Our Staff & Board

Our unique team consists of people with autism, educators, parents, college interns, and community members working together for a common purpose: to enrich the lives of adults with autism.

If you live in the Centre Region and share this passion, we're always looking for caring, committed individuals to join our board! Please contact us for more details.

Board of Directors

Bellamarie Bregar

Founder/Executive Director

With 38 years of experience as a special education teacher, Bellamarie Bregar is driven to make ACRES a place where adults with autism can live and thrive. She has a strong passion for autistic individuals and strives to bring peace of mind to many parents who hope for their children's future.

Adam Fernsler


Adam Fernsler has over 15 years of experience in the architectural and construction industry. Adam has a multi faceted background that includes design and management on many different building and construction projects including health care, multi-family housing, municipal and educational projects.

Bellamarie Ludwig

Acting Secretary

Bellamarie Ludwig joined The ACRES Project team upon its founding in 2014. She currently works as an Assistant Research Professor at the Pennsylvania State University and serves as the acting secretary. She is also lucky enough to be the daughter of the ACRES project founder, Bella Bregar.

Madison Flaherty


Madison is the Assistant Director of Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, another great local nonprofit. She gained her vast knowledge and skill through a career in hospitality. Madison's hobbies include pottery, hiking with her husband, and playing video games. She loves serving the Central Pennsylvania community and is excited to lend her nonprofit expertise to The ACRES Project.

Colleen Williams

Board Member

Colleen is an innovative, energetic professional with extensive experience in leadership, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, public relations, sales, business development and economic development. She is extremely involved in the local community and has enthusiastically served on the boards of many nonprofits, from Leadership Centre County to the United Way of Centre County.

Douglas Martin

Board Member

Douglas is a State College High School alum and entrepreneur who spent many years in Philadelphia after graduating from Drexel University. During his time in Philadelphia, Douglas served as VP of Friends of Bancroft, supporting a leading non-profit provider of specialized services for individuals with brain injuries, autism and intellectual disabilities in the Philadelphia region. Upon returning to State College with his experience from Bancroft he was excited to find out about The ACRES project and its vision and immediately jumped in to help it grow in any way possible.

Kathleen Hedglin

Board Member

Kathleen Hedglin is a former teacher who worked with children of all ages and backgrounds for more than 10 years. After moving to State College, she transitioned away from teaching but has remained steadfast in her commitment to assist and support individuals with autism and to raise awareness about autism. Currently, she leads an advertising team for local businesses and strives to build interpersonal relationships when the opportunity presents itself. She is excited and honored to have the opportunity to educate the people of Central PA about the ACRES project and strives to weave the foundation and objectives of this important initiative into the fabric of our community. 

Len Kowalski

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Derek Canova

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Interns & Staff

Becca Stroschein

Programs Director

Bio coming soon!

Mary Krupa


Mary graduated from Penn State in 2016 and has been deeply involved with the ACRES Project since its inception. Her primary role at ACRES is as a graphic designer and copywriter, as well as maintaining our website and social media presence. She also assists ACRES with grant-writing, launching new programs, giving tours, and speaking at presentations.
As an adult with autism, Mary is excited about the new opportunities the ACRES Project is creating for the autistic community.
She can often be found volunteering at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, helping to care for nonreleasable birds of prey and sharing her passion for wildlife and nature conservation.