Vice President, Understood for Employers (Workplace Initiative)
Digital Solution and Growth for Disability Inclusion
Patricia brings with her more than 20 years of B2B/B2C experience. Patricia has worked in both startup and enterprise settings and has launched and scaled a wide array of services including the first large-scale, internet banking and online brokerage in Brazil. Patricia has co-founded 2 companies, and managed 300+ people teams. She has managed large corporate digital business, integrated marketing and product P&Ls (over $365M annual budget) for Santander Bank, Ogilvy, and Mondelez, among other Fortune 100 companies. She’s an experienced leader who brings high-energy, a can-do attitude, and demonstrated ability to lead large teams as an innovator in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. She earned her M.B.A. from Fundacao Dom Cabral, in Brazil.
Senior Advisor, Disability Inclusion
Meg has more than 20 years of experience in disability inclusion and is the Founder and President of Global Disability Inclusion, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting companies, foundations, and government agencies to realize disability inclusion as a competitive advantage. Meg is our expert supporting the development of the new end-to-end digital solution.
Lead Disability Strategist, Disability Inclusion
James Emmett is a national leader in the development of employment services for persons with disabilities (PWD). He was born with a physical disability and is a father to two daughters with intellectual disabilities. Drawing from personal, business and educational experience, James empowers persons with disabilities to succeed in their jobs as well as life skills and trains corporations in outreach efforts to the disability community. James is currently the Lead Disability Strategist for Workplace Initiative.
After earning a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, James became involved with grant-funded community-based projects in Chicago to provide employment services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Later he led company-based initiatives to hire hundreds of people with disabilities at Walgreens distribution centers in South Carolina and Connecticut, Best Buy distribution center in Shepherdsville, KY, and Midway Moving & Storage in Chicago, IL. Also working through APSE HR Connect, James serves as the lead consultant for TIAA-CREF’s “Fruits of Employment” project. For the past 20 years, James has been developing disability outreach initiatives for other major corporations such as UPS, Pepsi, Mercy Health and Sears.
Judith M. Smith
Judith has played a number of program management and leadership roles on the Workplace Initiative over the last five years. In her initial role as Program Manager of Local Strategy and later as Program Officer, she expanded the initiative’s on-the-ground strategic pillar by launching a series of regional projects in partnership with state and local government agencies, community-based organizations, and employers. As Director, she has designed large-scale public-private partnerships to drive systems change and develop innovative approaches to expand the talent pipeline of job seekers with disabilities. Judith also has a passion for adaptive sport, and has guided athletes with disabilities in the New York City and Boston Marathons as a volunteer with Achilles International.
Senior Program Manager
Claire Odom is passionate about disability inclusion and has nearly ten years of experience serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the workplace. As a Worksite Leader with Texas’ first work preparedness and internship effort for adults with disabilities (Project SEARCH at Seton Medical Center Austin), Claire worked closely with individuals and employers to create lasting, successful employment outcomes. After moving to New York City in 2012, Claire joined JobPath NYC, where she worked directly with and on behalf of job seekers with disabilities, while deepening JobPath’s network of employment partners. After earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, Claire joined the Workplace Initiative team in 2017 to help manage and implement the Workplace Initiative’s innovative approach to disability inclusion nationwide.”
Senior Program Officer
Prior to joining Understood for All, Sarah was a Program Officer at the Poses Family Foundation, where she worked on both pro bono advising and grantmaking initiatives, with a focus on organizations supporting the 1 in 5 individuals in the U.S. with brain-based learning and attention issues. Most recently, Sarah led the development of community-based cradle-to-career strategy focused on improving the academic and employment outcomes of the 1 in 5 in communities across the country. Sarah received her B.A. in History from Barnard College.
Consultant, Strategy & Business Development
Andrea is an executive with 15 years of management and leadership experience in Latin American beauty and personal care companies, including designing and implementing national marketing and brand strategies for one of the largest Latin American companies. Andrea had also led the start-up of her own company, developing a marketplace that integrated both the digital and physical experiences through an innovative social selling model. Her academic background was built at top universities in Brazil, executives programs at NYU and Harvard, and a PHD degree at Swiss business school in Zurich. Andrea moved to New York with her family four months ago, after living In Brazil, Argentina and Switzerland. She is the head of Brazilian Women Group in NYC, an organization that develops this community though social projects.
Andy Traub, SPHR, SHRM-CSP
SPHR, SHRM-CSP; Consultant, Disability Inclusion
Andy Traub is a corporate disability inclusion consultant, a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR, SHRM-CSP) and a nationally recognized leader in disability and autism employment. Over the past two decades, Andy has provided sustainable disability inclusion solutions for many national employers, including AMC Theatres, Google, Starbucks and Kroger. At AMC, Andy led the company’s strategic recruitment initiatives and created “AMC F.O.C.U.S.,” an award-winning program in which AMC broke new ground in hiring and retaining large numbers of individuals with disabilities. Andy has also served as the Managing Director for the National Organization on Disability, where he created several innovative programs and products to help national employers create strategic programs designed to effectively attract, on-board, manage and retain individuals with disabilities. SPHR, SHRM-CSP; Consultant; President, Traub & Associates, Consulting
Consultant, Training and Content Development
Audra Zuckerman is a founder of The IDEAL School of Manhattan, the first and only independent school built on the philosophy of inclusion in New York City. Unable to find a truly inclusive school for their son with Down syndrome, Audra and her husband partnered with two other families to open The IDEAL School in 2006. Since then, she has worked exclusively to support the school’s mission of inclusion and its growth from 20 students in two grades to 200 students in grades K-12. Audra previously practiced indigent criminal defense law at the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society and at the New York State Capital Defender Office, where she was part of multiple legal teams working on behalf of individuals accused of capital crimes throughout the state of New York. She also clerked for Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. She has a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Consultant, Field Development
Jon Stoops is a corporate disability consultant who has worked with the Workplace Initiative for several years. Prior to his work with the Workplace Initiative, Jon served as the Executive Director for the White County YMCA, where he was instrumental in creating a community-based and funded YMCA. Since partnering with James Emmett, Jon has worked with many companies and organizations – including Office Max, Walgreens, Pepsi, Sears, Direct Employers, Roses for Autism, Tangram, and Mercy Hospital in St. Louis – to develop customized disability outreach programs. Most recently, Jon has worked with the Poses Family Foundation to create coalitions in Missouri and Kentucky linking agencies with businesses and creating jobs for many individuals with disabilities.