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.
Claudette Ford, Chair
Claudette Ford has been a Consultant at Clarose & Associates for over ten years. She received her Masters in Business Administration at Marymount University in Virginia. She was President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Hartford, Connecticut Chapter, which helped create educational scholarships. After she became legally blind, Claudette became sensitive to the need for accessibility and safety as it relates to persons with disabilities.
Claudette has served on numerous Boards (Keep America Beautiful, Pump House Gallery, Girl Scouts of America, Juvenile Community Advisory Board). She enjoys reading, theater and the Arts in her spare time.
Paula Kindos-Carberry, Vice Chair
RCAL’s vice chair, Paula Kindos-Carberry is a licensed Social Worker with a Privilege in Psychotherapy. She is also the Director of Social Work at Northeast Center for Rehabilitation and Brain Injury in Lake Katrine which specializes in Brain Injury, Neurobehavioral Program, Ventilator Care and Skilled Nursing Care.
Paul Scarpati, Secretary
Paul Scarpati is a locally based Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Professional who has worked in a variety of settings with people throughout the lifespan in the Ulster county community since 2013. Providing opportunities for individuals to achieve their highest level of function and independence in their lives is a driving force for Paul, which matches with RCAL‘s mission as an Independent Living Center. He enjoys problem solving ways to increase accessibility and reduce barriers to independence. This includes being part of a team that utilized a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand for one of his students.
Paul has been a member of the RCAL Board since 2005 and has participated as a Board member and on the Executive Committee. Paul resides in New Paltz with his wife and two children. He can be found on the hiking and biking and rail trails or traveling to campgrounds throughout the state.
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.
Sheila Kilpatrick, Board Member
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.
Kathy A. McMahon, Board Member
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.
Brooke Erin Lane, Board Member
Brooke’s foundation as a Special Education Learning Specialist has informed her work in the classroom, the courtroom, and even in a farm work program where she has been a coach, a mentor and an advocate for disadvantaged children and adults. She currently works with individuals to help them achieve their goals and visions through organization, staging and design techniques.
Melissa Rappleyea, Board Member
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.
Mark McFadden, Board Member
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.
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.