UCP’s 2016 Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

United Cerebral Palsy held its Annual Conference on April 4-6, 2016 at the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas. This year’s theme for the conference was “Going All In.” UCP affiliates from across the country gathered to take part in this year’s conference with a special focus on the future of UCP.

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Rupal Patel, PhD., founder of VocalID giving the keynote address at UCP’s Annual Conference on April 5, 2016 in Las Vegas.

The first full day of the conference began with the opening plenary on innovation and technology. Featured speakers included: Bruce Borenstein, CEO of AfterShockz, a company that creates headphones which use vibrations to communicate sound, unlike typical over-the-ear or in-ear headphones. Mr. Borenstein gave one of three keynote addresses, which centered on using technology to create accessibility to better the lives of people with disabilities and their families. 

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David Carucci, Executive Director of UCP of San Diego was the recipient of the Kathy O. Maul Leadership Award, pictured with Anita Porco, Vice President of Affiliate Network and Stephen Bennett, President/CEO of UCP National at the evening reception held on April 4, 2016.

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Bruce Borenstein, President and CEO of AfterShockz giving the opening keynote address at on April 5, 2016 at UCP’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

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Rick Forkosh, CEO of UCP Heartland being honored at the evening reception at UCP’s Annual Conference on April 4, 2016 in Las Vegas.

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Jeff Snyder, CEO of UCP of Central California being honored at the evening reception on April 4, 2016.

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Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni presenting on SuitX at the Opening Session at UCP’s Annual Conference held on April 5, 2016 .

Dr. Rupal Patel, another keynote speaker, gave the audience a glimpse of the amazing work that is being done at her company, VocalID.  Finally, Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni of SuitX spoke about the advancements on gait training for those living with CP, and the work of SuitX to try and create customized, user-friendly experiences for all. During the evening, a reception was held where we recognized our retiring Executive
Directors and CEOs. Jeff Snyder, CEO of UCP of Central California, was honored along with Linda Johns, Executive Director of UCP of East Central Alabama; Rick Forkosh, CEO of UCP of Hartland; Carol Hahn, Executive Director of UCP of Nebraska; and Les Leech, CEO of UCP of Southwest Florida. A special congratulations goes to Dave Carucci, Executive Director of UCP of San Diego on receiving the Kathy O. Maul Leadership Award, which honors one outstanding executive director each year.

A “Town Hall” style meeting was held on Tuesday April 5, 2016. This was an opportunity for our affiliates to come together and voice their thoughts and opinions, as well as to discuss the future of UCP.  We celebrated our Awards for Excellence winners at a special luncheon. The Awards for Excellence Luncheon recognizes the hard work and time of the wonderful volunteers who donate their time to our affiliates across the country.

The Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was awarded to UCP of Oregon and Southwest Washington for their Employment Solutions Program. The Ethel Hausman Award went to Maren Jacobs of UCP of Berkshire County. The Ethel Hausman Award honors a local UCP volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to UCP and to the quality of life of people with disabilities through their work.The Outstanding Youth Award was presented to Rachel Prior for the volunteer work with UCP of Greater Cleveland. The “Life Without Limits” Award was presented to Phillip Evans.

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Rachel Prior accepting The Outstanding Youth Award for her work with UCP of Cleveland.

After the Awards for Excellence Luncheon, affiliates were invited to take part in facilitated small group discussions. These discussions also served as an opportunity to give thoughts and opinions on the future of UCP and the affiliate network.

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Phillip Evans receiving the “Life Without Limits” Award at UCP’s Awards for Excellence Luncheon on April 5, 2016.

Breakout sessions were held on the last day of the conference. The topics for the breakout sessions included: The Future of Early Childhood Intervention with Dr. Jim Blackman, Medical Consultant for UCP; “Making It Work,” featuring The Employment Workgroup, which discussed employment for people with disabilities; and “ABC’s of Caregiving” presented by UCP’s Director of Advocacy, Jennifer McCue. “ABC’s of Caregiving” focused on the recent ruling from the Department of Labor on overtime for caregivers.  Stephen Bennett, CEO of UCP National, presented on the “The State of Disability Today.” This was a special session held for our sponsors and exhibitors to learn more about the current disability community and as a business how they can best serve them. 

The winners for our
“Exhibitor Bingo” were also announced at the end of the conference.
Congratulations to the winners: Chris Adams of Stepping Stones, Inc. in Cincinnati; Mike Ward of UCP of Metro Detroit; Lynn Carpentier of Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital/UCP of Minnesota; Monica Elsbrock of UCP of Nevada; Donna Fouts of UCP of Hawaii and Dr. Dave Piltz of UCP of West Central Wisconsin. A special thank you to Convaid, Troy Technologies, and AfterShockz for their generous donations for our “Exhibitor Bingo.” The prizes totaled over $6,000 and will given directly to clients in each affiliate’s territory.
Thank you to all who helped to make this year’s Annual Conference such a success!

 

 

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

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UCP HONORS EDWARD R. MATTHEWS WITH LEADERSHIP AWARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, krichards@ucp.org

 

UCP HONORS EDWARD R. MATTHEWS WITH LEADERSHIP AWARD 

Maul Award Recognizes Exceptional CEOs at United Cerebral Palsy

Washington, DC (May 2, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is pleased to announce that the 2013 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award has been awarded to Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of UCP of New York City.

The Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award is presented to an exceptional chief executive of a UCP affiliate in memory of Kathy Maul, a remarkable executive director at UCP of Suffolk who died young and left a legacy of leadership ability and strong commitment to UCP. It was presented as part of UCP’s Awards for Excellence, which are given annually to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to educate, advocate and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

Matthews recognized the 2013 honor for his dedication and long history working to improve the services and supports provided to people with disabilities, including: part of the Medicaid Redesign Team, responsible for overhauling New York State’s massive Medicaid system; serving on the Steering Committee to implement the People First Waiver, a partnership between New York State and the federal government to reconstruct the Medicaid funding system for New York’s citizens with developmental disabilities, to provide them greater choice and access and reduce costs; leading the InterAgency Council (IAC) in New York City, a coordinating body and trade association consisting of over 150 agencies providing services for people with developmental disabilities; and serving as CEO of UCP of NYC since 1989, during which the affiliate has grown to a budget size of over 107 million and provides services to more than 14,000 children, adults and their families throughout New York City.

“I am so pleased to honor Ed Matthews with the 2013 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award for his extraordinary efforts to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of UCP. “For more than 20 years, Ed has served as the CEO of UCP of New York City, leading and growing that affiliate into one of the strongest in the country—and a shining example of UCP’s mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities. Congratulations Ed, and we look forward to your continued successes.”

“The Kathy Maul Award is very meaningfully personally and professionally. To me, it represents the values that Kathy & UCP have always stood for,” said Ed Matthews, CEO of UCP of New York City. “I am honored to join my distinguished friends and colleagues who have been recipients.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

METLIFE CENTER FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING TO RECEIVE 2013 UCP CHAIR AWARD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: 
Michael Hill: 202-973-7144, mhill@ucp.org

METLIFE CENTER FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING TO RECEIVE 2013 UCP CHAIR AWARD

 

MetLife hailed for its commitment to people with disabilities, families at UCP International Conference in San Diego                                                                                      

Washington, DC (April 17, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is proud to announce that MetLife and the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning will receive the 2013 Chair Award as part of the Awards for Excellence celebration at UCP’s 2013 International Conference, to be held in San Diego, California from April 25-27,2013.

The Chair Award is given to an individual, organization or company whose impact and support for UCP and its mission is deemed exemplary by the Chair of UCP’s National Board of Trustees.

“MetLife has been a strong partner in educating our families about the need to plan for the future,” said Woody Connette, Chair of UCP’s National Board of Trustees in announcing the award. “As a partner in UCP’s public education programs, through presentations to our affiliates at national and regional meetings and in your ongoing stewardship of so many of our families, MetLife and the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning exemplifies the best of our mission to help people with disabilities lead a life without limits.”

MetLife, though the work of its Center for Special Needs Planning, has been a pillar of UCP’s corporate partnership program since the inception of UCP’s public education and outreach programs. By linking its expertise with the needs of the families that UCP serves, the company has been an instrumental advocate for UCP.

 

"I am honored and humbled to accept the 2013 Chair Award on behalf of the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning," said Kelly Piacenti, Assistant Vice President of the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning. "MetLife is proud to stand with United Cerebral Palsy in our continuing efforts to support the special needs community. It is our privilege and passion to assist families with special needs–helping families build financial freedom and also providing greater peace of mind to caregivers in planning appropriately for the future of their special needs dependents. We look forward to continuing to partner with United Cerebral Palsy in the years to come."     

 

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About the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning and Special Needs Planners
Special Needs Planners are knowledgeable about many facets of special needs financial planning, and are enabled to work with local non-profit organizations and service providers to give support and to secure the highest level of independence for the special needs individual. National non-profit partners include The Arc, Autism Society, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), TASH, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  For more information, visit www.metlife.com.  MetLife is not affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy.

 

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

UCP Guides Affiliates, Partners & Allies Through New Approach to Serving People with Disabilities to Achieve Full Inclusion, at Annual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, lcozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

UCP Guides Affiliates, Partners & Allies through New Approach to Serving People with Disabilities to Achieve Full Inclusion, at Annual Conference 

 

Attendees explore new thinking about research, education, employment and services

 

Washington, DC (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) guided its affiliates, partners and allies to transitioning to a new approach to serving people with disabilities, during the 2012 UCP Annual Conference, themed Transitioning to Tomorrow, April 25-28 in Washington, DC. The conference explored new ways of thinking in research, education, employment and services in order to create a better future for people with disabilities.

Highlights:

  • More than 150 participants–UCP affiliates, partners and allies–gathered in Washington, DC to tackle a new approach to successfully serve people with disabilities.
  • UCP presented Awards for Excellence to nine recipients, including affiliates, individuals and companies, whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission, along with the help of three actors:
    1. Emmy-nominated actress Cheryl Hines, a UCP Celebrity Ambassador and member of the UCP Board of Trustees;
    2. Actress Meredith Eaton, known for her breakout role in the ABC hit series Boston Legal, and granddaughter of one of UCP’s founders, Nina Eaton; &
    3. Actor RJ Mitte, a UCP Celebrity Ambassador, known for his role as Walter White Jr. in the Emmy-nominated AMC drama Breaking Bad.
  • Five new members were appointed to UCP’s national Board of Trustees.
  • Photos are on Facebook, and information is online.


