2023 National APSE Board Nominee: Melissa Marvel, KY
2023 National APSE Board of Directors At-Large Candidate
MEET THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2023 NATIONAL APSE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: CLICK to read about all nominees before the election ends on March 22.
The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:
Family Member of a Person with a Disability, Service Provider or Manager
Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in promoting competitive integrated employment in your state. Additionally, explain why you are passionate about competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities (no more than 500 words):
For 37 years, Zoom Group, Inc. has been providing vocational training to individuals with disabilities and providing support in their efforts to secure employment. Although our organization’s mission and vision, over the last decade, has been to assist with supported employment, WIOA and the efforts to abolish 14c have come to the forefront, igniting the need and importance of change. To move employment efforts forward, one must have a vision and the initiative to make change. In 2022 and again in 2023, Zoom Group, Inc. was awarded participation in ODEP’s National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network [NEON]; this initiative focuses on developing strategic plans for increasing competitive integrated employment (CIE) opportunities for individuals with disabilities and who have faced barriers to employment. Since receiving the award in 2022, I, as the CEO of Zoom Group, and our entire ZoomWorks [CIE] team, have been and continue to be fully dedicated and passionate about our ZoomU: Transitions program, which supports an individual’s desire to work, with a “no fail” pathway. For individuals with disabilities, who desire work, CIE provides a sense of self-worth, confidence, independence, and inclusion. Values all humans deserve, regardless of ability.
What relevance does/should APSE and its chapters/members have in national and state conversations regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion (no more than 350 words)?
Diverse boards and directors bring valuable outlooks, opinions, and suggestions regarding decision-making and problem-solving. More dynamic approaches help to deconstruct tight-knit or narrow decision-making processes to which companies might be accustomed, leading to improved and more inclusive corporate governance. A board of directors with members from different lifestyles can offer more progressive insights and approaches that otherwise might have yet to be accounted for. The growth that can follow from diversity and inclusion can contribute to stronger companies and a more robust economy. There is value in maintaining an intentional and continuous commitment to diversity by ensuring that boards represent the society they serve.
What skills, knowledge or lived experience do you have that will contribute to strengthening and growing the financial health of APSE and promoting its mission to advance employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities (no more than 350 words)?
As a CPA, and MBA (Entrepreneurial Studies), I have over 25 years of financial, business development, organizational, and governance skillsets, etc. As a parent of a 22-year-old with a visual disability, I have lived experiences; we’ve encountered limitations, barriers, and exclusion. I/we have worked diligently to make positive changes for my child, now an adult. The combined experience, professional (leading a disability service provider organization) and personal (parenting and community engagement), strengthened my ability to advocate for individuals with disabilities and to educate potential employers and business partners.
Melissa Marvel, CPA, MBA, serves as CEO for Zoom Group, an organization that for 37 years has empowered, educated, and employed individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Marvel’s degree accomplishments complement the position she holds; exercising them in combination with her leadership and altruistic passion serves her well, providing daily, meaningful work in helping others. Marvel’s professional career spans from Fortune 100 companies to privately held entities. In the nonprofit sector, Marvel served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration for Kosair Charities in Louisville, Kentucky. While there, she facilitated and managed a multi-million Annual Budget. She was responsible for Treasury Management with $200M in assets, including Endowment and other Investment Vehicles; Risk Management; Property Management; Staff Management; Organizational Policies and Procedures; Healthcare Reimbursement; Regulatory Reporting, including financial reporting for internal, external, and all government agencies. While at Kosair Charities, she was awarded the honor of Project Manager for the $1.4 million renovation of the Kosair Charities Center, formerly Kosair Cripple Children’s Hospital. Accomplishments and awards, Marvel, a 2013 Forcht Entrepreneurship Fellow, is a certified public accountant and a published author of Accounting Articles in a local periodical, Business First. Additionally, Marvel is the 2013 NAWBO Scholarship Recipient awarded while obtaining an MBA at the University of Louisville. Previously, she earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA), a professional designation awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, associated with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Executive Education. She has received formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility, including earning the Series 66 & 7 licensing. Marvel is a member of the American Institute of CPAs [AICPA], the Kentucky Society of CPAs; she has served as a CPA Ambassador for the [AICPA]. Marvel is a graduate of Leadership Louisville, Bingham Fellows, and Focus Louisville. Active in her community, Marvel serves on the Kentucky Association of Private Providers Board of Directors, KY APSE Board of Directors and is a Committee Member on Kentucky’s Employment First Council. She is the Past President of the Junior League of Louisville, Voter Outreach, Inc., and UofL’s Entrepreneurship Idea Innovators. Additionally, a former Board Member of the Kentucky Society of CPAs, Habitat for Humanity; Leadership Louisville, Ex-officio; Louisville Theatrical Association; Holy Trinity Finance Council; VP Finance, and Treasurer of Business and Professional Women River City, to name a few. Marvel holds an MBA from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Eastern Kentucky University. Marvel enjoys golf, running, and coaching youth sports.