Meet the NENA Board
As an Employment Network (EN) or State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency serving consumers in the Ticket Program, the NENA Board is your best peer-mentor resource. The 13 Directors on the Board operate with a diverse range of business models–they have faced the very problems you face right now. And, because they are among the most stable and successful EN and VR Ticket programs, they have proven answers that work.
Lisa Jordan, MS, CPDM, CRC, CWIC, GCDF-I, NENA Board Chair. President of Human Solutions LLC, a national EN providing virtual services to job seekers nationwide. Lisa has been providing workforce development & disability-related services to government and community-based organization for 15+ years. With expertise in curriculum design, project oversight, & public speaking, Lisa has trained hundreds of workforce development professionals nationwide. Lisa was the curriculum designer for several staff capacity building projects, including California’s State as a Model Employer online training series, a curriculum designed to increase employment, promotion, & equitable treatment of persons with disabilities in State employment. Prior to forming Human Solutions, Lisa managed four programs serving over 2500 clients with disabilities annually. Lisa is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board, Mature Worker Council & proudly served in the U.S. Navy.
Pam Walker, NENA President. CEO of Alliance Professional Services, LLC, for-profit EN established in 2008 and providing Ticketholders with pre-employment and job placement assistance. Pam has over 25 years of management experience working in the legal arena and with major service corporations where she managed HR functions, developed training programs, policies, procedures and work tools that created streamlined, effective, cost/time saving business processes and contributed to a high employee retention rate. She has held leadership and officer roles for national, state and local civic organizations.
Sherman Gifford, M.S., C.R.C., C.R.P., L.P.C., NENA Vice President. Sherman is Vice President of The Choice Group in Virginia. Sherman has provided employment services to individuals with disabilities for 20 years. He manages The Choice Group’s Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Specialist Advocate (WISA) services, collaborating closely with the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency to develop best practices and effective models for public-private partnerships. He has served on statewide rehabilitation associations as Treasurer and President, and has been recognized by the Virginia Rehabilitation Association and VaACCSES (the Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs) for leadership and excellence in service to people with disabilities. Sherman is a Certified Work Incentives Specialist, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Provider, and Licensed Professional Counselor.
Linda Patino, CPWIC, NENA Treasurer. Regional Coordinator for A Ticket to Success, a national non-profit EN based in California since 2003, operating under Tulare County Office of Education. Linda has over 24 years of professional experience assisting individuals with multiple barriers in job development, on-the-job training, life skills and communication. Developed materials to streamlined process and train other EN’s with organizing their business, getting paid and building partnerships. Developed partnership and serve on committees with local American Job Centers, State Vocational Rehabilitation, Work Investment Board, and veteran services. Serve as an Ambassador with local Chamber of Commerce, member of Society of Human Resource Management and served as previous Chairperson with Central Valley Mayor’s Committee for Partnership and Advocacy of People with Disabilities.
Sheriene Knox, NENA Secretary. Ticket to Work Coordinator for Operation: Job Ready Veterans, Indianapolis, Indiana. Sheriene has over 25 years experience in developing and managing Employment Services Programs for people with disabilities. Currently she works for a Traditional EN that specializes in working with Veterans with disabilities, their spouses and care givers in addition to facilitating Work Force EN Agreements. As a member of ISETT, Indiana Supported Employment Training Team, Sheriene has trained hundreds of Employment Specialists on best practices to assist people with disabilities to find and maintain quality employment. Also, she has presented at several state and national conferences.
Joe Ashley Rh.D, CRC, NENA Director. As Assistant Commissioner for Grants & Special programs at the Virginia Dept. of Rehabilitative Services, he leads implementation of Ticket to Work, SSA Cost Reimbursement, and WIA implementation. Co-director on the CMS funded Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, the DOL funded Disability Employment Initiative, and a NIDRR funded VR Return on Investment grant. Dr. Ashley is also involved with the NIDRR funded Disability Research project for developing VR services for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder through the VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. The Board appointed Dr. Ashley in April 2012, to provide special expertise in VR Partnership Plus.
