My Story :
To understand my passion for career, vocational & disability consulting, it's important you understand a little about my background. I grew up in a small agricultural region of New York state. I was encouraged by school guidance counselors to learn a trade as I was not "college material". So I took wood shop, small engine repair and any "trade" classes I could. I eventually became a welder and fabricator. After high school, I joined the US Navy to apply my trade. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was also the beginning of my journey toward becoming a career and vocational rehabilitation consultant.
In the Navy, I advanced quickly. I was not able to use my welding skills, but I learned yet another trade in electronics. I was just 23 years old and in my second career. I had done exactly what I was counseled to do by my school guidance counselors. I didn't realize though, that my life was about to take a very sudden and unexpected twist that would lead to yet another career change and to me challenging the very understanding of my vocational aptitude, abilities and preferences.
In 1991, I was injured while on active military duty. I didn't immediately realize the impact the injury would have on me vocationally, but it soon became apparent. Just 12 short months after my injury, I was medically discharged from military service. After discharge, I quickly learned the impact my injury would have upon my ability to obtain work utilizing my acquired work skills. I was not employable either as a welder or as an electronics technician.
Long story short, I eventually gained access to a rehabilitation counselor through the Veterans Administration who helped me work through feelings of anxiety, depression, hopelessness and despair about my future, marital conflict, self doubt and financial conflict. Most importantly, the counselor helped break down earlier vocational programming that served as a barrier and kept me from achieving my full vocational and personal potential.
Today, my professional practice is focused on working with others experiencing career, occupational & vocational challenges. My clients include individuals, attorneys, insurance companies and employers. The common thread with all of my clients, regardless of the setting or issue, is in answering the question, "how does a person's present circumstances impact their ability to fully participate in the world around them-and in particular, the world of work".
I hold a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida where I am also on the faculty as the lead instructor for the post graduate professional certificate program in Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation. My research interests are related to models and methodologies in forensic vocational rehabilitation and life care planning assessment. I am nationally certified as a Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC); Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE) and Life Care Planner (CLCP). I am board certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and as a Diplomate of the American Board of Vocational Experts (D-ABVE). I am also licensed by the State of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).