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.
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.
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.
Mark McFadden, Secretary
Mark McFadden is the director of the SUNY New Paltz Career Resource Center. He has extensive experience in non-profit administration and over ten years of experience as an adult services case worker at the county level. His managerial experience brings a wealth of fiscal, personnel and strategic planning expertise to RCAL’s Board. Mr. McFadden also has a background in Fund Raising and Public Relations for a service-focused organization. In his spare time, Mark enjoys skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.
Sheila Kilpatrick, Treasurer
Sheila Kilpatrick, a recent addition to the RCAL Board, has been a resolute advocate for housing rights for 17+ 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 new role at RCAL. She is currently Vice President of Operations 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.
R. Marie Altenau, Board Member
R. Marie Altenau is a semi-retired teacher with degrees from SUNY Ulster at Cortland and Russell Sage in Albany. She currently substitutes in local Elementary schools. Her past experience is mostly working with children with disabilities. She has also held leadership roles with Girl Scouts, conducted fundraising and badge work for the Boy Scouts, assisted with youth bicycle trips, and provided respite to families with children with disabilities enrolled in religious education programs. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance hiking, traveling, reading and gardening.
Ms. Altenau states “After years of preparing children with disabilities for the world, I find that the world needs to prepare for them. RCAL staff work constantly to see that the barriers to success are removed so that all may reach whatever level of independence and self-determination is possible. As a Resource Center, it opens doors to help from other places, if that is what is needed. I am constantly amazed at the ability of this agency to rise to the occasion and to go the extra mile when there is a need. I am proud to have been asked to serve on the RCAL Board of Directors.”
Marie was gladly welcomed back to the Board in 2016.
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 become a member of the Ulster County Legislature representing the Towns of Shawangunk and Warwarsing. He is also a member of the RCAL Board.
Janis Loring, Board Member
Janis Loring of Kingston, NY, has joined the RCAL Board of Directors. An alumnus of the Kingston School District, Mrs. Loring retired after working many years at the Ulster County Infirmary and at Alison House for UARC (now known as The Arc of Ulster-Greene). Mrs. Loring is a long-time member of the Reformed Church of Port Ewen, where she has served as Deacon and Elder as well as being a part of the Church’s mission and outreach committee. Mrs. Loring was active on the Kingston Against Drugs board in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Her personal interests include spending time with her family, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and hobbies to maintain mental alertness. Mrs. Loring became interested in the mission of serving people with disabilities as a result of personal experience with some family members. She is happy to be supporting RCAL’s work as a new member of the Board of Directors.
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.