Colorado Center for the Blind
Take Charge with Confidence and Self-Reliance


2nd Annual Career and College Seminar

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lunch is provided.

Don’t miss these keynote addresses:

Dianne Primavera

Dianne Primavera is Chief Executive Officer for Susan G. Komen Colorado. She served in the state legislature for eight years as representative for Broomfield. During her tenure in the Colorado General Assembly, Dianne held terms as Chair and Vice Chair on several key committees. She was appointed to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Interim Study Committee. A cancer survivor, she founded and co-chaired the Cancer Caucus. The Statesman, the newspaper which covered the state capitol, named her the most effective member of the House for her final term.

Born in Denver, Dianne’s working life began at age 12 when she started a dog grooming business which she maintained for three decades while pursuing educational and career goals. She holds a Master of Arts in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and an Executive Education Certificate in Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Among her many jobs, Dianne worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for Colorado’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), rising to Supervisor. She served as Education and Training Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, served as Manager of Customer Services for a number of state agencies, and as Colorado White House Conference on Aging Coordinator.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, granddaughter and Airedale Terriers.

Judy Mares-Dixon

Judy Mares-Dixon, M.A., is the owner of Mares-Dixon & Associates and a former Partner with CDR Associates. She has worked in the conflict resolution field since 1986 as a trainer, mediator, coach, facilitator, consultant, and dispute resolution systems designer.

Judy mediates healthcare, business, employment, domestic, cross-cultural, community, and public policy disputes. In addition, she offers negotiation and mediation training programs for a wide range of professionals in both the public and private sectors.

Her clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, New Zealand Employment Tribunal, Fletcher Building of New Zealand, Western Area Power Administration, Ohio Supreme Court, United Airlines, Levi Straus and Co., and Denver Public Schools.

Judy holds a Master’s Degree in Social and Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado. She lives in Boulder.


9:00 am


10:00 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks, Julie Deden, Director, Colorado Center for the Blind; Monique Melton, Employment Specialist, Colorado Center for the Blind; Diane McGeorge, Chair of the Board of Directors, Colorado Center for the Blind

10:10 am

Keynote Addresses: Dianne Primavera; Judy Mares-Dixon

11:00 am

Lunch/Panel Discussion (Half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

12:00 pm

Lunch/Panel Discussion (We’ll swap places, half of us will eat lunch and the other half will attend our panel discussion)

Panel Discussion:

Who Built the Desk and Who’s Working Behind It; hear from a blind woodworker, a blind lawyer, and a blind manager of one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies. Marcus Sands, wood worker, owner of Blind Insight; Scott LaBarre, attorney; Petr Kucheryavyy, manager, Charter Communications

1:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (1:00-2:00)

  1. Using Workforce Centers to Find a Job and More. Helen Meadows, Arapahoe-Douglas Works. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. The Business Enterprise Program: What Does it Take to be Successful? Ellie Karre, Program Manager. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. College: The Process of Applying. Howard Fukaye, Arapahoe Community College; Shanna Pomager, Denver University; Kathryn Kenyon, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Braille Room downstairs.

2:00 pm

Breakout Sessions (2:00-3:00)

  1. What Does it Take to Hold on to Success While Self-Employed? Kevan Worley, CEO, Worley Enterprises. Small Conference Room upstairs.
  2. DVR 101. Julia Zanon and others from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Senior Resource Room upstairs.
  3. Working for the Federal Government: How to Apply and Land the Job. Patricia McMahon, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Large Conference Room upstairs.
  4. Mock Interviews. Practice your interviewing skills with managers from various local companies. Gym downstairs.
  5. You Mean I Have to Ask for Accommodations: Getting Access in College. Melissa Cermak, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver; Michele McCandless, MSW, Denver University; Anna Berger, M.A., Arapahoe Community College. Braille Room downstairs.

Our thanks to the following for assisting with mock interviews: Charter Communications, Comcast, Worley Enterprises, 20-30 Foundation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ralph Schomp Automotive Group

Our thanks to the Gibney Family Foundation and the Verizon Foundation for sponsoring this seminar.

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