Board of Directors
Terry R. Farmer
Terry was born and raised in Southern California. He is a graduate of the University of California and the University of Redlands. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Johnston College, University of Redlands. He received practicum experience in the disabilities field in the Redlands Unified School District where he served students with special needs. Terry’s interest in the field originally stems from living with relatives who have disabilities. His mother died in 1981 at the age of fifty-one subsequent to a long-term disabling condition.
CEO, Witco, Inc.
Maureen Niland Stokes is the Corporate Vice President of WITCO, a non-profit community rehabilitation program providing services to individuals with disabilities in Idaho and Oregon. Ms. Niland Stokes has been employed by the company since 1980. Ms. Niland Stokes received her degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington. She is a past President of ACCSES Idaho, a state wide association representing the non-profit providers of vocational services in Idaho.
She serves on the Employers Counsel for the local Idaho Department of Labor Employment and is involved in many community organizations. Ms. Niland Stokes is proud to be a member of the ACCSES Board of Directors and is committed to its mission of providing support and services to community rehabilitation programs throughout the United States. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading and watching her son Liam hit the baseball out of the park!
President/CEO, Cerebral Palsy of New York State
Susan Constantino was named President of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State in July, 2004 after serving one year as Deputy Executive Director. As President she is responsible for the programs and services operated by CP of NYS in New York City as well as the State Association, which offers its 24 Affiliates technical assistance and opportunities for training, information sharing and networking among Affiliate Executive Directors and staff. The organization works with legislative and governmental agencies to ensure that public policy has a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Ms. Constantino serves on many governmental task forces, councils and statewide committees representing the interests of CP of NYS, its Affiliates and the people we serve.
ACCSES Board Secretary/Treasurer
Executive Director, Disability Service Provider Network
Lincoln Burr has been working in the field of disability services for over 20 years. He started his career by supporting people in their own homes and leading a community integrated employment agency. Linc was hired as the Executive Director of Paragon Industries in 1994. Before he left, Paragon was operating two CRP locations, three integrated enclaves and five day programs scattered throughout Wisconsin. He left the world of employment to go to residential in 2001 where 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 over a 1000 staff. He is currently the director of Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, a state-wide trade association that has been supporting and advocating for providers for over 50 years.
Dr. Gary Edwards
ACCSES Board Vice Chair
Chief Executive Officer, United Ability, formerly United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham
Dr. Gary Edwards has been the CEO of United Ability for 35 years. Under his direction, the agency has become one of the largest organizations in Alabama serving people with disabilities. Through its eleven programs, United Ability provides a continuum of services to children and adults with all types of disabilities. Beginning with their early intervention and early learning programs that build the foundation for living a life that is not defined nor limited by disability, it extends to world-class, family-focused medical care and therapy programs for children and adults that contribute to greater independence and an enhanced quality of life. In addition, United Ability has Adult Day Programs and United Ability Employment Services that provides job training and placement services. United Ability also has Gone For Good, a secure document and e-waste destruction company that provides meaningful employment for over 90 adults. United Ability, now in its 70th year has received local, state, and national recognition for its outreach and services to children and adults with disabilities. Dr. Edwards serves on multiple local, state, and national boards and has been recognized for his advocacy on behalf of the disabled and their families.
President/CEO, Ability Connection Colorado, Inc.
Judith Ham, President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy of Colorado, Inc., has overseen a transformation of the organization over the last 14 years. She has lead pioneering efforts to place individuals with disabilities in inclusive, community-based jobs and grown the size of early childhood program by more than 800%. She established the vision and planning for a statewide family support initiative that provides outreach, services and advocacy for thousands of people with disabilities. Over the past 20 years, Ham has participated on various local, regional and national committees related to issues such as disabilities, early education, children and employment.
ACCSES Board Chair
President/CEO, North Bay Industries
Robert Hutt, CEO of North Bay Industries (NBI), has been instrumental in providing a variety of work opportunities for people with disabilities in Sonoma, Marin, Contra Costa and Monterey counties. Since 1996, Mr. Hutt has embraced the mission of NBI by expanding our Federal contracts in grounds maintenance, custodial, food service and flag manufacturing. Our government customers include the U.S. Army, Navy, Coast Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs’.
NBI is a California non-profit organization established in 1968. The mission of NBI is to provide vocational training and employment to adults with disabilities. NBI is headquartered in Rohnert Park where people with disabilities are honored to manufacture the American Interment Flag for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
President/CEO, TECH Inc.
Brenda Maxey, President/CEO of TECH, Inc. in Hutchinson, Kansas, serves as Chair of the ACCSES Board of Directors. Maxey was first elected to the Board in January 1998 during a period of transition for the organization, and then selected by her peers to be the ACCSES Board Chair in 2003. Since that time, her steadfast leadership ushered in a period of stability that helped to complete a re-organization process, successful merger with the Disability Service Providers of America, continued growth in membership and numerous legislative accomplishments.
Maxey has been employed at TECH, Inc. since 1989, where she started as a Residential Coordinator. Prior to being hired in 1999 to serve as TECH’s President/CEO, she also worked as a Residential Manager and Director of Services. During her tenure, TECH, Inc. has grown to over a $7 million agency employing 175 staff and providing direct supports and services for 250 adults and 500 children with disabilities.
President/CEO, Grand Traverse Industries
• Born in Lansing, Michigan.
• Graduated HS 1964, Willow Glen High School, San Jose, Calif.
• Varsity Track Letter(pole vault and high jump) College of Idaho, 1965.
• BA - History and Physical Sciences - San Jose State University - 1969
• Graduate Degree in Education - Secondary Teaching Credential - Sonoma State University -1971
• Married - 1971 to present - six adult children and 20 grandchildren
• Member, Christ The King Catholic Church & Knights of Columbus
CEO, Cottonwood, Inc.
Sharon Spratt has over 40 years of experience in the provision of rehabilitative services to persons with developmental disabilities. As Chief Executive Officer of Cottonwood, Inc., she is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the overall operation and funding of the non-profit organization. Prior to her appointment as CEO of Cottonwood in 1994, Sharon worked with community service providers in both Kansas and Florida in various service and administrative capacities.
She holds a B.S. in education from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas and has completed graduate courses at the University of South Florida, Fort Hays State University and the University of Kansas.
Ms. Tefelski has over 28 years of experience advocating on behalf of children with special needs and adults with disabilities. Karen was appointed by two Governors as the first and only Chairperson of the Employment Subcommittee of Virginia’s Olmstead Steering Committee and currently serves on other statewide advisory boards including Virginia’s Money Follows the Person Advisory Council, VA’s DOL Disability Employment Initiative Executive Board, VA’s federal Mental Health Employment Development Initiative Advisory Committee, VA’s ID/DD Waiver Advisory Committee, and sits as a member of the Virginia Supported Employment Leadership Network (SELN).
Ms. Tefelski has been an advocate in the field of disability policy since she joined ServiceSource as Business Development Director in 1996. Karen and vaACCSES are recognized as experts on SSI, SSDI and available state and federal work incentives for Virginians with disabilities as the Social Security Administration’s Work Incentives, Planning and Assistance (WIPA - formerly BPAO) grantee since 2001.
Before arriving in Virginia, Karen was a lobbyist and association executive in DC and California – representing Children’s Hospitals, the American Academy of Pediatricians – Region 9, the California Children’s Lobby, the Children’s Research Institute of California, and the National Association of Homes and Services for Children.
Ms. Tefelski has a M.S. in Forensic Criminology from California State University – Sacramento.
CEO, Employment Solutions
Rick Christman has been the CEO of Employment Solutions in Lexington Kentucky since 1989. Among the operations of Employment Solutions are employment and residential services for people with developmental disabilities as well as a career college for people with general employment barriers. Rick holds a BA degree in Special Education and MS in Vocational Rehabilitation. He also serves of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), Lexington Transit Authority, and the Kentucky Assn. for Private Providers.
Senior Vice President of Community Rehabilitation, CW Resources, Inc.
Sandie has worked in the disability employment field for over 30 years. She started her career with Goodwill Industries of the Springfield/Hartford Area in CT and MA and began working with CW Resources, headquartered in CT in 1997. She holds a M.S. in Organizational Psychology. Sandie oversees the rehabilitation services at five facilities in Connecticut that provide day and employment opportunities for over 500 individuals daily. These programs and services help individuals to explore work and learn transferable job and interpersonal skills, which empower people to increase their employability and advocate for themselves. Sandie believes in employment first for all people and supports the right to choose where one works and spends their time.
She is an active member with the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, serves as board secretary for Disability:IN CT (formerly CT Business Leadership Network), and is active in her home community.