Officers:

Coleen Carey – Chair. Read bio

Coleen Carey is a Chicago native and Oregon resident for nearly 20 years. She and her husband Jim have two children, including her elementary school-aged daughter who experiences a developmental disability. Her business career spans 20+ years in telecommunications, consumer products, and high technology and she holds an MBA from Notre Dame. Coleen is a 2010 graduate of Partners in Policymaking class and is passionate about the importance of the inclusion of children with disabilities in their schools and communities.

Elliott Dale – Treasurer. Read bio

Elliott Dale is a business and real estate attorney licensed in Oregon. Originally from Alaska, he was raised in SE Portland and completed an undergraduate degree at of University of Oregon, an MBA at Willamette University, and a law degree in the evening program at Lewis & Clark Law School. He and his wife Jennifer have three children, one born with Down syndrome. Elliott is passionate about supporting families experiencing disabilities, helping people grow businesses and organizations, and building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Sara Sampson – Secretary. Read bio

Sara Sampson is an Indiana native who moved to the Portland area in 2000. She and her husband Jesse have two sons, including one who has a genetic condition called Kleefstra Syndrome. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a minor in Information Science. Her expertise and experience is in large-scale change initiatives and helping to bring strategies to life through process and tool implementation. Through her personal and professionals experiences, she is very passionate about creating connections to drive solutions, and she wants to leverage that passion to create connections and solutions for families in Oregon experiencing disability allowing for a life of inclusion in their communities.

Mary Hart  Read bio

Mary Hart was born in Chicago and raised in a northern suburb of the city. She relocated to Oregon to attend Willamette University, and moved to Portland after graduating. Mary is the Chief Operating Officer at the Meriwether Group, a business acceleration and boutique investment firm. She oversees every aspect of Meriwether’s operations, including financial and regulatory controls, as well as managing all branding, marketing, and client relationships. She provides administrative leadership, innovation, and vision while also assisting the Founder and CEO. Previously she held an important position at Lewis & Clark Law School’s continuing legal education department, and served as a paralegal assistant at Portland’s law firm Stoll Berne. Though she does not have a direct association to disability, she is a very active advocate for the inclusion of people and families in the community that experience disability. 

Connor Kavanaugh Read bio

Connor played a key role in building the SpecialCare program at MassMutual, a program that focuses on working with families in the special needs community and helping them with their life care planning needs. In 2014, Connor finished his Chartered Special Needs Consultant [ChSNC] designation from the American College. In 2016, he founded the Palladio Group, a financial planning firm for special needs families. He also serves on the Portland State Alumni Association Board and the Portland State Athletic Department Advisory Board. Connor enjoys giving back to the community to make Portland a better place to live for individuals of all abilities.

Tammy Miller Read bio

Tammy Miller is a wife and mother of two children, one of whom experiences Down syndrome. Originally from the Midwest, she considers Oregon her home. Tammy has a BA in psychology from the University of Kansas, is a graduate of the flagship NWDSA Kindergarten Cohort in 2011, the PIP class of 2012, and is certified to be a person-centered planning facilitator.  Her professional experience includes telecommunications, and she is a senior account executive in the radio industry for nearly two decades. Tammy believes each individual person is unique, having gifts only they can offer the world.  To this end, she is passionate in working towards a world where we all support each other, play, learn, and live together.

Celia Murphey Read bio

Celia Murphey is a Portland native who graduated from the University of Oregon, and later earned her master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She worked as a rehabilitation counselor with injured workers, and has been an account executive, human resources generalist, and manager in the insurance industry for 20 years. Celia is a full-time mom to three children, including her teenage daughter born with Down syndrome. This has driven Celia’s interest in promoting awareness of the disability community, including early intervention and the needs for safe housing in a dignified, independent setting. She is a recent graduate of the 2010 Partners in Policymaking class, and is serving her second term on the governing board of the Albertina Kerr Centers.

Eric Richards Read bio

Eric Richards has 35 years of administrative experience focused on the rights and desires of people with disabilities and their families. He served as Executive Director of non-profit organizations in Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska before moving to Oregon to become Director of Operations in the Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, where he worked until 2010. From that time forward, Eric has been employed by the Salem-Keizer School District, currently serving as the Director of Student Services. Eric holds an M.A. in Counselor Education from Central Michigan University, an M.B.A. from Iowa State University, and an EdS from Lewis and Clark College in Educational Leadership.