Ted Behncke is a Wisconsin native growing up in a farm community in southwestern Wisconsin. He entered the U.S. Army immediately following high school and became a commissioned officer in 1985. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007 after 30 years of service. During that time he served in varied operational, training, and executive positions including: Intelligence and Systems Trainer at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California; Operations Officer for the Army Training and Leader Development Panel, and Executive Officer or Commander for several organizations. He was awarded Legion of Merit for service in 2007. Ted joined the St. Coletta family in 2008 and has served in several positions while at St. Coletta including Director of Residential Operations; Vice President, Operations and Support Services; and Chief Operating Officer. He was named President in 2015.
He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and a Master of Science Degree in Administration from the University of Central Michigan Additionally, he is a graduate of the Post Graduate Intelligence Program, Joint Military Intelligence College at Washington, DC, and the Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Ted and his wife Rose reside in Jefferson, Wisconsin, have raised 3 sons and have three grandchildren.
Curt Decker has been affiliated with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) since its inception in 1982. As Executive Director of the nations largest non-governmental enforcer of disability rights, Curt oversees all activities related to training and technical assistance, membership services, and legislative advocacy.
Curt is the immediate past chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of over 100 national disability groups, and serves on the boards of Friends of Research and Opera Vivente. In his career, Curt also served as a legislative consultant for numerous groups, including the American Association on Mental Retardation, the National Public Law Training Center, and the Maryland Academy of Physicians Assistants. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and Cornell Law School.
Mary Lee Fay is the Executive Director with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities (NASDDDS). Ms. Fay joined NASDDDS in 2012 as the Director of National Core Indicators and the NASDDDS coordinator for the Community of Practice project on Supporting Families. Her main focus at NASDDDS is working with states to create sustainable systems that will fully engage people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in their communities and honor the families and relationships that support those outcomes.
Ms. Fay has over 35 years of working in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She worked for the state of Oregon, Developmental Disabilities Office from 1987 to 2012. Mary Lee was the State Administrator for the program from 2001 until 2012. Highlights of her work in OR include: closure of all private and public ICF/ID’s, implementation of a self-directed waiver using independent brokerages, and re-design of services to focus on person centered thinking. Earlier in her career Mary Lee was the executive director of Oregon Technical Assistance Corporation, a technical assistance non-profit directed at supporting people with I/DD to live fully in their communities. She also worked at Teaching Research, Western Oregon University, as policy analyst and director of two children’s group homes.
Erica L. Groshen became the 14th Commissioner of Labor Statistics in January 2013. Prior to joining BLS, Dr. Groshen was a Vice President in the Research and Statistics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her research has focused on labor markets over the business cycle, regional economics, wage rigidity and dispersion, the male-female wage differential, and the role of employers in labor market outcomes. She also served on advisory boards for BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Before joining the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1994, Dr. Groshen was a visiting assistant professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University and an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She was a visiting economist at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, in 1999–2000. Dr. Groshen earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kelly Jepson is the Policy Analyst for Consumer Direct Care Network, an affiliation of 20 companies providing agency-based and self-directed in-home care for the elderly, and individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities in thirteen states and the District of Columbia. CDCN serves over 14,000 Medicaid recipients, and processes payroll for over 23,000 direct care and administrative staff annually.
Kelly has experience in policy development, Medicaid benefits management, contract management, constituent relations, and state government. Prior to working for CDCN, Kelly served as a contract, policy, and benefits specialist for Colorado’s self-directed benefit. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Barb Kleist is a coordinator at the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration's Research and Training Center on Community Living where she works on state and federal projects focusing on improving community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her current projects involve coordinating training, technical assistance and state policy development in person centered thinking/planning, positive behavior supports, community living and is certified as a Person Centered Thinking Trainer. Additionally, she is Family Faculty for the MN LEND Families as Teachers program.
Barb has served on several state policy committees including the Rule 40 Advisory Committee charged with developing recommendations for the modernization of the rule. She is a member of the Association of Positive Behavior Supports' Home and Community Network, the Arc and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). She is also a licensed attorney and a member of both the Minnesota State Bar and the Hennepin County Bar Association with more than 25 years' experience working to improve community living and the quality of life for people with disabilities. Barb is a trained mediator and facilitator and has experience representing self-advocates or family members in guardianship and administrative proceedings, mediating disputes, evaluating services and providing training for community services staff, families and self-advocates on a variety of topics.
Joseph M. Macbeth is the Executive Director at the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 30 years - beginning as a Direct Support Professional. Macbeth is recognized as a national leader in the advocacy and advancement the direct support profession and is a highly sought after speaker on the workforce crisis affecting human service provider organizations.
He has co-authored the series of publications titled "Voices from the Frontlines", produced an award winning Realistic Job Preview titled "Working as a Direct Support Professional: We Get It Done", and has partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) and assisted more than 500 direct support professionals advance their college education through the "Disability Studies Certificate". He currently sits on the board of directors for the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), the College of Direct Support and Relias Learning's National Advisory Boards and most recently was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a Member of the Advisory Council for the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Macbeth is also involved with AIEJI, an international organization based in Denmark that promotes the work of social educators. He lives in Albany and Inlet, NY.
Jonathan Martinis, Esq., J.D., has joined the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University as Senior Director for Law and Policy. Mr. Martinis has over 20 years' experience representing and advocating for people with disabilities to ensure that they receive the services and supports they need and want to live full, meaningful, and community integrated lives. In 2013, Martinis represented Jenny Hatch in the nationally acclaimed "Justice for Jenny" case, helping Ms. Hatch secure her right to live where and how she wants, to make her own decisions, and direct her own life. Jenny’s case was the first trial to hold that a person with disabilities has a right to engage in “Supported-Decision Making,” where people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them understand the situations and choices they face, so they may make their own decisions – rather than be subjected to a unnecessary permanent, plenary or full guardianship.
