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Alonzo Kelly

Kelly Leadership Group

A dynamic Executive Coach, Professor, 3x Best Selling Author, and Radio Host, Alonzo Kelly has gained international and global attention as a premier consultant and strategist. Alonzo is recognized as one the nation’s leading experts on leadership development, strategic thinking, planning, and acting which results in individual and organizational goal achievement. He has appeared on America’s Premier Experts which airs on major networks across the country including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX.
He holds a bachelor’s in Accounting, three master’s degrees (Public Administration, Human Resource & Labor Relations, Business Administration), and is nearing completion of a PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Services. He is also currently in the process of obtaining his Doctorate in Business Administration.
He currently serves on the State Board of Directors for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), National Board of Directors for SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), the Fire and Police Commission for the City of Howard, WI, and the Board of Directors for Family Services of Brown County.
Learn more at www.alonzokelly.com

Nicholas Kaasa

OTAC Trainer
The Arc Oregon

Nicholas Kaasa has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities Services for more than 8 years, and as someone who sits on both sides of the table. He understands the ins and outs of Oregon’s very complex DD Services System.

Emily Canela

OTAC Trainer
The Arc Oregon

Emily has 15 years of experience working in the Human Services field, which includes: Providing Case Management services for children and teens in Oregon that experience intellectual or developmental disabilities in a family home or foster care setting, supporting individuals with behavior consultation creation, implementation, and training; partnering with ODHS to ensure families have options for safe and supportive employment opportunities, and providing educational assistance and skills training for youth that experience I/DD in elementary school settings.

Amy Jordan

APP Director
SLLEA – Smart Living, Learning and Earning with Autism

Amy is the Director of SLLEA’s Advanced Placement Program (APP) supporting students who are at higher stages of independent living and autonomy. She has received extensive training in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and oversees a team of staff on creating trainings for SLLEA in implementing CPS with students and fellow staff members. Amy has worked 10+ years in leadership roles overseeing teams working with youth and young adults. Her proficiency is in case management, staff supervision and mentorship in leadership skills. She bridges gaps by connecting staff and students to resources and other organizations in the community while also focusing on continuous program development and collaboration with staff. In addition, Amy develops, implements and facilitates in-depth skills training for both staff and students. She is passionate in creating a culture of community and solidarity within her agency amongst staff and students. An immense source of pride is having the opportunity to see SLLEA students make strides forward in their goals in independent living. Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Park and Recreation Management, and brings unique experiences to SLLEA in therapeutic and outdoor recreation, program and community development, and world travel and study.

Holly Ross

Senior Program Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator
SLLEA – Smart Living, Learning and Earning with Autism

Holly works in a dual role as a Senior Program Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator with the training program, Smart Living, Learning and Earning with Autism (SLLEA). Her expertise includes extensive knowledge in mentorship, life coaching, leadership, case management, technology and skills instruction with transition aged and adults experiencing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her focus is building confidence in her students to obtain the necessary skills to live a safe, healthy and independent life. As a Community Outreach Coordinator, she works with parents and students on transition planning to enter SLLEA’s independent training program and collaborates with agencies and stakeholders. She has 15+ years of experience supporting transitional youth who experience disability and/or socioeconomical disadvantages. Holly is a graduate from Marshall University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and graduate work towards her master’s degree in Education. Additionally, she has worked in the Life Skills program in the Bethel School District. She is extremely passionate about helping others and serving her community.

Josh Barbour

Transition Network Facilitator
Linn Benton Lincoln ESD/Transition Technical Assistance Network

Josh Barbour is a Transition Network Facilitator who serves 30 school districts in Linn, Benton, Lincoln and Lane counties in Oregon. Josh provides technical assistance and curricular supports, establishes relationships with school district and community partners and provides training and professional development. Josh is also one of the hosts of the Oregon Transition Podcast: https://oregontransitionpodcast.podbean.com/ Prior to his role as a Transition Network Facilitator, Josh was a transition teacher in Eugene 4J School District for 11 years, working with 18-21 year old students who have graduated high schools with Modified Diplomas. For 10 years, Josh worked with middle schools students identified with emotional disturbance in Eugene 4J School District, Lane Educational Service District, and The Centennial School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Vanessa Rentschler, Au.D., CCC-A, C.A.S.

