Nachama is responsible for overseeing the training and technical assistance activities of NDRN, supervising the in-house advocacy and communication staff, as well as providing technical assistance on management, governance, and fiscal issues. Earlier in her career, Nachama was an organizational development consultant with advocacy organizations on issues ranging from strategic planning, fundraising, board development, outcome-based program evaluation, financial management, and public education. She also served as Program Director and then Associate Director of the Genetic Alliance, a coalition of more than 600 organizations representing families, consumer advocates, and health professionals working to improve the health of all by integrating consumers and families into the development of quality genetic healthcare, public awareness, and informed public policies. She holds a BS from Hampshire College in Physics and Public Policy. Nachama's interest in the work of NDRN and the P&As comes in part from her personal experiences as a wife and mother of individuals who, among other things, have special health care needs.
Cheryl's responsibilities involve training and implementation of the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) program. She has extensive experience and expertise in the Client Assistance Program (CAP), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), return-to-work issues (including job placement, Supported Employment, and job [reasonable] accommodations), and Social Security - including the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. To this end, she was appointed last Fall by President Bush to serve on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Committee. Cheryl has also worked in coalition with national groups on issues around Workforce Investment and the development of "One-Stops," Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Welfare to Work, and other employment-related initiatives. She has over 18 years of experience working with people with disabilities and has conducted trainings for P&As and CAP on substantive CAP/VR, TANF, and Social Security issues.
Aquita joined NDRN in April 2014. She delivers training and technical assistance to NDRN and P&A/CAP staff on improved writing skills, working with the media, social media, publicity and other strategic communication issues. Previously she worked at the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment in public affairs. Aquita has over six years of experience in communications. She earned a B.A. in Fine Art and a minor in Business from the University of Indianapolis. In 2012 she completed her M.A. in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
As the Governance and Fiscal Management Specialist Polly Aris Stamatopoulos provides technical assistance on governance and fiscal management issues. Polly has worked in all areas of resources development and non-profit management since 1991. She has served as consultant to and held management positions at numerous local and national non-profit organizations where she has worked with and trained organizational leadership on fundraising, governance, fiscal management, and short and long term planning related matters. Polly has chosen to work with organizations that help her pursue her personal and professional goaladvocating for the under-servedand has extensive experience working with and on behalf of people with mental illness, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with disabilities, and people who are poor and/or homeless.
Ian joined NDRN in November of 2011. Ian assists the P&As in understanding their role in supporting and growing the advocacy skills of their clients and callers. He works with the Training and Technical Assistance team at NDRN in designing and delivery of trainings, education and outreach. Ian is from Denver, Colorado where he began his professional advocacy career doing work around special education issues and policy. He became interested in the work of NDRN while serving on the Board of Directors of his local P&A (The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People). He holds a BA in Sociology and a minor in Political Science from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.