Presenters
  • Sylvia M Fernandez-Colorado

Agency/organization

Plan for a Miracle, Corp.

Professional Title

Professional tittle is two PhD and several certifications. My current responsibilities include taking good care of myself so that I can learn and grow in balance in the spiritual, emotional and physical aspect in order to be able to share my growth with others 🙂

Title

Living by GT at a Vipassana 10 Day Silent Retreat in Israel

Subtitle (if any)

Letting Humanity Shine

I am from

Puerto Rico

Accomplishments

Two PhD in Psychology (Clinical and Industrial-organizational), certifications in GT, Human Sexuality, Prevention, use and abuse of drugs, Emotional Intelligence by GENOS and Life Coaching from International Coaching Federation. I have presented in professional congresses other than GTI in Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Dominican Republic, USA, and other countries. I have published 3 books, one of which is a collaboration of 7 GTI community members from around the world, one on positive thoughts and one on relationships, all in amazon. I have been invited to write for the newspaper and magazines in Puerto Rico, as well as to be in television local programs, write for internet websites and be on radio programs all in Puerto Rico. I have been a volunteer collaborator at Radio Vieques Community Radio Station as a co-host and with a segment in Spanish and one in English for the last year.

Bio

Dr. Fernandez has obtained 2 doctoral degrees, one in Clinical Psychology and one in Industrial Organizational Psychology, certifications in Human Sexuality, Emotional Intelligence, Life Coaching and of course, Gentle Teaching. She was feeling uncomfortable "looking for peoples' problems" as a psychologist and that is why she continued studying. When she found Life Coaching she was more than excited because here she was "looking for peoples' abilities and strengths" in order for them to move towards a better life accordinf to their life's purpose and this was exiting! She then started writing books of which she has three now. One of them is a collaboration with 6 other GTI community members "Gentle Teaching: a philosophy of life for a culture of peace". It was the GT experience of being Dr. McGee's assistant in Puerto Rico for two years (2010-2012) that opened here eyes and heart to a more loving and peaceful life by living a GT lifestyle by embracing this philosophy! Her life has since then been transformed into one blessed breath after the other! She has since then worked offering life coaching meetings to college students with a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico that supports them into getting to college, offered consultation serviced in a community based project and helped until January as a volunteer in Radio Vieques (a comminity radio station) being a co-host of a one hour radio show where she has a 15 minute segment. Since February 2017 Sylvia has been traveling to Germany, India, Israel and Spain is next spreading Gentle Teaching everywhere she goes and offering Life Coaching meetings to whomever is interested in the hopes for a more loving, peaceful, compassionate world!

Photo

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Presenters
  • Chrisanna Sampson

Agency/organization

H.O.M.E.S.

Professional Title

I am the Executive Assistant at H.O.M.E.S. and provide administrative support to the Co-Executive Directors and Managers at the office. As well, I support 7 individuals who work with me at the front desk reception throughout the week, and, I provide 1 on 1 Community Inclusion support to an individual I have worked with for four years.

Title

Maintaining a Culture of Gentleness in the Workplace

Subtitle (if any)

Recipe for Love

I am from

Abbotsford, BC

Accomplishments

Graduated from Social Work Diploma Program at UFV in 2012.

Bio

Prior to my employment at H.O.M.E.S. I worked as a Legal Assistant for a total of 17 years both in the private sector and with the Legal Services Society of B.C. My main area of interest in that field was Poverty Law and in 2009, I decided to go back to school and enrolled in the Social Work Diploma Program at UFV; graduating from that program in 2012. When I entered the Social Work Diploma Program I had my mind set on working in some way with pregnant teens. However, a Professor and Mentor encouraged me to stretch and try something different; opening the door for me to complete two practica in Community Living programs and supporting folks with diversabilities. I fell in love with this work and have been doing it ever since graduating. I came to H.O.M.E.S. in 2013 and have had the opportunity to work as a 1 on 1 Community Inclusion Caregiver and as the Executive Assistant at the H.O.M.E.S. Office; a position that affords me many opportunities to maintain a culture of gentleness and build relationships with the folks we serve.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Floris van de Kamer

Agency/organization

Prinsenstichting

Professional Title

i am a Mentor Gentle Teaching
my responsibility are; mentoring GT at our organisation, but also on national and international level.

Title

How to use Micro video analyses to level again with your child or client

I am from

I' am a Dutch boy from the Netherlands who lives in Holland 🙂

Bio

My name is Floris van de Kamer, i'm 42 years old
My first experience with Gentle Teaching was back in 1996 at school. 4 years later i started working at a grouphome at Prinsenstichting. Especially because they were working with Gentle Teaching at that grouphome. 1 client lives there. His name is Ronald and he met John in 1997. When i worked there for 3 years with gentle teaching, John came again and he mentored me. From that point the organization wanted gentle teaching to be implemented in the whole organization. So i became a mentor in 2004 and since them together with others i started to implement gt in the whole organization.
I also started since 2005 to join the Gentle Teaching International and visit the conference each year since. I also gave almost every year a presentation to present the process of the implementation and presenting cases with inspiring videos of the processes

Photo

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Presenters
  • Toni Start

Agency/organization

Start and Associates Psychological Support, LLC

Professional Title

Licensed Psychologist and owner of Start and Associates Psychological Support, LLC. Most people seek psychotherapy for anxiety, panic, fear, phobias, depression, relationship issues, grief/loss, trauma, or wonder “why they think the way they do.” While with the people I support, my main responsibilities are to: guide them to hear their own intuitions for guidance; give them experiences that they have missed in order to give them another perspective; and help them transform and/or heal parts of them that have been suffering. As the owner, I create a physical space where people can feel safe and comfortable as well as oversee daily operations. I also mentor and lead the associates to become the best they can become.

