SOAR Keynote Speakers
We are pleased to announce Emmanuel Jenkins, Phillip McGruder, and Colin Olenick as our keynote speakers for the 2023 SOAR Conference!
Emmanuel Jenkins is the founder of a nonprofit organization called We Stand 4 Something. His organization supports individuals with disabilities and their families. Emmanuel is employed by the state of Delaware, where he works full-time for the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council as a Community Relations Officer. Emmanuel serves on many Boards and Commissions, locally and nationally. He is the chair of the state of Delaware’s Rehabilitation Council, the chair of the Delaware Employment First Oversight Commission, and the vice chair of the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Services Advisory Committee. Emmanuel graduated from the Partners in Policymaking program in 2014. Emmanuel recently became a member of the Advisory Committee for the Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance. He is also the chair of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) Self-Advocacy Committee. After completing his LEND cohort, Emmanuel Became a LEND Faculty Member for the University of Delaware, Self-Advocacy Discipline. Emmanuel married his wife and 2009. He is the proud father of a 17-year-old; Emmanuel is also a motivational speaker with over 20 years of experience. Emmanuel hopes to hold a seat in Congress in the near future.
Phillip McGruder is a member of the Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) and is a native of Kansas City, KS. Phillip is passionate about advocating for autism awareness and education. He also works with community partners to find ways to better support people with autism and their families. As of January 2021, Phillip also serves on the Kansas Disability Caucus.
Colin Olenick is SACK’s Legislative Liason, and tracks legislation that affects people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Kansas. Colin also provides testimony for proposed Kansas legislation regarding Kansans with disabilities. He has been employed with SACK since 2018 and was SACK's Vice President in 2007-2008.