• Project Coordinator
+1 612-626-2020
Masonic Institute on the Developing Brain
Rm 1-305B1a [map]
2025 E River Pkwy
MInneapolis, MN 55414

Mark received a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a minor in music from the University of Minnesota, Morris. He currently holds the position of Project Coordinator at the Institute on Community Integration where he writes curriculum and provides training to people who provide direct support. Certified as a Person Centered Thinking Trainer he provides individuals and organizations guidance on becoming more person-centered in their approach. Throughout his career, he has provided service to people with disabilities in recreation and inclusion, residential and daily living skills, vocational skills, and advocacy. In addition, he has worked in frontline management in the non-profit industry. His key policy interests include health care, disability, education, workforce recognition and development, civic engagement, human rights and the environment. He is past Chair of the Minnesota State Advocacy Committee for the American Heart Association. He is past president of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Over the past 30 years, much of his energy has been directed at making sure the frontline direct support professional has the tools needed to make the greatest impact on the lives of the people they support.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)



Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects

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Art for All: The Stephanie Evelo Program for Art Inclusion

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Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)

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Training for Direct Support Workers Employed in Self-Directed Programs

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Direct Support Workforce Solutions

Direct Support Workforce Solutions is a national consulting group addressing the workforce needs of organizations providing community-based supports for individuals with disabilities. Drawing on …


Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 4: Supporting Mental Health with a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Susan O’Nell, Aja Owens, and Stan Schmidt talk about mental health and the benefits of having a wellness recovery action plan. Below are links to some helpful resources and sources cited in this …

Published: November 2023

Self-Advocacy Online

A multimedia resource providing information important to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that is accessible to all. The content is translated into understandable language …

Published: 2012-Present

Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 6: Olivia Kaplan on Trauma-Informed Care

Olivia Kaplan is a life success coach at Carey Services in Indiana. She tells how her organization implemented trauma-informed care, what it took to train staff, and how trauma-informed care …

Published: February 2024

Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 3: Promoting Resilience in Direct Support

Samantha (Sam) Hedden, MSc Ed, discusses how direct support professionals (DSPs) can become more resilient and why this is important. DSPs continue to face increased stress in their roles serving …

Published: November 2022

Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 1: Introduction to Wellness Matters for Direct Support

Work stress and burnout can impact the quality of support that DSPs provide. Hosts Mark Olson and Chet Tschetter talk about their own work experiences as DSPs and how they approach wellness from a …

Published: October 2022

Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 2: Wellness, Flourishing, and the Importance of a Holistic Approach to Self-Care

Lynda Lahti Anderson, a researcher from the University of Minnesota, talks about wellness and flourishing and the importance of a holistic approach to self-care. Links to additional resources: …

Published: October 2022

Wellness Matters for Direct Support: Episode 5: Eating Healthy on a Budget

Jenny Breen has been a professional chef and advocate for sustainable food systems and food justice, and has worked directly with farmers and producers in the Twin Cities area, since the mid-1980s …

Published: November 2023


  • Direct support workforce
    • Supervision and mentoring
    • Workforce development strategies
    • Training
  • Community life
    • Civil rights
    • Community supports and services
    • Person-centered planning and practices
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Self-advocacy and self-determination
    • Social inclusion
  • Housing and residential services
    • Community group residential
    • Consumer/self-directed services
  • Employment and postsecondary education
    • Day training and habilitation
    • Employment and workforce development
    • Supported employment
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)


  • Training and professional development
  • Technical assistance