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.

  Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Government By-Laws

Click here to view the full PDF of the RCOG By-laws

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
Curtis Livengood County
Timothy Morehouse Tarkio
Ryan Kingery Fairfax
Chris Chamberlain Rock Port
Jerry Kirkpatrick Westboro
Gentry County
Gary Carlson County
Wendy Preston Albany
Lorie Carlson King City
Marvin Stitt McFall
Richard Jennings Stanberry
Holt County
Mark Sitherwood County
Donald Hall Corning
Rhonda Hunzinger Craig
Chris Krueger Mound City
Richard Wilson Oregon
Greg Book Forest City
Mark Brandon Village of Big Lake
Nodaway County
Bill Walker County
Mike Murphy Barnard
Justin Plymell Burlington Junction
Byron Clark Clearmont
Robert Smith Elmo
Darrell Johnson Graham
Kelly Morrison Hopkins
Rachel Martin Maryville
Charles Smith Pickering
Greg Weld Parnell
Bill Hall Ravenwood
Tracy Shewey Skidmore
Andrew Scheilur Village of Clyde
Worth County
Ted Findley County
Lowell Houts Denver
Ashley Rush Sheridan
Regan Nonneman Allendale
Debbie Roach  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 Todd Spencer, Executive Director, Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments, 114 West Third Street, Maryville, Missouri 64468, 660-582-5121, todd@nwmorcog.org.

Staff Bios
Jerri Dearmont, Interim Director/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, Regional Planner
Amy Dowis joined the Regional Council in August of 2014 as a Career Counselor in the Job Center. Amy now serves as the Regional Planner for the Regional Council where she works mostly with MoDOT and other transportation planning programs. Amy has a degree in Health Care Administration. Amy is an avid fan of the Duke Blue Devils and the St. Louis Cardinals. She and her son, Eli, reside in Maryville.

Cassie Hasekamp, Community & Environmental Planner

Cassie Hasekamp joined the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments in November of 2017. Her duties include hazard mitigation planning and solid waste management. Cassie received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Emergency & Disaster Management from Northwest Missouri State University in the spring of 2018. Cassie and her husband, Cody, reside in Maryville.

Kim Mildward, Economic Development Planner/One-Stop Operator
Mrs. Mildward joined the Regional Council in September 1998. Kim previously worked as the Functional Leader of the Missouri Job Center and recently transitioned into her current role as Economic Development Planner. Mrs. Mildward coordinates with Economic Developers in the RCOG’s 5-county region, along with county and city officials to aide in the recruitment and retention of businesses in the region. She is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the 5-year update to the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) as required by EDA. Mrs. Mildward also serves as the One-Stop Operator where she serves as a liaison between the region’s Job Centers and the Northwest Workforce Development Board. Mrs. Mildward has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Government with a Minor in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s in Education, all from Northwest Missouri State University. Kim and her husband Scott have two children and two grandchildren, who all reside in Maryville.

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 grandson. 

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.


Rita Wallinga, Workforce Development Director
Rita grew up in Northwest Iowa, attended Wayne State College in Wayne, NE and transferred to Northwest Missouri State University where she graduated with a B.S. in Psychology/Sociology Comprehensive.  Rita has worked in long-term care facilities as Social Service Director and Alzheimer Unit Coordinator, as a Nutrition Education Assistant for the University of Missouri Extension, and at Community Services as the Resource Room Coordinator for the Missouri Career Center.  Rita's position prior this job was working as an Employer Development Specialist for Ability KC covering Worth, Gentry, Nodaway, Atchison, and Holt counties. Rita also works part-time for Nodaway County Services/Association of Group Homes as direct support staff.  Rita has two grown boys, Sam and Tyler, a daughter-in-law Andrea, and is awaiting the arrival of a grandson.  In Rita's free time she enjoys creating greeting cards, shooting archery, fishing, and taking walks.



Employment Opportunities

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