2020 APSE Virtual Conference.

The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) awarded the APSE Public Policy Leader Award during the #APSE2020 Virtual Conference on July 7, 2020.

This award is presented to an individual who has excelled in advocacy work around Employment First. The Public Policy Leader is someone who inspires others to make a difference by engaging with elected officials and key stakeholders in discussions to promote policies that support the mission of Employment First.

This year, APSE is honored and humbled in recognizing the contributions of the 2020 winner, Bill Stumpf of Dubuque, Iowa.

Nominated by the Iowa APSE Chapter.

Bill Stumpf, 2020 Iowa APSE Public Policy Award Winner

Bill and Kyle stumpf smiling in front of the Washington Capitol in suits.

Bill Stumpf and son, Kyle Stumpf, in front of the Capitol before their testimony in October 2019.

As a parent of a young adult who experiences intellectual disability, Bill has learned to navigate complex systems and in turn helps other families by sharing the story of how his family overcame low expectations. Once a self-proclaimed roadblock to his son’s employment, Bill immersed himself in Iowa’s Employment First movement and now fully embraces the philosophy.
Bill is a tireless advocate who speaks out at the local, state and national level bringing to light areas in need of improvement and also celebrating successes. He has provided feedback to presidential candidates’ disability policy plans and continues to be a voice for parents with children with disabilities and a tremendous advocate in Iowa and the U.S. Bill met with every presidential candidate during the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses and offered his personal experiences and disability policy suggestions regarding healthcare, community services and employment.
Bill spends a great deal of his time helping people understand the benefits of competitive integrated employment and advocating for Employment First policies. Bill was the recipient of an Iowa APSE Chapter award and is well-known and respected in Iowa. He is looked to for leadership and expertise and brings a wealth of first-hand knowledge.


Congratulations, Bill Stumpf! APSE 2020 Public Policy Award Winner

2019 APSE Public Policy Award Winner

Katie Wolf Whaley, Kentucky

Katie Wolf Whaley testifying.

APSE members, Katie Wolf-Whaley and Karen Lee, with KY Sen. Ralph Alvarado, M.D., testifying on Feb. 19, 2019

Three women smiling together.

Katie Wolf-Whaley, 2019 APSE Public Policy Leader Award. Katie accepting the award from Executive Director Jenny Stonemeier and Former APSE Board of Directors President Heidi Maghan in St. Louis, MO.

Since 2018, Katie Wolf Whaley has served on the Kentucky Work Matters Task Force – the first state task force in the country convened following the release of the national Work Matters report. The task force included representation from all sectors of state government and statewide stakeholders. Katie also served on the disability subcommittee of the Task Force, helping to develop recommendations that were submitted to the Governor’s office.

One of the recommendations of Kentucky Work Matters was an Employment First Executive Order, which Governor Bevin signed May 15, 2018. Katie's work was instrumental in moving that Executive Order forward.

Katie was elected as the co-chair of the Kentucky Employment First Council on October 4, 2018, and began leading a cross-organization, cross-disability 27 member group that includes state government agencies, organizations, employers, providers, state Chamber of Commerce, people with disabilities and family members.

Katie was a lead writer in Kentucky’s successful application for a 2019 Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program technical assistance grant. This required collaboration between the Department of Education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department for Behavioral Health, and Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. Katie is leading efforts to work with the Office of Disability Employment Policy Technical Assistance Specialists to develop a strategic plan for Kentucky and ensure that the state is poised to move forward with a strong Employment First agenda.

their organization and found a few places that needed re-evaluating. Kim Anderson, Director of Employment for CHS said, “ We found that even within our own organization we had people working in groups and for sub-minimum wages.” Not only did CHS close two workshops they eliminated all subminimum and enclave positions in their organization.