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Plenary Speakers


 

David Hoff

Project Director
Institute for Community Inclusion
School of Global Inclusion and Social Development
University of Massachusetts
David Hoff has an extensive background in working with public systems and community agencies to enhance employment outcomes for people with disabilities. He has done work across the United States and internationally, providing technical assistance and training on effective practices in human services and workforce development. David regularly presents on a range of employment-related topics to policymakers, practitioners, people with disabilities, and family members, at various forums. A primary focus of his work is on organizational and systems change to improve employment outcomes, with a particular emphasis on public policies and their impact on the lives of people with disabilities. He has been closely involved with efforts in Massachusetts that have resulted in the phasing out of sheltered employment in that state. David has written extensively on topics related to the employment of people with disabilities. In addition to his two decades at ICI, David has been an administrator for a local employment board in the Boston area, and spent several years in a direct service role assisting individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment. Prior to entering the human service field, he held management roles in the private sector for ten years. David is a Past President of APSE, a 3,000+ member international organization focused on integrated employment of people with disabilities. David has a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University, with a concentration in Administration, Policy and Planning, and is also a graduate of Cornell University.

Rich Donovan

Rich Donovan is Founder/CEO of The Return on Disability Group and is a globally recognized subject matter expert on the convergence of disability and corporate profitability. He has spent more than 10 years focused on defining and unlocking the economic value of the disability market for large companies and governments globally. Rich created the Return on Disability concept and model, the first of its kind. The Barclays Return on Disability ETN listed on the New York Stock Exchange on September 11th, 2014 under the ticker RODI. 
 
He has been named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People with Disabilities in the world by UK-based Powerful Media and Shaw Trust in October 2016. 
 
Mr. Donovan was appointed to Chair of Ontario’s Accessibility Standards Advisory Council by the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure in January 2016. 
 
Rich provides corporate and government clients with insights and tools to frame disability as a global emerging market. His proprietary and proven process translates disability success factors into specific actions that create sustainable value. He is sought by businesses and governments for advice when acting on the disability market. 
 
Rich founded Lime (2006), the leading third party recruiter in the disability space, where he worked with Google, PepsiCo, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, IBM, TD Bank and others to help them attract and retain top talent from within the disability market. Identified as a best practice by the U.S. Department of Labor and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lime does one thing very well—find great talent. 
 
Rich has a combined 20 years of experience in portfolio and investment risk management. As a Proprietary Trader and Portfolio Manager at Merrill Lynch, Rich delivered consistent performance results focused on macro strategies with an event-driven overlay, using equity indices as a primary tool. 
 
Rich holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BBA from Schulich School of Business at York University. Rich is an avid sailor and proud father of his son, Maverick, along with his wife, Jenn. He also happens to have cerebral palsy. 

Stuart Ellis-Myers a.k.a. Twitchy

What would you do if, out of the blue, your life turned upside down? What if you went from being a happy, healthy, normal child and suddenly became an anxious, depressed, twitchy mess of devastating proportion? This is exactly what happened to Stuart Ellis-Myers. At the age of eight, Stuart began to develop one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses of our time . . . Tourette’s Syndrome. Faced with the prospect of a lifetime of frustration, isolation, and shame – the typical reaction to this condition – Stuart instead chose to make his life into something remarkable. One of the most gifted and inspiring public speakers, Stuart has used the life lessons learned through years of battling this often emotionally crippling disorder to help countless others overcome their own challenges and fears. His insight and humanity have enabled him to share his own, often painful, experiences in such a way as to offer a real, usable, methodology for overcoming the many pitfalls of modern life. The countless physical and psychological manifestations of the high stress lives we all lead are made clearer to understand and easier to bear through his simple and effective system of positive change. It has worked for him. It can work for you. Told with total candor and charming wit, this is a story of inspiration and achievement with which virtually anyone can identify with. It takes you from a damaged, dysfunctional childhood in Britain, to a forced fantasy of a life in Vancouver; from the brutal bullying of his youth, to the betrayal and abandonment on the part of his first wife; from the day he finally learned that his “problem” had a name, to the night he stood on his balcony inches from stepping off into the seductive oblivion of suicide; Stuart holds nothing back. This is the story of a man who refused to accept other people’s “truths”. It is the story of a man who chose to, not only survive but become UNSTOPPABLE. So, if Stuart can overcome the ravages of Tourette’s Syndrome, and all of the disabling mental conditions that so often accompany it, and become remarkably successful in both his keynote speaker career and his personal life . . . what is holding any of us back from achieving our dreams?

