LDA Board of Directors, Biographical Sketches
2013 - 2014
Patricia H. Latham, President
Patricia Latham has worked as an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator. Her professional experience includes: Arbitrator and Mediator for the American Arbitration Association, handling cases in the employment, corporate, securities, real estate, insurance, medical, banking, and international areas; Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); Lecturer in business planning at the Columbus School of Law and the Catholic University of America. She is also co-author, with her husband Peter Latham, of eight books on learning disability legal topics, including: special education law, learning disabilities/ADHD and the law in higher education and employment, and learning disabilities and the law. She has over 40 years in law practice including three years at Office of General Counsel at the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Latham is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court. Her previous board experience includes: Boards of Watergate West Cooperative, Washington, DC (President, 2006 - 2009), Magnolia Bay Club Condominium (President, 2011 - present), Summit Owners’ Association (Vice President, 2011 - present), Sugar Beach Owners’ Association (Vice President, 2010 - present). She is listed in the “Who’s Who in America.” Latham previously served as Treasurer and member of the LDA Board of Directors, and was a member of the Professional Advisory Board. She holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
B.J. Wiemer, First Vice President
B.J. Wiemer has many years of LDA service in her experience. She has previously served as Secretary, Board Liaison, State Presidents’ Representative, and member of the Board of Directors, as well as having served on numerous committees, including Affiliate Support, Membership, Education, Public Policy, Bylaws and Policies, Conference Program and Nominating. She has also served as president of her state and local affiliates. Wiemer is a special educator, teacher trainer, and educational consultant. She has spent 35 years working in public and private settings with students with special needs, most noted as a specialist in specific learning disabilities, children with behavioral/emotional needs, and the at-risk reader. Since 1997, she has served as Director of Special Services at the Kirk Day School in St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys coming alongside families to provide strong support through proactive education and advocacy, along with special presentations, an extensive resource library, and community awareness. She trains and consults with teachers and administrators across the country in addressing the needs of the at-risk learner. She and her husband, Jack, have three grown daughters, one of whom was diagnosed with a learning disability as a young child. Their recreational time is often shared with their two granddaughters. Wiemer holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Louis University.
Ed Schlitt, Second Vice President
Ed Schlitt has served in many LDA posts prior to serving on the Board as Treasurer. He was Board representative to the Executive Committee, State Presidents Representative to the Board, LDA of Michigan President, and Conference Chair. He also served, chaired, and coordinated several committees at both the state and national levels. Schlitt's experience includes his work as an educator. He holds an M.Ed., including an Endorsement in Learning Disabilities. His work positions include ISD Progress Monitoring Consultant, State of Michigan Reading Facilitator, ISD Diagnostic Team/Teacher Consultant, Special Education teacher. He has also been a presenter to various groups and topics, a facilitator of educational initiatives/programs, and a consultant / coach to teachers. Schlitt's non-educational experiences include being a designer / artist, his many civic involvements, President of his homeowner association, and Film Festival assistant stage manager. Learning disabilities have touched his life both professionally and personally. His credo is: share the wonderful gifts in life he's received from others, with others.
Nancie Payne, Treasurer
Nancie Payne has previously served LDA in various capacities, including the Adult Topics Committee Chairperson, Program Committee Co-Chair, LDA Board of Directors, and Professional Advisory Board. Her other board experience includes: Washington LDA, Commission on Adult Basic Education Region 8 Representative, Washington State Business Leadership Network, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (former Chairperson), and the Thurston County Economic Development Council (former Chairperson). Payne’s work experience includes 35 years private-public experience with knowledge in education, welfare, rehabilitation, and workforce. She is currently the CEO/President of Payne & Associates, Inc., assisting children and adults with non-apparent disabilities and providing professional development throughout United States and Canada. Formerly, Payne was a secondary reading teacher, diversity-equity assistant consultant, and an employment/education director for poverty-based adult program. Payne herself is an individual with an LD and diagnosed with AD/HD; a former street kid, delinquent, teenage single parent, welfare recipient, and mother of two outstanding adult children and three grandchildren. Payne holds a B.A. from The Evergreen State College, an M.S. in Organizational Development/Human Resources from Chapman University, and a Ph.D. in Adult Learning/Postsecondary from Capella University. Her published works include Adults Who Have Learning Disabilities: Transition from GED to Postsecondary Activities (2010); Job Accommodations, What Works and Why in Learning Disabilities and Employment, Gerber and Brown, Pro-ed 1997; Informal Assessment of Adults with LD in Learning Disabilities, Literacy and Adult Education, Vogel and Reder, Brooks 1998. Her interests include maximizing resources/opportunities for those without access; postsecondary education, training, and work; and adolescent and adult services.
