donate

Our Board of Directors

Helena Berger, Treasurer
Joan Joyce 
Thomas Kelley
Kent Keyser
Susan E. Lydick, Secretary 
Bradley Miles,President
Jim O'Meara
Julie Nepveu
Susan Picerno
Kelley Simoneaux

 

Bradley Miles (President /Fundraising Chair)

Brad was born with an inherited Auto -inflammatory condition. He started and managed an Internet support group for others with his condition and related conditions. 

 

He initially became involved with ECNV when he lived in Arlington and was recruited by a former board member. Brad served on the board for two terms,  and was board president for two years.

 

He currently works at the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired as a Rehabilitation Engineer with a focus on finding solutions to eliminate barriers, and empower individuals with vision impairments and other disabilities.

 

Previously he worked at the U.S. Department of Education as a Subject Matter Expert and Project Leader as a contractor for SAIC and CSC.

  

He has a BS and an MBA. He has been involved with the Arlington Jaycees, Toastmasters International and IMPROV.

Helena Berger (Treasurer)

Helena Berger has been a disability-rights advocate for over 25 years. She is currently the President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Ms. Berger has been associated with AAPD for 18 years; serving in the following leadership positions over the past 15 years: Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President. She is a mission-focused, seasoned, strategic, and process minded leader with experience scaling an organization, leading an executive team, and developing a performance culture among a diverse group of individuals.
 
Prior to joining AAPD, Ms. Berger was the Advocacy Director for the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA), renamed in 2005 United Spinal Association. Under her direction, EPVA’s advocacy program significantly expanded its public education and community outreach activities, specifically aimed at raising awareness of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, Ms. Berger has extensive experience in designing and implementing grassroots programs and working effectively with non-governmental organizations, community and business leaders, and public officials to increase the freedom, independence, and rights and opportunities of all people with disabilities.
  
Ms. Berger’s international disability rights work includes working with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs as a feature speaker on disability rights, policy, and growing grassroots movements. She has spoken with diverse disability audiences in Mongolia, Nepal, and Cyprus, and traveled to Jordan and the West Bank in Israel.
 
Ms. Berger currently serves as co-chair of the Disability Equality Index (DEI) Advisory Committee and recently completed a four-year term on the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council.  

 


Helena Berger

Kent Keyser

In 2007, Mr. Keyser suffered a C-3,C-4 incomplete spinal cord injury. Since his injury, he enjoyed returning to the workforce thanks to a proactive employer, former Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia. Upon retiring in January 2015, Mr. Keyser has become active in the disability community being elected to the Board of the United Spinal Association's National Chapter in Washington, D.C. 
 
Mr. Keyser served 37 years as a professional staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Chief of Staff and Sr. Policy Advisor for Congressman Rahall, Mr. Keyser worked on a wide range of issues and projects, including transportation, public infrastructure, economic, community, and workforce development in rural areas.  
 
Adept at employing public entrepreneurship to build consensus and create successful public/private partnerships, Mr. Keyser has worked with a number of projects to further local and regional goals by employing federal and state program resources. A seasoned communications manager and community outreach strategist, Mr. Keyser earned a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. Mr. Keyser resides in Arlington's Fairlington neighborhood.

Kent Keyser

Joan Joyce 

Joan Joyce lives in Arlington Virginia and has been employed at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington DC for 23 years.  In her role as Director of Therapeutic Recreation and Community Outreach, Joan started a community adapted sports and fitness program that serves over 200 individuals with physical disabilities. Their mission is to facilitate healthy lifestyles for individuals with physical disability. Joan has 25 years of experience in post-acute rehabilitation, working with children and adults as a recreation therapist.   Joan has a MS in Recreation Administration/Therapeutic Recreation from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is certified as an Aquatic Therapist (ATRI).  Joan was first elected to the United Spinal Metro DC Board in 2015, and is the past Vice President, currently the Secretary. Joan is also on the board of  Endependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV). 



 


Julie Nepveu

Julie Nepveu is a Senior Staff Attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation.  She advances the interests of older people nationwide in the areas of access to courts, consumer protection, mortgage and reverse mortgage servicing and foreclosure defense, fair housing, disability rights, and public utilities.  Her work includes litigating cases, filing amicus briefs, and drafting comments on proposed federal regulation and legislation, and providing support to AARP state office staff. Julie previously worked as Staff Attorney at the National Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law in the Housing and Community Development Project. Prior to that, she represented low income and subsidized tenants at Legal Services of Northern Virginia. Julie also served as a judicial law clerk at the U.S. Claims Court to the Hon. Thomas J. Lydon. Julie earned her BA from the University of Vermont and her JD from the University of Maine School of Law. The Maine State Bar Association honored Julie with its Pro Bono Award in 1991.

