The Alliance for Expanding America’s Workforce Announces New Executive Board

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the Alliance for Expanding America’s Workforce (AEAW), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing federal procurement processes to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities, announced its inaugural executive board for the 2024-2026 term. Board members include Kim Knackstedt, Art Spring, Karen DaPonte Thornton, Ashley Harris Whaley, and Michael Wooten. The board will lend its expansive leadership experience across federal procurement and disability education to guide and advance the Alliance’s efforts. 

“We are so excited to have the leadership of our new executive board join the Alliance,” said Dwight Davis, outgoing president of AEAW. “Having expertise in public and private management of federal procurement and deep ties to the disability community makes this board uniquely prepared to work towards expanding opportunities for people with disabilities, and we look forward to their leadership.”

Kim Knackstedt joins AEAW with more than a decade of accessibility and disability policy experience. Deeply informed by her own experience with chronic illness, Kim has made strides in disability policy as the first-ever director of disability policy for the Domestic Policy Council for the Biden-Harris Administration and is now the principal consultant of Unlock Access, LLC.

Art Spring is an account executive with Cherokee Federal who has spent his career supporting the military health system through digital transformation and IT modernization. He has decades of experience with federal procurement and a background in AbilityOne government contracting.

Karen DaPonte Thornton is a research fellow with George Washington University’s Acquisition Innovation Research Center and a director on the Procurement Round Table, where she serves on the Acquisition Workforce committee. She brings a deep understanding of the federal and military workforce and its needs to the Alliance.

Ashley Harris Whaley brings her professional experience as the Project Manager of Engagement & Communities at the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and her lifetime of lived experience as a disabled woman with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy to AEAW. Deeply familiar with education and thought leadership on all aspects of living with disabilities, Ashley is also a founder of the online learning community Disability Reframed and often writes and speaks on rebuilding antiquated perspectives on disability.

Michael Wooten sits on the board of directors for the Virginia Community College System and Procurement Round Table, bringing a wealth of experience as the previous Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. As a longtime public servant, Michael brings high-level experience on federal procurement policy to the board.

The executive board represents the twelve organizations currently comprising AEAW: Service Source, Melwood, GCE, Didlake, TVS, VersAbility Resources, ACHIEVE Human Services, PRIDE Industries, Eggleston, SOAR365, EPSI and Inspiritec. The Alliance continues to seek members interested in employment issues, federal procurement, and the greater disability community.

For more information on the Alliance and to learn how to apply, visit

About Alliance for Expanding America’s Workforce

The Alliance for Expanding America’s Workforce (AEAW) is dedicated to creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities by modernizing the federal government’s procurement process, direct hiring practices, and policies. Federal procurement is a powerful socio-economic tool that can maximize employment opportunities for people with disabilities and increase economic stability. To fully realize the employment potential for adults with disabilities, greater coordination across government programs and policies is essential.