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Michael Callahan,M.Ed., President and Owner

Michael has consulted throughout the US, Canada and Europe in the area of supported employment for the past forty years. He has worked with Marc Gold & Associates (MG&A) since 1979 and has served as president of the organiza­tion since Marc Gold’s untimely death in 1982. MG&A is a n­etwork of consultants who provides techni­cal assistance to sys­tems, agencies and families interested in insuring the complete com­munity participation of persons with severe disabilities. Mike also studied vocational rehabilitation while at Syracuse Universi­ty in a doctoral studies program.­­ He is an editor of a popular "how-to" book on employment for persons with severe dis­abilities, Getting Employed, Staying Employed (1987) and co-author of ­Keys to the Work Place (1997) a text on systematic instruction and natural supports in supported employment. He has written numerous articles, chapters, manuals and curricula pertaining to employment of persons with disabilities.

Michael also worked with United Cerebral Palsy Association's (UCPA) from 1987-2000. He directed a Department of Labor grant, One-Stop to Success, which offered persons with significant disabilities access to services in generic one-stop employment centers. He was also the former d­irector of the Choice Access Project, a six-year project that examined the feasibility of providing direct vouchers to persons with severe physical disabilities and for them to purchase the employment services of their choice. He managed the UCPA’s Research and Demonstration Project on supported employment and the UCPA Self-Directed Staff Training Project for Supported Employment, a pilot project to test the feasibility of an individualized, competency-based curriculum for staff develop­ment as well as the UCPA National Demonstration Project for Supported Employment in the late 80's. These projects employed hundreds of persons with significant physical disabilities using individualized supported employment. Michael and his wife, Teresa, live in Ocean Springs, MS.

Therese Fimian, Director of Operations

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Patricia McClain, Office Manager

Patricia McClain is the Office Manager and Administrative Assistant for MG&A's Associates for the past 15 years. Patricia handles the daily office tasks, mailings, record keeping for certification and coordination of the annual MG&A Discovery Retreat.  She lives in Gautier, MS, with her husband and 3 dogs. 

Our Associates

Tara Asai, M.Ed.

As the founder, and President of Asai & Associates, Inc. Tara has provided person centered planning, and consultation and training on individualized supported living and employment services. Over the past five years, she was a team member developing supports for individuals with dual labels of I/DD and mental illness, and also consulted with an agency developing peer services for individuals with mental health challenges. Tara is the President of Oregon APSE. Starting as a volunteer with Big-Brother/Big Sister in college, Tara has worked in the field of disability services for over 35 years. Prior to her current consulting business, she was a special education teacher and later as the Program Director of UCP of Oregon and SW Washington, led the transition of all their traditional services into individualized supports in the 1990s.  Tara has a Masters in Special Education from PSU and Masters in Management of Human Services from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

Penny Balicki

Penny began her affiliation with Marc Gold in 1977 as a participant in the California Project, the first year-long training presented by Marc Gold & Associates. She then became a Program Director in the Georgia
Project in 1978-79; and in 1981 was a Program Director with the Mississippi Project. Her other other employment positions have been a Behavior Specialist for Tri Counties Reginal Center, California, Program
Director for a residential facility for 5 years, and a Program Director for seniors with severe dementia  for 13 years, and as well as a Program Director for ARC, CA for 6 years. Penny has maintained her position as an associate with MG&A throughout this time.  Penny currently lives in California.

Katie Banzhaf

Katie Banzhaf began her career with Marc Gold & Associates in 1981 after completing her Master’s Degree at the University of Cincinnati. Her first position with MG&A was as a Regional Coordinator providing training in Systematic Instruction in Ohio. In 1982 she became an independent consultant with MG&A providing training in Systematic Instruction throughout the United State, Canada, Greece, Great Britain and Sweden. Katie is currently the Executive Director of STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way, a Norwalk, CT based non- profit agency supporting individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is proud of the wide range of community based services provided including birth to three, family supports, residential supports and employment services.

Pam Bossert

Pam’s career began as a Special Education teacher in Pennsylvania and transitioned to MG&A in 1980 as a job trainer in the Austin Project in Texas at Motorola, Inc.  Pam learned Try Another Way, the foundation for Systematic Instruction and provided on the job training to sixteen employees with disabilities at Motorola. In addition to Motorola, Pam used Systematic Instruction to train employees with developmental or intellectual disabilities at Texas Instruments, Abbott Labs, IBM and other manufacturers in the Austin area. 

Following her work with MG&A in the early 1980’s, Pam was hired by Motorola as Manufacturing Training Manger. She stayed with Motorola until she left in 2007. While at Motorola, Pam held various roles in learning and organization development as an internal consultant and manager during her 20+ years at Motorola/Freescale Semiconductor.

