San Antonio, TX

January 14 - 17, 2018






$100 per Ticket - Only 100 tickets will be sold!


Click below to go to Foundation Raffle Site


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Conference Schedule for 2018



Sunday the 14th



9:00am - 11:00am       NCASES Process Committee Meeting


Noon – 4:00 pm         Conference Registration


1:00pm – 5:00pm        Exhibitor Set Up


11:30 - 12:30pm           Board/NCASES Luncheon


12:30pm – 2:30pm      Board Meeting


2:30pm – 4:30pm        NCASES Meeting


6:00pm – 7:00pm        VIP Reception for New Attendees


7:00 pm – 8:30pm       Welcome Reception


9:00pm - Midnight      NAPSEC Networking



Monday the 15th 



Registration will be open during conference meeting hours


7:30am – 8:30am       Breakfast


8:30am – 10:00am      General Session -  Vicki Hess                                                                

                                   Shortcuts to Employee Engagement - Embrace it, Share It, Weave It,

                                   Plus Connect,   Shrink POWS, Grow WOWs.   


    10:00am – 10:30am    Break  - Visit Exhibitors!


10:30am – 12:00pm    Concurrent Sessions


A.  Jerry B. Partlow, CEO, Partlow Insurance Agency (PIA)

     Brian S. Partlow, Vice President, PIA

     John M. Markwood, Vice President, Association Services, PIA

     Five Events Guaranteed to Ruin Your Day (and how to prevent them)


B.  Joann Farrell Quinn, Ph. D.

     Emotionally Intelligent Leadership


C.  Kellie Zimmet

      Using 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team to Achieve More


12:15pm – 1:45pm   State of Association Meeting/Federal Update

                                Tom Dempsey, NAPSEC President

                                Sherry L. Kolbe, NAPSEC Executive Director/CEO


1:45pm – 3:00pm     GENERAL SESSION -   Vicki Hess                                 

                                                                  Shortcuts to Employee Engagement - Embrace it, Share It,

                                 Weave It, Plus Connect, Shrink POWS, Grow WOWs


This session will provide additional information on this topic and is a continuation of the morning session.


1:45pm                     NAPSEC Board Meeting                           



3:00pm - 5:00pm     Exhibitor  Reception: Locally-brewed craft beers, margaritas and tapas




Tuesday the 16th



7:30am – 8:30am       Breakfast


7:30am – 8:15am        Breakfast Roundtable - Teacher Recruitment/Retention


8:30am – 10:00am      General Session - Tom Crea

                                   Servant Leadership: Creating a Culture for Winning Teams


10:00am – 10:30am    Coffee Break


10:30am – 12:00pm    Concurrent Sessions


A.   Anne Bonney    

      Connecting for Maximum Influence


B.   Audra Jones 

      The Next Frontier in Workplace Diversity



C.   M. Christopher Tabakin, Helen Bosch, Allen Clark, Susan Weiner

       A Lifetime of Supports: Adults with   Disabilities and the Changing Direction                      


12:00pm - 2:00pm    NCASES Sessions

                       How to Prepare for NCASES Accreditation fee to attend


                       Site Reviewers Training


                       Rich Robinson Memorial Golf Classic - The Quarry Golf Club

                                 This is a fun event for golfers of all abilities - a great way to spend

                                 the day networking with your colleagues!


You will need to leave the hotel at 11:30am to get to the course and have lunch before golfing. The cost of lunch and two drink tickets is included in the golf tournament fee of $100.00.


This year’s Rich Robinson Memorial Golf tournament is at The Quarry Golf Club, San Antonio’s #1 public course. It’s very exciting because this course is designed for all skill levels. The front nine is links styled like you might see in Scotland or Ireland. It features rolling hills, large, expansive bunkers and sloping greens. The back nine is where the course gets its name, The Quarry. 100 years ago it was an active, busy, limestone rock quarry pit providing stone for a growing San Antonio area. Today, it is beautifully maintained 9 holes of golf for all of you to enjoy. Again this year, the hole in one a prize package known as “The Majors” will provide the ultimate reward for the ultimate shot ... round trip airfare, accommodations and badges for all the following: PGA Championship, British Open, US Open and the Masters. Smaller prizes are also offered for a hole-in-one on the other par 3 holes. Sign up soon and join us for a great round of golf!



