It was a labor of love when finance executive Lynda Tache launched the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation in 2009 to connect families affected by autism with the resources they need.
“There’s a lot of focus on early intervention,” said Tache, whose son, Grant, was diagnosed with the disorder at age 5. “But once the child is diagnosed, it’s like no one has any answers for what to do next.”
Tache’s organization began by offering financial assistance, social programs, and vocational opportunities to individuals with autism. Then in October 2016, she partnered with her alma mater and longtime friend Gary Ackerman to form the UNLV Medicine Ackerman Center for Autism, a one-stop-shop for services that include diagnostics, treatment, and behavioral therapy.
“It was like the stars and moon all aligned, and everything was coming together full-circle,” Tache said in reference to the Ackerman Center.
A true Rebel at heart, Tache beams with unmistakable pride when describing her college experience. And although she’s walked an unconventional path since graduating from the Hotel School, she emphasizes the need for hospitality in all career fields—especially health care.
“I know what it’s like to feel that people don’t understand or don’t care about what you’re going through,” Tache said. “So, it’s important that we give our clients a safe place to come and feel like they belong. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.”