RE:CON 2022

re:con 2022 Presenters
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re:con 2022 Presenter Bios

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KEYNOTE: Jordan Levin

All good things start with YOU.

Jordan understands that phrase on the cellular level. He’s been a fighter since the day he was born—three months premature, weighing only 31 ounces. Two years later, Jordan’s parents discovered that he was deaf. They were told that he would never learn to speak. Through dedication and hard work, Jordan’s parents taught him to use his residual hearing. Jordan instinctively taught himself to read lips, which has helped him to navigate the shoals of a hearing world. Today, Jordan inspires others through his motivational speaking and CrossFit coaching to begin a journey of expanding their inner vision by focusing on themselves. His goal? To help people excel in their endeavors and realize that all good things start from within.

Energetic and bold, after graduating with a Business degree from Michigan State University (1999), he purchased and ran a printing company, putting into practice his business instincts and acumen. In 2004, he sold the company and entered Target’s corporate management training program. At the same time he earned a Florida real estate license. Subsequently, he found his heart wasn’t in these forms of businesses.

In 2005 Jordan became a certified personal trainer, studying anatomy and kinesiology to deepen his understanding of how muscle groups operate and relate to each other. His knowledge of body mechanics is innate; he grew up playing hockey, skiing, and a variety of other sports.

In 2009 he opened his CrossFit Gym in Bloomfield, Michigan where he inspires his clients to see themselves as team players. Everyday he motivates men and women to become the best they can be. Jordan knows All Good Things Start With YOU.

KEYNOTE: Katie Oswald

Katie Oswald is a nonprofit founder, facilitator, and autistic self-advocate. She founded Full Spectrum Agency for Autistic Adults in 2018. Through Full Spectrum Agency, she facilitates peer support groups, social and recreational activities, and other programs for over 700 group members. Katie partners with organizations throughout Michigan to teach sexuality education, social and communication skills for relationships, self-determination, and pre-employment skills. She also advocates for autistic adults through corporate workshops, conferences, and community presentations.

An avid traveler, Katie learned the majority of her self-advocacy and leadership skills through world travel. She has visited 18 countries on all seven continents, including two years in Uganda with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Aimee Szabo

Aimee Szabo is a dedicated leader and an experienced vocational rehabilitation and workforce development professional. Aimee is the Vocational Services Manager at Services to Enhance Potential (STEP) and recently received her master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she was named 2020 Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar. In 2021, Aimee was elected as a council member of the Metro Detroit Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators, where she is serving a two-year term. Aimee found her calling to public service while serving as a community organizer with AmeriCorps’ Detroit Urban Safety Program at Wayne State University.

Alics Dillard

Alics Dillard is currently the Manager of the Specialized Employment and Training program at Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. Alics is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 20 years of experience working with the I/DD population. Alics has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Community Inclusion from Wayne State University. 

Amanda Matthews

Amanda Matthews is currently a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor / Program Manager at Michigan Career and Technical Institute. She supports students in the Career Readiness Center, Culinary Arts, Commercial Printing and Construction trade programs. Prior to MCTI, Amanda worked with individuals with employment barriers and transition youth with Michigan Rehabilitation Services, MIWorks! and Goodwill Industries of SWMI. Amanda earned her B.S. in Psychology at Central Michigan University and her Master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Michigan University.  

Amy Maes

Amy Maes is currently the Associate Director for Disability Network Eastern Michigan. She has been working with Michigan’s Disability Community for over 23 years. Before working with DNOM, Amy served as the Leadership & Advocacy Consultant for Disability Network Michigan (DNM). Amy is formerly the Director of the Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL) the Center for Independent Living (CIL) serving the entire Upper Peninsula (UP). Amy is also a practicing attorney licensed in the State of Michigan and served as the Director of Litigation for Michigan Protection & Advocacy Services, Inc.

Annette Downey

Annette Downey has over 29 years of experience working with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has worked at all levels within mental health and long-term care service systems, and knows the impact of merging public policy with day to day practice. Annette regularly speaks on the topics of Person-Centered Planning, Self-Directed Supports, Employment & Income Generation, Individualized Housing, and Community-Based Service Provision. Her approach is person-centered, collaborative, and all about empowering people to lead their own lives to the fullest extent possible (with supports as needed). Annette is a trainer and consultant for the Center for Self-Determination and serves as the President/CEO of Community Living Services in Michigan. 

Anthony Marcellini

Anthony Marcellini is the PASC Program Manager, and has been leading the PASC program since the Fall of 2020. He is an educator, curator, writer, and artist. He has produced exhibitions, lectures, public cultural events, and projects, with a focus on social practice, public art, and disabilities, in cultural venues and universities across the world. For over 9 years he has taught studio art, curatorial practice, theory, and art and design history, at colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. From 2018 to 2020, he was the Programs and Exhibitions Manager of the Friendship Circle Soul Studio, a studio for adults with disabilities in West Bloomfield, MI. At Soul Studio Marcellini expanded the studio program and worked to align Soul Studio to the history and ideology of progressive art studios and disability culture. He introduced disabled artists into the Greater Detroit art scene and brought visibility to the artwork of the artists with disabilities of Soul Studio. Marcellini received his MFA in 2009 from California College of the Arts with a concentration in Social Practice.

Belinda L. Jones

Belinda L. Jones, founder, and Director of training and placement assistance is a graduate of WSU holding a MA in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Community Inclusion, and a BBA from Cleary University. Our team collectively has over 20 years’ experience in corporate, and remote customer service which has broadened our capabilities to offer a comprehensive training program and placement assistance to persons with disabilities.

Caleb Rutledge

President and CEO of Goodwill’s Green Works Vice President, GIGD

As a highly accomplished executive with extensive experience in advertising, marketing strategy, project management, digital media planning and vertical integration, Mr. Rutledge is currently the President and CEO of Goodwill Green Works (GGW) a subsidiary of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit (GIGD). Mr. Rutledge is responsible for leading the organization in every aspect of the business including, diversifying revenue streams and ensuring profitability while delivering quality service. His responsibilities also include the overall safety initiatives in GGW, GIGD and commercial sales and operations. As a member of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit’s Executive team, he helps set the organization’s strategic direction and contributes to the entire organization’s successful execution of the strategic plan. Prior to joining GGW, Rutledge held several positions at Habitat for Humanity Detroit including: Director of Operations, ReStore Director, and Procurement Manager. During his tenure at Habitat in partnership with the board and CEO, Rutledge was pivotal in executing and implementing a turnaround strategy. As an aspiring young professional Rutledge recognized the importance of giving back to his community. As a result of his commitment to community, he co-founded the non-profit Legacy Associates Foundation (LAF), which focused on economic empowerment, scholastic achievement, and community involvement.

Carla Dean

Carla Dean is the Director of Employment and Training at STEP. For the past 23 years she has worked in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training for diverse populations.  Recognized for excellence in a myriad of Vocational Rehabilitation & Human Resources functions; she is passionate about creating employment opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds and abilities while helping businesses meet their targets. Carla has a BA in Psychology and MBA in Integrated Management, both from Michigan State University.

Carol Bergquist

Carol Bergquist, Ph.D., is the Director of Project: VISIONS, at the Hannahville Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carol has served as Director of VISIONS since the Project was funded in 1995.  In addition to the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) grant, Carol also manages the Three Fires Supportive Housing Program (Clean and Sober Living) and Hannahville Works, an on-reservation work pool for VISIONS’ clients and others in need of a jump start support program to employment.

Carol’s career commitment to people with disabilities began as a Special Education Teacher in 1975 and continued as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in 1977. In 1985, Carol directed the initial statewide implementation of Supported Employment in Michigan, through an innovative system change federal grant at Michigan State University. Carol also owned University Associates, a research firm specializing in program evaluation of public and grant funded disability and social services programs in Michigan.  It was through University Associates, that Carol was first invited to Hannahville, to assist tribal leaders in their effort to attain an AIVRS Grant. She traveled to Hannahville for a week in 1989 to meet community leaders and members, and has stayed 30 years!

Carol is active in the in Michigan’s Council for Rehabilitation Services (MCRS), currently serving as Chair. She lives in Escanaba, Michigan, where she enjoys yoga, kayaking, and camping, and engaging with many local benefits and community activities. Carol has 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren, who love visiting Grandma in the UP of Michigan.

Chip Werner

A versatile and energetic professional with more than 25 years of experience in strategic prospecting, rapport building, and product or service knowledge. Chip is highly adept at providing exceptional customer service and leadership for making sound business decisions in complex situations and changing environments. As Associate Director for Disability Network Eastern Michigan (DNEM), Chip has works to enhance communication accessibility through adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). He also guides community relations and outreach efforts for DNEM which serves Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.

Christa Martin

Christa Martin, MRC, CRC is the Disability & Community Outreach Specialist for DirectEmployers Association’s Strategic Partnerships & Alliances team. She works closely with their Member companies to educate them on how they can work with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other disability organizations to promote and implement better DEIB strategies, accessibility, and connect with VR services for improved recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities. She received her CRC in the fall of 2012 and is LPCA qualified. Christa previously worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist Certified with the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Employer Services Branch, as well as being the Disability Services Coordinator and a Psychology Professor at Kentucky State University. She is Treasurer of the National Rehabilitation Association of Job Placement & Development and their Division Representative to the National Rehabilitation Association Board of Directors, as well as former National Rehabilitation Association Secretary. She is best known for her personal and professional development training around the country, especially regarding ethics. Christa has presented at numerous state, regional, national, and international conferences on different topics of interest and research, including re:con 2018 and 2019 where she was the inaugural opening keynote speaker. She also co-authored and edited two textbook chapters for human services and rehabilitation counseling college students on Ethics & Ethical Decision Making and Resume Development. 

David Gnegy

David Gnegy is the Director of Employment Services at MMI. David started his career at MMI as an Employment Specialist. He quickly transitioned into the Youth Services Manager role at MMI, and now he is settling into his new role with the organization’s executive team. David is a native of Holland, Michigan, and has been living in Mt. Pleasant since 2019. David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2019 from Cleary University and his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University in 2021.

Dawn Dodson 

She is responsible for community outreach, automotive mobility solutions education, and field marketing activities for Superior Van & Mobility. In July 2015, Dawn became a National Mobility Dealer’s Association certified CAMS-HP (Comprehensive Automotive Mobility Solutions) instructor. The program offers continuing education credits to health care professionals (AOTA & ADED) and/or can be included as part of the classroom curriculum to colleges and universities. Prior to Superior, Dawn was a Marketing Director and Manager in the Technology Industry for five years working alongside C-Level Executives implementing comprehensive sales and marketing strategies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Organizational Leadership with a minor in Marketing from Anderson University in 2009. 

Dr. Beatrice Lee

Beatrice Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education. Her research focuses on malleable risk and protective factors that can help people with chronic health conditions and disabilities, such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, deal more effectively with stress. She is interested in exploring the extent protective psychosocial factors can reduce vulnerability to experiencing stress, and foster health and well-being. Her goal is to further inform the development and validation of positive psychology-based, stress management interventions to improve community participation and the quality of life for people with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Dr. Connie Sung

Dr. Connie Sung is an associate professor and director of the master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling at Michigan State University. She is the founder of the MSU Supporting Transition and Employment Preparation (STEP) Lab and the co-director of the MSU Center for Services, Training and Research for Independence and Desired Employment (STRIDE). Dr. Sung’s research interests focus on investigating the role of biopsychosocial factors and community-based interventions in improving school-to-work transition, career development, psychosocial adjustment and quality of life of individuals with disabilities. Dr. Sung is also a Mary Switzer Fellow awarded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). She is a five-time recipient of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) research award. She has published over 80 refereed journal articles and book chapters in the area of disability and rehabilitation and secured over USD$20 million in grant funding. She also serves as an associate editor of the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, the flagship journal of ARCA. As the principal investigator of Project STEMM-Up, Dr. Sung is ecstatic to collaborate on this multi-year and multi-state project and continue the longstanding partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

Dr. Hung Jen Kuo

Hung Jen Kuo, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University College of Education, is a research partner on the project, evaluating Avail on its usability and efficacy in helping people become more independent in their work tasks.

Ed Steinberger

Ed has worked in the human service non-profit arena for 28 years. He began his career as a Direct Support Worker at Wolverine Human Services (WHS), at an assessment center for adjudicated adolescent males. This was right after attaining his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. This was a life changing learning experience. Within eight months Ed moved into a role as a Treatment Director and Family Social Worker for the same agency providing wrap around supports, with the goal of family reunification for the youth he worked with.

After five years with WHS, Ed moved to JVS and became their Behavior Specialist. Ed worked there for 16 ½ years in a variety of positions including Career Initiative Center’s, Supervisor of the Internship to Employment program. Later, Ed was the Coordinator of Special Projects at JVS (during which he completed his Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership) when he was given the opportunity to work in partnership with the University of Michigan as a co-investigator on a unique R34 grant funded by the National Institutes of Health that developed and then delivered a short term (to be replicable at vocational rehabilitation centers by behavioral health staff) cognitive behavioral therapeutic treatment for homeless Detroit job seekers with Social Anxiety Disorder. The success of this research is documented in three peer reviewed publications in articles that Ed co-authored with the team. These articles were presented successfully at several national and international conferences on behavior and mental health. This led to the team receiving a larger RO1 dual site grant that was a partnership through JVS-Detroit, the University of Michigan, JVS-Los Angeles and the University of California Los Angeles.

As this second grant was in its infancy, Ed made the difficult decision to leave that team to come to Goodwill where he is currently the Director of the Detroit Career Center. In this position Ed is responsible for leadership and management of diverse behavioral health services programming with an emphasis on customer focused outcomes. Key responsibilities include identifying service needs and gaps and developing and implementing new and expanded services and strategies to meet those service needs. Extensive supervisory responsibilities for managing the entire service team at the Detroit Career Center is the primary role of this position.

Ed has established Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit’s Detroit Career Center as a place that helps people to become independent through supports delivered with dignity and respect and is proud of the service delivery that his team is providing.

Elizabeth Camfield

Elizabeth Camfield is the STEMM-Up Specialist at Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). In this role, she is overseeing the administration of the Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) grant awarded to MRS by the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration. She has her BA in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and MA in International Relations, and brings to this role personal experience with congenital hearing loss as well as professional experience with grant administration and project management.

Elizabeth Janks LMSW

Elizabeth has worked at MI-DDI for over 28 years. She is a social worker and educator, and has managed several projects surrounding caregivers of people with developmental disabilities and those that focus on health promotion for people with disabilities  

Frank Vaca

Frank Vaca is a Self-Advocate, Sexuality Educator, and Peer Mentor. Frank lives within the intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community and autism. He’s a Sexuality Educator for the Michigan Developmental Disability Council and part of the Leaders for Inclusion with the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. He is a certified Peer Mentor through behavioral health in Michigan. The Elevatus Training mission is meaningful to him because knowledge breaks down stereotypes and raises self-awareness to be autonomous. His interests, passions, and hobbies include: advocating, public speaking, creating digital art, reading, and watching empowering videos and blogs. 

Jay Wilber

Jay Wilber is currently Special Advisor to the President and CEO for Social Enterprise Development for Goodwill Integrated Solutions (GIS). Previously Jay was President and CEO of Goodwill’s Green Works (GGW). Both of those organizations are subsidiaries of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit (GIGD).

GIS is a packaging and kitting supplier to the auto and other US industries and are located in newly leased 160,000 ft2 building in Dearborn, MI. As part of its mission, GIS serves, intellectually challenged, formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals from the community and supports GIGD’s nonprofit mission to build pathways for people and communities to thrive through skills development, support services, and the power of work.

Prior to Goodwill, Jay worked for General Motors for over 40 years. He started his career in 1965 as a production worker; in 1978, he was appointed to the GM Industrial Relations Staff in Detroit. In 1988 he was named Director of HR for Delphi Automotive and retired in 2006 as Executive Director, Quality Network, a joint union-management process focused on global quality and production system requirements.

Jay, with a union counterpart, wrote “United We Stand”, a book published in 1996 by McGraw-Hill. Its 392 pages is a story of the GM-UAW quality journey including the development and implementation of the Quality Network, GM’s production system and quality process. The book was inspired by and dedicated to Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Jay has a BBA from the University of Michigan and a Certificate from the University of Toronto as a Personnel Manager; CPM Jay was an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, from January 2004-June 2006.

He has been married to Henrietta for fifty-six years. They have one son. Jay loves cars, people and making things happen.

Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown is the CEO and Co-Founder of Dutton Farm and Everybody Inc., a non-profit and social enterprise that work to remove barriers to community access and inclusion in the workforce. She founded Dutton Farm in honor of her sister who was born with Down Syndrome and struggled as an adult to find a place to put her many talents to use. She has spent the last decade relentlessly and fearlessly advocating for the rights and equal opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. Her work was instrumental in building Dutton Farm from 5 people and an annual budget of $25,000 in 2010 to 100 people and an annual budget of 1.2 million in 2019. She has supported individuals in entering the workforce, volunteerism, community engagement and higher education. Jenny earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from Oakland University. She was named in L Brooks 40 under 40 class of 2016 and Auburn Hills Chamber woman of the year in 2019. She has also led Dutton Farm to win Local and National Awards including: the National Down Syndrome Congress Employer of the Year Award, Chick Fil A’s True Inspiration Award, Rochester Chamber’s Non Profit of the Year Award and MIchBusiness Non-profit of the year award among others. She sits on the Rochester Hills Mayor advisory board for diversity and inclusion as well as a task force with Incompass Michigan for Direct Support Professionals. This year, Dutton Farm was named Corp! magazine champion for diversity and inclusion. She lead the way through the global pandemic for both her non-profit and social enterprise to stability and growth. Jenny lives in Lake Orion with her husband, Brent, who is a police officer and 5 children, 3 biological and 2 adopted. Jenny and her husband spent several years as foster parents and provided a temporary foster home for children of all ages. They have foster parented babies less than a year old, and children as old as 17 and everything in between. She is deeply passionate about social justice and using her talent to bring equality to those who have been treated unfairly.  