Diana Bernardini, NENA Director. Diana Bernardini, MS, CRC, is the Owner and Service Provider for Discover Your Ability, a national Employment Network located in Mena, Arkansas. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Interpreting for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, before completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Diana also attended the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, earned a Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation and began working in various positions serving individuals with disabilities as a Sign Language Interpreter and as a State Vocational Rehab Counselor. Diana continued to work as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) for 13 years, has been involved with the Ticket to Work program for the last 7 years, and is a very involved NENA member, serving on multiple committees, including the Marketing Committee, Operations Committee, and the Annual Conference Committee.
Sarah Geller, NENA Director. Sarah is the Ticket to Work Program Manager at Employment Resources Inc. (ERI). ERI is a nonprofit in Madison, Wisconsin with an Employment Network, ERI PLUS. ERI PLUS specializes in job retention and advancement, with a major service area of work incentives benefits counseling. Sarah manages the operations, direct services, and marketing aspects of ERI’s Ticket to Work program in addition to providing direct services to a caseload of consumers. Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Prior to coming to ERI, she worked in the Wisconsin Works (W2) program providing case management, benefits, and employment services to low income parents.
Heather Miller, NENA Director. Serves as Opportunity Consultant for the Nebraska Ticket to Work program with Easter Seals Nebraska, a non-profit disability services organization. After spending many years living in Texas, Heather relocated back to her hometown in Nebraska, where she was introduced to team members from Easter Seals. For the past 2 years she has served Nebraskans with disabilities through the Ticket to Work Program and has found her true passion professionally. Heather has grown the program quickly with revenues at an all-time high under her direction. Her passion for helping others reach self-sufficiency is remarkable. She’s been a NENA member since joining Easter Seals and has found the organization extremely valuable to her success. Heather will be taking the CWIC training this year as soon as possible and is looking forward to using what she learns to further help disability beneficiaries.
Les Roberson, NENA Director. Disability Services Coordinator for Managed Career Solutions (MCS), a California state-wide Workforce Employment Network established in 2005. When Les began working at MCS in 2010, there were only 4 Tickets assigned. Under his leadership, the number of individuals being served has increased significantly, reaching as high as 120. The organization operates out their main office in Los Angeles, their 7 satellite offices throughout California, and they currently serve 88 beneficiaries. MCS was a part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ACT’s Disability Employment Accelerator (DEA) program for the City of Los Angeles, and that resulted in Les being responsible for providing Ticket training to the staff at 17 Worksource Centers and several Vocational Rehabilitation sites. Les has been active on NENA’s Marketing Committee and Operations Committee.
Judy Sanderson, M.Ed, EWIC, NENA Director. Director of Employment Services for GSIL in NH. Judy has worked in employment services for over 30 years. she currently supervises the EWIC portion of our BOND site, employment services for those with developmental disabilities, services as a vendor for Vocational Rehabilitation and oversee all Ticket to Work activities. GSIL has been an EN since 2008 and Judy serves on a number of committees including the Operations Work Group, COS Committee and Legislative/Policy Committee. In addition she is president of the NH Rehabilitation Association and Secretary of the state-wide Private Provider Network and serve on the state-wide Employment Leadership Awards Committee that formally recognizes employers with exemplary hiring practices around people with disabilities. Judy is an Enhanced Work Incentive Counselor as well as ACRE and APSE Certified.
Amy Wallish, NENA Director. Amy Wallish is a business owner who operates an EN as well as several other programs. She has worked on several NENA/SSA work groups regarding operations, pplus, legislative and marketing. Amy has been at the forefront on initatives such as the administrative EN model and testing iTOPPS. Maximus/SSA solicated admin EN contract language from her and she provided input on some of the standard language we now see. She is a seasoned trainer and brings experience working with remote teams. Amy is a CWIC and is well versed in SSA work incentives. Amy has assisted with partnership plus development with VRs and marketing to service provider, and has worked under Medicaid Infrastructure Grants to develop fee-for-service programs in VR.