Please read about the members of our Training Department and the gifts and experience they bring to each class and to your experience with Easterseals MORC Training.
Kym Juntti- Director of Training & the Center for Positive Living Supports
My name is Kym Juntti and I am the Director of MORC Training. I began working in the behavioral health field supporting those with complex needs in 1983. Starting as a caregiver in a group home for those with complex medical and behavioral needs taught me the importance of building safe and trusting relationships in supporting others. It also provided valuable insight into the incredible role these care professionals play in developing and sustaining a quality life for those who face marginalization in society. My current role as Director of MORC Training finds me continuing my advocacy work in ensuring that those who attend our trainings feel a deep sense of value and appreciation. We are driven to empower, mentor and educate today’s Direct Service Professional in providing exceptional care to those we serve through high quality, interactive training. I also work on numerous state and local committees to address the systemic issues facing behavioral health and the workforce that provides support.
I never take for granted the opportunities I have to mentor others entering this field! One of my favorite quotes is “ When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid,” by Audrey Lorde. When I am not working, I enjoy gardening, fishing, cooking and music.
Ed Kiefer-Training Supervisor
My name is Ed Kiefer and I am the Training Supervisor. I am fortunate to help lead a team of people dedicated to supporting those we serve through educating the workforce. Most days, I am involved with facilitating meetings, trainings, reviewing curriculum, creating necessary materials, exploring innovative ideas, and designing training for the Care Professionals, people being served, and families who rely on us.
I started in direct care in 1995 with the title, 30-hour Roving/Relief Habilitation Aide and I’ve remained in the field with roles such as, Home Manager, Behavioral Specialist, Case Manager, Training Consultant, Support Coordinator, and now Training Supervisor. I was hired at MORC as a Support Coordinator in 2003 and my early experiences at MORC helped shape my understanding of a Culture of Gentleness and contributed to the training initiatives that we offer today. The values inherent to our approach are steeped in the importance of emotional and physical wellbeing, unconditional valuing, and trust in relationship.
I think the best part of my role is hearing someone express how our training has not only helped them in their profession but has helped them in their relationships with family and others.
When I am not working, I enjoy hanging out with my wife, kids, dogs, and family. I also enjoy writing, playing guitar, cycling, and coffee.
My favorite quote is, “the time is always right to do the right thing.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tim Hylka- Senior Trainer
My name is Tim Hylka and I have worked at MORC since June of 2013. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in 1987 and my graduate work at Michigan State in 1990 (BS/MA). My current role as a Curriculum Specialist keeps me very busy. A typical day for me includes collaborating with Training Team members on the design, development, and delivery of live virtual and in-person classroom instructor-led trainings for current and new customers. My role also includes the review and generation of content for conversion to an asynchronous/learner-guided format using online authoring software. All work is completed to meet or exceed state and federal compliance standards and guidelines.
Values that drive me include living within a “Culture of Gentleness” as reflected by both sending and receiving love unconditionally. What I appreciate the most about MORC is its commitment to that culture of gentleness and the fact that it has a steep and continuous history of leadership in every sense of the word.
The main thing that really excites me about training those entering the human services field is being able to connect with others to share and communicate a mutual passion for the human condition. Outside of being able to meet this passion through my work, I enjoy reading, writing, listening, and being heard. I also really enjoy moving through nature both with others or alone. My favorite quote is by Gandhi: “My life is my message.”
Stella Cowan- Senior Trainer
My name is Stella Cowan and I am a Senior Trainer teaching both classroom and online courses. I have a master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.). The focus of my masters’ project was corporate training and development. My professional background includes training/teaching experience in the corporate (for-profit, nonprofit) and academic (adjunct professor at several colleges) settings. One of my areas of expertise and passion, is employee development (e.g., onboarding, mentoring, coaching). I am driven by a strong desire to help others succeed. Also, I am driven to continuously learn and grow – professionally and personally.
I am excited to share my enthusiasm, support, and knowledge with those entering the Human Resources field.
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” – Maya Angelou
When not working, I love to watch classic movies, work out, read, listen to music, journal, and travel the globe.
Kathleen – RN Trainer
I have had a long-standing relationship with MORC going back to 1975 as a Direct Care Professional when de-institutionalization of those we serve was just beginning. I worked in the field and was directly involved with bringing folks from the institution into community placement with the opening of several group homes in Macomb County. I spent many years within the local hospital systems specializing in Critical Care specifically Cardiac Nursing,
I have worked within MORC as a Community Nurse along with the development and implementation of MORC Home Care in 2000. I joined the Training Department in 2009 and enjoyed working with the caregivers in the classroom in both Macomb and Oakland County. Recently with the shift to online training as a result of the pandemic, I have been heavily involved in research, course and curriculum design of Health, Medication, Blood Borne Pathogens and Suicide Awareness training directly through remote online learning. Simply stated, “What I enjoy most about training is when a trainee has that moment of clarity and realizes the importance of the best quality of care that is needed for those we serve and how they play such an important role in that care. When I’m not working I’m enjoying my lake house in northern Michigan with friends and family. One of my favorite quotes is, “This life is not a dress rehearsal.”