Jessica Diener

Jessica Diener serves as the Senior Manager of Vocational Services at Peckham where she has worked for the past 7 years. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds both her CRC and LPC. Her expertise lies in vocational evaluations services, serving individuals with developmental disabilities, and program development. Jessica has worked with both state vocational agencies, and the community mental health system in her roles at Peckham. She is graduate of both the Incompass Leadership Academy and Leadership Continuum, and currently serves as an Emerging Leader for the Incompass Board of Directors. Jessica’s professional interests are focused on the service development and delivery for individuals with disabilities, staff development, and leadership growth initiatives. She is the first pilot participant in Peckham’s Managerial Rotation Program. 

Kasey Koster

Kasey Koster is the Assistant Director and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Project: VISIONS. Kasey has a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin — Stout, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northern Michigan University, and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Kasey is an alumni of the Delta Force Leadership Program (2016), Incompass Michigan Leadership Academy (2019), and Incompass Michigan Leadership Continuum (2021).

Kasey currently lives in Escanaba, MI, and enjoys hiking, swimming, and exploring what the UP has to offer with her furbabies and significant other.

Katie Kinde

Katie Kinde is an adult with ASD, who loves learning and helping others learn. She was diagnosed earlier than many girls at the time, at the age of 11. 

Wanting to become a medical illustrator, she graduated from College for Creative Studies (with honors) with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in 2013.  After realizing her passion lies with helping others learn, she switched gears and went to Wayne State University from 2018 –2021 to obtain her Masters in Education with a focus in Learning Design and Technology.  While at Wayne State, she also was the Dean of Social Works Secretary, and managed much of the continuing education events and certificate distribution.  

She now works for Incompass Michigan as the Education and Administrative Coordinator, planning events, signing up for CEU’s and handling certificate distribution.  

Kathleen Larson

(Kathleen Osborne Larson, LLMSW, MPH, Health Education Coordinator at Autism Alliance of Michigan) Kathleen is a Limited Licensed Master Social Worker who has been working on behalf of children and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder since 2018. Kathleen graduated with her B.A. in Experimental Psychology, with a minor in Counselor Education, from the University of South Carolina in 2016. She then obtained both a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from the University of Georgia in 2018, focusing on community health promotion and program development. Prior to her move to Ann Arbor in June of 2020, Kathleen worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Marcus Autism Center, guiding families and children through initial ASD diagnosis, medical/behavioral treatment, severe behavior interventions, language acquisition treatment, and feeding disorder treatment. Kathleen has led a number of support groups for parents and caregivers over the years, and her personal goal is always to empower those tasked with helping an ASD-impacted loved one to access and best advocate for the services they need and deserve. As AAOM’s Health Education Coordinator, Kathleen is working to create and promote content and programs related to immunization and wellness efforts within the Autism community.

Kerrie Jackson

Kerrie Jackson is currently a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/Program Manager at Michigan Career and Technical Institute. She provides supportive guidance and counseling to Pharmacy Technician, Industrial Electronics, Retail Marketing, and Career Assessment students. Kerrie received her bachelor’s and Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University. She has over 20 years of social work experience including Intensive Case Manager with Goodwill Industries Work First program, Department of Health, and Human Services (Family Independence Specialist and Foster Care), Unemployment Insurance Agency specialist, Maternal Infant Health Social Worker with Allegan County Health Department, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with Michigan Rehabilitation Services/Holland Office. Kerrie was a private practice clinician with Plainwell Counseling Center and a State Contractual Clinician with Michigan Career and Technical Institute for six years. 

Kellie Blackwell

Kellie Blackwell is Co-Director for Michigan Disability Rights Coalition’s Michigan Assistive Technology Program. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Her passion for access often translates to a sharpened expertise for digital access; ensuring digital content is accessible for all people, no matter their situation. She has used her more than 25 years as a screen reader user to help ensure that organizations and businesses create and maintain accessible documents, websites, and social media platforms. Kellie appreciates and recognizes the importance of including everyone when using said platforms to promote equity and inclusion, while taking the time to create an accessible and meaningful experience for all. Kellie was appointed to the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services in 2020. In addition to her statewide service, she serves on the local advisory council for the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA). She earned a Bachelors in Business Administration from Northwood University as well as a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Michigan State University. Prior to joining MDRC, Kellie worked at Disability Network Capital Area, a Center for Independent Living, for over 11 years.

