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Wide Range of Topics for MASWM Fall Conference

The Fall Conference in Branson began with the Oct. 8 board meeting.

President Aaron Martin opened the Membership Meeting.

A group exercise on de-escalating problem behavior was among the activities that were both fun and informative.
Everything from legislation impacting workshops to de-escalating problematic behavior was discussed during MASWM’s Fall Conference in Branson, Oct. 8 and 9.

With over half of Missouri’s workshops represented, the meeting at the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center kicked off with a Board of Directors meeting Monday, Oct. 8. The more than 25 people in attendance got down to work quickly.

Two areas of good news involved this year’s transformation of state funding and increased MASWM services such as a new webpage presenting a searchable list of workshop business services (

Increasing Services

Several topics focused on what President Aaron Martin and the Board of Directors describe as “value added” services for MASWM members. “We’re looking at what we can do to make the association better serve our members,” Martin explained. “We’re asking, 'What do we need to add that can help our workshops and managers?'”

Other issues included increased meetings for the all-volunteer board of directors, which now include monthly conference calls to augment the board’s quarterly meetings. “The quarterly meetings are great,” Martin said. “We see each other. We get fired up. But then we go our separate ways. We need more frequent meetings to keep the momentum moving.”

Growing Impact on Workshops

One reason for the increased pace includes increasingly complex regulations like the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and its requirements for training. With MASWM’s leadership, Missouri is among the nation’s leaders for WIOA compliance and is increasingly used as a model nationwide.

Another instance of Missouri leadership is likely to involve House Bill 6471 recently proposed by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. The bill would eliminate some of the prohibitions against cooperation between workshops and school districts. Legislative Co-Chairs Kit Brewer and Brian Hogan noted the issue further illustrates Missouri progress in solving problems.

”It would also underscore the success of our Missouri model,” Brewer said of the proposed bill. “Missouri workshops are showing the way in a lot of areas.”

Other highlights from the two-day conference included:

• Upcoming events will include the annual Legislative Meeting in Jefferson City scheduled for Jan. 28-29 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City and the annual meeting April 10,11 and 12 at the Lodge of the Four Seasons. MASWM is also working to schedule the first of several district meetings Nov. 11 in Boonville.

• Introduced Shelly Knight who is taking over for Leslie Miles as the workshop liaison for the Sheltered Workshop Insurance of Missouri for Gallagher.

• Discussed trends in managed care and targeted case management that may impact everything from workshop health insurance to transportation.

• Introduced new legislative consultant Lynne Schlosser who emphasized the importance of workshop, manager and consumer contacts with state and federal legislators.

• Heard from Linda Kimrey on MASWM training programs, including the potential for online training to be added to the MASWM website.

• Welcomed new managers Lauren Hall at Southeast Enterprises, Amy Cox at Tantone and Laura Giebler at Phelps County Industrial Solutions.

• Followed up on the April approval of the White Paper on “Employment Choices for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” The paper may be downloaded from this link.

• Held a training session on the Missouri Sunshine Law with Casey Lawrence, director of Sunshine Law Compliance and Records Management for the Missouri Attorney General’s office. Her PowerPoint is available here.

• Held a training session on building “sensory spaces” with Rob Libera and Stacey Elster of Lafayette Industries. This two-part program featured details on Lafayette Industries’ cutting-edge techniques for de-escalating problematic behaviors. A PDF of the presentation can be downloaded here.

MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact: President Aaron Martin – (816) 796-7070 or;
or Legislative Co-Chairs: Kit Brewer – (660) 263-6202 or
and Brian Hogan – (816) 483-1620 or