Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Travis Roy

Motivational Speaker

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Travis Roy

Motivational Speaker

Travis Roy is a powerful motivational speaker and a former college ice hockey player for Boston University.  On October 20, 1995 – just eleven seconds into his first-ever shift for Boston University men’s ice hockey team – a 20-year-old Roy slid head-first into the boards, cracking his fourth vertebra and leaving him a quadriplegic.  That fateful October night in 1995 signaled the death of one dream – but also the eventual rebirth of a special kind of hope.  Although imprisoned for months in a hospital bed, then confined to a wheelchair, Travis gradually found the grit and the will to reclaim for himself a fulfilling and productive life.

Travis has spoken to various corporations, universities and high schools across the country.  He speaks on conquering life’s hurdles, setting goals, and his overall experiences in life.  He has a unique ability to quickly connect with his audience no matter what profession or age.

Roy and Sports Illustrated writer E.M. Swift wrote his autobiography, Eleven Seconds.  His story was also featured on ESPN’s E:60 series in an episode titled “Travis Roy, 20 years ago, 11 seconds long.”  During the 2015 NHL season, the Boston Bruins signed Travis to a one-day contract and had him perform the ceremonial puck drop before a game.  On October 20, 2015, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 20th “Travis Roy Day” to honor Travis, and to recognize the work he has done through “The Travis Roy Foundation”. In December 2016, Travis was profiled in People Magazine’s “Heroes among Us”.   In April 2017, Travis was awarded with the “Beacon of Courage and Dedication Award” at the 14th annual “Gathering for a Cure” Gala of the Brain Mapping Foundation.

Travis set up the Travis Roy Foundation, to help spinal cord injury survivors and to fund research for a cure.  Inspired by Travis’ own story, the lifeblood of the Travis Roy Foundation has been the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations across North America.  This generosity has made an immediate impact on the lives of many individuals.  Since 1997, the Travis Roy Foundation has distributed more than $12 million in individual grants as well as to research projects and rehabilitation institutions across North America.  The Travis Roy Foundation is uniquely positioned to touch individual lives with its focus on providing adaptive equipment and sponsoring research.

Plenary Speakers

Lisa M. Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN

Executive Vice Chancellor, Commonwealth Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

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Lisa M. Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN

Executive Vice Chancellor, Commonwealth Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Lisa Colombo assumed the senior-most executive role at Commonwealth Medicine in October 2018, overseeing the health care consulting and operations division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She was previously the senior vice president and chief nursing officer at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Colombo held additional roles within UMass Memorial Health Care system, including president of UMass Memorial Clinton Hospital, and both corporate vice president for Clinical Operations and chief nursing officer at UMass HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster.

Earlier in her career, Colombo was a founding partner and principal consultant at Healthcare Management Partners, LLC in Milford, a private consulting firm with its core business in physician practice management.

Her extensive academic health care management experience includes roles as senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, vice president of patient care and chief nurse at the former Milton Hospital, executive director of ambulatory operations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, director of inpatient nursing at New England Baptist Hospital, vice president of clinical services at Evocare/American HomePatient, and vice president of patient services at the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Massachusetts.

Colombo has taught doctoral level courses in the UMass Medical School Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) for over a decade and has offered advice to GSN leadership as associate dean for clinical practice since 2017. She is also a graduate of Worcester State University and has retained her connections with the institution, currently serving as an alumni representative to the Board of Trustees.

A published author of both book chapters and journal articles, Colombo is a prolific writer on health care and nursing. She has been a published peer reviewer for the Journal for Healthcare Quality and the Journal of Advanced Nursing. Colombo has also served as a member of the executive board of the Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and is also a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American College of Healthcare Executives and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Colombo earned her bachelor of science in nursing at Worcester State University, a master’s of health administration at Clark University, and a doctor of nursing practice at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.

