ICF Advocates for Choice
Choice without Boundaries
ICF Advocates for Choice Board of Directors
Families working for families
SUSAN H. JENNINGS is the mother and Co-guardian of a profoundly Autistic adult son named Joey Jennings who resides at White Haven State Center in White Haven, Pennsylvania.
Susan graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology from St. Bonaventure University. She is a retired graphics Web Designer and the mother of four children and a grandmother to 5 children.
She is one of the Founding Members of KIIDS - Keeping Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Safe, a Pennsylvania statewide grassroots efforts to protect the Pennsylvania State Developmental Centers. She led a successful effort to defeat HB 1650 that would have closed all four Centers at once.
When PA Governor Tom Wolf announced that he was closing two of Pennsylvania's State Centers, Polk and White Haven, she organized the families to fight the closures with rallies, with enlisting legislators to write and approve a Moratorium bill which after passing both the Pennsylvania House and Senate in record time, was stopped by a Tom Wolf veto.
So she organized the Center families to file a class action lawsuit in federal court entitled Jennings v. Wolf to stop the Center closures and preserve ICF care in Pennsylvania.
She is also a proud member of Together for Choice and the National Council of Severe Autism, where she serves on the Policy Committee.
EMAIL: [email protected]
JOE VALENTI is the President of the Family and Friends of the Beatrice State Developmental Center, an Advocate for the Developmentally Disabled and father to an adult son who resides in the Beatrice State Developmental Center.
Joe Valenti, former CEO of CBSHOME Real Estate, has a
history of exceptional business achievement, underscored
with an ability to foster a culture of collaboration and
Valenti’s instrumental role in driving the success of
CBSHOME and its predecessors for more than three
decades can be attributed to his unwavering commitment
to listening first, and then taking decisive action. He is well-
known as a top executive who served as a role-model,
mentor, and teacher of the industry to ensure solid bench
strength and grooming of future leaders. With more than
$1B in annual real estate transactions, Valenti catapulted
CBSHOME to unprecedented sales and market-share.
Prior to his success at the helm of CBSHOME, his early roots in real estate came as a top
performing Real Estate Agent. With an entrepreneurial spirit, he and two other individuals
purchased Wurdeman of Omaha. He then co-led the merger of Allen Young Real Estate
and Maenner Real Estate to merge with Wurdeman to form HOME Real Estate, setting the
stage for fierce competition with CBS Real Estate. Further championing change, Valenti
facilitated the integration of HOME Real Estate and CBS Real Estate to form CBSHOME
Real Estate, a tremendous force in the market. As CEO, he was well-regarded for the
ability to merge cultures and processes, drive technology advancements, and arm Agents
and employees with state-of-the-art systems, administrative support, and best industry
As a recognized industry leader, Valenti was named to the SP200 (Swanepoel Power
200), a prestigious list of top CEOs and other C-level industry leaders. In 2016, he was
recognized as one of 100 Most Influential Real Estate Executives.
Valenti also has a passion to “give back,” having served as the President of the Omaha
Area Board of Realtors and the Nebraska Realtors Association, as well as participating on
numerous association committees. In addition, he is heavily involved in philanthropic
service, as an advocate for the developmentally disabled.
He was educated at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in
Business Administration. He holds multiple licenses and designations in real estate, as a
Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, Certified Residential Specialist, and Certified
In his spare time, Valenti enjoys spending time with his wife, four children and nine
EMAIL: [email protected]
DEBRA WALLACE, Board Member of PART, Parents and Allies for Remarkable Texans and serves on the Policy Committee for NCSA (National Council on Severe Autism), Co-President of Texas Families and Friends for Choice
1 Served on the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities for Governor Ray Maybus of Mississippi
2. Served on the Governor's Council for Developmental Disabilities for Governor Edwin Edwards of Louisiana
3. Served on the Special Educational Advisory Board for the Austin Independent School District in Texas.
4. Served on TSAC, the non-profit Texas Society for Autistic Children
5 Served as the Secretary for the Capitol Area Autism Society
Debra worked as a Special Education and secondary English teacher for 24 years and she and her husband Stephen Wallace raised 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Their youngest son Justin is severely autistic and resides in the Austin State Supported Living Center (an ICF). She has two Masters Degrees, one in Special Education and the other in Curriculum & Instruction.
EMAIL: [email protected]
JOAN KELLEY Vice President, Kansas Neurological Institute Parent Guardian Group
1. ▪ Twenty seven years as primary caregiver and advocate for individual with profound autism
2. ▪ Former Licensed, Therapeutic Foster Care Provider, State of Kansas
3. ▪ First hand experience with HCBS Waivers, State of Kansas 1998-2005
4. ▪ Behavioral Intervention strategies implemented with interdisciplinary
5. ▪ Guardian for 30 yr old grandson who resides at Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI)
EDUCATION: Continuing education includes:
• Shaklee Institute - Explosive/Noncompliant Children and Adolescents
• University of Kansas - Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism
• Professional training and oversight with Masters and Phd
level Autism behavioral specialists in Colorado and Kansas since 1993.
MOTIVE: As a grandparent and Guardian, I’m honored to serve in advocacy for highest risk DD
individuals. Utilizing resources, hiring extensive professional and paraprofessional staff enabled
my husband and I to successfully care for someone unable to express his own needs, thoughts and desires - until dangerous, unpredictable behaviors became so prevalent that a centralized
care environment became necessary.
The ICF, centralized care environment has been the successful option in which our loved one has been able to thrive for the past 12 years. Being a solution-oriented person, I welcome opportunities to find solutions, particularly within the team
Judge Stephen Wallace
Senior Legal Consultant
EMAIL: [email protected]
ATTORNEY STEPHEN WALLACE is a member of PART, Parents and Allies for Remarkable Texans and serves on the Policy Committee of NCSA, (National Council on Severe Autism), Co-President of Texas Families and Friends for Choice
Stephen graduated as a Political Science / History major from Texas State University.
He worked as a teacher at an ICF, the Austin State School before he earned his paralegal degree from Texas Stare University,
Stephen worked as a Parent Trainer for the ARC and served on the Advocacy, Inc. non-profit Board.
Stephen worked as a Special Education Teacher in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Stephen received his law degree from Louisiana State University. He worked as the Research Attorney for the Louisiana Seagrant Program and was the Lead Counsel for the Louisiana Office of Oil Spill Mitigation for the Governor of Louisiana. Stephen then entered into private practice for 5 years before becoming a Texas Administrative Hearing Officer, the position he held until his recent retirement.
His youngest son Justin, is severely autistic and resides at an ICF, the Austin State Supported Living Center.
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