About Spectrum Thrift Store
Our mission is to give employment opportunities to individuals with autism and developmental delays.
Because everyone deserves to thrive.
How We Got Started
Do you remember the feeling of your first paycheck? How proud you were? How independent you felt and how excited you were to be rewarded for your hard work? Up to 80% of individuals with autism are unemployed or under-employed. Spectrum Thrift Store is hoping to change that statistic, one person at a time.
Spectrum Thrift Store began as the vision of two parents, Mark and Alisa Tillman, who had begun to realize that the employment opportunities for their teenage son, Lucas, were limited because of his struggles with autism. While they knew that Lucas was capable of working hard, getting the opportunity for employment was difficult. With a heart to change that, Mark and Alisa founded Spectrum Thrift Store with a handful of other special needs parents as members of their Board of Directors with the collective vision of a store being run almost entirely by special needs individuals of all abilities.
In addition to training special needs teens and adult for employment, we have the hope of helping them gain experience and confidence to move forward in their career goals, for a lifetime of independence and gainful employment.
The store also partners with ESE classrooms and educational opportunities around the city for children and teens with Developmental Delays by hosting a monthly “Give Back” campaign to these programs. We have donated over $10,000 since our opening day to Autism programs in St. John’s and Jacksonville.
Meet the Spectrum Thrift Store Board Members
Mark & Alisa Tillman, Owners
Mark Tillman was raised in Fort Mill, SC and is a native from Charlotte, NC who moved to Jacksonville in 2011 to work for a non-profit housing corporation called NACA. This organization would help distressed homeowners from losing their homes by seeking loan modifications from all banks and investors such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Working in Charlotte and Jacksonville with the banking industry in mortgages and default, Mark has helped clients buy and stay in houses for 15 years. He is married to Alisa Tillman and they have 2 children, Tyler (17) and Lucas (13). After Lucas was diagnosed with autism, Mark decided that he would need skills to be able to move on to corporate America. Mark originally wanted to buy a business as his vision had moved from helping Lucas to helping all autistic children, and the idea of Spectrum Thrift Store was born.
With a Bachelor in Business from the University of South Carolina, Mark has worked in the business industry for 30 years and has been a small business consultant for the past 5 years. He currently works with ADT small business in a sales capacity and belongs to an BNI group that has multiple contacts for small business in Palencia Florida.
Alisa Tillman was born in Tallahassee, Florida And went to Florida A&M University where she majored in education. Having an autistic son, she has a passion for working with autistic and individuals with developmental delays. She is also a very experienced thrifter, which is where the Spectrum Thrift Store idea arose.
Liz Zurn, Director of Development
Liz has been an advocate in the Autism community for over 11 years. Originally from the DC area, she has a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park. Liz was a member of the Virginia Autism Project and the Walk for Autism Speaks, DC committee.
Liz Zurn, Director of Development
Bilyana is a 26 year management and business development veteran. As principal of Insurance Insights Consulting, Bilyana is responsible for leading growth initiatives for up and coming companies specializing in health insurance and related services. When not working, Bilyana focuses on her hobbies of cooking, gardening and travel. She lives with her husband and two children in Northeast Florida.
After her oldest son Jack was diagnosed with Autism at age 2, Liz went back to school to FIT to study for her BCaBA and worked as an ABA therapist for several years before returning to the advocacy side of the Autism community. She was the Autism Speaks Coordinator for Jacksonville and later a community education liaison for them. She founded and ran the STAR Group, a parent led support group for families of newly diagnosed children, and she runs with Ainsley’s Angels, a fitness organization that runs 5k races while pushing racers with physical challenges in modified wheelchairs.
Other than advocacy, her passions are cooking, running and ministry through her church. Liz has been married to her husband Jason for nearly 15 years and has three children, Jack, Chance and Scarlett.
Join the Spectrum Team!
We are happy to say that we are a thrift store that offers Autism employment. We have a number of autistic employees that are hardworking, charismatic and happy to be helping others. If you or someone you know is looking for employment, come and see us. Join a team that takes care of their employees and customers with the utmost professionalism and care. Potential employees may apply for employment after completing 30 volunteer hours.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Questions about gifts or item donations? Drop by the store, call, or send us a message below! We'll get back with you as soon as we can. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Monday - Saturday
9am - 6pm
12pm - 5pm