Board Members

Meet our board members, who volunteer their time to help the community with everything related to ADHD.

Deborah O’Brien, Board President

Deborah O’Brien, LCSW is the founder of Fairfax Therapy Solutions. She is a widely known and respected Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Certified Clinical Supervisor in Northern Virginia. She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health and social work field. Her specializations are evaluation and treatment of ADHD, anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, divorce challenges, and drug and alcohol addiction. She opened Fairfax Therapy Solutions with the founding belief that a therapist can help a client build a more satisfying and secure life through becoming free from unproductive, repetitive patterns. ADHD has been a focused priority of her education and research.

Kathryn Essig, Board Secretary

Kathryn Essig, M.Ed., Founder and President of Essig Education Group, has spent years working in special education. Prior to her current practice, she worked in schools as an educator and educational diagnostician; in private practice as an executive function coach; as a curriculum consultant to private schools; and as a founding owner of The StudyPro. Kathy observes students with variable executive functions, trains them to externalize necessary study strategies, and adapts school curricula to ensure their success. With ever increasing numbers of bright students experiencing academic struggles, Kathy’s practice focuses on the intersection of executive function, resilience, and learned independence.

Jessica Horne, Board Treasurer

Jessica Horne is the Assistant Director at Fusion Academy-Loudoun, a 1:1 personalized education experience designed to support students 6th-12th academically, socially, and emotionally to reach their full potential. Jessica attended Penn State University where she received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Health and Human Development. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from George Mason University. Jessica is passionate about developing educators and supporting students on their school journey by connecting them with the proper resources. In her leisure time, she enjoys restoring furniture and spending time outside.

Josh Gwilliam, Board Member

Josh Gwilliam has served in the field of education for over two decades. He currently is the Director of Admissions at Commonwealth Academy, where he has served for more than ten years. Previous to his current role, he served as Dean of Students, Department Chair and math and science instructor. Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Randolph-Macon College and Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. Josh is an ardent supporter of inclusive learning environments for all students.  Over his time at Commonwealth Academy he has become well connected and versed in educational support options in northern Virginia for students with ADHD and learning differences. 

Alex Williams, Board Member

Alex Williams, MSW is currently the Director of Professional Relations with Embark Behavioral Health. She received her BSW from James Madison University then went on to obtain an MSW from George Mason University in macro social work practice. For the last several years she has focused her energy on outreach. Alex is passionate about fostering community partnerships to ensure the well-being and success of youth in our communities.

Catherine Adams, Founder

Catherine Adams is the parent of an adult daughter diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorders. Catherine took it upon herself to find solutions to the challenging situations her daughter and her family faced due to the issues related to ADHD. Since 1998, she collaborated with volunteers, educators and local professionals in leadership positions with WISER, the Northern Virginia chapter of CHADD, and CHADD’s Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD. In 2005, Catherine decided to build a resource for families and professionals. She co-founded the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia. In 2019 she stepped down from the ADHD Resource Board to address family needs while moving to California. We will be forever grateful for her long-lasting impact on the ADHD community.