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Executive Leadership 2024 Speakers

Judie Caribeaux

Judie, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, holds an MA in Communication from Northern Illinois University and an MSW from Aurora University. With over 30 years of experience in non-profits, universities, and municipalities, she combines social work compassion with business acumen. As the Executive Director of a domestic violence victim services agency, she orchestrated a strategic merger, expanding services and enhancing victim safety. Judie navigated challenging conditions as Acting Executive Director for a municipality during a State’s Attorney’s investigation. Her expertise extends to developing public-private partnerships, securing $3 million in congressional funding as the CEO of a child welfare organization. Recognized as Non-Profit Executive of the Year, Judie excels in strategic planning, management routines, and coaching non-profit executives. An adjunct faculty at Regis College, she teaches strategic planning, grant writing, financial management, and program evaluation.

Kevin Conlon

Kevin Conlon founded Conlon Public Strategies in 1998 with the goal of empowering organizations doing good work in their communities to have an even greater impact. A connector at heart with an entrepreneurial spirit, Kevin collaborates with clients in developing innovative approaches to achieving their objectives.

His wide-ranging background – in law, government, politics, business, academia, venture capital, and nonprofit growth – has resulted in a unique perspective and exceptional relationships. Kevin leverages these to assist organizations of all types successfully navigate the competitive landscape and position themselves for success. He leads a variety of client projects, including board development, government relations, organizational change and strategy, executive search, fundraising, issue advocacy campaigns, and profile-raising initiatives.

Kevin began his career as a labor and employment lawyer and has held leadership roles in campaigns at all levels of government. He has also served in elected and appointed positions in federal, state, and local government.

Kristen Huffman-Gottschling, PhD, LCSW

Kristen Huffman-Gottschling has been Executive Director at the PACTT Learning Center since 2013. She also works as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago, Jane Addams School of Social Work. She received her doctorate in 2016 from the Jane Addams College of Social Work. She attained a Master of Social Work and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She was formerly Director of Horizons Clinic-World Relief Chicago a mental health program supporting newcomer families. Dr. Huffman-Gottschling and her teams have spent the last decade working to create strong programs that are community embedded and support adults and children who, at times, may need intensive behavioral supports to succeed in their communities. This work has included ensuring that individual goals and dreams are centered in all we do at PACTT, including accessing competitive employment.

Courtney Littlejohn

Courtney joined the Association for Individual Development (AID) as the Employment Specialist for Behavioral Health program in Aurora.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Administration from California State University at San Bernardino and Masters in Business Administration from North Park University.

Currently, in her role as Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, Courtney assists with the oversight of the agency’s work towards equitable and inclusive practices that impact both staff and individuals served. Additionally, her responsibilities include supervising the agency’s Community Day (CDS) and Employment First programs.

Courtney serves on several community committees that include, Elgin Human Service Council DEI Committee, The Arc DEI Committee, DuPage Kane Disability Resource Committee, and Aurora Area Regional Chamber Executive Board.

Prior to joining AID, Courtney served in operational leadership serving seniors in several roles; Health Care Administrator, Assisted Living and Executive Director.

Joseph Macbeth

Joseph M. Macbeth is the Chief Executive Officer and President of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for 40 years – beginning as a Direct Support Professional. Macbeth is recognized as an international leader in the advocacy & movement to recognize direct support as a profession and is a highly sought after speaker on the workforce challenges that affect the disability system. He co-authored the Report to the President: America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy for the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID, 2017), he was the Issue Editor for Impact: The Direct Support Workforce and People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities(University of Minnesota, 2018). While working in New York, Macbeth partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) by assisting more than 500 direct support professionals advance their college education through the “Disability Studies Certificate”. He is a guest faculty at the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) and currently sits on several boards of directors and The College of Direct Support’s National Advisory Board. In 2016, Macbeth was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a Member of the Advisory Council for the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. In 2020, he was he was added as an honoree for the 20th Anniversary Historic Recognition Project sponsored by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) recognizing distinguished leaders in the field. Most recently, he was recognized with the 2022 “Services to the Field Award” from AAIDD for his many contributions to advancing the direct support profession. And in March of 2022, President Biden appointed Macbeth to a two-year term as a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID). He lives in North Bennington, Vermont.

