About

Learn about our incredible, volunteer Board Members, who represent the heart of our work in the community.

Disabling Barriers, a non-profit grant making organization, makes grants to Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado (NTSOC) and other charitable organizations that provide research, equipment, advocacy, support, and other services and resources to individuals with intellectual or developmental (I/DD) disabilities and their families and caregivers, with a focus on the pediatric and young adult special needs community in southern Colorado.

Standing from left to right from back row to front: Adam Smith, Christopher Robinson, James Dougherty, Sheila Williams, Alexis Christman, Jeanne Conder, Rachel Lake, and Lara Stern.

Our Mission Statement:

Disabling Barriers serves the physical and behavioral health of children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Southern Colorado by providing grants to fill unmet needs, overcome barriers, and support caregivers through improved access to opportunities, programs, and resources so individuals with disabilities can reach their highest level of independence and potential.

Dr. Christopher Robinson -DB President

Dr. Christopher Robinson -DB President/CEO

Dr. Christopher Robinson is the President of Disabling Barriers and serves on the Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado Board of Directors.  He is also the Vice President of Challenger Baseball, an adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges, a division within the Colorado Springs Little League organization.   After retiring from the Air Force in 2007, Chris joined the Missile Defense Agency where he currently works as a Program Manager for the Warfighter Operational Integration Directorate.      

As a father of a child with Cerebral Palsy, Chris’ passion for serving the physically and intellectually challenged community within Colorado Springs has continued to grow.  For over a decade, Chris and his wife Liz have brought their love of baseball to the local community by providing an opportunity for children with disabilities to participate in America’s Pastime.  Chris brings a Doctor of Management in Organizational Development and Change to Disabling Barriers enhancing his ability reach past the Springs to serve the greater Southern Colorado disabled community.  Chris and Liz have three children and one grandchild. 

Jeanne Conder -DB Board Member

Jeanne Conder, CFRE/CSPG -DB Board Chair

Philanthropy is Jeanne Conder’s professional and personal passion. During her 35 years in Colorado Springs, she has fundraised with The Navigators, Junior Achievement International, and as chief development officer and vice president for Pikes Peak Hospice Foundation and Discover Goodwill Foundation.

Jeanne now runs her own consulting business, Evergreen Philanthropy, to help connect donors and nonprofits in strategic, impactful and lasting giving. Jeanne and her husband Ron love entertaining in their home, mountain biking and leading a group of younger couples in building thriving marriages.

James Dougherty, MBA – DB Board Treasurer

James is a Colorado Springs native with a heart for the people of Southern Colorado.  He grew up watching and working with his parents who run a small fine art business.  From a young age he learned to work hard, ask questions, negotiate smart, and serve clients well.

With over a decade of experience in grants management and procurement, James has awarded and managed hundreds of millions of dollars of grants and contracts to universities, large multinational corporations, small businesses, and non-profit organizations spread over at least 79 countries. He is delighted to bring his experience to Disabling Barriers.

James and his wife adore raising their two young children near the stunning Rocky Mountains.  They enjoy serving others through their church, providing hospitality, and leading courses like Alpha and Financial Peace University.

Deana A. Allen, MBA, JD -DB Board Chair

Deana A. Allen, MBA, JD -DB Board Chair

Deana A. Allen currently serves as Board Chair for Disabling Barriers. As the mother of a young adult with special needs, Deana is passionate about issues facing the special needs community and recognizes the social, educational, financial, and medical challenges faced by those individuals and their families. She has also been actively involved in fundraising efforts for the arts and, most recently, established a non-profit organization that provides clean drinking water solutions to the people of Nepal and Ecuador.

Deana is a shareholder with Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., a law firm specializing in representing the energy industry.  She was named a 2019 “Top Women in Energy” honoree by the Denver Business Journal, an award recognizing women whose position, knowledge, or expertise helps guide the sector. Deana holds a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

Sheila Williams, MPA, MHM -DB Board Member

Sheila Williams is an emerging healthcare industry leader with 20 years of experience in home healthcare. Her extensive background includes a Master’s in Public Administration and a Master’s in Healthcare Management, providing her with a comprehensive understanding of healthcare systems and organizational leadership. Her work as a behavioral health specialist in the Air Force further enhances her expertise and commitment to providing patient-centered, compassionate care to vulnerable populations.

