Meet our board members, who volunteer their time to help the community with everything related to ADHD.
Catherine Adams, Executive Director
Catherine Adams is the parent of a young adult daughter diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorders since the age of seven. Since 1998, she has 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 founded Adams ADHD Consulting Services LLC in Fairfax, Virginia and co-founded the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia. She provides education consulting and advocacy services for students impacted by ADHD, autism and other learning differences and diagnoses.
Kathryn Essig, Membership
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.
Deborah Finerty-O’Brien, President
Deborah Finerty-O’Brien 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.
Cheryl Gedzelman, Secretary
Cheryl Gedzelman is the president and founder of Tutoring For Success, a company that has been offering tutoring, academic coaching, and test prep to students in northern Virginia, Washington DC, and suburban Maryland since 1994. Cheryl works with students of all ages and subjects, including those with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other learning challenges. She has been on the Board of Directors of the ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia since 2015, and also serves on the Board of Directors of CHADD of Northern Virginia and Washington DC.
Hervé LeBoeuf III, Treasurer
Dr. Hervé LeBoeuf is the founder and CEO of The Focused Mind LLC, a life and ADHD coaching practice improving the lives of individuals with the challenges of ADHD and learning differences. He is in his 13th year of successfully coaching individuals with ADHD and co-occurring conditions. He is a contributing co-author of two Amazon best-selling books and a certified teacher of the CHADD Parent to Parent Course. Client ages range from 16 to 86. Dr. LeBoeuf holds a PhD and has taught international technical training courses as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley.
Paul Rivas, Website
Paul Rivas is the director of SMITH RIVAS Study Skills & Academic Coaching, the author of This Book Will Not Be on the Test, and the creator of the online study skills course Better Grades in Less Time®. Prior to discovering study skills, he studied literature in Mexico City, backpacked from Wales to Syria, performed stand-up comedy in Spanish in Buenos Aires, and traveled from Argentina to the United States by bus. Paul has a BA in Mathematics, Sociology, and Spanish from UC Santa Barbara, and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from The New School.
Ann-Marie Stripling, Outreach
Ann-Marie Stripling is the Director of Outreach for Fusion Academy and has a passion for helping students and families find community resources about ADHD and other learning differences. She is a graduate of Auburn University (War Eagle) and has an M.S. in Applied Clinical Psychology. Prior to Fusion, Ann-Marie worked as a community mental health counselor, as well as a special educator helping families understand the eligibility and transition process. Her blend of experience in counseling, special education, enrollment and outreach allows her to work with families and students in a way that focuses on global functioning.