Get to Know the 2021 National APSE Board of Directors Nominees!

The current National APSE Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome so many qualified applicants for consideration by the full APSE membership!

Voting will take place March 17-31st, 2021. All current APSE Members are encouraged to vote. Ballots will be sent to APSE members on March 17th.

Before you know the names of the candidates, we want you to learn what they envision as their contribution to improving National APSE.

Therefore we have randomized and anonymized their answers to this question below.

After you have read their answers, click Read More to learn the name of the candidate and see their full nomination. The full list of nominees can be found at the bottom of the page.

Question: How will you be able to contribute to the growth and improvement of APSE as an organization?

At Large Candidate #1

"There are three areas where I believe I can bring significant contributions to the APSE board. First, throughout my career, I have had the privilege of sitting on numerous local, state, and national boards both as a board member and in some cases as the chairperson. Additionally, I am never afraid to speak up and provide different perspectives during all board activities. I know these attributes and skills will allow for my success as part of the APSE board. Second, I think it is vital to have a self-advocate’s perspective as part of all disability boards. Lastly, my experience with public policy work will be an asset to the board. I understand the work that goes into getting policies changed and the strategies necessary to change them. "

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At Large Candidate #2

"I would be an excellent contributor to APSE’s mission as I bring many years of experience in supported employment and promoting an inclusive workforce. My experience as a practitioner allows me to understand the needs of people with disabilities in the community. As a direct delivery staff member, I can speak to the training and experience of people with disabilities and their families. As a manager, I can give voice to developing staff to best support people with disabilities to enter the workforce and becoming financially independent. As an Executive, I continue to strategically leverage relationships to further connect people with disabilities, with employers, government entities research bodies and community resources."

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At Large Candidate #3

"I am a very positive person; I always see the silver lining in situations. I look for the next approach, the next avenue to take in order for goals to be met. I want each individuals’ successes/stories to be heard across the country. I am a strong advocate that likes to have fun all while making a difference and changing people's mindset about what individuals with disabilities can do."

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At Large Candidate #4

"Over the course of my career, I have supported life skills, career counseling, and job placement for the hardest to serve –in these roles, I have advanced into leadership, gaining substantial expertise in academic and career technical training, employment support, and career pathway training. I have gleaned knowledge from my work as a consultant to Department of Labor government contractors of Job Corps, and YouthBuild USA programs and Vocational Rehabilitation community resource provider programs throughout the country. I am a proficient proposal/grant writer and have familiarity with government contracting. I will use this expertise to offer support to strategy and sustainability. Additionally, my experience with data integrity and labor market research will help APSE to assess its relevancy and direction at the national and policy level.

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At Large Candidate #5

"APSE has conducted some terrific advocacy, but the organization should continue to grow. Specifically, I am eager for APSE to embrace its commitment to advance employment for all people with disabilities. In my experience, these efforts have traditionally been led by employment service professionals, rather than people with disabilities. Additionally, when I have attended APSE conferences – both in Indiana and nationally – the individuals with disabilities given speaking roles have been primarily individuals with intellectual disabilities. While these contributions are undoubtedly valuable, there are more voices that need to join the discussion."

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At Large Candidate #6

"I have always been a big picture, systems thinker. During my first term on the national board, I was privileged to chair its first committee on professional development. We worked to bring the knowledge and legacy of APSE into the present, through projects like updating the APSE Core Competencies. APSE is, as always, at an important place at a critical time. We need every voice, every advocate, everyone committed to the mission with us. However, many don't yet see themselves when they look at APSE. I have never let my fear prevent me from asking difficult questions or tackling challenging issues. This is why I agreed to chair the Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion committee. I hope to help APSE combat the systemic racial barriers that impact individuals with disabilities, employment professionals, and limit the number of voices around us when we need everyone to advocate for Employment First."

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At Large Candidate #7

"As a self-advocate I can spread the word about action alerts on CIE and speak to why we need CIE for all, No one is too disabled to live and work in the community. I can also assist with fundraising by bringing creative fundraiser ideas to the table. In the Era of COVID I can advocate for innovative ideas like getting more PWD Work from home jobs."

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At Large Candidate #8

"I will give my knowledge as an advocate, and I can also contribute in other ways with information that they may not know and what is going on out there from a disability point of view."

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At Large Candidate #9

"I have been a staunch advocate for the Employment First (EF) movement since I first read the White Paper: Establishing a National Employment First Agenda (Niemiec, Owens & Lavin, 2009). EF philosophy, mission, and values have guided my work as an educator, researcher, and advocate for people with disabilities. I have been a member of APSE for many years serving as a Board member of the Florida Chapter for the past six years; the past five years in the role of Vice President. Our chapter partners with the Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (SEDNET) to host the Making Wellness a Priority: Healthy Minds and Healthy Futures annual conference. I serve on the Speakers, Presentations, and Program Committee for the conference. Additionally, I Chair the Future Leader’s in Employment First (FLEF) Scholarship Program."

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At Large Candidate #10

"As a 10-year board member of Indiana APSE, I understand the power that a committed group of people can have on changing policies, improving knowledge, and building advocacy skills. As a former member of Indiana APSE leadership, I understand the necessity of APSE to be THE voice of competitive integrated employment. I realize that each member of a volunteer board must be a working member - doing what is asked, putting in the time, and being active on subcommittees - in order for APSE to challenge the barriers to competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities and achieve its annual goals. I welcome the opportunity to share my energy and experience with the APSE Board."

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At Large Candidate #11

"Since my start as a practitioner in customized employment, I’ve spent nearly a decade as a program manager, operational manager, and, currently, as a department manager of disability employment programs. My experience in management at a small, start-up agency in St. Paul, MN, and later at one of Minnesota’s largest social services organizations has equipped me with a unique perspective on both intimacy and scale of service: I believe those are the pillars of capacity-building across the country. If it’s truly ‘one person at a time’, we’re going to need a lot more people who are good at doing customized employment, and APSE will continue to play a central role in making that happen. To that end, I have presented at breakout sessions at state and national conferences, as well as several National APSE webinars and believe I could play an active role in APSE’s ongoing professional development."

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At Large Candidate #12

"I think I can give a unique perspective of a professional that has spent their entire career in a minority-majority city like Detroit and the unique challenges it faces in delivering quality services to the employment-seeking population of adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities that a large urban area has. I have a unique perspective in that I have worked pretty much every job in this industry from being a front-line staff in a boy’s home with adjudicated adolescent males with educational special needs to be the director of a large career center in the heart of Detroit. I have been a behavior specialist, a social worker, a supervisor of social workers, and other professional staff. I have managed programs and I am now the Director of Goodwill's Detroit Career Center. I develop and manage multiple seven-figure budgets as well as the operations and staff of the entire Career Center."

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At Large Candidate #13

"I am working to bring self-advocacy to southwestern Indiana again, we had a chapter before and it lost interest. As we are looking to get the chapter back to an active status, this will allow people to bring about change to the employment sector for themselves and other people who are disadvantaged in the workplace. As people talk about employment needs and using person-centered approach with self-advocacy this will bring exposure to the regional to show the state there are plenty of people here who want access to better job options. The people in this area are looking for jobs in technology and manufacturing, as well as other office-type jobs. We don’t have a lot of people in our region who want to work in the food and filth. As we come out of this pandemic, the work environment is changing, as we see employers paying for entry-level, we need to be more competitive. I strive to embody an “Each one, teach one” motto, which leads me to endeavor for everyone to learn a level of respect and understanding of their needs and to achieve.

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Rocky Mountain Delegate #1

"I have a strong background and knowledge of VR and ID/DD systems as well as the education system. I have built strong collaborative partnerships at both the local and state levels in my state, and I believe it is key to ensuring individuals with the most significant disabilities have opportunities to seek employment. In my experience, and through demonstration projects, we have uncovered systemic barriers and found ways to work through them. I believe I can bring that expertise and passion to the APSE regional delegate position."

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Rocky Mountain Delegate #2

"I look forward to assisting APSE in its mission through advocacy for advancement and progress at the local and national level. Additionally, my background in development, non-profit management, and communications may be of assistance to the organization. I am a seasoned manager, fundraiser, grant writer, and marketer. For example, I have assisted in helping to develop a new MENTOR program for the Recertification Committee to assist CESPs in the renewal of their certification."

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Southeast Delegate

"I will bring my expertise and experience with best practices to increase employment opportunities in the Southeast region, including Mississippi that does not currently have an APSE Chapter. I will advocate for community integrated employment, fair wages, and career advancement to be an option for anyone that wants it, regardless of stereotypes and stigmas that may exist. I will provide leadership and support to the Chapter and National Boards as needed to promote the mission of APSE. I have a strong interest in public policy and am interested in serving on the APSE Public Policy Committee."

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The 2021 National APSE Board of Directors Candidates:

At-Large Candidates (3 Open Seats)

Rocky Mountain Regional Delegates

(1 Open Seat)

Tricia Jones

Laura Hovey Neubert


Southeast Regional Delegate


Cindy Burns