An Air Force veteran, Sheila serves on the board of Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado, where she contributes to strategic planning and governance, ensuring the organization delivers high-quality care to its clients. Her commitment to the community is evident through her mentorship of individuals with developmental and intellectual differences, providing guidance and support to help them achieve their goals.

In addition to joining Disabling Barriers, Sheila is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia Lynchburg, focusing on Healthcare Administration and Organizational Leadership. Her commitment to professional growth and excellence is matched by her dedication to her family. Married for 29 years, Sheila and her husband are parents to six children, three of whom are adopted and have special needs.

Beyond her professional and academic pursuits, Sheila enjoys various outdoor and recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and bingo. She is an active member of her local church and a passionate advocate for numerous community causes.

With her extensive experience, educational background, and unwavering commitment to both her profession and her community, Sheila Williams is poised to make a significant impact in the Disabling Barriers Organization.

Adam R. Smith, CPA -DB Board Member

Adam is a passionate professional serving non-profits in tax and accounting. He helps empower non-profits to impact the world by supporting them through consulting and tax compliance services. Adam has over 16 years of public accounting experience, has worked with national public accounting firms, meeting and exceeding the expectations of non-profits in the area of tax compliance.

Adam and his wife, Cheryl, have three wonderful children. He is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s and Colorado Society of CPA’s, as well as the TEGE Exempt Organizations Council.  Adam is excited to be on the Disabling Barriers Board and looks forward to learning more.

Rachel Lake MSW, LCSW -DB Board Member

Rachel Lake MSW, LCSW -DB Board Member

Rachel Lake is the Assistant Director of Special Education in Widefield District 3 starting in the 2021-22 school year. Prior to her current role, Rachel was the Special Populations Specialist at Academy District 20 Schools serving students who were homeless and in foster care and she spent 9 years working in Special Education in District 20 as a school Social Worker and Special Education Coordinator. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in Special Education from UCCS. Rachel is married with four adult children, two of whom are diagnosed with connective tissue disorders that impact their daily lives.

Rachel has served on the Board of Directors at Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado since 2019.  She is committed to recognizing the inherent worth and value of individuals with disabilities and being a part of organizations that promote their interests and well-being.  She is honored to serve on the Disabling Barriers board, an organization that upholds these values.

Lara Stern, RN BSN -DB Board Member

Lara Stern, RN BSN -DB Board Member

Lara Stern is a registered nurse with a passion for supporting children with special healthcare needs and their families. She currently works for El Paso County Public Health as a Nurse Care Coordinator. Lara brings experience, enthusiasm and an understanding of the special needs community. She recognizes the obstacles and challenges that these children face on a daily basis. She currently works directly alongside families to connect them with therapists, community resources, supports and physicians to improve health and developmental outcomes.

Lara is honored to serve on the Disabling Barriers Board. She is excited for the wonderful opportunities that will come from supporting agencies that help these children to attain their fullest potential and embrace the qualities that make them unique. She is excited to help ensure all children with special needs in Southern Colorado have access to fun and rewarding experiences, where they will be challenged and gain a sense of accomplishment. In her free time, Lara enjoys spending time with her husband and four children. She enjoys hiking, camping, playing games, gardening, reading and traveling.

Kim Ivy, MA, CCC-SLP, PhD-Ex officio Board Member

Kim Ivy has been in healthcare for 33 years. She is a Speech-Language Pathologist and has worked with both pediatrics and adults. She has worked in a variety of healthcare settings and has a strong passion for helping people. She is the CEO of Nursing & Therapy Services of Colorado, the supported organization of Disabling Barriers.

Kim is excited about being on the Disabling Barriers board. She brings a wealth of healthcare experience to the board. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to enhancing the lives of both children and adults. With the blend of clinical expertise, leadership experience and dedication to excellence, Kim will be able to make valuable contributions to the Disabling Barriers board. She will advocate for the needs of patients and providers in the community alike and looks forward to helping to drive positive change within the healthcare community.