Title

It's in Every One of Us...that might change. no, that's not it. give me a minute...

I am from

Grand Haven, Michigan, USA

Bio

Dr. Toni S. Start is a Licensed Psychologist; she earned her Doctorate Degree in Clinical and Humanistic Psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. The foundation of her practice has been Gentle Teaching for about 20 years. She currently serves as a board member, has spoken at several Gentle Teaching International Conferences, has developed various Gentle Teaching trainings, and has been directly mentored by Dr. John McGee. She believes that a healthy quality of life stems from heightened self-awareness, a foundation of core values, well developed relationships, and a keen focus on the connection between mind and body. She realizes that because of life’s events, these qualities can become compromised, resulting in one feeling anxious, depressed, stressed, confused, overwhelmed, angry, worthless, hopeless, lonely, vulnerable and/or scared. These events can occur anytime in life and can stay with us consciously or subconsciously. She helps people connect thoughts, feelings, and self beliefs from the past to how they live in the present, and heal for the future. She utilizes a mixture of humanistic and mind/body psychologies including Gentle Teaching, Internal Family Systems/Parts Work, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and imagery. Often times, spirituality is also a part of healing.

Presenters
  • Windyz Brazao Ferreira

Agency/organization

NGO Education for All - (ONG ED-Tod@s)

Professional Title

PhD. Consultant in the field of Disability and Research Methodology
Currently I am the President of an NGO Ed-Tod@s
(www.ongedtodas.wixsite.com/indaiatuba)
facebook: ongedtodas

Title

The challenge of embedding GT in the Scientific Agenda:

Subtitle (if any)

the potentiality of Case Study Research Metodology

I am from

Brazil

Accomplishments

Currently I am implanting the Pro Mothers Social Project at the NGO Ed-Tod@s. It aims at supporting mothers of chidren and adults with disability, ´mending their broken hearts´ caused by the continuous stress in their lives and empower them to flight for the rights of their children and themselves as women.

Bio

PhD. Master in Science (both Manchester University, UK), Master In Education (UNICAMP-Brazil). Graduation in Speech Therapy and Pedagogy. Unesco Consultant from 1997 until now. Currently I am ad hoc Researcher for UNESCO and the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Nominated Member of the Concil of the national Institute for Education Research-INEP/Brazil. President of the NGO Ed-Tod@s and Consultant in the Field of Disability.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Kristinn Már Torfason (K); Michael A. Vincent (M)

Agency/organization

(K): (Kiddi will provide); (M): Retired, independent consultant

Professional Title

(K): (Kiddi will provide);

(M): Retired Senior Trainer and Director of Training at Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, developing and presenting trainings on Gentle Teaching as well as a range of other care giving skills. Supervised trainers of Gentle Teaching classes; currently Independent Consultant on Gentle Teaching training.

Title

A Journey in Mentoring

Subtitle (if any)

Development of a Team of Mentors in Iceland

I am from

(K): Akureyri, Iceland; (M): Shelby Township, Michigan, USA

Bio

(K): (Kiddi will provide);

(M): Michael Vincent grew up in central Michigan. He served for 23 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1996. He was also employed at Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (MORC) in southeastern Michigan for 23 years (the two careers overlapping). From 1987 to 2005 he was a Senior Trainer at MORC and from 2005 to 2012 he served as Director of Training at that agency. Following his retirement in 2012 he continues to travel in the U.S. and internationally to present trainings and give conferences on Gentle Teaching. He and his bride, Margo Lynn, reside in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Presenters
  • Dr. Charles W. Woodard

Agency/organization

Seed Consultation Services, LLC

Professional Title

Chief Executive Officer of Seed Consultation Services, LLC
Oversees the operation of an organization that deliver/provides services and products to public, private and nonprofit agencies/organizations. This results in improved service delivery, client satisfaction, and builds the capacity of staff to work with any group of people regardless of differences that may exist.

Title

Gentle Teaching Starts With Loving ME

I am from

West Palm Beach, Florida USA

Accomplishments

Conducted Research the provided data that indicated the effectiveness of Gentle Teaching in working with Individuals that have Special Needs.

Bio

Dr. Woodard is the Owner/Founder of Seed Consultation Services, LLC (SCS). His Consulting Company focuses on Empowering others to Face and Overcome the Challenges that life presents. Sowing Seeds of Mastery via Information Sharing, Strategic Interventions, and Goal Directed Activities, SCS intends to help others to “Soar Like the Eagle”, Above the Storms of Life. Motto: “Sowing Enables Others to Soar”.

Dr. Woodard is a Mentor/Certified Gentle Teacher who was trained by Dr. John McGee in 1988. His Doctoral Dissertation examined the effectiveness of Gentle Teaching (GT), while working with Clients with Special Needs, at Midlands Center in Columbia, SC. He worked at this facility as the Director of the Mentally Retarded Offenders Program; and lastly, as the Chief Psychologist/Director of Psychological Services. He left in 2002; and after leaving, was inspired to start Seed Consultation Services, LLC. (SCS) His educational training, varied work experiences, as well as life experiences have given him knowledge and preparation for the purpose of Sowing Seeds of Empowerment, Knowledge and Success in others.

A motivational speaker, trainer, educator, and entrepreneur, he has taught at Colleges and Universities work with Head Start programs, S. C. Department of Juvenile Justice and N.C. Department of Corrections. An excellent workshop presenter and trainer, he has presented at workshops/conferences including but not necessarily limited too: Gentle Teaching International (Skanderborg Demark, Saskatoon Canada, Thessaloniki, Greece, Kansas City. Iceland), The National Black Child Development Institute, Region IV, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida Head Start Associations, and public & private child care providers.

