Merribeth Butler J.D. (Beth)
Beth Butler, J.D. has over 20 years’ experience providing subject matter expertise to Fortune 50 companies in ADA Accommodations process and disability inclusion strategies. As Executive Director of Disability:IN North Carolina with extensive experience in the private sector, Beth has specialized skills in balancing risk mitigation while promoting full accessibility to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce, marketplace and supply chain.
Ms. Butler is leading North Carolina toward the goal of disability inclusion and equality for all. Ms. Butler achieved her law degree from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama in 1993, joining the AL State Bar in 1994. Ms. Butler has focused her entire career on advancing disability employment.
In her early career Ms. Butler worked in the financial services industry supporting Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Compliance programs with SouthTrust Bank in Birmingham, AL before her corporate relocation to Charlotte, NC in 2007 with Wachovia Bank. Ms. Butler continued her career as a leader in Disability and Accommodations compliance while also serving as Board Chair of the Board of Directors for Disability:IN (formerly USBLN).
After leading the development and implementation of a centralized accommodation process at Lowe’s Companies, in 2016, Ms. Butler joined the Disability:IN Inclusion Works team, (formerly USBLN’s Going For Gold (GFG) team, as a Disability Inclusion Consultant. Working with companies like 3M, Qualcomm and Facebook Ms. Butler focused specifically on guiding companies and building comprehensive disability inclusion strategies that began a transformation of their corporate culture.
Ms. Butler currently leads the NC Employment Collaborative, (a three-year project funded by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities) that brings together agencies and businesses charged with statewide workforce development. Legally blind since birth, Beth leverages her experiences both personally and professionally to challenge companies to think, act and lead differently.
Patricia K. Keul (Pat)
Pat Keul, B.S., M.S, CESP, is nationally recognized as an innovator and leader with over 30 years of experience developing and managing inclusive disability employment services. As Operations Director for Disability:IN NC, Ms. Keul collaborates with our leadership, businesses and stakeholders to develop new programs and expand existing programs to enhance disability inclusion and equality across the state. Ms. Keul brings her prior experience in the non- profit sector, to partner with businesses to connect them to resources and source talent through our signature programs. As the Director of our InRoads to Employment Initiative (a three-year project, funded by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities) she works with our leadership to identify best practices and policies in disability employment services to create a collaborative infrastructure, of businesses, employment agencies, school systems, community colleges and individuals with disabilities, acting in concert as champions for employment.
Prior to joining the Disability:IN-NC team, Ms. Keul worked as a disability employment consultant whose clients included, The NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, Vaya Healthcare, InReach NC, Project SEARCH, Mecklenburg County, RHA Healthcare, Sandhills Center, and Alliance Behavioral Health. Ms. Keul is also the CEO and founder of Business ACTS, the first pre-apprenticeship program for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ms. Keul worked as a consultant for NC with the Project SEARCH founders from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, to establish the first Project SEARCH program in North Carolina. She served as the Project SEARCH state coordinator until 2014, expanding the program to 14 sites across the state. In 2010, Ms. Keul co-founded the Employment Support Professional Council (ESPCC), (administered by the Association for Persons Supporting Employment First (APSE)) and served as its first director for three years. The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) credential is the nation’s first third party examination process based upon national competency standards for Employment Support Professionals (ESPs). Ms. Keul founded one of the first supported employment programs, Supported Employment Training, Inc (SET INC) in North Carolina in 1987 and served as the Executive Director until 2002.
Celia Waller Boone, B.S.
Finance & Social Media Manager
Celia Waller Boone brings over 25 years of accounting experience in the manufacturing, healthcare, nonprofit and music industry to her role as Finance Director for Disability:IN North Carolina. She provides financial management services including forecasting, budgeting and sustaining the operational performance of our organization. Celia earned a B. S. degree in Accounting from UNC-Asheville. She has worked in a myriad of positions, holding many titles from controller at a furniture manufacturing company to a patient accounting support analyst for a Healthcare Information Technology Business.
Celia left the corporate world to follow one of her passions by accepting a position as Business Manager at a Charlotte, NC- based nonprofit. While at the nonprofit, Celia took classes and earned NC state certification as a Peer Support Specialist. Celia took on additional responsibility, teaching mental wellness classes on “The Healing Power of Forgiveness” and “Strategies for Dealing with Obsessive Thoughts.” Next, Celia worked with her husband, Ken in their small consulting firm in Huntersville, where she provided financial and managerial assistance to clients including Magna Carta Records, small business start-ups, and non-profit start-ups.
Celia joined the staff of DI-NC (then NCBLN) in 2017 and loves being part of our small but mighty team! Celia handles finance, budgeting, billing and State grants, accounting, cash-flow projections, payroll, financial reporting and tax return preparation. Celia has also worked as a church music director, playing piano and singing since her early teens, appearing in dozens of conferences, parties, corporate events and too many weddings to count. She has been a featured pianist on a live month-long streaming event at one of the larger venues in Charlotte, NC. In addition to their small consulting firm, Celia and her husband, Ken, produce and host several podcasts. One of Celia’s shows, “ISO Peace & Healing,” focuses on finding healing for emotional and spiritual wounds. It can be found on the Spreaker network, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and many other major podcasters.
Kenneth E. Boone, B.A.
Strategic Communications Consultant
With nearly 30 years of accounting and finance experience in the areas of financial planning & analysis, sales, use, and personal tax, nonprofit, creative property, and royalty accounting, as well as general ledger accounting, Ken brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to any assignment within this discipline. Ken earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and graduated Cum Laude from Kean University in Union, New Jersey.
Ken spent 10 years working at the national office of Deloitte & Touche in New York, where he was part of an elite team working on tort reform for the accounting profession after the S&L crisis. His successful track record also includes multi-year stints at Hewlett-Packard and Cooper Vision. Ken has spent the last decade providing financial consulting for large, independent record labels, providing financial planning & analysis, general ledger accounting and complex royalty account for artists, publishing, & sound recordings, while also providing financial consulting for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The relevant set of skills that Ken brings to his role of Strategic Communications Specialist is 5+ years of social media marketing and management with his company, Descant Music & Media Group. He has created and modified content across various platforms. Ken has a nonvisible disability. He has sustained profound hearing loss in one ear and moderate hearing loss in the other.