Press releases that follow:

  1. UCP Presents Awards for Excellence at 2012 Annual Conference
  2. UCP ELECTS FIVE NEW MEMBERS TO NATIONAL BOARD
  3. VGO AND UCP DEMO ADVANCED ASSISTIVE CONTROL SOLUTIONS FOR  ROBOTIC TELEPRESENCE          

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, 

UCP Presents Awards for Excellence at 2012 Annual Conference 


Recognizes exceptional activities, achievements and dedication to
exemplify the UCP mission

Washington, DC (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) presented the Awards for Excellence at UCP’s 2012 Annual Conference, last week in Washington, DC. The Awards for Excellence are presented annually to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to educate, advocate and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

“UCP is proud to honor leaders in advancing the civil rights movement by promoting full inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former UCP President & Chief Executive Officer. “The Awards for Excellence are a tradition that UCP take seriously; the winners truly help make UCP’s mission a reality by advancing independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities.”

The eight 2012 UCP Awards for Excellence were presented to the following nine recipients at the Opening Reception and the Awards for Excellence dinner and presentation, during the Annual Conference, themed Transitioning to Tomorrow.

  1. The 2012 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Rick Forkosh, Executive Director of UCP Heartland, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. The award is presented to an exceptional executive director in memory of Kathy Maul, a remarkable executive director at UCP of Suffolk who died young and left a legacy of leadership ability and strong commitment to UCP. Forkosh received a painting by artist, Maurice “Mo” Higgs, as part of Art Enables, a studio and gallery in Washington, DC for emerging artists with developmental disabilities.Forkosh began his career working in the disability field in 1979, managing a group home with eight men. Soon later, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Residential Services, until 1983, when he joined UCP’s St. Louis affiliate–now UCP Heartland–in as Director of Adult Services. Forkosh was appointed Executive Director in 1985, and since then, the agency’s $750,000 budget now has around $9.75 million under management. UCP Heartland has won several awards at the local, state and national level for some of its new and innovative programs and supports under Forkosh’s leadership and has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for the past 30 years.

    “It is clear that Rick has proven leadership ability, but what about Rick the man?” asked former UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett, during the Opening Reception at the 2012 Annual Conference. “His peers would call him passionate about the mission, tenacious about civil rights, a formidable executive with a dry sense of humor, and a gentle giant of a man who loves a good debate! I remember one Monday morning years ago, calling Rick to touch base, and when I asked how Rick was doing, he explained he wasn’t so well. It turned out that he had been up driving UCP clients around all Sunday evening after an agency had closed, and he was trying to find them a place to sleep. You don’t hear about type of dedication often, and Rick is a UCP executive who has dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities, no matter the circumstance.”

  2. The 2012 Chair Award was presented to The Medtronic Foundation, and is given to an individual, organization or company whose impact and support for UCP and its mission is deemed exemplary by the national Board of Trustees Chair. The Medtronic Foundation received a painting by artist, Darnell Curtis, as part of Art Enables.Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation stand as a model of aligning corporate philanthropy with the needs of the real people they serve. Medtronic has a long-time commitment to innovation, pushing the boundaries of medical technology to transform the lives of people with disabilities and chronic disease. The company’s sponsorship of the Medtronic Foundation and its work has created strong supports for patients and families, including many in the UCP network. Through programs like PatientLink, the Medtronic Foundation builds awareness, educates and advocates on behalf of patients and their families, to improve the lives of people living with chronic disease and disabilities.

    “UCP has been proud to partner with Medtronic and the Medtronic Foundation to bring vital resources to people that need them most,” remarked Bruce Merlin Fried, Chair of UCP’s national Board of Trustees, during the Opening Reception at the 2012 Annual Conference. “We are grateful for Medtronic’s foundational support of our programs, including My Child Without Limits and now Brave Kids.”

  3. The 2012 Ritter Legacy Award was presented to UCP of Maine for its monthly YouTube UCP NEWS broadcast. The award honors an affiliate that has produced exemplary communications through a variety of media that increase public awareness about people with disabilities, the programs of the affiliate and the national UCP brand through the use of the official UCP logo, colors and messaging.UCP NEWS was created with a goal to share news and information related to UCP of Maine’s agency and mission, on both local and national levels, expanding the UCP message in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Utilizing the popular YouTube media platform, UCP NEWS has the ability to reach people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, friends, neighbors and even elected officials online. Because of UCP NEWS, UCP of Maine is able to raise awareness and advocate in a more modern way, reaching across many generations.
  4. The 2012 Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was presented to UCP of San Luis Obispo County for its CIP Tours program, resulting from its extraordinary contribution to the quality of life of people with disabilities, enabling individuals served to become more independent, productive or integrated into the family or community.CIP Tours is a program that allows adults with disabilities to have inclusive vacation experiences. There are 12 big trips each year, which have included Disneyland, San Diego, Las Vegas, Jamaica, Alaska and many Participants save money in advance and participate in the trip planning, and support staff is trained to promote full independence and inclusion of all participants. CIP Tours CIP Tours provides a true vacation experience for individuals with disabilities.

    Nina Eaton was one of UCP’s founding members and passed away only a few weeks ago. Nina’s granddaughter, Meredith Eaton–a movie and television actress, known for her breakout role in the ABC series Boston Legal and the movie Unconditional Love–attended the Awards for Excellence to present the award in honor of her late grandmother.

    Speaking about her grandmother, Meredith Eaton, remarked, “Nana frequently spoke about her wish for a more accessible world for the disabled community. Imbued with a sense of compassion and determination, she always felt there was still so much more to do… Her imprint on this organization is ever lasting and the stories that we all have about this gorgeous, white haired lady with the effervescent smile and humanistic spirit will live on in our hearts forever.”

