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PADES PA Summit Speakers Presenters

Speakers


Speakers Details

Gary Alexander

Gary Alexander

Secretary, PA Department of Public Welfare

PA Department of Public Welfare

Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander oversees a department that provides services and supports to more than 2.1 million low-income, elderly and disabled Pennsylvanians. He is widely recognized as a health care and program innovator, welfare reformer and management specialist.

Prior to being confirmed as DPW secretary, Alexander served as the Rhode Island Secretary of Health and Human Services. In that role, he transformed health and human services into a value-oriented and performance-driven system focused on the needs of the consumer. He is the architect of the landmark Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Medicaid Waiver. The Rhode Island waiver redesigned the entire system of healthcare to focus on quality, choice and independence for consumers, while saving millions of dollars for the taxpayers.

He also reformed the state’s cash assistance program to focus on “work first” and engage clients in employment. These efforts resulted in a 30 percent reduction in Rhode Island’s welfare population over the past two years.

Other positions he has held include serving as policy director for Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor and as a healthcare budget analyst for the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

A Boston native, Alexander received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern University and his J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law, both in Boston. He is an ordained deacon in the Armenian Orthodox Church.

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Pamela Zotynia

Pamela Zotynia

Executive Director, The Arc of Luzerne County

The Arc of Luzerne County

Pamela Zotynia has been the Executive Director of The Arc of Luzerne County since July 2006. Prior to her current position, she served as the Director of Advocacy Programs. She served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors for over a decade, serving as President of the organization from 1998-2000. In her current position, she oversees the organizations mission to improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/D) throughout Luzerne County. She also serves as a volunteer on the Board of Directors of The Arc of Pennsylvania, where she chaired the Employment Study Group which resulted in the development of The Arc of PA’s Position Statement on Employment for People with Disabilities.

In the summer of 2008, Ms. Zotynia developed a professional relationship with the Lowes Regional Distribution Center where she assisted them with the development of their “Outreach Program”, and avenue of entry to employment for people with disabilities. The program was piloted in Pittston, PA. Due to the success of the program, Lowes now has similar programs in every distribution center in the country. The program has received national attention and has become a model employment program, generating interest from other businesses interested in exploring the development of similar programs.

Ms. Zotynia is a member of the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties ID Training Council for Quality, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Employment Coalition, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Community Employment Task Force, Luzerne County Autism Coalition, Independent Monitoring for Quality State-wide Steering Committee, the Pennsylvania Conference of Executives of The Arc of PA, Tri-Vets Community Action Team, and the United Way of Wyoming Valley Speakers Bureau.

Ms. Zotynia has two children, Tiffany Stacy age 27 and Robert Zotynia, a 25 year old self-advocate who lives at home with community-based supports.

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Julia K. Hearthway

Julia K. Hearthway

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

On June 22, 2011, Julia K. Hearthway was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate to serve as Pennsylvania's 33rd Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry. As Secretary, Hearthway leads the fifth-largest agency in Pennsylvania state government, with nearly 5,000 employees in 145 locations across the state.

Established in 1913, the Department of Labor & Industry administers unemployment compensation benefits, workers' compensation benefits to individuals with job-related injuries and provides vocational rehabilitation services to Pennsylvanians with disabilities. The department prepares job seekers for the global workforce through employment and job-training services for adults, youth, older workers and dislocated workers. It also enforces various workplace laws and safety standards, and administers state programs for community service by young Pennsylvanians.

Prior to her nomination, Hearthway worked in the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General since 1993. She served as a chief deputy attorney general since 2001, managing the office's Insurance Fraud Section, investigating and prosecuting all criminal insurance fraud matters. Previously, Hearthway was an assistant district attorney for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and worked in private legal practice.

Hearthway earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Stephens College and her Juris Doctor degree at Rutgers University School of Law. She lives in Chester County with her husband. They have two adult children.

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Ron Tomalis

Ron Tomalis

Secretary of Education

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Ron Tomalis was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett to be the Secretary of Education on January 18, 2011. On April 26, 2011 the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed Ron Tomalis as the Secretary of Education by a 50-0 vote.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) develops and administers educational policies to improve the quality of education in the Commonwealth and achieve the basic and higher education goals established by the Governor, General Assembly and the State Board of Education, including public and non-public elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. PDE provides service and technical assistance to Pennsylvania educators; administers education laws of Pennsylvania and the federal government; plans and administers policies for libraries; and manages a system of pre-service and in-service professional development to ensure high-quality personnel in the educational system.

Tomalis brings a range of public and private experience in education and educational systems to his role as a member of Governor Corbett’s cabinet. From 1995 to 2001, he served as PDE’s executive deputy secretary under former Governor Tom Ridge. From 2001 to 2004, he worked for the United States Department of Education in several positions, including counselor to the Secretary and as acting assistant secretary of education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

After his public service, he was a private advisor and consultant in the field, and most recently was the director of Dutko Worldwide/Whiteboard Advisors, based in Washington, DC. At Dutko, he was a principal advisor to non- and for-profit groups, foundations and companies operating in Pre-K and postsecondary education environments.

Tomalis, born and raised in Camp Hill, is a graduate of Dickinson College.

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Toby L. Fauver

Toby L. Fauver

Deputy Secretary, Local and Area Transportation, PA Department of Transportation

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Deputy Secretary Fauver served as acting deputy secretary for local and area transportation from June to October 2007, a position he also held between February 2005 and February 2006. As acting deputy secretary, Fauver played a key role in the passage of Act 44, which completely revamps public transportation funding and oversight in the commonwealth.

Fauver joined PennDOT in 2004 as the bureau director for rail freight, ports and waterways. In 2005, Fauver became the bureau director for public transportation, a title he held until his reappointment as acting deputy secretary for local and area transportation in June. He also served as the project manager for the Governor’s Transportation Funding and Reform Commission.

Before joining Governor Edward G. Rendell’s administration, Fauver was a transportation planning manager at Gannett Fleming, where he worked on transportation projects around the country.

Fauver earned his Bachelor of Arts in geo-environmental studies from Shippensburg University and his Masters degree in regional and community planning from Kansas State University.

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J. Randolph Lewis

J. Randolph Lewis

Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Walgreens

Walgreens

Randy Lewis is senior vice president of supply chain and logistics who manages the inventory process from vendor to store for Walgreen Co., headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.

A Peace Corps volunteer, an Arthur Murray dance instructor, an Ernst and Young partner, and accidental advocate, Randy Lewis led Walgreens logistics for sixteen years as the chain grew from 1,500 to 8,000 stores.

He has been Chairman of the Distribution/Logistics Committee for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and has served on the board of directors for Tim Hortons International. He is currently on the board of directors of Wendy’s International, Inc.

Believing that people with disabilities could do more, he introduced a model in its distribution centers that resultedin ten percent of its workforce consisting of people with disabilities (1,000+ PWDs). This initiative is being rolled out nationwide in Walgreen stores across America. It is not only changing the lives of thousands with disabilities but is also transforming the workplace and serving as a model for other employers.

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Deb Russell

Deb Russell

Corporate Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Walgreens
Chair, US Business Leadership Network


Walgreens

Deb Russell is a Corporate Manager, Diversity and Inclusion for Walgreen Co. She oversees the company’s commitment to have one third of the workforce in its latest and all future distribution centers consist of qualified individuals with disabilities. The first of these centers opened in January 2007. Ms. Russell has advised and monitored the efforts in order to disseminate lessons that are learned.

Walgreen Company is the nation’s largest drugstore chain and the 7th largest retailer. Fortune Magazine ranks Walgreens as the 45th largest company in America and it employs over 200,000 people. Deb’s background includes working in the field of employment of people with disabilities for more than 15 years. These experiences include being a Special Education Teacher, job developer, and addressing issues related to the employment of people with disabilities within the workforce investment and Medicaid systems. She has presented nationally on topics related to the employment of people with disabilities.

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Robert B. Nicholas, PhD

Robert B. Nicholas, PhD

Senior Visiting Fellow for Disability Research, John J. Heldrich Center, Rutgers University

John J. Heldrich Center, Rutgers University

Dr. Nicholas had a twenty seven year career with the New Jersey Department of Human Services that included three years as Deputy Commissioner for Operations and nine years as Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

He is a Senior Visiting Fellow for Disability Research at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. He coordinates the research agenda for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy funded National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center.

He is the co-author of a national study on employer driven initiatives to hire employees with disabilities entitled “Ready and Able: Addressing Labor Market Needs and Building Productive Careers for People with Disabilities through Collaborative Approaches” and two follow-up studies: “Using Braided Funding Strategies to Advance Employer Hiring Initiatives that Include People with Disabilities” and the recently released “Strategies to Support Employer-Driven Initiatives to Recruit and Retain Employees with Disabilities.” Dr. Nicholas also provides technical assistance to Tennessee’s Employment First initiative under a grant from the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities and previously served as a Consultant to the University of Tennessee Center on Disability and Employment on the Tennessee Customized Employment Partnership (TCEP).

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Mike Kinger

Mike Kinger

General Manager, Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center

Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center

Mary Beth Posluszny

Mary Beth Posluszny

Human Resources Manager, Lowe’s RDC #1449

Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center

Wendy Patterson

Statewide Transition Specialist, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Wendy holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Shippensburg University. Prior to her tenure with OVR, Wendy worked as a Therapeutic Support Specialist in York County as well as a rehabilitation case manager in private rehab. Over the past five years, Wendy has facilitated the implementation of the $2.25 Million Transition Grant awarded to OVR by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, which developed Projects SEARCH and Promoting Academic Success. She also serves on the Pennsylvania Transition Statewide Leadership Team.

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Dana Baccanti

Supervisor, Special Programs Division, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Dana Baccanti currently serves as the Supervisor of the Special Programs Division within the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) under the Department of Labor & Industry. She holds a Bachelors degree in Special Education from Penn State, a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from The George Washington University, and professional certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). She has been employed by OVR since 1993, beginning her tenure as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She is currently engaged in many cross-systems initiatives to expand and improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and was appointed to the Governor’s Special Education Advisory Panel in 2011.

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John Miller

Vice President, AHEDD

AHEDD

John Miller is Vice President of AHEDD. In this role, John oversees community employment services for over 2,000 individuals with disabilities throughout PA and DE. John has served as a Project Director for the SSA Work Incentives Planning Assistance Program as well as work incentive counseling project for transition aged youth. John has a BS in Education from Millersville University, PA, and MBA from Loyola College, MD. He has been presenting on SSA Work Incentives and Ticket to Work to local, state and national audiences since 2001 and is a certified Community Work Incentive Coordinator.

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Shauna Roman

Executive Director, Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Shauna Roman, M.S. is the Executive Director of Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

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Diane Kehoe

Director of Technology Services, Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Networks for Training and Development, Inc.

Diane Kehoe is the Director of Technology Services at Networks for Training and Development, Inc., and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education.

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Leonard Kravitz

Program Analyst, City of Philadelphia, Department of Behavioral Health/Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Department of Behavioral Health/Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Leonard Kravitz has been a Program Analyst with the City of Philadelphia, Department of Behavioral Health/Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS), IDS Division since 1991.

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Ann Marie Campbell

Program Analyst, Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Ann Marie Campbell is a Program Analyst in the Training Unit at Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services.

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Kathy L. Sykes

Director, Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services (DBH/IDS)

Kathy L. Sykes is the Director of Intellectual disAbility Services for the City of Philadelphia. She has held a variety of positions in her 30+ years with the office.

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Dr. Debra Martin Luecking

Director of Research and Development, TransCen, Inc

TransCen, Inc

Dr. Debra Martin Luecking is the Director of Research and Development at TransCen, Inc. Dr. Debra Luecking has a 30 year history in the disability field as a teacher, trainer, consultant, grants writer, researcher, and administrator. Prior to her work at TransCen, she held the position of Director of the University of Tennessee's Center on Disability and Employment, a nationally recognized center for research and training in the field. Her research, development, and writing activity focus on systems integration and human learning, organization development and change, person centered approaches including customized employment, and personnel development systems.

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Kevin Walker

Business Development Administrator, Penn-Mar Human Services

Penn-Mar Human Services

Kevin Walker has worked for Penn-Mar Human Services for over 19 years serving in several different direct support, managerial, and administrative positions before becoming the Business Development Administrator. In his newest role, Kevin along with his team of job developers and employment staff are responsible for developing new business relationships which lead to successful employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities receiving Penn-Mar services. Kevin presently serves on the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Employment First Advisory Committee and also the Maryland Organizational Peer Network which focus on policy, systems change, and best practices.

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Raeann Olander

Director of Employer Relations, Goodwill of SWPA

Goodwill of SWPA

Raeann Olander is the Director of Employer Relations for Goodwill of SWPA. She has over 20 years of experience in Human Services, primarily in Program Management, with the balance in direct service, working with diverse populations supporting their goals of education and employment. Having worked in the private sector as a manager and trainer for 12 years, she is particularly in tune with employers’ needs. She received her BS in Sociology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and is a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator. She is an Aspen Institute Marano Fellow, having completed the 2009-2010 Sector Skills Academy.

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Lisa Campbell

Employer Services Representative, Goodwill of SWPA

Goodwill of SWPA

Lisa Campbell is the Employer Services Representative for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. In this capacity she works closely with employers, developing relationships that benefit the entire agency. Lisa works with employers to coordinate community based assessments, job shadow and work experience opportunities, and develops job leads for Goodwill consumers. She has over 6 years of experience working with small business owners and working in social services assisting individuals with barriers to employment. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and is a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator.

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Ralph Roach

Eastern Employment Outreach Specialist, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), PA Department of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Ralph Roach, M.S., CRC, PA L.P.C. is employed with the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) in the Bureau of Central Operations Employer Services & Staff Development Division. Mr. Roach is the Eastern Employment Outreach Specialist. He also served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the Reading Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS) in western Berks County. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and PA Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who has a Master of Science Degree in Psychology from Shippensburg University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Messiah College.

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Rob Hodapp

Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Employer Services & Staff Development Division, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), PA Department of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Rob Hodapp, MA, CRC, L.P.C. is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Employer Services & Staff Development Division. Mr. Hodapp has worked for OVR since 2005; beginning with OVR’s Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services (BBVS) as a VR Counselor out of the Erie, PA District Office. Mr. Hodapp has worked serving people with various disabilities in obtaining competitive employment for over 19 years. Rob has presented to colleagues and employers on subjects including job readiness, job development, the ADA and 2008 Amendments Act, workplace accommodations, job readiness, job development, and sensitivity to disabilities.

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Jamie Prioli

Assistive Technology Specialist and Program Coordinator for the Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership (REEP)

Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership (REEP)

Jamie Prioli is an Assistive Technology Specialist and Program Coordinator for the Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership (REEP), and is responsible for device demonstrations, emergency preparedness, reuse, and funding assistance of assistive technology. For 17+ years, she has worked with individuals with disabilities of all ages in home, school, work, and community settings. Jamie received her bachelor's degree from West Chester University and holds an Assistive Technology Professional Certificate (ATP) from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She serves as Secretary on the RESNA Board of Directors.

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Kimberly Robinson

Supervisor, Pittsburgh OVR

Pittsburgh OVR

Kimberly Robinson is currently a supervisor at Pittsburgh OVR. She has worked as an OVR counselor for 5 years prior and was also a part-time placement counselor. She has assisted in the development of several job readiness initiatives while working at Pittsburgh OVR including the first OVR Job Fair. Kimberly and Whitney have been working together for the past year to develop curriculum to teach customers soft skills and maintain employment.

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Whitney Tarver

Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Pittsburgh OVR

Pittsburgh OVR

Whitney Tarver is currently a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at Pittsburgh OVR. She earned a dual Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and Substance Abuse & Clinical Counseling from East Carolina University. Prior to coming to OVR she worked at the East Carolina University Career Center where she assisted students transitioning from college to the work force. For the past year she has worked alongside Kimberly Robinson and the Placement Department staff to assist in the coordination of the first OVR Job Fair as well as several initiatives to assist clients with soft skills needed to obtain and maintain employment.

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Susan Carbaugh & Shirley Keith Knox

Administrators, Cumberland and Perry Counties MH/ID and Dauphin County MD/ID

Dauphin County MH/ID

Susan Carbaugh and Shirley Keith Knox administer community programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Central Pennsylvania. Sue represents Cumberland and Perry Counties and Shirley represents programs in Dauphin County. During the past year, these three counties, ID providers, local school transition staff, OVR and families formed an Employment 1st Planning Group. This group believes in the important and critical role all stakeholders play when creating opportunities.

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John Susa

Director of Individual and Family Support, Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

John Susa is a family leader who has helped increase the extent to which individuals with disabilities are included in the mainstream of all aspects of life. He has served three terms as President of the Rhode Island Arc, 3 terms as Chair of the RI DD Council, and participated in its successful effort to close the state’s only institution in 1993.

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Connie Susa

Director of Individual and Family Support, Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

Connie Susa first parent to be employed by the Rhode Island Department of Education to train and mentor other parents of children with disabilities. She led the initiative to create the RI Parent Information Network when federal PTIC funds became available. She created and was the first director of the Child and Family Services for UCPRI.

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Mark Susa

Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

Sherlock Center on Disability, Rhode Island College

From the time he learned to crawl by following a turtle around his home, Mark Susa has been moving onward with the help of others. He likes to spend his days riding regular buses, travel training peers who don’t drive or getting himself to various public transit committees and appointments.

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