Margie Bennett (Interim Executive Director)

I have been so blessed to work with Ala Costa Centers for the last 20 years now. I have a Degree in Special Education/ Developmental Disabilities and a Teaching Certificate for the last 18 years. I stared out as a substitute aide, teacher’s aide, then a lead teacher and now site supervisor. The staff, students and families have brought so much joy into my life. To know that I have played a role in enriching their life’s as well has been very gratifying . Ala Costa Rocks.

Thomas Krueger (Program Director)

As the newest member of our team, Ala Costa Center’s commitment to the growth of each child appealed to my own interests in quality and excellence in programming. The organizations vision, mission and strategic plan were a motivating factor in coming to Ala Costa Center. I am honored to work with your children in addition to being part of a dynamic management team.


For the past 12 years I have worked as a School Administrator that served students with moderate to severe disabilities on the autism spectrum. My prior experiences include teaching and administrative work in higher education, non-profit and private organizations. I have earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western Washington University, Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from the University of Oregon and completion of doctoral course work in Educational Leadership at Seattle University.

Brent White (Adult Program Director)

Young adults with disabilities have the right to plan their own lives and pursue their own hopes and dream, with the support of family, friends and other allies. Each individual’s voice deserves to be heard and respected. There is nothing we do at Ala Costa Centers that is more important than creating a safe and caring space where an individual can be heard.

Ala Costa Centers' Adult Programs, ACAT and ACT are designed to encourage self-advocacy, confidence, independence, and personal responsibility. We create a non-judgmental space where differences are celebrated, not shamed; a space to take risks, try new things, build new skills and create new relationships; a space that treats everyone with respect and positive regard. I am very proud to be a part of such an excellent group of young adults, teachers and community partners.

Marina Ilitskaya (Administrative Director)

I have been at Ala Costa Centers for a little over 6 years now, and am proud to say that I have personally grown a lot here.  Having started as an aide in the Berkeley After-school program, I then transitioned to being a teacher, then a supervisor in our Adult Programs, and am now very grateful for the opportunity to be our Administrative Director. My 10+ years of experience working with Neurodiverse youth in many settings and capacities has taught me a lot about myself, disability rights, the world we live in, and the ways I'd like to change it.

I have a strong passion for supporting Neurodiverse youth and young adults, for social justice, and for civil rights, which include disability rights. I strongly believe in self-determination, presuming competence, and acceptance of Neurodiversity; I am glad to bring all of these passions of mine to Ala Costa Centers.

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