Pam rejoined MG&A bringing with her business experience in Instructional Design, training and Systematic Instruction. She Coordinates our Systematic Instruction Certification and conducts Systematic Instruction Workshops.



Jennifer Briggs

Coming Soon

Teresa Callahan, Ed.D.

Teresa Callahan began her career in the disabilities field as a teacher of students with complex needs. She taught pre-school children, elementary, middle school and high school students with special needs throughout her public school teaching career. She moved into the administrative field as an Assistant Director of Special Education. In the mid 1980's she began her doctoral studies at Syracuse University in the area of Special Education Administration. She earned her doctoral degree from Syracuse University in 1990. During her years in Syracuse, she worked as a job coach for Vocational Rehabilitation and as a research assistant for the New York State Department of Education.  Upon returning to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she worked as the Director of Special Education for Jackson County School District. She left this position to begin her 14 year tenure as an Associate Professor of the Special Education Department for the University of Southern Mississippi. Teresa returned to the public school sector as an assistant principal of Magnolia Elementary School in Ocean Springs, MS. Under her leadership, the school received the State award of "Exemplary Inclusive Elementary School" from the State Department of Education. Teresa served as the Director of Student Services for the Ocean Springs School District until she retired in 2013. Teresa is now a consultant for MG&A and is coordinator for the Discovery Certification process.

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Ellen Condon, M.Ed.

Ellen Condon, M. Ed.  is the Director the Pre-Employment Transition Services Technical Assistance Center, Transition and Employment Projects and Montana Deaf-Blind Project, at the University of Montana’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. Condon has worked at the Rural Institute since 1996 on Transition and Employment for youth with significant disabilities.  She is also a consultant with Marc Gold & Associates (MG&A), and she served as a Subject Matter Expert for the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor on the Employment First State Leadership Mentor Project.  Ellen has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities since 1986. Prior to coming to Montana her experiences included hands-on service delivery, program development and program management in community residential and supported employment programs. She received her Master’s degree in Special Education from Boston College in 1990 after completing course work in Transition and Supported Employment. At the Rural Institute she has served as the Principal Investigator and Project Director for numerous Federal and state-funded grants. She provides technical assistance, training, and on-site support to schools, agencies, and individuals and families predominantly in the areas of employment, transition, and Social Security Work Incentives. She lectures and consults with schools and adult service agencies. She and her staff have produced numerous publications on Transition issues and employment.  Visit http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/transition


Abby Cooper, M.Ed.

Abby Cooper has been at the forefront of employment for individuals with disabilities her entire career. Her experience covers a gamut of local, state and federal services including the vocational rehabilitation system. She coordinated Washington Vocational Rehabilitation partnership with the Workforce system to further employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Abby designed and implemented the first community-based supported employment program in Washington State.  She has also designed and administrated supported and customized employment programs for individuals with chronic mental illness and individuals with multiple physical and cognitive disabilities. She trained parents and teachers of transition age students on obtaining employment after graduation. She designed and implemented one of the seven RSA choice demonstration grants.  As administrator of the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Abby managed the Business Relations Team working with public and private employers, coordinated the agency’s policies and procedures on the Workforce Investment Act, developed and managed the Division's systems, training criteria, and infrastructure for Ticket to Work. She started a unit that supervised, trained and supported seven benefits planners. She has trained on Customized Employment and Asset Development throughout the nation. She has published numerous articles ranging in topics from: Integrated Employment for people with severe physical disabilities, to Economic Self-Sufficiency for Individuals with Disabilities. Abby holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management.

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Marion Curry, M.Ed.

Marion has worked in the field of human services and developmental disabilities since 1972.  She began her affiliation with Marc Gold in 1974 when the workshop she ran in rural south became one of the first programs in the south to implement the Try Another Way technology.  She later worked for Marc Gold & Associates as a trainer in both The Georgia Project and doing short term training across the nation and in Canada.  She was an early pioneer in full integration and supported employment, converting the facility she directed in 1983,  The focus of her professional career has been in designing and directing services that support people who have been devalued in being able to make contributions and share their gifts with their communities.  Marion holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Christianity from Mercer University in Macon, GA and a masters degree in Public Administration from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA.


