Meet Our Staff

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Stephanie Cooper, Chief Executive Officer: Primary advocate for the mission, vision, and values of Douglass Community Services. Has extensive background in non-profit management including grant administration, program development, strategic planning, fundraising, board governance, personnel, marketing and financial oversight. Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Christopher Newport University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis on Policy, Planning and Administration from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dan Whelan, Chief Financial Officer: Responsible for the overall efficient operation of all agency fiscal and accounting procedures in accordance with applicable regulatory guidelines. Over twenty-two years experience in accounting, finance and general management of businesses and nonprofit organizations. Holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from Quincy University.

Julie Mitchell, Chief Operation Officer: A graduate of Culver Stockton College, Mitchell previously served as the executive director of Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.  She and her family live in Hannibal. Before becoming the COO, Mitchell was Douglass’ Director of Human Resources.  The Chief Operations Officer is responsible for day-to-day management of the agency, including oversite of programs and the human resources department.


Stacey Nicholas, Chief Development Officer: A resident of Lewis County, Nicholas previously served Douglass as the director of the Community Outreach Initiatives programs.  Presently, she helps the various friends and partners of Douglass Community Services to explore the many ways that Douglass builds strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.  The Chief Development Officers is responsible for coordinating fundraising, development and media content for Douglass Community Services.

Linda Bleything, Head Start Director: Responsible for the overall operation of thirteen Head Start and Early Head Start Centers in eight counties in Northeast Missouri serving over 530 children. Holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Southwest Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Iowa Wesleyan College, and a Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix.

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Mike Blase, Housing Director: Responsible for writing and administering several grants to assist households that are at-risk of homelessness in Marion and Ralls counties. Mike represents Douglass in multiple collaboration efforts with other area agencies to help area clients overcome housing obstacles. After working for the Hannibal Public Schools for 32 years as a teacher, counselor, and coach, Mike has been with Douglass since 2013. Blase holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Education in Educational and Counseling Psychology, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.