Kristen Milefchik MSW

Kristen Milefchik has a master’s degree in social work and is a Vaccine Advocate for Disability Rights Michigan. She has a disability and is a lifelong wheelchair user, Kristen is a member of Self-Advocates of Michigan (SAM) and serves on the board of directors of MI-UCP and Transportation Riders United (TRU). Kristen advocates at the community level by applying her educational, personal, and professional experience to bring greater awareness of disability access and inclusion issues.  

Kym Juntti

Kym Juntti is the Director of MORC Training. She is the current chair of the State Training Guidelines Workgroup, working under CMHAM to work towards state training reciprocity within the PIHP system. Kym is also a consultant for the DCW Advisory Committee and has worked for over 40-years supporting those with I/DD and MI at local, state and national levels. 

Lakisha Foreman

Vocational Training Specialist Intern and Job Placement Specialist, studying psychology and law at Wayne State University.

Lauren Swanson-Aprill, M.A. 

Lauren Swanson-Aprill, M.A., serves as a Direct Care Workforce (DCW) Specialist with the MDHHS, Bureau of Aging, Community Living, and Supports. She co-leads the DCW Advisory Committee and related workgroups to develop and implement policies and procedures to benefit the direct care workforce. Additionally, Lauren collaborates with internal and external partners to reach DCW goals including writing DCW-related documents including grant proposals and provides support for implementation. She has worked for the State Unit on Aging and on direct care workforce issues for 20 years. 

Lisa Friedrich

Lisa Friedrich serves as Dutton Farm’s Chief Program Officer. She comes from the field of higher education specializing in adult learning for students with developmental disabilities. Lisa earned her PhD in Educational Leadership from Oakland University and has been a faculty member at several universities, directed a program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Oakland University, and served as primary researcher in the initial phases of Extraordinary Ventures Michigan. As a mother of an adult son on the spectrum, she connects with families with a unique understanding. Lisa has developed three distinct service programs for Dutton Farm: Adult Education, Community Involvement, and Supported Employment. She is a certified trainer for Crisis Prevention Institute and is certified for professional employment development with the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE). As an expert in adult education, Lisa brings her curriculum design training and experience to the field of developmental disability in order to provide Dutton Farm’s participants with the highest level of meaningful engagement through best practice and creative innovation. 


Menachem Hojda LMSW

Menachem Hojda is a Clinical Social Worker and Trainer with Oakland Community Health Network and Fairsky Foundation. He is passionate about making the world a more compassionate place by sharing information about the power of connection and empathy to build resilience as a response to trauma.

Michael C. Laird

Michigan State University, Rehabilitation Counseling MA (2nd year) 

Mike Harris

Mike Harris is the Job Coach Lead at Dutton Farm. He had served as a successful job coach for several years. He excelled at motivating Dutton Farm participants to become the best employees they could be. Upon his promotion to the Job Coach Lead, he joined the administrative team of the Workforce Development division managing job coach schedules, collecting billing data, documenting goal progress, and maintaining a 100% retention rate among the supported employment placements. He is pursuing a collegiate degree in social work and resides in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 

Milan Monardes 

Milan Monardes is currently enrolled as a second-year student in Michigan State University’s Rehabilitation Counseling master’s program. Throughout her time as a Spartan, she has spent the past year serving as a Psychiatric Ability Access Specialist with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities on campus to further support students in receiving equitable and accessible learning opportunities. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Milan earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Health Science from Towson University. Between her unique personal experiences with disability and innate passion of helping others, Milan strives to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor to empower the community in overcoming adversity and attaining success.

Patti Ramos

Patti Ramos, MPH, RD (MI-DDI): Patti Ramos has been a Registered Dietitian since 2012, with experience in research, post-secondary education, community education, program development, information dissemination, technical assistance, clinical inpatient and outpatient medical nutrition therapy, and food service management. She is a Research Assistant and Dissemination Coordinator at MI-DDI, focusing on health promotion communication through social media, websites, and e-newsletters. Patti’s primary interests lie within communicating and tailoring health promotion messages to all through research translation and data visualization. She is also a Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, teaching Food Service Management to Nutritional Sciences graduate students.  