Audiologist & Autism Specialist

Dr. Vanessa Rentschler is a clinical audiologist and certified autism specialist. Almost two decades of providing diagnostic and rehabilitative hearing services combined with an interest in Disability Rights informs her multi-specialty approach. She currently combines evidence-informed auditory practices and autism expertise to support populations not often seen in the audiology clinic. Dr. Rentschler has lectured at professional conferences and for online seminars, including the Academy of Doctors of Audiology Conference 2021 and for the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research.

Derek Smith


Derek Smith is a self-advocate from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He enjoys sports, meeting new people, helping others, and his dog, Jaxon. Derek is a Partners in Policymaking graduate, an employee, a business owner and serves on the South Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Mara McLoughlin, MS, CCC-SLP

IRL Social Skills

With over 11 years professional experience working with autistic and other neurodivergent people and their families from age 6 month – 23 years, and her over 25 years as a student and teacher of yoga and mindfulness, Coach Mara knows that learning more of these skills can help build a better world.

A certified provider of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®), with both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Communication Science and Disorders, she knows that communication is the key to life. Communication is FUN! Communication is DIFFICULT. To learn and gain confidence in founding and maintaining friendships helps improve the lives of all involved. Remember, social skills are survival skills — and we can ALL improve our skills!

Todd Woodward

Outreach Coordinator
The Arc Lane County

Pronouns: He/Him/Theirs.
Prefers identity-first
With a background in communications, consumer health informatics, and decades of IT experience, Todd is an advisory board member for the TOTS Project early intervention program at the University of Oregon. In addition to being an autistic adult and the parent of an autistic son, he has expanded his advocacy work to The Arc Lane County by creating sensory-friendly COVID vaccination clinics which have helped vaccinate over 2500 people. Todd is also a professional photographer. When he’s not working, he enjoys relaxing at home with wife, son, two cats, while doing papercraft and dreaming of delicious cheeses.

Nancy Berge

Associate Director, Families Connected
The Arc Lane County

I am a mother of three and grandmother of six. My life passion is empowering underserved communities. I have worked with the IDD community for 30+ years in several capacities. I worked in the education system for 15 years, as a foster parent for 20+ years, and as a parent advocate for a couple of nonprofits. My work as a parent advocate brought me to The Arc Lane County several years ago. Currently, I run a program, Families Connected, that supports families with children with IDD.

Lilia Teninty

Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS)

None provided.

Alva Gardner

The 4*3 Perspective

Alva Gardner is a speaker and trainer who uses her unique, lived experience as a woman with a disability to infuse her speeches and trainings with impactful and real-life examples.

Alva earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, writing her senior thesis about the inaccessibility of the fashion industry and it’s problematic messaging to women with disabilities about their role and validity in society. She now works as a Person-Centered Thinking trainer, working with organizations and companies to make systemic changes that improve the work they do and the services they provide to people with disabilities. She is passionate about breaking down people’s assumptions and preconceived notions about what it means to live with a disability.

She has delivered presentations and Keynote addresses at a variety of disability events, including the Society of Disability Studies Conference, the Alameda County Developmental Disabilities Council Annual Awards Dinner, and The Learning Community of Person-Centered Practices Gathering.

Alva has always considered herself an open book, with a sassy, tell-it-like-it-is way of speaking. She hopes that, by being open and honest about her experiences, she can help remove the taboo nature of disability.

Em Braman

Executive Director
The Arc Oregon

Em Braman has worked professionally supporting individuals with developmental disabilities for over 20 years. In October 2021, she was appointed Executive Director of The Arc Oregon. She has been a county Services Coordinator, Child and Adult DD Foster Care Provider, Family Network Program Director, and a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Prior to taking over Executive Director responsibilities, she served as the Program Director for the Guardianship, Advocacy and Planning Services Program at The Arc Oregon. Through her varied experiences, as well as being a parent to a pre-teen experiencing IDD, she has become passionate about helping people create and live the life they desire.

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