Staff Members




Fort Collins Staff

  • Joan LaBelle

    Joan LaBelle

    Executive Director

    Joan has lived with her disability since the age of five. She credits her advocacy skills to her mother, who was an advocate extraordinaire…way before we knew what that was…okay, not way before. It was Joan’s mother who taught her to let nothing stand in her way of her dreams and to help others achieve their dreams. She has more than 35 years (both as a youth and an adult) within the disability movement.

    Professionally, Joan was one of the founding members that began The Disability Network in Flint Michigan and as chair of the grant committee assisted with the application for their incorporation as a Center for Independent Living.

    Since that time Joan has had almost every position within Centers for Independent Living (CIL) across the country. In particular, she has focused on oversight and expansion of programs, which included ensuring quality assurance and meeting regulations for a CIL for a variety of funding sources.

    Nationally, Joan has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. She co-facilitated planning their national conference for several years. She has also served on a variety of committees for the National Council on Independent Living.

    Most recently she was part of the Administration on Community review team that selected the new SILC and CIL Technical Assistant Centers.

  • Marj Grell

    Marj Grell

    Director of Finance

    Marj has been with DRS since 2003.  She worked at Hewlett-Packard for 23 years in Finance and Human Resources.  She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a BA in Liberal Arts.

  • Alison Dawson

    Alison Dawson

    Director of Programs

    Alison has a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in social work and psychology from The Evergreen State College.  She has worked with Disabled Resource Services for over 10 years and has a passion for working with Independent Living centers and people with disabilities.  Her personal experiences with disability give her a dynamic understanding of disability and the barriers that people with disabilities encounter. One of her passions is working on health care advocacy and ensuring that everyone has equal access to quality healthcare. Alison is Director of Programs where she supervises, trains and hires all direct line staff members, oversees direct line programs, and many other tasks to ensure that DRS provides quality, relevant services to consumers with disabilities.

  • David Swinehart

    David Swinehart

    Director of Development

    Dave joined DRS in 2012 as the agency’s first full time development director.  Since beginning his fundraising career in 1989, he has worked in development offices at a community hospital, a community college and a museum district.  This well-rounded background has given him experience in most areas of development (and marketing).  His extensive fundraising experience is complimented by his experience as a volunteer for a variety of community-oriented non-profits. Dave is a graduate of Colorado State University and in 2004 achieved CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) certification from CFRE International.

  • Katie Harper

    Katie Harper

    Lead Independent Living Specialist

    Katie is an active intergenerational Independent Living specialist with education and experience that spans across a lifetime. Katie has a Bachelor’s of Science from CU Boulder and a Masters of Art, Gerontology from UNC, Greeley CO. She has studied and taught grief, loss, and its effects on individuals with disabilities. With over six years of experience working in Centers for Independence Living, Katie has developed a strong passion for the ILC philosophy and is a strong advocate for individual positive change and personal choice.

  • Jessica Dugan

    Jessica Dugan

    Youth Transitions Program Coordinator

    Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. She has a passion for serving people with disabilities of all ages but has recently focused on youth. In addition to her work at DRS, Jessica works part time at Foothills Gateway in the Child Extensive Services/ Adult Care Services program providing respite for family members/ guardians.  Jessica coordinates the youth transitions program which targets youth ages 14-26 as they transition from high school to adult life.  As coordinator for the youth transitions program, she helps youth develop independent living skills, self-advocacy skills, job readiness skills and other relevant skills which will help ensure their independence as people with disabilities in the community.

  • Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    Employment and Independent Living Specialist

    Rick believes everyone deserves to have a shot of happiness and a good life. A long-time member of the community, he is passionate about helping people be the best they can be and seeing them smile. Prior to joining Disabled Resource Services, Rick was a Resident Manager for the Fort Collins Housing Authority. His professional experience includes serving as a Director at Base Camp, a before and after school enrichment program, and as a Paraprofessional for Poudre R-1 School District (Early Head start). Rick is a fluent in Spanish and is currently studying Sociology at Front Range Community College. His future plans include transferring to Colorado State University or the University of Northern Colorado to complete his Bachelor’s degree.

  • Elizabeth Pierce

    Elizabeth Pierce

    Vision Matters Coordinator

    Elizabeth comes to us with a longevity of working with older adults with disabilities.  She has her undergraduate in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Gerontology.  She always had a passion for working with seniors since high school days which ultimately lead to pursuit of her degree in Gerontology.  She is very excited to be onboard with the team at Disabled Resource Services, and eager to assist those who are blind or low-vision throughout Larimer and Jackson counties.

  • Jenny Miller

    Jenny Miller

    Specialist for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

    Jenny has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and an Associate’s degree in interpreting.  She has worked for DRS for over 10 years and has been an ASL interpreter for over 20 years.  Her specialties include mental health, legal, and vocational rehabilitation.  She is a member of the Colorado Association of the Deaf and the Colorado Registry for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

  • Mel Sirois

    Mel Sirois

    Marketing & Development Assistant

    Mel has been in marketing and communications for over 15 years. She has worked in various industries including consumer, government, and non-profit. Mel has partnered with a variety of clients to focus on effective message delivery & fundraising tactics and the past several years focused on social media.

  • Terry Ellis

    Terry Ellis

    Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator

    Terry came to DRS through an internship and liked us so much, she ended up staying! Terry does a variety of things in her work at DRS.  She is the main ‘voice’ of the DRS Fort Collins office answering phones and greeting  people as they come in to our office.  Additionally, she manages the Fort Collins loan closet, coordinates volunteers and completes many other tasks as needed.

  • Evan Shockely

    Evan Shockely

    Loan Closet Technician - Fort Collins

    Evan comes to DRS with both handyman and customer service experience.  He is excited about working at DRS and sharing his skills with us.  He maintains our loan closet medical equipment at our Fort Collins office and performs other office tasks as needed.

Loveland Staff

  • Denise Meyer

    Denise Meyer

    Lead Independent Living Specialist/Loveland Office Manager

    Denise has a Master’s of Science degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Science degree in Administration of Justice and Security. Denise is the Lead Independent Living Specialist in our Loveland Office.  She has been working with people with disabilities for most of her career. She works with individuals with all types of disabilities who want to live more independently. Denise often works with individuals who wish to apply for SSI/SSDI, Food Stamps, and Aid to Needy and Disabled and more. In addition to working on benefits application, she advocates for people with disabilities for many reasons such as, but not limited to, landlord or employment disputes and service/companion animal related issues. She also runs the Loveland loan closet, provides information and referral  and conducts community outreach in the community.

  • Vicki Mirowski

    Vicki Mirowski

    Independent Living Specialist

    Vicki has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse; both from Washburn University. She is passionate about championing for people disabilities and raising awareness with a human rights approach to advocacy.  Her mission is to empower those with disabilities so that they are able to lead more autonomous lives. Prior to joining DRS, Vicki worked with and advocated for the dual-diagnosis, homeless population who are involved in the Criminal Justice System.

  • Paul Dolan

    Paul Dolan

    Loan Closet Technician - Loveland

    Paul Comes to DRS with exceptional customer service skills and mechanical knowledge, along with many years of equipment, inventory, and parts-tool room management. He maintains and repairs Loan Closet equipment at the DRS Loveland office. Paul’s hobbies include restoring his ‘56 Oldsmobile, fishing and attending car shows.