Denise Pollard is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and the Founder/President and CEO of CLASS. Denise has been studying, researching, and applying the science of behavior analysis for over 25 years. While completing her undergraduate work, she was directly involved in applying the work that renown UCLA professor Dr. Ivar Lovaas published cementing the significant findings that ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), specifically Discrete Trail Training, has in its application with children who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Subsequently, Denise received her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of the Pacific in 2000. At that time, University of the Pacific is one of only a very few brick- and- mortar graduate programs in the nation that offers a concentration in ABA with a 100% pass rate on the BCBA examination.
Denise's ability to connect with both children and families, impacted with autism, prompted her to form her own company, The Center for Learning and Autism Support Services (CLASS), Inc. in 2003. Since opening its doors, Denise has grown her company to employ hundreds of therapists, Clinical Directors, and Regional Directors and is considered to be among the leaders in the industry, as well as having national leadership recognition in autism insurance reform (SB946). Denise has been known to sponsor and underwrite a wide variety of autism non-profit organizations in an effort to give back to the community and help find a cure for autism.
Denise stays very active in both national and international chapters of the Autism Society of America; The Association for Behavior Analysis; The Association for Professional Behavior Analysts; California Association for Behavior Analysis: Autism Speaks; and has been invited to serve as a collaborative member for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health at Stanford University.
Known for her expertise, Denise has been a featured expert on the Emmy award winning public affairs show Beyond the Headlines.
A panel of independent judges selected Denise Pollard as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in Northern California. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. This award is recognized as the most prestigious award in business, world-wide.
In 2017, The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) recognized Denise's corporation, CLASS, with an accreditation acknowledging the business as a behavioral service provider committed to continuous improvement in Applied Behavior Analysis service delivery. The Accreditation represents behavioral health providers committed to continuous peer review, measurement for outcome analysis and strives to excel in areas of clinical quality, staff satisfaction and qualifications, and consumer satisfaction. These areas are measured via a wide-ranging audit, including interviews with agency clinical leadership, a detailed staff qualification review, anonymous staff satisfaction survey, and anonymous consumer satisfaction survey.
In 2019 Denise was invited to serve as a member of the Female Founder Collective, which is a network of businesses led by women, supporting women. Their mission is to enable and empower female owned and led businesses to positively impact our communities, both socially and economically. The community of the collective enables women to connect with other women in order to give vetted resources around capital, growing their business and operating more efficiently.