Dr. Woodard worked as a Grantee Performance Support Specialist, as part of the T/TA Network for Region IV Head Start programs. The most popular/requested workshop that he has provided for the Region IV Head Start staff, parents, community partners, and other agencies has been Gentle Teaching. This workshop’s primary objective is to empower caregivers to develop positive, interactive, and mutually respected relationships with those within their care. Caregivers are taught how to base care on gentleness and justice, work hands on with the most troubled Individuals, provide servant leadership, and bring peers into gentleness and to serve as a clear and strong example (mentor). Caregivers are taught to self-reflect; create a spirit of trust, display unconditional love, and to uplift parents, families, caregivers and communities. Positive side effects of GT include an increase in the quality and quantity of participatory and interactive experiences. In addition, there is a significant decrease in the display of challenging behaviors and stress.

He has authored the book Self-Talk: Sign of Sanity, Insanity, or the Key to Self-Empowerment. Self-Talk takes a realistic look at how personal and individual feelings are formed. In fact, monitoring and changing one’s "self-talk" are the keys to self-control. Many believe that talking to oneself is a sign of insanity, but in this powerful examination of the common practice, it is rather described as a trait of true sanity and self-empowerment.
A must read, Self-Talk challenges conventional premises and definitions regarding the formation of thoughts, perceptions and feelings.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Jacob Chapelle, Maria Rosvang and Jesper Ulrich

Agency/organization

Sødisbakke, Region Nordjylland

Professional Title

In Denmark our title is "Pædagog" - which means we have a bachelor degree in pedagogy and that roughly means we are professional social workers.

Title

New Beginnings

Subtitle (if any)

- an introduction to the basics

I am from

We're from Denmark

Accomplishments

Marco's mother is very happy with what we have achieved in the time he has been with us here at Sødisbakke. She describes it as a change of mentality in Marco: he now calls our place home. He feels safe here. For us professionals this is to be considered a great success and proves that the Gentle Teaching-approach is working by going back to the fundamentals – the basics from day one. We feel that this is an effective way to create a foundation for Marco's future life with us here at Sødisbakke.

Bio

Jacob, 38: I've worked with social issues most of my life. Regular and disabled, kids and grownups. I recieved my diploma in 2012 and before that I worked with preschool kids, journalism and firefighting.

Jesper, 28: I started my career as a social educator in 2009, but didn't get my diploma until 2015. I've worked with different target groups such as school children and people with mental and physical difficulties. I was first introduced to Gentle Teaching when I started working at Sødisbakke in Denmark in 2015.

Maria, 40, mother of 4: I started my career as a Health Worker in 2001, at a nursing home. 2007 I was introduced to Gentle teaching, when I started working at Sødisbakke. I got my diploma as a Social educator in 2016.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Nancy Nicolaus Tracy Mauk

Agency/organization

DD Services of Jackson County-eitas (Missouri, USA)

Professional Title

Nancy-Agency Relations Supervisor and GT Educator.
Tracy - Agency Relations Specialist and GT Educator
Nancy and Tracy provide support and consultation to agencies funded by eitas; and serve as the GT Educators in central USA.

Title

Let's Start at the Beginning - the early history and stories of safe and loved.

I am from

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Accomplishments

*Eitas hosted in the 2015 GTI conference in Kansas City, MO.
* Eitas received a state wide award for providing GT training.
* Tracy and Nancy were fortunate to spend approximately 120
training days with John McGee prior to his passing in 2012.
* Nancy and Tracy are both currently members of the GTI

Bio

Tracy Mauk is a Gentle Teaching Educator who works for Developmental Disabilities Services of Jackson County-eitas in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She has worked for the past 25 years in a variety of positions related to the supports and services of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. While attending college she was first introduced to the field of care giving which gave her the vision of a career path. She is the co-founder of the Heart of America GTI Network. Tracy is a member of the GTI Board of Directors. She feels fortune to be able to share the message of Gentle Teaching as a local Gentle Teaching Educator in the Kansas City area. Over the years she has developed her philosophy and approach to working with others in a Gentle and Person Centered way. Tracy has found great satisfaction from having a career that not only meets her desires to have meaningful work but has also impacted her ability to be a better wife and mother.

Nancy has over forty years of experience in developmental disabilities and healthcare administration. She co- founded the Heart of America GTI Network and has extensive training experience throughout Missouri, middle America and several GTI conferences. She is also a member of the GTI Board of Directors. Nancy holds a BS degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MA degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Certificate in Rehabilitation from the University of Texas (SW) Medical School, School of Allied Health.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Hidda Pálsdóttir and Trausti Júlíusson

Agency/organization

Ás Styrktarfélag

Professional Title

We are both Social Educators.

Title

Planting Seeds

I am from

Reykjavík, Iceland

Accomplishments

In 2016 Trausti Júlíusson's final paper at the Social Educator‘s Department at the University of Iceland was awarded as the year‘s best final work. It is a study of Gentle Teaching and Disability Studies. It aimed to find out if the ideas and methods of Gentle Teaching are compatible with the ideologies and requirements of the social model of disability.

Bio

Trausti Júlíusson‘s bio:
Trausti Júlíusson is a social educator who has been working at Ás styrktarfélag in Reykjavík, Iceland since November 2008, most of the time at the sheltered workplace Ás vinnustofa. He has had Gentle Teaching Mentor training by Michael Vincent and Kristinn Már Torfason, as well as training for trainers by Mike Vincent. In 2016 Trausti‘s final paper at the Social Educators Department at the University of Iceland was awarded as the year‘s best final work. It is a study of Gentle Teaching and Disability Studies. It aimed to find out if the ideas and methods of Gentle Teaching are compatible with the ideologies and requirements of the social model of disability.

