The National Association for Rehabilitation Leadership
October, 2011
Join  NARL


"Leadership in a
Changing Economy"

Presented by:
The National Association of
Rehabilitation Leaders


National Rehabilitation Association Pre-Conference
Marriott City Center
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday, October 13, 2011
10:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Leadership in a Changing Economy

Designed for:

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Supervisors, and Administrators,
Human Resource Personnel as well as other Allied Professionals.

Register now for this informative training with industry leaders:

Mr. Russ Thelin, CRC, Division Director
         Utah Division of Rehabilitation Services
Mr. Michael Fiore, BSE, MBA,
         CFO, The Sierra Group, Inc.
Dr. Ray Feroz, Ph.D., CRC, NCC, LPC
         Professor, Clarion University

and moderated by:

   Ms. Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, Inc.
              NARL President

The Utah Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) recognized that something different was needed to advance the state vocational rehabilitation program, enhance customer service, and reenergize staff.  Using the concept of transformational leadership the agency identified obstacles and roadblocks that inhibited Utah DRS from being the best VR agency possible and then developed an innovative leadership model to craft a new mission and vision.  Under the leadership of Russ Thelin, Utah DRS launched the “Horizons Leadership Development Project,” an inclusive leadership model that encourages all staff to participate in its transformation.  Russ’ vision of a good leader is a “person who is out front when he needs to be, along side most of the time, and behind giving a nudge when needed.”

Russ will provide an overview of the Horizons Leadership Development Project, including its background, key elements of a successful leadership model and the importance of participation by all staff.  He will review chartering documents and forms.  You will better understand how this participatory model drives the change process, elicits new policies and procedures, and positively influences the agency’s CULTURE of inclusive professionalism.  Russ will share real examples how the Horizon Leadership Development Project earned staff buy-in and how various inclusive workgroups helped to transform Utah DRS.

Tremendous diversity exists in how state VR programs report economic impact, suggesting that new thinking is required on this topic.  Michael Fiore, Co-chair of National Rehabilitation Association’s Economic Impact Taskforce, will lead a discussion how philosophy, strategy, language, and tactics overlap to form economic impact insights.  The purpose of this segment will be to provide practical tools to help rehabilitation professionals see how the ongoing work and activity of the profession can be recast to terms congruent to those around economic arguments for legislative and long term policy leaders at a state and federal level.  

Dr. Ray Feroz, Co-chair of NRA’s Economic Impact Taskforce, will provide insights from the rehabilitation educator’s perspective concerning leadership development in the VR profession and the importance of refocusing VR’s economic impact.  Ray will facilitate and actively engage participants in group discussion to practice some leadership skills as presented by Russ Thelin and incorporate those skills with the refocused economic impact concepts.  This participatory leadership process will assist in chartering next steps for NRA’s Economic Development Taskforce.  NARL looks forward to the opportunity to engage its members in a productive proactive interchange that will be of benefit to not only NARL members but to the greater organization.

NARL is pleased to reach out to our partners as we collaborate to strengthen leadership skills and work together to increase employment for people with disabilities.  Participants will learn about the many benefits of membership in this national leadership organization.

Participates will:

Learn essential elements of a proven participatory leadership model;
Understand how this model drives the change process, elicits new policies & procedures, & positively influences a culture of inclusive professionalism;
Receive sample charter documents and forms;
Receive and review data regarding the economic impact of the public vocational rehabilitation program;
Actively engage in this participatory leadership process through a topical case study.


RAY FEROZ, Ph.D., CRC, NCC, LPC, is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitative Sciences at Clarion University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in assessment, intervention, administration, human services delivery systems and  fieldwork supervision.   

He also served as Director of Behavioral Health at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Northwest for 19 years, from 1985 - 2004.  In this role he was responsible for mental health and substance abuse inpatient and outpatient programs.  Ray also does consulting in total quality management and organizational development.   He has a diverse professional background, to include Professor, Rehabilitation Counselor, Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Psychologist, Behavior Therapist, and Drug and Alcohol Education Specialist. 

Ray served as the 2008 President of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) and 2009 President of the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association.  In 2006 he was President of the Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association (RCEA), a division of the NRA, and was 2005 President of the NRA National Association for Rehabilitation Leadership (NARL).  From 2003-2011 he served as president of the Venango County Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Drug & Alcohol Executive Commission Advisory Boards.  He is the current president of the Board of Trustees for Warren State Hospital, and past secretary of the board of the Allegheny Region Chapter of the American Red Cross.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of Golden Living Centers Clarion and Shippenville, the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northwest Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board (WIB).  He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration and the Journal of Teaching in the Addictions, and currently serves as co-editor of the Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Journal.  

