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. 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 is the Associate Director of the Great Plains ADA Center. He currently serves as Chair of the Columbia Disabilities Commission, Treasurer for Global First Responders and as a member of the National Advisory Board on Improving Health Care Services for Seniors and People with Disabilities for Anthem. Prior to returning to the Great Plains ADA Center, Chuck was the Assistant Minority Floor Leader in the Missouri Senate for four years and served eight years in the Missouri House of Representatives where he founded the Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball Program and sponsored legislation to fund the Mizzou Arena. He's a 1987 graduate of the University of Illinois where he received his bachelor's in Journalism.


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 Nowand serves as content manager for GP ADA Center websites. Julie is versed in all areas of the ADA and has designed and 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.



Ray Petty,Community Integration Specialist,

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, Accessibility Specialist/Liaison to ICC

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.


Lisa Tucker, Event Manager

Lisa has been with the Great Plains ADA Center since 1995. She 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, Senior Business Support Specialist

Martha has been with the Great Plains ADA Center since 2008. She manages all fiscal aspects of the project, including budget development, financial transactions, procurement, PCI compliance, and HR activities.  She assists in the planning and implementation of the National ADA Symposium and conferences, and works closely with the Executive Director in the annual grant renewal process, preparation of project reports. Martha is the liaison for University of Missouri departments, with whom she works closely to ensure compliance with University policies and procedures.




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 received his Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Missouri, Columbia.




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 power-points. She assists in the National ADA Symposium including development of the conference app.