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Carol MeredithCarol Meredith

Executive Director
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Carol Meredith began working for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 1998. Her focus centers around achieving equal rights and social justice for people with disabilities through systems advocacy at state and federal legislatures, county departments, and statewide public policy efforts. Most of this work is done in collaboration with other chapters of The Arc in Colorado, Parent to Parent of Colorado, Family Voices, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, and many others.

Carol currently serves on the Children’s Disability Advisory Committee, Children’s Steering Committee, and numerous other policy initiatives around the state including the Behavioral Health Task Force.

In 2019 Carol received the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from The Arc of the United States. In 2016 Carol received the “Heartfelt Award for Autism” from Firefly Autism, and the “President’s Award” from The Arc Pikes Peak Region.

Her passion for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities derives from her experiences as a parent of a son affected by autism. Carol works to improve federal, state, and local policy so that people with disabilities receive the services and supports they need to live rich, full lives in their communities.


Pam Bailey

Operations Manager
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Pam Bailey started working with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 2000.  She is responsible for the administration of all things related to the building and the maintenance of it.  She also provides information and referral to new families, maintains the general bookkeeping, database system, insurance policies, coordinates volunteer opportunities within the organization, and supports staff members and the board of directors. Pam is also responsible for various aspects of membership recruitment and grant writing.

Pam has an Associate Degree in Office Administration and past career experience working at The Arc of Aurora and the Arapahoe Early Childhood Network. Her commitment to supporting individuals with IDD is an important part of her life. Pam is the mother of two young adults and has a cousin with Down syndrome.


Cg La ScalaCg La Scala

Senior Advocate 
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Cg La Scala works primarily with families who have school-aged children with disabilities. A former teacher, Cg spent several years with Developmental Pathways serving adults with IDD and mental illness in program management before she started her career with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in 1984. Cg has a great sense of the practical application of state and federal laws in advocating for people with disabilities drawn from a wealth of experience.

Cg and her husband raised four children in Colorado schools, two with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Three of her children (who are now adults) have children of their own. Of her five grandchildren, two have had IEPs. All have lived “happily ever after”!

Cg also acts as guardian agent for two men with intellectual disabilities, one of whom she has known for more than 30 years.


Lee RayLee Ray

Director of Advocacy
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Lee Ray has been an advocate with The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties for 20 years. Prior to his tenure with The Arc, his career experience consisted of a decade in residential services, providing family support during the early years of Supported Living Services (SLS), and at a state run facility in Texas.

During his career, Lee has witnessed the transition and steady progression of the quality of life options for individuals with disabilities. Advocating during a time when people with disabilities were limited to highly restrictive settings and now currently assisting people in creating lives of independence and worth.

Lee feels incredibly grateful for the opportunities he has had during the course of his career. He believes the fulfilment he receives on a day-to-day basis in his capacity as an advocate is immeasurable.


Tona Collins

Tona Collins

Child and Adult Advocate
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Tona Collins taught life skills to individuals with acquired brain injuries at Developmental Disability Consultants before joining The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Breakthrough Parenting Instructor, and recognized parenting expert in Adams, Jefferson, and Denver County. Tona has a knack for meeting people where they are in life and helping them gather the resources they need to sustain their household and wellbeing. During her career, she has provided intensive home-based wrap around services to individuals with IDD, supervised visitations for families involved with the Department of Human Services, and facilitated parenting groups tailored to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Tona advocates for adults, children, and families on behalf of our chapter; providing education and support. Her outreach efforts include serving families and students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and 504 plans, transition planning, waiver programs and appeals, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Tona is a mother and grandmother who loves her family very much. She is passionate about advocating for others and empowering them to succeed.


Aida Abril

Adult Advocate
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Prior to joining the Arc Arapahoe and Douglas County, Aida worked in the New York City Police Department for 7 years. At first, she was a police cadet and then she was promoted to police officer. Aida’s education consists of a Bachelors degree in political science and a Masters degree in political science with a public policy emphasis.

