The Young Professionals Group

The Young Professionals (YP) Group of the Tourette Association of America (TAA) is a network of advocates 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
• Spread awareness for TS and Tic Disorders
• Fundraise by tapping into the Young Professionals network
• Provide unique and valuable opportunities to the YP community

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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 Committee


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.

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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.


Michael Leopold

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.

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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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Usman Baig
Usman is an Associate on the Special Investments Private Equity team at Brookfield Asset Management. He has been involved with the TAA since 2020, having joined to raise awareness and promote advocacy for Tourette’s and those affected. Usman also serves on the New York Associate Board of Teach for America and Junior Board of New Alternatives for Children. Usman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and Mathematics from Queen’s University.

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