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GET TO KNOW SOME OF OUR DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS

Grace Chung Becker

Grace Chung Becker currently serves as the Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. She supervises approximately 650-700 employees in ten litigating sections. Ms. Becker previously served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Division from March 2006-December 2007. Ms. Becker previously served as an Associate Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Defense. She also has worked as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Assistant General Counsel at the United States Sentencing Commission, and an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly. Earlier in her career, Ms. Becker clerked for Judge James L. Buckley on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, and obtained her law degree, magna cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and was an Associate Editor on The Georgetown Law Journal.

 

Nadine O. Vogel 

 

 

Nadine O. Vogel is President of Springboard Consulting LLC based in Mendham, NJ.  Springboard is dedicated to providing businesses innovative, revenue generating marketing strategies as well as internal productivity/retention strategies (Diversity/Work-Life) that both target and support the one third of the U.S. population that either has a disability or has a child or other dependent with special needs. She is also the producer of the Disability Matters Awards Banquet and Conference which honors those firms that are making great strides in the areas of marketing, work-life and diversity as it pertains to the special needs population.

 

Vogel has authored numerous articles and is an internationally recognized advisor and speaker on a variety of topics.  She is also a powerful motivational/inspirational speaker. She has held senior level positions in Corporate America including Vice President of Marketing and Division head for a line of business in the financial services industry.  She has also served as an Executive Director in the non-profit sector.
 
Recognized for her civic and professional activities, Vogel has received many awards and accolades including:

 

NJ BIZ Magazine’s 2008 Best 50 Women in Business Award

The Count Me In, 2008 Make Mine a Million $ Business Program Award

The 2007 Howard L. Green Humanitarian Award from the NJ Broadcasters Association
The College of Charleston's 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award
The Voices Award 2003 -individuals who have made a difference in the community
The Golden Gate University's 2002 Alumni Community Service Award
The Fast Company Magazine's 2002 debut list of "Fast 50" innovators -- individuals whose achievements helped change their companies or society
The Working Mother Magazine's Mothers We Love Top 25 List in 2000 and the magazine's 2000 Mothering That Works Award
The Who's Who in the East, Millennium Edition, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Industry (1998-2006). Who's Who in the World (1998-2004); Who's Who in America (2004)

The Election to the 2006-2007 Who's Who of American Women and both the 2007-08 and the 2008-09 Who's Who in Finance and Business.

 

Vogel has been featured on NBC News, CNNfn, Lifetime Live on the Lifetime Channel, Good Day NY and Oxygen Television's Pure Oxygen program.  She is the founder and past president of the board of SNAP, Special Needs Advocate for Parents, a member of the NJN TV Corporate Advisory Committee,  a member of the Expert Advisory Committee of United Cerebral Palsy and on the editorial advisory board for WorkLife Matters Magazine.  She is a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board and a member of the College of Charleston Department of Communications Professional Advisory Council.


Vogel received an MBA  from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA and a BS in Industrial Psychology from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.  She resides in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters, both of whom have special needs.

 

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ANITA PAGLIASSO

 

Anita Pagliasso started her career in travel in 1992 after switching gears from selling electronic components in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. Since then she has built a successful home-based travel business by vowing to provide extraordinary and personalized service for all of her clients.  As President and founder of Ticket To Travel she has since seen the growth of her travel business to that of a host agency that includes more than 50 independent contractors.  Anita is also currently an Executive Board Member and Vice President of PATH (Professional Association of Travel Hosts www.PATH4Hosts.com) and also holds a position on the Foothill College Travel Program Advisory Board.

In 1993 Anita was appointed as the San Jose Chapter Director for OSSN, a travel industry association that was formed in 1990 to provide support, education and to further the professionalism of travel agents. OSSN's membership of over 7000 has created a strong voice in the travel industry. Under Anita's helm the San Jose / Bay Area OSSN Chapter went on to become the largest in the organization and still remains the flagship chapter. She has received numerous awards from OSSN for her efforts. In 1995 Anita was named as the Western Regional Manager for OSSN and is responsible for the development of all Western Regional Chapters.

Anita has had numerous articles written about her success in several publications such as "Income Opportunities Magazine", "Travel Weekly", "Travel Agent", "Travel Age West", San Jose Mercury News, Agent@Home and "Leisure Travel News" where she was nominated as "Enterprising Agent of the Year".

