The 2023 NASDDDS Directors Forum and Mid Year Conference is open for registration!
The NASDDDS team is unique among national associations. Most of our colleagues have 25 or more years of experience within publicly funded intellectual and developmental disabilities service systems. We have worked for federal, state, and local governments; public and private service providers; along with universities and foundations. We know publicly financed services from many different vantage points — as payer, provider, and as researchers.
Our working relationships with national leaders and researchers in the field of I/DD; our collaboration with universities; and our ongoing dialogue with federal officials at CMS, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and other federal agencies enables us to stay ahead of policy trends and keep our members aware of opportunities.
We are committed to building and maintaining service systems that are well managed, are sustainable and ultimately enable people with disabilities and their families to have good everyday lives in their communities.
Director of Technical Assistance & Special Projects
Mary P. Sowers
Mary joined NASDDDS in 2014 and became the NASDDDS Executive Director on July 1, 2019. Before joining NASDDDS, Mary was with Mercer Government Human Services Consulting where she provided consultation and technical assistance to state governments on a wide array of Medicaid-related issues, with a focus on integrated care, home and community-based services, and managed long-term services and supports.
Prior to joining Mercer in 2011, Mary held senior positions with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group within the Center for Medicaid, and CHIP Services (CMCS). During her tenure at CMS, Mary specialized in Medicaid home and community-based services, managed long-term services and supports (including strategies for reducing institutional reliance), self-direction, and strategies to design person-centered systems of care.
Mary also has extensive experience within state government and non-profit organizations serving individuals with I/DD. Like many others in our field, Mary has also served as a direct support professional.
Director of Employment and Community Services
Wesley Anderson is the Director of Employment and Community Services for NASDDDS. In this position, he co-manages the State Employment Leadership Network in partnership with the Institute for Community Inclusion UMASS Boston to oversee a consortium of state I/DD agencies collaborating to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Wesley has been providing support to individuals with I/DD and the agencies that support them for over 15 years. Before joining NASDDDS, Wesley Anderson served as the Director of Training and Consultation Services at The Arc of New Jersey. He provided technical assistance and customized learning and development to supported employment agencies, school districts, and government agencies. As a statewide resource for employment support, Mr. Anderson was responsible for developing documentation strategies for Medicaid-funded providers, facilitating strategic planning sessions, leading focus groups, and providing ongoing guidance during a system wide shift to Medicaid fee-for-service.
Mr. Anderson’s work on employment equity and adult learning has taken many forms, from speaking at national conferences to providing in-depth change management assistance to agencies trying to overcome shifting priorities, staff capacity, and systemic overhauls.
As a certified Master Trainer and Traumatic Brain Injury Specialist, Mr. Anderson specializes in delivering interactive, multimodal training and materials based on the best practices in knowledge transfer and universal design. Wesley also sits on the national board of directors for APSE, The Association of People Supporting Employment First.
Director of Federal Policy
In his position as director of federal policy, Dan Berland crafts the federal policy strategy of the association and pursues the interests of state developmental disabilities agencies on Capitol Hill and to the executive branch of the federal government. Dan engages with federal legislators and executive branch policy-makers, represents the association within the federal policy arena, publishes reports and analyses of federal statutory and regulatory changes, and prepares both the weekly Federal News Briefs bulletin and the periodic Federal Perspectives newsletter. In his tenure with the association, Dan has played a key role in NASDDDS activities around Medicaid HCBS policy, and new laws and programs such as Money Follows the Person and Community First Choice.
Dan received a B.A. from Northwestern University. Before joining NASDDDS, he held positions as a campaign director for an arm of the State Public Interest Research Groups, a national environmental and consumer watchdog organization; managing a SCORE! Educational Center; and as assistant director of leadership Howard County, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting civic leadership and volunteerism among adults and youth in Howard County, Maryland. Dan currently serves on the board of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. In his spare time, Dan enjoys reading, playing tennis, and spending time with his family in Howard County, Maryland.
Director of Communications
Carrie M. McGraw
Prior to joining NASDDDS in 2019, Carrie served as Executive Director at V-LINC, an agency which builds custom assistive technology for people with disabilities. Carrie negotiated a merger with another NPO to provide greater stability for V-LINC services and began at SEEC as Director of Communications and Development in January, 2019. Before her work at V-LINC, Carrie was appointed by the Governor to work as Communications Director at the Maryland Department of Disabilities. In this role, Carrie oversaw Executive Branch messaging as it pertained to disability services and disability policy issues to include social media, web presence, direct email, print releases, television appearances, and radio engagements. Carrie composed speeches and public appearance briefings for members of the Governor’s Cabinet, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor when addressing issues of concern to Maryland’s disability community.
