We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.
We look forward to working with you.
Jess Norem, President
I am a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the St. Paul VRS office. I have worked for VRS for 9 years, previously as a VR technician and VR representative. I was introduced to MRA as a graduate student and have been a part of it ever since! The conferences, trainings, and resources have been invaluable and MRA has given me the ability to connect with others in the field. The last few years I have been on the board of the MRA Transition Specialties Division. It has allowed me to grow my leadership skills and make positive impacts in our Rehabilitation community, all while building amazing and supportive friendships! Working in the Rehabilitation Profession allows me to demonstrate who I am at my core. I feel lucky that I get to incorporate my values, ambition, passion, and humor in a job to make a positive difference every day.
Amber McCort, Vice President, Past-President
I am a Pre-ETS Consultant with Illies Consulting. Previously I worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the St. Paul office. As a VRS counselor I focused on working with students and providing Pre-ETS services as well as working with adults. I recently began focusing on learning to work with individuals with criminal backgrounds. I am currently the President of the MRA Transition Specialties Division (TSD). I was a part of the creation of the MRA TSD in 2018 when Pre-ETS and Students services became a major focus for the Rehabilitation Community. I have been an active member of MRA since graduate school in 2015.
Alex Breiland, Secretary
I have been working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for State of Minnesota’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services since January 2017. I am a graduate of the Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling program at St. Cloud State University. I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). My area of focus include working with transition age youth with disabilities and youth who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I have previously served the MRA board as a student representative, program co-chair, and Vice President & President of MRA’s Transition Specialties Division. Currently I am serving as TSD Secretary. I worked with Amber to create MRA TSD in 2018.
Cristy Thomas, Treasurer, President-Elect
I hold a degree in Human Services and have been working with individuals with disabilities and partnering with businesses for over 15 years. I am currently employed with Productive Alternatives as a Placement Specialist, the MRA Job Placement and Development Division (JPD) President and a MN JPD Placement 101 Trainer throughout the State. In addition, and have been serving the MRA Board in the Treasurer role since 2020.
2023 Board Meeting Dates
January 12th, 2023
March 9th, 2023
May 12th, 2023
July 13th, 2023
September 14th, 2023
December 14th, 2023
All board meetings are from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Meetings are currently virtual, contact us for the link if interested in joining: