Advisory Council

  • C. Thomas Cook, S.Psy.S., Chair

    Executive Director
    Ability Network of Delaware

    Since 1972, Thomas Cook has worked in direct support, operational, policy/design, and consulting roles in services for people with disabilities.  He completed his graduate degrees in psychology in 1988.  From 1991 to 1995, he was a policy analyst with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities; from 1995 to 2002, he worked for Dungarvin, a long-term care company serving people with developmental disabilities; from 2003 to 2007, he was a consultant to state and local governments on Medicaid-related projects, as well as a general consultant to private agencies; from 2007 to 2008, he was the Executive Director for Children’s Mental Health Services in Itasca County, Minnesota; and from 2008 to 2014, he was the Executive Director of Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action, and merged with the Residential Services Association to become the Disability Services Provider Network.  In 2014 Thomas began working as the Executive Director of the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, which is doing business as the Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.), an association that represents most developmental disabilities and behavioral health providers in the state.  Thomas previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

  • Adams,julia

    Julia Adams-Schuerich

    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Oak City Government Relations

    Oak City is dedicated to working with the disability community in North Carolina by providing strong representation for their issues in the North Carolina General Assembly.  Julia Adams-Scheurich currently represents The Autism Society of North Carolina, NCAPSE, NCARF, MARC Inc., Maxim Healthcare Services, and SembraCare.  She joined CCR Consulting Group as a Senior Policy Consultant working on a broad array of healthcare policy initiatives focusing on home and community-based services, Medicaid transformation, hospice, home health as well as working with clients to understand and maximize potential under federal and state policy changes.  She also serves as policy consultant to ACCSES.  Previously, Julia was the Director of Government Relations for The Arc of North Carolina.  Julia began her career in policy and advocacy working to promote inclusion in the arts in North Carolina.

  • Lincoln Burr

    ASPIRO, Inc.

    Lincoln Burr has been working in the field of disability services for over 25 years. He started his career by supporting people in their own homes and leading a competitive integrated employment agency. Linc was hired as the Executive Director of Paragon Industries in 1994. During his tenure, Paragon began operating two Community Rehabilitation programs, three group-supported employment sites, and five day programs scattered throughout Wisconsin. He left the world of employment to go to residential in 2001, when he was hired to run Homes for Independent Living, a company that grew to provide community-based residential services to over 500 people through the combined efforts of more than 1,000 staff. Before joining ASPIRO, Linc was the CEO of The Disability Service Provider Network, a statewide trade association that has been supporting and advocating for providers for over 50 years in Wisconsin.

  • Carr,carol

    Carol Carr

    ACHIEVE Human Services

    Carol Carr has been CEO of ACHIEVE Human Services in Yuma, Arizona since 2004.  She previously served as the Executive Director of a non-profit agency addressing the needs of severely abused and neglected children.  In the for-profit arena, Carol’s background includes tenures with both IBM and Xerox Corporation including international business development.  Carol has held memberships in American Business Women’s Association, San Jose Chapter, and served as the Rotarian President, Fremont, CA Chapter.  She served on the San Jose Economic Council focused on the development of small, minority-owned businesses.  Nationally, she served as the President of the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers (NCSE) for eight years and served on the Source America board.  During her tenure with ACHIEVE, Carr also served on the Arizona Department of Administration, State Set-aside, and the Arizona State Rehabilitation Committee (SRC), where she chaired the Employment and Community Partnership sub-committee.  Prior to fulfilling her SRC office term she successfully completed and published the Arizona Employer Resource Guide for employing individuals with disabilities.  Her board service also includes the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities (AAPPD), which she chaired for two years.

  • Dowse,pat

    Pat Dowse

    Solutions Specialist
    Dowse Factor

    Pat Dowse has over 30 years of experience providing vocational counseling, systems’ guidance and advocacy, and workforce policy analysis in New York and nationally.  Now, as a Solution Specialist, she consults with not-for-profit rehabilitation providers, grassroots advocacy and trade groups, tech companies, and private and government systems to build and support opportunities for people who identify with having a disability to lead full and inclusive lives.  She is continuing her advocacy passion under Dowsefactor connecting people, professionals and organizations to the information, tools, resources, and supports for career and business success.  Recognized as a subject matter expert, Pat Dowse has an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Albany.

  • Maxy Brenda 13

    Brenda Maxey-Fesen

    President & Chief Executive Officer (retired)
    TECH, Inc.

    Brenda Maxey, retired on July 1, 2022 after 34 years of service at TECH, Inc.  Prior to being selected in 1999 to serve as TECH’s President & CEO, she served as the Director of Services.  During her tenure, TECH, Inc grew to be an agency employing more than 155 staff and providing direct supports and services for 250 adults and 500 children with disabilities.  Brenda was actively involved as an advocate for people with disabilities in Kansas for many years.  She served on the InterHab State Association’s Board of Directors beginning in 1993, including one term as its Board Chair.  As a recognized leader on issues important to Kansans with intellectual disabilities, Maxey served on the State of Kansas Sub-Committee on Strategic Planning for Persons with Disabilities, Kansas Legislative Committee’s State Task Force for System Improvements, and co-facilitated contract negotiations with the State of Kansas and 28 non- profit entities serving individuals with intellectual disabilities.  In her retirement, Brenda continues to be an active partner in development of national public policy as it relates to persons with disabilities, promoting independence and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  Brenda previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

  • Hammond, Jim

    Jim Hammond

    President & Chief Executive Officer (retired)
    INARF, Inc.

    With decades of experience and commitment to Indiana’s citizens with disabilities, Jim Hammond brings valuable insight to the field of disability services, public policy development, and Association management.  After completing his studies at Indiana University in 1973, Jim began his career working at community-based non-profits in southern Indiana such as, Rauch Inc., New Hope Services, Stone Belt Center, Inc., and New Albany Goodwill in direct service until the late1970s.  In 1978, Jim was recruited by INARF, Inc., formally known as the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, to develop a new business program (State Use) intended to employ Hoosiers with disabilities.  He has worked at INARF since 1978 and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 2004 until he retired in 2012.  INARF was established in 1974 and is the principal membership organization in Indiana representing providers of early intervention, residential and employment services for people with disabilities.  Over 80 companies compose INARF’s membership.  As s trade association representing a $1 billion industry, INARF offers numerous services to its members including governmental affairs, education & training, resource development and business services.

  • Kivitz,mike

    Mike Kivitz

    President & Chief Executive Officer (retired)
    Adelante Development Center, Inc.

    Mike Kivitz recently retired as President and CEO of Adelante Development Center, Inc. located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Under his leadership since 1979, Adelante’s operating budget grew from $64,000 to $35 million, now serving over 1,000 individuals annually.  Adelante provides vocational, day, and residential services for people with disabilities, and serves seniors and people with disadvantages as well.  Affirmative businesses include total facility management, document destruction, imaging and storage, mailing and fulfillment, and computer refurbishing.  Adelante operates on the Social Enterprise model, which blends the practices of small business, entrepreneurial values, and a social mission, including affirmative hiring of individuals with disabilities, as well as services to people with disadvantages and seniors.  Mike is highly involved in advocacy at the local, state, and federal government levels. He frequently testifies in state legislative matters and has been extensively involved in the passage of numerous pieces of legislation affecting the disability community.  Mike previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

  • Lajoy Sandie 11

    Sandra Lavoy

    Organizational Development Executive
    CW Resources, Inc.

    Sandie Lavoy is an Organizational Development Executive with CW Resources, Inc. headquartered in Connecticut and operating in 25 other states and the District of Columbia.  She has worked with CW Resources for over 26 years and previously held the role of Sr. Vice President of Community Rehabilitation Services.  Working in the field of disability services and employment since 1985, she holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Sociology.  In 2016, Sandie was recognized by the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers and received a Management Excellence Award.  Sandie remains a staunch advocate in supporting a full array of services for people with disabilities.  Sandie previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

  • Steve Perdue

    Chief Executive Officer (retired)
    Grand Traverse Industries

    As a former pole vaulter and high jumper, Steve Perdue’s career has always been about helping individuals with disabilities reach for new heights.  He began his career more than 50 years ago, first in Idaho where he began working with individuals with disabilities in 1972, served as the President of the Idaho Special Olympics in the mid-70s, and became CEO of TESH Industries in Coeur d’Alene in 1978.  In 1978, he also took on a two-year stint as President of the Idaho Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.  In 1980, Steve joined Grand Traverse Industries as CEO, a post he held until June 2021.  He simultaneously served as the President and CEO of Northern Living Nonprofit Housing Corporation.  Steve has also sat on numerous boards including the SourceAmerica board and boards highly beneficial to Traverse City community and the State of Michigan.  From 2016 to 2021, he chaired the National Steering Committee for Quality Work Environment-Best Practices and continues to serve on the QWE.  Since stepping down as CEO of GTI, Steve continues to support the organization as Manager of Special Projects.  Steve previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

  • Spratt,sharon

    Sharon Spratt

    Chief Executive Officer (retired)
    Cottonwood, Inc.

    Sharon Spratt’s career spanned nearly 50 years of service to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Sharon retired from Cottonwood, Inc. in June 2022 after serving as CEO since 1994.  Prior to her appointment as CEO, Sharon worked with community service providers in Hays, Kansas and Ft. Myers, Florida in various administrative capacities.  Among other professional areas of service, Sharon was a board member of InterHab, the state association for community service providers in Kansas, and served on the executive committee for many years.  Sharon has been and continues to be active in the Lawrence, Kansas community working with other local non-profit organizations and the Chamber.  Sharon previously served on the ACCSES Board of Directors.

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