Ás styrktarfélag is the biggest private organization in the field of service to people with mental disability in Iceland. Gentle Teaching is now being implemented in all it‘s homes and daytime activity centers. Trausti is overseeing that implementation along with Hidda Pálsdóttir.

Hidda Pálsdóttir‘s bio:
Hidda Pálsdóttir is an Icelandic social educator, working at Ás styrktarfélag. Ás Styrktarfélag is a non-profit organization and is one of the leading companies in service to people with disabilities in Iceland. Hidda graduated as a pharmacy technician in 2004 and worked in a pharmacy in Reykjavik, Iceland in the years 2004 - 2010.

In 2007 she decided to attend the department of social education at the University of Iceland and graduated as social educator in 2010. She started working with Ás Styrktarfélag in the year 2010 in Lækjarás a day care center for disabled people of the age 20-77. In 2014 she started working in Selið witch is a part of Ás styrktarfélag. Selið was established in 2003. It provides individualized services for up to eight people with autism and behavior problems. The ideology of Gentle Teaching is the main guideline in Selið. Teacch projects, creative work and outdoors activities are the main focus for the employees in Selið. Hidda has been working with Gentle Teaching in Selið with great success as well as introducing the ideology to her staff team.

In 2015 Ás Styrktarfélag decided to send her to a mentor training at Akureyri with Mike Vincent and Kristinn Már Torfason, which concluded in 2016. In february 2017 it was approved by the board of Ás styrktarfélag to implement the ideology of Gentle Teaching to all staff member of Ás and Hidda is one of two mentors who direct that work.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Dr. Anthony M. McCrovitz

Agency/organization

GLOBE STAR, LLC and The Quality of Life Institute, Inc.

Professional Title

Anthony M. McCrovitz, Ph.D., LMHC, BCPC, IMH-E® (II), DAPA
Executive Director, Globe Star LLC
Professor of Counseling at University of Saint Francis
President, Indiana Professional Counseling Foundation (IPCF)
Past President, Indiana Counseling Association (ICA)

Title

Practical Ground for Gentle Teaching: A Reference Point for Review and Research

I am from

Chesterton, Indiana, USA

Bio

For nearly three decades, Dr. McCrovitz has worked with individuals and their families, advocating for persons with disabilities in overcoming cultural and/or community barriers, creating plans, solutions, and support services that improve their overall quality of life.

He designed a Quality of Life model of direct services that is based on the philosophy of Gentle Teaching (a compassionate approach for interacting with others). Quality of Life services and programs are provided through Globe Star, an agency that he and his wife, Amanda, established in 1996.

The integration of Gentle Teaching-based frameworks is demonstrated throughout his extensive experience, with the designing of positive, proactive treatment plans, successfully rooted in holistic biopsychosocial models.

With his extensive background experience in outpatient, therapeutic interventions for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities, expertise in parent training approaches toward intervention, and experience in working with multidisciplinary teams, he has been able to develop a broad range of support services for individuals with developmental disabilities. These are offered at Globe Star.

Dr. McCrovitz develops teaching materials and training programs to support professionals who provide direct services. In 2016, he launched a monthly webinar instructional series, giving worldwide access to learning about the Snoezelen approach, and exploring the therapist’s role in multi-sensory environments.

These materials and introduction to training programs are also offered to students in related fields of psychology and human services at Purdue University North Central School of Psychology, where he is an adjunct professor.

In addition to providing leadership for local and state associations (he serves as a current board member and past president of the Indiana Counseling Association (2015-2016), Dr. McCrovitz is an active member of the international governing boards of Gentle Teaching (GTI) and Snoezelen/Multi-Sensory Environments (ISNA).

He is a strong presence at their annual conferences, and in recent years, has worked closely with senior Snoezelen advisor at Hartenberg Centre in the Netherlands, Ad Verheul, and the president of International Snoezelen Association (ISNA- MSE) in Denmark, Maurits Eijgendaal. Together, they have developed Snoezelen-MSE training and workshops that were presented in the U.S. (Indiana and Maryland), and continue to collaborate in developing topics relating to Snoezelen-MSE (with recent presentations and training offered in Iceland and Greece).

Photo

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Presenters
  • Dr. Charles Conant

Agency/organization

Horry County School District

Professional Title

Dr. Charles Conant, Behavior Specialist I work with 28 schools to assist with children in crisis and work with the school, family, and child using Gentle Teaching principles. I assist in developing FBAs and BIPs as well as go into the home and work with families in using the principles of Safe, Loved, Loving and Engaged as well as the four pillars to use our Presence, Touch, Words, and our Eyes.

Title

Accepting A Culture of Difference

Subtitle (if any)

Removing Intolerance From Our Schools.

I am from

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Accomplishments

I developed a specialized school in my school district based on the principles of Gentle Teaching in which we serve students K-12 with significant social/emotional differences and those with autism as well. Students and staff alike come to school each day knowing they will be safe, loved, loving and engaged and because of the power of "Relationship" building these students thrive.

January of this year I was able to work with an Immigration Attorney in Canada to help me get a student I was working with in the USA who had severe Intellectual Disabilities and Autism who was not an American citizen but was a Canadian citizen and I could not get her any services in the States. We were able to work with an agency in Toronto called Reena who serves individuals with developmental disabilities and get her into an apartment with two full-time staff members and she is now thriving.
I and the attorney will be receiving an award July 19th, 2017 called the Person of Justice Award for our work getting this young lady to Canada where she now lives a happy and productive life with her peers and community.