5:30pm - 6:30pm           NCASES Networking - The Cork Bar - Atrium

Join your colleagues in at the Cork Bar before heading out to dinner. Learn more about NCASES and how to become a site reviewer! NCASES Site Reviewers - please attend so we can thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with NCASES!



Wednesday the 17th



7:30am – 8:30am        Breakfast


7:30am – 8:15am        Breakfast Roundtable - Adult Education/Transition                           


8:30am 10:00am      General Session - Joe Gerald Mazzu, III

                                                                     Advocacy Fundraising & Private Sector Philanthropy:

                                  How Leaders Do it Best


10:00am – 10:30am     Coffee Break


10:30am 12:00pm  Concurrent Sessions


A.   M. Christopher Tabakin

      To the Edges of the Map: Benefits and Opportunities of Global Engagement for

      Special Education Programs


B.  Gerry Thiers, Aaron Parsons

     State Political Advocacy - A How To



    Celebrating NAPSEC




12:15pm – 1:45pm




Conference Concludes



Afternoon Meetings



The afternoon meeting will begin 15 minutes after

the conclusion of the NAPSEC Awards Luncheon



2:00pm – 3:00pm     CASA/Public Policy Committee  


3:00pm - 4:15pm      Conference Planning Committee                                   

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Speaker Profiles


Information added as received


Vicki Hess works with healthcare organizations and associations nationwide to mitigate the root causes of disengagement. While constantly monitoring industry trends, and doing research on her own, Vicki zeros in on what’s working (and what’s not) and customizes solutions to complement each organization’s culture and place on the engagement journey. She works with organizations and associations across the country to positively impact employee engagement through consulting, workshops, retreats and keynote presentations.  Her unique views on patient & employee engagement are evidence-based, relatable and real world. Organizations that implement Vicki’s ideas experience increased productivity, safety, quality, retention, client satisfaction, creativity and more.


As a keynote speaker, trainer, consultant and author of 4 books; Vicki inspires clients to take action by sharing high impact, easy to implement ideas that transform the way people work. As a cancer survivor and victim of a surgical mistake she brings the voice of the patient into her programs. Ms. Hess holds a BSN from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Towson University. She was an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University GraduateSchool of Business. Vicki has been voted a TOP 5 Healthcare Speaker by Speaking.com for four years in a row. You may have seen Vicki’s articles in AONE Nurse Leader, American Nurse Today, Hospital & Health Network,Becker’s Hospital Review, NurseTogether.com and other industry publications.Since founding Catalyst Consulting, LLC in 2001, Vicki spends the majority of her time working with healthcareorganizations that are serious about positively impacting employee engagement and all other metrics theymeasure.Vicki’s customized, evidence-based programs and solutions are unique and specific for each client. She provides healthcare leaders and staff real-world strategies & tools to transform the norm by weaving the thread of engagement throughout all strategic and transactional elements of healthcare.www.vickihess.com

Tom Crea, Blackhawk Consulting Group/Blackhawk Leadership Development, challenges leaders to live their values. A retired Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot with decades of leadership experience, he interacted with employees at every level, from Private to 4-star General. Tom served in high-level leadership positions in aviation, information technology, and higher education environments. He is the author of “Unleash Your Values: How to Lead and Succeed in Business Today… A Helicopter Pilot’s Spin on Developing the Leader in You” www.blackhawkleader.com

