The Educational Foundation for Independence is blessed to have a strong and diverse Board of Directors. Our Board brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and dedication to the planning and oversight of our organization. We express our deepest gratitude for the generosity and service of each of our Board members.


Paul Egan

Paul Egan

Paul is a CPA serving clients in public practice since 1988 providing consulting and financial advice to individuals, closely held businesses and tax-exempt entities. He serves clients in a variety of industries with expertise in non-profit organizations, hospitality, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, professional service firms, trade associations, healthcare, and real estate development. Paul is a recognized leader in proving financial services to Denver’s non-profit community.

Paul is active in many Denver area community organizations and has a heart for many charitable endeavors. He currently serves as the President of The University Hills Rotary Club where he strives to exemplify Rotary’s core value of “service above self.” He is also the current treasurer of The Adoption Exchange because he believes every foster child deserves to find love in its “forever families”. He is a recipient of the “CPA’s Who Make a Difference” Award from the Colorado Society of CPA’s that is awarded to individuals in the accounting profession dedicated to volunteer service. Paul lives in Wheat Ridge Colorado with his wife Cindy and his two young sons, Jonathan and Matthew.


Lindsey Birchfield

Lindsey Birchfield

Lindsay B. Birchfield received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child Development/Family Sciences from the University of Central Missouri in 2007 and her Masters in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University in 2009. From 2007-2009 Lindsay worked for the state of Illinois where she provided in-home parent training to families in the child welfare system. Lindsay completed her internship at an autism center located on the Southern Illinois campus with training that focused on behaviorally based treatments for children with autism.

For the past 7 years Lindsay has worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst providing outpatient behavioral services to children with developmental disabilities, skill deficits, and behavior problems, specifically, providing assessment and treatment services based on principles of applied behavior analysis to reduce problem behavior and increase adaptive skills. Currently Lindsay is serving as the Austin Regional Director for Behavioral Innovations Austin and San Antonio treatment centers.


Stephanie Martin of College Living Experience

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie Martin is the President of College Living Experience (CLE), a multi-state program dedicated to providing support services for students with disabilities to go to college or transition into a post-secondary setting.

Stephanie has more than 20 years of working in the field of special education. She began her career, in 1991, as a teacher and transitioned into providing educational and behavior support for students and their families, in 1997. Stephanie then moved into managing a non-public school for students with special needs and in 2007 she transitioned to work for Educational Services of America as Senior Vice President of Program Operations. In 2008, Stephanie moved into her current role as President of CLE.

Stephanie lives in Nashville ,Tennessee, with her husband, J Matthew, and their son Riley.


Debora Smith

Debora Smith

Debora L. Smith spent more than two decades in marketing and communications before she merged that expertise with the experience she gained raising a son with autism spectrum disorder. Nearly three years ago she founded ARM | Autism Resource Mom — a venture that allows her to coach and advise families with loved ones on the spectrum, while helping families explore alternative ways to deal with the diagnosis.

Debora has been actively involved with The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group since 2008, serving in various positions—from volunteer and Activities Director to board member and President. She is also a member of the Interagency Autism Group [IAG] and part of the Orange County Autism Regional Taskforce [OCART].

If she’s not at a conference picking up new skills, she’s sharing what she’s learned through speaking engagements and her own instructive workshops. Passionate about helping individuals with challenging behaviors, she has studied and received Tier 1 Training in the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach—and is in the process of becoming a “Certified THINK:KIDS Mentor.”

Debora lives in Orange County, California, with her husband, Mike, and their son Drew, who’s a high school senior with a driver’s license. Oh my.


Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis is the Tennessee Senior Market Consultant for Eli Lilly & Co working with integrated delivery systems, accountable care organizations and health insurance companies in Tennessee. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Public Relations and Communication Studies from the University of Alabama in 2005 and completed the HBX Core Program at Harvard University in May 2016.