Governor Abbott Appoints Nine To Rehabilitation Council of Texas

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 12/2/2015, 5:24 p.m.
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Neva Fairchild for a term set to expire October 29, 2016 and Susan May for ...
Gov. Greg Abbott

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Neva Fairchild for a term set to expire October 29, 2016 and Susan May for a term set to expire October 29, 2017 to the Rehabilitation Council of Texas. Additionally, the governor appointed Lonny Matthew “Matt” Berend, Jim Brocato, JoAnne Fluke, Paul Hunt and Crystal Stark and reappointed Casey Hertel and Troyon Myree for terms set to expire October 29, 2018. The council partners with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services to advocate for people with disabilities in the vocational rehabilitation process.

Neva Fairchild of Carrollton is a rehabilitation counselor for the American Foundation for the Blind. She is past chair for the Division 5 and chair-elect for Division 15 of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AERBVI). She is also past Texas state president and secretary of AERBVI. She is president of the Braille Revival League of Texas and former regent of Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Fairchild received a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and a Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Susan May of Austin is a program specialist in the Division of Federal and State Education Policy at the Texas Education Agency and a retired teacher from North East Independent School District in San Antonio. May received a bachelor’s degree in education from The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Lonny Matthew “Matt” Berend of Abilene is a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Texas Rehab Action Network and a former member and risk management officer of the Tarleton State University Student Social Work Organization. Berend received a Bachelor of Social Work from Tarleton State University and a Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Lubbock.

James M. “Jim” Brocato of Beaumont is the executive director of the RISE Center for Independent Living. He is a member of Texas Centers for Independent Living (TXCIL), Texas Area Health Education Center East (TAHEC), Texas Health and Human Services Commission Region 5 Medicaid Advisory Board, SILC National Congress and Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. Brocato received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a master’s degree in Human Services Administration from St. Edward’s University.

JoAnne Fluke of Lumberton is a volunteer with Partners Resource Network in Houston and instructor for Zumba International Fitness. She is also a former member of the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas Board, group leader for Kansas Youth Leadership Forum and former staff for Camp MITIOG, a camp devoted to children living with Spina-Bifida. Fluke received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Paul Hunt of Austin retired from the Internal Revenue Service after 37 years of service. He is vice president of the Austin Council of the Blind and member of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Access Committee. Additionally, he is former chair and member of Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Mobility Impaired Services Advisory Committee. Hunt received an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Macomb County Community College in Warren, Michigan.