Contact Information

Disability Management Employer Coalition

5173 Waring Road., Suite 134
San Diego, CA 92120-2705
Phone: 800.789.3632
Fax: 877.789.3632

DMEC Staff

Terri L. Rhodes, CLMS, CCMP, CPDM, MBA | Chief Executive Officer

800.789.3632, ext.117

Terri has extensive knowledge and expertise in all aspects of absence and disability program management. Terri was an Absence and Disability Management Consultant for Mercer delivering strategic absence and disability management solutions to clients of all sizes. She also served as Director of Absence and Disability for Health Net and Corporate IDM Program Manager for Abbott Laboratories and was an early adopter building an Integrated Disability Management program for Legacy Health System.

Terri holds an MBA (Business Management) from Columbus University, a Certified Leave Management Specialist (CLMS), Certified Professional in Disability Management (CPDM), and a Certified Case Management Professional (CCMP).


Bryon Bass, CLMS | Incoming Chief Executive Officer
800.789.3632, ext.108

Bryon joined DMEC in 2023. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the absence and disability management industry. He was previously Senior Vice President, Workforce Absence and Disability Practice Leader for Sedgwick where he oversaw disability and absence management product strategy, innovation, standards and compliance, and product line best practices. He also worked in a variety of absence and disability management roles for employers across a broad range of industries. Bryon will assume the role of CEO on Jan. 1, 2024 and provide strategic executive leadership for the association and oversee all association activities.

Bryon holds a BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and is a Certified Leave Management Specialist (CLMS).


Tasha Patterson, MBA | Chief Operating Officer

800.789.3632, ext.102

Tasha joined DMEC in 2015. She brings more than eighteen years of strategic marketing, communications, and operations experience in various association and non-profit settings. Tasha is responsible for overseeing the management of DMEC’s day-to-day operations, including development of education programs, new products and services, and execution of the company’s vision, mission, and strategic plan.

Tasha holds an MBA from the University of Colorado Denver and a BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Wheaton College.


Communications, Marketing & Membership

Heather Grimshaw | Communications Manager
800.789.3632, ext. 129

Heather joined DMEC in 2021. She has specialized in healthcare communications for human and veterinary medicine for more than 20 years. Heather has worked with and managed all types of communications — from award-winning magazines to newspapers and emails, websites, podcasts, and videos — and was drawn to the field to justify an insatiable curiosity about people and what inspires them. She is responsible for developing DMEC’s external communications and content including @Work magazine, blogs, podcasts, social media posts, and more.

Heather holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Simmons College.


Stephanie Phillips | Marketing & Membership Manager
800.789.3632, ext. 128

Stephanie joined DMEC in 2022. She has more than 11 years of experience managing marketing, volunteers, events, and programs for various associations and has a passion for digital marketing. Stephanie is responsible for strategic marketing and lead generation for DMEC’s products and services as well as recruitment and retention programs for DMEC membership.

Stephanie holds a BS in Mass Communications with a minor in History from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Jennifer Nelson, CLMS | Business Development Associate

800.789.3632, ext. 121

Jennifer joined DMEC in 2016. She brings over ten years of integrated marketing experience in both non-profit and for-profit industries, including positions in the performing arts and managed IT services. Jennifer is responsible for marketing, sales, and communication activities for various DMEC events and programs, manages @Work magazine advertising, and supports several DMEC volunteer groups throughout the year.

Jennifer holds a BA in Consumer Sciences with a minor in Fine Arts from Central Washington University.



JoAnne Spitale, MS, DES | Senior Conferences Manager
800.789.3632, ext.119

JoAnne joined DMEC in 2009. She has over 20 years of experience, including all aspects of meeting planning, in the association meeting planning industry. She particularly enjoys meeting logistics and onsite management. JoAnne is responsible for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of DMEC’s face-to-face and virtual conferences.

JoAnne holds a BA and MS from High Point University and earned her DES Digital Event Specialist credential in April 2018.


Stephanie Kappus, CMP | Conferences Manager
800.789.3632, ext.106

Stephanie joined DMEC in 2022. She brings more than eight years of hands-on program management and conference planning experience within the educational and nonprofit association sectors. Stephanie is responsible for the successful planning and implementation of DMEC’s face-to-face and virtual conferences.

Stephanie earned a BS in Tourism, Convention, and Event Management from Indianapolis University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).



Kristin Jones, CLMS, PHR, SHRM-CP | Director, Education Programs

800.789.3632, ext. 126

Kristin joined DMEC in 2017. She has over 10 years of experience in human resources and training in the for-profit sector.  Kristin most recently served as the HR Manager for a manufacturing facility, overseeing all aspects of the location’s human resources program and leave management. Kristin is responsible for the strategic development, management, and delivery of educational programming for DMEC’s education and training programs

Kristin holds a BS in Communications from Missouri State University, and is a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). She is also a certified training facilitator for both Development Dimensions International (DDI) and Thomas International PPA+.


Jess Dudley, CLMS, CPDM | Education Manager
800.789.3632, ext. 122

Jess joined DMEC in 2022. She has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in integrated disability and absence management and is a subject matter expert on the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, short-term disability, long-term disability, and workers’ compensation. Jess is responsible for the development and delivery of DMEC’s educational events, products, and services.

Jess holds a BA in Media Arts and Leadership from Metropolitan State University and is a Certified Leave Management Specialist (CLMS) and Certified Professional in Disability Management (CPDM).


Cindy Espe | Virtual Events Manager

800.789.3632, ext. 118

Cindy joined DMEC in 2013. She contributes a strong administrative and technical background from a variety of industries. Her experience includes CRM database administration, business systems integration, event planning, and executive support. Her logistical strengths and organizational skills make her well-equipped to administer DMEC’s online educational events. This includes managing the technical details for DMEC webinars as well as working with National sponsors and presenters to ensure a seamless and successful webinar program.


Jai Hooker | Education Programs Coordinator
Jai Hooker
800.789.3632, ext.127

Jai joined DMEC in 2020. She has several years of coordination and management experience in the architectural, motorcoach and drug court association industries and extensive experience working as a liaison to boards, committees/councils, and executive staff. She is responsible for supporting the DMEC Education Team, DMEC events, and other association activities.



Marthanne Gershman | Director of Finance
800.789.3632, ext. 104

Marthanne joined DMEC in 2022. She has over 25 years of experience managing finance and accounting activities for a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations. Marthanne is responsible for managing accounting and finance operations for DMEC.

Marthanne holds a BS in Accounting from Russell Sage College.


IT & Customer Support

Lisa Jorgenson | Database Administrator
800.789.3632, ext. 120

Lisa rejoined DMEC in 2022. She brings over 12 years of experience in data management and CRM application development, with more than five years of experience managing non-profit association membership systems. Lisa is responsible for the management and maintenance of DMEC’s database and related IT systems.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Information Systems from Saint Cloud State University.


Dominica Vargo, CLMS | Customer and Accounting Support Specialist

800.789.3632, ext. 124

Dominica joined DMEC in 2017. She brings over 20 years of experience in customer service, process improvement, and database administration. She is responsible for providing technical support for DMEC members, events, and education programs, as well as assisting with daily accounting activities.

Dominica is a Customer Service & Sales Certified Specialist, an Office Specialist, and has completed the NorthStar Digital Literacy course.