Our Staff


Joy Alexander, Interim Executive Director

Joy Alexander comes from both the profit and non-profit world with experience in multiple industries and was previously the Vice President of the Autism Society of Texas Board of Directors. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Executive Leadership and is an autism mom.  Joy can be reached at Joy@texasautismsociety.org.

Jacquie Benestante, Director of Advocacy & Outreach

Jacquie Benestante works on communications, outreach, and advocacy. She serves on the Autism Society of America’s Public Policy Advocacy Committee and is on the steering committee for Texans For Special Education Reform. She is a graduate of the 2018-19 class of Texas Partners in Policymaking. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Jacquie has two family members with autism and is honored to advocate for the needs of autistic children and adults. She can be reached at Jacquie@texasautismsociety.org.

Vanessa Staley, Program Coordinator

Vanessa Staley is a bilingual Program Coordinator who graduated from St. Edwards University with a degree in Sociology. She originally started working with individuals with autism in college and has a son with autism. She has experience working with youth with mental health issues, providing families and individuals with resources, facilitating support groups, and working with the Autism Society of Texas as a volunteer and former intern. Besides working with individuals with autism, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and reading. Vanessa can be reached at Vanessa@texasautismsociety.org.

Beau Fannon, Bookkeeper