Board of Directors
Committed to the Cause
My name is Abbie Wagner and I currently am the President of the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation. I work full-time at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse in the Adapted Physical Education Teacher Preparation Program. I became involved in the Foundation as several of the board members had children that were in a physical activity program that I run at the university. They asked me to get involved as a board member which later translated to president. I wanted to get more involved in the community, more specifically with the disability community here in the La Crosse area. I have met many great people through the foundation and have been able to partner with several local businesses forming meaningful community relationships. I am from the La Crosse area originally and currently reside here with my husband, Cody, and our precious puppy Remy.
Greetings! I am Chris Schuster, one of the founding board members of the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation. I became involved in the foundation after my twin boys were diagnosed with autism. A group of parents of children with autism decided that we needed more resources in the community for parents, children, youth and adults. I also work in University Police Services at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse as a detective and the Air National Guard. My three boys and daughter keep me busy with hockey games and sporting events but I enjoy the chaos with my loving supportive wife, Kara.
Adam Weissenberger has been driven to serve those affected with autism since his oldest son was diagnosed in summer of 2008. Chris and Kara Schuster along with Adam and his wife Tori, founded the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation in late 2010/early 2011 to help those who needed it most. Since then Adam has been involved with many facets of the community to facilitate autism awareness and support in the La Crosse area. Adam is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker River Valley, and member of additional non-profit boards supporting veterans, children and individuals with disabilities. Adam, his wife Tori, and their two sons, Aiden and Kaleb explore the La Crosse area. They are avid travelers of the country via an RV, fulfilling a National Park bucket list.
My name is Amber Temp and I am currently a Special Education teacher in the Arcadia School District. I grew up in Onalaska, WI and I am married to Mike Temp from LaCrosse and together, we have three children and three dogs. I teach middle school students with a variety of disabilities, including students on the Autism Spectrum. I have my Masters Degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders and have been working with children, youth, young adults and families with autism for ten years. I became involved with the LaCrosse Area Autism Foundation due to connections with my students and their parents who founded and serve on the board as well. My favorite LAF event would have to be the Firecracker 4! It’s wonderful to see so many people, families, and friends come out and support the cause. The kids have a blast!
I became involved with the foundation in March 2018. There were others on the board with kids the same age as my son who is on the spectrum. I had known the others on the board since my son was 2 and now the kids are 12! I was finally at a point where I felt I could volunteer my time to this great foundation. I wanted to work with the other board members to help create awareness and I wanted to feel like I could make a difference to help other families with resources that could help them manage their own struggles and victories. My husband Ryan and I have 2 children, Reece and Samantha.
Chris Jones has been an advocate for children with special needs for many years. This skill came in particularly useful when her son was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in 2009, when he was three. Chris joined the La Crosse Area Autism board in 2014 and also worked with the All Abilities Trane Park project since its beginning. Chris is the Family Resource Liaison at The Parenting Place, where she helps families obtain diagnosis, locate resources, assist with school and doctors appointments. Chris and her husband, also Chris, have three children, Makenzie, Carson and Morgan.
Amy Hendrickson has been focused on inclusive activities and autism awareness in our community since joining the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation in 2011. Shortly after their son, Hutson, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, Amy and other families joined to share their vision for the All Abilities Trane Park Project, a specially designed park to bring together children, families, and loved ones of all ages and abilities to enjoy the many benefits of play. Amy is a Talent Development Consultant at LHI, and member of several additional non-profit boards advocating early literacy, diversity and inclusion, leadership and nursing research. Amy, her husband Milt, and their three children Hutson, Avalyn, and Jaycie enjoy an active life here in La Crosse.