Dr. Kevin Elko received his Bachelors in Biology Education and Coaching from California University of Pennsylvania where he was later inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame. He then went on to West Virginia University where he received two Masters and a Doctorate and was later inducted into the West Virginia University Hall of Fame.
Originally, Kevin had a successful private family practice, but eventually entered the world of pro and collegiate sports, where he has accumulated 30 Superbowl titles or National Championships with storied organizations like The Pittsburgh Steelers, The Dallas Cowboys, The Philadelphia Eagles, The Green Bay Packers, Florida State Football, L.S.U. Football, The University of Miami Football, The University of Alabama Football, and more.
Kevin also works one on one with some of the biggest named athletes in all of professional sports from baseball to tennis to hockey. As a performance consultant, his corporate clients over the last two decades have included many of the Fortune 1000 companies and their C-Suite executives.
Kevin is a bestselling author with five books published, and a sixth on the way, including: Nerves of Steel, The Pep Talk, True Greatness and his latest, Believing is Seeing, of which the forward was written by the greatest coach in college football history, Nick Saban. Kevin has worked closely with Saban during every one of the seven National Championships he has won as head coach of LSU and Alabama Football.
Kevin had been featured by numerous publications and national media including ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, The Bleacher Report, and on ESPN Radio with his very own segment, “The NFL Psychological Report”. He has keynoted at the NFL Hall of Fame Ceremonies as well as many other notable events in and out of sport.
Karen Haase is a partner in the law firm of KSB School Law, where she focuses her practice exclusively on representing public school districts and related entities. She holds degrees from Hastings College, Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska College of Law. Prior to attending law school, Karen taught at both the high school and post-secondary level. Karen has been married to her high school sweetheart for 25 years and has two children.
As Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, Ken Berger manages the day-to-day operations of Spectrum360, and advocates for public funding and legislation to support individuals with special needs. With decades of nonprofit leadership and direct service experience, Ken has focused on efforts to transform the entire social sector (philanthropy, nonprofits and for profit social enterprises).
Ken serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers, ASAH (a statewide association of NJ private special education schools), the Alliance of Special Education Schools of Northern NJ, Grafton Integrated Health Network
(a Virginia-based nonprofit serving children and adults with behavioral health challenges) and Able Angel (a nonprofit focused on driving more money to Able accounts which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families). In addition, he continues in efforts to improve the social sector as a whole by co-hosting a podcast that launched over the summer of 2023 called “The Nonprofit Fix” that helps nonprofits of all kinds to improve their performance.
Peter York, Principal & Vice President of Analytic Solutions at BCT Partners, has spent over 25 years providing evaluation and data analytics to the nonprofit sector. Recognized for his expertise in social impact measurement, he's championed analytic methods using machine learning and big data for social transformation in fields like child welfare and education. His notable publications include the Rockefeller Foundation's "Measuring Results in the Age of Big Data" and "Unlocking Real-Time Evidence for Practitioners" a paper funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. York developed the national Equitable Impact Platform (EquIP), merging US Census data with nonprofit tax records to analyze the nonprofit sector's causal contributions to community well-being. Collaborating with entities from philanthropies to governments, he's written extensively, including the book, "A Funder's Guide to Evaluation". A sought-after speaker, York has advised major private foundations and government agencies like the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and others. York co-hosts, with Ken Berger, the podcast "The Nonprofit Fix", and he's a Leap Ambassador with degrees from Purdue University and Case Western Reserve University.
Stephanie Franklin is the Assistant Principal for The Benedictine School, a non-public school providing day and residential services to students with special needs including Autism and Intellectual Disability. Stephanie began her career with a degree in Deaf Studies and later earned her Master’s in Leadership in Teaching. She is certified through Maryland State Department of Education in Special Education and School Administration. Stephanie has worked with students in Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs and students with special needs as an Instructional Assistant, Special Educator, Curriculum Coordinator, and now as an Assistant Principal. Stephanie is certified through National Capital Therapy Dog (NCTD) with her 2 German Shepherds, Hera and Blue.
