Maedi Tanham Carney
Executive Director, Founder and Board Member
Maedi founded ILO in 2014 and as the Executive Director participates with the Board of Directors in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization.
In addition, she fosters effective team work with the staff, acts as the spokesperson for ILO and represents the organization at community activities to enhance the organization’s community profile.
Director of Programming
Sherita is ILO’s Director of Programming. The Director of Programming is responsible for the management of all aspects of the independent living support services offered to ILO participants.
Responsibilities include elements of program design and delivery; staffing, staff recruiting, training and support; navigating families and self-advocates through the transition process and providing guidance for each self-advocate’s development.
The goal of the Director of Programming is to ensure that excellent services are provided to meet the needs of the individuals and families who are participating members of ILO.
Director of Member Services
As the Director of Member Services Jan helps plan and coordinate fundraising events, serves self-advocates and their families, manages communications through social media and outreach, and works to help grow ILO into a sustainable organization.
Jan has a background in: working for non-profits, technology – as a web developer and webmaster, and has a degree in business development/marketing. Experience in these three areas helps her provide support and expertise in building strong and productive organizations.
She previously worked for the American Association of State Colleges & Universities, The National FFA Organization, and USA TODAY. She also volunteered for 15 years as a trainer, leader, and Board member of GSCNC – Girl Scout Council of the Nations’ Capitol.
Jan attended Virginia Tech, and holds a BS in Business/Marketing from Strayer University.
Maria is a native Washingtonian with a background as an Executive Assistant in the nonprofit sector. Maria specialized in supporting the executive team as well as Member Services as a registrar assisting with meeting/convention registrations.
She is inspired by her three grown children. In her free time she enjoys outings with her dogs, fitness and cooking.
Shelisa is the Community Builder for the Rockville and Germantown MD Pod. She has over 7 years of experience working with individuals that have developmental disabilities. Her goal is to help in making the world a more inclusive place for individuals with varying abilities. Shelisa is merging her experiences in the human service field with the tech world of user experience design and psychology. In her spare time, she loves going to the beach, waterfront, as well as hiking, and dancing. Shelisa believes in finding balance in life to do the things that are most important as a means to protect one’s mental health.
Dwala Willis McCray
Community Builder and Life Coach
Dwala Willis-McCray is the Community Builder for Bethesda and is an ILO Life Coach. Dwala was formerly employed at the Mental Health Executive Office at the Washington DC Veteran Affairs Medical Center. She worked serving veterans and their families. During her tenure, she found her passion helping others, especially women veterans. She began a woman’s SIR (Still I Rise) group. This group empowers women to maintain a vigorous and productive lifestyle.
She completed undergraduate training at Colorado Technical University (Associate of Science in Health Administrative Services) and Domestic Violence training with the DC Coalition against Domestic Violence and National Prevention of Crimes.
Dwala has fulfilled many accomplishments including being an avid traveler, author, and songwriter. She has completed two CDs and co-authored a book “God Never Wastes a Struggle.” She is a mother of five and grandmother to twelve.
Shalawn is the Community Builder for Gaithersburg and DC. She has 10 years of experience supporting individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness. Specializing in mental health advocacy, Shalawn is committed to helping people through various journeys of life.
By focusing on mental health awareness, Shalawn has been able to put her mental health and psychology education earned at UMUC and Montgomery College to effective use. Over the years, Shalawn’s strengths have garnered recognition by her employers for empathy, compassion, and trauma informed care to the individuals she serves in the community.
Shalawn enjoys singing, hiking, and spending time with her daughter and grandchildren.
Michelle (Chell) Lee Harris
Michelle comes to ILO as a Community Builder for Germantown, and a Life Coach. She is a native of Olney, MD. As a child, Michelle gravitated toward helping those in need, and as a result, she quickly earned the nickname, “Honey” for her sweet nature.
As a Certified Preschool Teacher, Michelle quickly came to realize that every child can get a great start, but it’s the adults that need more focus. She has one-on-one experience with individuals with disabilities, both from school and within her family. With a can-do attitude, and a persuasive mentality, she always puts her best foot forward, looks past the challenge and sees the potential in everyone. She believes a smile and words of motivation can change someone’s day, and that persistence will help many in our community.
