Relay Resources Announces the Appointment of Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian to the Board of Directors

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Balasubramanian will bring her expertise in disability inclusion and universal design to one of the largest disability employers in the Pacific Northwest

Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian

Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian, she/her, wearing a pink/orange blouse and a gray sweater

Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian, a lecturer and senior researcher in the field of special education at Stanford, joins the Board of Directors at Relay Resources. Balasubramanian, who describes herself as partially blind, will use her expertise in universal design learning (UDL) and her personal lived experiences in being disabled to support Relay Resources’ mission and growth objectives.

Balasubramanian completed her Ph.D. in Special Education at the joint program with the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University in May 2021. Her research examined facilitators and barriers to inclusion related to access, meaningful participation, and creation and provision of support for students with diverse disabilities. By scrutinizing the ableist and disablist confines of existing system-level processes and programmatic structures, her dissertation affirms that inclusion and receiving education in the least restrictive environment is a civil right for students with disabilities. 

Dr. Jennifer Camota Luebke, President and CEO of Relay Resources, welcomed Balasubramanian by saying, “I am so grateful that Lakshmi has joined our Board. Her depth of experience in evidence-based universal design practices will help us renovate our systems and practices to broaden our support for people with disabilities. Her insights will help us enhance the quality of support we provide all our employees with and without disabilities.”

Balasubramanian is a 2023 Walter J. Gores Award recipient, Stanford University's highest award for excellence in teaching, for her work in inclusive education with the Stanford Teacher Education Program, her support for students, and helping to change perceptions of students with disabilities. She is a member of the core team at Stanford conceptualizing a postsecondary education program and designing career pathways as part of vocational training for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Prior to Stanford, Balasubramanian worked as a public school special education teacher and inclusion specialist for 14 years, spearheading the design and implementation of inclusive education programs for grades K-12. She worked as an international facilitator on topics related to inclusive education and Universal Design for Learning. Balasubramanian is an associated faculty of the Stanford Down Syndrome Research Center, on the educational advisory group of REEL2e, and on the University of Southern California Public Health Consortium Down Syndrome Task Force. 

“The entire team at Relay has already demonstrated how this organization has been able to achieve so much in the last 70 years,” said Balasubramanian. “Their mission to help people with disabilities find meaningful work is the continuation of the educational work I’ve done throughout my career. It will be exciting to marry education and work to create truly inclusive lives that help both the disability community and Relay’s customers.”

Relay Resources creates meaningful work for people with disabilities through janitorial, landscaping, document and supply chain solutions. Get involved by visiting or contact us directly at

Contact Information:
Tiffini Mueller
Vice President, Growth

Original Source: Relay Resources Announces the Appointment of Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian to the Board of Directors

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Today marks the launch of "Power Hearts," an innovative initiative led by businesswoman and visionary Nora Abou Chakra. With each endeavor, Power Hearts embarks on a different mission, empowering CEOs to take direct action and make a tangible impact. Through immersive experiences and hands-on involvement, Power Hearts addresses pressing societal issues, fostering empathy and inspiring CEOs to become advocates for change within their organizations and communities.

Nora Abou Chakra, a respected entrepreneur known for her philanthropic endeavors, has once again demonstrated her commitment to driving social change with the launch of Power Hearts. Under this empowering initiative, CEOs from diverse industries come together to tackle pressing issues and create transformative solutions.

An example of these missions is hunger. Power Hearts combats hunger and alleviate the suffering of those affected by it. CEOs gather in a large-scale communal kitchen, where they actively participate in purchasing groceries and cooking meals for those in need.

The immersive experience provided by Power Hearts goes beyond the kitchen. CEOs physically hit the streets, personally distributing the freshly prepared meals to individuals experiencing hunger. This direct interaction with those in need further deepens their understanding of the issue, sparking a profound connection and a sense of shared humanity.

CEOs return to their organizations with a renewed perspective and a profound commitment to addressing the issue of hunger. They become ambassadors for change, leveraging their influence and resources to advocate for hunger relief initiatives within their respective communities and among their staff members.

Nora Abou Chakra, the driving force behind Power Hearts, expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, "Power Hearts aims to create a ripple effect of compassion and advocacy. By immersing CEOs in the realities of pressing social issues, we ignite a powerful drive for change that reverberates throughout their personal and professional spheres. Together, we can make a significant difference and create a more compassionate and equitable world."

Power Hearts represents Nora Abou Chakra's unwavering commitment to leveraging the influence and resources of business leaders for the greater good. By providing CEOs with transformative experiences, Power Hearts empowers them to become catalysts for change and advocates for social causes that resonate with their hearts.

For more information about Power Hearts and its upcoming initiatives, please visit or follow us on @power.hearts

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Original Source: VIP Minds CEO and Visionary Nora Abou Chakra Launches 'Power Hearts,' a Transformative Initiative Driving Social Change

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