Kyle Menke

Kyle Menke serves as a community research specialist for the SWTCIE Illinois project and the Illinois Institute for Rehabilitation and Employment Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He brings to the team over 12 years of experience working with children and adults with diverse needs in school, home, and community settings. Most recently, Kyle served as a transition specialist for Chicago Public Schools, focusing on connecting students from across the city to essential vocational rehabilitation services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). Prior to that, Kyle served the students of Chicago as a community integration specialist. Through this role he provided city-wide travel instruction readiness instruction to students with disabilities, resulting in their safe and independent travel throughout the community on public transportation.

Beth A. Michaels

Beth Michaels is a senior consultant who brings 30 years of experience to her clients in the areas of organizational culture, strategic planning, and leadership excellence. She is president of Primer, Michaels since 1987.

Beth brings leadership principles together with the realities of human nature. She is described as having “uncommon common sense” with her ability to translate difficult issues into actionable decisions with surprising consensus.

She has many years of experience with nonprofits, particularly in Human Services, including facilitating interagency work for the Governor’s Office, across Illinois’ five Human Service departments and 45 nonprofits. Beth’s facilitative leadership work was recognized with an Edison Award for Innovation in the area of social impact, for her transformational strategic planning work for Rotary International.

Greg Peterson

Greg, since 1995, has been an integral part of the Illinois nonprofit sector uniquely blending a degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with high impact experience at IFF and in the I/DD provider community. As former Chief Administrative Officer at Keystone Alliance and serving as CEO at Glenkirk, Greg returned as Keystone Alliances’ CEO in 2020. Throughout his career, Greg pioneered innovative strategies, exemplified by Keystone Alliance’s 2022 acquisition of Mission + Strategy, showcasing his dedication to collaborative success and organizational growth. Certified in NOVA facilitation, Greg led 25+ strategic planning processes and instructs nonprofit coalition leadership programs. With unparalleled insight gained from service to Glenkirk, Search, and Keystone, Greg and his team are committed to advancing nonprofit missions and communities across Illinois.

Carole Rosen, MAID, CAPS

Carole has a diverse background in advocacy and is currently the Advocacy Program Specialist at The Arc of Illinois. Carole served as a member to The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. While serving on the Council, she served on its Executive Committee and chaired the Community Housing and Inclusion Committee. Additionally, she serves on the board of Collaborative Community Housing Initiative, a grassroots collective comprised of families who have young adults with Intellectual IDD. Her driving belief is that Community is strengthened by diversity and inclusion. In addition to her Masters of Interior Design degree, she is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist with additional coursework in Universal Design. Additionally, Carole became certified as a Financial Wellness Trainer for people with disabilities through the National Disability Institute. She is an award-winning photographer with work having been shown in numerous regional and national photography exhibitions. Carole and her husband, William, have a daughter who has developmental disabilities and a nondisabled son.

Kim Zoeller

Kim Zoeller is the President and CEO of Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities. Ray Graham Association (RGA) supports more than 2,000 children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities through DuPage County and the surrounding communities. With more than twenty-five years of experience, Kim has worked to create positive change with a focus on innovation and transformation.  Kim is the managing Board member for Life’s Plan, a pooled trust option for people with disabilities. Presently, Kim is a past Chair of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities and continues to serve on the executive committee.  Kim is a founding member and leader of They Deserve More which unified advocacy efforts in IL around the DSP crisis and need for increased rates. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, she is a past chair of The Arc of Illinois Executive Forum, and Vice Chair of The Arc of Illinois Board of Directors.  For years, she chaired the Statewide DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities Quality Committee. Kim also worked for CQL for more than fifteen years as a Quality Enhancement Specialist. Kim holds a BS in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

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