Marije Markaj-RN Trainer
My name is Marije Markaj and I have been working for MORC since 2012. I am a Registered Nurse Trainer in the Training Department. I also have a Master’s Degree in Nursing and am a Family Nurse Practitioner. Some of the courses I train are Health, Medications and Train the Trainer. These courses prepare our Direct Support Professionals to provide care to those we serve.
Growing up I knew I wanted a career in healthcare. Compassion, determination and honesty are the backbone of nursing and drive my enthusiasm to care for others. In practicing the Culture of Gentleness, MORC has allowed me the opportunity to use these values in preparing Caregivers in their role. Supporting and caring for someone at their most vulnerable state instills hope and confidence in their overall outlook on health and wellness. This same concept applies to our Direct Support Professionals; providing them with the tools they need increases their confidence in the job they do in helping others.
When I am not working, I enjoy visiting the DIA, Fox Theater, live plays, concerts, reading and of course, health and fitness. My favorite quote, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
Robyn Frantz – Office Manager
My name is Robyn Frantz. I am the Training Office Manager and have been with MORC since 2018.
I spend most days supporting Providers, Direct Support Professional and MORC staff navigate our Learning Management System, Cornerstone. This includes troubleshooting, researching, registering for or creating courses, answering questions or just being a listening ear.
I enjoy the day-to-day activities that allow me to get to know and help others. MORC’s Training Team has a way of making people feel loved for who they are and meeting them right where they are at. I love being able to support those who are supporting others. Every act of kindness I can show helps them to see their potential and gives them a feeling of empowerment in their lives. We all have a gift to share, some people just need a little extra love and encouragement to find theirs.
Two of my favorite quotes right now are: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” and “Kindness is a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.”
I love spending my time hanging out with family and friends. Whether that be at a sporting event, sitting around a campfire or just watching movies in the family room.
Shane Potis – Senior Trainer
I am Shane Potis, a Senior Trainer here at MORC. I am involved in assisting with MORC’s virtual training developments where I develop current and future training offerings that are designed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) standards. I am also involved in training and facilitating new employee orientation for MORC.
I began in the human service field as a Direct Support Professional, working with both adults and children with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. After earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Oakland University, I worked in the child welfare system in Oakland and Wayne County before joining MORC as a Support Coordinator.
I am driven by the core values of Authenticity, Curiosity, Service, Flexibility and Compassion.
As a member of MORC’s training team, I am given the opportunity to apply my knowledge and background in both Direct Support and Case Management to advocate for those we support, as well as each other. As someone who has spent time in these unique roles, I understand the need for providing thorough, engaging and quality training opportunities to all those in the field, and the importance of accessibility without sacrificing that quality and standard MORC Training provides.
In my spare time, my interests include painting, drawing, home brewing, film studies, reading, and most recently, bee keeping. I like to stay active through tennis, racquetball, and camping.
Alex Kimmel – Guest Trainer
Alex is an experienced speaker. He is contracted at the local, state, national and international levels on such key issues as Inclusion, Disability Acceptance, Neurodiversity, Culture of Gentleness and Self-Determination. He has educated and inspired students, teachers, professionals, congregations, and the community at large since 2006 through his business, “The Self Determinator.” Alex is honored to be the 2019 recipient of the Robert Thomas Support Professional award from The Arc of Oakland County as well as the 2017 co-winner of the prestigious Dan Moran Award for inclusion and advocacy. You can learn more about Alex and his work by visiting his website at www.alexkimmel.com.
Ricky Bledsoe – Guest Trainer
Ricky joined MORC Training as a guest presenter in 2013. He passionately shares his experience of living in environments that did not honor his unique gifts and dreams for a meaningful life. He shares the difference a self-determined life in the community has made for him and his family. Ricky shares with those in the helping profession what a rich, full life means to him. He also explains the characteristics he looks for in a caring support professional. He provides a review of what supports professional can do to build a positive and supportive relationship with those supported and interactions that can increase fear, anger and frustration. Ricky is the business owner of DJR Productions, LLC. He provides outstanding DJ services for all occasions and enjoys sharing his love of music with others.