Bio

My parents were told I had mental retardation when I was a 6-year-old child and was a selective mute and did not talk outside of the home till I was 21 years old due to also being a severe stutterer. My parents were told I would never be able to live on my own and the best they could expect was for me to work in a factory. I lived down to those expectations upon graduating high school in 1975 and worked in a factory until 1979 when I quit. I taught myself math and English, read up on history and took my SAT and was accepted into Southern Connecticut State University. I currently hold nine degrees, two Associates, Three Bachelors, Three Masters and a Doctorate.
I am married to my wonderful wife, Robin of 36 years and look forward to the next 36.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Dorothy Bowne and Tracey Hamlet

Agency/organization

MOKA

Professional Title

Dorothy Bowne is MOKA's Human Resource Director. She is responsible for "all things human" when it comes to our workforce. Dorothy provides oversight of employment functions for MOKA’s 500+ active employees

Tracey Hamlet is MOKA's Director of Programs. She is responsible for oversight and direction of community placement, residential, supports coordination, employment, autism services, and skill building services for over 2,000 individuals.

Title

HIring for a Gentle Culture

Subtitle (if any)

Use of Behavioral Interviewing (and other techniques) for matching employeees to organization culture

I am from

West Michigan, USA (Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Allegan, and Ottawa counties)

Accomplishments

MOKA's work on this topic of hiring was highlighted in a book called "Hiring for Attitude" by Mark Murphy. We were heavily influenced by the work of Mark Murphy to design our stronger hiring practices.

Bio

Dorothy Bowne became the Human Resources Director for MOKA Corporation in April 2010 after joining the organization in November 2006 as the HR Coordinator. Dorothy provides oversight of employment functions for MOKA’s 500+ active employees. Dorothy believes in MOKA’s mission and is passionate about the work we do. She’s often heard saying, “It’s a privilege to support MOKA’s dedicated employees in the valuable work that they do.” Before joining MOKA, she worked as the Human Resources Manager at Heartland of Whitehall, a skilled nursing facility in Whitehall, Michigan; and as a Human Resources Representative at Menlo Logistics in Holland. At Menlo, she was part of the corporate training group traveling all over the country supporting other HR representatives in the company. Dorothy has a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Grand Valley State University and is a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is driven by lifelong learning and growing, enjoys camping, reading, shopping, and having fun with her sons. Dorothy also shares her time and talents serving on the Board of Administration at her church. Dorothy and her husband Jason live in Twin Lake with their two sons.

Tracey Hamlet has served as Director of Programs for MOKA since August of 2009 and is responsible for oversight and direction of community placement, residential, employment, and skill building services. Tracey believes in our mission and is passionate about MOKA because we are an agency that is “grounded” in, and has never strayed from, a grassroots advocacy for people in our community who need support to gain a stronger voice. “My first job after college was as a direct support staff in a group home for another agency. My first day, I was deeply moved by the realization that not everyone was treated first, as a person. I felt strongly there was a difference that needed to be made, and I needed to be a part of that.” Tracey graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in psychology and is currently working on completing her Masters in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University. Tracey worked for MOKA from 1989-1990 as a Home Supervisor. She moved on to work for Lutheran Social Services (now known as Samaritas) as a Unit Director, Program Coordinator, and Regional Director. She served as the Director for Residential and Clinical Services for Hope Network before returning to MOKA. Tracey is driven by her desire for service at work and within her church, enjoys spending time with her family, and loves to spend time on the lake. She is passionate about her family and her work and thankful for all life’s many blessings.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Dorothy Bowne and Tracey Hamlet

Agency/organization

MOKA

Professional Title

Dorothy Bowne is the Human Resource Director for MOKA. Dorothy provides oversight of employment functions for MOKA’s 500+ active employees.
Tracey Hamlet is the Director of Programs for MOKA.

Title

Care of the Caregiver

Subtitle (if any)

Critical Incident Stress Management

I am from

West Michigan, USA (Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Allegan, and Ottawa counties)

Accomplishments

Dorothy Bowne and Meghan McKenzie presented on MOKA's work for Care of the Caregiver at Michigan's Annual Conference for Culture of Gentleness in 2015.

Bio

Dorothy Bowne became the Human Resources Director for MOKA Corporation in April 2010 after joining the organization in November 2006 as the HR Coordinator. Dorothy provides oversight of employment functions for MOKA’s 500+ active employees. Dorothy believes in MOKA’s mission and is passionate about the work we do. She’s often heard saying, “It’s a privilege to support MOKA’s dedicated employees in the valuable work that they do.” Before joining MOKA, she worked as the Human Resources Manager at Heartland of Whitehall, a skilled nursing facility in Whitehall, Michigan; and as a Human Resources Representative at Menlo Logistics in Holland. At Menlo, she was part of the corporate training group traveling all over the country supporting other HR representatives in the company. Dorothy has a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Grand Valley State University and is a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is driven by lifelong learning and growing, enjoys camping, reading, shopping, and having fun with her sons. Dorothy also shares her time and talents serving on the Board of Administration at her church. Dorothy and her husband Jason live in Twin Lake with their two sons.

Tracey Hamlet has served as Director of Programs for MOKA since August of 2009 and is responsible for oversight and direction of community placement, residential, employment, and skill building services. Tracey believes in our mission and is passionate about MOKA because we are an agency that is “grounded” in, and has never strayed from, a grassroots advocacy for people in our community who need support to gain a stronger voice. “My first job after college was as a direct support staff in a group home for another agency. My first day, I was deeply moved by the realization that not everyone was treated first, as a person. I felt strongly there was a difference that needed to be made, and I needed to be a part of that.” Tracey graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in psychology. Tracey worked for MOKA from 1989-1990 as a Home Supervisor. She moved on to work for Lutheran Social Services (currently known as Samaritas) as a Unit Director, Program Coordinator, and Regional Director. She served as the Director for Residential and Clinical Services for Hope Network before returning to MOKA. Tracey is driven by her desire for service at work and within her church, enjoys spending time with her family,and loves to spend time on the lake. She is passionate about her family and her work and thankful for all life’s many blessings.