Guest Speakers


 
   
John Draper is the founder of Together We Rock!, a socially responsible business with a mission to inspire learning and champion leadership to create accessible and inclusive communities. John is a graduate of the journalism program from Durham College. As an aspiring writer, John has been a contributor to several books and is the author of a leadership toolkit for students. Mr. Draper has received numerous international and provincial honours for his leadership including being honoured as an Alumnus of Distinction by his alma mater and the recipient of the David C. Onley Leadership in Accessibility Award.
 
   
Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt is winner of the 2017 Robert W. Jackson Award [Founder of the Canadian Paralympics], 2017 Ontario Premier Awards Nominee and 2018 Women of Essence Global Award Nominee and as seen on CBC, NBC, GLOBAL and FOX! 
 
She is a Leader, Humanitarian, Advocate, Decorated Athlete, International Speaker and she's funny too. Her motto If I Can Do It, You Can Do It! She has climbed mountains in Nepal, captained 110-foot-tall ships in the Eastern Atlantic, sailed in World Cup regattas, competitively skied, is an advanced scuba diver and more! Oh, did I mention she was born a 4-way amputee? Though Tracy's greatest pride is her mission to ensure that every child gets to play. She blasts through the barriers life throws up in front of us around the world for 20 years consistently. As an Accessibility Ambassador Tracy is continually educating and impacting others for dozens of organizations inviting everyone to become the superhero they always knew they could be! With humour and motivation, Unstoppable Tracy crushes our obstacles and we all soar to the top!
 

Session Speakers


 

1A - ESC's Job Developers Network: A Model for Community Collaboration 

2A - Innovations Pitch Challenge
 
Chris Guillemette is the Director of Support Services with Community Living North Bay.  She has been with Community Living North Bay for 33 years and has assumed a number of roles within the organization during this period of time including overseeing children, youth and adult services.  Chris has been with ODEN since its inception and has participated in a variety of capacities including the Board Vice Chair, Chair of Membership, and Secretary to name a few.
 
   
Rosa Amicarelli is a Director of Supports for Community Living Essex County and has been with the agency for over 27 years. Rosa also oversees Career Compass, the agency’s modernized employment service which provides direction to job seekers searching for meaningful employment and guiding employers in inclusive hiring.

1B – Making Employment a Reality for Individuals with Significant Disabilities

David Hoff has an extensive background in working with public systems and community agencies to enhance employment outcomes for people with disabilities. He has done work across the United States and internationally, providing technical assistance and training on effective practices in human services and workforce development. David regularly presents on a range of employment-related topics to policymakers, practitioners, people with disabilities, and family members, at various forums. A primary focus of his work is on organizational and systems change to improve employment outcomes, with a particular emphasis on public policies and their impact on the lives of people with disabilities. He has been closely involved with efforts in Massachusetts that have resulted in the phasing out of sheltered employment in that state. David has written extensively on topics related to the employment of people with disabilities. In addition to his two decades at ICI, David has been an administrator for a local employment board in the Boston area, and spent several years in a direct service role assisting individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment. Prior to entering the human service field, he held management roles in the private sector for ten years. David is a Past President of APSE, a 3,000+ member international organization focused on integrated employment of people with disabilities. David has a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University, with a concentration in Administration, Policy and Planning, and is also a graduate of Cornell University.

1C – Don’t Confuse Compliance with Quality.  What is required for service excellence? PART I

 
Sarah Delicate is a founding partner of Bell Brown Molnar and Delicate Inc. (BBMD), a consulting firm based in Ottawa Canada. As a consultant, coach, trainer and speaker, Sarah Delicate has worked with 1000’s of people across 100’s of organizations, helping programs thrive in tough, outcome-based competitive environments. Whether you are a for-profit or a non-profit/not-for-profit, Sarah’s ‘values-based’ high energy NO FLUFF style will convince you that this outcome-based stuff is not just doable, but critical.
 
2B – Independent Learning – Independent Employee – How Technology can Enhance Employment Support
 
Lisa Marie Clinton is the founder of avail™. An advocate and international speaker within the area of independent living and supported employment for those with a disability,  she has spent over 10 years’ delivering Applied Behaviour Analysis interventions for individuals with Autism and other disabilities, across all domains of life.
From her research and the on the ground experience supporting individuals and service providers to raise expectations and opportunities through best-practice programs avail™ have developed their supported on-line educational solution to empower individuals to have greater opportunities and a lifetime of independence. The avail™ software and program has been endorsed by Irish government departments and is currently facilitating supported employment agencies in Ireland, the UK and America.  
 
   
Pete Bennett is an authority on Self Directed Supported Learning,  Blended Learning strategies and Certificated & Accredited on-line educational processes.
 