Elizabeth Garcia currently serves as the Chief People Officer, specializing in promoting employee engagement and DEI initiatives in her daily work. Ensuring the highest quality of clinical care in behavioral health, nonpublic schools, and treatment foster care programs is the focus of Elizabeth’s work at The Children’s Guild. Her leadership has overseen the growth of the Expanded School Based Mental Health Services to six counties and 90 schools. Elizabeth is an LCSW-C with more than 25 years of experience providing direct practice clinical services, as well as managing behavioral health and out- of-home care for children and families. Elizabeth previously served on the Board of The Behavioral Health Association of Maryland and holds two master’s degrees, in social work and nonprofit management, from Case Western Reserve University. In 2020, Elizabeth was awarded the Professional Achievement Award from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences from the Alumni Association at Case Western Reserve University.
Julie Hickey is the Education Director for The Benedictine School, a non-public school providing day and residential services to students with special needs including Autism and Intellectual Disability. She began her career with a degree in Psychology and later earned her Master’s in Special Education from Wilmington University. She is certified through Maryland State Department of Education in Special Education and School Administration. Julie has worked with students with special needs as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Community Case Manager, Residential Supervisor, teacher and administrator for 23 years. She has provided trainings and workshops for educators, parents, and first responders.
Kiani Lasala is an attorney in Quarles’ Phoenix office. Kiani helps clients on general corporate advisory matters, including mergers & acquisitions (M&A), commercial contracting, state, local and federal tax laws and strategies and administrative controversies before the IRS. She assists with joint ventures, reorganizations, and business formations at all stages of the transaction, including positioning companies for sale and preparing owners with an exit.
Tracy Lee is a member of the administrative team at the Gramon Family of Schools and a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. With over 20 years of experience working in special education, Tracy has been tasked with helping to guide the organization’s growth and improvement plans. Tracy leads many innovative initiatives to advocate for students, families, staff and community stakeholders in the special education arena. She is also a Board member of the Alliance of Private Education Schools in North Jersey. Tracy has presented at numerous professional conferences on various topics in special education.
Jenny Livelli serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for The Children’s Guild.
Her work as an advocate and ambassador for students and families includes her involvement with the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and the National Association of Private Special Education Centers. She earned a Master of Education in School Administration and Supervision from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Licensure B-12 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She holds an advanced professional certificate from the Maryland State Department of Education, as well as certificates from Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
Emily Riley has served with Arrow Child & Family Ministries for over 20 years, focusing the majority of her career on quality improvement. As Chief Administrative Officer she fosters collaboration and connection, engaging stakeholders in change management strategies that connect them to the agency mission, enhance the employee experience, and enrich organizational culture. With over 15 years leadership experience, Emily is passionate about cultivating a dynamic employee experience that supports, engages, and develops the organization’s most valued assets, its employees.
Paul Valentine is a partner in Quarles’ Phoenix office. Paul is an experienced corporate lawyer who advises venture funds, private investment firms, middle-market companies and privately held companies across a broad array of industries. He has extensive experience with acquisitions, dispositions, minority investments and joint ventures. He works creatively and efficiently, partnering with his clients to understand their business operations and risk profile to tailor his legal advice to their business goals. Clients rely on Paul to neutralize obstacles, focus on practical solutions to business and legal problems, and navigate the changing legal landscape.
Elizabeth Alves is the President of the Learning Disabilities Association of NJ, Chair of the Affiliate Leader Council and Board member for the Learning Disabilities Association of America. She also serves on an advisory committee for the Person Centered Approaches in School and Transitions Project at the Boggs Center at Rutgers UMDNJ as well as a member for the New Jersey State Special Education Advisory Council. Elizabeth has taken lessons learned from Person Centered Approaches globally at IEEE the world's largest non profit aiming to advance technology for the betterment of humanity
Michael Farrelly is a Director at the Gramon Family of Schools (GFS) in Fairfield, NJ. Over the past 20+ years, Michael has also held many other positions in Special Education including principal, teacher, transition coordinator, supervisor and vice principal. Michael has helped develop the GFS vocational and transition program and was instrumental in starting New Beginnings for Tomorrow, an adult day habilitation program. He has developed partnerships with local universities to develop research that will ultimately benefit the instruction of students with special needs. He is also on the Advisory Board at Felician University.
