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|TASH Welcomes New Board Members|
It’s that time of year again – for TASH to welcome a new cast of members to its Board of Directors. The TASH Board of Directors includes a diverse array of individuals, including researchers, professionals, direct service workers, family members and people with disabilities, all whom share a commitment to help create quality lives for people with disabilities. This year, TASH welcomes five individuals to sit on the Board of Directors.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Hollander, Jennifer Lengyel, April Regester, Kurt Schneider, and David Taylor. Get to know our new board members by reading their bios below! Terms will officially begin on Saturday, December 3rd.
As an Assistant Vice President in the MetLife Premier Client Group's (MPCG) Advanced Markets organization, Jeffrey leads a team of professionals focused on providing Estate and Business Planning support to the MPCG Advisors, Financial Planners, and Special Needs Planners. In that role, Jeffrey strives to challenge the status quo to drive growth and innovation within the Advanced Sales profession.
Jeffrey is deeply connected to many key Advanced Sales Industry organizations. He has been a member of the LIMRA Advanced Sales Committee for over 20 years. Jeffrey is a member of AALU and a regular presenter of development sessions at its Annual Meeting. He maintains a leadership role within MetLife's Diverse Markets efforts including support for the LGBT market, women business owners, and Supplier Diversity.
A good deal of Jeffrey’s time is spent in collaboration with the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning. Jeffrey provides assistance with advisor and client questions and concerns around the unique estate planning challenges faced by families of dependents with special needs. Jeffrey presents regularly on these topics to help demystify the planning challenges for advisors and clients.
Jeffrey has extensive client engagement experience and possesses exceptional training and presentation skills with a focus on demystifying technical advanced sales concepts to help inspire clients to take control and achieve their unique goals and objects.
Jeffrey has worked at MetLife since 1991 and has served in numerous advanced markets support and leadership positions. Prior to joining MetLife, Jeffrey served as Associate Counsel, Director Advanced Markets for Mutual Benefit Life in Newark, NJ, and as Advanced Underwriting Attorney for Aetna Life and Casualty in Bridgeport, CT. Jeffrey is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Bridgeport School Of Law in Bridgeport, CT.
Jennifer is currently the Executive Director of Total Living Concept (TLC) in Kent, WA. Prior to her position at TLC, she worked at Jay Nolan Community Services for 23 years, assisting individuals to move into their own homes and then create the lives they dreamed of having. Jennifer has spent her adult life working for adults with disabilities and has learned so much about listening, true advocacy, genuine support and standing with people in their life’s journey. She hopes to bring those lessons to the TASH Board, while representing TASH’s Community Living agenda.
Jennifer also wants to advocate for unity amongst all of TASH’s five national agendas. She believes individuals need advocacy and support throughout the lifespan and that we all need to work together to create whole life experiences for the individuals we know and represent. In addition, she will advocate for teaching families and individuals how to obtain what they need without total dependence on our system, which does not serve everyone. Jennifer hopes to build new partnerships within TASH and to bring energy and drive to make TASH even stronger.
Jennifer is a wife and mother of two children, Cooper and Cassie.
April Regester is an Associate Professor in Special Education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). April received her Ph.D. in Special Education, Disabilities & Risk Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009. She also holds a M.A. in Special Education, and a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential for students with moderate to severe disabilities. In addition, April conducted a year-long Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Eli & Edythe L. Broad Asperger Research Center at the Koegel Autism Center. April’s research interests include friendship development and peer supports for individuals of all abilities. She established the Missouri Peer Supports Project in 2011, which was piloted in three Missouri high schools to help support inclusive education, extra-curricular activities, and social opportunities on each campus. The project evaluated academic and social outcomes for all participants with and without disabilities. April also helped to establish SUCCEED, an inclusive residential post secondary program for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities at UMSL. SUCCEED accepted the first cohort of students for the Fall semester of 2013.
April currently serves on the TASH Board of Directors, is the current Missouri-TASH board president, as well as a board member of the Adam Morgan Foundation & Family Advocacy & Community Training. In addition, April served as a board member of Cal-TASH for two years. At UMSL, April teaches courses related to Behavior Supports, Individual & School-wide Positive Behavior Supports, and Transition Issues and Planning. She looks forward to continuing to work alongside great leaders in our community as a TASH board member.
Dr. Kurt A. Schneider is currently an Assistant Superintendent of Learning for the Community Consolidated School District 181 in Hinsdale, Illinois, and is co-leading the Department of Learning. He also serves as part-time adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison teaching courses within the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education Departments, and is co-developer of the National Leadership for Social Justice Institute.
In 2012, he was nationally recognized by both the National Center for Educational Outcomes (Moving Your Numbers) and the TASH (June Downing Award) organizations for his work around systems change and the raising of achievement of all students through integrated comprehensive services. In 2011, he was elected to the national ASCD Leadership Council, and in 2009 was recognized by them as an Emerging Leader. Dr. Schneider has also served as an ASCD Wisconsin Board Member. His work to raise the achievement of all learners has been repeatedly presented at the local, state, and national levels.
In addition to his training at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, he has undergraduate and masters degrees in Special Education; superintendent, curriculum/instruction, principal, and special education administrative licenses; and has earned multiple certificates from the Harvard Graduate School of Education for studying the Achievement Gap and Critical Issues in Urban Special Education.a resource for families with special needs dependents.
David Taylor is a Motivational Speaker from Oakland County, Michigan. His presentations focus on empowering others with disabilities to make their own decisions, advocate for themselves, and learn the power of Self-Determination. David is very committed to advancing the rights of people with disabilities. He has provided public testimony at the Michigan Capitol related to mental health funding. For a full decade, David has been an active member of Michigan Partners for Freedom, and is trained as a Local Leader to help advance Self-Determination in the lives of all people with disabilities. He has participated in numerous committees that all serve to advocate for the rights and needs of people with developmental disabilities -- including the Public Policy Committee and Executive Committee with the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council; the Oakland County Regional Inclusion Community Coalition: the Stomping Out Stigma Committee through Oakland County Community Mental Health; Family Voices through the ARC of Michigan; the Youth and Leadership Committee through Michigan Protection and Advocacy and the Citizen Advisory Committee through Community Living Services of Oakland County. David served as the Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of Community Living Services from 2005-2013. He is currently a board member of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and a trainer/consultant with Community Drive, Inc- a knowledge-based practice dedicated to building support circles and community connections with individuals, families and agencies. This includes training, curriculum development, presentations, facilitation and consultation. He also serves on the Community Advisory Council (CAC) at the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) at Wayne State University in Detroit. DDI is the state of Michigan’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and is part of a national network dedicated to the development of inclusive communities, the enhancement of the quality of life of people with disabilities, and the enrichment of the field of disability research and service. Currently, He is employed by Community Living Services in Oakland County as a Peer Support Mentor.
David was instrumental in organizing the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council 2013 project Beyond Tokenism: People with Complex Needs in Leadership Roles. Eventually this became an empowerment project of Blue Fire, Inc and has published results and presented results from The National Beyond Tokenism Study on Board and Committee Inclusion at national conferences, including TASH. David’s input has added integrity to this study.