With a background in both business and education he founded a successful and progressive Learning consultancy and eLearning business advising and implementing International Learning Centres, on-line Universities, Academies and Development Centres for major Corporates , Public Sector bodies, and Further & Higher Educational Institutions. 
 
He sits on the internationally renowned Cranfield University CUBIC business incubation Board advising new start-ups and emerging businesses from the Alumni on strategy and best practice.
 
2C – Don’t Confuse Compliance with quality.  What is required for service excellence?  PART II
 
 
Sarah Delicate - is a founding partner of Bell Brown Molnar and Delicate Inc. (BBMD), a consulting firm based in Ottawa Canada. As a consultant, coach, trainer and speaker, Sarah Delicate has worked with 1000’s of people across 100’s of organizations, helping programs thrive in tough, outcome-based competitive environments. Whether you are a for-profit or a non-profit/not-for-profit, Sarah’s ‘values-based’ high energy NO FLUFF style will convince you that this outcome-based stuff is not just doable, but critical.
 
 
3A – Employers Speak Out (Business Panel)
 
Virginia Ludy's wide ranging experience in the fair industry encompasses more than 30 years. Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian National Exhibition, she was the Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations, where she managed a diverse and talented team with responsibility for: emergency planning and preparedness, security, parking and traffic management, gate operations, midway, food services, safety engineering, visitor services, guest relations, information services, volunteer services, site planning, and event services for the annual fair. 
 
Virginia has played a leadership role in defining a new strategic plan for the CNE and is currently overseeing the development of new master plan for the organization.  Virginia also leads the organization in the area of business development, a new portfolio created as a result of the CNEA’s recent independence from Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto.
 
Virginia has served as the Chair of the Amusement Devices Advisory Council for the provincial Technical Standards and Safety Authority, and was the President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions. Virginia also served as a Director of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. Previously she has volunteered on other boards and councils in her community.
 
Prior to becoming the Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations, Virginia held the positions of Operations Manager, Senior Concessions Coordinator and Marketing Coordinator for the CNE.  Before embarking on her career in the fair industry, she was employed in the financial sector.
 
Virginia has a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Honours) in Geography from Ryerson University. She also holds the following industry designations, Certified Fair Executive (CFE) from the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, has completed and graduated from the Fair Institute Program and has successfully completed the Certified Exposition Manager (CEM) program from the Canadian Association of Exposition Managers (CAEM). Virginia has also successfully completed international courses in the area of emergency planning and preparedness.
 
Virginia has been a life-long resident of Toronto and currently resides there with her husband and two children.
 
 
Joe Hoffer 
 
 
3B – Exploring the Impact: Strength-Based Employment for people with Intellectual Disabilities
 
Derek Roy has been with Community Living Essex County since 2010 working as a Direct Support Provider, Administrative Officer, and Project Coordinator. He is now the Manager, Community Living Supports overseeing Career Compass. Connecting people with intellectual disabilities to meaningful employment opportunities in their home communities is his passion!
 
   
Kelly Carr is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. Kelly's research focuses on understanding the social impact of showcasing the strengths of people with disabilities. While her work primarily involves sport and physical exercise as a means to develop an inclusive community, she has recently extended her theoretical and practical approach to explore strength-based employment practices for people with intellectual disabilities.
 
3C- Effective, demand-led employment & training supports for persons with disabilities
 
Dr. Trina Foster is the Executive Director at the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI). With other 10 years experience, she is a proven leader in the creation, management, and translation of research across a wide range of topics/areas. She has worked in a variety of environments and across sectors to demonstrate how research-based activities can inform and support relevant stakeholder communities. Her past roles all involved developing and leading multifaceted, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams that use research to address complex questions of importance to society. Prior to joining OCWI, Trina was Director, Research & Global Academy at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) where she provided oversight and leadership to international research networks as well as led the strategic development and operationalization of CIFAR’s activities to support tomorrow’s research leaders. She serves on the board of, and volunteers with several not for profit organizations and charities; is an active advocate for women in science; and continues to advise/speak-on the importance of evidence-informed decision making.
 
   
Andrew Bieler is an interdisciplinary researcher with a commitment to creative and community based research. Currently, he is a research associate with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation. Trained in social and cultural theory, he completed his PhD in the Joint Program in Communication and Culture at York University and Ryerson University in Toronto. His doctoral research examined the role of arts-sciences collaborations in the development of critical public pedagogy about climate change. His postdoctoral research focused on the integration of sustainability in education policy and practice, particularly in relation to higher education. In the area of critical environmental education, he recently coauthored the book Critical education and sociomaterial practice: narration, place, and the social. His research has appeared in SustainabilityEnvironmental Education ResearchInVisible CultureGreen HumanitiesJournal of Curatorial Studies and Teachers College Record
 
4A – Building your Business through Influence Marketing
 
Sam Fiorella – Author, Entrepreneur, Marketer, Mental Health Advocate. 
 
