Our Board

Members of the Board come from around the state and are appointed by the Governor to serve four-year termsAt least 60% of the membership consists of people with developmental disabilities or their family members. The remaining 40% includes representatives from state agencies, providers and other organizations within the disability community.

ELSA Diaz-Bautista

chair, milwaukee

Elsa is the executive director of Latino Alliance Applying Solutions, which promotes independence for individuals with disabilities. She is the parent of a young adult daughter living with disabilities.   

Barbara beckert

Disability Rights Wisconsin , milwaukee

Barbara has worked for many years advocating for individuals with disabilities through her position at Disability Rights Wisconsin. Barbara is committed to providing high-quality and adequate community supports that are critical for people with complex disabilities so they are both safe and welcome in their communities. “We all have a role to play in supporting people with disabilities to have productive lives!”

kevin coughlin

Dept. of Health Services, Madison

Kevin works for the Division of Medicaid Services as a Policy Initiative Advisor. He is one of the board’s official state agency representatives. “I am honored to serve on the Board and collaborate with the many partners to improve services for our Wisconsin citizens.”

Patrick friedrich

Milwaukee

Patrick is a self advocate.  Issues that are important to him include housing, transportation, and employment. He would like to increase his advocacy.  Here is his video statement.

desi kluth

pewaukee

Desi is determined to live a completely independent life.  “I want to make the system better so people don’t have to go through what I did when I lived in a group home.”

ashley mathy

rhinelander

Ashley is a disability advocate who has spoken around the state of Wisconsin advocating for individuals with special needs. She is a Wisconsin Policymaking Partner, Employment 1st Ambassador and President of People First’s Rhinelander Chapter. Her motto is “Cross out the Dis and Embrace the Ability.”

daniel parker

Dept. of Public Instruction, madison

Daniel Parker is the assistant director of special education at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Board’s liaison with the Department of Public Instruction.

nathan ruffolo

appleton

Nathan is the sibling of a person with disabilities, a Partners in Policymaking graduate, and a longtime advocate for people with disabilities. Nathan works as a Disability Benefit Specialist with Outagamie County and Valley Packaging Industries. He represents non-profit service providers on the board.

Kelly Weyer

Mukwonago

Bio coming soon

gregory meyer

vice chair, monico

Greg has been very involved in the Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum over the years and graduated from Partners in Policymaking. He served as Monico’s town supervisor and is currently a volunteer firefighter. “I’m a person who has a disability that doesn’t let the disability run my life.” 

GAIL BOVY

middleton

Gail Bovy is the parent of a child with disabilities and a passionate disability advocate on the national level. While living in Washington D.C., she was instrumental in sponsoring and developing the ABLE Act legislation.

Pam DeLap

Oshkosh

As a financial professional, a mother of a child with a developmental disability and a disability advocate, I believe I can bring multiple areas of strength to the Board. My great passions are to connect with others and help educate families by empowering them to make informed decisions. 

cheryl funmaker

Wisconsin Dells

Bio coming soon

Sara Lincoln

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation , Madison

Bio coming soon

Shannon Mattox

Milwaukee

Bio coming soon

hector portillo

madison

Hector works at the Department of Public Instruction as a statewide family engagement coordinator. He is the Executive Director and founder of PADRES E HIJOS EN ACCION. “I envision a world in which all people with disabilities have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, and strengthen the civic life of the community as a whole. I see the Board as an opportunity to reach this goal.”

andy thain

thorp

Andy Thain is a self-advocate with cerebral palsy. From 2011-2016, he started and ran his own business that helped other people with disabilities who relied on in-home care,  He is very interested in addressing the caregiver shortage as well as issues around integrated employment for people with disabilities. “I believe given the right supports everyone should be able to have the opportunity to work and live fulfilling lives.”

Amy Whitehead

Waisman Center, Madison

Bio coming soon

george zaske

river falls

George is the parent of an adult son with a disability and has spent many years advocating for people with disabilities to be fully accepted in the community.”I want to improve society’s understanding of how much people with disabilities have to contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

Sydney Badeau

Brodhead

Bio coming soon

kedibonye carpenter

la crosse

Kedibonye is the mother of a child with disabilities and works as an investigator with Disability Rights Wisconsin. She has worked extensively with Wisconsin educators and families to promote culturally responsive family engagement and believes that we can accomplish great things by coming together and finding our common causes.

Meredith dressel

Dept. of Workforce Development, Madison

Meredith is with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. She has significant experience collaborating with statewide stakeholders to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. “I learned that it is very important for individuals with disabilities to have strong advocacy and self-determination skills.”

King Hall

Milwaukee

Bio coming soon

pam malin

Depere

Pam Malin is a sibling of a deceased brother with Down Syndrome and a lifelong disability advocate. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with disabilities especially in the areas of healthy relationships, boundaries, self-advocacy, safety and abuse prevention. Pam works at Disability Rights Wisconsin.

Stephenie Mlodzik

Appleton

Bio coming soon

Alicia Reinhard

Dept. Public Instruction , Madison

Bio coming soon

tricia thompson

Menomonie

Tricia serves as a family member/caregiver representative on the Board. Her unique perspective comes from raising her brother as well as living with two parents who were both diagnosed with a disability. She understands the challenges individuals with disabilities and non-traditional caregivers sometimes encounter. “I feel honored to be included as a member of a group I believe is filled with authentic voices.”

Chris Wood

Eau Claire

I look forward to being able to represent Western Wisconsin on the board. It’s an area of the state that I feel is sometimes overlooked. My personal favorite areas of disability Policy include ADA compliance transportation issues and the caregiving crisis.

Houa Yang

Madison

I hope that with my personal experience of being a caregiver and family member of someone with a disability that I can help speak out on behalf of him and others.  I want to help make a difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.