Research Partners

Kevin Nickerson

Kevin Nickerson, American Dream Employment Network

Kevin Nickerson is Co-Director of the American Dream Employment Network, a division of National Disability Institute (NDI). Kevin is a nationally recognized expert on the effective implementation of Employment Networks (EN) within the public workforce system, as well as within for-profit and non-profit organizations that serve individuals with disabilities. Kevin has over 20 years of experience helping SSA disability beneficiaries, is a certified community work incentive coordinator (CWIC), and has worked under SSA’s former Benefits Planning Assistance & Outreach (BPAO) project, as well as the Work Incentive Planning Assistance (WIPA) project.

Mary Lynn ReVoir

Mary Lynn ReVoir, American Dream Employment Network

Mary Lynn ReVoir is Co-Director of the American Dream Employment Network, a division of National Disability Institute. Mary Lynn has more than 34 years of experience developing and operating programs to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. Tapping into eight years of experience working in the public workforce system, and as a nationally recognized subject matter expert on Ticket to Work, Mary Lynn joined the NDI Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Technical Assistance Team as the ticket coordinator for two years.

Jill Houghton

Jill Houghton, Disability:IN Advisor

As President and CEO of the Disability:IN, Jill Houghton oversees the strategic direction of the organization as well as provides guidance on global disability inclusion best practices to more than 100 Disability:IN partners that represent fortune 500 corporations across market sectors. She has testified before House and Senate Committees, and has served as an advisor to multiple agencies including US Department of Labor, Social Security Administration, US Department of Education and the National Council on Disabilities. Her testimony has covered issues related to businesses commitment to recruit, hire and retain employees with disabilities.

Philip DeVleigher

Philip DeVleigher, Disability:IN Advisor

Philip DeVliegher serves as Vice President of Supplier Diversity at Disability:IN, developing and leading Disability:IN’s global supply chain and supplier diversity program strategy and execution. As a passionate advocate committed to providing relevant and innovative supplier diversity & inclusion expertise, he has been actively involved with Disability:IN’s supplier diversity program since its inception in 2010.

John Connelly

John Connelly, CSAVR Director, Research and Grants

John Connelly joined CSAVR in 2009. He has over 30 years experience in the field of public rehabilitation. After graduating from law school in 1980, he was hired as a staff attorney by the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. He worked for a year as a staff attorney with the Commission and in 1981 was promoted to General Counsel. In 1993 he was promoted to a deputy director with expanded duties including responsibility for the preparation and maintenance of the agency’s $260 M plus annual operating budget and public relations. From 2001 until July of 2009 John served as the Executive Director of the Commission. Among his accomplishments at the Commission was the creation of the agency’s first dedicated employer services unit. During his tenure with the Commission, John served on the Family and Children First task force, the State Use Committee, and the Governor’s State Workforce Policy Board. John’s VR experience and legal background bring great value to CSAVR.

 Stephen Wooderson

Stephen A Wooderson, CSAVR Chief Executive Officer

Steve Wooderson was selected as the CEO of CSAVR on November 1, 2010. Prior to joining CSAVR, Steve was the administrator of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He oversaw the state VR and independent living programs, as well as the disability determination services bureau.

His experience in VR spans over 35 years of service in the vocational rehabilitation program. Steve started as a VR counselor in south central Missouri in January of 1981 and he enjoyed a 20 year career with the Missouri VR agency. In March of 2000, Steve moved to Iowa to become the rehabilitation services chief, and then was appointed agency administrator in December of 2002. He has served at all professional levels in the public vocational rehabilitation program; which gives him a unique perspective of the local, state and national implications of VR service delivery. During Steve’s tenure in Iowa, he also was adjunct faculty in the Drake University rehabilitation counseling program.

Rachael Stephens

Rachael Stephens, NGA Senior Research Associate

Rachael Stephens serves as the director of the workforce development program in the Economic Opportunity Division in the NGA Center for Best Practices. She oversees workforce development policy, research and technical assistance provision to governors and states with a focus on expanding access to economic opportunity through high-quality training and employment. Program areas of focus include preparing the future workforce; reskilling and upskilling for incumbent and dislocated workers; expanding work-based learning, apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship; occupational licensing reform; the impacts of automation and on-demand or ‘gig’ work on the workforce; employment and training for people with disabilities; and general state workforce system governance and best practices.