Ms. Pagliasso is a regular featured contributing columnist for Agent@Home Magazine and the OSSN E-Agent News.

Anita is also the author of "Guide For The First Time Cruiser"  and "Everything To Know About Traveling To Europe With A Group" and her most proudest accomplishment is the publishing of her book where the author/speaker shares her knowledge, expertise and proven techniques with readers and other travel professionals. The book entitled, “How I Made a Small Fortune as a Home-Based Travel Agent”, is filled with fun and innovative marketing ideas as well as sample letters and forms she has developed over the years.  Anita's comprehensive and insightful book is now in its fifth release.  Ms. Pagliasso has recently released a CD entitled “Anita Tool Box for Home-Based Travel Agents” that includes dozens and dozens of forms, letters and office templates which she has developed over the years. 

She has produced seminars based on the content of her book and also makes regular presentations to various colleges and travel education forums.  She covers a myriad of subjects such as "The Pros And Cons Of Running A Home-Based Travel Business”, "How To Achieve Total Customer Satisfaction Through Creative Marketing And Innovative Products", "Learn To Be The Major Exception”, “Marketing Mania” and “How to Become a 4-Diamond Home-Based Travel Agent with 5 Star Clients”.

Anita is also a regular industry keynote speaker and has made presentations at most all of the major travel industry conferences and trade shows, both nationally and internationally.

                                                                          

Cindy Brown

Cindy Brown first became involved in the disability community in 1997, as the first statewide coordinator of ARTability, Accessing Arizona's Arts, a nationally-award-winning program that connects the arts and disability communities. She then went on to serve as the Project Development and Training Coordinator for the Arizona Office for Americans with Disabilities, and later as the ADA & Accessibility Specialist for the city of Tempe, AZ. 

Ms. Brown is a sought-after speaker and trainer, having presented at numerous national and regional conferences, including the National Endowment for the Arts/National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Conference, the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), and the National Spinal Cord Injury Conference.

She currently works as a freelance Accessibility and Communication Specialist, writing and training about access and more. She was presented with the Mayor's Award from the City of Phoenix Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues in 2004, and is an award-winning writer.

 

Mr. Kerry Renaud,

Scootaround President/Chief Operating Officer.

 

Mr. Renaud joined Scootaround in 2005 as the company's COO.

Prior to assuming the new responsibilities at Scootaround, Kerry was the Executive Director of the Assiniboine Park Zoo / Zoological Society of Manitoba in Central Canada for ten years. He oversaw the business operations at the multi million dollar facility from 1995 to 2005, as well as leading a strategic master planning development initiative for the facility.

The Society oversaw the management and operation of Zoo Merchandize and Retail Services, Zoo Food Services, Zoo Education and Programming, Zoo Membership, Special Events, and Zoo Development, and all related Marketing and Sponsorship. During those ten years Kerry was also responsible for developing and producing the successful Lights of the Wild and Boo at the Zoo special events; events that have attracted in excess of 1 million paid visitors in their history.

 

Kerry was also selected as one of twenty four participants selected world wide (and the only Canadian participant), in the International Amusement Park and Associations (IAPPA), Institute Program at Cornell University in 2004.

Kerry Renaud brings an excellent combination of vision and execution to his role," says Lee Meagher, Owner and CEO of Scootaround Inc. "Scootaround benefits greatly from Kerry's leadership experience and his proven ability to grow our business through a combination of new initiatives and facility contracts." "Kerry's prior successful track record as COO and the experience he has acquired in the North American mobility services market has been and will continue to be of great benefit to Scootaround and our ongoing efforts."

Recent Scootaround successes include becoming the exclusive providers at North America's three largest convention facilities including Chicago's McCormick Place, Orlando's Orange County Convention Center and The Las Vegas Convention Center. Scootaround also recently announced a national partnership with Avis to provide mobility rentals through major Avis dealers in the US. Another expansion of Scootaround services include the development of a mobility equipment repair program that is currently being used by many major domestic airline carriers.

About Scootaround Inc.
Since 1997, Scootaround Inc. has been North America's only nationwide mobility equipment company, providing scooter and wheelchair rentals and sales to all customer types from individual travelers through to Fortune 500 companies. They also provide mobility enhancement services for conventions and tradeshows through fleet rentals and onsite-programs.

