New CEO to Expand Focus of the Autism Society of NC

Armen Hareyan's picture

On February 2, The Autism Society of North Carolina will welcome Scott Badesch as their new Chief Executive Officer.

Badesch has a passion for uniting diverse agencies and communities to advance the common good. He believes that cooperation among human service organizations is vital to the effectiveness of their individual programs. As the leader of the Autism Society of North Carolina, Badesch says that he will expand its scope “to be a part of the bigger effort to advance the level of care of all people living with developmental disabilities.”

Badesch is a nonprofit executive with 31 years of human service management experience. He has been a CEO for over 21 years, most recently for the United Way of Palm Beach County in Florida. In his 13 years there, he guided them from a $450,000 deficit and no endowment to a current endowment of over $4.4M. Under Badesch’s leadership, the organization doubled its fundraising and repositioned itself as a human services advocate and community problem solver.

Badesch has made a career of fighting against injustice and discrimination, especially for populations that are traditionally underserved. “There are too many groups that can’t speak for themselves,” says Badesch. “There are too many people without a seat at the table.”

Badesch began his career in Illinois corrections, then moved to the field of aging. He served as the Executive Director of Northwest Services Coordination, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded initiative that integrated health and human services delivery to the aging. His position at Northwest Services ultimately led him to the United Way, where he has served in a leadership capacity in Chicago, South Carolina, and Florida.


Badesch and his wife, Phyllis, have four children, two of whom were adopted from South Korea. His oldest son is on the autism spectrum. As a parent, he knows firsthand the importance of connecting people affected by autism with the appropriate resources and support.

“The network of advocacy for the autism community that we have in North Carolina is a model for other places,” Badesch says, “but there is still a lot of work to be done. Individuals on the autism spectrum and their families face financial, emotional, educational, and social challenges that can be daunting. I look forward to working to expand the options and opportunities that the Autism Society of North Carolina provides to individuals with autism, their families, and the dedicated professionals who serve them.”

The mission of the Autism Society of North Carolina is to provide support and promote opportunities for individuals with autism and their families. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. It is a neurological disorder that impacts brain functioning, including communication, social interaction and behavior. As its name implies, it is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently and with varying degrees of severity.


ASD, which includes Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified, is a lifelong disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. Recent studies estimate that one in every 150 children born today will be affected by ASD. There are no prenatal indicators for ASD. Trained professionals can make a diagnosis through observation and evaluation. Currently, there are an estimated 50,000 individuals with autism in North Carolina and more than 1.5 million people with ASD living in the United States.

The Autism Society of North Carolina was founded in 1970 by a group of parents who were concerned about the lack of diagnostic and treatment services for their children. Since then, the Autism Society of North Carolina has become the foremost source in the state for connecting people who live with ASD (and those who care about them) with resources, support, advocacy and information.

Additional information about Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Autism Society of North Carolina is available free of charge to North Carolina residents. To request a packet, please call 1-800- 442-2762 or visit