Our Staff

Meet the team carrying out the mission of NADSP

NADSP staff work tirelessly to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services. 

Joseph M. Macbeth

President and Chief Executive Officer

Joseph M. Macbeth is the President and CEO for the NADSP. He has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1983 – beginning as a Direct Support Professional.


Macbeth is recognized as an international leader in the advocacy & movement to recognize direct support as a profession and is a highly sought after speaker on the workforce challenges that affect the disability system. He co-authored the Report to the President: America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy for the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID, 2017), he was the Issue Editor for Impact: The Direct Support Workforce and People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities (University of Minnesota, 2018) and produced an award winning Realistic Job Preview titled “Working as a Direct Support Professional: We Get It Done” (NYSACRA 2011). While working in New York, Macbeth partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) by assisting more than 500 direct support professionals advance their college education through the “Disability Studies Certificate”. He is a guest faculty at the University of Delaware’s National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD) and currently sits on the board of directors for The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLCPCP) and The College of Direct Support’s National Advisory Board. In 2016, Macbeth was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a Member of the Advisory Council for the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, in 2019, he was appointed by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) as a member of the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Committee on Person-Centered Planning and has been recognized as a National Honoree, (2020 National Honors) by the National Historic Recognition Project for significant national contributions in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US between 2000 and 2020. He lives in Albany, NY.

Desiree Loucks Baer

Chief Operating Officer

Desiree Loucks Baer is the Chief Operating Officer for the NADSP. Prior to her role with NADSP, she performed provider association work as the Director of Program and Member Services for NYSACRA.


Desiree started her career by working 28 years as a service provider providing residential and community services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a service provider and in her role with NYSACRA she focused her work on the facilitation of cultural change in the delivery of services to individuals with intellectual disabilities by supporting a focus on individual’s personal needs, and valued outcome for integrated opportunities, the development of new leaders and strong teams in a variety of settings, and the promotion of direct of support professionals in the areas of role recognition and professional development. In her work at NYSACRA, Desiree worked on Direct Support Professional workforce development through participation in the New York State Developmental Disabilities Talent Development Consortium Workgroup focusing on the development of the DSP and Front line Supervisor Core Competencies and the implementation and promotion of New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation fostering the education and development of direct support professionals in the areas of the New York State DSP core competencies and the NADSP code of ethics. She has worked closely as part of a mentoring team with the Direct Support Professionals Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS) and as staff liaison for NYSACRA’s Workforce Committee. In 2015 she joined the faculty for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and has participated in providing training opportunities to help develop a culture of Direct Support Professional recognition and development throughout New York State. Additionally in this role she has presented webinars to promote Direct Support Professional education and development, and has published an article about guardianship and supported decision making in the Frontline Initiative. In the past two years Desiree has worked with CUNY/Hunter College on the design and pilot of a model of supported decision making, as an alternative to guardianship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Desiree has a Master’s Degree from Sage Graduate School in Health Services Administration.

John Raffaele

Director of Educational Services

John Raffaele is the Director of Educational Services for the NADSP. John is a Master Social Worker and a highly experienced professional adult educator and facilitator.


John’s graduate education is from Yeshiva University in New York City and State University of New York at New Paltz, NY. His career spans three decades and those years have been spent teaching direct support professionals and the people they support. Most of the people with whom he has worked and supported over the last 30 years are people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and at-risk youth, and people with chronic and terminal illnesses in home-care settings. Between 2001 and 2012 John worked as a Director of Training and Education for a developmental disabilities service provider in New York and gained notoriety consulting and teaching throughout the United States. John founded his own international direct support professional consulting company in 2012 and over the last several years, in contract with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and in close partnership with NADSP Executive Director Joseph Macbeth, has developed many exciting and informative training programs and helped propel the NADSP into national prominence. John became NADSP’s Director of Educational Services in December of 2016. John has educated tens of thousands of people in the NADSP Code of Ethics and Competencies and most recently, our Informed Decision Making curriculum and Frontline Supervisor Train the Trainer Curriculum.

Dan Hermreck

Director of Certification & Accreditation

Dan Hermreck is the Director of Certification & Accreditation for the NADSP. He has worked as an educator various settings, but since 2002 he has focused on teaching DSPs, Frontline Supervisors and others.


Dan has been involved in direct support workforce development and advocacy issues at both the state and national level. In 2008, Dan served as the primary skills mentor to the first three DSPs to earn national certification through NADSP, and he was the instructor for a community college class that resulted in the first nationally certified frontline supervisors in 2015. He is able to draw on this experience to assist DSPs and frontline supervisors pursuing national certification as well as employers who are implementing certification programs. More recently he has been part of the 2016 revision of the NADSP Code of Ethics and the development of NADSP’s E-badge Academy.

Nicole Dama

Office & Communications Manager

Nicole Dama is the Office & Communications Manager for the NADSP. Nicole joined the NADSP team in May 2018 where she provides administrative, event and communications support.


Previously, Nicole has worked with Families Together in NYS, NYS Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health, the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, the State of New York Office of General Services, Urbanity Dance (Boston) and the Albany Institute of History & Art. Since earning her BA from The College of Saint Rose in Public Communication and a minor in Social Justice, Nicole has been an active member of the Capital District community. She regularly volunteers with at special events throughout Albany. Nicole has been a National Coalition Building Institute Trainer for over ten years and looks forward to developing her skills at NADSP!

Help Us Carry Out Our Mission

You can join The National Alliance For Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) through NADSP Membership, and support us to elevate the status of direct support professionals.