Meet the DASA Team

These are the individuals who work hard to provide you and your family the best adaptive sport and fitness experiences possible! Read the bios below to become more familiar with our staff and the specific roles they play in our organization. We encourage you to contact them with any questions you might have about our programming.

Kelly Behlmann

FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Kelly has a degree in Physical Therapy from Maryville University. She has one daughter, Alex, and one son, Kyle. Kelly founded DASA in May of 1997 after dreaming of starting an organization that would provide athletic and fitness opportunities to children with physical and visual disabilities. Since then, Kelly has watched her dream become a reality through helping others find and achieve theirs.

As a Physical Therapist, she understood the need to stay fit. Being involved in sports is a great way to build strength and self-confidence. As a mother, she understands the instinct to help your children be the best they can be at all they do in life. It is important to Kelly that all DASA athletes realize their greatest potential and that they act on it. It is important that they become advocates for themselves in a world that might not initially accept them for their differences. They should have the emotional and spiritual strength as well as the physical strength to achieve their goals as an athlete and a person.

Please contact Kelly for any Sponsorship and DASA Programming information at kellyb@dasasports.org.

Jeff Franta

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Jeff Franta joined DASA in May 2022 as the Director of Operations. In this role he facilitates internal and external operations to support DASA’s mission of empowering athletes through adaptive sports and fitness.

Jeff brings 10-plus years of operations management experience to DASA, most recently with the Gateway Region YMCA. Prior to his time with the Y, Jeff worked in intercollegiate athletics at WashU, Mizzou, and UMSL respectively over the course of 8 years.

Throughout his career, Jeff has administered operations focusing on community engagement, event management, development, staffing, volunteers, facilities, marketing, communications, apparel, and equipment in diverse organizations whose primary purpose has been serving children, families, and student-athletes.

A native of Columbia, MO, he is a 2013 graduate of Missouri-St. Louis, earning a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in business management, marketing, and communications. Jeff received his master’s degree in education from Missouri in 2019.

Please reach out to Jeff at jefff@dasasports.org for any operational needs.

Meghan Morgan, MSW

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Born into an extremely active (and slightly competitive!) family, Meghan first learned to swim, then walk, then ski! As she grew older, Meghan competed in soccer, swimming, volleyball, softball, rowed crew, and skied recreationally. Currently, she stays active (and sane) by training for triathlons.

Meghan moved to St. Louis in July of 2005 to obtain her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Disability Studies, focusing her research and practicum experiences on adapted recreation and recreational therapy for people with disabilities. In her “free time,” Meghan is the manager for DASA’S Wheelchair Rugby team and is actively involved with the training of local Paralympian and USA Wheelchair Track team member and spouse, Kerri Morgan. Meghan is thrilled to be a part of the DASA family and for the opportunity to share her passion for recreation and sports.

Please contact Meghan for more information regarding DASA Competitive Programs and registration at meghanm@dasasports.org.

Jenny Parker

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Jenny started her career with DASA in 2000. In her role, she leads our business office supporting programming, special events, and office management. She also manages all of DASA’s volunteer needs relating to our over 500 events annually, all of which require volunteer support.

Throughout Jenny’s two-decade plus tenure with the organization, she has managed special events, development, and supported all aspects of DASA programming. She has a degree in Special Education from Missouri State University (previously Southwest Missouri State).

Outside of DASA, Jenny is the head coach for the Level 6 gymnastic team at GymQuarters Gymnastics. She and her husband have three children.

Please contact Jenny for any business needs or volunteer opportunities at jennyp@dasasports.org.

Jessica Davis

FUNDRAISING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

With close to 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Jessica has dedicated most of her professional career to improving the overall quality of life for individuals with disabilities. She has dual degrees in occupational and speech therapy and has provided direct services to children and adults of all abilities, particularly those with Autism. She has also served in the United States Army Reserves. When a back injury and multiple health issues made it difficult to continue the physical demands of her job, Jessica pivoted her career goals and pursued roles that would use her strengths in leadership, communication, and organizational management to continue her passion of empowering individuals.

As DASA’s Fundraising and Development Manager, Jessica is responsible for obtaining funds from foundations, corporations, and individuals through annual appeals, special events and strategic campaigns. These vital revenue streams allow DASA to achieve its mission to empower individuals with disabilities to find their inner athlete through adaptive sports and fitness. Personally, Jessica values both professional and personal development. She enjoys traveling, creative projects, music, reading, and making memories with her husband, sons and grandchildren.

Please contact Jessica for any fundraising and development initiatives at jessicad@dasasports.org.

Jessica Thomas, CTRS

COMPETITION MANAGER

Jessica graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Recreational therapy, and shortly after became a Certified Recreational Therapist. Due to her time living in the Dominican Republic and growing up in Arizona, Jessica is a fluent Spanish speaker. Before turning to adaptive sports, Jessica played stand-up sports from the age of 5 through half of her college years, and still plays recreationally. In Arizona, before working for DASA, Jessica worked for another adaptive sports company for 2.5 years programming, coaching, and providing recreational therapy to those in Phoenix.

Jessica and her husband live in the St. Louis area and love to stay active through mountain biking, camping, and any sport you give them an opportunity to play, stand-up or adaptive. Jessica is very passionate about helping others and is excited to continue to reach as many people as possible through her life-long passion of sport.