Aida was part of the city council in San Diego, California. Besides this, she has partaken in many grassroots movements and political initiatives around the country.

She is a mother of two boys and one of her children has autism.  Due to her son, she considers herself part of the special needs communities and finds that families are the best teachers in the community.

Aida trabajo en el Departamento de Policia en la Ciudad de Nueva York por 7 años como cadete y después fue promocionada a oficial de policía. Ella complete su grado Bachillerato  en ciencia política y despues estudio y completo su Maestria  en ciencia política con enfoque en politicas publicas en San Diego State University.

Ella ha trabajado como council en el gobierno local y con políticos en iniciativas y movimientos locales.

Como madre de un niño con autismo ella también se considera parte de la comunidad de familias con niños descapacitados.


Michelle Perry

Douglas County Child Advocate
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Michelle has over eighteen years of experience working with children and individuals with disabilities. She ran a licensed home daycare center and worked in the foster care system for eight years as a foster care provider. Both of these positions gave her the opportunity to provide care for children with developmental disabilities.

Before working at The Arc of Arapahoe & Douglas Counties, Michelle worked as a case manager with Developmental Pathways where she assisted children and adults with developmental disabilities. Michelle is committed to and passionate about supporting, empowering, and advocating for individuals in the IDD community. Michelle and her husband have three children, one with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), along with family members with special needs

Michelle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with a minor in Early Childhood and Adolescent Development.

Whitley Conn

Adult Advocate
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Prior to working at The Arc of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, Whitley was an Early Intervention Specialist for a pediatric home health company helping families get connected with Community Centered Boards to start therapy services before the age of three. She has been passionate about helping within the IDD community since a very young age and has learned a lot through her mother, who was a Speech Language Pathologist for an elementary school. For over 15 years, Whitley has provided direct care for individuals with IDD but has recently gained experience in the case management and administrative side of the field. She has earned her Associates Degree in Physical Therapy Assistance and is EMT trained.

Whitley is a Colorado native who grew up in the Thornton area and she plays semi-professional women’s tackle football for the WNFC on the Denver Bandits.”

 


Julie Lacz

Adult Advocate
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Julie’s passion for working with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities started while working as a Para in Special Education classrooms where she saw great potential and abilities of her students. Julie knew she wanted to work with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for her career. She soon transitioned into a Case Manager role at Developmental Pathways, working her way up to becoming a Program Manager. Julie has many years of experience navigating the IDD systems care and looks forward to her new role at our chapter.

Julie is a Colorado native and grew up in Aurora. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, staying active, and raising her young daughter. Julie is an outgoing and fun loving person. When not working, Julie can be found playing soccer, camping, or spending time with friends and family.


Luke Wheeland

Luke Wheeland 

Director of Community Outreach, Education and Communication  
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Luke Wheeland is responsible for the administration of all educational offerings and community outreach activities at The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties. Luke is a Colorado native, born and raised in the Denver metro area. He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Sociology. Luke is a fan of the Broncos, New York Yankees, and quirky quips.

During his life, he has witnessed firsthand the transition and steady progression of the quality of life options for individuals with disabilities, as his parents worked in the IDD field for over 35 years. Luke grew up around people with disabilities and individuals striving to achieve independence and a meaningful life.

Luke has nearly 18 years of professional experience in operations, leadership, project management, and customer service and support. He began his career working with individuals with IDD by occupying a variety of roles including: Managing a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA), and Senior Program Manager to Interim Case Manager with Developmental Pathways for over 10 years.


Kelly LawlerKelly Lawler

Event Coordinator
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Kelly Lawler, Event Coordinator for The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties, is responsible for the planning and execution of social events tailored to the IDD community. Her love of work within the nonprofit sector began when she was the office manager for the YMCA, participating in over 100 events. She continued her pursuit of community service by founding a business that offered workshops, fitness classes, and individual coaching to people with the desire or need to make healthy changes in their lives.

Kelly has an Associate’s Degree in Communication as well as certifications in Health Coaching and Wedding/Event Planning.