 

Judith Bendel, PhD
Director of programs and Information Center – Access Unlimited, Israel.

 

 

 

Engaged for more than 23 years in research, related to people with disabilities. Was responsible for building several data bases - on all services for people with disabilities in Israel, service for the elderly and homes for children at risk. Built a unique comprehensive data base on accessibility to tourist sites, which grades each site to determine its level of suitability to individuals with various disabilities.

Created a unique audit tool, grading and decision support system for evaluating accessibility of facilities.
Carried out accessibility surveys to public buildings, for municipalities, local authorities and other public organizations such as universities and health services. Consults, regarding planning, or remodelling buildings or outdoor areas in order to ensure their adaptation to all.

Was responsible for the publication of the access guide to tourist sites - Access Unlimited – Your Guide to Israel.

Has extended teaching experience in universities and hospitals, as well as practical experience with people with disabilities in the sports, physical rehabilitation centers and special education schools.

Member of international organizations: EuCan, and Observatory.

Participated in international research conferences as lecturer.

Participated in international research group under the EC- FP6.

 

Few relevant publications:

 

Bendel J. Accessibility survey of the old City of Jerusalem, 2008

 

Bendel J. Data analysis methods – Implementation of Accessibility grading system in tourist and recreation sites. (In Hebrew, in Feldman D., Lahav y.,Haimovitz S., edited " Accessibility in the Israeli society in the 21st century" Commission on equality, 2007

 

Shuval N. Bendel J. research paper for the Israeli Ministry of tourism, Accessible city tours in Jerusalem 2006 (In Hebrew)

 

Bendel J, Decision Support System for Evaluating Accessibility of Facilities

The Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, Aug 2006, Vol.15 No3.

Bendel J. Need of Access Incorporation for recreation and Tourist sites (In Hebrew) Matter of Access, Shekel, November 2005 issue

Bendel J.: Use of Access surveys in city planning in "Access and the law" conference proceedings, 2005 (In Hebrew)

Bendel J, Gur Z. Kalkuda A. Access Unlimited, Your Guide to Israel   ‏2003

 

 

 

Carlos Garcia

     

Mr. Garcia brings a combination of 24 years of strong entrepreneurial leadership, technological expertise, and international business experience to the company, previously as founder and CEO of NRoute Communications Inc. (USA). NRoute developed the technology to provide wireless data communications, advertising, entertainment, security and fleet management to trains and motor-coaches. A veteran of the computer and communications industry, he has developed communication, tactical and simulation products and services for Amtrak, NASA, U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command, Army's Advance Research Center, High-Performance Super Computer Center, Army Communications Electronics Command, DARPA, ARINC Inc., among others. Mr. Garcia holds a Bachelor in Computer Science and has deep expertise in commercial and military technologies.

                                                             

Sheila O’Brien  

Sheila O’Brien received both her Undergraduate and Graduate’s degree in Special Education From Fitchburg State College.

 

She got involved with NEADS in 1978 when the program was in its infancy. At the time NEADS was training only Hearing dogs. They had two dog trainers on staff that could get the dogs to do anything but had no experience working with people who were deaf. Having taken an American Sign Language class for two years at the Framingham Learning Center, and always having a love for animals, Sheila was at the right place at the right time and started working with NEADS as a Hearing Dog trainer.

 

Applying her teaching skills to dog training, Sheila developed many of the training methods used by NEADS trainers today. In addition, she developed a Hearing dog screening test to recruit shelter dogs for this work. She also developed a curriculum for the Facility based education given to the deaf client upon receiving a Hearing Dog.

 

Recruited by the People to People program, in 1996 Sheila lead an Assistance Dog Delegation and brought five Assistance Dogs to South Africa to help the Guide Dog Program there expand its services to include Hearing and Service Dogs. 

 

In 1998, she founded the Prison PUP Partnership whereby NEADS puppies are raised and trained in correctional facilities by inmates.  Presently, NEADS has puppies in 15 prisons in 4 states.

 

Sheila has served on the Delta Society’s Hearing Dog Advisory Board and the board of Assistance Dogs International.  In 2007, she was named one of the top 100 Irish Americans for her work with the Canines for Combat Veterans Program.

 

At present, Sheila is leading the charge to provide Service Dogs for the wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Sheila is currently a resident of Fitchburg, MA. She lives with one dog, a cat and a bird named “Valintino”!