About Us

History of the Regional Council

The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments, formerly called the Northwest Missouri Regional Planning Commission, is one of 20 regional planning commissions in Missouri, which grew out of the State and Regional Planning and Community Development Act of 1966, permitting the establishment of regional planning commissions to resolve common community problems on a regional basis.

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The formation of regional planning commissions was voluntary, requiring the consent of the governing bodies representing over 50 percent of the population. The Northwest Missouri Regional Planning Commission was established on June 11, 1968, under Revised Statutes Chapter 251 of the State of Missouri. The Council currently consists of the five County Courts of Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, and Worth counties, and 40 towns in the area. 

From the establishment of the Commission in 1968 until 1972, the Commission did not employ any full-time staff. However, the Commission did contract with various consultants for the development of plans. In 1970, they contracted with Larkin and Associates, Kansas City, to develop a comprehensive plan for water and sewer development in northwest Missouri. In 1971, the Commission contracted with the Missouri Department of Community Affairs for the development of goals and objectives, overall program design, and an initial housing study. In 1972, the Commission hired its first full-time staff. During Fiscal Year 1974-1975, the Commission received additional funding under Missouri Senate Bill 168. These funds, along with matching funds and federal grants, enabled the Commission to expand its planning program. 

Some of the programs undertaken included: economic development planning, regional comprehensive planning (transportation plan, land use plan, community facilities plan, recreation and open space plan, water and sewer plan). Since that time, and to the present, some representative programs are: Community Development Block Grant, drought assistance, governmental management assistance, state and federal program information, park and recreational grant assistance, local planning assistance, housing needs studies, library and educational grant and technical assistance, and foundation research. 

In December 1975, the Commission changed its name to the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments. It was felt by the members that the "Council of Governments" title would project a clearer image of the two-fold purpose of the organization. The first being that of local governments, working together to identify common concerns and planning for the solutions of problems which commonly affect the individual local governments or affect a larger area-wide concern. Secondly, the organization provides assistance to the local governments in implementing these solutions in order to solve problems and meet needs.

Policy on Regional Affairs

The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments is a cooperative of governments. The designation of the Northwest Missouri region as an area-wide planning district affords the opportunity for better community planning throughout the region, and will enhance the planning capabilities of local governments. The Regional Council encourages all local governments in the region to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by membership in the Agency.

Membership in the NWMORCOG

Voluntary Membership -It is the responsibility of elected municipal and county officials to determine whether membership in the Regional Council will benefit their respective jurisdictions. For that reason, membership in the Council, while encouraged, must be voluntary. The state and federal governments are urged to refrain from enacting any legislation, administrative regulation, or other action which could infringe upon the integrity of local governments to make this choice. 

Responsibility of Membership -Maximum effectiveness of the Regional Council can be achieved only if delegates fulfill their responsibility to report frequently and fully to their constituencies on Council activities. 

Purpose and Function

Regional Multi-Purpose Planning - The basic purpose of the Regional Council is to perform regional, multi-purpose planning, to promote cooperative arrangements and coordinate action among its member governments, and to provide a meeting point for local governments to discuss and to determine among themselves the impact that any regional plan will have on their respective communities. For these purposes, the Regional Council should be designated as the lead regional planning agency with responsibility for regional planning functions. This includes comprehensive health, water and sewer planning functions among others. Existing laws and administrative regulators which are contrary to this principle should be amended so as to affect unified planning. 

A-95 Review -The A-95 review process has become an integral part of the federal grant system. The expansion in the number of federal programs subject to A-95 review is encouraging and continued expansion in the number of federal programs subject to this review is urged. The cooperative memo provisions of the revised Office of Management and Budget A-95 Circular are particularly endorsed as a means of achieving effective coordination between the Regional Council of Governments and any regional agency which is not the area-wide comprehensive planning agency where such council and agency cannot be merged. Further revisions in the A-95 Circular should insure the autonomy of local government. All state and federal plans or grant projects which either directly, or indirectly, affect the region should be subject to A-95 review by the region. 

Service Delivery and Technical Assistance -The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments was established to facilitate planning, to promote cooperative arrangements, and to coordinate actions among member governments. The Regional Council should restrict its activities and programs to those necessary to fulfill those purposes. General purpose local governments, rather than the Regional Council of Governments, should be the purveyor and operator of all local government services. Technical assistance should be available from the Regional Council of Governments where such qualified assistance is not available in local government. No organized program in technical assistance should be undertaken unless approved by the governing body of the Regional Council of Governments.


