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Create Great Inclusion: Diversity & Talent Webinar Series
Creating Great Inclusion for People with Disabilities
The Diversity & Talent Series will address various talent needs of the West Michigan business community. The series will also focus on the different ways to attract and retain top talent and include best practices in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
For the final installment of the Diversity & Talent Series of 2022, we’re hosting Patrick Parkes, Absolutely Accessible Kent Business Development Coordinator and Jon Cauchi, Community Education Specialist at Disability Advocates of Kent County. Join us for a discussion on how we can be more inclusive for people with disabilities!
Tuesday, October 18
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Members: $35 / Non-Members: $50
Jon Cauchi | Community Education Specialist, Disability Advocates of Kent County
Jon Cauchi is a Community Education Specialist at Disability Advocates of Kent County where he delves in to DEI issues related to disability. After graduating Western Michigan University with a Degree in Health Services and Disability Studies, he has worked specifically in the disability community. Previously, he spent the past 5 years working with Kent County students with disabilities as they prepared to transition into adulthood. Disability is a key factor in not only his professional life but his personal life, as Jon lost most of his vision due to a rare disorder known as Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy at age 12. Jon has experienced life with a unique perspective and often shares his personal testimony when educating others. In his free time, which is limited as he just became a father, Jon can be found performing stand-up comedy around the Grand Rapids area where he emphasizes the real and funny side to life with a disability. Jon Cauchi is also a youth camp director for the Michigan Blind Athletic Associations Sports Education Camp.
Patrick Parkes | Absolutely Accessible Kent Business Development Coordinator, Disability Advocates of Kent County
Patrick Parkes oversees all things Absolutely Accessible Kent as the project’s unofficial “point person” and official Business Development Coordinator. As a wheelchair user born with cerebral palsy himself, Patrick brings lived experience to this role that was brand new to Disability Advocates of Kent County as of June 1, 2020. He supplements this lived experience with professional experiences in the business, public policy, and education sectors.
Specifically, he has worked in Broker-Dealer Operations for the global investment management and research firm Alliance Bernstein in Nashville, TN; as a Guest Teacher for districts throughout the Kent Intermediate School District in Grand Rapids, MI; and as the Fiscal Policy Analyst for Kansas Policy Institute in Overland Park, KS.
Patrick holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) as well as a B.A. and an M.A in Political Science/Civic Leadership—all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Go Illini!
Outside of work, Patrick has enjoyed competing both nationally and internationally as a member of the U.S. National Team in the Paralympic sport of Boccia. Relatedly, he also serves as the Vice President and Athlete Representative on the USA Boccia Board of Directors as well as an Athlete Representative to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council.
Interested in sponsoring our Diversity & Talent Programming in 2022? Please contact Yadira Garza-Malone to learn more.