Meet The Board of Directors


Executive Officers

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David Klenk, President 

David is the current president of MRA, assuming his role in January 2024. With over 12 years of dedicated service on the MRA board, he has been actively involved in various committees, including scholarship, membership, and bylaw committees. In his professional life, David serves as a manager at the Bureau of Services for the Blind. Outside of work, David is a passionate athlete, playing defense for the National USA Blind Hockey team. His commitment to both his professional and personal pursuits exemplifies his dedication and leadership abilities.

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Omar Deadwilder, President- Elect

Omar is an alumnus of Wayne State University with a Master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation and Community Inclusion. He currently sits on the board of directors of the (MRA) Michigan Rehabilitation Association and is the chair of The Communications Committee.

Omar joined MRA to have a statewide impact on the lives of people with disabilities through public policy, education, outreach, and working to enhance their lives through vocational rehabilitation.


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Calvin Kennebrew, Jr., Past-President

Calvin has assisted state vocational rehabilitation agencies and other organizations in meeting the cultural and linguistic needs of deaf communities. Calvin’s philosophy as a vocational and career services provider has always focused on the needs and strengths of those he serves. Also, he recognizes the impact the disability or disruption in one’s career can have on one’s quality of life. Calvin has focused on vocational rehabilitation practices and innovations in the improved employment outcomes of people with disabilities.  In his work, he has strengthened community partnerships and increased awareness of the potential that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have in the workforce, as well as, initiated a series of reforms designed to ensure equity for all. Calvin is an active VR leader, holding leadership roles within The National Rehabilitation Association and Michigan Rehabilitation Association. He enjoys peer interactions and conceptualizes mentoring as a matter of professional stewardship.
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Roy Del Valle, Treasurer

Dr. Del Valle is the District Manager of the MLEO, MRS, Marquette, District Office. Dr. Del Valle’s professional experience includes over 20 years of direct service provision to individuals with disabilities in the State VR program & non-profit organizations.

Roy joined MRA to promote the profession of Rehabilitation Counseling and provide opportunities for rehabilitation counseling professionals to enhance their skills in order to provide quality VR services. The MRA is the leading advocate for the rehabilitation counseling profession in Michigan and to people with disabilities on the state and nation level.  


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Megan Lingris, Secretary

Megan is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, she works for Michigan Rehabilitation Services as the statewide Program Evaluation Rehabilitation Consultant. Megan has worked in the vocational rehabilitation field for the past 10 years, and has a specialized interest in the  Veteran, Ex-Offender, the Deaf/Hard of Hearing population and individuals with Severe Mental Illness. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling & Community Inclusion from Wayne State University. Megan works to promote the empowerment, self-determination, independence and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Board of Directors

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Shelly  Neal

I started out in rehabilitation counseling as a contractor while I attended Michigan State University to get my Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling.  I started working as a counselor with the State of Michigan in July of 2015.  I have been a site manager and now the district manager at the Lansing District Office of Michigan Rehabilitation Services.  

My hope for MRA is inform more people about rehab counseling and he important job we have.  Not only are we trained counselors, but we also have the needed training regarding employment.  We need to expand information about rehab counseling to our potential customers but inform the community, so they know where to refer those in need.

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Janis Benstead

Janis has worked with the disability community for over 20 years. She has served on the MRA board, the National Board, local JPD and the Great Lakes Region Board. In addition to her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from MSU she holds credentials as a CRC and LPC. Janis currently is a rehabilitation counselor with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Janis joined MRA to connect with other professionals in the rehabilitation field at the encouragement of a previous supervisor. Over time she has found this to be an invaluable resource to maintain awareness of the issues facing the field and resources for the veterans she serves.

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Kasey Koster

Kasey has been a tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with Project: VISIONS in Wilson, Michigan, for 9 years, adding on additional Assistant Director duties in 2020. Kasey received her Bachelor’s degree in Behavior Analysis from Northern Michigan University and Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin - Stout. 

Kasey joined MRA to connect with other professionals, represent the profession, and bring awareness to underserved populations.

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Claudia Pettit
Claudia Pettit has over 27 years of experience working in the rehabilitation field. She has a Master's Degree from MSU in Rehabilitation Counseling and holds a CRC and LPC credential. She has experience working in nonprofits and public VR. She currently is a Rehabilitation Consultant with MRS.

I like to interact with local and national professionals to continue improving the field of disability. I also appreciate the resources MRA offers and keeping up to date on changes in legislation and issues that affect our profession.


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Rosanne Renauer

Rosanne Renauer, PhD, LLP, CRC is a graduate of the Rehabilitation Counselor Education program at Michigan State University and a limited licensed psychologist. Retired after a thirty-plus year career with Michigan’s state vocational rehabilitation agency, she remains an optimist dedicated to leadership, lifelong learning, mentoring and full inclusion and opportunity for everyone through effective systems change.

Rosanne has been a member of the National and the Michigan Rehabilitation Association since her early days as a counselor in Ann Arbor and continuing throughout her career with Michigan Rehabilitation Services. Rosanne led the statewide transition initiative for students  with disabilities among other systems change. She managed the agency’s resource and program development efforts emphasizing field services, policy, community partnerships, technology, customer services and staff development. 

Rosanne is a current Board member of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association, a long standing member of the Multicultural Association on Rehabilitation Concerns and a past President of the National Association on Rehabilitation Leadership. She believes that involvement and participation in the Association and on the Board provides excellent opportunities for personal and professional leadership development, builds expertise, makes an impact and results in lifelong friendships.  

