Making a difference in the lives of people at the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment at the University of Missouri

Developing a “roadmap” for autistic Missourians

In 2008, the Thompson Foundation and Thompson Center worked with Missouri Legislature to establish the Missouri Commission of Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Office for Autism Services. Senate bill 768 of the 94th General Assembly created an expert panel in the Missouri Commission of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Office for Autism Services provides valuable resources for autistic Missourians and their families, including insurance information.

For 2022, the Missouri Commission of Autism Spectrum Disorders has set a goal of developing a “roadmap” for the lifespan of all people with autism in Missouri. Dr. Stephen J. Sheinkopf, Executive Director of the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment, serves on the Commission. In 2021, Missouri House Bill 432 created four phases of the roadmap, with the first phase focused on transition to adulthood.

Read more about the Commission and their goals.

800 600 Thompson Foundation for Autism & Neurodevelopment

Myles Hinkel

Executive Director

Myles Hinkel began as Executive Director in June 2020. Myles leads the foundation’s three-pillar mission; fundraising, awareness, and advancing public policy. Prior to this, Myles was Director of Advancement for Gift Planning & Regional covering the West Coast for The University of Missouri. This was Myles’ second time with MU Advancement. He previously worked in the College of Arts & Science before taking advancement positions at Columbia College and the Missouri United Methodist Foundation. Myles, his wife Lora, and their two boys have been involved in the Thompson Center and the Thompson Foundation since their inceptions.

Katie Lynn

Director of Donor Relations

Katie Lynn oversees donor stewardship and marketing for the Thompson Foundation for Autism & Neurodevelopment. Prior to joining the Thompson Foundation in 2020, she worked for Major League Baseball’s nonprofit, the Baseball Assistance Team. Originally from Quincy, Illinois, Katie is a graduate of Tulane University and has lived in Louisiana, Florida, New York, and now Missouri. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, singing, and playing violin.

Melissa Eston

Office Manager

Melissa Eston began her role as Office Manager in August of 2022. In her role, Melissa receives and processes donations, assists in event planning, and manages accounts receivable and payable. Melissa most recently worked in Healthcare Advancement at the University of Missouri. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Strategic Communications associate in University Relations at the University of Missouri System. Her first experience working with non-profits was at Columbia College, where she served as a Coordinator for the Advancement division. Melissa is a Columbia College graduate with a BA in History. She lives with her husband, Chris, in Columbia. Melissa’s favorite part of working at the Thompson Foundation is seeing the tangible, positive impact its advocacy work has on the Thompson Center and the families it serves.