Photo

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Presenters
  • James Abid

Agency/organization

Spectrum Community Services

Professional Title

Supports Coordinator
I'm responsible for assisting individuals with Person Centered Planning and coordinating services.

Title

Creating Value

I am from

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Accomplishments

Presenter at our Michigan COG conference 2013 (?)
Presenter at the 2016 Gentle Teaching International Conference
Trained many staff in Working with People
Mentoring our Community Living Support Staff, Residential staff and Interns in creating Cultures of Gentleness
BSW - Grand Valley State University

Bio

A social worker in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1989 with a Bachelor degree from Grand Valley State University. James has supported people with intellectual disabilities and chronic and persistent mental illness throughout this career and continues to advocate for Cultures of Gentle through his day to day work as a Supports Coordinator.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Deirdre Mercer

Agency/organization

MORC Inc.

Professional Title

Director of Self Determination. In this role I assist individuals we support determine the supports they wish to self direct such as hiring their own support people and assisting them in understanding the complicated process of doing so. I also assist individuals who work as self-advocates in preparing their stories to share and to identify their gifts and abilities.

Title

Are we speaking the same language?

Subtitle (if any)

Translating the language of love

I am from

MORC Inc.

Bio

Deirdre Mercer has worked as a trainer and mentor of a Culture of Gentleness since 1997. Receiving her initial training from Dr. John McGee is something she cherishes and brings to her daily work. As a consultant for the Center for Positive Living Supports Deirdre trained hundreds of caregivers in a Culture of Gentleness and was privileged to develop advanced curricula for mentors and leaders. Together with her colleagues in the center, Deirdre developed trainings including Leading in a Culture of Gentleness and Supporting Families in a Culture of Gentleness, and Goal Development in a Culture of Gentleness. Deirdre wishes to thank her mentors past and present without whom this journey would not be possible.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Dr. Margaret Kress

Agency/organization

University of New Brunswick

Professional Title

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education and the Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, UNB. I am responsible for the delivery of courses in inclusionary practices, Indigenous education and Indigenous research methodologies, transformative eduction, and decolonizing practices. I am currently teaching those who are undergrads and graduate students in the Faculty of Education for the University of New Brunswick, Canada. I have engaged in much service work to generate a culture of gentleness and understanding for women and children who have experienced trauma and violence, and continue to advocate for human rights and inclusivity for all peoples.

Title

Honouring Pimatisiwin in a Culture of Gentleness

Subtitle (if any)

Advancing Indigenous ethics, spatial justice and Gentle Teaching in support of Indigenous peoples

I am from

Saskatchewan, Métis Homelands, Treaty 4 and 6 Territories, and currently living in Wabanaki Territory in New Brunswick, Canada

Accomplishments

I have been able to advance and advocate for Gentle Teaching in classrooms from pre-school to high school, and these initiatives have been taken to schools across the nation, and in places such as Sweden and Finland.
I have been an advocate for disabled children and Indigenous children for two decades, and have made significant changes in the lives of current teachers I have taught. These teachers embrace inclusivity and Gentle Teaching, and they are the transformative leaders of today.

Bio

Dr. Margaret Kress, Tahkwaki Waapikwani Iskwew, Autumn Flower Woman, was born in Saskatchewan, in the grasslands of Treaty Four territory and the Métis homelands. She proudly embraces her Métis, French, English and German ancestry. Margaret works closely with Elders, knowledge keepers and educational and community leaders throughout Canada in the areas of Indigenous wellness, reconciliation, Gentle Teaching, Indigenous and inclusive education, and social and environmental justice. Currently, she supports students and faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick in teaching, research, and service, with a focus on the exploration of critical issues associated with Indigenous education, Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous language retrieval and protection, and belonging, gentle teaching and self-determining practices. She is the recent recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant (2016-2020) entitled Preserving sacred landscapes: the reawakening of blood memory as justice. She is the author of selected publications including the Canadian Women Studies, kimiwan, Of Land & Living Skies: A community Journal on Place, Land, and Learning, and Honouring Indigenous Women-Hearts of Nation. Her most recent publication focuses on Indigenous peoples, inclusivity and Gentle Teaching: "Reclaiming disability through Pimatisiwin: Indigenous ethics, spatial justice and Gentle Teaching" in Ethics, Equity, and Inclusive Education - International Perspectives on Inclusive Education.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Steve McCarthy
  • Denise Misovec
  • Kelly De Grant
  • Lisa Steffen

Agency/organization

Curative Connections

Professional Title

Denise Misovec: Director of Adult Day Services. My agency responsibilities include oversight of daily operations of five adult day programs; from program development to nursing care to transportation needs.
Lisa Steffen: Director of Business Development, Occupational Therapist, Registered. My agency responsibilities include collaborating with agency staff and community partners on program development initiatives and coordinating a portion of the agency’s training requirements.
Kelly De Grant: Outreach Coordinator. My agency responsibilities include overseeing two off-site Adult Day Services programs, Volunteer Coordinator for the agency, Social Media point person, and representing Curative Connections on many committees and coalitions serving elders and people with disabilities. I also market our services via office visits, tours, and speaking opportunities to various community groups. I assist with special events which Curative Connections hosts. In addition I am able to do good works in the community on Curative Connections’ behalf.
Steve McCarthy: Steve is the President and CEO of Curative Connections, and leads the agency in all areas.

