About Us

Long Story Short

CFEP originated in 2014 when Dr. Linda Mechling brought together a group of people that saw area for improvement in our community. We are parents, teachers, educators, executives and directors. While we all have diverse backgrounds, we have one thing in common: our passion for bettering the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Many members of our board are proud volunteer leaders of our programs!

We have all the activities, join us at our next event!

Our Team

The Board of Directors of CFEP is composed of parents, teachers, therapists and friends of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our Board members personally understand the challenges faced by these individuals and are dedicated to fostering programs designed to meet their individual needs and enrich their daily lives.

Becky McGee-Hudson

Vice President

Becky McGee-Hudson is the mother of an adult daughter diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. Becky’s educational background is in special education and school administration. She began her career as a special education teacher with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, working in collaboration with the TEACCH program. She retired from the University of Chapel Hill TEACCH Autism Program in November 2018, where she worked as an Autism Specialist for over 30 years. Becky has served on a variety of local boards and advisory committees focused on the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. Becky, her husband Stuart and daughter Abbey live in Wilmington.

Judd Hartman


Judd Hartman is the father of three children, two of whom are young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since moving to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2001, Judd and his wife Keri have spent time participating in family support groups and supporting Surfers Healing of Wilmington. Judd also supports Keri in managing their adult children’s day-to-day activities. Professionally, Judd serves as General Counsel of PPD in Wilmington, North Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington and Lee University in 1985 and a law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1989.

Betsy McCormick

Board Member

Betsy McCormick is a TEACCH Certified Advanced Consultant who worked as an Autism Specialist for the Wilmington TEACCH Center from 1984 to 2018. She holds a BA in Education and prior to coming to work at the Wilmington Center was a teacher in TEACCH affiliated primary and adolescent classrooms. As an Autism Specialist, Betsy worked with individuals of all ages across the autism spectrum. Her experiences include diagnostic evaluations and work with parents, children, and adults on Structured TEACCHing strategies and skill building. She has facilitated parent support groups, consulted to programs serving individuals with autism, and led early intervention groups and social skills groups for older individuals. Since leaving the Wilmington Center in 2018, Betsy continues her work with TEACCH through educational training for parents and professionals both nationally and internationally.

Keri Hartman

Board Member

Kerri Hartman is the mother of three children, two of whom are young adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kerri spends much of her day supporting her adult children’s day-to-day activities. Kerri is a past board member on the New Hanover County Schools Advisory Council for Exceptional Children. Kerri is an avid quilter and loves the mountains. She and her husband Judd participate in family support groups and also support Surfers Healing of Wilmington, the local chapter of a non-profit organization that conducts surf camps for individuals with autism at beaches throughout the United States, including Wrightsville Beach.

Rachel Luyben

Rachel Luyben

Board Member

Rachel Luyben has 2 daughters, one of which has intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rachel has been an Occupational Therapist for 29 years. She worked in the rehabilitation hospital for many years and now works with young children in their homes. Rachel is a past board member for Family Support Network. Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and advocating for children and adults with disabilities. She currently teaches our adaptive swim class which is held at the YWCA on Wednesdays.

Barbara McDonald MD

Barbara McDonald, MD

Board Member

Retired from Coastal Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked as a physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Currently roommate and support staff with her adult daughter Ellen who loves to attend CFEP activities.

Marilyn Ward

Board Member

Marilyn Ward retired from the public school system after spending 30+ years as a Speech Therapist and a teacher of the Deaf. During the past few years, she has worked in various settings with children and adults with special needs. However, most of her time is devoted to her son Brian Stephens. Marilyn’s children are her greatest blessing. Brian is 33 years old, has Down syndrome and currently lives at home. Marilyn’s daughter, Erin Long, is her greatest supporter and the two of them team up to help Brian reach his fullest potential.

Laura Huggins

Laura Huggins, M.S., BCBA

Board Member

Lauren began her career as a 1:1 direct support with adults with disabilities in 2010. Her passion led her to obtaining her Master’s Degree in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis. During her time in graduate school, Lauren had the opportunity to work as a teacher assistant in New Hanover County Schools Transition Program for Young Adults along side Patricia Nagorski. During this time Lauren was able to continue to grow her skills and compassion for individuals with Autism. When Lauren began working on her Masters thesis she discovered a familiar name in the literature she referenced, our founder Dr. Linda Mechling (a grad school celebrity moment!). Lauren quickly learned that by utilizing strategies in ABA she was able to teach a variety of skills to individuals that could turn in to employment opportunities for their future. Lauren is compassionate in helping individuals find their strengths and turning them into employment opportunities (all while having fun!).

Darien Brooks

Darien Brooks

Board Member

Darien Brooks was diagnosed with autism in 1971. He soon was enrolled with TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, enabling him to accomplish many endeavors including graduation from high school in 1985, attend UNC-Wilmington, play second violin with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra for 17 years, obtain salaried employment as a mail file clerk. He is employed at Clark Environmental Services in Wilmington part-time, plus volunteers with Wilmington TEACCH, the Children’s Developmental Services Agency. Darien plays violin, writes fiction and poetry, takes part in the CFEP Coffee Club, inspires many people with his example of living life with autism.

Pin It on Pinterest