Josh Cutler

State Representative

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Josh Cutler

State Representative

MA State Representative JOSH S. CUTLER,

6th Plymouth District, Chair of the Workforce Development for Individuals with Disabilities Committee and Vice Chair, Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities

Rep. Josh S. Cutler is a four-term state representative from the 6th Plymouth District. He serves as chair of the Workforce Development for Individuals with Disabilities subcommittee and vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

He is also a member of the Ways & Means and Telecommunications Utilities & Energy committees. Rep. Cutler is an attorney, author and former newspaper editor. He is a graduate of Skidmore College, Suffolk University Law School (J.D.) and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (M.P.P., Environmental Policy).

Hannah DeFelice

Deaf-Blind artist, athlete and activist

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Hannah DeFelice

Deaf-Blind artist, athlete and activist

Hannah DeFelice is a Deaf-Blind artist, athlete and activist. She serves on the Board of Directors for Deaf, Inc. as well as being involved with disability issues at a number of other local organizations. Hannah is also a competitive para-athlete who placed second at Paratriathlon Nationals this past summer. Hannah lives in Waltham, MA with her three and a half year-old guide dog Cobey.
Cobey is a black Labrador Retriever who was raised and trained at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Cobey is proud to be one of the first “running guide dogs” and has been specially trained to guide Hannah for runs up to six miles. In his free time, Cobey enjoys playing tug, belly rubs and swimming in his kiddie pool.

Erich Manser

IBM Accessibility Design

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Erich Manser

IBM Accessibility Design

Erich Manser has been in technology and accessibility for more than 20 years, with tech leaders such as HP and IBM, and is currently open to new opportunities. He recently completed an intensive User Experience Design course, excited to now add design and usability credentials to his background in accessibility and disability advocacy. Check out his work at www.erichmanser.com! He has done 3 Ironman Triathlons and 20 Marathons, 1 in Boston where he ran using smartglasses, guided remotely by someone in Ohio! Erich lives in Littleton, MA with his wife Lisa and their daughters Ellie (14) and Grace (11).

Kathy Petkauskos

Director, Work Without Limits, University of Massachusetts Medical School

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Kathy Petkauskos

Director, Work Without Limits, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Kathleen A. Petkauskos is the Director of UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits initiative that aims to increase employment of people with disabilities. “Kathy” directs and manages all services, activities, and initiatives of Work Without Limits, which includes Disability:IN Massachusetts, a network of employers committed to disability inclusion and the state affiliate of Disability:IN. Kathy also leads the ‘Raise the Bar Hire!’ annual conference and career fair, Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling, and training and consulting services for state agencies, employment service providers, and employers.

Work Without Limits is a recipient of UMMS’ Chancellor’s Award and NEHRA’s Diversity Champion Award. Ms. Petkauskos is an inductee of the Susan M. Daniels National Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and has over twenty years of experience in vocational evaluation, supported employment, benefits planning, and job placement for people with disabilities. Prior to coming to UMMS, Ms. Petkauskos was President of Resource Partnership, a private non-profit organization that assisted individuals with disabilities to secure employment.

Monique Plante

Project Coordinator, Benefits Counseling

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Monique Plante

Project Coordinator, Benefits Counseling

Monique is in the process of completing her certification as a Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC) in order to provide benefits counseling to individuals in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Extension School in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She has 10 years work experience working as either a research or administrative assistant.

Hale Pulsifer

Customer Accessibility Lead, Fidelity

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Hale Pulsifer

Customer Accessibility Lead, Fidelity

Hale Pulsifer is the co-lead of the Office of Customer Accessibility at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries.
In this role, Mr. Pulsifer works to optimize customer interactions for people with disabilities by ensuring that accessibility is a design principal in everything we do at Fidelity. In addition, Mr. Pulsifer is the former national co-chair of the Fidelity Enable Employee Resource Group for associates affected by disabilities.
Prior to leading the Office of Customer Accessibility, Mr. Pulsifer served in multiple finance and strategy roles at Fidelity for over 15 years.
Mr. Pulsifer has his Master of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Development from Brown University.

Joan Phillips

Assistant Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

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Joan Phillips

Assistant Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Joan Phillips serves as the Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission providing overall program vision, leadership and strategic direction for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Ms. Phillips has 20+ years of management experience in nonprofit and for profit organizations.