Among the businesses that Sam operates, he's a Partner & CMO at Sensei Marketing Inc., a consulting and technology firm focused on aiding global companies grow their business value through improved customer experiences.
 
Co-author of Influence Marketing: How To Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media. Professor of Marketing at Seneca College, Adjunct Professor at Rutgers' Center for Management Development. Managing Director of The Friendship Bench and #YellowIsForHello, a not-for-profit corporation focused on connecting teens and young adults improve their mental health.
 
Sales & marketing veteran with almost 30 years experience and now 1800 digital projects to his credit for clients including Morgan Stanley, AOL, Hyatt Gaming Management, Snyder's of Hanover, Hitachi, the Home Depot, Kraft Foods, Drees Homes, American Idol, and hundreds more, including leading agencies around the North America. 
 
 
4B – Job Development using Business Advisory Committees & Client Profiles
 
 
Jen Soucy is a professional educator and has worked in a variety of roles within LiveWorkPlay since 2006.  For the last 8 years she has supported people with intellectual disabilities to obtain and maintain competitive employment as well as recruiting and supporting employers to hire and include people with intellectual disabilities as part of their workforce.  As part of her current role to build the organization’s capacity in Employment Supports, she has developed many organizational partnerships and is the developer of LiveWorkPlay’s Employment Task Force.  Jen engages and supports the Business Employment Task Force and also the Federal Employment Strategy Group, which includes over 40 volunteers and employer champions, to approach and secure new employers and employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. LiveWorkPlay received the United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year award in 2013, which specifically celebrated the inclusion of people with disabilities in local workplaces. Jen also is a Certified Employment Support Professional (C.E.S.P.) and has been a member of the West Ottawa Rotary Club since 2011.  In her free time, Jen and her husband Andrew enjoy living in the country (her favourite thing to do is cut grass!) and parenting their 5 kids!
 
 
4C – Empowering the Employment Sector to Serve Youth with Mental Health Issues
 
Sinead McCarthy is the Vice President at Youth Employment Services YES.  Sinead joined YES in 1999 and brings over 20 years’ experience in the sector and a passion for helping youth. Sinead has for many years understood the intersect between employment and mental health and designed a specialist project in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and mental health – The Lighthouse project. She also led the development of a specialized curriculum and training to help Employment Specialists better support youth living with mental health issues seek and maintain employment. Most recently her work includes a partnership with Accenture to educate and create awareness amongst high level companies to the benefits of hiring youth with mental health issues.
 
   
Robert Wharram is the Program Manager for the Lighthouse Project, This Way Ahead, and Starbucks at Youth Employment Services YES. Robert began with YES in 2015 as a front line job developer in the first year of the Lighthouse Project, a program supporting youth with mental health issues obtain and maintain employment. As program manager, Robert works closely with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is an advisory committee member for their annual “Employment and Education Info Fair.”
 
His role includes connecting with service providers throughout the Greater Toronto Area to strengthen and promote the Lighthouse project’s specialized Enhanced Employment Assistance Services and job opportunities.
 
 
5A – Provincial Update on Services for People with Disabilities
 
Barbara Simmons – Barb Simmons is currently the Director for the Community Supports Policy Branch at the Ministry of Community and Social Services.  Barb has over 25 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service, and has held a variety of jobs related to policy, program design and service delivery, including stints at Cabinet Office, Director of the Apprenticeship Reform Project, and Central Region Director at the former Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
 
Barb has a degree in Fine Arts from York University, she is married to Alison, and has two teenagers, Annie and Alec, with all of whom she never gets to spend enough time.
 
Gloria Lee has been engaged in social policy development for more than 15 years. In her current role as Director of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Gloria’s key priorities include supporting priorities around Income Security Reform, developing policy and program improvements to promote social and economic inclusion, and implementing actions under the Provincial Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities. Previously, Gloria served as Director of British Columbia’s Residential Tenancy Branch, where she focussed primarily on social housing issues. She also managed policy development in the Ontario Works Branch, where her work included poverty reduction and employment strategies. Gloria’s career began with a Masters in Social Work and several years’ experience in the non-profit sector in the areas of community development, fundraising and social research.
 
 
Jacqueline Cureton – Director, Program Delivery Support Branch, MAESD
Ontario Disability Employment Network Email: sdafoe@odenetwork.com
ODEN, P.O. Box 70576, Whitby, ON L1N 9G3, Canada
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