SOAR Conference Headline Speakers
Ollie Cantos, Esq.
National Disability Leader and Advocate
Starting at age 20, Ollie became a leader at the local, state, and national level within the National Federation of the Blind. He became a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles and later moved to Washington, DC to become General Counsel and Director of Programs for American Association of People with Disabilities. Next, Ollie moved to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as Special Assistant and later Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. Ollie was appointed for two terms as Associate Director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House under President George W. Bush. Ollie subsequently returned to the Justice Department, accepting an appointment at age 37 to serve as Vice-Chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Today, Ollie continues his public service as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.
Ollie has also been a Big Brother mentor, 3-time marathon finisher, business owner, non-profit board member, and member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is the proud adoptive father of three blind triplet boys, who are now thriving adults.
Garrett is the founder of Garrett’s Fight for Fitness, a foundation with a mission to turn disabilities into abilities by making needed modifications to training and finding ways to conquer limitations. The foundation promotes the integration of individuals with various disabilities into athletics by providing individualized coaching and adaptive training.
Michael travels the country performing at clubs, schools, and conferences. He is the 2017 winner of the Montana Comedy Competition, the 2012 FunyFest talent search in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and several other comedy awards. Michael’s humor is surprising, full of insight, and good-natured, leaving his audiences feeling light-hearted with a new perspective on life.
Before starting KLC, Ed served two terms in the Kansas legislature. Ed is the co-author of three books: For the Common Good: Redefining Civic Leadership, Your Leadership Edge: Lead Anytime, Anywhere and What’s Right With Kansas: Everyday Citizens Transforming Their State.