MRA Annual Conference - June 2-4, 2013
Registrations are open for our annual Conference, "MRA Crossroads: Envisioning the Future While Celebrating the Past," June 2, 3, & 4, 2013 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO. This annual training opportunity gives you access to an exciting key note speaker, relevant break-out sessions, networking opportunities with other professionals in the rehabiliation field, evening entertainment, great food, and a beautiful meeting facility.
- Register as a Conference Participant
- Register as a Conference Service Provider
- Register as a Conference Sponsor
Click here to get a quick look at this year's schedule. Keep in mind, some agenda items may change, but this will give you an idea of the engaging activities you can expect as a registered conference participant. Don't miss the evening fun! Trivia Night and MRAicon Idol are sure to entertain!
Each registrant is responsible to make their own hotel accomodations!
Contact Tan-Tar-A Resort to book your hotel room.
Please be aware May 4th is the cut-off date to receive the guaranteed conference rate ($85 per night).
Working with Business through the National Employment Team (NET)
Kathy West-Evans of CSAVR will be MRA's closing keynote at MRA's Annual Training Conference. She will speak on Tuesday morning, June 4, 2013. You will have the opportunity to learn about the development of the NET infrastructure and the services offered to business through the 80 VR Business Consultants and their partners. How and why was the NET developed and supported by the VR Directors? Learn how this dual customer model benefits individuals, business and the VR system at the state and national level.
Kathy West-Evans is the Director of Business Relations for CSAVR (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation) where she developed and provides leadership to The NET (National Employment Team). Kathy has her MPA from Seattle University and is a CRC (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor) who is fluent in American Sign Language.
Kathy started in the field of rehabilitation in 1978. Her professional career started at the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center in Seattle where she managed the Projects with Industry program. She moved to the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in 1983 as a VR counselor for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. Kathy held a number of positions within DVR during 14-years with the state agency. In addition to being a VRC, she worked as an assistant regional administrator, a regional business relations specialist, and the Statewide Manager for Business Relations and Marketing.
In 1997 Kathy moved to the federal level with the Region X office of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the U.S. Department of Education where she worked until moving to CSAVR in August 2005. Kathy was employed as a Regional VR Program Specialist, serving as the State representative to Oregon and Alaska as well as the regional specialist in the areas of employment and business development, the ADA, training, personnel development, and services to individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. Kathy is a Commissioner on the Commission for Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and a member of the National Rehabilitation Association.
Keynote Address, Monday, June 3, Rising Above with Susan O'Leary
Susan O'Leary enjoyed a successful marriage, six healthy children, and a vibrant community. She lived an idyllic life. A life that was seemingly perfect until a tragic event would shake it to its foundation. Susan's nine-year-old son was burned terribly in a house fire and given little chance of survival. The explosion shook her life, but did not destroy her resolve, her faith, or her belief that the best is yet to come.
Throughout their son's five months in hospital, years of surgery and therapy afterwards, and through the experiences of raising children, two separate house fires, and her husband's two decade long battle against Parkinson's disease, Susan has learned in life what really matters, how to tap into real possibility and real hope, and how to empower others to rise above their adversity.
Susan obtained her degree in secondary education and has taken graduate level preaching courses at The Aquinas Institute. She has been a teaching leader for Cornerstone Bible Study for the last 12 years and is a sought after inspirational speaker. She has worked tirelessly for Organizations including the Archdiocese Youth Ministry Council, Retreat Work, Life in the Spirit seminars, Renew programs, Lector training and Liturgy Committee work.
Susan O'Leary lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Denny. They've been married 43 years, have six children and 15 grandchildren. Together, they collaborated in writing the amazing story of their lives, Overwhelming Odds. This book has been described as a "masterpiece of emotion." They originally printed 200 copies and, because of public demand, subsequently have printed over 50,000 copies.