kellie-zimmet With her love of adventure you can often find Kellie Zimmet traveling combined with long-distance backpacking, having hiked over 900 miles across France and Spain and another 600 in the beauty of the Grand Canyon or another day she maybe jumping out of an airplane. She’s up for almost any challenge living on a remote ranch in the mountains of Arizona as long as it doesn't include snakes. But let’s talk business results: Kellie believes that all great successes come from elevating human potential.  This includes business success.  As a founding partner at the consulting firm Elevate Human Potential she works closely with companies in helping them to understand people issues and help them inspire the best work from their teams.  She loves solving “people challenges.” Utilizing the latest in psychometric assessment tools, she can help match the perfect candidates to the roles you need filled in your organization, craft the perfect coaching or training approach to improve performance or help promote talent effectively.  Her facilitated sessions include The 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, Everything DISC, Teambuilding Workshops, and a variety of management and leadership skills. Using wit, frank discussion and experience she skillfully inspires your team to bring their best selves to the workplace. Kellie’s companies have won numerous awards including being featured on CNN Money, Global Entrepreneurs top 50 Award, and top 5 Technology Achievement at SXSW.  She is actively involved as a business mentor in the Phoenix Area including with Seed Spot.  She served as the director for Central Phoenix Woman in addition to many past board positions including the current with Oojaah, a company focused on taboo women’s health issues. www.elevatehp.com

Anne Bonney is an energetic and engaging speaker and leadership trainer with a background in special education teaching. After 20 years in highly successful leadership positions in the corporate setting, Anne now uses her experience, education, and expertise to help people strengthen their self-leadership skills to improve their results. Anne has energetically and passionately spoken with large and small groups both nationally and internationally. She is a proven leader, educator and motivator, and empowers people to catalyze powerful change in their lives. www.AnneBonney.com

M. Christopher Tabakin has spent his career combining vision with action, engaging in activities that promote the wellbeing of children and adults with disabilities in the United States, and around the world. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2002 with a B.S. in Special Education and minor in Psychology, and Eastern University with a M.S. in Non-Profit Management in 2008, Chris has developed diverse skills in nonprofit leadership and public policy.  Chris has worked for nonprofit organizations in leadership positions, and has 15 years of experience in a variety of programs. Chris has now taken on the role of President and CEO of iHi International, a new nonprofit that focuses on identification of needs, and development of solutions and supports for people with disabilities internationally. Chris also does work with a human service agency in Southeastern PA, and is an Executive Board member for The Springtime School in Yardley Pennsylvania.  www.ihiintinteratonal.org     www.springtimeschool.org

Joann Farrell Quinn, PhD, graduated from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University with a PhD in management with a concentration in organizational behavior, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University with her MBA with a concentration in organization and management, and from the University of Rochester with her Bachelor of Arts BA. Joann is a faculty member at the University of South Florida, within the Morsani College of Medicine SELECT Program, and the Muma College of Business Doctor of Business Administration Program where she teaches emotional intelligence and leadership, as well as research methods.  Prior to pursuing a career in academia and consulting, Joann spent over a decade in capital markets and investment management working with organizations of all sizes, both domestically and internationally.  Joann is an active consultant, educator, researcher and speaker in the area of emotional intelligence and leadership. www.jfqconsulting.com

Allen Clark has been the Administrative Director of Trousdale School since 2011.  Allen has a MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an Educational Specialist Degree from Lee University, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.  In 1987, Allen received his Eagle Scout rank.  Allen’s wife, Shannon, has been the Executive Director of Trousdale School since 2008 and they have two children. Trousdale School is a private nonprofit, non-degree post-secondary program for high functioning adults, 22 years of age or older, with intellectual disabilities. The goal of the school is to teach independence through an atmosphere of creative learning, focusing on functional academics, life skills and vocational training.  Trousdale School is awarded full accreditation through NCASES, a subsidiary of NAPSEC.  The school received licensure from TN DIDD in 2017.  They are the first adult day habilitation license for developmental disabilities in the State of Tennessee.