Ernie Florence, Secretary
Ernie Florence recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors. He became an active member of LDA in the 1980’s and served his local affiliate, Kane-Kendall LDA, in many capacities including president, vice president, as well as a variety of committees. At the state level, he served two terms as president of LDA of Illinois as well as many committees including Membership, Awards, Nominating, Conference, and others. At the national level Florence served a term as State Presidents’ Representative along with heading several committees including Membership/Affiliate Support, Nominating, and Program. He presently serves as co-chair of the Membership/Affiliate Support Committee and as a member of Mental Health/Juvenile/Criminal Justice Committee. Florence has been actively involved in the development of the Young Leaders of LDA during the past few years. He enjoyed a 33 year career teaching children with behavior/emotional disorders and learning disabilities before retiring in 2009. Ernie and his wife, Ginger, live in Montgomery, IL.
Patricia Lillie, Immediate Past President
Pat Lillie has served as president for her local and state (LDA of North Carolina) affiliates and is an active LDANC Board Member. She has served as an advocate and a liaison to the North Carolina State Board of Education and the State Legislature and as the LDANC representative to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Parent Advisory Board. She and her husband Dave are parents of four children, two sons who have LD/ADD and a grandchild who received benefit from early identification while in preschool. Lillie has served on the LDA Board of Directors in many capacities: as First Vice President, Second Vice President, and has just finished a two year term as President. She has also served as chair of the following committees: Public Policy/Advocacy, Education, Grievance and Ethics, and Nominating and Publications. As an advocate, Lillie is very committed to helping guide LDA forward as we face uncertain times with the re-authorizations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). She is also committed to helping parents gain a better understanding of Response to Intervention (RtI) issues, as well as Common Core Standards and mandated, state-wide standardized testing programs. Her interests also include increasing the SLD/ADHD high school graduation rate and insuring graduates are prepared to enter the workplace or postsecondary education.
Beth McGaw, Board Liaison
It was after her youngest son was diagnosed with a variety of learning challenges Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities. She has served the LDA Georgia state chapter as Vice President for five years, where she was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Although McGaw started her career as an Industrial Engineer, she pursued her passion for education by obtaining a M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and later worked as an online facilitator. She co-founded the award winning Atlanta-based magazine, Kids Enabled, and led its conversion to a not-for-profit digital resource. McGaw helped promote the LDA Healthy Children’s Project through the Brain, Health and Nutrition speaker series in Atlanta. After moving to Dallas in 2010, she received her certification in nonprofit management.
Robert Broudo currently serves on the LDA Board and is also Program Committee Co-Chair. Since 1969, Broudo has dedicated his professional interests and career to the field of learning disabilities. He currently serves as President and Headmaster of Landmark School in Massachusetts for students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities. Broudo was a teacher at Landmark during the founding year of the school in 1971, and became a supervisor and department chair. In 1975, he traveled to Israel where he was Director of Special Education for grades K-12 and Assistant Principal of the High School at the Walworth Barbour American International School. Upon his return to the States, he served as founding Director of the Landmark School Outreach and Training Program, founding Director of the Landmark Preparatory School, and Director of Landmark's High School Campus. Broudo has been President and Headmaster of Landmark since 1990. His previous LDA service includes the LDA Board, Program Committee member and Program Committee Chair. He has served on several external boards and committees, including: the Boards of Directors of Waring School, Glen Urquhart School, and Brookwood School, and the Board of Directors of the Danversbank, among others. Broudo holds a B.A. from Bates College and an M.Ed. from Boston University.
Katie Cyphers serves on the National Board and is also past chair of the Young Leaders Ad Hoc Committee; she is also a member of the Membership/Affiliate Support and Communications Committees. She has an excellent understanding of students with dyslexia, language processing disorder, autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. She has also experienced success in working with individuals whose lives were impacted by stroke or traumatic brain injury. Cyphers often speaks at national conferences and local schools on utilizing neuroscience in the classroom. During graduate school, Cyphers completed her research on "The Effects of Cognitive Processing on Struggling Readers." This research is an integral part of her private educational firm, Academics Plus, which utilizes neuroscientific research to treat learning disabilities. She is an active triathlete and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a B.S. in Special Education and an M.S.Ed. in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, both from the University of Tennessee.
