Steve Degnan Elected Chairman of the Starkloff Disability Institute Board of Directors

Starkloff Disability Institute (SDI) is pleased to announce that Steve Degnan has been elected Chairman of the Board of the non-profit organization, which works to change societal attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities through programs that send positive messages about living with disability. (
“I am very enthusiastic and honored to be elected SDI’s board chairman as the organization celebrates this year’s 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990,” said Degnan, a member of SDI’s Board of Directors since 2010.
Degnan is Chief Human Resource Officer, North America, at Nestle Purina PetCare, a highly committed partner in the St. Louis community for more than 100 years.  St. Louis is headquarters for both the North American and Latin American businesses for Nestle Purina, the world’s premiere PetCare company. Nestle Purina has been a strong partner with SDI for more than five years and has earned ‘Role Model Company’ status through its partnership.
Degnan and his human resources staff at Nestlé Purina are involved with SDI’s “Next Big Step” program, which facilitates the hiring of qualified people with disabilities into competitive jobs. He is a graduate of LaSalle University in Philadelphia and the Olin School of Business at Washington University where he earned his MBA in 2008.
SDI Co-Director Colleen Starkloff said, “Steve is a caring and committed executive whose leadership experience and vision will help SDI achieve our mission to create a world that welcomes disabled people, and to advance our ‘Next Big Step’ employment initiative. We are extremely pleased that Steve will serve as SDI’s board chair during the year ahead.”
July 26, 2015, marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark legislation guarantees civil rights and protection from discrimination for people with disabilities, which is America’s largest minority group. Twenty (20) percent of people in the United States have a disability. 
Celebrations of the ADA’s passage on July 26, 1990, will take place in Washington D.C., St. Louis, and cities across the nation throughout the year.  SDI is partnering with the Missouri History Museum and other community agencies to present “ADA 25 STL: An Anniversary Celebration” on October 3, 2015 in Forest Park. 
Starkloff Disability Institute
Founded in 2003 by Max and Colleen Starkloff and David Newburger, the Starkloff Disability Institute works to create a world that welcomes disabled people in every aspect of society. Programs include the Next Big Step employment initiative, the Max Starkloff Speakers Series, the Universal Design Summit, and the Disabilities Studies Initiative at Maryville University. SDI also offers professional services to businesses that want to welcome people with disabilities into their workforce.
For information about Starkloff Disability Institute, contact Lori A. Becker at 314-588-7090 or email or see the website

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