Michelle is a mother of two children and loves to write poetry. She also enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and working out. She is a lover of music and grew up singing in her church choir.
Jason Crowe is a life coach for ILO working one on one with the self-advocates in all areas of independent living. Jason has always had a passion to help others since he was young. Jason worked for Germantown Community Recreation Center offering his time teaching the youth how to play different sports. He also worked directly with individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities with the goal of integration. Jason always goes by the motto, “It does not matter how long it takes for the goal to get accomplished, just as long as it is accomplished.” Now that Jason has been working in this field for some time, he honestly cannot see himself doing anything else. Jason receives so much joy seeing his self-advocates grow in their jobs, their self-esteem, and in building relationships.
Tiffany brings a wealth of experience to ILO with a degree in psychology and having previously worked as a Registered Behavior Technician, In-home Therapist, Family Consultant, and Coordinator of Community Services. She has worked with children and adults with mental illness and autism and has held jobs at Ivymount, Kennedy Krieger, and with Celebrate Ability.
She has worked with individuals on goal setting and their choices of natural and community supports to enhance their lives. That experience includes exploring and accessing alternative support and or funding sources to meet identified individual needs.
Her strengths include encouraging independence, teaching life skills, and promoting healthy living. “Life is already full of obstacles, but when you have someone next to you, cheering you on, that obstacle becomes easier to overcome.”
Nikkia Morton comes to ILO as a Life Coach. She recently moved from the Midwest to the DC area to study American Sign Language Interpreting.
Nikkia has 8 years of experience working with individuals who are intellectually and developmentally disabled and is dedicated to the work she does. She has experience as a Community Support Specialist, Direct Support Professional and a Youth Advocate Specialist. She has certification and additional training in behavioral management, suicide prevention and employment coaching.
Her desire is to see everyone enjoy their lives to the fullest potential. She enjoys being a dog mom, writing and cooking.
Master Consultant for Skills Inventory
Janice Ginsberg is a Master Teacher and Educational Consultant specializing in the teaching and learning of students with complicated learning profiles. Janice is an expert in crafting educational plans that meet the needs of all learners. She also works to train teachers on how to identify and interpret data to support the successful creation and execution of differentiated instructional plans and practices.
As an experienced educational tutor and consultant located in Bethesda, Maryland she works with both individual students and teachers. She holds both a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts in Teaching from American University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to embarking on her consulting work, she held a variety of positions at the Kingsbury Center in Washington, D.C., where for 15 years she was the Lower School Director, Director of Tutoring and Student Data Coordinator and an Elementary and Special Education teacher.
She is a certified Elementary and Special Education teacher and Wilson Reading Dyslexia Practitioner, currently tutoring students of all ages.
Skills Inventory Administrator
Sarah Klotz, M.A., is a Maryland certified school counselor and a licensed graduate professional counselor (LGPC). As an experienced educator and school counselor, Sarah has worked in both public and private elementary and middle school settings in Maryland. Sarah has expertise in behavioral techniques and social-emotional learning strategies and has a special interest in working with students with disabilities, particularly individuals on the Autism Spectrum.
Sarah speaks Spanish and is knowledgeable about multicultural issues in education. She has studied social justice movements abroad in Spain, Argentina, Columbia, and Costa Rica. In addition, Sarah has received a Master’s in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in Hispanic Studies from the College of William & Mary. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking and playing the banjo.
Skills Inventory Administrator
Erin Weymer, MS, OTR/L, is certified by the National Board for Occupational Therapy (OTR) and licensed (L) to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and North Carolina. She has been working as a School-Based Occupational Therapist in a DC charter school with upper elementary and middle-school students for 2.5 years. Erin also has experience from her clinical fieldwork in the community-based setting, travel training older adults with developmental disabilities. Erin has received training in Interoception-bringing awareness to body signals, connecting them to emotions, and choosing an appropriate action. Erin is particularly interested in executive functioning strategies, assistive technology, and building functional independence beyond the school setting.
In her free time, Erin enjoys reading historical fiction books and traveling. Erin received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Temple University (2018) and an undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University (2014).