Ray was educated at University of Pittsburgh, Boston University, and Kent State University.  He is a US Army Vietnam era veteran. 

RUSS THELIN, CRC, is the Division Director for the State of Utah's Department of Rehabilitation Services.  A member of State Committee on Workforce Services, Russ also served on the committee to develop the state's Transition Action Guide.  Passionate about the topic of leadership Russ implemented a participatory leadership model called Horizons that is transforming results in his agency. 

Russ's experiences in the area of leadership are topped only by his passion for the topic. Committed to sharing his expertise in the field of vocational rehabilitation Russ is a 2011 candidate for President Elect of the National Rehabilitation Association. 

MICHAEL FIORE, BSE, MBA, is the CFO and Co-Founder of The Sierra Group, an 8-person national consultancy operating in the areas of Workforce Strategy, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Candidate Sourcing. Combining his engineering and business degrees, Michael consults with the insurance industry and businesses on the implications of disability to bottom line goals and financial objectives. He facilitates services and linkages for thousands of people with disabilities seeking re-employment.

Michael routinely publishes and speaks on issues related to disability and economics. He is on the Board of the Villanova University, Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions. As a Founding Member of The Sierra Group Foundation, Michael designed and developed the Foundation’s popular individual micro-grant program; was the ‘brains behind’ the Foundation’s popular national web portal; and is the catalyst for gathering and sharing best practices through White Papers and the Foundation’s new series of One More  Way programs and activities.

Michael combines his passion for people with his personal mixture of business, engineering and technology skills to create workplace solutions for people of all abilities.

JANET FIORE, NARL President and CEO of The Sierra Group will be your teleseminar host.  Janet, educated at Gannon University, began her career as a paralegal, where she oversaw a litigation team. Knowledge of law and negotiating skills were later put to use as a Sr. Commercial Liability Ad¬juster for Aetna Life and Casualty, before life-changing experiences with disabilities refocused her life and career goals.
In 1991, Fiore launched The Sierra Group, Inc., a disability management consultancy serving corporations, gov¬ernment agencies and individuals. Sierra provides consulting and training services to government agencies and corporations as they strive to define and meet their Accessibility, Compliance and Diversity employment goals. Her firm also helps companies recruit, retain and accommodate workers of all abilities. Individual casework includes accommodating and training individu¬als with disabilities on their quest for employment and education.
In her 17-year history of helping Americans with their disability employment concerns, Janet has received many awards and honors. Included in these are the National Brain Tumor Association’s Cal Pava Prize for Innova¬tion through Technology, the Business Journal’s Woman of Distinction award, and MassMutual /Exceptional Parent Magazine’s awardee at Disability Awareness Night with the Phillies. Additionally, the Honorable Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor, and the Honorable Hector Barrato, Director, of the U.S. Small Business Administration, have honored Fiore for her work.
Her industry expertise and innovative multi-layered approach to disability em¬ployment issues have earned much media attention including sources such as CNN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, INC. Magazine and Microsoft Press.
Fiore has been sought after as a subject matter expert by corporations and legislators alike. She has testified before Congress, provided input to the GSA, and assisted the Senate HELP Committee. In her home state of Pennsylvania, she is active in diversity efforts through an appointment to the Governor’s taskforce on minority contractors. She gives insight to the Work RERC research efforts, and has presented to their Aging Worker forums regarding the role of assistive technology as a mitigating factor.  Fiore is currently working with Congress on legislation that will further encourage businesses to build and maintain a workforce inclusive of people with disabilities. Her hope is that such legisla¬tion, “...Will be the catalyst that changes the current negative employment numbers.”  “Disability is the youngest child of our country’s civil rights movement; and I’m working to help business; so that more people get hired!”
Fiore has a passion for her work. As a person with a disability of her own, she accommodates herself on a day-to-day basis, and has years of experience helping others do the same. She believes that through comprehensive educa¬tion and planning initiatives, corporate America’s diversity goals can and will fully embrace people with disabilities into the workplace.
NARL – The National Association of Rehabilitation Leaders is a Division of the National Rehabilitation Association whose purpose is to develop, improve, and strengthen leadership practices and skills in both public and private rehabilitation organizations.


If you require a reasonable accommodation to access this teleseminar, please indicate your request during registration or contact us no later than October 5, 2011 at: 800-973-7687, or via email:  


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