MEET OUR FOUNDER
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. After my 24th birthday I suffered a spinal cord injury after being shot multiple times. I then went into a deep depression. I found myself as a single father in a wheelchair, adjusting to a completely new and difficult lifestyle. I was also dangerously overweight. But my daughter inspired me. My love for her is greater than she’ll ever know. And that love inspired me to take action, and I decided to become a good role model for her. I began a weight loss journey with a fitness and nutrition regiment. My physical and mental transformation was something that I realized had potential to help others who may be in similar situations. I wanted to help other individuals who were struggling, so I founded my non-profit, Disabled But Not Really. Individuals with disabilities should feel empowered to overcome any mental limits they may have — that’s the driving force of the organization.
Disabled But Not Really (DBNR) advocates for the disabled community by raising awareness about Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), promoting mental and physical wellness, and engaging diverse audiences through local and national events. People deserve to know they are more than their circumstances. As founder of Disabled But Not Really (DBNR), I’m shaking things up in the world of disability awareness and adaptive fitness. Those with disabilities need encouragement to move past their physical and mental challenges — our dreams matter too.
THE BOARD OR DIRECTORS
Jeff Czernicki | Chief Operating Officer
Jeff served four years in the Army working within the military intelligence arena, primarily in West Berlin. His time in the service developed a belief in personal accountability and valuing the efforts of others in a collaborative environment.
Jeff retired from UPS as an executive with over 30 years of service in operations, transportation, human resources, and planning. As an iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) certified professional coach, he is currently the CEO and founder of Perpetual Compass Coaching, LLC.
He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission South H.S. and he received his B.S. in Business Management from Baker University.
His pursuit of coaching as a second career aligns well with the intentions of the Disabled But Not Really Foundation. Jeff’s passion is in helping others develop their talents in a way that serves their values system and assists them in the shift from “Who am I?” to “Who I am!” Moreover, create a sustainable intention towards the outcomes they desire. Jeff is married, and he and his wife, Rea live in Prairie Village, Kansas.
Anthony Trakas | Chief Financial Officer
Anthony is a Kansas City native who grew up on the east side of the metro and graduated from Rockhurst High School. Anthony earned a Bachelors degree in Economics and Finance from Loyola New Orleans followed by a Masters of Science in Finance from Villanova University outside Philadelphia.
Upon graduation, he stayed in Philadelphia to pursue a career in Marketing and Finance. Anthony worked for multiple Fortune 50 companies during his time on the east coast, specializing in marketing and finance within the semiconductor manufacturing industry and ultimately with the world leader in water purification technology and sustainability.
He has served on the board of directors for a not-for-profit financial institution as well as being involved in various non-profit organizations focused on promoting the arts and sciences with underprivileged youth.
Returning to Kansas City has allowed him to rediscover the city he has always called home and reconnected with people that make it such a beautiful and vibrant city.
Emmaniel Maxi | Director of Partnerships
As a native of Kansas City, Emmaniel is committed to providing positive and meaningful opportunities for his community to establish a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Emmaniel earned his Associate’s of Arts from Johnson County Community College and his Bachelor’s in Applied Organizational Leadership from MidAmerica Nazarene University. He applies his leadership skills and abilities through his work as a training supervisor at Medi Coach Transportation where he also provides medical assistance to patients receiving rehabilitation services. Emmaniel’s first-hand exposure to the power of rehabilitation inspired him to share and motivate others to place emphasis on their health. In his free time, Emmaniel enjoys live music and spending time with his family.
Marcus C. Kelly | Director of Marketing
Marcus is a recent KCMO transplant from the great state of Iowa. He graduated with a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Northern Iowa which lead him into a unique gig within the air charter industry. For the past 5 years, Marcus has worked his way up to an Air Charter Consultant at STM Charters and has helped build the company into an industry leading private aviation consulting firm. In his free time, you can catch him working on freelance marketing, hitting the trails with his road bike, mingling with the awesome people of KC, and enjoying all this city has to offer.
Jessica Kaufman | Director of Fitness and Nutrition
Jessica Kaufman is an ACE Certified Health Coach who also holds a Bachelor’s in Dietetics from Northwest Missouri State University. Her love for food and cooking started in the kitchen at a very young age. Through her own struggles and journey to health, she found nutrition and exercise.
She believes that food can be healing and nurturing, not only physically, but also mentally. Jessica advocates living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and she believes that both nutrition and physical activity play an integral part in one’s overall well-being. Jessica is passionate about her community and supporting the people within it on their journeys toward wellness.
Matt Denney | Director of Advocacy
Matt is a KC entrepreneur that currently focuses on recruiting high-level talent for the IT industry. Matt has been a part of four start-ups and was an early employee and stock grantee at Bats Global Market. Having a love for recruiting high-level talent, he started StarRecruit LLC in 2012 as a solo practitioner recruiting IT talent.
Matt has worked on both sides of the HR desk, both as an HR Director and while recruiting independently for his IT clients.
His journey to being a board member at DBNR is an interesting one. Matt first learned about DBNR through his son who had heard DBNR’s founder Wesley Hamilton give an inspirational talk to his football team. That’s is when Matt knew Wesley Hamilton and DBNR were something special.
Matt himself was diagnosed with a rare muscular dystrophy in his late 40’s that has affected his ability to do some of the things he so loved in life like golf and hiking in the woods. Matt indeed has an understanding and compassion for those that are disabled. He enjoys volunteering for the Job Club at his church and also serves on the board of directors of the Computer Science Department at MS&T in Rolla, Mo. As well as being a founding board member of the KCTech Council. Matt sees his disability as a blessing and looks forward to serving those around him.
Disabled But Not Really is a 501(c)3 organization providing equal access to the underserved disabled community; through programs that focus on fitness, wellness, and mental health.