Promise Vos

Promise is a Westland based artist working out of the PASC Westland studio. Promise’s artwork combines whimsical vibrant gestures and symbolic imagery such as flowers, smiley faces, hearts and starsbuilt through energetic layering like a multi-track song. She composes her works by overlapping mixed mediamarkers, gel pens, colored pencils, watercolors and acrylic. When Promise is outside the studio she is often found practicing music on the cello. Promise’s work has been shown in Affections at the PASC Detroit Pop-Up Gallery (2022) and Outside Forces at Art Enables, Washington, DC (2022). 

Rachel Mularz MBA, CESP

Rachel has an MBA with a Health Management concentration from Davenport University and is a Certified Employment Supports Professional (CESP™). As the Director of Career Development and Placement services, she’s works for Selective Case Management Inc. for over 10 years coordinating services for persons with disabilities including; job placement, business and program development, professional development, skill building and coaching, for youth and adult populations. Along with her education, professional experience and personal experience, she has a passion for continued advocacy of persons with disabilities.

Dr. Rosanne Renauer

Rosanne Renauer, PhD, LLP, CRC is currently an adjunct professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program at Michigan State University and a licensed psychologist. She retired after a 35-year career with Michigan Rehabilitation Services, the state’s vocational rehabilitation agency and completed her PhD in 2021. Her research focused on high performing community rehabilitation organizations and wellness. Rosanne cares deeply about staff development and mentoring, health and wellness and social justice issues. She is an active Board member of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, the Multicultural Association on Rehabilitation Concerns and past president of the National Association on Rehabilitation Leadership. 

Sarah George

Sarah George is the Director of Mission Initiatives at Peckham. She provides strategic thinking and clinical expertise in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and services that support Peckham’s mission to provide a wide range of opportunities to maximize human potential for persons striving for independence and self-sufficiency. She also provides training, consultation and support for Peckham staff in delivering Peckham’s mission. Sarah is passionate about workforce inclusion and mental health. She is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Michigan ACE Community Champion. Sarah earned her Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Michigan State University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor 

Sarah Preisser

Sarah Preisser is a talent strategist and human-centered design practitioner who spent 21 years in the corporate world before founding Mindset Talent to bring Fortune 500 leading edge talent and organization practices to small and mid-sized business, public sector, and non-profit sector clients. She currently serves as the Director of Employee Experience and Engagement at Peckham, with a focus on staff development and organization growth, and brings a human center design approach to her daily work. Preisser holds a BA in English, with a concentration in the Gerald Ford Institute for Public Policy from Albion College. She is certified in human-centered design via the Luma Institute. 


Sarah Sabin

Sarah Sabin graduated from The University of Michigan School of Social Work with her Master’s in Social Work. Her Bachelor’s in Social Work was obtained from Siena Heights University, where Sarah is now an adjunct professor. Her experience ranges from working as a School Social Worker, Special Education Program Principal, Director of Access and Crisis Services of a Community Mental Health and is currently the Chief Clinical Officer at Family Service & Children’s Aid.

Sarah Winslow

Sarah is a visionary, student-centered statewide leader in special education and community partner with 25 years of progressive leadership in K-12 districts throughout central Michigan. She is an advocate committed to fostering win-win relationships with students and families, educational institutions, and businesses. She has demonstrated excellence implementing innovative programs such as Project SEARCH that enhance the skill development and economic stability of persons with disabilities while creating an inclusive and diverse community. 


Sean Jones

Sean Jones is currently pursuing his MD/MBA at Wayne State School of Medicine/ Mike Illich School of Business – with a focus in Information systems Architecture/Management. He has a strong passion for advocating, researching, and creating innovative solutions to aid in health equity for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Mr. Jones is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and became a LEND (Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) fellow early in his medical school journey. He is currently developing JAYDA (Joining Adults & Youth with Disabilities through Access), an application rooted in understanding and alleviating the challenges faced by those with IDD, family members, guardians and caregivers.

Sen Toda

Sen Toda is the vocational rehabilitation manager at Michigan Career and Technical Institute. Prior to his current role, Sen served as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at MCTI working with the Career Readiness Center, Certified Nursing Assistant, Commercial Printing, and Pharmacy Technician trade programs. Sen also worked in Grand Rapids field office for Michigan Rehabilitation Services as a counselor specializing in transition age youth, individuals with criminal backgrounds, and Project SEARCH. Sen earned masters degrees in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy from Western Michigan University. 