Ms. Phillips has collaborated in designing and implementing business strategies and programming that resulted in White House Champion of Change Recognition and Associated Industries of Massachusetts Gould Award for Innovative Business Strategies.  She has also received several Key Contributor and Commissioner’s Awards for outstanding performance.

Ms. Phillips holds a Masters of Education Degree from Springfield College and Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University. 

Ms. Phillips is widely recognized as an innovative and caring professional.

Robert Wadley

EY, Partner

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Robert Wadley

EY, Partner

Robert Wadley is an audit partner in EY Boston’s Financial Services Office where he serves banking and capital markets clients. He is the New England Executive Sponsor of EY’s AccessAbilities Professional Network. Robert has a passion around inclusiveness and diverse abilities, in part because of his love for two nephews on the autism spectrum, and because he’s faced depression in his own life. He resides in Medfield, Massachusetts with his wife Karen and sons, Josh and Paxton.

Elizabeth White

Perkins Library

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Elizabeth White

Perkins Library

Toni A. Wolf

Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commissioner

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Toni A. Wolf

Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commissioner

Toni A. Wolf became the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) during the summer of 2017. Toni as she prefers to be called, comes to the MRC after spending thirty years as a catalyst of change in the non-profit sector as the executive director of Employment Options, a ‘club house’ organization for people with mental illness in Marlborough, MA. Toni’s experience serving the disability community and passion for empowering the consumer will provide tremendous opportunity to lead the agency into the future.

Toni grew up in the Bronx of New York and later moved across the country to attend college at the University of Arizona. After completing a five year degree in special education, teaching, and rehabilitation counseling, she traveled the world to better understand peer support, cultural appreciation, and living. Her travels brought her to Australia, Ecuador, and finally Massachusetts where she spent the next forty years as a trailblazer in the mental health community. Her worldwide travels have and continue to compel her to actively seek out and embrace the voice of those with lived experiences, including family members and care givers, to better understand and be responsive to their needs and concerns.

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission serves people with a variety of disabilities to both live and work within their community of choice.

As Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Toni plans to use her years of knowledge, life experiences, and skills to stimulate new ideas and methods to serve people with disabilities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Breakout Speakers

Richard Berrena

Disability Resource Coordinator

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Richard Berrena

Disability Resource Coordinator

Since 2012, Richard has been the Disability Resource Coordinator under the DEI III and VII Grants. He has provided intensive core services for individuals with disabilities, collaborated with other agencies regarding best practices for providing services, and provided education/re-training via the various Disability Employment Initiative Grants. Prior to 2012, he worked under the Department of Revenue/Child Support Enforcement Grant, providing intensive core services for non-custodial fathers to secure employment, meeting and exceeding the goals of the Grant in both average hourly rate of pay and entered employments. Additionally he was the Ticket To Work Disability Program Navigator, funded under DOL assisting individuals with disabilities to navigate through the Career Center System, by making appropriate referrals to agencies, and writing one of the first full-time Tickets. In 2016, he was selected to serve as a Ticket Ambassador for the Ticket to Work Program.

Scott Borchardt

Tax Partner, PwC

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Scott Borchardt

Tax Partner, PwC

Scott Borachardt is a Tax Partner in PwC’s Asset and Wealth Management Practice.  Scott is a co-leader of the PwC Boston office employee resource group (ERG) that supports employees with disabilities and caregivers.  Under Scott’s leadership, members of the ERG have partnered with several community organizations to host sessions about financial literacy to individuals with disabilities.  He is currently serving as the Vice President of The Arc of Massachusetts board of directors.  Scott and his wife, Julie, are advocates for the rights and community inclusion of their 20 year old daughter, Noelle, who has Down Syndrome.  In 2005, they established a scholarship to support post-doctoral fellows at the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas.

