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Board Members

of the Resource Center for Accessible Living

RCAL staff is grateful to the dedicated team of people who volunteer to serve on our Board of Directors.  The passion, wisdom and effort they bring to the table helps RCAL provide the community with Vital Services. 

Headshot of Chair, Melissa Rappleyea
Melissa Rappleyea

Melissa Rappleyea, Chair


Melissa Rappleyea worked for RCAL for twelve plus years as a Medicaid Service Coordinator. A loyal and respected employee, Melissa understands RCAL’s strengths and challenges as few others do. Now a Care Manager working for Tri-County Care, she offers her experience at RCAL along with new skills in a new organization and an understanding of a changing field to the Board.

Headshot of Vice-Chair, Kathy A. McMahon
Kathy McMahon

Kathy A. McMahon, Vice-Chair


Kathy McMahon has a strong and extensive background in advocacy. She has fifteen years of experience as President and CEO of Hospice & Palliative Care Association of New York, as well as years of consulting with Leading Age New York and her service as Executive Director of Michigan Health Association. She has a strong interest and background in non-profit governance both as a professional and as a volunteer.

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Maureen Brivett

Maureen Brivett, Secretary

Maureen Brivett, Business Counselor at Women’s Enterprise Development Center Mid-Hudson has a background in Education as a Teacher and Financial Services - Banking and Insurance.  She contributes to her community through mentoring and volunteering.  Maureen was a volunteer Ombudsman with Hands On Hudson Valley (now closed) and was assigned to Moran’s Rest Home,  (now closed) where she worked with the Administrator to address and resolve residents needs and concerns. She worked to find resolutions to the issues and ensure that residents are treated fairly and with respect.  Maureen looks forward to sharing and supporting RCAL’s vision of a fully accessible and integrated community with no barriers for people with disabilities.

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Alex Stier

Alex Stier, Treasurer

Alex Stier is a well-known entrepreneur in Ulster and Dutchess Counties. With a first-responder 

background in New Paltz in the 1970’s, he founded transportation businesses in Rhinebeck in the 

1980’s+, then continued in the last 20 years as the owner of Home Plate Caterers – Kingston & Olive’s 

Country Store & Café – Shokan employing upwards of 35 staff. Continually involved in the community, he 

was a Board Member of Always There Homecare and is an active participant with the Ulster County 

Chamber of Commerce, Kingston Kiwanis, United Way of Ulster County, Benedictine Health Foundation, 

People’s Place and a supporter of numerous additional non-profits. With one of his adult children 

requiring power wheelchair assistance, Alex and his wife have been involved in independent and 

accessible living, inclusion and advocacy for special needs for over 20 years. Recently selling both 

businesses he is currently the owner/partner of the D’Addezio Real Estate Team, Keller Williams Hudson 

Valley North Office.       

Sheila Kilpatrick
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Sheila Kilpatrick, Board Member

Sheila Kilpatrick has been a resolute advocate for housing rights for 22+ years. She is passionate about decent affordable housing being available to all. She brings expertise in program management, human resources, and fiscal oversight, and excellent interpersonal skills to her role on the RCAL Board of Directors. She is currently Chief Operating Officer at RUPCO, a strong partner organization to RCAL, serving many of the same individuals, with the same commitment to accessibility and inclusion for all residents of Ulster County.

Headshot of Board Member, Craig Lopez
Craig Lopez

Craig Lopez, Board Member

Craig Lopez is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. After suffering a high-level spinal cord injury in an automobile accident during his senior year in November of 1993, he has overcome many challenges and became a member of the Ulster County Legislature representing the Towns of Shawangunk and Warwarsing. He is also a member of the RCAL Board. 

Florence Staats

Florence Staats

A retired college professor of art and Assistant Dean/Directorresponsible for a variety of SUNY statewide programs that served thecommunity, students and assisted in faculty development.Current activities include Seniors Serving in Place (SSIP209), Friendsof Rosendale Library, StateWide Senior Action Council, certifiedmember of Ulster County Animal Response Team. Florence enjoys working onprojects to help forgotten members of society.


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Jeff Woodard

Jeff Woodard

Jefff Woodard comes to RCAL with 20 years of special needs youth development and advocacy experience. He is a Special Education teacher in the Capital Region working with medically fragile students with profound disabilities. Jeff owns a small business located in Albany, New York that specializes in connecting individuals with disabilities to their communities via low and high tech adapted services; meant to remove the barriers which prevent special populations from fully experiencing their communities.

After witnessing the visibility of disabilities and representation within the Hudson Valley grow over the past few years, Jeff was drawn to several RCAL backed community events and has been inspired to get involved and act. He is excited to join the RCAL Board of Directors and looks forward to enjoying to supporting all that the Hudson Valley has to offer its denizens.

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley

In addition to dedicating his time to advocacy and access, Jeff enjoys art and hanging with his dog, Andie Warhol.



Emma Hambright, Board Member

Ms. Hambright is a civil rights attorney specializing in advocating for services and supports for vulnerable populations. Ms. Hambright is licensed to practice law in California and Washington DC. She brings with her an extensive background in state and federally funded social and human services programs, working for legal and community-based non-profits and state agencies to design and enforce service provision, quality management, licensing, community integration, fair housing, reasonable accommodations, and individual rights enforcement.

Headshot of Emeriti, Joan Gunderson
Joan Gunderson

Joan Gunderson, Emeriti 

Joan Gunderson is the original founder of RCAL. After her own personal experience of living with a disability, Joan applied for, and won a grant in 1982 to establish the Resource Center for Accessible Living (RCAL), which was incorporated in 1983. New York State was in its fourth year of the Independent Living Movement at this time. RCAL was one of the first Independent Living Centers (ILCs) established in New York. 

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