Additionally, Carrie led initiatives to engage and educate the community on topics affecting those with disabilities and their families in Maryland. Carrie was responsible for planning and implementing large scale events which advanced the department’s mission and strengthened community partnerships. Finally, Carrie provided technical assistance to the Governor’s office and other state agencies on communication accessibility and preferred language related to the various segments of the disability community.
Prior to her work at MDOD, Carrie was employed as Director of Community Living at Compass, Inc.; a DDA funded nonprofit located in Beltsville. Carrie has also served as Assistant Director of Residential Services at The Arc Howard County and as a Direct Support Professional at the Arc Baltimore.
Senior Policy Analyst
Stephanie Mote has worked in the field of developmental disabilities and mental health services for more than 15 years, with experience as a provider, service director, waiver manager, and waiver waitlist support person. She most recently served within the Virginia state government supporting HCBS program development along with regulation and policy management. Stephanie is a proud Wahoo from the University of Virginia.
As a Senior Policy Analyst, Stephanie provides technical assistance to states on HCBS and other aspects of the Medicaid program impacting state I/DD systems. She serves as a key team member on projects in service to our members including service innovations, stakeholder engagement approaches, and equity efforts.
Stephanie works as a key coordinator on behalf of NASDDDS for the Supporting Families Across the Lifespan Community of Practice (CoP) in partnership with the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). Stephanie also assists state systems to build strategies to support people in the context of their families understanding this is often a core component to a trajectory of success. The CoP works with members to build capacity across and within states to create policies, practices, and systems to better assist families that include a member with I/DD across the lifespan.
Director of Cross-Systems Strategies
Stacy Nonnemacher, PhD
Dr. Nonnemacher received her Ph.D. from Lehigh University and most recently served as the Clinical Director for Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations in the Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs. In this role, Stacy influenced and informed policy and programmatic decisions related to state Medicaid programs focusing on clinical practices and behavioral science to affect change and create best practices in supporting people, their families, and other supporters. With over twenty-five years of experience in the field supporting children, adolescents, and adults in home, community, and school settings, Dr. Nonnemacher also conducted applied research and capacity building efforts embracing the application and replication of positive approaches. Stacy was Editor in Chief of the Positive Approaches Journal for the past five years.
Dr. Nonnemacher will be responsible for leading NASDDDS’ efforts to support states in developing positive support models for individuals with dual diagnosis, medical complexity, multi-system involvement (including law enforcement and judiciary), and other populations with complex support needs. In her role as the Director of Cross-System Strategies, she will lead NASDDDS’ newly established Dual Diagnosis Capacity Building Institute, as well as serve as a key team member for the recently funded ACL Co-Occurring Resource Center for Individuals with I/DD and Mental Health Support Needs. Stacy will also serve as a key liaison on these issues with partners such as the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), NADD, and Federal partners to inform emerging priority areas.
Dr. Nonnemacher’s new role involves collaboration with the entire NASDDDS team to infuse principles of trauma-informed systems and support into all of our policy and practice initiatives, and to ensure that our existing priorities, including promotion of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and person-centered practices, are reflected in all facets of this body of work.
Nicole Orellana joined the association in January 2014 bringing 12 years of administrative experience to her position as office associate.
Director of Financial Services
Megan Rose Sierra
Megan Rose Sierra, NASDDDS Director of Financial Services, has been with the association since 2008. Her key responsibilities are, but not limited, bookkeeping, contract management, and assisting with meetings and conferences.
In her spare time, Megan loves spending time with her children, reading, and traveling when possible.