Joe Buizon

Employment Services Specialist Supervisor, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

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Joe Buizon

Employment Services Specialist Supervisor, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Joe Buizon studied at Bridgewater State College earning a BA in Social Work.  Since college, Joe has worked at MGH and, for the past 12 years, at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind first as a rehab teacher in the Metro West area and then as a social worker in the North Shore.  Joe went to grad school at UMass Boston earning a degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. Currently, Joe is an Employment Services Specialist Supervisor working with individuals who are visually impaired and seeking employment.   He is married with two rambunctious sons and plays Beep ball with the Boston Renegades.

 

Carol Cullins

Employment Services Specialist, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

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Carol Cullins

Employment Services Specialist, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Carol Cullins has worked as an Employment Services Specialist with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind since 2014 where she connects employers with qualified job candidates who have vision impairments. She previously worked as Assistant Director of Enrollment Management and Director of Alumni Affairs with Mount Wachusett Community College, as well as Director of Sales and Member Services with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. Carol holds a master’s degree in non-profit management from Worcester State University and a bachelor degree in Marketing with a minor in corporate communication from Bentley College.

Richard Curtis

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Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis has championed the development of numerous staffing initiatives through his relationship building, pipeline development, and strategic creativity in Massachusetts for over 20 years. Recently, as Vice President of Workforce Development at State Street Corporation, his leadership managed over a dozen of State Street’s workforce programs in the Boston area including many working with disability organizations. In 2019, Richard was recognized for his work receiving the 2019 Francis X. McCarthy Diversity Inclusion Champion Award from Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA) and was honored accepting the MA State Senate and House Citation for Dedicated Service and Commitment for his partnership with the Mass. Commission for the Blind’s summer intern program. He proudly sits as a Board of Director at the Carroll Center for the Blind and Triangle Inc., and is a contributor on the advisory boards of the Private Industry Council, Work Without Limits, along with being a member of the Perkins Corporator Group. Richard is a native New Englander residing in his childhood home on the Northshore with his wife.

Heather Donovan

Young Adult Department Supervisor, MassHire Lowell Career Center

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Heather Donovan

Young Adult Department Supervisor, MassHire Lowell Career Center

Heather is the Young Adult Department Supervisor for the MassHire Lowell Career Center and has been working in this capacity for the last three years. Before supervising the department, Heather worked as a Young Adult Career Advisor specializing in maintaining and creating programs and partnerships that were flexible to meet varying needs. The Young Adult department at the Career Center of Lowell works with youth aged 14-24 in various avenues ranging from WIOA programming to state funded programming to re-entry programs and everything in between. In Heather’s capacity she has taken on the role of public liaison between community partners and the Career Center to properly execute year round and summer subsidized work programs.

Heather was born and raised in Lowell and has a deep want to assist the young people in this community which has pushed her to create and maintain many important partnerships and relationships which result in outcomes such as college enrollment and completion, HiSET achievement, advanced training certificates, full and part time work as well as lifelong skills needed to be successful in career pathways. Heather sits on the Greater Lowell Health Alliance Substance Use and Abuse Task Force, the Lowell Youth Development Council and the City’s Health and Wellness Committee. She is also a certified Mental Health First Responder able to assist customers who are in the process of experiencing or close to experiencing a mental health breakdown and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Pamela Ferguson

Central/West Regional Autism Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities

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Pamela Ferguson

Central/West Regional Autism Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities

Pamela P. Ferguson, LMSW, MS is the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) Central/West Regional Autism Program Coordinator. This role was created to provide support, training, and guidance for Autism Service Coordinators, Supervisors, and Area Directors for the newly eligible population. Pamela obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Springfield College and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Bay Path University. Pamela has worked in the human service field for over 20 years, here in Massachusetts and in Connecticut. Prior to DDS, Pamela was the Coordinator of Family Driven Practice for the MA. Department of Mental Health, wherein she worked to help shape family driven policy, protocols and practice. Pamela has presented nationally at the Georgetown University Training Institute 2014 “Improving Children Mental Health” conference in Washington D.C. and at the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health 25th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. – November 2014. Pamela has held many positions in her career; however, the role she easily identified with, is being a mother to her son, who has unique abilities and qualities.

Lea Hill

Autism Program Coordinator, DDS Northeast Region

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Lea Hill

Autism Program Coordinator, DDS Northeast Region

Regional Autism Program Coordinators from The Department of Developmental Services will initiate an interactive discussion and provide insight, feedback, and resources pertaining to the job search process. This breakout session is designed for job seekers, job developers and coaches, support staff, family members and natural supports, and any stakeholders interested in the topic. A timeline with actionable steps will guide the discussion, starting with determining employment strengths and goals and ending with tips on maintaining a job and thoughts on how to ask for a raise and seek a promotion. Topics covered will include: resume writing and job applications, job search and matching considerations, framing expectations, interviewing, disclosing a disability, dealing with rejection, and starting and maintaining a job. The session will also address executive functioning and sensory challenges, stress and anxiety in the workplace, and tools individuals can access to be successful on the job.

Karen Johnson

Employment Services Specialist, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

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Karen Johnson

Employment Services Specialist, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Karen Johnson is an Employment Services Specialist for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and she serves Fall River, New Bedford and the Cape and Islands. Karen assists our consumers with job development services and direct employer engagement in this large and diverse labor market.
Karen brings both private and public sector experience having a background in Management, Executive Recruitment/Human Resources, Non-profit, Advertising, Retail and the Fitness/Recreation industries.
Karen has held positions as Employment Specialist and Executive Director for the Multi-Cultural Independent Living Center at Action for Boston Community Development, Associate Executive Director for the North Shore YMCA and Recreation Director for the City of Gloucester.
Karen holds an Associate in Arts from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Communications/English from Western Michigan University. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Lesley College.

Julie LeBlanc

Vocational Specialist, New England Center for Children

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Julie LeBlanc

Vocational Specialist, New England Center for Children

Julie LeBlanc is a Vocational Specialist at the New England Center for Children (NECC) ®. Julie has worked in the Vocational Services Department since July, 2014. Julie joined NECC in August of 2011 after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. A graduate of Western New England University, Julie has her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in the State of Massachusetts. Julie is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT).

Christine Pellerin

Vocational Specialist, New England Center for Children

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Christine Pellerin

Vocational Specialist, New England Center for Children

Christine Pellerin joined the New England Center for Children in August 2011 spending her first 3 years working in various positions throughout the residential program, with students ages 14-22. She then spent two years working in the United Arab Emirates as a Program Specialist before returning to the main campus as a Vocational Specialist.  She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from Wheelock College in 2011 where she majored in Special Education and Media Literacy. She later went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Severe Special Education from Simmons University in 2014. Christine completed Applied Behavior Analysis certification courses at Western New England University in 2016 and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in the State of Massachusetts. Christine is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT).

Deena Perro

Sr. Account Manager & Solution Expert, Infor Talent Science

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Deena Perro

Sr. Account Manager & Solution Expert, Infor Talent Science

Deena Perro is a Sr. Account Manager & Solution Expert for Infor Talent Science. Deena came to Infor with over 17 years of experience in the staffing and recruitment industry working with premier employers responsible for hiring thousands of employees under her leadership. Obsessed with finding a better way to recruit talent she moved to Infor Talent Science with one objective, to deliver a solution to employers that could drastically change the way they acquire and develop their talent. Deena lives in central Massachusetts with her husband Jeff and their 12 year old twins.

Hale Pulsifer

Customer Accessibility Lead, Fidelity

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Hale Pulsifer

Customer Accessibility Lead, Fidelity

Hale Pulsifer is the co-lead of the Office of Customer Accessibility at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries.
In this role, Mr. Pulsifer works to optimize customer interactions for people with disabilities by ensuring that accessibility is a design principal in everything we do at Fidelity. In addition, Mr. Pulsifer is the former national co-chair of the Fidelity Enable Employee Resource Group for associates affected by disabilities.
Prior to leading the Office of Customer Accessibility, Mr. Pulsifer served in multiple finance and strategy roles at Fidelity for over 15 years.
Mr. Pulsifer has his Master of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Development from Brown University.

