Meet the PAR Team 

 Kammi Bredbenner  

Kammi comes to PAR with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Communication Design, specializing is graphics and advertising, from Kutztown University. And with over a decade of professional experience, she has accumulated quite the closet of hats. On any given day you may see her wearing her designer dunce cap, production patrol hat, marketing mitre and last but not least, her halo.

When Kammi isn’t meticulously multitasking, you can find her enjoying nature with her dog child, exploring foods from all regions of the world and attending outside concerts.

 

     
 Gary Blumenthal  

Gary, previously an American Government teacher, set forth on a lifelong quest to advocate for people with disabilities when his brother, Steve, was denied services. He spent eleven years as an outspoken legislator in the Kanas State House where he wrote key disability legislations. In return for all of his selfless efforts, Gary was appointed as Executive Director of the President’s Council for People with Intellectual Disability by former President Bill Clinton. With a bag full of accomplishments, we’re happy Gary chose to join PAR, to represent both PAR and ANCOR Grassroots Advocacy Committee in their efforts to shape policy and strengthen our community.

When Gary isn’t working, you can find him eating soup.

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 Candy Condran  

Candy has been the knower of all things “PAR” and has worked side by side with Shirley for over 22 years. We’re thankful for her extraordinary organization and memory of details, ranging from member history to leadership changes over the last two decades. She also doubles as our board meetings, events and conference planner.

When Candy isn’t busy playing office wrangler, you can find her either tap dancing, quietly quilting, baking or taking long walks. But she is also known for her fabulous hospitality - she will never let you go hungry! Just ask her four children or 7 grandkids or in fact, any PAR member!

     
 Megan Dickson  

Megan is a proud graduate from Penn State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities and minor and Philosophy. Her interests in education, social sciences and diverse cultures has taken her around the world to areas like Toronto, Mexico and Botswana where she interned at the Supa Ngwao Museum installing museum exhibits.

When Megan isn’t getting her exercise running back and forth from the printer, you can find her absorbing a pot of coffee in hopes that’ll give her enough energy for her tireless children (which includes a set of triplets…yes, triplets). And if there is time left in her day, she likes to pick up a good book, any book will do.

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 Rebekah Glick  

Rebekah didn't waste any time at Messiah College when she completed her degree in three years, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Politics and French. After studying abroad in Paris attending courses on French culture and politics and then interning at a Harrisburg-based lobbying firm, she realized her passion was government relations and advocacy.

When Rebekah isn’t at the office, you might run into her at a local bakery indulging in what she wishes was an authentic French pastry, exploring her current stomping grounds in Midtown Harrisburg or booking a flight to who knows where.

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 Jack Kane  

John A. Kane, Esq. is the Regulatory and Policy Consultant for PAR while simultaneously maintaining his law practice as Principal of Offit Kurman. Also known as Jack, he worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as Chief Counsel to the Department of Public Welfare for twenty three years. During this time he won numerous awards including Government Lawyer of the Year from the PA BAR Association, the American Association of Public Welfare Attorney’s Award, the award for Excellence in Healthcare Law and the award for Commitment to Equal Justice for all Persons from the PA Legal Aid Network. Whew, mouthful.

When Jack isn’t busy job juggling, you can find him sipping on the finest wine PA has to offer.

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 Mel Knowlton  

Mel is one of the Commonwealth’s most respected and consulted experts in intellectual disability and autism. His lifetime commitment to people with ID/A began as a vocational trainer and he quickly made his way to becoming the first Residential Director at ENCOR (Eastern Nebraska Community Office of Retardation). Mel’s impressive and hard earned accomplishments led him to be recruited to PA where he led many groundbreaking efforts such as developing community residences, employment services and he helped write the first Medicaid waiver for PA.

When Mel’s not busy helping the Commonwealth close down state institutions, establishing family support programs and preventing neglect and abuse, you could ask him what it was like having a monkey for a pet when he was a child. Or ask him what it’s like growing up in California where humidity isn’t a thing.

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 Nick Kratz  

Nick has quite an extensive history working in government and with associations in pursuit of legislative support. He started this journey of interest upon graduating from Messiah College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.

When Nick’s not busy attending key legislative hearings on behalf of PAR members at the Pennsylvania Capitol, he likes to keep busy as an active member of the community. He also likes to join as many sports leagues he can get his hands on.

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 Jay Layman  

Jay has over 45 years of lobbying experience and was the founder of Capital Associates, Inc. in 1994, which was acquired in 2018 as a subsidiary of the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, and is now known as Capital Associates LLC. We sure are happy to have Jay on our team as our Senior Legislative Lobbyist. He has had the opportunity to work with many Republican and Democrat members and their staff, resulting in a tremendous amount of respect from both parties. 

When Jay isn’t working, you can find him enjoying quality time with his family and friends, traveling and reading (especially about the American Revolution, Civil War and geology). 

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 Lauren Quigley  

Born and raised in the Keystone state, it’s only fitting she attend Penn State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration. Lauren interned with PAR not once, not twice, but three times. It was during these times she grew a passion to understand the intersection between public policy, association advocacy and all the operational pieces that it takes for an association to run smoothly. Lauren is a whizzing on all things IT (information technology) and in no time became PAR's Operations Manager. As the "OM" she has become accomplished at insuring that policy and our membership is fully supported in PAR meetings with technology. We just couldn’t let her go so we brought her on board. You know what they say, fourth time’s a charm.

When Lauren isn’t working, she’ll be on a hot sandy beach somewhere not at all close to here because there aren’t any, jumping waves and getting sun(burnt).

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 JoAnn Reitz  

JoAnn Reitz serves as PAR’s bookkeeper. She joined PAR in 1998 and has contributed to the success of the association in a number of different ways including helping to organize and support PAR conferences, serving as fiscal clerk, then full time fiscal assistant and then being promoted to bookkeeper. JoAnn greatly assists in preparing extensive documentation and organization that prepares PAR for its annual fiscal audit. She works diligently to assure that all expenditures are documented with receipts and are in accordance with bookkeeping reporting requirements. Aside from living in Pennsylvania, she and her husband Jim have lived in New York, Illinois, Kentucky and Louisiana. She loves reading, swimming, crocheting, bird watching and cats.

     
 Victoria Tadros  

Victoria has brought a multitude of talents to PAR over the last few years, which include overseeing a broad range of business operations, marketing and member services. Her business acumen was strengthened by earning a degree in Marketing and International Business from Baylor University and through various marketing and sales roles, including involvement in her family’s small business. Victoria’s support of human service programs and advocacy for our association was enhanced by her prior work in communications for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Erie County.

When Victoria isn’t joyfully checking off her to-do list, you can find her making memories with friends and family, reading a book, or exploring hidden-gems of the North East…always with an iced-coffee in-hand.

 

 Shirley Walker  

With over 27 successful years leading PAR, Shirley is highly regarded, both nationally and in PA, as a strong and effective voice for providers. Her passion is supporting individuals with intellectual disability or autism and their families with a stable and qualified workforce.  She has been instrumental in key victories achieved through working in alliance with numerous stakeholders and convincing legislators to embrace disability issues. A few PAR victories under her leadership include rate increases, restorations, preventing future reduction in force agreements by the state and shepherding the first rate increase in ten years.

When Shirley isn’t working, she is still working. Oh yes, and she also loves playing the piano for the kids' church musicals and filling in for the musical director at church, hiking - especially in the high Sierras and Yosemite, gardening, bird watching, and chatting with friends about things of interest big and small. She also enjoys home cooked hot and spicy meals prepared by her husband Jim of 46 years - a just-retired internal medicine doc whose most recent work was heading up health care Innovation Centers.

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