Welcome to Advancing Choices!
Life is all about making choices. It's part of just about everything we do. Yet, for those with disabilities, options for adult living have often been limited. We offer a fresh perspective on adult life: living independently in a home of one's own should be an option for those who choose it, and quality supports must be available to ensure success. Everyone deserves to make meaningful choices in order to live their best life.
Advancing Choices, Inc. is a private organization committed to assisting young adults with disabilities to move into supportive and uniquely-tailored community living arrangements. Our staff are educated, highly trained and experienced in supporting adults with disabilities to live full, meaningful lives in communities and homes of their choosing. Each team is supervised by our licensed and board certified Behavior Analyst. Together, they work to provide our clients with the highest quality services to support community living in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Working with families, we implement a structure that is adaptable and dynamic to the unique needs of each of our clients. We listen, understand and develop individualized independent living plans with appropriate supports to ensure that goals are met and individuals continue to make progress after leaving school.
Our name is what we are doing, Advancing Choices.
The Choices Team
We are extremely proud to have a dynamic team of educated, experienced and compassionate staff who are passionate about providing exceptional support to our clients in their pursuit of achieving independence.
Amy Masek, MS
CEO & Founder
Amy is the owner and CEO of Advancing Choices. She has worked professionally and advocated for families and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders for over 23 years. In 2016, she founded Advancing Choices, where she serves as CEO, providing overall direction for the company. She holds a Masters degree in Special Education from UW-Milwaukee with undergraduate degrees in Education and Public Relations/Journalism. Amy is the former Director of Development and Outreach for Wisconsin Early Autism Project where she spent 16 years in executive management, and was instrumental in passing legislation for insurance coverage for autism treatment in Wisconsin. In addition to parenting a son with autism, Amy has taught at UW-Milwaukee in Special Education, has served in a variety of roles on many boards and community initiatives, and has taught, consulted and presented in the U.S., Canada and the UK. She has provided support and assistance to hundreds of families, teachers, therapists, physicians and others, and has committed her life to helping improve the lives of those touched by disability.
MA, BCBA, LBA
Director of Client Services
Melissa, aka "Mel," directs and supervises all Choices client services, working directly with clients, families and staff to provide training, support and creative solutions for the continuing success of the Choices model. She has worked for over 20 years in Wisconsin with individuals from age two through young adulthood providing research based therapies, social and skill groups, consultation and training. Prior to joining Choices in April 2019, she spent five years as Autism Services Supervisor at Easter Seals of Southeastern Wisconsin, providing overall supervision and direction of programming, including consultation on adult day services, Project SEARCH and workforce development. Mel holds a Masters degree in Special Education from Ball State University where she also became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, as well as a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is licensed as a BCBA in Wisconsin and an approved Medicaid provider. Mel has trained hundreds of staff, teachers, school personnel and other professionals in best practices for the delivery of high quality services, and led evidenced-based intervention teams as a Senior Therapist for over 12 years for two state providers, directly supervising behavior technicians for over 200 children and adolescents.
Jake supervises all services provided to Choices clients in residential settings. He works directly with staff, clients and families to ensure that the entire team works cohesively and effectively to improve the lives of young adults with disabilities. Spending time with a friend’s nephew led Jake to begin working with young children with ASD, after which he changed direction and joined Choices in February 2017 to work with adults. He is responsible for and truly enjoys creating and implementing wellness plans for all clients, focusing on healthy eating, exercise and staying active. Under Jake's leadership, Choices many clients have made significant strides in losing weight and improving their overall health. Jake holds a Bachelors degree in Sports and Exercise Science from Wisconsin Lutheran College where he played football and has experience as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. He assists in the supervision of our Team Leads and Community Integration Specialists and is a strong mentor to both clients and new staff. Jake is a true advocate for individuals with ASD and values most helping others implement changes to improve wellness and live the kinds of lives they deserve.
Client Services Manager
Donna Rae Hollis
Donna Rae directs all administrative functions for Choices, including organization and management of all client, employee and intake information. She works with funding sources, vendors and a wide variety of community contacts, completes all billing, payroll and scheduling, and coordinates technology functions. She is the go-to person for any question, and works collaboratively with every Choices client, family, staff member and community partner, earning her the casual title "Boss of the Universe." Donna Rae joined Choices in October of 2018, bringing over 30 years of experience in business administration and management in several industries. Having a nephew with Autism and sharing experiences with his mom and family gave her a view from the sidelines of the challenges that individuals on the spectrum and their families experience, and a genuine fondness for those with ASD. Donna Rae holds a Bachelors degree from Northwood University (Michigan) in Business Management. She has special interest in strategic planning to facilitate efficient operations in all aspects of any organization.