Please contact Jessica for more information regarding DASA Competitive Programs at jessicat@dasasports.org.

Ramona Vann

RECREATION MANAGER

A native of Northern Minne-snow-ta, Ramona comes to DASA bringing a unique and diverse set of skills with her. She has an A.A. in Multimedia Design and a BS in Business Management, Communication and Buying from UW-Wisconsin with over 15 years in business management. 

A lifelong learner and collegiate level athlete, she has focused more on her personal goals of impacting others in health and wellness. Initially serving as a personal trainer, HIIT and Mobility small group coach and group exercise instructor, Ramona found herself at the YWCA of Minneapolis, MN. From there she was able to combine her management work history with her love of fitness as a Health and Wellbeing Director within the Y of the North Minnesota and Wisconsin YMCA Association. 

More recently Ramona has worked with the Gateway Region YMCA as a Branch Business Manager. While there, she guided volunteers, committees and event planning and set-up. On the business side, HR, staff and volunteer orientations, documentation,  finance, campaigning, marketing and communications and overall development of that branch location. 

In Ramona’s spare time you can find her experiencing St. Louis with her young child, getting outside or taking a Body Pump class at the gym. Her favorite hobby is singing. She is a published musician, however, her most recent undertaking is singing children’s songs on the regular!

As a lifelong learner, Ramona is very excited to use her knowledge and experience to develop the Recreation programs here at DASA. You can contact Ramona for any questions regarding our Recreational programming at ramonav@dasasports.org

Eric Newby

MARKETING COORDINATOR

Eric graduated from Maryville University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing focused in graphic design. In 2021 he finished his MBA in marketing from Devry University and spent years doing marketing, sales and design in the accessible vehicle industry.
Eric grew up playing soccer, baseball, and basketball. In 2006 he was in an automobile accident and broke his C7 vertebrae. Shortly after his injury, he was introduced to wheelchair rugby. Rugby became more than a sport for Eric. It was an outlet, a support group, a motivation that paved a path to set goals for himself to gain the strength he needed to regain his independence in everyday life. Eric has been on the US National Wheelchair Rugby Team since 2013 and is a two-time Paralympian winning a silver medal in the 2016 and the 2020 games and is currently training for Paris 2024.

Please contact Eric for more information about the DASA Marketing at ericn@dasasports.org.

Kimi Kemp, MS, EP-C, CIFT

ADAPTIVE TRAINER

Kimi graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and Masters in Human Performance, emphasizing in disabilities and chronic diseases. She has the knowledge of exercise physiology and the biomechanics behind movement, exercise, and fitness. Kimi specializes in fitness and exercise for people of all ages and abilities. She is certified through The American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist, Certified and Certification Inclusive Fitness Trainer.

Please contact Kimi for more information about the Adaptive Training Programs at kimifitness@dasasports.org.

Amanda Bayer, BS

ADAPTIVE TRAINER

Amanda graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science, along with two Minor Degrees; one in Nutrition and the other in Health and Wellness. She is in the process of obtaining her Masters Degree in Health Sciences, with a focus in Fitness and Wellness. Amanda’s interest in exercise and nutrition was inspired by a personal weight loss journey that began at the age of 18. Over the course of two years, Amanda lost 80 pounds through her own dedication to developing a firm knowledge base in exercise science. She joined the DASA team in 2020, implementing her skills as an adaptive trainer, while also providing athletes the proper tools to pursue their own health and fitness goals. 

Please contact Amanda for more information about the Adaptive Training Programs at amandafitness@dasasports.org.

Ashley Brandt, BS

ADAPTIVE TRAINER

Ashley graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science. She achieved a 4.0 cumulative GPA during her time at Lindenwood, exhibiting her knowledge for science in the exercise realm. She’s known that exercise was her passion since her high school track days- and coupled with her passion for exercise, is her love for science. Ashley is currently in the application process for Occupational Therapy schooling with the goal of attaining a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. She is certified as an Exercise Physiologist, Certified through the American College of Sports Medicine.

Please contact Ashley for more information about the Adaptive Training Programs at ashleyfitness@dasasports.org.

Ellen McCorkle

ADAPTIVE TRAINER

Ellen graduated Lindenwood in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. While at Lindenwood she was also a part of the Women’s Basketball Team. Exercise and a passion to help others has always been something she has been interested in. In the future Ellen plans to earn her Masters in Occupational Therapy, and continue to help others. Ellen is a Certified Exercise Physiologist, through American College of Sports Medicine.

Please contact Ellen for more information about the Adaptive Training Programs at ellenfitness@dasasports.org.

Sarah Phaup

COMO PROGRAM COORDINATOR & CAMP DIRECTOR

Sarah is currently a Senior at the University of Missouri who will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science and an emphasis in Pre-Professional in spring 2022. Sarah has lived in Columbia, Missouri her whole life and has a passion for working with children. While in Columbia, she manages DASA’s adaptive sports teams such as wheelchair basketball, swimming, and weight training. In addition, she is the Camp Director for Camp WeCanDu.

Please contact Sarah for more information about the Sport Programs in Columbia and DASA’s Summer camp at sarahp@dasasports.org.

We would love to learn more about your fitness needs and how DASA can help, please do not hesitate to reach out!



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