Early Autism Services Announces Mareiko Au CEO Effective April 1st, 2021.
“My dream is for people to be happy working at EAS…By creating more powerful leaders, we create more powerful technicians who can change more lives.”
Mareiko is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a Master of Arts in Teaching with a Specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology.
A message from our new CEO, Mareiko Au.
As I sit and reflect on the journey that got me here, I can definitely say that it has been a great honor to share my passion with many of you. If I was ever sure of anything throughout my life, it is that I wanted to empower children and work with people to become the best version of themselves. I definitely went through many job experiences before calling EAS “home”. Upon finding my job at Early Autism Services, I was very specific about what I wanted in my next “job” and it was to work somewhere that cared about what they did and about the people who worked there. I came from California, where there were as many ABA companies as there were McDonald’s. I didn’t want that. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to make a difference and I didn’t want to be a number. What did that mean for me to be happy at my job? Well, that meant that I received the proper training, proper support and I made an impact in a child’s life.
I remember my interview as vividly as I remember my first day of training. In my interview, I asked “what makes you stand out from other ABA agencies?”. The answer was simple, “We care about what we do and we care about how we do it”. Sounds simple, but in practice, easy to lose sight of.
My first day of training was intense, very detailed and very specific about how we conducted ABA therapy, you could actually feel the passion in the intensity of my trainer. She wanted me to be great. As I met more people in this company, many had this same passion for being the best. I wanted to be better because everyone around me was so wonderful at their job, so I kept raising the bar for myself. How could I teach a skill better? How could I train better and how could I lead better? How could I keep my teams, families and clients happy? In every position as I worked my way up, I always asked those questions. It brought me joy to teach a kid a word, or to catch a ball, or ride a bike. It also brought me joy to teach a technician to teach better or really become independent in the way they learned to acclimate to different learners. I was thrilled to watch technicians become leaders and eventually BCBA’s leading teams. It motivated me to empower them. By creating more powerful leaders, we created more powerful technicians who could change more lives and bring more kids into care.
When I left my clinical role I thought it would leave a huge void in my heart, but I quickly found that my “why” stayed the same, but on a different level. I still asked the same questions, but they were tailored towards things like how to create efficiencies on an organizational level and how to remove barriers so that everyone is working towards the same cause. My positions may have changed over the years, but my “why” remains the same: to work with people to reach their potential – potential beyond what they may even see that they are capable of.
In a recent interview, I was asked “what is your dream for the company?”. I had the simplest answer, for people to be happy working here. While that sounds so cliché, it isn’t an easy thing to achieve. This simple concept requires not just one person, but many people to work together to create this. Even the best leaders can’t simply conjure happiness, we must all work together to create it. There is an African proverb that says “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together”. In this day, there are a lot of ABA providers for people to choose from. We can’t just say we are the best, we need to prove it, and for us to really ensure we are relevant years from now, we need to “run together”. As I step into the CEO position, I ask that we work together creating not only the best versions of ourselves and each other, but work at creating a company that we can all be proud to work for. It is in raising the bar for ourselves, that we continue to raise the bar for the children we service.