Helen Bosch has been the CEO of Vista, an educational and service organization for adults with disabilities since 1991. During her tenure as Executive Director, CEO, she has been instrumental in building the strength and scope of Vista from from a small transitional program serving a handful of individuals to a multi-faceted organization that touched the lives of more than 400 individuals last year. Helen also services as a Commissioner on the National Commission for Accrediattion of Special Education Service (NCASES), member of the CT Developmental Disabilities workgroup formed by the CT General Assembly to examine the service structure in CT for individuals with disabilities; and CT Autism Action Coalition. She has published articles on transition and has served various boards and committees related to the state nad local community and the field of disability. She holds a Master's Degree in Agency Counseling and a post Master's certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. www.vistalifeinnovations.org

Joe G. Mazzu's life and leadership philosophy has been shaped by decades of vocational experience in mission and nonprofit sectors. For close to twenty years he advocated for and led the Advancement program of Brookwood Community, a nonprofit located just west of Houston, Texas providing exceptional opportunities for adults with special needs. As Brookwood operates without government funding, Joe's fundraising efforts were engaged exclusively with private sector philanthropists. After retiring from Brookwood in 2015, Joe launched Intentional Consulting LLC, a consulting business helping nonprofits think intentionally and take action. To learn more, visit www.intentionalconsulting.com

Susan Weiner is the executive Director of Larc School, a private, non-profit school serving children with severe and multiple disabilities ages 3-21and a Special Needs Adult Program for those over 21. Through her leadership over the last 29 years, Larc School added an adult program, a preschool program and expanded the building to create more classrooms and instructional space, multimedia library, an adaptive playground and a sensory garden. Under her direction, the schools' fundraisers and grant writing have allowed her to set up a Legacy Fund for Larc School - through that is not how Ms. Weiner measures success. Her goal for Larc is to strive always and in every way, to better the lives of Larc's children and their families. Ms. Weiner holds a degree in Education, a master's degree in Special Education, both from Temple University. www.larcschool.org

Gerry Thiers has spent his life improving the lives of children. Whether at home raising his own children or in Trenton representing ASAH schools and families with special education students, Gerry has worked to insure that New Jersey’s children reach their fullest potential. His kindness, sense of humor, intelligence and diligence make him a compassionate and highly respected leader of ASAH (formerly the Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped). Gerry has served as Executive Director of ASAH for the past 34 years. He worked successfully to increase membership, growing the organization from 25 members to its current roster of 96 members with over 145 locations. In addition to advocacy, ASAH hosts a professional development conference for over a thousand private school staff members annually in the fall, co-sponsors Special Education Week with the New Jersey School Boards Association in May, and offers numerous regional meetings and events for school staff including principals, business managers, HR directors and nurses. ASAH provides information about special education programs to parents and offers direct assistance through a parent advocate. www.asah.org

Jerry B. Partlow, CEO, Partlow Insurance Agency (PIA).  Jerry is the Founder and CEO of the Partlow Insurance Agency.  For over 40 years, he has provided insurance services to his clients in the Winchester area and nationally. His knowledge of the insurance industry and his experiences serving his local clients, private special education centers around the country, and physicians in Partlow Insurances region puts Jerry in unique company within the insurance industry.  Jerry is recognized nationally for his innovative designs and developments of Association related insurance programs. www.partlowinsurance.com

Brian S. Partlow, Vice President, PIA.  Brian serves as the Vice President of Partlow Insurance Agency. Brian works primarily in the social services and non-profit division. Brian joined Partlow Insurance in July of 2009 after spending nearly 10 years coaching football in both the collegiate and professional ranks including stops in Albany NY, Williamsburg VA, Indianapolis IN, Richmond VA, Winchester VA, Denver CO, Austin TX, and Cleveland OH.  Over the past 8 years he has become well-versed in the needs of special education programs and adept at crafting insurance solutions to meet these needs.  www.partlowinsurance.com

John M. Markwood, Vice President, Association Services, PIA.  John completed graduate study in Special Education for Emotionally Disturbed at the University of Virginia.  His early professional career included public school teaching and teaching in residential and hospital settings.  For 30 years he served as Executive Director of Timber Ridge School near Winchester, Virginia. He retired in 2007, having led the organization to its acknowledged status as a leader in the provision of services to “obedience challenged” youth in Virginia. Upon his retirement from Timber Ridge School, John joined the Partlow Insurance Agency to assist in the development of the growing service to private special education facilities. His experience as a private school executive give him a valued perspective on the needs of our schools.   www.partlowinsurance.com