Title

The Journey to Gentleness: Bringing a Culture of Gentleness to a Community Based Agency

I am from

Our agency, Curative Connections, is located in Green Bay, WI, USA.

Accomplishments

We are pleased to be working toward our individual certifications as Mentors and Trainers of Gentle Teaching, and hope to achieve that by the end of 2017.

Bio

Denise Misovec, Director of Adult Day Services
Denise had spent several years working in Nursing Homes as Social Services & Resident Services, when she joined the Curative Connections team in 2008. She was happy to serve people in a similar place in life but in a much more supportive role that also supported the community. Denise is part of the team, at Curative Connections, that is in the process of earning mentor and trainer certification in Gentle Teaching. It has been very exciting for her to see this concept start to spread in the state of Wisconsin.
Lisa Steffen, OTR, Director of Business Development
Lisa joined Curative Connections as an Occupational Therapist in 1994. She has worn many hats at Curative including overseeing the Employment and Training and Brain Injury Rehabilitation programs. She currently serves as the Director of Business Development. In both her personal and professional roles, she is passionate about people being appreciated for who they are. Lisa has 5 nieces and nephews whom she is proud to say call her “Mom” and 3 incorrigible rescue cats. Along with the team, Lisa is in the process of earning mentor and trainer certification in Gentle Teaching. She is grateful for the opportunity to grow in and share the wonderful message of gentleness.

Steve McCarthy is Curative Connections' president and CEO, a role he has held since late 2012. Prior to Curative Connections, Steve had a variety of roles with Lutheran Social Services, including organizational advancement, program services, advocacy and public policy. Steve was introduced to Gentle Teaching in the late 1990s when his organization asked John McGee to nurture their gentle teaching journey and better support people with disabilities. Steve has been on his own culture of gentleness journey ever since. He has two college-age daughters, two golden retrievers and a rescue dog of dubious ancestry.

Kelly De Grant, Outreach Coordinator
Kelly De Grant has an educational background in Gerontology, Public Relations, and Business. Kelly was drawn to the gerontology field after being a long-distance caregiver for her parents. Kelly began at Curative 5 years ago as a student volunteer. Since joining Curative in 2012, Kelly has been in many different roles: Student Volunteer, Substitute Program Assistant, Activity Leader, Team Leader, (all in Adult Day) and in May 2016, Outreach Coordinator for the agency. Kelly volunteered to be part of the Culture of Gentleness team at Curative and is currently working with her peers to become a certified mentor and trainer. Kelly has three children, two grandchildren, two cats, and one rescue dog. Kelly is thrilled to have the opportunity through her outreach activities to share the positive and powerful message of Gentle Teaching.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Kym Juntti

Agency/organization

The Center for Positive Living Supports-MORC, Inc

Professional Title

Director of Training and The Center for Positive Living Supports for MORC, Inc.

Oversee a Training Department that supports 19,000 training registrations annually.

Through the CPLS provide training, individual and organizational consultation to varied human services organizational across the state, country and internally.

Sit on numerous state policy committees to promotes quality Direct Support Professional training and Positive Behavior Strategies.

Design and conduct specialized digital education including webinars, on-line learning and blended learning opportunities .

Work to promote Culture of Gentleness and Positive Supports as fundamental quality standards when supporting those with complex needs at a state level.

Title

The Epidemic of Loneliness and its Effects on Health and Healing

I am from

Michigan-MORC, Inc. & The Center for Positive Living Supports

Accomplishments

Listed above

Bio

Kym Juntti started in Human Services in1983 and has worked in residential, vocational, advocacy, training and consultation aspects of this work ever since. She is currently is the Director of Training & the Center for Positive Living Supports through MORC, Inc.

Kym was introduced to Gentle Teaching in 1987 and worked closely with John McGee to organize 5-day practicums and other training/consultative supports. She started with MORC as a Trainer in 1994 and was later asked by John McGee and Jerry Provencal to lead up the Center for Positive Living Supports, which was instrumental, is providing supports throughout the state to transition 120 individual’s home from Michigan’s last state facility for those with I/DD. Kym is the current oversees a training department supporting those in the human services field. This department trains 13,000 individuals annually.

Kym works on numerous boards, committees and policy groups to advance the utilisation of a Culture of Gentleness through all aspects of providing Human Services.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Simone Schipper

Agency/organization

Wier, Altrecht

Professional Title

I am a GZ-psychologist, orthopedagoog and EMDR therapist. I work as a a treatment coordinator at WIER a (partly forensic) treatment facility for people with a combined mild intellectual disability, psychiatric problems, addictions problems.

Title

Anxious; the battle in and for the memory

Subtitle (if any)

Trauma therapy with in a Gentle Teaching framework

I am from

The Netherlands

Accomplishments

I have been a GT mentor since 2004 and active as a GTI board member .

Bio

I am a 42 year old woman. I married to Edward and a mother of three adolescent children. In my work with people with an intellectual disability my main focus is building relationships especially with those that have the most difficulty experiencing companionship. I have a masters in orthopedagogy and did a post-master in Mental Health Psychology. I am working with GT since 1999. In 2004 I followed the advanced mentor training at MORC and was trained by Michael Vincent and John McGee. Since 2004 I am responsible for implementing GT in different organizations serving people with intellectual disability and psychiatric disorders. For two years I am serving as a member of the GTI board. In 2015 I started my training as EMDR therapist and since then I am combining this therapeutic skills with the Gentle teaching framework love and live.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Søren Lytzau

Agency/organization

Landsbyen Sølund

Professional Title

Physiotherapist and MA (Education) in Educational Sociology

Physiotherapist for people with mental and physical disabilities.
Research and lectures about snoezelen.