  5. The 2012 Outstanding Youth Award was presented to Brooke Arnold, nominated by UCP of Baton Rouge, for significantly enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through care giving, volunteerism, advocacy, innovation or fundraising.Arnold has been an unwavering supporter for families of children with disabilities served by the UCP of Baton Rouge for nine years — quite a feat considering she is only 19 years old. As an individual with a disability, Arnold uses her experiences overcoming challenges to inspire and encourage those around her. She has formed and participated in support groups for parents and individuals with disabilities and even started her own popular Facebook support group called CP and Me. Arnold has volunteered at UCP of Baton Rouge’s Capably Arts program, co-led a Siblings group, spoken as part of a fundraising appeal at an annual breakfast event, and participated in UCP of Baton Rouge’s 5K Run, Walk & Roll. She even secured a grant from the Clay Aiken Foundation for a wheelchair accessible swing for a local playground. Arnold changes perceptions of people with disabilities by living her life with an unparalleled “can do” positive attitude, increasing CP awareness in her community and becoming a role model for others.
  6. The 2012 Universal Accessibility Design Award was presented to Patrick Baechle of Baechle & Associates, for designing the Alleghenies UCP Blair County Community Service Center. The award is presented to an individual, business, government or governmental agency that has provided leadership developing a universally accessible environment by creating new tools modifying the environment, enhancing independent living or achieving a barrier-free environment.The Center was designed beyond meeting building codes and ADA accessible standards by Baechle & Associates to make a more enjoyable environment for those who strive for dignity and independence while living with a disability.

    Enhanced features were incorporated to accommodate those with special needs, particularly those who have difficulty interpreting and reacting to sensory information, reaching and manipulation disabilities and poor coordination abilities. Some of these features include additional room in corridors for large wheelchair turning, exceptionally spacious restrooms with simple push button locks and door openers, a strobe light fire alarm system, impact resistant walls, an accessible kitchenette, a vehicle canopy and a curbless sidewalk at the drop off area.

    These and other planned facility improvements show creativity and innovation while exceeding the accessibility standards. Because of the insight put in to the facility’s design, the final product meets the needs of multiple generations and multiple facets of the community, including those with and without disabilities.

    The community center provides a fully accessible space for Alleghenies UCP programming, training and public events, including assistive technology demonstrations and training, certified personal care aide training, consumer art workshops, computer classes for individuals with disabilities utilizing available adaptive equipment, consumer cooking classes and many more community supported social clubs, entertainment events, support groups, public gatherings and trainings.

    “Thanks to the work of Pat Baechle, the Alleghenies UCP Blair County Community Service Center furthers the UCP mission to support individuals with disabilities, and the center supports community needs by treating all persons with respect and raises public awareness for the need to accessible facilities,” said Bruce Merlin Fried, Chair of UCP’s national Board of Trustees, before presenting Baechle with his award, during the Awards for Excellence dinner and presentation.

  7. The 2012 the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award honors exceptional individuals who, through volunteering, has made an outstanding contribution to UCP. 2012 had so many exceptional nominations that the Awards Committee chose two recipients.The first awardee was Tim Noonan, nominated by UCP Central Pennsylvania. Noonan has donated more than 1,600 hours of service over 10 years to the betterment of the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania’s Perry and Cumberland counties. Noonan is the co-founder and co-chair of the Cumberland-Perry Residential Task Force, an initiative seeking residential solutions for people with intellectual disabilities. He worked to expand the scope of the Task Force to include Employment and Respite services and secured funds so these essential programs are provided to families at minimal cost. As a result of his hard work and determination, more than 120 individuals were placed in one of 15 new group homes, 12 apartments and in family living arrangements. Many other people received the support they needed to live fuller lives in their community, receive job training and placement and support transitioning from school to adult life.

    The second Ethel Hausman award recipient is Micki James from UCP of the Inland Empire. James has been a UCP volunteer for more than 60 years. Along with her late-husband Dennis James, she played an integral part in UCP’s history, and her impact has been incredible. Her son, Brad James, accepted the award on her behalf.

  8. The 2012 Life Without Limits Award was presented to Bonnie Peterson, nominated by UCP of Central California, as an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such caliber as to be a significant role model to individuals with and without disabilities.Peterson was born in 1949, when children with disabilities were not encouraged to expect to have lives as full productive citizens. However, Peterson gracefully overcame every obstacle that came her way. She built a life that included a marriage of more than 40 years. She and her late husband lived their lives as full citizens, and they educated their community to the reality that people with disabilities are simply people.

    Peterson is a mother, a grandmother, a business owner and an active community volunteer, whose compassion and care seemingly know no limits. She is also a published author. In We Climbed Every Mountain, Bonnie shares with the world what it has been like to live her life as a person with a disability. She describes in her book, and exemplifies in her journey through life, that no obstacle is too great no matter what the odds against one may be. Bonnie has not just accomplished ordinary things in extraordinary ways, but she has taken hold of the extraordinary and made is part of an ordinary, “just like any other person” kind of life.

