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Name: Disability Employment Awareness Month | Keynote by Rob Vallentine & TDN's EMPOWER Award
Date: October 15, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT
Registration: Sorry, public registration for this event has been closed.
Event Description:
Our week-long series ends with presentation of The Disability Network’s EMPOWER award and a keynote from Rob Vallentine, executive in residence for Saginaw Valley State University and former president of the Dow Company Foundation.
 
The EMPOWER Award (Employers Making Positions Open & Within Employee Reach) is offered for outstanding achievement in improving employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Inspired by previous TDN CEO Mike Zelley, this EMPOWER award spotlights an employer who may have initially thought they were taking a risk on hiring a person(s) with a disability; yet, found the benefits of a diverse, dependable workplace not only rewarding, but also an enriching opportunity. Zelley fully embraces the concept of empowering others through advocating at the local, state, and national level for equal access; as well as his aptitude to see everyone’s abilities.
 
Rob is on a mission to turn personal passion into purpose – to create positive impact in our world.  While his work and community service have enabled progress and lasting improvement, he is most proud of his roles as father to his four children and partner to his wife. Each member of his family has, in their own way, created positive social change at home and at work, advancing LGBTQ, mental health, autism and youth empowerment.
Rob is currently serving as an executive in residence for Saginaw Valley State University. Rob works closely with the President’s staff , University Communications, SVSU Foundation and Alumni Relations to further advance the SVSU experience on campus and in the community. Rob has also been serving as the chair of the re-opening team and coordinating COVID-19 response efforts for the University.
An employee of Dow for more than 30 years, Rob began his career in sales and then moved to marketing and public affairs.  He then served as president of the Dow Company Foundation, providing strategic direction for Dow's philanthropic priorities around the world. He managed implementation of the Foundation’s $40 million annual charitable contributions, with a keen commitment to education, sustainability and community development.
Prior to Dow, Rob worked in Student Affairs at Drake University for four years serving as complex director, hall director and staff advisor for Student Volunteerism.  Rob also served as an adjunct professor for Davenport University.
Over the last several years, Rob has become a community advocate, working tirelessly to break the stigma of mental health by sharing his own story of hope, healing and growth with thousands of people.  He is a certified trainer for the SafeTALK Suicide Prevention Program and Mental Health First Aid. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Depression Center and the National Advisory Council for the National Network of Depression Centers.
 
Rob is as a teaching fellow and executive advisor for Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.  Rob also serves on the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Board of Directors and is a community director for Chemical Bank. He has previously served on other boards including United Way of Midland County, Delta College Foundation, Council of Michigan Foundations, Chemical Educational Foundation, Detroit Economic Club and Hidden Harvest.
 
Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a master’s degree in business administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Location:
Details to join this virtual meeting via Zoom will be sent to all registered attendees 24 hour in advance. 
Contact Information:
Brianna Mosier
Fees/Admission:
Free
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