This week we are taking a moment to introduce you to our newest board members Dr. Monica McCall, Jesse Smathers and Maria Walker. “As the NADSP continues to grow and advance our mission, it is important that we add leaders to our board who possess different areas of expertise that will inform us, challenge us and help us maintain our course”, says Joseph Macbeth, NADSP President and Chief Executive Officer. You can read the bios below to learn more about our newest members of the NADSP Board of Directors.
Dr. Monica McCall
There is a small segment of leaders in the nonprofit world who seem to be able to build relationships, support others with charm and finesse and have the ability to ‘gets things done”. Dr. Monica Y. McCall is one of those leaders. As Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Creative Options, Inc., she is the Chief executive operator of a nonprofit community-based organization who supports over 300 people with intellectual disabilities in Maryland. The organization supports adults and children and provides supported living, employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and specializes in the needs of those with co-occurring disabilities and people who may experience other complexities. Monica has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experiences directing over 300 employees with revenues in excess of $20 million. She has led nonprofit organizations through start up, survival, and growth modes.
Monica is an adjunct faculty at Goucher College in Towson, MD. She serves as the Past President of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Association of Community Services (MACS) and has been a keynote speaker and presenter at several MACS events. She is keenly aware of the needs of Direct Support Professionals as essential frontline workers and aims for their continued development, growth and success. Monica is a Partner in Coach Approach Partners who has extended its capacity building techniques to shift the mindset and skillsets through the Coach Approach and adaptive leadership, Monica is a Certified Coach Diversity Institute Coach.
Monica holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Coppin State University and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from the College of Notre Dame University. She is a recipient of a Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Services with a specialization in Management of Nonprofit Agencies in the School of Public Service Leadership from Capella University
Jesse Smathers, MSW, LCSW
Jesse is an established and forward-thinking expert in home and community-based services for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). He has held various positions in the behavioral health field ranging from direct care to organizational leadership. In addition to over 25 years of experience working to improve services for persons with IDD, Jesse has multi-year experience working as a mental health and substance use disorder counselor in outpatient treatment programs specializing in medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. He has presented at numerous state and national conferences on various topics related to mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorder services, practices, and leadership.
Jesse holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with concentrations in Social Studies and Special Education and a Master’s in Social Work with concentration in addictions studies, all from Western Carolina University. He is a licensed clinical social worker through the North Carolina Social Work and Clinical Licensure Board. Jesse graduated from the 3-year North Carolina Advancing Strong Leadership in Developmental Disabilities program offered by the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware in 2011. This program was sponsored by the North Carolina Council on Disabilities.
Jesse is currently employed by Vaya Health* as a Community Relations Regional Director. His efforts at Vaya have included leadership of the 3-year “Supported Living: Making a Difference” initiative funded through the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities and the North Carolina Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project and Vaya’s organizational efforts to address the opioid crisis funded through the 21st Century Cures Act. Jesse accepted the North Carolina Council of Community Programs 2017 Public Awareness and Advocacy Award for Vaya’s Opioid Overdose Awareness and Prevention Program and was awarded the Marketing Association for Rehabilitation Centers (MARC) Chairman’s Award in recognition for outstanding contributions to persons with disabilities in 2018.
Maria Walker is currently the System Program Planner for Long Term Supports and Services at Polk County Health Services (PCHS), a non-profit organization which functions as the local mental health and developmental disabilities authority for Iowa’s largest county. Previously to her current position, she was the Program Planner for Employment Services, as well as Program Planner for Mental Health. Maria has been employed at PCHS for 22 short years.
Overall, Maria has 37 years of experience advocating for systems change and providing services for people with disabilities. She has held a variety of past positions including direct support and organizational leadership with non-profit organizations. Maria’s passion and leadership over the years include: initiative in the development of community based employment services; development of Polk County’s Mobile Crisis Response Team; leading Polk County’s Employment First system re-design; and developing, implementing and evaluating Polk County’s frontline supervisor training and credentialing initiative.
Maria graduated with a degree in Rehabilitation Administration from Drake University. From 1999 to 2019, she was a program and administrative surveyor for the Employment and Community Services Division of CARF International, an independent national accreditor for a variety of health and human services. Additionally, Maria currently serves as Chair of the I/DD Committee for the National Association County of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors.