Neil Romano, President and CEO of The Romano Group, LLC, is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities in the field of media and public advocacy, overseeing some of the most visible and effective public health programs in the United States.
Mr. Romano’s extensive background includes tenure as Director of Communications for the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy, working on campaigns such as “Just Say No” and “America Responds to AIDS.” A noted producer/director, Romano’s film, “Youth Homicide: A Public Health Crisis,” earned an Emmy Nomination in the category of Best Director.
Mr. Romano was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy in 2007. He also served as a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID), The United States Access Board, and The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. Mr. Romano was appointed to the National Council on Disability in 2015 by Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
Additionally, Mr. Romano serves on a number of diverse national boards to include the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, the Prison Jail Ministries Foundation, The Taylor Hooton Foundation, The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, The National Industries for The Blind, and The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD). Mr. Romano has advised the Association for People in Supported Employment, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and other disability employment groups that use a “business to business” approach to promote the imperative of hiring people with disabilities. Mr. Romano serves as a consultant to Wal-Mart on disability issues.
Breakout Session Presenters
Ted Behncke joined St. Coletta in 2008 after 30-years of service in the U.S. Army where he retired as Lt. Colonel. At St. Coletta's, he's held various positions including Director of Residential Operations, VP of Operations and Support Services, COO, and currently, President. Additionally, Behncke has served as surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities since 2013.
Maghan Bowman graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. She began working at EPI in 2014. She currently is the Service Outcomes & Data Director, specializing in assessments, start and end of services, individualized service plans, and health risk screening tools.
Jeff Case and his wife Rebecca organized Developing Potential Inc. in 1993 to fill a need in the Kansas City, MO metro area for adults with developmental disabilities. Jeff has worked with not-for-profits for over 25 years. Presently, Jeff assists states, counties, and organizations with greater interoperability, increased transparency, and transition toward paperless provision of services.p>
Alice Brouhard, RN is a champion of the use of technology, especially tablet technology, to support people with memory and cognitive challenges to live independently. She has worked tirelessly to set up a system that allows her daughter, who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, to lead a self-determined life despite significant disabilities.
Johnathon Crumley, BS, MDiv, is currently the Senior Director of Operations for Health Risk Screening, Inc. He served as VP of Georgia Support Services, offering case management services to those with I/DD. He was also a Senior SIS trainer with AAIDD. He lives in Tampa, FL.
Josh DeZurik is Director of Program Technology for Dungarvin, Inc., a national provider supporting over 4,000 individuals in 14 states. He coordinated the national multi-phase rollout of the EMR system and is developing national standards for EMR use focusing on efficiency, best practice, and data. Previously, Josh served in leadership capacity in operations division.
Bill Gaventa is Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. His expertise is in spiritual supports, training for clergy and community services staff, aging and end of life/grief issues, cultural competence, and community building. He is the 2016-2017 President of American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Jennifer Higgins, Ph.D. is a research and policy associate at the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers in Massachusetts. Dr. Higgins implemented and managed an integrated primary and behavioral health care program at a large behavioral health agency in Springfield, MA, overseeing a team of care managers and primary care providers.
Hannah Carlson Jurewicz, LPC, CCP-D, serves as State Director with Dungarvin CT, an organization that provides residential and day supports for adults. She has published, advocated, and provided training in human services for 25 years, and most recently published the manual to accompany her program, Addiction Recovery for Challenged Individuals.
William "Bill" Loyd is the CEO at The Arc Montgomery County. Previously, he served as State Director for DC and Business Developer at St. John's Community Services (SJCS) and Executive Director at Midlands Community Development Corporation. While at SJCS the agency converted to facility-free services. He currently serves on the ANCOR Board of Directors.
Jennifer May, Vice President of Operations at STAR Services, finds ways to encourage innovative business practices within the disability field, resulting in well-trained, person-centered staff, and stronger organizational practices. Jennifer has a passion for staff development and enjoys presenting on positive psychology, management topics, workforce motivation, and strategic planning.
Tracey Nichols is the Recovery Program Coordinator for Dungarvin CT, an organization that supports individuals with co-occurring disorders as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has worked in different facets of the human service field for 20 years supporting and advocating for person-centered care.
Lydia Paquette is the Executive Director of the Maine Association for Community Service Providers, an association of organizations providing support services to individuals with developmental disabilities. She is licensed to practice law in Maine and specializes in supported decision-making and guardianship proceedings.
Nicole Rand, Program Director with Exceptional Persons, Inc. in Waterloo, Iowa, has served as an advocate to advance community inclusion for persons of all abilities through her work at EPI and participation on the Iowa Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) board where she currently serves as Chapter President.
Andrew Ritter, Jr. is a Senior Associate at Capital Associates, Inc., a leading Pennsylvania government relations firm. With nearly a decade of experience in the legislative and executive branches of state government, he now operationalizes the government relations strategy for Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR).
Thalia Simpson-Clement is the Chief Operating Officer for St. John’s Community Services, a private non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, DC. She is responsible for the oversight and technical support of program operations in DC, PA, DE, TN and VA. Services offered include: Employment, Day Support, and Community Living services.
Mary Anne Tolliver has a lifetime of experience supporting people with I/DD. She is passionate about working with individuals who are aging, and supporting them through end-of-life decisions, sudden death, end stage dementia, and other serious illnesses. Additionally, she has extensive experience collaborating with medical, hospice, and government entities.
Barbara Williams-Stewart is a clinical social worker specializing in Grief Therapy for individuals with ID/DD and families. She works for The St. Louis Arc, teaches at Webster University, and provides counseling for college students. Barbara is also the founder of The Belle Center, an inclusive early childhood program.