Resources. Equality. Independence.
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Staff

Our staff includes some of the most talented and dedicated people you’ll ever meet. Without their hard work and commitment we would not be able to empower our consumers and work for social change.


Meet Our Team

Welcome to the Disability Resource Center! I’m Missy Martin and as Executive Director, it is a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside so many talented and dedicated people. My duties are many and varied and no two days are the same! Whether it’s supervising our direct support staff, researching grants, implementing and administrating programs and new initiatives, completing reports, representing the Center at various policy meetings and more, I am so pleased to be associated with an organization that works to empower people with disabilities to live self-sufficient lives. Please be sure to visit us at our offices on Infantry Drive – our staff will be happy to meet with you and give you a tour and explain our services.

Missy Martin

Executive Director


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Hello! My name is Tabitha Boshears. I am an Independent Living Advocate at Disability Resource Center. I’ve grown up in a large family, which included many Deaf members. I learned sign language at an early age and continue to use sign language at DRC. I attended both Joliet Junior College and Cornell College. I spent my first years out of school working in a nursing home and in home health care. These experiences drove me to want to make changes in the way people with disabilities are treated.

At DRC I provide support to people with disabilities through our five core services: Advocacy, Information and Referral, Peer Support, Independent Living Training, and Transition.

Away from work, I spend time with my wife and our two beautiful sons. We enjoy hiking, going to the movies, trying new recipes, and spending time with our large extended family.

Tabitha Boshears

Independent Living Advocate


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Maureen is DRC’s Personal Assistant Coordinator. She recruits, trains and refers personal assistants to people with disabilities in the Will and Grundy county areas. Her professional background includes 25 years of patient care and business administration at Franciscan St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights, Illinois, where she oversaw nursing and other daily operations throughout the facility. She is also a CPR instructor, and prides herself on her ability to collaborate, team build, and to help others achieve their goals.

Maureen Kelly

Personal Assistant Coordinator


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Hello, my name is Sam Knight and I am an Independent Living Advocate. I can assist you on your road to independence through our five core services: Advocacy, Information and Referral, Peer Support, Independent Living Training, and Transition. We also provide Disability Awareness training to the community. Please contact me for more information.

Sam Knight

Independent Living Advocate


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Hi, my name is Marie Malfatti. I have been with Disability Resource Center since 2001.  My duties consist of greeting guests, answering phones, and the dearest to my heart: distributing amplified phones to people with a hearing disability through the ITAC (Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation) program. And, last but not least, I perform any other tasks that are asked of me.

Marie Malfatti

Clerical Assistant


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Dani is an Independent Living Advocate for DRC. Her goal is to provide services to people with disabilities who need assistance in achieving their goals of an independent life. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human services. Her background includes being a correctional officer for Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, a behavioral specialist for several Centers for Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs), as well as a psychiatric rehab service coordinator for a residential facility. Her interest in psychology and social service started early in her life when she saw family members whose needs for help with mental and physical conditions were being ignored. This heartbreaking situation motivated Dani to dedicate her life to helping those in need. She is a published author and she is also pursuing a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Dani Mitchell

Independent Living Advocate


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Hello! I’m Jerrod Nichols and I am the Transition Coordinator at Disability Resource Center.

I help people with disabilities identify the services and support systems they need in order to move into his or her own residence and to live independently again. I  have experience as a Behavior Coach, Program Support Specialist and Youth Development Coordinator at various facilities in Phoenix, Arizona.

Feel free to contact me at (815) 729-0162 or by email at jerrod@drcjoliet.org. I look forward to working with you!

Jerrod Nichols

Transition Coordinator


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Julee Opel

Julee brings over ten years’ worth of experience of working directly with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Her previous positions include Self-Directed Assistant for consumers with disabilities in home-based service programs in Naperville; Individual Service Coordinator in Westchester, Illinois as well as Job Coach, Paraprofessional and Substitute Teacher in Lincoln-Way Schools in New Lenox and Frankfort.

At DRC, Julee teaches basic educational and employment skills to high school students with disabilities in the state-funded Fast Track program. In addition she assists individuals with disabilities in meeting their own, self-determined independent living goals; she also supports the community through individual and systemic advocacy efforts; provides information and referral services to individuals in need; and educates the community about disability awareness and etiquette.

Julee Opel

Independent Living Advocate


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Hi – I’m Cathie Stewart and I perform a wide variety of administrative duties for Missy Martin and the rest of the staff including research, correspondence, data management, writing and editing publications, coordinating projects, assisting with the amplified telephone distribution through the ITAC (Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation) and more. I also help plan our development activities, design our print and digital newsletters, provide support for our direct service staff, and assist with fundraising events and materials.

Cathie Stewart

Administrative Assistant


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