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More About Us


Jim de Jong, Executive Director

Jim de Jong is the Executive Director of the Great Plains ADA Center, which he has run since its inception in November 1991. Mr. de Jong is responsible for all programs and compliance activities of the Center. Mr. de Jong served on the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities, the group that developed and steered the Americans with Disabilities Act through the U.S. Congress in concert with Senator Tom Harkin. He served on the US Access Board Public Rights of Way Committee and numerous state and local advisory committees regarding civil rights. Mr. de Jong’s leadership and public presentation skills are recognized not only in Missouri, but throughout the nation.   Among his many honors and recognition’s, Mr. de Jong received the Leadership Award from the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities and The President’s Award from the National Rehabilitation Association.

Chuck Graham, Associate Director

Chuck serves as a systems and policy analyst and technical assistance provider.  He serves as a liaison to various governmental entities including the U.S. attorneys throughout the region and the Missouri Attorney General.  He served as the Assistant Minority Leader during his four years in the Missouri Senate and represented Boone County for eight years in the Missouri House of Representatives.  While in the legislature, he sponsored the legislation that established and funded the Mizzou wheelchair basketball and athletic program. He has worked for AFSCME to organize personal care attendants and with private developers to make rural housing more accessible.  Prior to this work he worked as a disability community organizer and was active in the passage of the ADA.  Graham, who holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has served on numerous boards and commissions and is currently active with the National Advisory Board for Wellpoint, a Fortune 500 healthcare company.

""Julie Brinkhoff, Associate Director

Julie oversees communications, publications, dissemination, data collection, reporting and outreach activities of the Great Plains ADA Center.  Julie has a special interest in product development and dissemination through web-based platforms. She develops and produces the ACTCP publication, ADA Now and serves as content manager for GP ADA Center websites. Julie is versed in all areas of the ADA and has designedand developed numerous materials on ADA related topics as well as on-line courses.  She has given presentations and workshops on a wide range of ADA related topics including employment, child care, accessible websites and software, principles of universal design, and k-12 education.  She has been involved with the Center since 1995. Julie received her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Student Services in 1985 from the University of Missouri.

""Mike Edwards, ACTCP/Missouri Coordinator

Mike has been with the Great Plains ADA Center since 2001 where he serves as Missouri Coordinator. In 2010, Mike developed the ADA Coordinators Training Certification Program (ACTCP) in conjunction with the University of Missouri College of Human and Environmental Sciences. He coordinates all ACTCP activities.  Mike has extensive experience in conducting access surveys, training on all areas of the ADA as well as providing technical assistance and consultation to individuals, businesses and communities.


Espoir Mabengo, Information Specialist

Espoir joined the Great Plains ADA Center in 2015.  Espoir provides technical assistance and manages administration of ACTCP membership. He assists in developing and implementing ADA Coordinator Training Conferences and other regional trainings.   Espoir recieved his Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

""Ray Petty, Kansas Coordinator

Ray has been with the Great Plains ADA Center since 1995 when he began as capacity-building and program evaluation subcontractor. He is currently responsible for the delivery of ADA Network services throughout the State of Kansas.   In addition to provided training, technical assistance and consultation to individuals and entities in the state of Kansas, he conducts outreach and capacity building activities. He serves on the advisory boards of the Assistive Technology for Kansans and the Disability Rights Center of Kansas and the task force providing accessibility guidance to the renovation project of the Kansas Capitol in Topeka. 

Rich Sternadori, Nebraska Coordinator

Rich coordinates and delivers ADA Center services for the State of Nebraska including training, technical assistance, consulting and capacity building. Rich holds a Masters of Education and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, with a specialty in rehabilitation and trauma psychology and has completed significant coursework toward his PhD. Rich served 16 years as a Chief Building Official and Zoning administrator and was appointed in 1993 by Governor Ann Finney to the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions for architects and engineers. Rich is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and  a member of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) in his community. Richard has been leading the Nebraska Disabilities Alliance program, bringing together the agencies on the front line of serving people with disabilities to better prepare for emergencies.

Photo of Lisa Hamburg

Lisa Tucker, Event Manager

Lisa has been with the Great Plains ADA Center since 1995 and is responsible for all details and contracts associated with trainings and conferences including registration, material collection and sharing, and evaluation and surveys. Lisa also produces the monthly bulletin,The ADA Report (TADAR) and manages the Center's electronic communication systems. 

""Martha Jennings, Administrative Assistant

Martha handles all financial and administrative duties for the GP ADA Center, including all grant management activities. She also acts as liaison for the office's information technology needs and assists with administrative and management details of the National ADA Symposium.


Sarah George  Data Specialist/Staff Assistant

Sarah maintains the OMS data collection system on GP ADA Center core activities and assists in quarterly and federal reports.  She also provides assistance on special projects and office activities.

Anna Guthrie Multimedia Specialist

Anna develops graphics and multimedia content for training, materials, websites, publications, and publicity including fact sheets, posters, videos, slideshows and powerpoints.