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.
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.
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.
Maureen Brivett, Board Member
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.
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.