2019 Disability Matters N.A. Conference & Awards



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The 13th Annual
North America Conference & Awards


Agenda is final.


Time Topic Location
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Registration Pool Deck or Preserve Pre-Function, if raining.
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm WELCOME RECEPTION:

Welcome and Opening Remarks:

  • Nadine Vogel
    Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
Pool Deck or Preserve Pre-Function, if raining.
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm FULL-FEATURE FILM

CinemAbility:  The Art of Inclusion

Cast:  Ben Affleck, Geena Davis, Jamie Foxx, William H. Macy, Marlee Matlin, Jane Seymour, and many more.

Description:  CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion reveals a compelling and often amusing look at the history of disability portrayals in entertainment.  From the early days of silent films to present-day Hollywood blockbusters, this historic film takes a detailed look at the evolution of “disability” in entertainment over the last 120 years by going behind the scenes to interview celebrities, filmmakers, and studio executives. With heart and humor, CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion utilizes clips from Hollywood’s most beloved motion pictures and television programs to shine a light on how the media impacts society and the monumental effect these portrayals have on inclusion.



Time                 Topic Location
7:30 am – 8:30 am Breakfast Preserve Pre-function
7:15 am - 12:00 pm Registration Preserve Pre-function
8:30 am - 8:45 am Opening Procession Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
8:45 am - 9:00 am Welcome and Opening Remarks:

  • Nadine Vogel
    Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
Preserve Ballroom
9:00 am – 10:00 am Research Presentation


  • Pamela McElvane
    Chief Executive Officer & Publisher, DiversityMBA


  • Barbara Frankel
    Executive Editor, Working Mother Research Institute, Working Mother Media
  • Dahlia Shaewitz
    Vice President, Transition, Disability & Employment, Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)
  • Michelle Yin
    Principal Economist, American Institutes for Research


DescriptionSpringboard regularly hears from corporate executives about the need for up-to-date quality research in order to make more informed decisions when it comes to implementing initiatives for mainstream people with disabilities in the workforce, workplace and marketplace.

The 2019 Disability Matters North America Conference & Awards Gala will present Michelle Yin, a Principal Economist with The American Institute for Research (AIR) in this dynamic session of researchers on the latest findings, inclusive of AIR's findings, relative to this most important segment of our population.

Preserve Ballroom
10:00 am - 10:15 am BREAK

Sponsored by: Ahold Delhaize | USA

Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
10:15 am – 10:45 am Springboard in Post-Secondary Education

  • Harvard Case Study; and Disability and Diversity Management at the Universidad Europea di Roma
    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC

 Springboard in European Government

  • German Social Accident Insurance: Policy and Practice in Germany and around Europe
    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC

Springboard in the Media

  • Forbes / Fortune / Entrepreneur (June 2019 Publications), and iHeart Podcast
    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
  • Bloomberg TV
    • Glenn Hanson
      Chief Executive Officer, Colony Hills Capital
    • Lawrence Rothstein, EdD
      Executive Director, No Limits Media
Preserve Ballroom
10:45 am – 11:15 am Entertainment


  • Bryan M. Roberts
    Associate Dean, Roy H. Park School of Communications,  Ithaca College


  • F. Carl Hansen
    Producer/Director, Beverly Entertainment
  • Jim True-Frost
    Actor, Freelance

 Description: Whether we are talking about large or small screen, people with disabilities are helping Hollywood in a big way.  Are there challenges? Yes; but the entertainment industry is finally taking notice.   For the very first time, the 2019 Disability Matters Conference & Awards Gala will present a session on Disability in the Media and Entertainment Industry. This highly engaging session will be led by Bryan Roberts, the associate dean in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. In this position, he oversees a wide array of student success-initiatives including assisting with the creation and launch of the Ithaca College New York City Program. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010 at age 30, he serves on the Patient Council of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. 

Preserve Ballroom
11:15 am - 12:00 pm Keynote Presentation:

  • Tricia Downing
    Athlete, Author, and Owner, RedefiningAble (Biography)
Preserve Ballroom
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm NETWORKING LUNCHEON Preserve Ballroom
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Government


  • Craig E. Leen
    Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
  • Michael Murray
    Director, Employer Policy, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Preserve Ballroom
1:30 pm - 1:40 pm Neurodiversity:  An Introduction

 Introduction by:

  • Valerie Herskowitz, MA, CCC-SLP
    Founder, The Chocolate Spectrum
1:40 pm - 2:45 pm Neurodiversity

Session Sponsor: Landmark College


  • Jessica Nelson
    Associate Director, Career Connections, Landmark College


  • Jan Coplan
    Director, Career Connections, Landmark College
  • Andrew Garcia
    Talent Acquisition Lead, New Balance Athletic Shoe
  • Maxwell Lyttle
    Social Mentor, Landmark College

Description: For the first time ever, the important topic of "Neurodiversity and sourcing, hiring, and retaining Neurodivergent talent," will be addressed from the main stage at the Disability Matters North America Conference. This session, led by Jan Copland, Director of Career Connections at Landmark College, will examine how emerging “neurodiversity in the workplace” efforts are recognizing the strengths that neurodivergent individuals can bring to problem-solving and innovation. Landmark College is helping to define neurodiversity as one of the pillars of human diversity. This session will have you thinking about solving today’s war for talent in a very new way.

