Creating the future...one frame at a time.

Exceptional Mind

David Shladovsky, Chairperson

Mr. Shladovsky is general counsel of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors and serves as secretary of Kayne Anderson MLP Investment Company (KYN), Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund (KYE), Kayne Anderson Energy Development Company (KED) and Kayne Anderson Midstream/Energy Fund (KMF).

Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 1997, Mr. Shladovsky was in the private practice of corporate and securities law, most recently as corporate counsel to Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP.

Mr. Shladovsky earned a B.A. in Economics from Brandeis University and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law in 1985, where he served as a member of the Boston University Law Review. He has been a member of the California Bar Association since 1985.

Yudi Bennett,, Vice Chairperson

Yudi Bennett is a passionate advocate for all those with special needs, especially young adults with autism.  She is the co-founder and past director of Exceptional Minds.  Yudi comes from the motion picture world.  She has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1978 and received their Frank Capra Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.  She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with credits in over 30 movies, including  “Broadcast News” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” She is the founder and past president of Foothill Autism Alliance and currently serves on the FAA board as well as on the board of the Uniquely Abled Project.

Yudi is inspired everyday by her son, Noah Schneider, a young animator who was diagnosed with ASD in 1997. She is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Her dream is to see all young adults with autism in meaningful jobs, leading independent and productive lives.

Patricia Turney, Treasurer

Ms. Turney has been at Amgen for over 20 years and has held a wide variety of roles with increasing responsibility and leadership within Manufacturing, Engineering, EH&S, R&D, and Quality. She currently manages Amgen’s External Supply organization supporting over $5B in annual product sales along with enabling Amgen’s R&D pipeline for new product development. Her team is responsible for over 250 Raw Material and Medical Device Suppliers worldwide and 55 contract manufacturing sites spanning 10 countries.

Prior to this role, Ms. Turney led Amgen’s Manufacturing Site Operations in The Netherlands, where she was responsible for supplying patients in over 75 countries. “Parent of the Year 2001”– Ventura County Autism Society.

Ms. Turney serves on the Exceptional Minds Board of Directors as Treasurer and is a member of the LA BioMed Board. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the US Naval Academy and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Prior to her career at Amgen, Ms. Turney was a US Naval Aviator and served in the US Navy in various locations around the world.


Ron Burns

Ron has had a stellar career in business and advertising. For thirty years he worked at J. Walter Thompson, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. He joined the firm as a young account executive and worked his way up to Group President and CEO, North America. Along the way, Ron was General Manager of the Melbourne office, President and CEO of the Canada office, and ultimately JWT's President, Global Business. Ron was born in Halifax and spent his early years in Victoria, British Columbia. He received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and did post-graduate studies at the University of London. Ron currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, Sally.  Their two daughters, Eliza and Mollie Burns Keith live in Los Angeles and are partners in an estate and contemporary jewelry company. Mollie is the proud mom of PK and Campbell. Ron's son, David, lives in Greenwich, CT with wife Susan and their son Andrew. Ron is on the Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame as well serving as the Fundraising Sponsorship Co-Chair for Exceptional Minds.

Michele Magnin Carbonell

Michele Carbonell is a homemaker and mother of four children. Michele's son Dylan was diagnosed with Autism in 1996. Since then, Michele has dedicated herself to the treatment and education of her son while raising three other children. Michele has attended a wide array of conferences dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Prior to starting a family, Michele was a software engineer and project manager with Washington Consulting Group and CRW both providers of information technology and systems for the U.S. Government. Before attending business school Michele was an engineer with Schlumberger in Paris, France. Michele served as a member of the board of the National Capital Chapter of Autism Speaks from 2008-2016 and chaired the board from 2012-2016. Michele is also co-founder of the Nelson and Michele Carbonell Family Foundation. The foundation recently endowed the director position of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute (ANDI) at the George Washington University. Michele holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Mollie Burns Keith

Mollie has been in the jewelry appraisal business since 1995. As a specialist in fine jewelry and gemstones, Mollie began her career at Christie's New York, where she served as Assistant Vice President and Head of Christie's East Jewelry Department. She subsequently was promoted to Vice President and Senior Specialist of Christie's Los Angeles offices, and was also stationed in Christie's Hong Kong and London offices. She has most recently worked as a Senior Specialist at Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles. She now runs her own company with her sister Eliza Burns buying and selling antique and contemporary jewelry; she also works as a freelance consultant and advisor to trust attorneys, auction houses and private buyers. Mollie earned her B.F.A. in Art History from New York University, as well as her Graduate Gemologist and Jeweler degrees from the Gemological Institute of America, California. Born in London and raised in Australia, Mollie now resides in Los Angeles, California with her two children. PK, aged 10, is an animator and was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2 years of age.

Janet I. Sandoval, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Avery Dennison Foundation

Janet Sandoval is the director of community investment for Avery Dennison and its Foundation. Ms. Sandoval manages the Foundation’s grant programs, including the Global Grantmaking Initiatives and Granting Wishes program.  She oversees employee volunteerism activities  – a critical focus of the corporation’s employee engagement initiative – and acts as lead for large-scale employee volunteer projects, such as Employee Giving Campaigns and Employee Volunteer Days.
Prior to joining Avery Dennison Foundation, she was a communications associate at The California Wellness Foundation, where she provided support in the areas of marketing communications and media relations. 
She is an active member of Business for Social Responsibility, Environmental Grantmakers Association and Southern California Grantmakers. In addition to Exceptional Mind’s Board, she currently serves on Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy's national Board, and the YMCA of Glendale.
Ms. Sandoval earned her BS in business with an emphasis in communications from the University of Phoenix. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their two children.


Bob Stevenson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of ngmoco:)

Bob has over 20 years of experience as a Creative Leader and Entrepreneur in the game industry.

His key skills are being an Entrepreneur, Producer, Game Maker, Art/Game Director, Creative Problem Solver, Occasional Mediator, Mentor and Empath. He loves his Family, Friends, Movies, Music, Wine, Laughter, Playing instruments, Games, Art, Tech, Business and despite his joy of people he has a fear of public speaking! (He's working on it) In 2008, he co-founded ngmoco:) a Future Entertainment Company that specializes in creating Social Mobile Games that unite and delight the world. With over 100m downloads and over 15 hit games, including We Rule, God Finger, Rolando, Topple and Mazefinger, they have become one of the key companies in the mobile game industry. They were acquired in 2010 by DeNA: The leading Social Mobile company in the world. Bob plays an ongoing global role as CCO across that quickly expanding business. Prior to ngmoco, his games have appeared on nearly every major platform in the history of the industry, working with major partners like EA, THQ, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Virgin, Activision and SEGA.

Helen Wu

Helen Wu is a co-founder of Exceptional Minds, and served as Board Chair for the first six years of the organization's existence. Her son Aaron, a young adult with autism, is a gifted pianist and music aficionado. One of her most meaningful achievements is co-creating a successful independent housing alternative for Aaron as well as other students in the EM program. She is a senior partner with J. Arthur Greenfield & Co. LLP, CPA’s, in Westwood, CA. She serves as a trusted advisor to high net worth individuals, closely held businesses, as well as many non-profit organizations. Helen is also a founding board member of Jazz Hands for Autism, a community based music-centric public charity which provides performance opportunities, vocational training, meaningful social integration, and paid gig opportunities to young adults on the autism spectrum.