Photo of two young people sitting around an office conference room table talking and laughing. One person's wheelchair is visible.

About Us

Our History

The Starkloff Disability Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities participate fully and equally in all aspects of society.

Founded in 2003 by Max & Colleen Starkloff and David Newburger, the Starkloff Disability Institute works on changing societal attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities through activities that send a positive message about living with disability in order to create a world that welcomes disabled people.

The Starkloff Disability Institute is the Workforce, Workplace Disability Advisor. The Starkloff Career Academy prepares candidates for competitive employment, and Starkloff Workplace Advisors prepares companies to welcome them.


Lori Becker Chief Executive Officer lbecker@starkloff.org Brian Chao Chief Financial Officer bchao@starkloff.org Blair Dammerman Candidate Programs Manager bdammerman@starkloff.org
Maggie Mahoney Director of Development mmahoney@starkloff.org
Katie Fields College Outreach Coordinator and
Disability Inclusion Consultant
Steven Foelsch, M. Ed. Director of Disability Studies sfoelsch@starkloff.org
Tom Giles Executive Coordinator tgiles@starkloff.org
Danielle Giuffrida Dream Big Coordinator dgiuffrida@starkloff.org
Jason Hartsfield, MSW Career Advisor and
Disability Inclusion Lead Consultant
Karyn Houston Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Outreach Coordinator
Video Phone: (314) 766-4636
Debra Mize Career Academy Associate dmize@starkloff.org
Susan Menhard, MSW Career Academy Director smenhard@starkloff.org

Board of Directors

Board President

Steve Degnan Vice President and Chief HR Officer, Retired
Nestlé Purina PetCare North America

Board Members

Dave Baker

Assistant Superintendent, Retired
Special School District of St. Louis County

Amy Bird

Director, Access & Student Success
St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley

David A. Blanton, III

Community Volunteer

Dr. Gerard Buckley

National Institute for the Deaf

Vice President and Dean
Rochester Institute of Technology

November Champion

Senior HX Accessibility Specialist
Edward Jones

Kevin Erbs, Secretary


Harriet Felman

Community Volunteer

Jacqueline Jefferson, MA, SHRM

Systems Leader
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion COE
SSM Health Care

Kara Kopplin, Vice Chair

Director of Regulatory Science
Permobil Seating & Mobility

Christina Lawrence

Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Nestlé Purina PetCare North America

Kathy Lovell

Disability Services and Outreach Manager

Regions Bank

Dan Nielsen

Senior Director
Talent Acquisition — Global Occupier Services
Cushman & Wakefield

Bryan Parrish


Adewalé Soluade
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Luke Terrell


Restless Productions

Allison Zuck


PGAV Destinations

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Volunteer Almost weekly, we’re looking for volunteers that are actively working in a professional setting to help educate, advise or partner as part of our adult and youth candidate programs.
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