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ICF Advocates for Choice

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ICF Advocates for Choice Board of Directors

Families working for families

Susan Jennings

President

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.



Joe Valenti

Vice President

PHONE:   402-598-3585

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.

EXPERIENCE:

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

customer focus.

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

practices.

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

Residential Broker.

In his spare time, Valenti enjoys spending time with his wife, four children and nine

grandchildren.


Debra Wallace

Treasurer

PHONE: 512-363-9628

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

EXPERIENCE:

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.


Joan Kelley

Secretary

PHONE: 785-218-7195

EMAIL: [email protected] 

JOAN KELLEY Vice President, Kansas Neurological Institute Parent Guardian Group

EXPERIENCE:

1. ▪ Twenty seven years as primary caregiver and advocate for individual with profound autism

2. ▪ Former Licensed, Therapeutic Foster Care Provider, State of Kansas

2000-2005

3. ▪ First hand experience with HCBS Waivers, State of Kansas 1998-2005

4. ▪ Behavioral Intervention strategies implemented with interdisciplinary

teams 1993-current

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

PHONE: 512-853-0432

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.









ARKANSAS

RITA HOOVER

Families & Friends of Care Facility Residents

PHONE:  501-993-4041

EMAIL:  [email protected] 


DARRELL PICKNEY

Families & Friends of Care Facility Residents

PHONE:  870-530-6699

EMAIL:  [email protected]


CAROLE SHERMAN

PHONE:


RANDALL LAVERTY

PHONE:



ARIZONA

DEB HENRETTA

EMAIL:  [email protected] 





KANSAS

JOAN KELLY

Kansas Neurological Parents Guardian Group

PHONE:  785-218-7195

EMAIL:  [email protected]

MASSACHUSETTS

DAVID HART

PHONE:  781-718-7799

EMAIL:  [email protected] 



NEBRASKA

JOE VALENTI

Advocate for the Developmentally Disabled

Nebraska Real Estate Broker

PHONE:  402-598-3585

EMAIL:  [email protected]



OKLAHOMA

STEVE WATSON

PHONE:

EMAIL:  [email protected]



PENNSYLVANIA

SUSAN JENNINGS

KIIDS - Keeping Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Safe

PHONE:  570-447-6330

EMAIL:  [email protected]


LUCI DUDITCH

Polk Center Strong, President

PHONE:  440-734-2642

EMAIL:  [email protected]


GENIE JORDA

White Haven Center Family & Friends

Fundraising Administrator

PHONE:  675-1414

EMAIL [email protected]


IRENE MCCABE

Polk Center Strong, Treasurer

KIIDS - Keeping Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Safe

PHONE:  772-646-3471

EMAIL:  [email protected]


WALT HOFFMAN

Polk Center Strong

PHONE:  814-671-3301

EMAIL:  [email protected]



TEXAS

REBECCA JAPKO

PART - Parents and Allies for Remarkable Texans, President

PHONE:  512-585-2478

EMAIL:  [email protected]


STACY MAYFIELD

PHONE:


MICHELLE ARNOLD:

PHONE:



WISCONSIN

REBECCA UNDERWOOD

PHONE:



WYOMING

SHAWN HUMBERSON

PHONE:  (307) 575-6641

EMAIL:  [email protected]





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