Suzanne Fornaro serves as Co-Chair, Communications and Technology Committee; Co-Editor, THE LD SOURCE; and was President of LDA from 2004-2006. She has served on the Board, Executive Committee, and/or chaired committees for LDA since 1990 and also served on boards and as president of state and local affiliates. Fornaro is the parent of an adult child with learning disabilities. She is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board and retired as Director of Public Relations with a national engineering firm. She has 30+ years of experience in communications and public relations and expertise in public relations planning, external and internal communications, community and media relations. She has served on the board of directors for Public Relations Council of Alabama-PRCA (President), Southern Public Relations Federation-SPRF (VP and Secretary), and Mobile Public Relations Council (President). She has received 14 awards from public relations organizations for creation and execution of projects ranging from brochure development to strategic communications planning. She was recognized with the Practitioner of the Year Award, Professional Achievement Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from PRCA and SPRF. Fornaro holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations) from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Communications (Mental Health Information) from Syracuse University.
Vicki Goshon is a leader in the state of Iowa in the field of Learning Disabilities. She is a Past President of LDA of Iowa and also currently serves on its Board of Directors. Vicki has taught students with Learning Disabilities for 32 years. In addition to her work with LDA, she serves on the Iowa Department of Educationís Special Education Advisory Panel. Throughout her career in special education, Vicki has written several successful grants in order to obtain funding for materials and educational services for her students. An exciting outcome of one of these grants is a literacy project taking place in Iowa Correctional Institutions. She also operates a private tutoring service, Educational Services, Inc., in order to provide affordable academic support to students over the summer. She holds a Masterís Degree in Education and an Administrator of Special Education degree.
Candace Joles is a leader in LDA’s Indiana state chapter and serves on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee as Secretary, as well as on the Conference Committee. She has chaired the state conference committee for the last three years. Her experience includes working with fee-based intensive programs (BUILD Director at University of Indianapolis and STEP faculty at Vincennes University) in Indiana for students with learning disabilities and ADHD. Currently, Joles is the Director of Student Support Services which provides intensive services for students with learning disabilities and those at-risk at Vincennes University. She holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision and an Ed.D. in Special Education from Ball State University with transitioning to post-secondary education a main area of focus. Presently, she serves on the Adult Topics Committee. Joles’ husband has a learning disability and ADHD which provides an additional insight to individuals with learning disabilities.
Jonathan Jones is Founder and Director Emeritus of S.O.A.R., a non-profit organization providing year-round wilderness adventure and experiential education services for youth with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorders. He is a Past President of the LDA of North Carolina and chaired the LDA Adult Issues Committee for many years. He is currently serving on the Finance Committee. Jones has been involved in education for thirty-three years as a classroom teacher, Upper School principal, and program administrator. His diverse background includes military service as an Army officer, convening of international conferences, and advocate work for abused and neglected children. He recently completed coursework and licensure as a Registered Nurse. He is an adult with learning disabilities and has a twenty-two year old son with his own unique mix of LD and ADD characteristics. He is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences which focus on LD and ADD issues. His decades of experience working with LD and ADD youth allow him to convey a unique perspective regarding their strengths and abilities. Jones holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Psychology and a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate, with master's level work in Education. He is a licensed R.N.
Evalynne W. Lindberg
Evalynne (Evie) W. Lindberg has experience in special education, academics, accreditation, and assessments to provide knowledgeable background for the issues facing special education today. During her career she has held the following positions: Assistant professor, Undergraduate Department, College of Education at Oral Roberts University, where prepared special education teacher candidates and published numerous articles and a book chapter. Her most recent accolades: Suttonís Whoís Who in Academia, 2011-2012; Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Alumni Faculty Award in Leadership. She was a special education instructor for over 30 years; and Psychiatric Adolescent Unit instructor; a visual therapist, and a board member for the Eastland Christian Academy. She also served as a committee member for the National Evaluation Systems and has experience administering in-service training, and diagnostic assessments in the ORU and Tulsa communities. Her LDA positions: include over 30 years as an LDA member; keynote speaker for the LDA of Oklahoma State Convention; Vice-President and Past-President, LDAO Tulsa Chapter; Chair, LDAO Professional Advisory Board. She has co-published "The Healthy Children Project" pamphlet; and was assistant grant writer for young adults with SLD. She has had numerous presentations at the local, state, and national levels. Lindberg holds a B.A. from Oral Roberts University, an M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and an Ed.D., Educational Leadership: Public School Administration from Oral Roberts University.
It was after her youngest son was diagnosed with a variety of learning challenges Beth McGraw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities. She has served the LDA Georgia state chapter as Vice President for five years, where she was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Although McGraw started her career as an Industrial Engineer, she pursued her passion for education by obtaining a M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and later worked as an online facilitator. She co-founded the award winning Atlanta-based magazine, Kids Enabled, and led its conversion to a not-for-profit digital resource. McGaw helped promote the LDA Healthy Children’s Project through the Brain, Health and Nutrition speaker series in Atlanta. After moving to Dallas in 2010, she received her certification in nonprofit management.