Membership Assessment -Funds necessary to adequately operate the Regional Council of Governments should be the financial responsibility of member local governments. It is in the best interests of local government to retain direct control over the Regional Council of Governments by being the principal authority of the Council's financial support. The Council should establish its own system of, and annual rates for, membership assessments. Assessments should be sufficient to provide for the basic administrative cost of the Council. 

Federal and State Revenue -The State should provide funds on a regular basis for the general administrative support of the Regional Council of Governments. Revenue from either the state or the federal government should include funds for specific regional projects which are initiated at the local level, as well as those initiated by the state and federal governments. 

Other Revenues -The Regional Council of Governments should not have the power to levy taxes. However, the Council should have the authority to levy charges and fees for staff services for specific organized technical assistance contracts.

Board Members

As a voluntary organization of local governments, the governing board of the Regional Council of Governments should accurately reflect Council membership and be composed of elected officials in general purpose local governments or their appointed designees. Regional special purpose committees, subsidiary task forces, or other regional agencies should be endorsed and membership chosen by locally elected officials. The chairperson of the Regional Council of Governments' governing body should be an elected official of a member local government or the chairperson's designated representative.

Regional Council Board of Directors
RCOG Board Officers
Doug Sutton Chairman
Lorie Carlson Vice Chairman
Jack Baldwin Treasurer
Regan Nonneman Secretary
Atchison County
Curt Livengood County
Adam Stanton Tarkio
Ryan Kingery Fairfax
Ashtin Paris Rock Port
Gentry County
Gary Carlson County
Derek Brown Albany
Lorie Carlson King City
Martin Weatherd Stanberry
Holt County
Mark Sitherwood County
Duane Nauman Mound City
Greg Book Forest City
Nodaway County
Robert Stiens County
Jack Baldwin Hopkins
Ben Lipiec Maryville
VACANT Parnell
Worth County
Ted Findley County
Tyler Paxon Sheridan
Regan Nonneman Allendale
Ben Aplanalp  Grant City
At Large
Doug Sutton Higher Education
Pat Walter Public Utility

Northwest Regional Development Corporation

The Northwest Missouri Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit corporation that contracts with the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to provide it with staff and administrative services for its programs. Ten of the 22 members of the Development Corporation Board of Directors are also Regional Council board members. The other twelve at-large members represent areas other than government.
The purposes of the RDC are as follows:

  • To improve the civic, educational, commercial, and industrial standing of northwest Missouri by engaging in such not-for-profit business activities that will promote economic development within the five-county service area.
  • To develop programs to assist with the improvement of housing stock within the five-county service area.
  • To provide advisory and technical services and assistance in the organization and/or operation of business or governmental entities.
  • To locate and provide gap financing for new and expanding industry in northwest Missouri.
  • To promote job creation and retention in the region.
  • To do any and all of the above acts, and any extensions or applications thereof, as any individual person or other entity could lawfully do.
Regional Development Corporation Board of Directors
Regional Development Corporation Board Officers
Gary Carlson Chairman
Mark Sitherwood Vice Chairman
Robert Stiens Secretary
Local Governments
Atchison County
Curt Livengood County
Adam Stanton Tarkio
Gentry County
Gary Carlson County
Lorie Carlson King City
Holt County
Mark Sitherwood County
Duane Nauman Mound City
Nodaway County
Robert Stiens County
Jack Baldwin Hopkins
Worth County
Ted Findley County
Regan Nonneman Allendale
Economic Development Organizations
Atchison County
Monica Bailey Atchison Development Corporation
Gentry County
VACANT Gentry Economic Development
Holt County
VACANT Holt Economic Development
Nodaway County
Josh McKim Nodaway Economic Development
Worth County
Gene Auten Worth Economic Development
Local Businesses
Atchison County
Michael Farmer Business
Gentry County
VACANT Business
Holt County
Ken Jones Agriculture
Nodaway County
Brock Pfost Engineering and Construction
Worth County
Ben Abplanalp Insurance Agent
Educational Institutions
Nodaway County
VACANT Education

Professional Staff

The Council should be staffed by professionals, with compensation the responsibility of member governments. Regional Council of Governments personnel should be, in name, fact, and practice, employees of the local governments they serve. The Regional Council of Governments' executive director should be directly responsible to the Council's governing body. A Council executive director, or any other member of the Regional Council of Governments' staff, should not be directly or indirectly, an employee of the state or federal governments. This same principle applies to any regional board or agency which serves local governments. 

The Regional Council is an equal opportunity employer.

EEOC Statement

It is the policy of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment compensation and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, Vietnam Era Veteran status, genetic predisposition, or carrier status.

The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments is committed to assuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs and activities for individuals with disabilities.  It is the policy of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability to enable such individual to perform the essential functions of the position for which he/she is applying or in which he/she is employed.  Further, it is the policy of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to provide reasonable accommodation for religious observers.

