Meet Hope So Bright’s Board of Directors

Anthony L. Almada

BOD AnthonyAnthony L. Almada

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and a Masters of Science in Nutritional/Exercise Biochemistry, Anthony Almada has worked within the natural products industry since 1975. His graduate research at the University of California, Berkeley was in antioxidant and exercise biochemistry.

In 1992, he co-founded EAS, the first company to commercialize and validate creatine, and helped build it into the world’s largest sports nutrition company in the 1990s. He then co-founded a medical food company focused on the prevention of HIV-associated muscle wasting. Almada has collaborated on more than 95 university and private research clinical trials, ranging from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) to weight and fat loss treatments. He is the President and CEO of GENr8, Inc., an evidence-based performance nutrition brand originating out of a UK-based university muscle metabolism laboratory, focusing upon both physique and endurance athletes, and from auto racing to windsurfing.

One of Almada’s products is Vitargo, a revolutionary life source of energy that is used among Olympic athletes, medical professionals and millions of people who wish to improve their health, fitness and appearance. A patented carbohydrate with unique properties that gives an effective loading of easily accessible muscle energy in the body.
Vitargo is a superior choice over energy drinks that contain glucose, waxy maize, maltodextrine and sucrose. It transports through the stomach faster than any other carbohydrate for an instant surge of energy. Vitargo is a favorite fuel source among athletes worldwide, not only because of its superior energy delivery and clinical studies, but because it is completely gluten free and manufactured in a plant that only produces the highest grade starch while containing no impurities or banned substances. Vitargo can be consumed as a gel or bar for convenience. An array of powders mix easily into a beverage of one’s choice.

Sonia Dickson, MA and Robin Shipley, MS, Co-owners of TranZitions, Inc.

Sonia Dickson, MA and Robin Shipley, MS, Co-owners of TranZitions, Inc.

TranZitions, Inc., a consulting firm co-owned by Sonia Dickson, MA and Robin Shipley, MS, supports neuro-diverse teens, young adults, and their families on the path to their potential. Programs include workshops, employment readiness, individual and family transition plans and support, professional training, and parent workshops.

Sonia Dickson started her career upon completion of a Master’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She worked at Giant Steps Therapeutic School in Montreal from 1994 to 1996, considered innovative for individuals with autism due to its multidisciplinary approach, which offered one-on-one support.

From 1996 to 2005, Sonia worked for the Barrington 220 School District in Barrington, IL where she consulted on program development in school-based classrooms and offered individuals social support and behavioral intervention plans.

She served as a staff trainer and program consultant from 2001 to 2006 at the North Shore Special Education Cooperative in Northshore, IL, where she developed classrooms and programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

From 2005 to 2012, Sonia developed her own consulting firm, Special Needs Consulting, in Chicago and Los Angeles, and focused on families and individuals.

This led to a contract with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation in Naperville, IL where she served as primary consultant and program developer from 2006 to 2014.

She created college/career programs for young adults as well as protocols and visual supports, classroom design, program content, staff training, parent support classes, and hiring protocols.

In 2006, Sonia moved to Los Angeles and became a special education consultant to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, where she continues to work today.

Sonia’s current role there includes behavioral and visual support, proactive programming implementation for children and teens on the autism spectrum and related diagnoses.

She also trains others, designs workshops, offers after school social skills training, and family and parent support consulting.

Robin Shipley completed her graduate work at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles (now known as American Jewish University), in 2000 under the direction of John R. Lutzker, Ph.D., a leading expert in child neglect and maltreatment prevention.

Her graduate thesis “Teaching Daily Living Skills to Children with Autism Through the Use of Instructional Video Modeling,” was published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions in 2001.

From 1998 to 2000, Robin served as Behavior Specialist for Behavior Change Associates in Los Angeles, where she conducted staff training and supervision, and developed materials and training protocols.

She coordinated the Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) Team for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District from 2000 to 2002.

Additional responsibilities included, program development, staff training and supervision, training protocols, classroom consultation, development and implementation of district-wide diversity awareness training for students and teachers, parent training and consultation (using an in-home workshop format), and the development of numerous presentations and workshops.

From 2003 to 2009, Robin was a Behavior Consultant for Autism Partnership, Seal Beach, CA where she provided behavior plan development and implementation for individuals on the autism spectrum; staff training; workshop development and facilitation, program and curricula development; and parent training.

Since 2009, she has served as a Behavior Consultant to the Children’s Ranch Foundation, Los Feliz, CA and the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

Laurent O’Shea, President, Elite Mortgage Funding, Inc.

Laurent O’Shea, President, Elite Mortgage Funding, Inc.

