Introducing Lindsey Taveren: Leading CNF Into a New Chapter
Introducing Lindsey Taveren: Leading CNF Into a New Chapter

Dear CNF Community,

As someone diagnosed later in life with autism spectrum disorder, I understand how frustrating and debilitating the barriers can be to living life to the fullest. Whether it is social stigma, a missing diagnosis, medical bills, long waiting lists to see a specialist, navigating an unfamiliar environment, or the challenges of an ordinary day that can become insurmountable when symptoms of a neurological condition flare up or are perpetually present. It is this lived experience that feeds my passion and commitment to the mission of the Child Neurology Foundation, and I know there are 14 million children and their caregivers feeling this same way.   

I am honored to have the opportunity as Interim Executive Director to midwife Child Neurology Foundation into the next chapter of our organization’s mission to support children and their families living with neurologic conditions. My goal is to elevate families out of crisis mode, and into joy; the simple and universal joys of being with family day to day and the personal joys of pursuing fulfillment 

To reach that goal we will continue engaging with every player in the child neurology community, connecting all community members to the people, information, and social services they need. Parents and family members can find personalized support, healthcare professionals can find the latest tools and learnings to assist patients, and researchers can find the funding they need to study real world solutions for care coordination, transition of care, and other community concerns.  

We can’t do this work without your help. To ensure more children and families are able to access the care and support they need, consider becoming a sustaining donor today. Your donation will help us ensure more children and families are able to access the care and support they need to reach their full potential.   



Lindsey Placeholder

Get to Know Lindsey!

We recently sat down with Lindsey to learn more about her background, her vision for CNF, and her goals as she takes on this new role. Here’s what she had to say!

What inspired you to join the Child Neurology Foundation?

I had the good fortune to begin working with the Child Neurology Foundation in 2019 while employed at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). At that time CNF was receiving management services from the AAN. I grew close with the CNF staff, especially Amy Brin and Allyson Eyermann, and during that time I provided guidance to create a revenue strategy that helped CNF grow to be what it is today. When CNF left the AAN management services in 2021, Amy Brin asked me to join the team officially in the role of Director of Accounting and Finance. I accepted the offer and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the good work being done by CNF to help children and their families living with neurologic conditions.  

Can you share a bit about your background and experience?

I knew when I left college that I wanted to work in the nonprofit or government sector on issues that had global impact. I worked at several nonprofit organizations and libraries in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area in program coordinator roles before starting an MBA program at the University of St. Thomas and focusing on finance and entrepreneurship. I started contracting through an accounting firm with Twin Cities nonprofits in 2016, and that path ultimately led me to CNF! I am passionate about good governance in the nonprofit space and building a strong foundation that can scale up our programming to enhance the lives of children and their families in our community.

How has your personal experience with a neurologic condition influenced your approach to leadership?

Six years ago I gave birth to my son which put me on a personal journey that led to an autism diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more adult women like myself are being diagnosed in adulthood as the symptoms of autism in women are more widely acknowledged in online communities. I knew after giving birth to my son that something was wrong, and it went much further than post-partum depression (PPD). I hadn’t really seen the coping mechanisms I had built to navigate a neurotypical world until my entire life was upended by having a baby. All of a sudden I was adrift and had to build an entirely new set of coping mechanisms. That painful journey is what led me to counseling, formal autism testing, and diagnosis. What I learned on that journey is how powerful the knowledge of a diagnosis is. It was as if my life was a paint-by-number where I could pretty much see the picture, but a prominent color was missing. The diagnosis filled in that missing color and suddenly everything was clear. I finally understood so much of why, and when, I struggled as a child, teenager, and an adult with things others seemed to naturally understand. To compensate for the areas I struggled, I always pushed myself hard, thinking it was only a matter of hard work and dedication to “get it right” or “be normal”. In that sense the diagnosis was also a relief. It gave me permission to let go of some of those ingrained anxieties and find acceptance.  

Being an autistic person profoundly shapes who I am as a leader. My road to diagnosis makes me incredibly empathetic to others, because we never know what someone may be dealing with in their personal life. I am very careful to ensure my staff have the support they need to accommodate their health needs and personal lives alongside their work, because for myself the flexible remote work environment has allowed me to thrive.  

When it comes to the day-to-day work of running a nonprofit, the structure and execution of nonprofit strategy is a passion of mine, and one that I throw all my faculties into. It energizes me to a degree I feel is amplified by my autism.  

What are your goals for CNF during your tenure?

From our annual needs assessment we know that nearly half of caregivers report being in crisis daily and needing some or significant help with finances, treatment, mental health, or care coordination. My goal is to elevate families out of crisis mode, and into joy; the simple and universal joys of being with family day to day and the personal joys of pursuing fulfillment.  

In pursuit of that goal, I support the CNF staff and their hard work in execution of the mission and serve as a collaborator with our partner organizations and donors on imagining a world in which all children affected by neurologic disorders reach their full potential.  

As I oversee CNF during this time of transition, I am working closely with the Board of Directors to facilitate strategic planning for the future. In early 2025 a formal executive search process for the permanent executive director will be decided on.  

How do you plan to engage with the CNF community and stakeholders to help achieve CNF’s mission?

The CNF team is well connected in the neurology community and we are fortunate to have a very passionate base of donors. I will continue the CNF tradition of fostering those relationships while also creating new partnerships, hosting educational workshops, and establishing support networks for families. Additionally, fostering connections with medical professionals through conferences and joint initiatives can ensure comprehensive care. Such collaborative efforts are essential for building a supportive ecosystem that empowers children and their families to navigate the challenges of neurologic conditions. 

What excites you most about the future of CNF?

There are a lot of exciting things happening at CNF right now, but I think the potential of the Neurology Social Services Network and the Learning Portal are high on the list. In my prior role as Director of Finance and Technology I oversaw the implementation of these systems, and now they are actively improving the quality of care and the quality of life for children and their families in our community.  

Can you tell us more about the Neurology Social Services Network (NSSN) and the CNF Learning Portal? 

These two CNF programs are really exciting to me because these both serve a need in the child neurology community and they are a result of a multi-year investment at CNF in building technology and infrastructure that can support these programs. 

We spent a lot of time researching learning management systems and chose a technology partner for our CNF Learning Portal that’s user friendly for both caregivers and clinicians. Beginning this summer, anyone can register to take a course—including ones that offer CME for our clinician partners—in a centralized, easily navigable location that fosters collaborative learning among all registrants, even though these classes are virtual. This makes these classes more accessible for individuals who may not live near the places where big conferences take place or need flexible choices, and CNF offerings are free or low-cost to ensure everyone who wants to learn more about the challenges we’re facing in child neurology can do so. 

I also love seeing the growth of our NSSN program, which now has more than 80 members! This expansion, which is driven by the CNF team, is made possible because of the digital platform provided by Unite Us. The family support that CNF offers is leveled up by the Unite Us technology that forms a coordinated care network of cross-sector partners from healthcare, government, nonprofit, and other organizational spaces connected through this technology. That’s what makes it possible for CNF to make coordinated referrals to local services that help and empower a family on their child neurology journey. 

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About Child Neurology Foundation

The Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children and their families living with neurologic conditions. Our vision is to create a world in which all children affected by neurologic disorders reach their full potential. We work closely with families, healthcare professionals, researchers, and advocacy groups to provide essential resources, foster connections, and drive research and innovation in the field of child neurology.

For more information, please visit our homepage at or contact us at [email protected].

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