Gabriel Alliance champions Neurodiversity in the workplace. We identify and align the exceptional strengths and skills of prospective employees—who are on the Autism Spectrum, or have Asperger Syndrome or other neurological differences—with businesses seeking innovative talent to help them solve challenges in new ways. Our mission is to remove the barrier of uncertainty, and to empower, educate and prepare both the employee and company for a seamless transition and lasting partnership.
A Personal Story
The parent of two charismatic boys—one of whom was diagnosed with Autism just before the age of two—Ileana is a transparent and unapologetically passionate advocate for the inclusion, support and acceptance of people who are neurologically different.
Ileana’s journey began when attempting to find the right educational environment for each of her children and was suddenly catapulted into a world that offers little in terms of neurodiversity acceptance for her autistic son in neither educational nor social settings.
She faced disheartening challenges and found minimal support while in search for an inclusive environment that could nurture her son’s gifts and talents and challenge him academically, while providing the necessary educational and environmental adjustments needed to optimize his personal learning experience.
Her unrelenting fight for neurodiversity in the educational setting eventually yielded the support and acceptance that allows each of her sons to thrive in supportive, nurturing environments that meet each of their individual needs.
Ileana wondered however, “If this has been so difficult for my son as a child, what will happen when I’m no longer here? Who will help his fight for his right to be included, accepted and valued as a different type of thinker in this world?” She realized that she was merely one of millions who struggle to prevent their neurologically different loved ones from never being rightfully challenged to reach their full potential or given the opportunity to share their unique skills and gifts with society.
She was inspired to become a champion for neurodiversity in the workplace when her quest for deeper knowledge led to the heartbreaking revelation that many autistic adults struggle to live productive, independent lives due to lack of support and acceptance in the workplace and greater community. Ignorance and lack of information leads to systemic and unfair treatment and prejudice.
Ileana has blended her unique leadership abilities and expertise in the areas of business, healthcare and technology with her passion to serve as a voice for Autistic individuals seeking employment opportunities equal to their valuable talents and unique abilities.
Her gift for educating others and helping to transform perceptions and stereotypes, combined with her professional talent of fostering cultural shifts in organizations, serve as the foundation for the Gabriel Alliance mission.
Her singular aim is to help Autistic adults foster thriving partnerships with companies that value and accept different kinds of minds – knowing that one day, her son will live in a more accepting and supportive world because of her efforts and those of other neurodiversity advocates.
Ileana Starwood is a passionate champion for neurodiversity in the workplace. Those passions, combined with her top-tier communication and team-building skills, are the foundation of Gabriel Alliance.
Prior to launching Gabriel Alliance, Ileana held leadership positions with the world’s preeminent provider of recovery audit services; a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical distributor and health care information technology company; and worked for a top-ranked U.S. health care system. More recently, Ileana led the outsourcing operations and information technology program for an industry-leading benefits and human resources advisory firm.
Ileana is a catalyst for organizational transformation. She has an exceptional ability to identify operational gaps—and then fill those gaps with enhanced structures and processes to elevate an organization’s operations to a standard of excellence.
She believes in building teams where every member plays a crucial role, drawing upon their unique talents to ensure a meaningful contribution and job satisfaction. An adept communicator, Ileana excels at managing client relationships and partnering with stakeholders at all levels within an organization—from the corporate suite to the cubicle farm.
She is also no stranger to adversity when it comes to achieving career objectives. As a Hispanic female and senior leader in the Information Technologies sector (a field which is male dominated), Ileana broke through barriers as a direct result of her determination and commitment to excellence in everything she does.
Ileana earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Health Information from International College in Naples, FL. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and has completed a core Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Greensboro, N.C. Ileana’s specific areas of expertise include:
+ Activating Corporate Initiatives
+ Workforce planning and developing high performance teams
+ Skills training and onboarding programs
+ Client support and professional services
+ Process improvement and automation
+ Quality assurance and regulatory compliance
Ileana believes that difference matters. She recognizes that like children, adults who are wired differently deserve acceptance and the opportunity to contribute their talents in a professional capacity. She believes business goals and expectations can be met by any individual, even those perceived to think, act, or behave outside of stereotypical norms, when given the right guidance and support. Specifically, the support and guidance offered by Gabriel Alliance.