Nick spends his free time with his wife, Stephanie, running between soccer, dance, basketball, girl scouts, and all the other activities of their two children Naomi and Dominic. Nick is also an avid sports fan, rooting for all the Boston professional sports teams to continue their recent run of great success.

Lisa Collins
Director of Programs & Operations

Lisa joined the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism in September of 2009. As the Director of Programs & Operations, she develops programs and activities that further the Foundation's mission to help individuals and families with autism live life to the fullest and manages much of the administrative work that allows the organization to function on a daily basis. A significant amount of her time is spent overseeing the Foundation's three grant cycles: the Signature Grant Program, Allison Keller Education Technology Grants and Joey's Fund's direct family support grants. 

Lover of ice cream as a late-night snack and dreamer of being on House Hunters International, Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Framingham State College. Prior to joining our team, she worked as a Business Analyst for The MathWorks, Inc. and as a Scheduling Coordinator for Focus On Service, LLC. Lisa is married and has three children. 

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Terri Ladka
Director of Development

Terri joined the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism in November of 2019. As the Director of Development, she will lead and implement external-facing fundraising strategies designed to cultivate, maintain, and grow relationships with those who share our mission of helping people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest. Additionally, she will manage a team responsible for Flutie's signature annual fundraising events and Peer to Peer Fundraising program that offers corporations and individuals opportunities to partner with the Flutie Foundation to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those affected by autism.

Terri spends her free time running marathons, coaching cross country at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, and managing her household of six – husband Tom, and four kids. Terri holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Montana. Prior to joining our team, she was the Executive Director of the Martin Richard Foundation.

Ellen Fitzpatrick
Ellen Fitzpatrick
Programs & Operations Coordinator

Ellen joined the Foundation in October of 2019 as the Programs & Operations Coordinator. In this role, Ellen will manage the Database administration, support our grant cycles and related programs such as Flutie Foundation Safe & Secure Program and Fun in the Sun Watersports.

Ellen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Providence College, and a Master’s Degree in Autism studies and Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College. Prior to the Foundation, she has worked as a special education teacher, ABA therapist and as a Training and Development Coordinator for a local ABA agency. Ellen is married and enjoys spending time with her daughter and 2 golden doodles.

Elizabeth Monroe
Senior Marketing Manager

Liz Monroe joined the Foundation in November of 2018 as a Marketing and Development Associate. She works closely with the Executive Director and the Director of Marketing and Event to plan and execute events and marketing campaigns. Liz also manages the Foundation’s presence on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and assists in supporting 3rd party events hosted on behalf of the Foundation.

Liz was part of a 3+1 BS/MBA program at Quinnipiac University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA. At Quinnipiac, Liz was heavily involved in Relay for Life and Residence Hall Council. She loves to travel, eat tacos and walk with her two labradoodles.

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Ellis Gamache
Development Coordinator

Ellie Gamache joined the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism in October of 2020. As the Development Coordinator, Ellie is tasked with all of the peer to peer fundraising initiatives, as well as assisting the Executive Director and Development Director with third-party and fundraising events. She spends the majority of her time managing Dougie’s Team and helping runners train and fundraise to support the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Prior to joining the organization, Ellie worked as a Fundraising and Events Coordinator at Special Olympics Massachusetts where she planned and executed fundraising events with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Ellie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management from Endicott College with concentrations in event management and legal studies. Ellie also completed internships with K Sports & Entertainment, One Mission, & the Boston Bruins Foundation prior to her college graduation. In her free time, Ellie enjoys spending time with her friends, family, her dog, reading, and exercising.