 

Individuals who volunteered significant time with UCP affiliates were also recognized as Victory 100 winners. In 2011, Victory 100 winners included 182 volunteers from 13 UCP affiliates, who volunteered a total of 28,120 hours. Each volunteer dedicated at least 100 hours of service by participating on a board, assisting in fundraising activities, and performing other needed volunteer work.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, 

UCP Elects Five New Members to National Board

New cohort brings depth in changing landscape for people with disabilities


Washington, DC
 (May 15, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) elected five new members to its Board of Trustees during its 2012 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, including the following:

  • Michael A. Burke, Jr. is a co-founder and principal of Thrive Office, a newly formed innovative, shared workplace community based in New York City, focusing on emerging trends in the workplace based on the evolving preferences of a new generation of workers. His background is in commercial real estate and direct sales. Previously, Burke worked in the commercial office brokerage business in the Washington, DC metro region for Cassidy Turley and Avison Young. Burke has a personal relationship with the disability community as his youngest brother has CP.  Throughout his professional career, he has been actively involved in multiple philanthropic organizations centered on disability issues and advocacy, and was a key component in founding ABLE, UCP’s young professionals outreach program.
  • Ruth Gullerud is retiring this month as Executive Director of UCP of West Central Wisconsin, where she has worked since 1977. Previously, Gullerud was an advocate and guidance counselor with the Women’s Community Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; a member of the Wisconsin State Board for People with Disabilities, a member of the Wisconsin Exceptional Education Council for Department of Public Instruction, and a member of the Board of the Accreditation Council on Services for People with Disabilities. Gullerud currently serves on the Eau Claire County Advisory Committee on Specialized Transportation and the Wisconsin Alliance for Self-Determination.  A recipient of several outstanding leadership and management awards, Ruth had the pleasure of hosting the Ruth Gullerud Show, focused on the world through challenges of disability.
  • Melvin “Chip” Hurley has over 30 years of healthcare and management experience in accounting, auditing and consulting with two “Big 4” professional services firms (18 years at E&Y and four years at PwC); two national consulting firms (nine years at Navigant Consulting and currently at Berkeley Research Group, LLC); and three years corporate management experience with Helix Health, a five-hospital integrated healthcare delivery system. He has extensive experience in leading hospital improvement projects, supporting mergers and acquisitions of hospitals, providing litigation support, and conducting audits of hospitals. Hurley previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of UCP of Central Maryland, and as a licensed CPA, FHFMA, Hurley currently serves as Chair of UCP’s Audit Committee.
  • Linda Cox Maguire has been a consultant at Maguire Associates since 1985 where she leads initiatives in global markets and heads up projects across company service lines. She began her career in the corporate world, before she returned to higher education where she served in leadership positions in admissions for nine years. Maguire chaired the Board of Trustees at Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., is corporator at a local hospital, and is currently vice president of the Board of Directors for UCP of Metro Boston, of which she has also been past president. Maguire received her bachelor’s degree from Douglass College of Rutgers University and her master’s degree in educational administration from Boston College.
  • Rob White is Chief Executive Officer of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a UCP affiliate based in Sydney, Australia. With 26 years of service with the organization, and 12 as CEO, White has a deep appreciation of the key issues that face service providers, government, clients and families. Cerebral Palsy Alliance was the first international affiliate of UCP. Since 2005, the affiliate’s Research Foundation to raise funds to promote international research into prevention of and cure for CP, raising over $23 million (AUD) and approved $4.9 million (AUD) in research grants to international researchers in the field of cerebral palsy, to date. White has been an active member of the National Disability Services New South Wales State Committee for 11 years, previously held the position of President of Cerebral Palsy Australia, and has sat on a number of state and national committees serving the interests of service providers in the disability field. White has a Masters in Psychology and an MBA.

Coming off the national board at the end of the fiscal year on September 30 are Bruce Merlin Fried, Board Chair; Michael Burke Sr., Vice Treasurer; and Cheryl Hines, who will remain in her capacity as UCP Celebrity Ambassador. All plan to remain very engaged with UCP support, advocacy and events.

To view UCP’s Board of Trustees, please visit ucp.org/about/board.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: 
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org
Ned Semonite: 978-831-3195, nsemonite@vgocom.com

VGo and UCP Demo Advanced Assistive Control Solutions
for
Robotic Telepresence


Organizations have partnered to develop new tools for people with disabilities to expand their independence


Nashua, NH & Washington, DC,
(April 26, 2012) – VGo Communications, the leader in robotic telepresence, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) today announced a partnership to collaborate and work together to define and deliver accessibility enhancements to VGo’s robotic telepresence solution. A demonstration of prototype voice activated remote robotic telepresence driving controls will be seen by attendees of the 2012 UCP Annual Conference, Transitioning to Tomorrow, in Washington, DC.

“We saw what VGo was doing for homebound students and realized that with some usability enhancements, VGo could be a dramatic life altering tool for many people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former UCP President and CEO. “Imagine the opportunities and quality of life improvements for people who currently cannot go places because their disability prevents access or makes it too expensive. UCP is excited to be working with VGo to make this technology available to people with disabilities so they can live life without limits.”

“We’re very excited about jointly developing specific usability enhancements for people served by United Cerebral Palsy,” said Peter N. Vicars, CEO of VGo. “Our users today find controlling a VGo with their computer mouse or keyboard keys very easy, but indeed not everyone can use a computer in a traditional way.  We know how impactful VGo has been for students that are homebound and can’t go to school.  Soon VGo can be available to other disabled people so they can move around in a distant place without first having to get themselves there.”

For more information about VGo, visit www.vgocom.com.

About VGo
VGo Communications, Inc. develops and markets visual communications solutions for the workplace. The company was founded in 2007 by experienced successful veterans of the visual communications and robotics industries. VGo has leveraged the recent trends of widespread wireless high speed networks, lower specialized component costs and the universal acceptance of video as a communications medium to become the Robotic Telepresence market leader.

With the VGo solution, an individual’s presence is replicated in a distant location such that they can interact and perform their job in ways not previously possible. Now they can see, be seen, hear, be heard and move around in any remote facility –just as if they were there. VGo enables: healthcare providers to deliver lower cost services and improved quality of care, businesses to increase productivity of remote and travelling employees, and homebound students to attend school – all with a great user experience and at an affordable price.

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UCP Celebrates Life & Accomplishments of Founder and Board Member, Nina Eaton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114, LCozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

UCP Celebrates Life & Accomplishments of Founder and Board Member, Nina Eaton

Entire disability community mourns loss of dedicated, accomplished colleague

Washington, DC (April 2, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) — an international advocate, educating and providing support services for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities — mourns the loss of Nina Eaton, one UCP’s founders, an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees, and a longtime supporter and advocate for people with disabilities, who passed away on Friday, March 30.

“UCP is saddened to lose such a tremendous advocate whose life’s work has been integral to advancing the civil rights movement for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former UCP President & CEO. “Nina was an amazing woman and will be greatly missed among the UCP family and disability advocates. Our deepest sympathies go to the entire Eaton family.”

A funeral service was held at Boulevard-Riverside-Hewlett Chapel, 1450 Broadway, Hewlett, New York 11557, this morning, and the family will be sitting Shiva on Monday and Tuesday at 8 Hazel Place, Woodmere, New York 11598. Cards and notes of condolence can be sent to the Eaton family, 543 Derby Avenue, Woodmere, New York 11598.

Eaton’s son, Leonard Eaton, was born with cerebral palsy in 1941 and led his young, uncertain mother towards a lifetime of advocacy for people with disabilities. Eaton and other parents, including UCP founders Leonard and Isabelle Goldenson along with Jack and Ethel Hausman, laid the foundation for a far-reaching organization that has enhanced the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities. More than a half century later, UCP is an international network of nearly 100 affiliates serving more than 176,000 people with disabilities and their families on a daily basis.

Eaton was a founding member of the New York State Cerebral Palsy Association in 1946. As the organization evolved into UCP in 1949, Eaton helped educate communities about cerebral palsy, which, like most developmental disabilities at the time, carried significant social stigma. She is well known for her persistent lobbying, leading to regional and national expansion of community-based services for people with disabilities.

Eaton remained an active leader in the disability community, and served on the Board of Directors of UCP of Suffolk for the past 20 years. She also served on the UCP national Board of Trustees and most recently as an Emeritus board member.

UCP honors an affiliate with the Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award, as part of the UCP Awards for Excellence, on an annual basis. The UCP affiliate award winners are honored for making an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life to people with disabilities through the delivery of state-of-the art direct services in the affiliate’s community. Award recipients are chosen based on affiliates’ ability to enable the individuals served to become more independent, productive or integrated into the family or community, and the programs stand out as a model worthy of replication by other UCP affiliates. Eaton loved the Awards for Excellence presentations and served as the Emcee for many years. She added her charm and wit to the evening of celebrating the accomplishments of UCP affiliates and individuals, in multiple categories.

“Nina was so much a part of our history and our lives,” said Stephen H. Friedman, President and CEO, UCP of Suffolk. “The lives of individuals with disabilities will be forever enriched because of her legacy. I know you all join me in extending sincere sympathy to the Eaton family.”

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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United Cerebral Palsy Takes International to a Local Level at 2011 Annual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY TAKES INTERNATIONAL TO A LOCAL LEVEL AT 2011 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Washington, DC (May 4, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, took international to a local level during the UCP 2011 Annual Conference – Life Without Limits: It’s All Local. The conference was designed to help improve operational and organizational efficiency and focused on tools to strengthen affiliates in local communities, regardless of budget size, and discussed how global collaborations can revolutionize the disabilities landscape.

Highlights:

  • More than 200 participants from across the globe tackle issues to revolutionize the disabilities landscape;
  • UCP’s Annual awards for Excellence features new basketball film and extreme mountain climber with disabilities;
  • New members have been added to UCP’s national Board of Trustees; and
  • UCP’s newest Celebrity Ambassador, Actor RJ Mitte, began his new role at the Annual Conference. Mitte co-hosted the Opening Reception, presented the Outstanding Youth Award, and participated on a panel about mobilizing the next generation of philanthropists and advocates.


Press releases that follow:

  1. UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY PRESENTS “AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE” 2011 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
  2. UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY ELECTS TWO TO NATIONAL BOARD
  3. CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR, ACTOR RJ MITTE INAUGURATES NEW ROLE AT UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY ANNUAL CONFERENCE

A complete wrap up of the conference is available in the “Agenda” section of the conference webpage at ucp.org, and photos are available on the UCP Facebook page.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, we continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

United Cerebral Palsy presents “Awards for Excellence” 2011 Annual Conference
Washington, DC (May 4, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, presented its annual Awards for Excellence during its 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. Designed to help improve operational and organizational efficiency, the UCP 2011 Annual Conference theme – Life Without Limits: It’s All Local – focused on tools to strengthen affiliates in local communities, regardless of budget size, and discussed how global collaborations can revolutionize the disabilities landscape.

Each year, the UCP Awards for Excellence are presented to affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through its affiliate network. This year, these awards were presented to 10 recipients at an opening reception and a dinner and presentation during the Annual Conference.

“The 2011 United Cerebral Palsy Awards for Excellence recipients are leaders in creating a life without limits for people with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former President & CEO, United Cerebral Palsy. “We are pleased to recognize affiliates, individuals and companies whose successful performance make our mission a reality by advancing independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities.”

The 2011 Awards for Excellence include:

  • 2011 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Glenn Harger, CEO of UCP of Mobile, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. He joined the affiliate of UCP of Mobile in 1989 and has grown the affiliate from a budget of $400,000 and 12 employees to a budget size of $4.1 million and 75 employees. Harger served in a leadership role as Chair with the National Administrators Council and as the first chair of the Professional Council following the reinvention of the management structure for UCP. He has offered his expertise to the planning and logistical support of several UCP annual conferences and has faithfully participated in Regional Administrator Council meetings. He currently serves as the Chair of the Program Advancement Ad Hoc Committee. Harger previously served on the Affiliate Services Committee and was the Chair of the Interagency Coordinating Council of Alabama for Early Childhood Intervention. Throughout his time with UCP, he has been a respected, vocal executive director who not only has Southern charm and a booming voice but a great passion for people with disabilities.
  • 2011 Chair Award was presented to Darrell Davis, Vice President of the Circle K Florida Region and Jason Broussard, Vice President of the Circle K Gulf Coast Region. For close to three decades, Circle K has made a profound difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Through the company’s canister program, special events and cause marketing efforts, Circle K employees have literally transformed thousands of lives.
  • 2011 Ritter Legacy Award, was presented to UCP of the North Bay for their website, Facebook page and $1,000 Donor Club packet program, which includes DVDs, newsletters and brochures. These marketing materials are used to raise funds for their programs, with particular focus on their recreation activities for children and adults with disabilities. They are also used to raise awareness of UCP and create a positive impression of the organization and its work; and finally, to build a strong community of current and future supporters. UCP of the North Bay has created programs which exemplify successful methods to further advocacy and reach fundraising goals.
  • 2011 Nina Eaton Program of the Year Award was presented to UCP Heartland for The Employment Collaborative, which builds relationships that lead to employment opportunities through a single point of entry between supported employment services providers and local school districts. The Collaborative is comprised of seven social service agencies, including UCP Heartland, that by working together, have placed more than 75 individuals with nine school districts and two district contractors. The goal of the Employment Collaborative is to provide opportunities for people who face a barrier to employment with the means to work more independently in their communities, often times at employment settings in which they are already familiar. It is an example of successful integration that can serve as a catalyst for change.
  • 2011 Outstanding Youth Award was presented to the students of the Villanova University social justice film class (nominated by UCP of Philadelphia & Vicinity), which created a documentary “On the DL”. The documentary follows the lives of two university students, Frank and Nick, who have cerebral palsy. The film depicts Frank and Nick in their daily tasks and as managers of the men’s and women’s division one basketball teams. In their work to show how these two students have to overcome physical as well as social barriers to feel like they belong to the team and to the university, the experience ultimately changed the live of the students in the film class and their community by creating awareness for students without disabilities, about their colleagues with disabilities.
  • 2011 Universal Accessibility Design Award was presented to John Allen of Southern Construction and Design of Madison, Alabama. In response to the need of one family whose son Casey is quadriplegic with other health issues, the Huntsville/Madison County Home Builder’s Association pledged to build a Universal Design home. The home – dubbed “Casey’s House” – has extensive structural, plumbing and electrical modification including an elevator, a completely accessible bathroom, a battery powered lift chair with track system, video surveillance cameras for monitoring with video and audio recording and streaming capabilities, an environmental control system and many other features that meet Casey’s medical needs. “Casey’s House” has become a model accessible home utilizing Universal Design principles and guidelines as well as creative use of building materials to provide comfort and functionality to Casey and his caregivers. Allen now educates other builders at conferences and speaking engagements to share information on designing and building a Universal Design homes.

  • 2011 Employer of the Year Award was presented to Gone for Good Document Destruction, a coalition of four UCP affiliates- UCP Land of Lincoln, UCP of Greater Birmingham, UCP of Arkansas and UCP of the North Bay, for their continued service in training and employing people with a spectrum of disabilities. The program was also recognized for its capacity to generate revenue and its ability to be successfully replicated in UCP affiliates across the country. This group of winners exemplifies the strength of the affiliate network to collaborate and harness their entrepreneurial spirit in support of a larger goal.
  • 2011 the Ethel Hausman Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Charlotte Eddington, (nominated by UCP of Arkansas). Charlotte has been a volunteer with UCP for 38 years and has been instrumental in key fundraising activities including the Arkansas UCP Telethon and annual tennis tournament. Over the years, her efforts have helped to raise more than $2.5 million. In addition, she helps coordinate and serve a Christmas dinner for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers in her community. Charlotte exemplifies the spirit of UCP through their endless philanthropy, relentless advocacy and time given to support the UCP mission, helping many to live a life with dignity and respect.
  • 2011 Life Without Limits Award was presented to Steve Wampler from Coranado, California, to recognize an individual with disabilities who has demonstrated leadership and achievement of such a caliber as to be a significant role model to people with and without disabilities. Steve embodies what UCP represents- not only living his life without limits, but encouraging others to do the same. In 2002, Steve founded the Wampler foundation, which provides support to organizations helping children with disabilities get outside and have a wilderness adventure. His foundation is a strong supporter of Access Leisure, which provides several outdoor camps for kids with disabilities, and also partners with UCP of Sacramento and Northern California.To honor the foundation’s mission and to inspire children with disabilities everywhere, Steve became the first man with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, a 3,000 foot vertical rock, last year. His vision was to conquer the rock, that’s twice the height of the empire state building, to show children with disabilities that they can and should embrace and enjoy the great outdoors. Steve’s personal adventures, requiring perseverance and endurance, have made him a role model for millions with disabilities, and his foundation’s work to enable children to have their own outdoor adventures is truly remarkable.

During the awards presentation, individuals who volunteered significant time with UCP affiliates were also recognized as Victory 100 winners. In 2009, these included 335 volunteers from 23 UCP affiliates. Each volunteer dedicated at least 100 hours of service by participating on a board, assisting in fundraising activities, and performing other needed volunteer work. This year the Victory 100 winners volunteered a total of 43,612 hours.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, we continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY ELECTS TWO TO NATIONAL BOARD

SELECKY, TALKIN BRING DEPTH IN MANAGED HEALTH CARE, EXECUTIVE STRATEGIC PLANNING AND OPERATIONS

Washington, DC (May 4, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, elected new members to its Board of Trustees during its 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. This included the following additions:

  • Christobel Selecky, from Southern California, is a chief executive and entrepreneur with nearly 30 years of experience in the health care industry. She currently provides strategic consulting and advice to management teams, companies, and investors currently in or seeking to enter the healthcare field focusing on strategy and business plan development, disease and care management program development and assessment, sales and market positioning, product planning, public policy analysis and strategy, and CEO/Senior Management advising. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of National Healthcare Services, the venture capital arm of Memorial Healthcare Services, a preeminent, non-profit healthcare system located in Southern California.
  • Pam Talkin, from Washington, DC, is the tenth Marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the first woman to hold the position. Previously, she was the first Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Compliance, the independent regulatory agency created by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, which applied eleven of the nation’s labor and employment laws to Congress. Talkin also served as President of the international Association of Labor Relations Agencies and was a Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Talkin was also the Chief of Staff at the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Assistant Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board’s San Francisco Region (Northern California and Hawaii). Additionally, she was the National President of the NLRB Union, which represented over 2,000 professional and clerical employees.

 

Coming off the national board is Anne Rader, who has a 20 year career in public policy, strategic planning, advocacy and management consulting in global health, public health, economic development and education within the private, public and non-profit sectors. Rader is currently an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton supporting global and civil health care issues, within the Public Health and Preparedness team, for Federal and nonprofit client interests. She also serves as a Member of the National Council on Disability, having been appointed to the Council by President George Bush in 2003 and re-appointed in March 2008. She serves as Chair of the Healthcare Team for the Council and the representative to the Interagency Committee on Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities.

To view UCP’s Board of Trustees, please visit http://ucp.org/about/board.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, we continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR, ACTOR RJ MITTE INAUGURATES NEW ROLE AT UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Emmy-nominated AMC drama “Breaking Bad” Actor Commits to Educate, Advocate Life Without Limits for People with Disabilities 

Washington, DC (May 4, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a leading service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, welcomed its newest Celebrity Ambassador, Actor RJ Mitte, at its 2011 UCP Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. Mitte co-hosted the Opening Reception, presented the Outstanding Youth Award, and participated on a panel about mobilizing the next generation of philanthropists and advocates.

As announced on “National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day,” Mitte stars on the Emmy-nominated AMC drama “Breaking Bad.” As a UCP Celebrity Ambassador, Mitte is committed to help fulfill UCP’s mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities, supporting UCP’s network of nearly 100 affiliates who provide services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day — one person at a time, one family at a time.

“I am excited to join the United Cerebral Palsy family and am committed to help educate and advocate for people with disabilities to live a life without limits,” said Mitte. “There are so many opportunities for advancing independence and productivity for people with disabilities, and I’m eager to raise awareness to advance UCP’s mission.”

“We are pleased to name RJ as a Celebrity Ambassador of United Cerebral Palsy. UCP believes that all people should be able to live a life without limits. As a young person with a disability, RJ has proven that having a disability cannot and should not hold anyone back,” said Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy President & Chief Executive Officer. “The civil rights movement is not over, and RJ’s notoriety and voice will help us continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams today and into the future.

Mitte’s character on “Breaking Bad,” Walter White Jr., has cerebral palsy. In real life Mitte also has cerebral palsy although it is a milder form than his character on the show. In addition to this new position with UCP, he is involved with several organizations that raise awareness of equality and diversity, and the prevention of bullying. He has been a featured guest speaker at an anti-bullying town hall discussion at the NAPT Annual Conference for school transportation professionals and has begun working with PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention on a national campaign designed to engage and educate those who see bullying – leveraging peer-to-peer support. As a guest speaker at high schools, colleges, and universities around the country, Mitte openly talks about the ways he has overcome obstacles and how he has achieved his goals.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP and its nearly 100 affiliates advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with a spectrum of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. We work to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, we continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

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CONTACTS:

Lauren Cozzi: 202-973-7114 (direct), LCozzi@ucp.org

Alicia Kubert Smith: 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org