 

Susan Lydick  (Secretary)

Susan E. Lydick has been a lifelong advocate for persons with disabilities.    Susan received her doctorate in Rehabilitation Science with a concentration on bio-behavioral rehabilitation from George Mason University in 2016.  Her dissertation work focused on group processes within adaptive sport teams as a bridge to increased social reintegration, community engagement, and leisure time physical activity  following traumatic injury.   Dr. Lydick currently works as an independent consultant on health and human services and disability research projects and is teaching as an adjunct professor for the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University.   Dr. Lydick enjoys giving back to the community through her service on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University;  the Presbyterians with Disability Concerns National Leadership team, and particularly as Board Secretary for the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia.
 

Susan Picerno

Susan is a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Thomas Kelley

Thomas Kelley served in different positions of the U.S. Government for more than 30 years. In 1984 he accepted a position on the Education and Labor Committee in the U.S. Department of Education. While there he worked on Elementary and Secondary Education, including three reauthorizations of the Act as well as negotiating and drafting legislation for the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Mr. Kelley moved to the U.S. Department of Education in 1995 to serve as Director of Legislation in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs. He was responsible for several staff, overseeing all aspects of legislation and regulations for education programs from pre-k to post-secondary education. He advised the Secretary of Education on all education related matters and coordinated strategy with the White House. 

 

During the change in Administrations, Mr. Kelley moved to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, advising on disability initiatives and serving as Director of the Independent Living Program. Mr. Kelley moved back to his position as Director of Legislation during the Obama administration. He retired in 2014. Since that time, he has worked as a volunteer and mentor in local Arlington schools and the government of Arlington. 



Jim O'Meara

Jim was born and has lived in the Washington Metropolitan Area most of his life. He is currently the General Manager for Mobility Works of Alexandria. Mobility Works was founded in 1974 by the Owner Bill Koeplitz. The company has been serving the disabled community with transportation needs and driving adaptive equipment for over 40 years. Currently Mobility Works has 74 stores in 26 states and is the largest provider of Wheelchair accessible vans and driving adaptive equipment for the disabled community.
Jim works closely with the local M.S. society, The Washington Area MDA , and the Northern Virginia SMA association, helping organize charity walks and events to raise money for research and cures for these groups. Jim also works with the local Department of Veterans Affairs finding solutions and funding for the disabled veterans who need assistance with there transportation needs. 
Before joining Mobility Works of Alexandria in 2016 he worked in the Automotive Industry for over 30 years he has an extensive background in Dealership Management in both sales and service. Jim has also served as a past Commander of the Sons of the American Legion. Jim is passionate about fighting for the rights and needs of all people with disabilities and our Veterans who have served our Country. By serving on the Board of the ECNV he hopes to use his experience in the Automotive Industry to help improve transportation challenges in the disabled community by working along with the other Board members and leaning on their experience in overcoming the challenges for all people with disabilities and continue to fight for their rights.






 

Kelley Simoneaux

Kelley Simoneaux is an attorney and disability rights advocate based in Washington, DC.  She is the founder of The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm, PLLC where she represents individuals following a spinal cord injury.  Kelley has committed her professional life to helping those with spinal cord injuries after she became a T-12 paraplegic as a passenger in a car wreck when she was 16 years old.  
 
Following her spinal cord injury, Kelley went to rehab for three months at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, continuing her high school education while in the hospital.  She graduated with her class, going on to undergrad at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama and then law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law.  She practiced at several nationally known law firms in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Washington, DC.
 
When Kelley is not in the courtroom, she is fighting for greater accessibility in rideshare companies.  After being denied a ride in an Uber due to her wheelchair, she began a national campaign called Wheel2Ride, focused on education and policy change in accessibility and inclusivity for Transportation Network Providers (TNPs).  She also serves as the Director of Law and Advocacy for SPINALpedia.org, an online video mentoring platform for individuals with spinal cord injuries. 
 
Most importantly, Kelley is known as Mom to a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.  She enjoys traveling the world with her family and uses any rare moment alone to practice adaptive yoga.