Maria Messina Wiersma
As a sibling of a person with a disability, Maria R. Messina Wiersma has witnessed first-hand the importance of skilled advocacy in improving quality of life through access to services. This inspired her to make advocacy her life’s work. After graduating from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Maria began her career as an elder law and special needs planning attorney. Maria is an attorney with Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices, in Southfield, Michigan.
Maria is excited to extend her passion for advocacy to her service on The Arc of Macomb’s Board of Directors, helping to support the organization’s continued good work for persons with disabilities and their families.
In addition to her service to The Arc of Macomb County, Maria sits on the Executive Council of the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights section (ELDRS) and was recently elected President of the Board of Directors for The ARC Michigan. Maria also serves on the Aging and End of Life Subcommittee of the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities. Maria is a frequent presenter on legal and advocacy topics affecting seniors and persons with disabilities. She was recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in their “Up & Coming” Class of 2017.
In addition to spending time with friends and family, Maria enjoys cooking, camping, crafting, and is a ruthless board game enthusiast.
As a funeral director at Harold W. Vick Funeral Home in Mount Clemens, I have worked with The Arc of Macomb County to assist their clients for more than 20 years. This assistance primarily focuses on establishing a preplanned funeral trust to 1) spend down assets to qualify for or keep Medicaid benefits and 2) assure a smooth transition at the end of life by having a plan in place.
For those clients who may not have the family or financial resources available at the end of life, we work directly with Arc to assure each individual is taken care of in a respectable and prompt manner. In the autumn of 2014, Shelly Taras extended an invitation to consider joining the Board of Directors at the Arc. After much consideration, a tour of the facility, and a two hour meeting with Lisa, I welcomed the opportunity to serve on the board. Over the years, I have assisted in the annual gift wrap at Macomb Mall, the former garage sale tear down in the Spring, and sponsored the annual golf outings. I believe we share a mutually beneficial relationship and look forward to serving on the board for the long term.
- Tom Beardslee is a 61 year old gentleman on the board of Arc Services and has served on the board for 15 years now and a consumer of Arc for not much longer. Tom has Cerebral Palsy and has been in a wheelchair for most of his life. When he was a child he was able to walk somewhat with steel braces (identical to what Forrest Gump used in the movie), but as he got older he realized he could do more in a wheelchair than with the braces on. When searching for agencies, he found that Arc Services had their own wheelchair accessible vans, when other companies didn’t. So he chose to go with them. Tom has not only served on the Board of Arc Services, but has also volunteered regularly at the bingo hall every time Arc had it, no matter what the weather was like outside.
My name is Theresa Chapman and I am an experienced healthcare professional & leader with a passion for developing, improving and implementing strategies, interventions and changes to improve the lives of individuals in both traditional and nontraditional health care settings. I currently manage a case management and clinical social work departments at a local hospital. I have more than 20 years of Clinical Social Work experience dedicated to helping individuals and families suffering from medical and mental health issues. I also have experience in transforming and leading teams, work process and programs.
I received a Master’s of Social Work degree from Wayne State University and have a Master’s Social Worker, Clinical & Macro License in the State of Michigan. I’m also a part time professor at Wayne State University, School of Social Work.
Most importantly, I am mom to an amazing daughter. We enjoy shopping, scrapbooking, reading, and volunteering. I have had the privilege and honor of being a part of The Arc of Macomb County and serving on the Board of Directors for over two years and look forward to being a part of the awesome work they do for many more years to come.
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From 1985 to 2001, Eman was in corporate management and leadership in the areas of finance, engineering, marketing and business planning. In 2001 , he was granted a fellowship to train as a U.S. Automotive Dealer conducted by the National Automotive Dealer Association and a successful dealer group. After the completion of the dealer training program, he was a successful general manager and automotive dealer for over ten years. Everyone’s business situation is unique, and we keep that in mind when providing business advise and services. TRWB was designed to provide business support and leadership to your business to keep you profitable.
As a father of a special need’s child, my family and I have firsthand interaction with the challenges of raising someone with disabilities. With that being said, I joined the ARC of Macomb to learn more about the services in our community offered to our special needs’ population, and how to make a positive impact for the future.
My educational background includes seven college degrees, leading up to, but not including my doctoral degree, just shy of that achievement. Over the years, I have been involved on several different boards in our community. Volunteering is a family affair as we have been involved with many organizations in the area – scouts, soccer, baseball, bowling, trap, and fishing. Additionally, I have been a public education teacher for nearly 21 years, as well as a college professor for 8.5 years, working with over 6,000 students and their individual needs.
When our son was younger, we experienced direct discrimination from local government institution. We exercised our rights, challenged those who declared themselves experts, and stood fast amongst those wanting us to take the easy path out, to prevail in our complaints. Pathing the way for better treatment for others like our son. Please stand tall for what you believe in and advocate for those you love and cannot advocate for themselves. We are together a stronger community, contact me anytime.