The policy applies to all employment practices and actions.  It includes, but is not limited, to, recruitment, job application process, examination and testing, hiring, training, disciplinary actions, rate of pay or other compensation, advancement, classification, transfer, reassignment and promotions.  The Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments’ designated person for issues concerning Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity is Jackie Spainhower, Executive Director, Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments, 114 West Third Street, Maryville, Missouri 64468, 660-582-5121, Jackie @nwmorcog.org.

Staff Bios
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 26 years.

Amy Dowis, WIOA Youth Program Director

Amy Dowis joined the Regional Council in August of 2014 as a Career Counselor. Amy’s role in the Career Center is to assist businesses that are searching for employees and to help clients develop individual employment and educational plans, in addition to assisting clients with resume’s, cover letters, and interview prep. She graduated from North Central Missouri College in July with a degree in Health Care Administration. Amy and her son, Eli, reside in Maryville.

Linda Laderoute, Community & Environmental Planner

Linda Laderoute joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in February of 2012. Her assignments include administration of the Solid Waste Management District, Career Center back-up, transportation safety planning, grant writing, and other community projects.  Prior to moving to the Midwest in 2000, Linda lived in New England and served the Town of Boxford, MA on the Personnel Board, Conservation Commission, and Planning Board. Her work history includes gas and electric utility industry consulting, energy conservation auditing, horticultural lecturing, event planning, grant writing, and non-profit program administration. Linda earned a BA degree in Geography and a graduate Certificate in Supervision and Management from Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.  She and her husband David have one daughter, Lindsay. 

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.

Todd Spencer, Executive Director
Mr. Spencer is originally from Bedford, Iowa. Upon graduating from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in Finance, he entered service with the U.S. Army and served as an officer with the 1st Infantry Division. Since leaving active duty service, he worked in the manufacturing sector for 12 years in supervisory and production scheduling capacities. He then began a 10 year tenure with the State of Iowa as a District Manager for Iowa Workforce Development. There he managed staff and services for Western Iowa and served in an Interim capacity as a Division Administrator for Workforce Services. As part of the Agency’s leadership team he worked to develop partnerships between state services, economic development groups, local governments, and the business community. Mr. Spencer managed as many as 60 staff and federal program budgets near $45 million. He enjoys the opportunity to spend time with his wife and four children. He also likes to spend time outdoors as well as reading Stephen King novels, Patrick McManus stories, and Dogbert self help guides.

Alice Schieffer, Fiscal Officer
Born and raised in Nodaway County, Alice has developed lasting ties to local communities and its residents over the years. She was raised on a farm in Ravenwood, Missouri – the youngest of six children. After graduating from Northeast Nodaway High School, she attended Northwest Missouri State. Subsequent to working in fields such as industry and retail management in the local area, she was committed to going back and completing her college education. After becoming a wife and mother, she returned to Northwest Missouri State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1997. In May 2003, Alice began with the Regional Council as a Personnel Assistant; later becoming the Fiscal Officer and remaining with the council through 2010. After returning to the Regional Council in 2017, she continues her role as Fiscal Officer responsible for fiscal and fund management, as well as human resource management. Alice and her husband, Mark, reside in Maryville with their son and granson. 

Nathan Barnes, GIS/Mapper

Nathan Barnes joined the Council in December of 2013 as the part-time GIS Coordinator.  He was born and raised in Maryville, graduated high school in 2009, and attended Northwest Missouri State University.  Nathan graduated in the spring of 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems. His duties include creating and maintaining the data and maps for the Council and the five county area. 

Steve Houts, Program Assistant

Steve Houts joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments team in the fall of 2016. His duties include assisting the Executive Director and other staff members in carrying out research with analysis, organization, communication, and administrative support. Originally from the Rock Port area, Steve taught math and science at the Maryville Middle School for over 20 years. He has BS and MS degrees in education from Northwest Missouri State University. Steve and his wife, Amy have 2 daughters and three grandchildren. 


Sheena Fletchall, Resource Room Staff
Sheena Fletchall joined the regional Council in May of 2017 as an Office Assistant for the Career Center. In October, she became the Resource Room Staff. Her duties are answering the phones, welcoming and assisting customers, and  updating the job board. Sheena and her daughter, Gracelyn, reside in Nodaway County.


Jeremiah Holmes, Technology Coordinator
Jeremiah Holmes joined the Northwest Regional Council of Governments team in the spring of 2017.  He is currently a student at Northwest Missouri State University where he is working torwards obtaining his degree in Computer Engineering.

Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments
114 W. Third St. | Maryville, MO 64468
Phone: (660) 582-5121     |     Fax: (660) 582-7264