Director of Administrative Services
katherine karol snyder
As the NASDDDS Director of Administrative Services, karol has responsibilities in human resources administration; association membership and board of directors management; as well as publications, ListServ, information technology, website, and conferences support. Ms. Snyder began working at the association as office manager in September 1999. Prior to joining NASDDDS, she worked for 12 years in advertising and exhibits marketing at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C., preceded by an additional 8 years in advertising at the Northern Virginia Sun and Manassas Journal Messenger newspapers. karol received a bachelor of science degree from Madison College in her hometown of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Director of Equity Initiatives & System Innovations
Regina Rodriguez Sisneros
Regina Rodriguez Sisneros spent 14 years with the Colorado Department of Human Services as the Contract Manager and Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Manager for MINDSOURCE Brain Injury Network. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Institute for Cultural Diversity & Cultural and Linguistic Competence. Her undergraduate work is from University of Colorado with a focus in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Human Development . Regina is also an alum of the Colorado JFK LEND Program and is their 2021 Emerging Leader for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Her experience related to disability started personally because of individuals with disabilities within her family, and her professional experience related to disability began in 2008 when she became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Regina began a journey of working with the community to develop policies and procedures that are person-centered, culturally inclusive with a focus of health equity for all families accessing disability support services. Regina sits on the Colorado’s Domestic Violence Advisory Board, and Community of Practice on Cultural & Linguistic Competence in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Advisory Committee and is a council member of the Multi-Cultural Committee of (AUCD). Regina is committed to her work creating systems changes that enhance and support the needs of all. When she is not working, she enjoys hiking, fishing, traveling, reading, cooking and dancing.
Deputy Executive Director
Teja S. Stokes
Teja is the Deputy Executive Director for the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). In this role, she provides a broad range of technical assistance (TA) to states on issues related to Medicaid structure and quality, organizational success strategies, and effective service modalities. She also supports the Executive Director in achieving the association’s goals and mission.
Before joining NASDDDS, Ms. Stokes served as a Director in the Government Health and Human Services division at IBM Watson Health. Ms. Stokes has more than 25 years of experience in home and community-based services (HCBS) program development, implementation, quality, and policy. At IBM Watson Health, she was the Project Director for the Health and Welfare Special Reviews Team and the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) TA Center – both CMS-funded contracts to provide direct TA to states. Ms. Stokes was involved in numerous projects at IBM Watson Health focused on beneficiary engagement and quality of care, including individual dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
She has held various positions within Virginia state government, where she supported Medicaid policy development, community-based behavioral health services, and provision of developmental disabilities services.
She has more than 25 years of experience in change management, including quality improvement, process mapping, strategic planning, process improvement, and group facilitation. Ms. Stokes holds a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership/Quality Management from Upper Iowa University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Mary Washington College.
Director of National Core Indicators
Laura joined NASDDDS in 2016. Prior to NASDDDS, Ms. Vegas was with Blue Cross/Blue Shield TN where she served as the Director of Employment and Community First CHOICES. While there, Ms. Vegas lead the development and start-up of Tennessee’s first Managed Long Term Supports and Services program for people with IDD. The start-up included assembling and training the Employment and Community First CHOICES team including care coordination, intake and eligibility experts, provider development specialists, and other specialty team members.
Prior to joining Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tennessee, Ms. Vegas was the Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Innovation for the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. During her 17 years of state service Laura specialized in policy development and implementation, Medicaid home and community-based services, strategies to design person centered systems, quality improvement and lead initiative to support department to become a person centered organization. Ms. Vegas also worked as a Quality Enhancement Specialist with the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) from 2013-2017, leading and participating in teams working with organizations to obtain Person Centered Accreditation.
Ms. Vegas also as extensive experience within organizations serving individuals with I/DD. Ms. Vegas began her career serving as a direct support professional for residential services. She hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master’s of Professional Studies, Strategic Leadership from the same.
Director of Technical Assistance & Special Projects
Jeanine Zlockie is the Director of Technical Assistance and Special Projects for the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). Ms. Zlockie has been working in the field of developmental disabilities (DD) for nearly thirty years which provides her with a strong foundation and understanding of Medicaid policy, structure and DD systems. Jeanine uses her background in Medicaid policy and system’s transformation to provide technical assistance to states to modify their Medicaid-financed home and community-based services waivers, and other Medicaid authorities, build Support Coordination change strategies and further employment initiatives. Jeanine also serves as faculty for the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.
Prior to joining NASDDDS, Ms. Zlockie managed the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs policy office. In this capacity, she was responsible for the development of Medicaid waiver applications, policy bulletins, regulations, legislative bill analysis, and training curriculum that impacted the Pennsylvania 1915(c) Medicaid waivers. She was the primary contact to negotiate and resolve issues with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and to provide waiver policy technical assistance to staff from Pennsylvania’s four regional offices. Jeanine is a graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology.