staff & board

Meet our team!


A world where all people with disabilities belong, have equal rights, make their own choices and live their best lives.

Kari Easterly

Executive Director

Lina Newble

Administrative Assistant

Alma Simental

Community Engagement & Marketing Coordinator

Kari graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology.  Post college, she immediately started working in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked in MN, IL, and South Dakota prior to coming to Colorado in 1997.  She started working at the Arc of Adams County in 2000 as an Adult Advocate and moved into the role of Assistant Executive Director in 2021.  As an Adult Advocate, she provided individual advocacy, worked closely with stakeholder groups regarding systemic advocacy, developed training to community members regarding disability awareness, and screened all adult advocacy requests.  As the Assistant Executive Director, she provides oversight of the individual advocacy program, provides leadership to staff in their advocacy efforts, provides leadership regarding systemic advocacy provided by the advocacy team, and focuses on the agency’s community education and training goals.  When asked what she loves most about working at the Arc of Adams County, she says it is without a doubt the Board’s and staff’s commitment to providing quality individual advocacy supports.

Lina relocated from California to Colorado in the Summer of 2018. Prior to relocation, Lina’s role as a mother expanded in 2012 to being a foster parent to her two nieces and nephew. She was also a caretaker & advocate for her sister who has a mental illness. During that time, Lina learned the importance of having organizations who specialize in advocating and providing resources for individuals with mental illness and disabilities and support for their family members. She was able to navigate her sister through getting the help and assistance that was much needed because of those resources.

Alma graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 2023. She gained her first marketing experience during college when she became a marketing student coordinator in a department that serves First-Generation students at her university. Being a first-generation student herself, she enjoyed being able to provide community, resources, and support to her fellow first-gen students through events and social media efforts. Since then, Alma has worked in field, social media, outreach, and content marketing in different industries. She’s always strived to work with an organization that has the ability to help people and “do good in the world.” She is very excited to be joining The Arc of Adams County and all of their efforts.

Paula Christina

Director of Education and Family Advocate

Pari Swanson

Education and Family Advocate

Mayra Hernandez

Education and Family Advocate

Paula started her advocacy efforts with The Arc of Adams County in 1998.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Psychology and a master’s degree in City Planning both from the University of Texas.  Her professional life has been a combination of social work, education and health care. Paula is grateful for the vast learning opportunities she has experienced working with families and other professionals.  She values basic human and civil rights for all; no matter the gifts or challenges we each possess.

Pari is a Wyoming native but has spent her professional career divided between Wyoming and Colorado. Pari graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree (B.S.) in Elementary Education and Special Education. She brings 25+ years of experience serving children and adults as well as families and educators/support staff. Some of her experience includes: classroom Special Education teacher, DD Waiver Case Manager for Wyoming, Administrator for a Day Habilitation program, Head Start Education Specialist, and working for the State Department of Education with the Special Programs and Assessment Divisions – focusing mainly on realigning the State standards and bringing a new Alternate assessment to the state. Pari is excited to continue her ‘work’ journey with the Arc, feeling very grateful to have found a spot where the mission and vision so closely aligns with her own.

Mayra graduated with a Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology. She has worked as an ABA therapist in autism centers focusing on early childhood intervention. She soon became a behavior technician for Denver Public Schools and worked in a variety of special needs classrooms, training staff and helping to accommodate the needs of young students. Mayra took a break from special education and taught English in South Korea for over 3 years. Now back in the U.S. she is excited to work once again with children with disabilities and help Hispanic families in her community.

Joshua Wann

Adult Advocate

April Prahst

Adult Advocate

Joshua joined the Arc of Adams County in 2020. Joshua has been a part of the I/DD community for much of his personal life and professional career. He is a brother and friend to people with disabilities, he has worked as a support partner and as a direct care staff member in residential and day habilitation settings. He has served as a program manager and a case worker. Joshua attributes much of the richness of his life to the relationships he has with people in the I/DD community. Joshua’s core values include education, understanding, honesty, compassion, and family. These values are in line with his personal approach to advocacy. Joshua believes in the importance of people understanding their rights and their responsibilities in exercising them, that people deserve respect and fair treatment, and that all people have the capacity to learn, grow, and achieve. Joshua strives to be an agent of peace and reconciliation, to meet people where they are at in life’s journey, and to act and speak in ways that foster healing instead of harm.