A graduate of Pepperdine University, School of Law; London School of Economics’ International Legal Exchange Program; and University of Texas, Dallas (cum laude), Larry O’Shea has practiced law for 30 years.

He is a Principal at O’Shea & Associates, PLC and serves as President/CEO of Elite Mortgage Funding, Inc., where he is involved in all aspects of residential lending, including first mortgages and equity lines.

Both companies are in Agoura Hills, CA. With licensure in the California State Bar, U.S. District Court and the California Department of Real Estate and Mortgage Brokers, O’Shea is also a California Licensed Accident, Health and Life Insurance Agent.

Priya Siva, OTR/L, ATP

BOD PriyaPriya Siva, OTR/L, ATP

Priva Siva is a licensed Los Angeles-based Occupational Therapist who specializes in helping autistic children.

An occupational therapist is a person who has graduated from an entry-level occupational therapy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or predecessor organizations, or approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), or an equivalent international occupational therapy education program; has successfully completed a period of supervised fieldwork experience required by the occupational therapy program; has passed a nationally recognized entry-level examination for occupational therapists, and fulfills state requirements for licensure, certification, or registration.

An occupational therapist provides interventions based on evaluation and which emphasize the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (i.e., occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of facilitating participation in roles and situations and in home, school, workplace, community and other settings.

Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness and are provided to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction.

Occupational therapists address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of occupational performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life.

Sean Trigony

Sean Trigony

Sean Trigony serves as a General Manager of WO Programmatic Television at WideOrbit Inc.

He is a Venture Partner at Crosscut Ventures Management, LLC and serves as an advisor to Revinate, Inc. Trigony is on the Board of Advisors at IAB.

With more than 16 years of traditional, emerging media and entertainment sales experience and 15 years in the advertising and entertainment industries, Trigony graduated with a degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Prior to his current positions, Trigony served as General Manager of WideOrbit Central (WO Central), which he joined in 2011.

A serial entrepreneur, angel investor and strategic advisor to several tech start-ups including Revinate, (which he co-founded) and Myxer, Inc., he was a senior executive at Discovery Communications.

Starting in 2004, Trigony was Senior Vice-President of Sales for where he ran a global sales team and oversaw digital sales for acquisitions.

He served as Vice-President of Sales at Myxer, Inc. and held key sales positions at TeleRep, a Tribune Broadcasting station in Atlanta as well as executive roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Cox Broadcasting, Tribune Broadcasting, and Career Sports and Entertainment.

Mark Woodsmall, Esq.

BOD Mark WoodsmallMark Woodsmall, Esq.

The founder of Woodsmall Law Group, PC, based in the San Gabriel Valley, Mark Woodsmall’s areas of practice include special education, regional center matters, special needs trust planning, and conservatorship.

Woodsmall joined the faculty of the USC Gould School of Law in 2006 as an Adjunct Professor teaching special education law.

He also served as a teaching attorney in the Special Education Advocacy Training Project – Los Angeles; the SEAT Project, an innovative nationwide advocacy training project, funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the USC Center for Excellence in Development Disabilities (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles). Woodsmall is on the committee of UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) Community Advisory Committee.
Woodsmall is a special education attorney and the Autism Speaks Southern California Board President.

His wife Eva is a dedicated long-time LA Autism Walk committee member.

The Woodsmalls founded Spero Vineyards in Temecula, a winery that provides training programs that help young adults with developmental disabilities secure meaningful vocational careers.

Nestled in the heart of Riverside County, Spero Vineyards partners with the City of Temecula and employs eight young trainees who will earn a vocational certificate in viticulture (the science, production and study of grapes) and food handling, at the completion of their program with the Temecula-based winery.
An active volunteer with Cure Autism Now/Autism Speaks, Woodsmall serves on the National and Los Angeles Walk Planning Committees and Government Relations Committee.

While a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California chapter of Autism Speaks from 2008 to 2015, the organization sponsored essential family support talks throughout Southern California, advocated for comprehensive medical care in Autism (lobbied for the establishment of an Autism Treatment Network (ATN) Center of Clinical Excellence at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles), and secured more than $900,000 in local grant funding for programs serving children and young adults on the autism spectrum.
A national lecturer on parent’s rights under the IDEA, Section 504 and the Lanterman Act, Woodsmall was an invited presenter at the 2012-14 COPAA Conferences (national conferences of student attorneys) in Florida, New Mexico and California.

Woodsmall was recognized for his work in the field in 2012 as the recipient of the National Ambassador for the Children Award from Casa Colina and in 2013 with the prestigious Stanley I. Greenspan Humanitarian Award.