Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments

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Regional Council Staff

Jackie Spainhower, Executive Director
Jackie Spainhower rejoined the Northwest Regional Council of Governments in February 2014. She previously worked for the Regional Council starting in 2002 as a program assistant for workforce development programs, but quickly moved into the regional planning position. While at the Council she worked with workforce development programs, transportation planning, solid waste programs, prepared hazard mitigation plans and multiple grant applications for the region's cities and counties. Upon leaving the northwest region, Jackie was employed by Mo-Kan Regional Council as their Community Development Director and performed many of the same duties with the addition of coordinating the Region H Homeland Security Oversight Committee. Most recently, she served as executive director of the St. Joseph Safety and Health Council, where she expanded her experience to include traffic, community and occupational safety programming, as well as gained leadership and management experience. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She is originally from Bedford, Iowa and she and her husband Miles have farming interests in Worth County. They have two children, Evan and Emsely.

Jerri Dearmont, Administrative Secretary/Grant Administrator
Mrs. Dearmont joined the NWMORCOG in December 1988. Her experience with the agency has included general secretarial duties and the administration of various grants funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the past 25 years.

Kim Mildward, Director of Workforce Development
Mrs. Mildward is the program director for Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Work Programs, Career Assistance Program and WorkKeys Assessment Center. She joined the Regional Council in August 1998 with two years prior experience in workforce development. Mrs. Mildward has a bachelor's degree in government with a minor in criminal justice and a master's degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University. She is a Certified Workforce Professional as recognized by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals with an emphasis in program management and the Missouri Association for Workforce Development.

Arnold Kreek, Economic Development Planner

Arnold D. (Arnie) Kreek joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in November of 2005. He has called Oregon, Missouri home for most of his life. Arnie received his Electronics Technician Certificate from United Electronics Institute in North Kansas City, MO and his Associate of Arts Degree from Longwood Community College in Lee's Summit, MO. He worked for thirty-two years in various levels of field service, supervision and management in the telecommunications industry with Stromberg-Carlson and Siemens. Arnie's duties at the Regional Council in Maryville include economic development and economic facilitation for the five-county area. He also assists with grant writing and environmental assessments. He is currently serving his eighth year as Secretary/Treasurer of the Northwest Roundtable, Inc., an association of economic developers representing twenty-five counties in northwest Missouri.

Chance Long, Disaster Recovery Coordinator

Chance Long joined the Regional Council of Governments in May 2014, right after graduation. Born and raised in Lee Summit Missouri, Chance came to Northwest Missouri in 2009 to attend Northwest Missouri State University. She graduated in spring of 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Comprehensive Crisis Response. Her duties at the Regional Council currently include Flood Recovery Efforts within Holt and Atchison Counties. Chance resides in Maitland with her long-time boyfriend.

Linda Laderoute, Environmental Planner

Linda joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in February of 2012. Her primary assignment is environmental planning for the Solid Waste Management District. Prior to moving to the Midwest in 2000, Linda lived in New England and served the Town of Boxford, Massachusetts, as a member of the Personnel Board and Conservation Commission. She was elected to the Planning Board and worked to oversee the closure process for the regional landfill operation and to develop new waste management and recycling procedures for the town. Her work history includes gas and electric utility industry consulting, performing energy conservation audits, horticultural lecturing, event planning, non-profit program administration, and writing grants. She earned a BA degree in Geography from Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California. Linda recently moved to Maryville from St. Joseph. She has one daughter who is a senior at University of Missouri, Columbia, studying Journalism.

Desiree Billings, Career Counsellor

Desiree Billings joined the Regional Council in September 2012 as a Career Counsellor for the Missouri Workforce Assistance and WIA Youth Programs. After graduating from Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Public Relations, Desiree worked for the non-profit organization, JVS, as an Employment and Evaluation Specialist and an Education Preparation Counsellor. In this field, Desiree provided individualized services to Vocational Rehabilitation clients seeking employment within a ten country region in north-west Missouri and south-west Iowa. She also assisted clients interested in furthering their education by providing evaluation testing and career exploration. In additional to Desiree's years of experience at JVS she also worked at Probation and Parole for the State of Missouri. As a Career Counsellor, Desiree strives to help create positive change by using a variety of tools to determine the needs of her clients and recommending services to meet their needs. She works with area schools, employers and organizations to help create opportunities that help assist her clients in reaching their education and career goals.

Donna Wilmes, Fiscal Officer

Donna began work with the Council in May, 2012, as a part-time administrative assistant. Her duties include assisting the fiscal officer, Council staff and Boards with various tasks. A Nodaway County native, she attended Maryville R-II and Northwest Missouri State University. A recent retiree as the superintendent's secretary/bookkeeper with West Nodaway R-I Schools, she had previously worked for an independent insurance agency and a local attorney, as well as assisting her husband on their family farm. She and her husband live east of Burlington Junction; they raised three children and have four grandchildren.

Brandi Shively, Career Counsellor

Brandi joined the Regional Council in June of 2013 as the Career Counsellor. She was born and raised in Maryville and graduated HS in 2001. In 2003 while working at Laclede Chain Brandi enrolled in an electrical and mechanical engineering program at North Central Missouri College where she received several certificates. Later that year she moved to Las Vegas where she worked as a craftsman of coral and quality control. After Brandi's daughter was born in 2007, she moved back to Maryville and furthered her education at NWMSU with an emphasis in social geography. Her experience with the Regional Council includes a work-study she did through NWMSU in January 2012. In her current position she assists clients in developing individual employment and education plans, readiness assessments, developing resumes, community relations and meeting work activity requirements. She recently welcomed a new addition to her family with the birth of her daughter.

Johnathan Ralls, Technology Coordinator

Johnathan Ralls is a current student at Northwest Missouri State University where he is working on obtaining his degree in Computer Sciences. He joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in September of 2012 as the part-time Technology Coordinator.

Rodney Titus, Career Counsellor

Rodney Titus became a member of NWM Career Center as a Career Counselor on August 12, 2013. Having a diversified background in employment history, his skills as an Army Recruiter for twenty plus years are beneficial to the position in which he serves. After retiring from the U.S. Army in 2004, he attended NWMSU and graduated with a BS in Education in 2007. Since then he has been employed as a teacher at Tarkio High School from 2009 until 2010. Afterwards, he drove an eighteen wheeler from 2010 until 2012. Needing to be home more he took a temporary position at FOCUS until receiving his newest opportunity.