Donna Prieur
Donna served 10 years as MRA Secretary. She worked for 35 years at the State of Michigan, both at Northville Psychiatric Hospital and with Michigan Rehabilitation Services. She continues to work with community agencies on disability and rehabilitation issues to promote awareness and education. Through MRA, Donna's goals include promoting rehabilitation services with the changing social attitudes and policies toward disabilities.

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Karsten Bekemeier

Hello, my name is Karsten Bekemeier.  A little about me.  I am a 50-year-old male who has been employed in the field of disabilities for the better part of 27 years.  I reside in Lansing with my wife and two dogs. Fun facts, I volunteer at a donkey rescue group, love cars and am a no holds bar foodie.  A little about my educational and employment background.  

Starting with a B.A. in Psychology I first gained work experience in Traumatic Brain Injury working within residential and short-term treatment facilities. I went on to be employed with a community rehabilitation organization serving as a job developer and vocational evaluator.  Later I also worked for a period in the early Work-First programs After a little self-discovery my interests became more focused in the area of counseling and I entered the Rehabilitation Counseling program at MSU where I obtained a Master’s degree and later a Doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling Education.  During these years I continued to work in another community rehabilitation organization and then entered employment with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) as a rehabilitation counselor.    

After ten years as a MRS counselor I moved to administration positions within the agency. This included a rehabilitation consultant for the policy unit and as a contracting/program development consultant.  For the last three years I have served as the policy manager for MRS where I continue at this time.  During the past seven years I have also had a part time adjunct professor position with Texas Tech University in the Rehabilitation Counseling program.  Here I instruct on several different courses and supervise the practicum and internship settings.

Okay, the above is a lot of information. Narrowing this down to a couple of basic statements, I can say that the field of disabilities and specifically the area of employment has been the focus of my career from day one.  While my energy is directed to the Vocational Rehabilitation program in Michigan (MRS), I find myself advocating for the field as a whole. I am focused on the advancement of our field.  From legislative initiatives, development of programming, to simply working with counselors in the development and continuing evolution of their skill, all serve to represent my personal focus or drive.
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Tandy Jurgensen

Tandy Jurgensen has worked with people with disabilities of all ages and stages of their lives (0-100 years) for over 15 years. She holds a Licensed Professional Counselor credential and a certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is a new board member of MRA, being nominated by a peer this past year. She has about 7 years of experience as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor serving an adult caseload.

Tandy joined the board to network with other professionals and to make a contribution based on her interest in DEI matters, which she believes are most effective when interwoven with all aspects of society, including the work of Vocational Rehabilitation. She also appreciates being able to stay up to date with issues that relate to the field of Vocational Rehabilitation, to be an effective social justice advocate in her work as a VR Counselor.
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Christa Martin

Christa Martin, MRC, CRC is the Disability & Community Outreach Specialist for DirectEmployers Association (DE). DE is a non-profit member association built by employers, for employers. She works closely with DE’s 1k+ Member companies to implement better DEIAB strategies and connect them with Vocational Rehabilitation services, American Job Centers, and other community organizations for improved recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities. She also works closely with DE Partners to increase positive employment outcomes in competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities around the country and beyond.


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Harold Wasner

Harold has previously been employed as a Rehabilitation Counselor, Supervisor and as Policy and Planning Manager for MRS.

He serves the rehabilitation community in many capacities including: Member of MRA for many years. Past President of MRA and MRCA and numerous committees including the Nominations Committee. NRA Great Lakes Region Treasurer and NRA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair.  

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Toni Jordan

Toni has worked with the disability community for 20 years. She joined MRA as a graduate student in 2013 and the board in 2016. In addition to her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from MSU, she holds credentials as a CRC and LPC. Toni currently is a site manager with MRS.

Toni joined MRA to connect with other professionals in the rehabilitation field. She believes that is it through these connections that relationships and alliances can be formed and strengthen to further the mission and vision of a more inclusive equitable society for individuals with disabilities.

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John Foster 

I am a retired vocational trainer and employment specialist, and worked in the West Michigan area between Ottawa, Allegan, and Kent counties during my career.

I have been a member of MRA since 1982.  I served on the board of the Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Assoc. (VEWAA) state chapter from 1984 until it branched off from the NRA a couple of years later. Soon after, I joined the State chapter board of the Job Development and Placement Association (JPD), where I was twice elected as board president, and currently serve as Treasurer.  

While staying involved with JPD, I was also elected to serve on the board of MRA, where I have served as board treasurer, as well as on several committees.  While my interest continues to be in the job placement field, I am a strong advocate for programs and organizations that serve the greater disability community in my state and region of W. Michigan.

I am grateful to the MRA board and membership who have mentored and supported me through my years working in the field of disability.  


Robert McConnell

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Sameerah Davenport

Dr. Davenport has a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Counseling with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Davenport is currently an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Counselor Education program where she also serves as Clinical Coordinator and the Coordinator for both the Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs at Wayne State University. Dr. Davenport previously worked as the director of an Employee Assistance Program for a major municipal Fire Department. She currently has a private practice based in St. Clair Shores, MI. 

Goals for MRA include: To enhance the mission of the MRA I have several goals but I believe that the following two goals listed are primary. Firstly, I believe that awareness of the rehabilitation field as well as education/training on various levels is pivotal. As a counselor educator, I have found that students have a genuine desire to assist individuals with disabilities but are unaware of rehabilitation professions and the skills and expertise that we have. Secondly, advocacy for individuals with disabilities is at the forefront but advocacy for the profession should also be enhanced. For example, school and community organizations are slowly becoming more aware of the benefits of employing rehabilitation professionals and it is important that we bolster this awareness to better serve individuals with disabilities. These goals are essential to growing the number of rehabilitation professionals and the membership of MRA.