Title

Gentle Teaching as seen through the senses

Subtitle (if any)

Gentle Teaching and Snoezelen

I am from

Landsbyen Sølund, Denmark

Bio

Education
2009: Bachelor in physical therapy.
2015: MA (Educational) in Educational Sociolgy.

Work and research
2009 - : Physioterapist for people with mental and physical disabilities.
2014: Research project about the relationship between the health professional and the patient.
2015: Master thesis: Cardiac rehabilitation in an everyday perspective.
2015 - : Research and lectures about snoezelen. Documentation of practice and tacit knowledge.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Ditte Jellesen/ Louise Schou Christensen

Agency/organization

Sødisbakke

Professional Title

social workers - We work side by side with people, who needs our support in a daily basis.

Title

Back to Basic for the CEO

I am from

Denmark

Bio

Ditte Jellesen finished her education this previous summer, and she has been a social worker at Sødisbakke since year 2015.
She started at Sødisbakke doing her education and got employed right efter graduation.

Louise Schou Christensen got educated in year 2007 as a social worker, and have therefore been working as a professionel for 10 years. Eversince she got educated she has worked with disposed children and family therapy. Louise has since 2016 been employee at Sødisbakke.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Sheldon Schwitek

Agency/organization

In the Company of Others

Professional Title

Training and Transition Consultant

Title

Calm at the Center

Subtitle (if any)

Mindfulness Practice for Those Caring for Others

I am from

Kalamazoo Michigan

Bio

Sheldon Schwitek has been supporting individuals with complex behavioural needs in the United States and in Canada for almost 3 decades. His initial interest in person-centered practices grew out of supporting a young man with autism. During this experience, he was introduced to the founding members of the Marsha Forest Center (www.marshaforest.com) and became a facilitator of the processes of Maps, Paths and Circles of Support.
For almost 10 years, he worked closely with Judith Snow, a pioneer in developing circles of supports and helping to identify ways that others could discover their gifts and make contributions to their communities. For more than 2 decades, Sheldon has been an integral part of the Toronto Summer Institute, helping to facilitate connection and community with diverse groups of participants. Sheldon has utilized the knowledge and skills he gained throughout his career to ensure the supports a person receives are focused on the unique preferences and needs of the individual and those who know them best.
During the last decade, Sheldon’s work has been associated with The Center of Positive Living Supports (www.positivelivingsupport.org) in Michigan. The focus of The Center’s work on the importance of relationships was a perfect fit for how Sheldon approached the issues surrounding those who are most at risk of being excluded
Recently, Sheldon has been working with teams who support individual with very complex behavioural concerns. As a consultant, Sheldon brings his expertise to provide guidance in the development and implementation of an individualized plan; supporting staff training and development, and as on-site direct support and mentoring of those who provide services to the individual.
Sheldon’s wish is to bring his broad experience to bear in helping organizations and teams provide the best individualized supports to those who are the most broken hearted and present significant challenges to those who provide assistance. He believes that with the correct training and support, anyone can be supported to thrive in a community setting

Photo

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Presenters
  • Anne Brandt Ladefoged and Jeanita Stenmann Mortensen

Agency/organization

Landsbyen Soelund

Professional Title

Anne Brandt Ladefoged: I am a professional leader with responsibility for the recidents well-being. I also have responsibility for til employees working conditions.

Jeanita Stenmann Mortensen: Is a social educator who for the last four years has worked as a mentor of Gentle Teaching. She has a special responsibility to implement Gentle Teaching in our unit in Landsbyen Soelund.

Title

Mending a broken heart

Subtitle (if any)

The story about John

I am from

Denmark

Accomplishments

Our unit in "Landsbyen Soelund" has contribuated with a story in last years GT-Conference.

Bio

Anne Brandt Ladefoged: I am 38 years old and I have worked with disabled people for 17 years. I started my working career as a social worker in "Landsbyen Soelund". In 2005 I was educated as a social educator and was employed in "Boenhed 2", Landsbyen Soelund. In 2009 I started working as a part of the leadingteam in the same unit, and in 2016 I was employed as professionel leader in "Boenhed 2". In my working life Gentle teaching has become a philosophy, who has inspired me in the relations to the disabled people. Gentle Teaching has brought a lot of joy in my working life. After becoming a leader I have used Gentle Teaching in my leadership and in the relations to the employees.

Jeanita Stenmann Mortensen: I am 41 years old. I was educated as a social educator in 2005. I started my working career as an employee in a Kindergarten working with toddlers. I began working with disabled people in 2009 when I was employed in Boenhed 2, Landsbyen Soelund as a social educator. For about 4 years ago I chose to be mentor of Gentle Teaching in Landsbyen Soelund.
My motivation for working with Gentle Teaching: Gentle Teaching supports very much the way I want to meet, see and work with disabled people in my professional life.

Photo

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Presenters
  • Karen Bojczuk

Agency/organization

H.O.M.E. Society

Professional Title

Coordinator of Culture and Mentorship
I help oversee the leadership team as well as help mentor their teams of caregivers. I have been involved in co-facilitating both Level 1 and 2 GT Training.

Title

Safe and Beyod

I am from

Abbotsford, BC Canada - H.O.M.E. Society

Accomplishments

Received my certified mentor certificate from GT Canada in 2016

Bio

I started in the field of caregiving in 1999. I have served as a caregiver, supervisor and now the Coordinator of Culture and Mentorship at the H.O.M.E. Society in Abbotsford BC Canada. .
I have lead and been part of several teams that have served some of the most fragile, vulnerable and those who were seen by others as some of the most challenging individuals.

Photo

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