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

Free carnival hosted by Mizzou Greek Week

Step right up! The Thompson Foundation has been selected as a beneficiary of Mizzou’s Greek Week. Part of this event includes a carnival for families at the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment. Join Mizzou’s Greek organizations for carnival games, face and hand painting, and more! The carnival will take place on April 8 from 1-3pm at Walton Soccer Stadium. It’s free and no advance registration is required!

A graphic shows a gold pennant with black text that reads "Celebrate neurodiversity". Below that, black text reads "World Autism Month 2023". Behind the pennant there is a group of green, black, blue, and gold balloons.In addition to the carnival, Autism Day at Mizzou Baseball is also April 8 at 2pm! Click here to purchase $2 tickets.

Families can participate in both the carnival and the baseball game as they are right next door to each other. We hope you’ll celebrate World Autism Month with us on April 8!

1296 1296 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 Lentz

Director of Donor Relations

Katie Lentz 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 Fulton. 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.