Hawaii Summit on Employment First Agenda

Employment First is an effort taken on by states to change systems and create a reality of
meaningful work for all people with disabilities, including people with significant and complex

As Hawaii moves forward with this initiative in 2023, we seek the guidance, information, and
processes from experts in the Pacific Rim about how to move forward with the State of Hawaii’s
Employment First efforts. Please join us to discuss the mechanisms in place to help us work
toward competitive, integrated employment outcomes.

Registration is $65, which covers breakfast and lunch.

Who – Hawaii Association of People Supporting Employment First (Hawaii APSE)

What – Hawaii Summit on Employment First

Where – Hawaii Convention Center: 1801 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

When – Wednesday March 8th, 8am – 4:30pm

Register on (https://HawaiiAPSE.org/summit-on-employment-first/)


  • Presenters:
    • Jared Galeai, Junior Specialist, University of Hawaii, Center on Disability Studies
    • Patrick Gartside, CESP, C-WIC, Hawaii APSE Chapter President
  • Description: With the Employment First bill approved by the Hawai’i State Legislature, we’re making great strides to becoming a true Employment First State. The Hawaii APSE Chapter will share updates on where we are with Employment First in Hawaii, and the current and upcoming exciting initiatives for us to move our community forward.
  • Presenters:
    • Tiffany D. Cron, PhD Curriculum Developer/Person-Centered Thinking Trainer/Data Lead with the Colorado Office of Employment First
    • Vikki Ortiz, MS, CESP, Curriculum Developer/Supported Employment Trainer/Communications Lead with the Colorado Office of Employment First
  • Description: Learn about the evolution of Employment First in Colorado, as we discuss guiding legislation and key moments for Employment First from a national and state perspective. Explore the legislation that developed Colorado’s Employment First Advisory Partnership, and the Colorado Office of Employment First. In this session, you will also learn about the key to successful implementation, which includes fostering a collaborative cross-disability and statewide approach.
  • Presenters:
    • Rick McAllister, Consultant for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP,) NEON Initiative
  • Description: Rick McAllister has over 38 years of leadership experience. He utilizes strategic and tactical insights in providing consultation and technical assistance to organizations facing complex operational, management, and business challenges. Rick’s ability to connect with participants demonstrates his understanding of the daily demands associated with service provision from having served in varying positions over his career. These positions have included program and department management as well as executive roles within agencies and statewide initiatives. Throughout his career, Rick has maintained an extensive focus on employment services, leadership development and systems change. Rick has provided hands-on technical assistance to Federal, State and County funded Employment Initiatives, and has successfully conducted hundreds of training programs across the United States and internationally. He has facilitated professional development and conducted mentoring sessions for emerging leaders for over 30 years.
  • Presenters:
    • Emily Sheffield, Coordinator for Employment, Community Connections NZ
    • France Aziz, Coordinator for Employment, Community Connections NZ

An overview of the Aotearoa System, and the celebration of our team (disabled people finding employment for disabled people,) Employment first, Employment and Individual placement and support guidelines, and worrking with the community to achieve excellent outcomes for people we support.


Have some Lunch (will be provided), network, and socialize with others before the second half of the summit.

  • Presenters:
    • Wally Tablit, Senior Director of Policy and Workforce Development, RespectAbility, EDI Officer of the APSE National Board
  • Description: The Employment First movement has made many strides and achieved many great accomplishments in recent years, and while it is important to celebrate the milestones of success, we unfortunately also have to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go. Especially when we stop to consider who we might not be inviting to the table or including in the conversation. Together we will look at our work through the lens of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to identify some of the powerful and positive things that have happened, how we can put new things into practice, and how we can get proud so we can get to where we need to be.
  • Presenters:
    • Jessica Worster, Owner, Employment Insight, LLC
    • Mitchell Ruker, Warehouse Clerk
  • Description: Join us to celebrate some of the success stories, and hear how employment has enhanced the quality of life for those living in Hawai’i. 
  • Presenters:
    • Tiffany D. Cron, PhD Curriculum Developer/Person-Centered Thinking Trainer/Data Lead with the Colorado Office of Employment First
    • Vikki Ortiz, MS, CESP, Curriculum Developer/Supported Employment Trainer/Communications Lead with the Colorado Office of Employment First
  • Description: Dive into the last 3 years of the Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) as it seeks to fulfill its mission of leading Colorado toward equitable employment for all people with disabilities through collaboration, systems innovation, and training excellence. Discover how COEF leads change through collaboration across state entities and providers. Explore the systems innovation work that has occurred. Then learn about how COEF has an impact on capacity building and professionalizing the field through training excellence in the areas of Individual Placement and Supports, Supported and Customized Employment, Systematic Instruction, Benefits Counseling, Youth and Family Empowerment, and Person-Centered Thinking.
  • Presenters:
    • Tiffany D. Cron
    • Vikki Ortiz
    • Rick McAllister
    • Wally Tablit
    • Jared Galeai
    • Patrick Gartside
    • Jessica Worster
    • Emily Sheffield
  • Description: Not ready for the summit to end? During this open panel session, engage in a question-and-answer format dialogue with several presenters from today’s sessions. This is an opportunity to stay curious, ask your questions, and listen in on the conversation. These leaders in the field will continue sharing how to elevate Employment First in response to your specific questions.