About Our Team
Janet Williams, PhD
Founder & CEODr. Janet Williams is the founder and CEO of communityworks, inc. and Minds Matter, LLC. She has dedicated her life to working for individuals with brain injury and their families since 1982. She is dedicated to finding ways for people with brain injuries to be as independent as possible. She is co-editor of Head Injury: A Family Matter (1991) and Children with Acquired Brain Injury: Educating and Supporting Families (1996). She also has a chapter in the 2014 book, Social Capital: the key to macro change. Dr. Williams has also published many journal articles and presents nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to disability. In addition to academic work, she has traveled to all 50 states in the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and India on study visits researching rehabilitation systems for people with brain injuries. The services of Minds Matter LLC are designed from the best of what Dr. Williams has researched and witnessed. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Providence College, her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College and her PhD from the University of Kansas in Family Studies and Disability. She makes her home in Kansas with her 2 daughters.
Chief Operating OfficerLaura Boswell is the Chief Operating Officer for communityworks, inc. and Minds Matter, LLC. Laura dedicates her time to overseeing the employment program, managing vendor contracts, developing new lines of business, and analyzing funding streams. Prior to joining communityworks, inc., she worked at a private equity firm specializing in home health care.
Laura is a graduate of the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, where she received both her Bachelor’s degree and her MBA with an emphasis in Finance.
Laura enjoys sharing her passion of the Kansas City area by engaging with community organizations such as the steering committee for genKC, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s young professional group. She also volunteers with the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, Bloch School of Management Alumni Board, Univerisyt of Missouri –Kansas City Alumni Board, and Starlight Young Professionals.
In 2015, Laura was included on Ingram’s Magazine’s list of 20 in their Twenties.
In her free time, Laura enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Employment Program ManagerMadeline Giesler is the Employment Program Manager for communityworks inc. and Minds Matter, LLC. Madeline supervises the End Dependence Kansas employment program at communityworks inc. and the team of employment specialists as they work with individuals of all abilities find successful employment in the community. Madeline develops relationships with employers, organizations, and service providers to build a network of support for individuals looking for employment.
Before working with communityworks inc., Madeline was earning her Master’s degree in Social Welfare with an emphasis in administration, advocacy and policy from the University of Kansas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. From 2014-16, she worked as a Clinical Administrative Intern at SAFEHOME domestic violence agency in Overland Park, Kansas. Madeline is a licensed social worker through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.
In 2012, Madeline received the Volunteer Advocate of the Year from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) while volunteering for the Willow Domestic Violence Agency in Lawrence, Kansas. Madeline enjoys being outdoors, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
Employment SpecialistKellie Jones is an Employment Specialist for End Dependence Kansas (EDK) and works with youth transitioning from high school to employment. Kellie worked at Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) for 15 years before joining communityworks inc. in September of 2016. While with KCPS, some of her positions included special education teacher, Parent Involvement Coordinator and Parent Educator. Kellie’s passions lie in advocacy, problem solving and creative solutions, relationship building, helping families navigate complex systems and being an active member in her community. Kellie is a proud alumni of UMKC where she studied Elementary Education and Liberal Arts. In her free time, Kellie enjoys reading, couponing and spending time with her family.
Employment SpecialistCrystal Camarena began her career at communityworks inc. in 2016 as an Employment Specialist for End Dependence Kansas. She works with individuals receiving Home and Community Based Services through Medicaid waivers to help them achieve their employment goals. Crystal received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies through the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During school, she spent her time volunteering at public schools where she worked with special needs students and it was then she realized her passion for helping others. In her free time, Crystal enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and friends.
Rachel is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with her Master’s of Science in Applied Psychology with concentrations in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Evaluation Research in 2016. Rachel previously worked at the YMCA for multiple years and at UW-Stout as a teaching assistant. She joined communityworks inc. in September 2016 as an Employment Specialist for individuals exiting correctional facilities in Kansas working on the End Dependence Kansas contract. Rachel is licensed through the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators on Employment Services.
In her free time, Rachel loves spending time with her dog, Nora and her boyfriend. She also enjoys visiting family in her home state of Wisconsin.
Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer
Erica Bates has served as the Director of Rehabilitative Services for Minds Matter LLC since May 2014. Prior to working with Minds Matter, she held various titles at Gardner, Kansas’ Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital such as Speech Therapy Team Lead and Assistant Director of Rehabilitation. She has focused her career on working with survivors of brain injury as a Speech Language Pathologist since 2008. Erica is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and as of 2014, a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer, allowing her to effectively train others who wish to be certified. An avid advocate and educator, Erica provides training to a variety of audiences including rehabilitation hospitals, law enforcement, corrections officials and support groups. She enjoys being a planning committee member for the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City’s professional conference annually. Erica studied at Kansas State University for both her undergraduate and graduate degree. The focus of her graduate work centered around Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Transitional Living SpecialistA former Army/Air Force pilot and contractor, Steve graduated from high school in 1981 and served a 15 year career in the military until 1996. Steve graduated from Wichita State University cum laude with Military Distinction. Steve is a four year veteran with Minds Matter, LLC as a Transitional Living Specialist. Through this role, Steve helps consumers learn valuable independent living skills to assist them in leading the life they wish to live. Steve frequently speaks at local TBI support groups in Paola, Lawrence, and Johnson County, Kansas. Steve was invited to speak in Alaska and present to professionals from all over the country. Steve spreads his stories, experiences, and knowledge using humor and his open, light-hearted disposition.
Transitional Living SpecialistOriginally from Topeka, KS, Kevin has been a Transitional Living Specialist with Minds Matter, LLC since 2010. Through this role, Kevin helps consumers learn independent living skills to assist them to live, work and play in the community. He’s been involved with communityworks, inc. since a long, six year journey pursuing disability determination to enable him access to rehabilitation services. After attending college, Kevin started his career as an Architectural Drafter for a shoe company for four years. Kevin later moved to Nashville, TN to become a Construction Project Manager for a large shoe and men’s fashion company running six to seven projects at a time across the US and Caribbean for many years. Kevin’s latest accomplishment has been his transition to the Kansas Working Healthy Program eight years ago. Audience members throughout multiple states have enjoyed listening to Kevin speak. He recounts his journey and navigation of the disability system after his brain injury and becoming independent through his no-nonsense, entertaining stories.