KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Senator Tom Harkin (Retired)

The Harkin Institute

Tom Harkin served in the U.S. congress representing Iowa for 40 years, including 30 years as a U.S. Seantor where he co-authored the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law in 1990. The ADA changed the landscape of America by requiring buildings and transportation to be wheelchair accessible, and to provide workplace accommodations for people with disabilities.

RANDY LEWIS

Former Walgreens Executive, Award-winning Author

Peace Corps volunteer, Arthur Murray dance instructor, Ernst and Young partner, Fortune 50 senior executive, disability advocate, and author, Randy Lewis had quite the career before retiring from Walgreens in 2013 as senior vice president of supply chain and logistics. Randy’s signature achievement was the introduction of a disability employment program that the company widely adopted.

melinda giancola

Chief, Data Collection and Analysis Unit, RSA

The chief of the data collection and analysis unit within the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of the U.S. Department of Education, Melinda is responsible for the Case Service Report (RSA-911), performance accountability, and RSA’s Management Information Systems, used by agencies to report program and fiscal data.

Jessica Cox

Disability Advocate, Motivational Speaker

Being born without arms, Jessica Cox immediately faced a world not designed for her. With an unwavering spirit and a “can-do” mentality, she overcame the obstacles in her path, living independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine.

Glen Gordon

Chief Technology Officer, VFO

Glen Gordon is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VFO™ – the world’s leading assistive technology (AT) provider for the visually impaired. In his CTO role, Glen focuses on forging collaborative relationships to ensure that people with vision impairments have the best possible access to technology.

Mandy harvey

Motivational Speaker

Mandy Harvey is a deaf American singer-songwriter and motivational speaker. While attending Colorado State University as a vocal music education major, Mandy lost her residual hearing at the age of 18 due to a neurological disorder. Mandy travels the country to heighten awareness, breakdown blocks, challenge stereotypes, and lead the charge toward a brighter future for all.

Janet labreck

Former RSA Commissioner

As a nationally recognized senior executive and presenter, Janet LaBreck has over 20 years of leadership supporting people with disabilities. Between 2013 and early-2017 she served as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the Department of Education.

Sven Akerman Jr.

Chief Technology Officer, Alliance Enterprises

As the Chief Technology Officer and Director of Cloud Services at Alliance Enterprises, Sven Akerman Jr. leads the product development, software architecture and cloud services teams. Sven’s background includes technology evangelism and enterprise-scale solution architecture, as well as managing and delivering statewide technical solutions for public and private sector organizations in Oregon and Washington State.

sean casey

GVRA Executive Director

As the executive director of Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), Sean Casey lead the organization in its mission to serve individuals with disabilities on the path to career success and greater independence.

HOSTS

RUSS CUSACK

Conference Chair

CHRIS M. PIEPER

CEO, Alliance Enterprises

LISA GIFFORD

Director of Corporate Strategy,
Alliance Enterprises

TRAINERS AND EXPERTS

JOHN HARPER

Aware Product Manager

KAREN DUNN

Strategic Account Manager

KEN GOSS

Aware Subject Matter Expert

RALPH VIGIL

Strategic Account Manager

ALAN RHOTEN

Senior Business Analyst

DAN BARTELS

Analytics Product Manager

RICK GIFFORD

Director, Alliance Labs,
Board Member

SHOSHANAH BAIN

Applications Architect

BREAKOUT SPEAKERS

RACHEL ANDERSON

Training and Technical Assistance Manager, WINTAC

VIVIAN AYUSO-SANCHEZ

Corporate Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Walgreens

BILL COLOMBO

Innovation and Special Programs Director, MRS

TERRY DONOVAN

Senior Outreach Program Manager, University of Wisconsin

SUSAN FOLEY

Ph.D, Senior Researcher,
UMass Boston

KAREN D. FRASER

Director, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Maine

ELLEN GOLOMBEK

Deputy Executive Director, NASWA

SAMANTHA HECKEMEYER

Director of Aware and Client Services, MO DVR

TODD HONEYCUTT

Ph.D, Senior Researcher, Mathematica

BETSY HOPKINS

Training and Technical Assistance Manager, WINTAC

ANDY KERNS

Information Technology Specialist, RSA

JEFF KING

Principal Solution Specialist, Microsoft

MARK KINNISON

Division Administrator, OK DRS

BECKY OBERRECHT

Project Manager, AK DVR

JOHN STEM

Program Manager, MD DORS

ROD VANSTAVERN

Aware Manager, OK DRS

AARON THOMPSON

Assistant Director, USOR