Stone County, Missouri –The Stone County Developmental Disability Board has expanded its executive director role to a full-time position beginning June 1. Since May 2018, LaDella Thomas has served in the role on a part-time basis. Following a path of conservative growth, a part-time administrative assistant was hired in February 2019. The three-year-old organization has grown under Thomas’ leadership, now offering multiple avenues of funding for services and supports for the residents of Stone County who have developmental disabilities like Autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual or developmental disabilities. “We are moving into a phase of our strategic plan where we need a strong director to move us forward. LaDella has the knowledge and passion to navigate us through the next few years of planned growth and beyond,” said Board Chair Ruby Gideon.
The Stone County Developmental Disability Board has worked with partners to provide transportation through OATS, music and art therapies, social programs through CHANCES of Stone County, Project Lifesaver tracking bracelets, scholarships for 35 campers to go to Camp Barnabas or Wonderland Camp, and sports programs through Champion Athletes of the Ozarks. “Most notably, we’ve developed a robust respite program for families, as well as putting in place funding for people who have been placed on a waitlist for services due to shortfalls in the State budget over the past two years,” said Thomas. “It’s our priority to ensure basic needs are met, and that people served have an opportunity to thrive in their lives, as they wish.”
Thomas brings over ten years of experience in working with not-for-profits and political subdivisions in the area. Most recently, she worked for five years with Developmental Connections, the Taney County Board for the Developmentally Disabled, as Director of Marketing and Resource Development, bringing over $300,000 in local, state, and federal grants to the organization. In 2016, Thomas was instrumental in the passage of the county tax that funds the Stone County Developmental Disability Board, directing marketing and public relations for community outreach.
The Stone County Developmental Disability Board has launched a new website, www.stoneddboard.com, which is a reference point for families needing information about services and community members who wish to learn more about the organization. In line with their strategic plan, the next step forward will be applying to the Department of Mental Health to become a provider of services for Medicaid. “The county needs qualified, trained, and certified service providers. We saw that need and determined we were in a position to take on that challenge,” said Thomas.
For additional information, visit stoneddboard.com or contact LaDella Thomas at 417-449-5160 or email Lthomas@stoneddboard.com.
About Stone County Developmental Disability Board:
In 2016, Stone County approved a property tax levy for the purpose of establishing and maintaining community-based employment, residences, and other services for citizens of Stone County who have a developmental disability. In accordance with Missouri Revised Statues, Chapter 205, County Health & Welfare Programs, Section 205.968, the Stone County Commission appointed a nine-member board to administer funds generated by the tax levy. The focus of SCDDB’s efforts will be in developing, maintaining, and expanding a variety of Residential, Vocational, and/or related services that will enhance community participation by Stone County citizens with developmental disabilities.
LaDella Thomas, Executive Director