Shonda Rushing

Shonda Rushing, born and raised in Jackson, MS and attended Tougaloo College and studied Psychology to study human behavior. I moved to Michigan 20 years ago and have been in the mental health field every since. I have held several positions in the Mental Health industry and have been in leadership over 30 years. I have learned that this is not the field you enter into for the money, you enter in for the love of people and the work itself.

Stanley Brown

Stanley lives in Dearborn and works out of the PASC Southgate. Stanley’s subject matter ranges from monsters to animals, to faces, to cities. Stanley makes his mixed media drawings through an intensive process of heavily layering on patterns of media, starting with graphite, followed by colored pencil, then ballpoint pen, with a final layer of bold linework using an acrylic marker. This process gives his drawings an almost three-dimensional appearance, with each layer existing as a plane in a separate Stanley space. He has exhibited at The Scarab Club, Detroit (2021), the PASC Southgate Gallery, Southgate, MI (2021), Swords Into Plowshares Gallery, Detroit (2022), PASC Pop Up Gallery (2022) and in two online exhibition on the PASC website in 2021. 

Stephanie Huhn

Stephanie is licensed psychotherapist, in practice for over 10 years, holding a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Stephanie holds special interests in neuropsychology and trauma, especially complex trauma, pandemic-related trauma, PTSD and developmental trauma. In addition to her licensure, Stephanie is an Advanced Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist (ACCTS), a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), a Certified Case Manager (CCM) and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). Stephanie has worked in a variety of settings, with various populations, including Interdisciplinary Neurorehabilitation Programs, within the criminal justice system, in Community Mental Health, and in Substance Use Disorder and Co-Occurring treatment programs. Stephanie has a passion for education and public speaking, frequently presenting at local and national events, on a variety of mental health topics. Currently, Stephanie works in private practice in Northville, Michigan and is the founder of Healing the Whole LLC, ( 

Stephanie K Conifer

Stephanie K is the Director of Community Outreach and Public Relations for MTA (Mass Transportation Authority).  She brings her past talents and experience to MTA by hosting the new Podcast “On the Road with MTA” and your host Stephanie K.  She welcomes community members on the show as she shares the services, opportunities and contacts with the audience.  She loves her job and helping others improve their lives.  Her passion is helping the elderly, especially the veterans by providing them the respect and assistance they need and deserve.  She is honored to inform the community how MTA provides free Health and Wellness rides for the Veterans and job opportunities for all. 

Tracey Cohen

Author/Educator/Returned Peace Corps Volunteer/lifelong competitive runner, Tracey Cohen wrote her first book, Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome: 100 Lessons to Understand and Support Girls and Women with Asperger’s after being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of thirty-nine. Through research and personal experience, Tracey aspires to help others learn, gain confidence and develop inner peace and just tries to make our world a better place for everyone if even in the simplest of ways. Tracey is also the author of My Life on the Autism Spectrum: Misunderstandings, Insight & Growth and Six-Word Lessons on the Sport of Running: 100 Lessons to Enjoy Running for a Lifetime. An experienced ultrarunner, Tracey has been running for over 40 years and has competed in thousands of races around the world, including two Boston Marathons and three 100-mile competitions. Tracey also currently works for Tink Tank Animate LLC as their Administration Manager/Executive Assistant. To learn more about Tracey and her books, please visit

Tom Judd

Tom Judd is the Executive Director for the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council (MBIPC). Since 1987 the MBIPC, a 501 (c)(6) trade association has served providers in professions related to brain injury rehabilitation – with a mission based on information sharing, professional development, and legislative advocacy. Since the passage of Public Act 21 and 22 of 2019, MBIPC has been a lead voice in raising awareness of the devastating impacts the draconian fee schedule has on access to care for auto crash survivors. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University as well as his master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Organizational and Community Practice. Tom was the recipient of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s 2022 Education and Public Awareness Award for his work in educating the legislature and the public on the negative impacts of the auto no-fault insurance reform law.

Paul Landry

Paul Landry serves as a Director of Employment Programs at MI-UCP and manages the Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Project covering Livingston, Oakland and Wayne counties. He has established the Fee for Service with Michigan Rehabilitation Services & the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons. Paul is also involved in Michigan’s Employment First initiative subcommittee, aiding Benefit Counseling services at a statewide level and making recommendations regarding the state’s Medicaid – Freedom to Work program. Paul is also a Benefits Counselor and CWIC Certified.

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BOOM is a statewide award ceremony recognizing individuals with a disability who have excelled. The goal of the BOOM Awards is to provide stereotype-busting role models for people with disabilities.

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