The 2023 John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Workforce Advocacy and Leadership

by | Aug 14, 2023 | News


2023 John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Leadership and Advocacy

Lisa Burck

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Board of Directors is proud to recognize Lisa Burck with our most prestigious award, the John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Workforce Advocacy and Leadership. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a distinguished career of excellence and leadership in support of NADSP’s mission to enhance the quality of support provided to people with disabilities.

Lisa embodies the values of the NADSP. Over the decades, she has lead workforce initiatives in Mississippi and nationally with grace and dignity.  She is always setting an example for other leaders and sharing her wisdom with direct support professionals.

NADSP was managed, virtually, by a committed group of volunteers that loosely embodied a board of directors through the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) at the University of Minnesota.  During this time, Lisa chaired several committees and helped create the pathway for NADSP to leave the university to become a fully independent non-profit organization whose sole purpose was to elevate the practice standards of the nation’s direct support professionals.

In 2009, she became the Chair of the NADSP’s board of directors. The following year, she led a national search for the organization’s first, part-time director. Lisa’s determined leadership and unbridled optimism has brought the organization to where it is today. The search committee she worked with hired, Joe Macbeth, who would later become NADSP’s President and CEO.

Lisa led the transition of the board from a “working” board to a “governing” board, while always looking at the big picture of how NADSP would one day become a critical voice in the vast I/DD system.

After finishing her term on the NADSP board, Lisa has remained active with NADSP in a variety of ways; she is the longest serving member of the Frontline Initiative’s Editorial Board, the Mississippi state lead for NADSP’s Annual Policy Symposium, and an E-Badge Academy Reviewer. Despite all of her other responsibilities, Lisa has became a certified direct support professional at our highest level – DSP-III! (And – an Earner of the Month!)

She continues to be an active leader in the I/DD field as a National Advisory Board member for the College of Direct Support. In this role, she provides feedback to build knowledge and capacity for our vast workforce.

Lisa has remained a champion for the NADSP leadership team with support and advice. NADSP as it is today would not be the same without the pioneering leadership of Lisa Burck.

We will celebrate Lisa’s decades of leadership on behalf of the nation’s direct support workforce during the 2023 NADSP Annual Conference on Friday, September 8th in Pittsburgh.

To view previous John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Advocacy & Leadership honorees, click here.