The Young Professionals Group

The Young Professionals (YP) Group of the Tourette Association of America (TAA) is a network of advocates in the New York metro area supporting those with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. Together, they raise awareness and foster social acceptance through service, networking and professional development opportunities.


YP is a collective of young adults raising awareness and working toward social acceptance for Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders through networking, professional development, service, and social activities.

• Increase the TAA YP footprint in the NY Metro Area
• Spread awareness for TS and Tic Disorders
• Fundraise by tapping into the Young Professionals network
• Provide unique and valuable opportunities to the YP community


The Young Professionals Group convenes monthly. For the time being, we will host virtual meetings.

The first Young Professionals event was held on March 11, 2020 at Raise NYC. It was a great success and we look forward to future gatherings!

The TAA Young Professionals Advisory Board

Irene Courey – Chair
Irene manages the Marketing and Communications efforts at Gray Scalable, a New York based company offering custom HR solutions to start-up and growth stage organizations. She graduated from the University of Kansas, School of Journalism with a BS in Strategic Communications. Irene’s journey with Tourette Syndrome began when her brother was diagnosed at just six years old, and in recent years she has been a strong advocate, participating in TAA community events and sitting on the TAA Gala Committee.

Evyennia Kontoulis
Evyennia is the Development Associate, Team Tourette Manager and Young Professionals Liaison for the Tourette Association of America. She joined the TAA in early 2019 and focuses on a variety of fundraising projects such as the National Walk, the Illinois Classic and Ladies’ Game Day, NYC Marathon and the annual Gala. Prior to her work with the TAA, she held the elected board position of Director of Community Outreach and Events for the Ambridge Regional Chamber of Commerce in Western Pennsylvania. She remains committed to her work as President of the largest chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association junior women’s affiliate, the Maids of Athena.

Shelby Culli
Born and raised in the Midwest, Shelby found her way to New York City to begin her career in Public Relations after graduating from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri with a B.A. in Public Relations. She is currently a PR Associate at Winebow, a national importer and distribution company that offers a dynamic portfolio of fine wine and spirits from around the world. Shelby began her journey with TAA in 2019 and is excited to be advocating on behalf of the organization.

Felix Fernandez-Penny
Felix joins TAA’s Young Professionals Advisory Board eager to shed light on this important, often misunderstood condition. With a diverse background spanning professional engagements in the entertainment industry, hard sciences, and government, Felix currently works with the Brand Strategy team at marketing and communications consultancy Weber Shandwick. When otherwise occupied, Felix performs with the Oratorio Society of New York and is studying for his second certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Felix graduated from Cornell University in 2018.

Brittany Edghill
Brittany is the Program Administrator for the Undergraduate Programs at NYU’s School of Global Public Health. Having worked in higher education for over 5 years, she enjoys being a resource for students as they embark on their academic and professional journeys. In addition, she works closely with faculty to conduct research to enhance the undergraduate curriculum. Brittany is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is excited to join TAA’s efforts to raise awareness and amplify the voices of those living with TS.


Daniel McGarvey
Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dan moved to New York City after graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His involvement with the TAA dates back nearly ten years when he joined the TAA delegation in Washington D.C. to lobby members of congress to increase CDC funding for Tourette related research.  He now works as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley.”

Michael Leopold 
Michael works as an HR strategist and consultant at Xerox. He collaborates with company leaders to plan and execute talent management and organizational development initiatives. He previously held HR consulting roles at Mercer and Two Sigma Investments. Michael’s involvement with TAA began in 2008 when he became a youth ambassador and began speaking publicly about neurological conditions. Since that time, he has mentored countless individuals with TS to ensure their continued success academically, socially, and professionally. Michael graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Cognitive Science, focusing in Behavioral Economics.

Athanasios Barakaris
Athanasios is the AVP Branch Manager at Investors Bank. He currently oversees the Bayside Branch, in Queens. Athanasios has been in banking for over 17 years. Prior to joining Investors Bank, Athanasios started his banking career with Chase. As a branch manager Athanasios knows the importance of serving his clients and the community. He has been involved in the Hellenic Community helping serve several organizations. Athanasios was born in New York but was raised in Greece. He returned to the US to pursue his personal development and career. He is looking forward to joining TAA’s efforts to raise awareness for those living with Tourette’s Syndrome.

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