Linda Modenbach's experience spans 44 years working with special education students in both public and private schools. As a district coordinator of special education for a suburban school district, she served as a leader for special education teachers in developing appropriate IEPs, maintaining compliance with IDEA regulations, and shared current materials and methods for special learners and helped regular education teachers understand students with disabilities. In addition to working in K-12 settings, Modenbach has also been an Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern State University teaching coursework in learning disabilities. Her board experience includes serving as a secretary for the Oklahoma Directors of Special Services, Secretary of LDA, and President of the LDA state chapter of Oklahoma. Publications include articles for Newsbriefs, the LDAO Connection, and special education materials for United Methodist Publishing House. Modenbach holds a B.S. from Oklahoma State University, and and an M.T.A. (Master of Teaching Arts) from the University of Tulsa.
Connie Parr is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has been involved with the Learning Disabilities Association at the local, state and the national level for over 35 years. In private pediatric practice, she worked with LD/ADHD children, then began a clinic at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois. Her oldest grandchild, now 20, has ADHD/LD. Her prior LDA and board experience includes multiple positions at local and national levels: She was president of the local and then Illinois state chapters of LDA; sat and chaired committees on the national board while sitting on the board of directors including conference chair, served on the executive committee for nine years and is a past president of LDA, having served as president from 2008-2010. She lectures widely on various LD topics.
Nanette Schweitzer has been an active LDA member, serving first, as president of her local Howard County (Maryland) chapter, and then as President of the Maryland State Affiliate. Her professional background includes: business management, sales and marketing as the principle of two businesses and as a regional manager for a major jewelry store chain overseeing eighty nine stores. Nanette is passionate about helping those with learning disabilities since it “runs in the family.” Nanette, her father, daughter, grandson, and nephew all experienced the effects of a learning disability. For the last fourteen years she has been a full time volunteer advocate and has served on several local and state disability and education committees, and was recognized on both levels for her advocacy for individuals with learning disabilities.
Analisa L. Smith
Analisa L. Smith has served LDA for many years, being active at the national and state level. Smith has served on the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Committee for several years and has served previously on the Nominating Committee at the national level. She is the current President of the South Carolina LDA state affiliate and has served in several positions on the State Executive Board of Directors. Smith has worked for 20 years in both the public and private sector advocating for individuals with disabilities, serving as a specialist in working with students with learning disabilities and Asperger's. She works professionally as an education and special education consultant, as a special education homeschool consultant, and as a distance education professor. Smith holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia College, an M.Ed. in Education from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctorate of Education in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Smith is a recent author of Transition Toolbox, a book that focuses upon transition issues and services for the mildly disabled individual. She is the mother of two children, with one son having Asperger’s and several learning disabilities. Smith’s passion is to work with LDA to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD to ease the path of learning for them.
Myrna has been a member of LDA for over 30 years. She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and an M.A. in Special Education from Santa Clara University. She has been Oregon’s LDA State President four times and continues to serve on LDA of Oregon’s state board. She is chair of the LDA’s national Bylaws/Policy Committee, chair of its Education Committee, and serves on the Finance Committee (since serving as Treasurer), Development Committee, and Research Committee. She is a Slingerland trained tutor and consultant after teaching for 49 years. She is a Slingerland Director, teaching the Slingerland Courses for 30 years. She has started three private schools for students with learning disabilities. She tutors adults as well as elementary students including those with Asperger’s and autism. Soule also trains literary staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs in her area. Her life is devoted to helping individuals with learning disabilities learn how to learn, and to advocate for them.
Ann Whitten holds an M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Florida and undergraduate degrees in English, Communication Arts, and Special Education. She has taught students with learning disabilities for 28 years in private, public, and clinical/research settings. Whitten currently runs Aiken Learning Lab in Aiken, SC, a private practice serving students with learning disabilities, primarily in reading. She has served as LDA South Carolina’s (LDASC) past State President and current Vice-President, as State Presidents’ Representative, on the national Board of Directors, and on various committees. She represented LDASC during 2012 on the SC Dyslexia Task Force. Whitten is also serving on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and is a member of the International Reading Association (IRA). She has presented at LDA, IDA, and IRA state conferences and at LDA and IDA International Conferences, and has conducted workshops for local schools. Her areas of particular interest include early intervention and remediation of reading disabilities and the practical classroom use of research-based instruction.