Preserve Ballroom
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm BREAK Preserve Ballroom
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Mental Health:  A Corporate Strategy not a Best Practice, but a Next Practice

Session Sponsor: Cisco

Introduction by:

  • Maria Medrano
    Director, Employee, Partner & Customer Experiences, Cisco


  • Lori Paschall
    Regional Manager, Cisco
  • Seann Ritzman
    CDAN Co-Lead, Cisco
Preserve Ballroom
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm Next-Steps Exercise:  How Prepared Are We? Preserve Ballroom
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Wrap-Up day-1 Preserve Ballroom
7:00 pm – 7:30 pm COCKTAIL RECEPTION Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm AWARDS GALA Preserve Ballroom



Time                 Topic Location
7:45 am – 8:45 am Breakfast Preserve Pre-function
7:30 am -12:00 pm Registration Preserve Pre-function
8:45 am - 9:00 am Welcome and Opening Remarks:

  • Nadine Vogel
    Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
Preserve Ballroom
9:00 am - 9:30 am Springboard Event Announcements

2019 Disability Connect Forum

  • James E. Taylor, Ph.D.
    Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management Officer, UPMC

2019 Disability Matters Europe

  • Maria Medrano
    Director, Employee, Partner & Customer Experiences, Cisco

2020 Disability Matters North America

  • Susan Hamilton
    General Counsel, Springboard Consulting, LLC
Preserve Ballroom
9:30 am – 10:45 am C4DI


  • Nadine O. Vogel
    Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC


  • Kirsten Weeks
    Director, Inclusion and Collaboration, and Community Relations, Cisco
  • Eugene Kelly
    Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion,
    The Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Andres E. Gonzalez
    Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer,
    Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Amy Warner
    Vice President & General Manager, IT Digital Business Solutions, Intel Corporation
  • Scott Beth
    Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Intuit
  • James E. Taylor, Ph.D.
    Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management Officer, UPMC
  • David Ortiz
    Disability Inclusion Program Manager, Oracle
  • Reginald J. Miller
    Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity, VF Corporation


Description:  These diversity leaders and their corporations are role-models who understand the importance of ensuring candidates, employees, and customers with disabilities, as well as those caring for dependents with disabilities, are fully and appropriately included in everything from workforce, workplace and marketplace. They also understand the need to approach this work as a business imperative; committed to conversation, collaboration and action for successful mainstreaming of this large, loyal segment of our population by taking Springboard's C4DI Pledge!

Preserve Ballroom
10:45 am – 11:00 am BREAK Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
11:00 am – 11:30 am Best Practices Preserve Ballroom
11:30 am – 12:15 pm Keynote Presentation

  • Lex Gillette
    Keynote Speaker and Paralympic Track & Field Athlete
Preserve Ballroom
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm NETWORKING LUNCHEON Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Travel: Accessibility & Acceptance

Session Sponsor: Visa, Inc.


  • Patty Nishimura Dingle
    Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Visa, Inc.


  • Gina Emrich
    Senior Manager, American Airlines
  • Bonnie Hayes
    Customer Accessibility Analyst, American Airlines

Description:  Trains, planes, and automobiles. Small town and large city, anywhere in the world. Your travel experience should be one that is clearly accessible and accepting of people with disabilities.  Patty Dingle will lead this most provocative session.

Preserve Ballroom
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Workplace Violence


  • Mitch Morgan
    Vice President, Manager, Inclusion and Diversity, Fifth Third Bank


  • W. Barry Nixon
    Executive Director, National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc.
  • James W. Satterfield
    President / Founder, CrisisRisk Strategies, LLC


Description:  Workplace violence is on the rise as is the number of employees with disabilities.  Although companies have begun to prepare their employees on how to remain safe based on the many current events of workplace violence, what companies are not doing is taking into consideration those employees who have disabilities who need to receive that information differently such as: an employee who is on the Autism Spectrum, or an employee who is experiencing Post Traumatic Stress, and different yet, for an employee who uses a wheelchair. What is a company to do? 

Preserve Ballroom
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm BREAK Mangrove Deck / Preserve Ballroom
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Aging & Disability: A Fireside Chat


  • Meryle Mahrer Kaplan
    Senior Consultant, Rupert Organizational Design
  • Paul Rupert
    Chief Executive Officer, Rupert Organizational Design


Description:  The incidence of disability doubles between the ages 40-55; meaning, there are and will continue to be an aging-population in the workforce living with a disability.  Add to that, the many who are staying in the workforce longer than ever before. As a result, employers must implement a variety of workplace practices to support the aging employee-population; many of these practices can benefit all workers.  

Paul Rupert and Meryle Mahrer Kaplan of Rupert Organizational Design and Respectful Exits will lead a lively discussion about the advantages and best practices for retaining this cohort, especially when they have or develop a disability.

Preserve Ballroom
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Next-Steps Exercise:  How Prepared Are We? Preserve Ballroom
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Closing Remarks & Departures Preserve Ballroom


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