July 1, 2020 – Irvine, CA-based search firm McDermott + Bull has placed former American Montessori Society executive Timothy Purnell as the new CEO for NEXT for AUTISM. Chris Bull, managing partner and co-founder of the search firm, led the assignment.
Mr. Purnell has a proven track record as an innovative leader, strategic planner and inspiring educator. He transitioned into this role from AMS, a global non-profit organization, where he was CEO. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of schools for the Somerville, NJ public school district, where he was one of just 100 educators selected to attend President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative at the White House. In 2016, he was selected as the national superintendent of the year and, in 2015, recognized as the highest rated university professor in the nation. Mr. Purnell also has a strong background in building businesses with global expansion and leading transformational initiatives.
“I am humbled by the team that has accomplished so much at NEXT for AUTISM and look forward to leading the organization into the future as we confront stubborn historical challenges in access to care and social justice,” said Mr. Purnell.
He will report to the board of directors and will be responsible for guiding the company through its next stage of growth. He will be expected to actively develop, mentor and manage the staff, while working closely with the board and its committees to engage, motivate and expand participation in fundraising, networking and related activities. Mr. Purnell will also build relationships with the organization’s constituents, including its current and prospective donors, friends, partners and other key constituents.
“NEXT for AUTISM has blazed a formidable path innovating model-services for people with autism and their families,” said Mr. Purnell. “Its entrepreneurial mindset resonates with my belief that innovation and flexible, realistic thinking are the keys to success. In this new landscape, it will be critical to build institutional resilience and shift leadership thinking towards even more creative approaches to program building and organizational management.”
Services for People With Autism
NEXT for AUTISM was founded in 2003 by Laura Slatkin and Ilene Lainer, an entrepreneur and former law partner respectively, both with sons who are on the autism spectrum. NEXT for AUTISM transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching, and supporting innovative programs. The organization believes that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. NEXT for AUTISM has built a portfolio of programs with respected service organizations, medical centers, universities, and other educational institutions.
McDermott + Bull serves clients in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, biotech and life sciences, retail and professional services sectors. Since the advent of MB Interim Leaders in 2011, the firm has served both the permanent and interim needs of its clients.
Mr. Bull is a co-founder of the firm. In addition to leading a team of executive search consultants, he has built his own executive search practice catering to a variety of clients, including Experian, First American Financial, Fluidmaster, Kelley Blue Book, SC Fuels, Thomas James Capital Homes, Trojan Battery, Union Bank and Vizio, among others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media