Christopher Hunt, Board Chair
Chris is an attorney and CPA in the Indianapolis area.
Jacqueline is an elder law attorney at Severns & Howard, PC, where she assists clients in preparing themselves and their families to deal with disability, infirmity, and the end of life. Prior to her current employment, Jackie practiced Social Security disability law, helping clients work their way through the Social Security disability application and appeals process. In both her professional and personal life, she advocates for people dealing with disability, poverty, and lack of opportunity. She is motivated by her own life-long struggle with major depressive disorder and wants to help others, especially those with mental health issues, discover and use the strength that comes from facing disability on a daily basis. When she steps away from her mission to save the world, Jackie enjoys tae kwon do (she’s a second degree black belt), beekeeping (she’s managing to keep most of the bees alive so far), and playing guitar. She lives in Whitestown with her partner Tim and her children Tommy, Audrey, and Joey.
Chad is the Deputy Director of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. Prior to his current employment, he served in multiple directorial roles at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. He graduated in 2009 with a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law.
I have been called a pioneer in the disability movement. Through my strong motivation and the drive to be a success, I have opened doors to opportunities for other people to follow. In 1968, I was the first student in the Shawnee Mission Schools (a suburb of Kansas City) with a severe disability to attend as part of a regular classroom; I then went on to a private Catholic High School where I was the first student with a disability. I graduated in 1983 from Emporia State University with a degree in Rehabilitation Services. Some of my personal highlights are snow skiing, being invited to the White House, and competing in the World Cerebral Palsy Games in Denmark [won 2 Gold, 1 Silver]. For 22 years working for several agencies, I was an advocate – helping people with disabilities reach their personal goals. I owe a lot of my success to my family support; I am the seventh of nine kids in my family. My personal philosophy is if you want something, you must reach for it. Presently, I am working as a Private Consultant in the Disability Field. In October 2012, I moved from Kansas City to Indianapolis. I enjoy participating in Boccia, Bowling, and Wheelchair Slalom.
Yvonne Sturm is a special education teacher for Center Grove Community School where she has served over the past 15 years. Yvonne earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Ball State University. Before receiving her Master of Education and certification in Building Level Administration from IUPUI, she obtained teaching certificates in Business Education and Special Education. Throughout Yvonne’s career in education she has been an advocate for students with disabilities by supporting local organization such as Special Olympics, Johnson County Autism, and various charitable events. Yvonne’s passion to promote an equitable learning environment for students with disabilities has led her to pursue continuous professional development conferences from organizations including PATINS and the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative. She currently chairs the assistive technology committee for Center Grove Schools and is serving as a board member for accessABILITY. Yvonne resides in Greenwood with her husband where they raised their three children. For leisure, Yvonne enjoys reading, being outdoors, bike riding, golf, and walking her dogs. Yvonne believes having proper work/life balance provides the energy needed to make a positive impact on society.
Nancy Ann Smith
Nancy is a human resources professional with over 17 years of experience in all matters of workforce management. Born in New Jersey, Nancy has lived overseas for 27 years, mainly in Europe as well as South America. Fluent in three languages (English, Greek and Spanish) and having lived and worked on three continents, Nancy has a particular appreciation for the gifts diversity and inclusivity bring. In part as a result of having been recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Nancy decided to become more involved in the community by volunteering her time to local non-profits, including accessAbility. Nancy went back to school to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources while living in South Florida. After relocating to Chicago in 2011, Nancy decided for family reasons to move to Indianapolis where she has since resided in the Meridian/Kessler area. Passionate about the state of the world we live in and especially the environment, Nancy sold her car in 2011 and has not looked back since. Walking, biking, using public transportation, shared resources and/or electric cars and scooters, Nancy has found that limiting her carbon footprint also benefits her ability to stay fit and remain healthy. When not otherwise involved, Nancy can be found riding the Monon or exploring the nearby neighborhoods with her young son.
Joe’s earliest disability advocacy experience came from planning two events that featured people with disabilities. The first was for an author who spoke of his life experiences while living with a tracheotomy and using a power wheelchair. The second event was a power wheelchair soccer demonstration. Later, I personally spoke with Terre Haute’s local state senator and state representative at the WILL Center—a fellow IL organization—to advocate for the Center’s funding.continually influenced by others with disabilities and the impact they’ve had on my life. I’m a strong proponent that people with disabilities have a unique perspective on life and can offer those insights and skills to better the lives of people with disabilities along with all of society. I am a 2017 Indiana State University graduate with Bachelor’s degree in Accounting; and am in the process of filing for my CPA license. Currently I live in Fishers and work as a fund accountant in Carmel.
Native of Venezuela and a proud citizen of the United States. I arrived to Indianapolis 26 years ago and since then, I began working with and for the community. First, I worked for 5 years as Spanish Immersion Teacher Assistant at Forest Glen Elementary School. Then, I had the privilege of working 5 years with Mrs. Aida McCammon at The Hispanic Health Project of Wishard Hospital. Then I transitioned to The Indiana Minority Health Coalition in which I was heavily involved in the creation of Latino Coalitions throughout the State of Indiana, eliminating health disparities around the state of Indiana. Created preventive education health programs culturally appropriate to the Latinx Community. Now I am working at Shalom Healthcare Center as Director of Marketing and Outreach. I have my BS in Telecommunication from Butler University.
I enjoy and understand the vital importance and benefits of proper cultural integration with our community. I have extensive travel and volunteer work to South and Central America. In Indiana, my passion has been to help minorities in general regarding health, health education, and volunteerism. I have been member of different boards in which there was no Latino participation. Proudly worked as Director of Production in the first Video Hispanic Musical Show in Indiana (NUESTRA MUSICA) out of WTBU TV. Volunteered in organizations such as: American Heart Association; American Cancer Society, SICOA, Commission on Latino Affairs from the city of Indianapolis, Latino Coalition of Domestic Violence, Created and directed the Medical Resources Guide in Indianapolis.
Dr. Douglas Woodwell
Dr. Woodwell is a passionate disability rights activist. As a person with a spinal cord injury, Dr. Woodwell facilitated a support group for other’s with SCI’s in central Indiana for a number of years. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Indianapolis and author of books Nationalism and International Relations: Norms, Foreign Policy, and Enmity.
Sara is the Director of Public Relations and Media for C² Racing and a freelance public relations professional. A native of Massachusetts, they have been living in the Indianapolis area since 2011. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from IUPUI, where they focused on disability-inclusive communications, and minored in Sociology.
Sara strives to apply their lived experience as an autistic, multiply disabled person to their work. They are a former Ambassador for the IUPUI LGBTQ+ Center where, in addition to maintaining the Center’s communication channels, they lead a community discussion group for LGBTQ+ students with disabilities. They have also previously worked with EIN SOF Communications and the Alzheimer’s Association. Sara is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.
In their free time, Sara enjoys reading, building models, and visiting the local cat café. They live in Indianapolis with their spouse, Jason, and their three cats.
Lauren Pena, J.D.
Lauren Peña is the Associate Director of Student Recruitment for the Office of Enrollment Management at the IU McKinney School of Law. She holds her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Business from Indiana Wesleyan University. Lauren is a strong communicator and relationship builder with a passion for helping all students fulfill their higher education goals and dreams.