Since the Hatch legal decision, Jonathan has presented to and trained thousands of individuals, families, advocates, attorney, professionals, and service providers about everyone’s Right to Make Choices and direct their own lives, while receiving the services and supports they need to do so. He currently serves as the co-Project Director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making led by the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.
Shannon McCracken is a leader when it comes to supporting the needs of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. After a decade of experience at the two largest SCL agencies in Kentucky, she made the decision to embrace a new opportunity and start her own company, Commonwealth Case Management. While in the field, Shannon has won numerous national awards and served in multiple leadership positions, most recently with the Kentucky Association of Private Providers (KAPP). From November 2009 – 2012, she served as the Vice-President of Public Policy for the KAPP Board of Directors and served as President from 2012-2015. In 2016, KAPP made a significant investment in its future and offered Shannon a full-time position as the State Executive Director. Being so involved has enabled Shannon to stay at the leading edge and have a great understanding of what it takes to support people with disabilities.
Speaking of understanding, Shannon grew up with a family member who led a full, enhanced life through supports in the SCL waiver. As a result of both personal and professional experience, Shannon truly believes the people we support can have choice, personal power, and control of their lives.
Ari Ne’eman is the President and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy organization run by and for Autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of Autistic people across society. Additionally, Ari was recently appointed by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to serve as a member of the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities. President Obama nominated Ari to the National Council on Disability, a federal agency charged with advising Congress and the President on disability policy issues.
He was confirmed by the Senate in July 2010 and served until 2015, during which time he chaired the Council’s Committee on Entitlements Policy. He previously served as Vice Chair of the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, where he represented autistic adults in reviewing the state’s autism services. He also previously served on the New Jersey Special Education Review Commission, where he authored a minority report on the topic of aversives, restraint and seclusion. He is also a board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Bob Titus is the father of Joseph, an adult with autism who resides in the community in New Jersey. Bob worked for the Bell system and later for Bell Atlantic/Verizon Telecommunications for 34 years as an engineer. After Joseph’s diagnosis, he became a member of and later board president for COSAC, now known as Autism New Jersey. Retiring from Verizon in 2009, Bob began employment at Autism New Jersey as the Public Policy Director, responsible for public policy development, advocacy and testimony for legislation. Since 2014, Bob has been the Public Policy Coordinator at the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities in Trenton and has been a board member of the Princeton Child Development Institute since 2003. He is also a member of the Eden Autism Services Human Rights Committee and has served on the NACDD Strategic Planning Committee. Bob is a graduate of Montclair State College and has been a Civil war re-enactor; he is a member of a Masonic Lodge and enjoys Greek linguistics studies. His overriding interest is advocacy on behalf of his son and for all individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Rich VandenHeuvel is a Principal at Health Management Associates. Prior to coming to HMA, Rich has facilitated regional and statewide technical and strategic responses to opportunities presented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid managed care approaches to disabled populations. He has extensive experience collaborating with government partners at all levels, building consensus among diverse stakeholders, and moving projects from conception to completion. Rich has served as direct support staff, as a care manager, as a clinical director and as a provider CEO for mental health organizations serving adults and children living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or substance use disorders for over 20 years.
He has also served as the CEO of a managed behavioral health organization serving all of these populations, including serving a as the spokesperson and lead contract negotiator for the 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans responsible for the Specialty Behavioral Health Services Benefit throughout Michigan. Since coming to HMA, Rich has been extensively involved in market analysis and business acumen development for both MCOs and provider organizations with particular focus on populations with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs. He received his master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
Daniel Rutherford Wilson is PHI's Director of Federal Affairs. In this role, he leads PHI's federal policy agenda in support of the direct-care workforce and its "quality care through quality jobs" agenda.
Daniel has more than a decade of experience leading efforts to advance federal policy that betters the lives of disenfranchised older Americans. Most recently he served as the national and federal programs director at Compassion & Choices, a national organization that protects and expands end-of-life options. For 10 years, Daniel was the executive director of policy and program development at the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, where he worked on federal issues related to housing, employment, and health care for low-income, black older adults.
Daniel has also held positions as a public affairs officer with the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton and staff assistant for Sen. Charles Schumer. A respected national advocate on aging and long-term care issues, most recently Daniel served as a co-chair of the 2016 Aging in America Conference, the premier annual gathering for aging professionals, sponsored by the American Society on Aging. Daniel holds a bachelor's degree in English from Hampton University and an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science from the University of the District of Columbia.
Randall Wilson leads several Jobs for the Future projects designed to help low-skilled adults advance to family-sustaining careers, while enabling employers to build and sustain a productive workforce. He has more than 20 years’ experience in research and program evaluation in the areas of workforce development and urban community development.
Dr. Wilson has authored numerous studies on labor market issues and career-advancement strategies for lower-skilled adult workers. He was a research associate in the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, as well as a consultant to a variety of public and nonprofit organizations. He has taught at UMass Boston’s College of Public and Community Services and served as planning data manager for the Cambridge Community Development Department.
Dr. Wilson has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His dissertation, Finding the Will and the Way: Applying the Framework of Commitment and Capacity to the Implementation of Career Ladders in the Long-Term Care Sector, focused on the role of workforce intermediaries in supporting career advancement for workers in long-term care.