April graduated from Nyack College, with a BA in Intercultural Studies. She has worked in the field of IDD in New York for 7 years and has experience in Day Habilitation, Medicaid Service Coordination and Care Management. April moved to Colorado in 2022, which is originally her hometown. She spent a year as a stay-at-home-mom but has recently joined Arc Adams as an Adult Advocate. April is a mother to a son with autism and hopes to help people with IDD become self-advocates and realize & accomplish their dreams and goals.

meet our board



Dana has been a resident of Adams County for over 25 years and has a 22-year-old daughter with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  She became motivated in fighting for the rights of individuals with disabilities when her daughter was born and will continue to make sure that she and others with I/DD have the same opportunities as anyone else. The Arc of Adams County has helped through the years navigate the education system and they have been a great resource over the years. As a board member of the Arc of Adams County, it has helped Dana continue her role of advocacy but on a much bigger scale. It is so important to give back to organizations that have made a difference in our life and being on this board does that each and every day.



Lynnelle joined the board of the Arc of Adams County several years ago when she was working with individuals with I/DD. Lynnelle learned firsthand what an asset the Arc was for those individuals and their families who live in Adams County.  The Arc of Adams provides advocacy and support to people with I/DD that help enrich their lives and assists them with learning to advocate for themselves.  She is proud to be on the board of an agency where the staff is so professional and knowledgeable.



Steve has been a member of the Arc of Adams County board since 2010. He is proud to be a board member because he likes to help people. Steve comments that talking about what the Arc does, helps him a lot too. Steve is a person living with a disability; he reflected that serving as a board member has helped him come a long way in being empowered to ask questions and speaking up about his thoughts and opinions on different subjects. He likes working with the other members of the board. Steve stated that the board members read information aloud for him and they help explain things he doesn’t understand in a way that he can understand it. “I really enjoy it!” he said.



Katie has been so honored to be part of this amazing organization for over 16 years.  The Arc of Adams County leadership, advocacy, and support staff are among some of the most gifted, passionate, and committed individuals she has ever met.  Her own family has benefitted in so many ways from the Arc’s positive influences over the years, and even though there is still so much to do, positive, systemic change is happening here in Colorado, because of The Arc’s hard work and advocacy. As a board member, I am so proud of the work we do to empower families and individuals to be their own advocates. I am grateful to be a small part of it.


Board Treasurer

Al is new to The Arc of Adams County Board, but has a strong business and over 40 years in the financial services industry.  He has years of experience in the corporate world as well as running his own small business.  Although not a native, he has been in this area for approximately 30 years, and has been active in the betterment of our community as well as serving as President of the Westminster Rotary Club two consecutive years. In addition, he was the president of the clubs Foundation with over 1 million dollars in assets.  He also has been active with the local Chamber and served on the board member for the Ranch Country Club for 4 years.  He is proud to be an Arc board member, and believes his business and financial background along with his passion for community service will serve him well in this new roll.



Jeff Althaus runs an estate planning and probate law firm in Northglenn, Colorado. Formerly, Jeff was a lawyer at the office of the Deputy Public Administrator in Adams County where he handled numerous guardianship and conservatorship matters, as well as complex probate issues. While at this office, Jeff dealt with families tearing each other apart trying to fight for inheritances, and many other heart-breaking issues. Through this experience, he has developed a mission to make sure that no one has to end up in these situations. It was at this office that he was first introduced to Arc, as they did amazing work supporting individuals with IDD both in and out of the courtroom. He is very excited to play a more integral role in the organization moving forward!

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