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2022 Gala Videos

Javier Evans

Javier Evans

Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Webster Bank

Javier Evans is Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Webster Bank (NYSE: WBS), a leading commercial bank with more than $60 billion in assets. He is responsible for the company’s overall HR operations and oversees organizational design and cultural development.

Immediately preceding his position as Chief Human Resources Officer, he served as Chief Business Operations and Services Officer at Sterling National Bank, where he directed the operations and service channels of the bank’s commercial, consumer and digital client segments.

Javier’s career started at GreenPoint Bank working in Deposit Operations. He then held various HR positions at leading companies across the banking industry, including National Financial Services Corp (Fidelity Investment Company), HSBC USA, TD Bank, Astoria Bank, and Sterling National Bank.

Committed to community, Javier holds positions on several boards and community organizations, some of which include National Association for African Americans in HR, YMCA of Long Island, Education Africa, and United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island, to name a few.

Javier earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and an M.S. from New York Institute of Technology.

Rovena Schirling

Rovena Schirling

Lifelong Friend and Former Board Chair of the TAA

Rovena first became involved with the Tourette Association of America when her youngest son was diagnosed with TS at the age of nine. She has served as a board member and chair at the TAA for over 23 years. Although her career working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and her service as a trustee and board chair of the Queens Botanical Garden and other organizations is highly rewarding, she still considers her most important job to be wife, mother, and mother-in-law. Rovena’s husband Bob, a retired partner at Ernst & Young, her three amazing sons and daughter-in-law, all continue to remind her of what is most important on a daily basis.

TAA Global Ambassador

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Aidy Smith

Co-Founder, Producer and Presenter at The Three Drinkers

Aidy Smith is an award-winning TV presenter and journalist. As one of the world’s only TV hosts with Tourette Syndrome, Aidy shines the light on diversity empowerment and is the Executive Producer and Presenter of THE THREE DRINKERS series on Amazon Prime. Currently on its third season, the show is distributed to 120 countries worldwide in 39 languages. He has also just launched a major documentary on BBC Radio 4, THE TRUTH ABOUT TOURETTE’S which for the first time in media history reframes the condition as a Superpower instead of a deficit.

With over a decade of journalism experience, Aidy writes the regular drinks articles including a weekly column for The Evening Standard. He’s also the Global Brand Ambassador for Vivino, the world’s largest wine marketplace and community, with over 52 million users. His irreverent presenting and unique social media style has led to him having one of the largest Instagram followings within the drinks industry.

As a keen LGBTQIA+ and Disability Diversity spokesperson, he frequently hosts motivational speaking classes and corporate seminars to inspire others through his own experiences and is a frequent moderator and panellist in forums. Aidy has become a known figure for championing disabilities across the board and empowering people from all walks of life to see their true potential.


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David Begnaud

CBS News Correspondent and TS Advocate

David Begnaud is the lead national correspondent for “CBS Mornings” based in
New York. He joined the Network in 2015 and his reporting — featured across
all CBS News broadcasts and platforms including the “CBS Evening News,” “48
Hours,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and the CBS News Streaming Network, CBS
News’ premier 24/7 anchored streaming news service — has earned him some
of journalism’s most prestigious awards.

One of Begnaud’s most notable assignments was his coverage of Hurricane
Maria when it hit Puerto Rico in October 2017. He spent more time covering Puerto Rico’s
recovery than any other network news correspondent, traveling to the island countless
times and breaking numerous significant stories. His distinctive, unmatched reporting
resulted in government action, and throughout the crisis, he delivered sustained coverage on
all platforms — especially on social media. His coverage of Hurricane Maria earned him the
prestigious George Polk Award for public service in 2018, which was the first time given to
a journalist since 1978. The award, as the nominating committee states, places “a premium
on investigative work that is original, resourceful and thought-provoking.” Begnaud also
received Radio Television Digital News Association’s First Amendment Leadership Award
for his significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of
the press.



The Moelis Family Foundation

Webster Bank

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Diane Mallah

Rovena Schirling


Carol and Stephen Barron

Choice Hotels International

Guess Foundation

Ghada and Ray Irani

Monte Redman

Jasmine Tarkoff


The Zemsky Family Fund

Asness Family Foundation


David and Meredith Kaplan

Jonathan and Maya Nelson



Doyle Corp

Karen and David Sachs

TAA New York Hudson Valley Chapter




Debbie and Mark Charitable Fund

National Amusements Inc.

Arie and Ida Crown Memorial Fund

The Travelers Companies, Inc.

The Ressler Family Foundation

Kate Solomon

Susan Courey

Crown Family Philanthropies

crown family philanthropies


Debbie and Mark Charitable Fund

National Amusements Inc.

The Travelers Companies, Inc.

The Ressler Family Foundation


Doyle Corp

Investors Bank

investors bank logo

Contact Brianna Falcone for more information at brianna.falcone@tourette.org or 718-224-2999 Ext. 227