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Stella L Spanakos

October 20

Language: English

Professional Profile

Co-Founder and Coordinator of Public Relations, The Nicholas Center Ltd. – 2011 – present.
Co-Founder of Spectrum Designs Foundation – Port Washington, NY – 516 767 7177.
Public Speaker, Educational Advocate.
President – KB Studio, NYC, NY – Manufacturer and Wholesaler of Ladies Suits.
Teacher – Social Studies (7-12) and ESL.   

Career Accomplishments

Co-Founder, Spectrum Designs Foundation, Port Washington: www.spectrumdesigns.org  – 2011.
Co-Founder, The Nicholas Center, Port Washington, NY: www.ncfautism.org 2011 – present.

Please view our websites for details and full disclosure as to our mission statement and goals.

Developed and financed an alternative to a traditional day-hab program incorporating life-skills, vocational and job skill training. The Nicholas Center offers programs and supported employment in and community and at Spectrum Designs, a social enterprise created to employ individuals with autism. 

Spectrum Designs is a custom decorating apparel business created with the mission to employ individuals with disabilities.  Spectrum Designs is one of the largest employers of individuals with disabilities in Nassau County.

In Fall of 2021, The Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs opened a second location in Westchester County.

Inspired a documentary to be made about the origins of The Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs Foundation

This Business of Autism Thisbusinessofautism.com

Developed and established Champions for Charity with Americana Manhasset, the largest grossing annual charitable shopping event in the United States – 1996

My late husband and I started KB Studio. We built a wholesale women’s apparel business with annual gross sales of 12 million dollars. We designed embellished women’s special occasion suits, manufactured in China.  Our warehouse and distribution center were in Jamaica, NY. We were one of the largest vendors of Burlington Coat Factory, Federated Stores, and May Company Stores. 1994 – 2010

Taught High School Social Studies, ESL and coached three varsity sports 1979 -1990

Education – Publications 

Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY – BA – History, Secondary Education (Social Studies 7-12).
Adelphi University, Garden City, NY- MA–– Secondary Education (Social Studies 7-12).
LIU, CW Post, Brookville, NY – Post Graduate.

Contributing author: Bobby Newman, & Dana R. Reinecke, (2011). Move with a Purpose: Addressing Common Behavior Issues on the Autism Spectrum Before They Grow Out of Control. – Chapter 8 

Community Service and Awards

Member of the Nassau County Advisory Council for People with Disabilities.
Member of the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth – DAC (Disability Advisory Committee) 2017 – present.
Panelist – Guest Speaker- Disability IN- New Jersey – Beyond the Passion: The Business Case for Autism in the Workplace.
Honoree – LIBN Diversity in Business Awards 2022.
Honoree- Nassau County Women of Distinction 202.
Honoree – Nassau County Legislature Trailblazer Award – 2020.
Honoree- New York Power Women In Business – 2018.
Inducted into the Town of North Hempstead, May W. Newburger Women’s Roll of Honor2013.
Honoring women who have made a contribution to their community or have accomplished a significant achievement through public or private efforts.
Hugs Across America – Honoree – 2013.
For service and dedication to community and children in crisis
Council for Exceptional Learners, Long Island Chapter – Honoree – 2012
For contributions and development of programs in the field of Special Education
Manhasset Parents Association for Special Education
Manhasset Publics Schools Service Award Honoree – 2008 
Honored for eight years of leadership as president of Manhasset PASE
The ElIJA Foundation Parent Award – 2007 
For contributions to the Long Island Autism Community 
Documentary: This Business of Autism   – Thisbusinessofautism.com 
Recent Press:  ABC7 News –abc7ny.com/Autism.
Forbes- forbes.com / leadership/ #ChangeTheWorld   – April 2, 2018 – This Mom Triumphed Over Tragedy By Creating Businesses To Employ People With Autism.
Huffington Post – huffpost.com / YAHOO! LIFESTYLE – Mom Started Business For Son With Autism. Now She Employs 20 Like Him.
Changemakers – PIX 11 News and Adapt Communication Network – August 1, 2018 – Interviewed by PIX 11 anchor Tamsen Fadal.
Libn.com – Long Island Business News – Giving the Shirt off her back. 2014-06-17.
Entrepreneur’s altruism fuels autism-inspired apparel company Spectrum Designs.

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October 20
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