Dr. Bruce Ettinger served as Executive Director/Superintendent of Spectrum360 for 40 years and the United Cerebral Palsy League of Union County for five years. Other leadership roles have included positions on the NAPSEC Executive and Government Affairs Committees and Chair of the Annual Conference, President of ASAH and the Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of North Jersey and chairing a committee of the Coalition of Adult Programs of Northern Jersey. Dr. Ettinger has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ. He has presented at many local, state and national conferences. He has served on the advisory boards of non-profits and government agencies and as a consultant for organizations, adult programs and schools serving individuals with disabilities. He has received awards for his leadership and advocacy and is proud to have received the Executive of the Year award from both NAPSEC and ASAH.
In retirement from his position of Executive Director he remains committed to sharing his expertise.
Jennifer McGlothlin-Renault is the Senior Vice President of Maryland Operations for Arrow Child & Family Ministries and The Arrow Center for Education Schools. Jennifer joined Arrow in 1999 and has had the pleasure of serving in many roles. In her current position, Jennifer manages and develops Special Education, Treatment Foster Care, Residential, and Community Based programs for Arrow in Maryland. Jennifer earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Towson University and her Masters of Education from Loyola University Maryland. Currently, Jennifer serves as a Commissioner for NCASES and as a Board Member for NAPSEC.
Lindsay Wagner, MOT, OTR is an occupational therapist who has been practicing in the field of autism for 18 years. She's currently the Director of Neurodiversity and Community Inclusion at the League School of Greater Boston. Since joining the League School in 2007, Lindsay has led the program’s implementation of the SCERTS® Model, an educational framework that engages the involvement of the multidisciplinary team to coordinate programming targeting social, emotional and educational needs of each individual student. Lindsay holds a Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is certified as an Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist.
Amy Faraone holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and the Humanities and graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. After initial careers working with medically fragile and criminally involved youth, Amy entered the special education field in direct residential care then as a clinical supervisor and crisis intervention trainer. She later joined the League School as Coordinator of Vocational and Career Services where she works with students aged 12-22 years, helping them to acquire pre-vocational and vocational skills to work on campus, in the community at one of their 30 work sites, as well as in their home communities.
Martha J. Holden, Director of the Residential Child Care Project at Cornell University, is the author of the book, CARE: Creating Conditions for Change, a program model for residential child caring organizations and the lead developer of the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention System (TCI). Ms. Holden provides technical assistance to agencies to implement CARE in residential child caring agencies, juvenile justice programs, schools, and child welfare organizations throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Spain. Previously Ms. Holden served as an administrator overseeing the day-to-day operations of a residential treatment agency for adolescents.
Dan Plakosh is the Principal at the Villa Maria School, a non-public school in Timonium, Maryland, which serves students with significant behavorial and emotional challenges in Kindergarten through eighth grades. After teaching in a nonpublic school for thirteen years, Dan earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and has been an administrator at the Villa Maria School for twelve years. Dan is a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Trainer, CARE Educator, and a Board Member of the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities as he chases his passion of providing a safe and engaging school environment for both students and staff to thrive in.
Sharon Butcher M.S., is the Director of Education at the Waterford Country School, a non-profit human service agency located in Southeastern Connecticut. Her professional career began as a childcare worker in the residential treatment program at WCS before becoming a Special Education Teacher and advancing into her current administrative role. In addition to her School Administrative certification Sharon holds a BA degree in Psychology and an MS in Special Education. Sharon is a professional level trainer for Cornell’s Therapeutic Crisis Intervention program and a CARE: Creating Conditions for Change educator.