Tammy NigusBoard Member
Tammy started working with JCDS after her Aunt was placed in hospice care in another county, and was forced to move out her home of more than 15 years. She wanted to ensure that other families wouldn’t face this type of situation and that individuals with developmental disabilities have safe and affordable housing options. Tammy has been involved with Friends of JCDS board for over 10 years.
Janel BowersDirector of Development
Meet Janel Bowers, the Director of Development for Friends of JCDS that joined the team in November of 2015.
“I cannot remember a time when someone has gone to her with a question, request, and/or issue and she’s responded in the negative; her response is also “yes, and” and usually goes above and beyond the initial request. Janel asks for input and feedback from Team Leaders and residents and then actually takes that feedback and turns it into action.”
Masters of Arts in Philanthropy and Development, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Bachelors of Arts in English, Kansas State University
If asked, Janel will tell you that she wants to live in a world that is inclusive and filled with innovations that allow everyone opportunities to be who they are.
Janel has strong ties to the intellectual and developmental disabilities field, serving as a volunteer, the court appointed guardian and conservator for the last 18 years through the Kansas Guardianship Program, and having worked in Community Living, Supported Employment and Sheltered Workshops throughout her career.
Janel will tell you that she drives to work with a big smile on her face each morning because this is the perfect job, EVER. She gets to see the transformations made in people’s lives every day. “This is more than a job: I’m on a mission to help you get it… really get it! People are people, and they all want the same thing- a place to call home, friends to hang out with, and a job that gives them purpose- the rest is just stuff…”
Dr. Julie DowneyBoard Member
Dr. Julie Downey
I love the mission of the organization and the services provided as well as the WAY we provide them. I love what we do.
Ali LotiaBoard Member
“Friends of JCDS brings local change to support, nurture and empower individuals of all ages. I am proud and honored to be able to serve on the board of Friends of JCDS that provides services to our community members with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Growing up with a family member that suffered from learning disabilities and watching him struggle makes me really appreciate all the work Friends of JCDS does to secure a better quality of life for members of our community and their families. “
Mike CochranBoard Treasurer
My involvement with Friends like organizations dates back to my childhood. I grew up with a downs syndrome older brother who has been a continued source of inspiration to my life. My parents were part of a ground roots effort that organized to provide schooling and employment opportunities for this population. The activities of Friends brings meaning and community to not only those that we serve but just as important to those caring individuals that surround them.
Carly BootheBoard Member
For years I have assisted JCDS families through the necessary legal process of establishing guardianship. Through this, I have also gotten to know those served and their families, helped with the Johnson County Bar Association Volunteer Work days and really gotten to know these amazing people. I am delighted to serve on the Friends board- where I get to fundraise and advocate for this wonderful population.
Dr. Kara Tan BhalaBoard Member
Dr. Kara Tan Bhala
Dr. Kara Tan Bhala is President and founder of Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics, the world’s only independent think tank for research, education, and promotion of financial ethics. She has over twenty-three years in global finance and is the lead author of International Investment Management: Theory, Ethics, and Practice. Kara was named by Ingram’s as one of the “50 Kansans You Should Know” in 2017. She has five degrees across three disciplines and has lived in London, Oxford, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, D.C. Kara joined the board of the Friends of JCDS because she wished to serve to the best of her capabilities, those in need, and discovered the need was immense among those in the intellectual and developmental disabilities space.
Chad VonAhnenExecutive Director of JCDS
I am most inspired by the work we do. Particularly on the days when the community comes together and does something miraculous for the individuals we served. My fondest memory, to date, was our demo day at Santa Fe. All the people the showed up to make a wonderful, accessible home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Johnson County was truly inspiring.
Eric RodgersBoard Member
I had been volunteering at JCDS and wanted to pursuit more leadership experiences with this organization. I want to be part of group that focuses on providing help to those with developmental disabilities to improve their life experience and I am happy to serve in any capacity to that end.
Patty DumovichBoard Vice Chair
Micquelyn MalinaBoard Chair
Tim OwensBoard Member
Tim Owens is a former Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 8th District from 2008 to 2013. He was a Representative for the 19th district in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2002 until his election as Senator. From 1981 to 2005, he served as a council member for the Overland Park City Council, 3rd District
Ron WorleyBoard Secretary
Ron Worley is a former Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing the 30th district. Prior to being elected, Worley worked for 14 years as a building official in Lenexa, and has served in the U.S. Air Force. He received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Worley is a member of the Kansas City Catbackers Club, Leadership Lenexa Alumni Association, Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.