Kate Thurman

Disability Project Coordinator, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities

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Kate Thurman

Disability Project Coordinator, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Kate has worked in the disability rights and advocacy field for over 15 years. She has been with the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities for the past decade, serving as the Disability Project Coordinator for the City of Cambridge. She provides information and referral services to people who live, work, pray, and play in Cambridge; ensures City compliance with local, state, and federal disability rights laws; provides technical assistance to area businesses and nonprofits on physical, programmatic, attitudinal, and communication accessibility; and conducts trainings on disability awareness and rights. In her spare time, Kate can be found learning how to garden and playing endless games of fetch with her service dog, Tessa.

Briana Roy

Audit Manager, EY

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Briana Roy

Audit Manager, EY

Briana Roy is an audit manager in EY Boston’s Financial Services Office where she serves banking clients and leads our audit teams in innovation and change. After participating in an EY We Care event, Briana decided to bring her passion for meditation and mindfulness to work. Thinking outside the box, Briana initiated a weekly mindfulness session for 30 minutes in the office during the team’s busiest times. The result was a phenomenal success.

Allyson Schiller

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Leader, Northeast, PwC

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Allyson Schiller

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Leader, Northeast, PwC

Allyson Schiller is the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Leader the Northeast market at PwC.  She is responsible for leading the market’s strategic initiatives to retain, develop and advance women and minorities, and foster inclusion in the workplace.  Allyson is a frequent facilitator for training session on cultural dexterity, unconscious bias, and inclusion.  She is also serves on the MSCPA Diversity and Inclusion council.  Allyson graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.S. in Business Management. She is also a certified Professional of Human Resources and volunteers her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the Boston community.

Sacha Stadhard

Grants Manager, Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's MassHire Department of Career Service

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Sacha Stadhard

Grants Manager, Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's MassHire Department of Career Service

Sacha Stadhard, Grants Manager for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s MassHire Department of Career Service, the state workforce agency. Sacha’s focus is on policy and program operations, and Is the Massachusetts state lead for the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program and the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) VII Program.

Maria Stefano

Metro Region Autism Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services

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Maria Stefano

Metro Region Autism Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services

As Autism Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Metro Region, Maria helps to support the newly eligible autism population. In working with DDS area, regional, and central offices, she maintains and shares information and resources, conducts presentations, arranges training opportunities, and serves as a liaison to schools, service providers, and other state agencies.

Robert Wadley

EY, Partner

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Robert Wadley

EY, Partner

Robert Wadley is an audit partner in EY Boston’s Financial Services Office where he serves banking and capital markets clients. He is the New England Executive Sponsor of EY’s AccessAbilities Professional Network. Robert has a passion around inclusiveness and diverse abilities, in part because of his love for two nephews on the autism spectrum, and because he’s faced depression in his own life. He resides in Medfield, Massachusetts with his wife Karen and sons, Josh and Paxton.

Julie Weiss

Director of Vocational Services, The New England Center for Children

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Julie Weiss

Director of Vocational Services, The New England Center for Children

Julie Weiss joined The New England Center for Children® in June 1990.  She currently serves as a Director of Vocational Services.  She received her undergraduate degree at Boston University in Rehabilitation Counseling and Master’s Degree in Intensive Special Needs from Simmons College. Julie has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2001 and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in Massachusetts since 2015. Research interests include task analysis, teaching procedures and vocational skill training.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Julie has presented at regional and national conferences including ABAI (Association of Behavior Analysis International), Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) and Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA). 

William (Bill) Allen

Director of Job Placement Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

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William (Bill) Allen

Director of Job Placement Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

William (Bill) Allen has worked over 20 years for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).  Bill began his career as a job placement specialist.  In his current role as Director of Job Placement Services, Bill oversees employer development and engagement statewide for 24 field offices of MRC.  Bill works with organizations such as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital; who was nominated by MRC and won the White House Champion of Change Award (2014) for their innovative strategies for hiring, promoting and retaining individuals with disabilities.  Most recently, the MRC Vocational Division was nominated and won the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Gould Award which recognized CVS and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for their ground breaking work with “job driven” training programs for pharmacy technicians.

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