Aaron Parsons, Ed.D. is the Vice-President for School Programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  He began his career in private, special education, working as a residential counselor, teacher, and administrator.  Aaron has worked in special education since 1992.Aaron holds a Bachelor’s Degree in American Government and Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Virginia.  He holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in the Administration and Organization of Schools and a Doctorate in Teacher Development and Leadership from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.  He is certified as a general educator, special educator and superintendent of schools in Maryland.  Aaron is active in regulatory and legal issues pertaining to special education and crisis intervention in schools.  He has participated as a member of state mandated task forces, negotiated draft language for regulation and legislation in areas concerning special education, and works regularly with a range of policy advocates.  As part of his policy work Aaron has presented to staffers in the United States Congress and provided testimony to the General Assembly of Maryland. He also participates regularly in NAPSEC Hill Day!  www.kennedykrieger.org

Audra Jones has over twenty years of experience in global leadership with a focus on developing partnerships and coalitions between business, non-profits and government. Audra is the Senior Business Manager for Global Human Resources at T. Rowe Price. In that capacity Audra has oversight for HR strategic planning and day to day operations. Prior to that Audra was the Senior Manager for College Savings Plans accountability for $11BNN in plan assets. Before joining TRP Audra held roles including Executive Director of the Americas for the International Business Leaders Forum and Senior Partnership Director at the UN Foundation. Audra has her MB and Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. Audra has a seven year old son, Max, with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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NCASES Sessions Information


NCASES offers three sessions at the NAPSEC Conference for you to learn more about NCASES Accreditation and be trained as an NCASES Site Reviewer or if you have done two site reviews, you can attend a training to become a Team Leader of a site review team. You can sign up for these sessions when you register for the conference.


How to Prepare for NCASES Accreditation

The "How to Prepare" session will offer participants an overview of the accreditation (i.e. its origins, philosophy, mission, organizational structure) and a summary of the NCASES process from the time a program applies for accreditation through to the completion of the site review team visit and accreditation report.


Site Reviewer Training

NCASES will provide a training session for attendees who wish to become an NCASES Site Reviewer. Site Reviewers are needed to conduct site visits at applicant programs. This session will walk you through an accreditation site visit and prepare you to go on a site review.


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Hotel Contessa


Hotel Contessa is the only four-diamond all-suite hotel located directly on the Riverwalk.

The hotel is a gorgeous retreat for guests visiting the most vibrant city in Texas.

306 W. Market Street

San Antonio, IT 78205-2971



Complimentary Amenities

 WiFi in Suites

USA Today Newspaper - weekdays

Business Center Services/airline ticket printing

Fitness Center

Pool access

Free local and 800 phone calls

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NAPSEC Room Rate


Use this link to make reservations at the hotel.



National Association of Private Special Education Centers



One Bedroom Suite - $199 Single or Double


When making your reservation you can request a river view room for $40.00 additional dollars per night.

These rooms are in high demand and are subject to availability.



The NAPSEC Room Rate will be offered 3 days prior to

conference dates and 3 days post - subject to availability. 


Check In - 4:00pm

Check Out - 11:00am


Reservation Cancellation is required 48 hours in advance of

departure or one night room and tax will be charged.


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Driving Directions from San Antonio International Airport


12.2 mi. About 20 mins

1. Head north toward Skyplace Blvd 0.2 mi

2. Turn left onto Skyplace Blvd 0.9 mi

3. Turn left onto E Nakoma Dr 0.7 mi

4. Turn left onto San Pedro Ave 0.1 mi

5. Take the ramp on the left onto US-281 S 8.8 mi

6. Continue onto I-37 S/US-281 S 0.9 mi

7. Take exit 141A for Commerce St toward Downtown 0.2 mi

8. Keep right at the fork and merge onto E Commerce St 0.5 mi

9. Turn left onto N Presa St Destination will be on the right 404 ft


12.2 mi. About 20 mins - estimated cab fare is $44.00


Parking at the Hotel $15 per day, $30 over night




Plan your visit!


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Private early intervention services, schools, residential therapeutic centers, and

adult living programs serving individuals with disabilities and their families since 1971


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