- May 17, 11:00 am-11:45 am CST
Increasing Employee Engagement Through Support for Neurodiversity and Workers with Disabilities
As organizations pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, they are increasingly incorporating support for neurodivergent and disabled employees. Join this webinar to hear how Joshin is bridging the gap in resources, fostering inclusive work environments, and empowering managers, employees, caregivers, and dependents. Discover how Joshin is providing expert-led coaching, creating confidential spaces to disclose a disability, and promoting a sense of belonging for all. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights on how Joshin’s programs have empowered ERGs, benefits, DEI, and TA leaders to provide support for disabled and neurodivergent employees.
This session is hosted by the From Day One editorial team with support from Joshin and speaker, Melissa Danielsen Co-founder and CEO.
Joshin Co-Founder and CEO
Melissa Danielsen is a serial entrepreneur with a deep passion for creating positive societal impact. With her innovative approach, Melissa is focused on launching and scaling products and services that address unmet needs, particularly in the neurodivergent and disabled communities. Her journey began in corporate America, where she served in business development and marketing roles before transitioning to entrepreneurship. She founded her first company as a licensed Medicaid provider, developing person-centered programs for adults with disabilities. Her company was later acquired by a public corporation, leading to her next venture, Joshin.
Joshin is a tech-enabled support solution that offers expert-led virtual coaching, digital programs, and personalized navigation for individuals with neurodivergence and disabilities, managers, allies, and caregivers. Melissa’s commitment to this cause is deeply personal, drawing from her experiences with her late brother, Josh, who had developmental disabilities and epilepsy, and her own ADHD and dyscalculia diagnosis, which she navigates alongside her 7-year-old daughter.
In addition to her role as CEO and Co-Founder of Joshin, Melissa has served on several boards, including as the board chair of Joshin, and as a director for ARRM, Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota, and The Arc Minnesota. She brings nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and sales, with a focus on partnership development, program growth, and entrepreneurship.
Melissa’s life outside work is filled with the joy of raising two spirited and beautiful daughters. An active yogi, film buff, and podcast enthusiast, Melissa continues to address systemic problems through human-centered tech solutions, bridging the gap between access and opportunity.
Navy Federal Credit Union, Manager, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Programs, ERGs
Athena Villarreal is the Manager, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Programs, ERGs, at Navy Federal Credit Union. She has nearly 20 years of employee programs and strategic communications experience and is passionate about building inclusive communities in the workplace. Throughout her career, Athena has led communications and employee experience program strategies, integrating DI&B efforts to enhance company culture. Prior to Navy Federal, Athena worked at USAA, S&P Global, and Godiva Chocolatier headquarters in NYC.
She earned a master’s degree in international affairs: media & culture from The New School in NYC and a bachelor’s degree in communications: public relations from The University of Texas San Antonio.
Athena is based in San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband enjoy spending time with their daughters and their dogs. Athena loves to cook, read, travel, and explore new foods, languages, and cultures.
Navy Federal Credit Union, Supervisor, Employee Benefits
Shari Siegel is a Supervisor of Employee Benefits at Navy Federal’s headquarters in Vienna, VA. She has an extensive background in the employee benefits space. Her main areas of focus are Navy Federal’s Family Support benefits programs, Communications and Leave related-projects, along with working on strategic benefits initiatives. Shari has been employed with Navy Federal for over three years. Prior to coming on board, she spent several years in the health and benefits consulting field. She assisted employers across various industries with managing their benefit programs.
When Shari isn’t working, she loves spending time with her family, along with traveling, hiking, and reading.
From Day One Contributing Editor
Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza is a freelance journalist and From Day One contributing editor who writes about work, the job market, and women’s experiences in the workplace. Her work has appeared in the BBC, The Washington Post, Quartz at Work, Fast Company, and Digiday’s Worklife.