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Randy Dicks

Randy has an extensive background in the human service field.  His work ranges from working with the homeless, in a rape crisis center, and with those who experience mental health, physical, and intellectual disabilities.  Although varied in experience, his work has always focused on what works best for the person receiving services.  In his current position as Director of Community Based Programs for InVision Human Services, he strives to implement this philosophy every day through the use of customized employment.  InVision works with people who experience multiple life complexities including problematic sexual behavior and offenses.  Randy has found that Customized Employment truly is a way for people with these significant barriers to employment find meaning and purpose through a job in the community making real wages.  Randy works closely with the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and School Districts.  He is also a member of National APSE and served 5 years on the PA APSE Board of Directors.  Randy joined MG&A as a consultant in 2013.  Since that time he has primarily focused his time with MG&A in mentoring in the areas of Discovery Certification and Job Development Certification, as well as   leading the Mentors-in-training process for MG&A.


Charlotte Guy, Ed.S.

Charlotte has worked in the developmental disability field since 1980. She has a specialist degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Special Education and Administration. She is National Board Certified in the area of Special Education.  Charlotte has extensive experience in secondary special education for student with disabilities. She has experience in developing community based transition programs for student with significant disabilities. She was the first teacher in the state of Mississippi to have a class for students with significant disabilities on a college campus. As a high school transition teacher she developed an entrepreneur class for students with disabilities. She has trained teachers in transition services design and implementation. During her tenure as a special education teacher, she assured that her transition-age students had paid jobs in the community using Discovery and Customized Employment.  Charlotte is currently working as a private consultant with the Office of Disabilities Employment Policy as a Subject Matter Expert providing technical assistance to direct service professionals on customized employment strategies.  Charlotte has worked as an educator in residence with the Mississippi Department of Education. She has also worked in the Jackson County Mississippi School District as an assistant special education director.

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Zeek Harris

Zeek Harris lives and works in Austin, Texas. He retired from the the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. For almost 33 years his work was related to issues allowing people with intellectual disabilities to live & work in the community. The last 22+ years were at the State office level beginning as the state director of vocational services and charged with bringing supported employment into the system on a statewide basis. From 1995-2002, Zeek was responsible for developing and coordinating technical assistance & training activities provided by MG&A related to employment and PDP to the Mental Retardation Authorities in Texas as well as, for 3 years being responsible for the statewide annual Medicaid Conference for Waiver & ICFMR providers. The key focus during that period of time occurred 1995-2000, when he was responsible for and coordinated efforts to achieve the TDMHMR Board Resolution goal of having 50% of the people receiving state funded vocational services with mental retardation to be participating in supported employment services at the end of the 5 year period. The system exceeded the projected targets for 20 consecutive quarters thus successfully achieving the target ahead of schedule. From 2001-2011 Zeek continued to have responsibilities for Supported Employment but assumed other duties as well.  Those duties included but were not limited to: performance contract issues with Local Authorities; statewide responsibility for Service Coordination; administrator of The In Home Family Support Program (a statewide self directed voucher program) program; analyzed proposed and passed legislation; as well as a variety of special projects and assignments.

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Joy Hopkins

Joy Eason Hopkins was mentored by Marc Gold and has been a consultant with Marc Gold & Associates since 1980. Her experience includes leading MG&A training projects in a variety of states, teaching systematic instruction and developing a direct support professional certificate program in GA's community college system that incorporated the systematic instruction training approach. Joy is an on-going advocate for typical employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

David W Lynde, MSW

David Lynde is an independent mental health services consultant and trainer who specializes in the effective implementation of Evidence-Based Practices for young adults and adults whose lives are affected by mental illness.  David serves as a consultant and trainer for the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center to the New Hampshire Bureau of Mental Health Services; and he is a deputy program director for dissemination and implementation resources on the SAMHSA National Registry for Evidence Based Programs and Practices.  David works with Marc Gold Associates on the development and implementation of employment programs.  David has worked with numerous federal and state projects including the Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) program for the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Implementing Evidence Based Practices Project for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Johnson & Johnson – Dartmouth Supported Employment Program; and the national Homeless Veteran’s Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) and the national implementation of Supported Employment services for the Veteran’s Administration.

Melinda Mast, M.S.

Melinda Mast is a consultant to projects that assist people with support needs into employment.  She works with the Marc Gold Associates Mentor program, heading up Job Development training and technical assistance. She also provides assistance to programs working with veterans with TBI and other support needs, and is President of the Terrill Foundation, a foundation that provides scholarship assistance to high school seniors affected by neurologic disease and/or brain injury.  For seven years she was the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky (BIAK), a statewide agency that assists individuals and others whose lives are affected by brain injuries, brain tumors and other neurologic disorders, through advocacy, education, information and referral. Ms. Mast was a partner in the KY Affiliate of the South East Region ADA Technical Assistance Center;  a partner in Employment for All a non-profit agency dedicated to the ideal that access to employment should be available to all persons with disabilities regardless of severity or label.  Ms. Mast worked with Virginia Commonwealth University’s Social Security State Partnership System’s Change Initiative and has provided training and consultation to the Texas Supported Employment Changeover Initiative. She worked for United Cerebral Palsy Associates where she was the project director and key staff for several federally funded research and demonstration projects that resulted in the employment of hundreds of individuals with severe and multiple disabilities.  In recent years, she has focused on providing training and technical assistance to projects that support customized employment.  She has served on national task forces and committees and is a frequent speaker, consultant and writer on strategies and technology for including people with disabilities in the community. 

Ms. Mast has a BS and MS from Boston University.

Lisa Mills, MSW, PhD.

Lisa Mills has been a consultant in the field of disability for 30 years with a primary focus on employment and community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  She has worked in the United Kingdom and the United States. Between 2008-2012, she spearheaded the development of Customized Employment in her home state of Wisconsin, bringing in Michael Callahan to provide extensive training statewide and working with the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to develop one of the first VR fee schedules for Customized Employment in the country. She has since been a trainer on Customized Employment for MG&A and also focuses much of her work on assisting state agencies with the policy and funding structure changes necessary to make Customized Employment available. She has worked in more than twenty states, consulting on Medicaid home and community-based services, vocational rehabilitation, managed long-term services and supports and Employment First systems change.  At the federal level, Lisa has served as a subject matter expert on Customized Employment and Employment First for the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy since 2012 and recently served as lead subject matter expert for the US DOL’s Advisory Committee on Competitive Integrated Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. Lisa has also served as an SME for the LEAD Center.

Bill Phillips, Ed.D.

Bill Phillips is a professor of educational leadership at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Currently, he helps people with severe challenges to become non-degree seeking college students and to participate in service opportunities in their communities. 

Norciva Shumpert

Norciva has been consulting with the Pathways to Careers Project of the Institute on Economic Empowerment with Source America. She has worked in the development and training of Customized Employment (CE) since the conception and development of CE in the Office of Disability Services in the Department of Labor.  Prior to this she facilitated a Social Security National Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) project with multiple agencies demonstrating Discovery strategies, general and match work experiences, and employment of youth with significant disabilities from age 10 to 22 years of age.  She also co-directed a UCPA/Department of Labor, “One Stop to Success” project, a national project designed to implement the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. She served as co-director for the Choice Access Project, one of seven demonstration projects in the nation funded as a result of the 1992 Amendments to the Rehab Act. While at United Cerebral Palsy Association, she was also project director for a 40 site national Projects with Industry (PWI) project in the early ‘90's that employed over 1,000 persons with significant disabilities.  She provides training and consultation regarding employment throughout the US. She consults with schools, mental health centers, families, and other community providers or projects on issues relating to employment and transition. She has worked with several school systems and resource centers to improve employment and community outcomes for students, with Medicaid providers to offer consumers an opportunity to control and direct their services, and with funding sources to increase customer control through various fiscal options and to plan using person directed planning processes.

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Milton Tyree

Milton’s work is centered on people with disabilities having access to participation in valued aspects of everyday life.  A particular area of interest over the last 35 years has been the ongoing struggle around people with disabilities having good employment. His interest in Marc Gold’s revolutionary work was piqued in the late 70s when as a high school special education teacher, Milt attended a session at a vocational conference featuring Dr. Gold’s new videos.  He vowed then to study everything possible about TAW. In 1981 he helped develop and direct Community Employment, Kentucky’s first supported employment program. The next MG&A connection came in 1988, during Milt’s first stint at the University of Kentucky, when he persuaded Mike Callahan to oversee the development of a curriculum for Kentucky supported employment providers. His present work at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute is focused on leadership development where three MG&A courses and certifications are offered as part of HDI’s Supported Employment Leadership Series. His employment efforts have also been strongly influenced by the work of the late Wolf Wolfensberger. Milt has written about implications of Dr. Wolfensberger’s Social Role Valorization (SRV) theory for employment services and developed an SRV derived supported employment leadership event.


Steve Zider, Ph.D.

Steve worked with Marc from 1971 until Marc's passing in 1982. Steve, a principal in the development of Try Another way and MG&A lectured and consulted globally on the TAW system and issues impacting the consumers we serve. Steve opened all the offices across the country for MG&A. He was  responsible for the staff training and management of all the projects. Steve developed Develco, Inc. that provided organizational development and training in the field. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Alternatives, Inc.(CAU) in metropolitan Chicago. Independent Case Management was the service that was provided by CAU during a 33 year tenure. Steve had two academic appointments with the University of Illinois and the Illinois School of ProfessionalPsychology. He supervised students throughout his academic career and has written and published several academic articles and a chapter with Marc Gold.