The Bottom Line of Disabilities: Third Panel

VIDEO January 28, 2015

Speaker / Author

Gary Knapp

Executive Director, Columbus Community Center

Gary Knapp has a 30-year history working in disability services. For the past 10 years he has served in senior leadership positions of two large and well-respected nonprofit agencies in Utah. He joined the Columbus Community Center in 2010 as the director of business operations, and in 2012 he was named executive director. From 2002 to 2010, he was executive director of Enable Industries in Ogden. Under his leadership, he has ensured that Enable Industries and Columbus have maintained CARF accreditation. CARF is considered to have the highest level of international standards for agencies that provide residential and vocational services ... Read More

Jose H. Velasco

Head, Autism at Work, SAP

Jose H. Velasco is vice president of product management and head of the Autism at Work initiative in the United States at SAP. Mr. Velasco’s 28-year IT/Software career spans public and private sectors in companies ranging from startups to Fortune 50 enterprises. During his tenure of more than 17 years at SAP, Mr. Velasco has occupied roles in product management, consulting, development, strategy, go-to-market and HR/diversity functions. Mr. Velasco holds a master’s degree in technology commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin and Bachelor of Science in computer science from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. ... Read More

Thorkil Sonne

Founder, Specialisterne and the Specialist People Foundation

Thorkil Sonne is internationally recognized for his work founding Specialisterne (Danish for “The Specialists”) and the Specialist People Foundation. In partnership, these two organizations are working towards the goal of creating job opportunities through social entrepreneurship, corporate partnerships and innovative employment models for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most of the employees in Specialisterne have a diagnosis of ASD and work as consultants on tasks such as software testing, programming and data-entry for the corporate sector. A number of countries have already adopted this innovative model. The Specialist People Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with the goal to create ... Read More

Cheryl Wright

Founder, NeuroVersity at the University of Utah

Cheryl Wright is an associate professor in the University of Utah’s Family and Consumer Studies. She received her Ph.D. in human development and family studies and early childhood education from Oregon State University. Her primary research focuses on creativity and the social emotional development in young children. She has been honored with the University of Utah’s Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Service awards. Most recently, Dr. Wright has focused on research on school-aged young adults with autism. She and Dr. Scott Wright have launched the NeuroVersity program at the University of Utah, which is a collaborative effort to conduct research, develop ... Read More

Laura Anderson

President, Autism Council of Utah

Laura Anderson is a licensed health facility administrator and has worked as a SNF administrator and consultant for the past 25 years. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and certificate in gerontology from Utah State University and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in rehabilitation administration. She left working as an administrator to become an advocate for her son Ty, who was diagnosed with autism. She is currently on the leadership team of the Autism Council of Utah and serves on various boards and committees advocating for autism services, education and awareness. ... Read More

Michael Drury

Chief Economist, McVean Trading & Investments

Michael Drury is the chief economist for McVean Trading & Investments, LLC. He joined the firm in 1992, after serving for five years as senior economist with Allen Sinai at Shearson Lehman Brothers and its successor firms. Michael began his career in New York in 1982 as senior economist at A. Gary Shilling and Company. He received his B.S. in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Michael assesses macroeconomic developments around the world to help develop hedging strategies using futures markets in interest rates, currencies and industrial materials. He travels ... Read More