Christea Parent is a creator, producer, and nonprofit professional with a passion for disability justice and neurodiversity. They currently serve as the Chicago Studio Coordinator for Art of Life, and are the Executive Producer and Artistic Director for BAD TASTE Productions. As a performer and writer, their creative work is focused on queerness and social expectations; as a nonprofit professional, they excel at facilitation and administration, as well as experience in all aspects of nonprofit management, including development, board service, programming, and HR. Christea approaches all their work with a justice-oriented mindset and is heavily invested in equity for the disability community, particularly those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Jason Lehmann aims to be an ambassador between people on the Autism spectrum and Neurotypical. Currently working as quality assurance analyst at Aspiritech, Jason is pursuing a career in technology and is interested in refining development processes.
Nicole Kelly stepped into the role of public figure after winning the 2013 title of Miss Iowa and going on to compete at the 2014 Miss America Pageant. She gained attention for being one of only a few competitors to have ever competed with a physical disability. After working for a year as Miss Iowa and traveling across the country to advocate for those living with a disability, Nicole transitioned into speaking professionally. Last summer Nicole completed her master’s degree in broadcast journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Now, she is an assistant production manager at Ravenswood Studio. Ravenswood is a Chicago-based custom fabrication company driven by passionate artisans creating world-class sets, scenery, and exhibits for opera, theater, museum, and corporate clients.
Lori Goddard has over 20 years of experience developing sound marketing strategies and guiding diverse, integrated teams through this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. She is a strategically-minded marketing leader with vision and passion for developing innovative solutions that make a difference to consumers and businesses.
Maureen Reagan founded and operated MRA Architects, Ltd. for over 25 years, designing creative environments, usable by all people, including people with disabilities. Maureen recently transitioned from MRA to pursue other interests, along with the continuation of universal design and accessibility consulting. She served on the committee, which produced an extensive update to the accessibility code of the Chicago Building Code. Maureen earned a Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, a B.S. with Distinction in Environmental Design from Purdue University, and was awarded a scholarship to study architecture at L’Ecole d’architecture, Universite de Paris III, Versailles, France.