Kevin Russo

M.A., BCBA, LABA, President

Kevin is owner and President of the Corporation. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports/Fitness Administration from UMASS Boston in 1988 and a Master’s Degree in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMB in 1996. His Master’s thesis (published and copyrights 1996) was on Applying Critical and Creative Thinking to Sports Psychology and Motivation. Kevin’s relative coursework included: Advanced Cognitive Psychology, Multiple Perspectives in the Classroom, Education Curriculum and Design, Moral and Social Issues, Critical Thinking, Educational Intervention, and Issues in Educational Evaluation.

Kevin’s professional career began mostly at the Walter E. Fernald State School, where he gained invaluable experience supporting people with Intellectual Disabilities, including Autism and Down syndrome. His background also includes health club management for 10 years, Director of Residential Support for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), (where he worked for 15 years), Director of Day Programs for South Norfolk ARC, and High School Wrestling Coach for over 30 years. Kevin has coached 3 different teams to their best years ever, has over 400 wins and has coached both League and Sectional Championship teams. He has been selected as Coach of the Year on several occasions, and was inducted into the Massachusetts Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012, the Watertown High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2017, the Waltham High School Athletic Hall of Fame (as a member of the 1983 and 1984 wrestling teams), and the National Wrestling Coaches HOF in 2019. He served on the Massachusetts Coaching Executive Board for High School wrestling and is a former official for the sport as well. Kevin was a competitive natural bodybuilder from 1987-1990, competing only in drug-tested contests.

While working at DDS, Kevin served as a Labor Relations Hearings Officer, and he has also served on several Human Rights Committees over the years. He worked at Franciscan Children’s Hospital as a Mental Health Specialist for 2 years, and he worked at the Weaver Center as a Fitness and Behavioral Consultant prior to embarking on the ARISE journey. Kevin became a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) in 2012 and became a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LABA) in 2015. He has proudly assembled a top quality team at ARISE and continues to learn from each staff member. He enjoys helping individuals and families develop adaptive behavior changes through learning new skills that provide more socially appropriate opportunities for reinforcement. With over 30 years experience in the field of human services and behavior analysis, Kevin has an extensive background working with individuals diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, and many other profiles.