Access Living Leadership

Listed below are biographies for Access Living Executives and Directors.

Marca Bristo

President & CEO

Marca Bristo, is President & CEO of Access Living, one of the first 10 federally-funded CILs in the U.S. As the former president of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Bristo worked with the broader civil rights community on the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Bristo served as the Presidentially-appointed chairperson of the National Council on Disability (NCD) from 1994-2002. She is the most recent emeritus President of the United States International Council on Disabilities, is a member of Human Rights Watch Disability Advisory Committee, member of the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council. She serves on the Boards of Rush University Medical Center, Forefront, and the RIC Foundation. She earned a B.A. from Beloit College and a B.S. in Nursing from Rush University.

Daisy Feidt

Executive Vice President

Daisy Feidt graduated from Lawrence University with a B.A. in Psychology in 1997. Following graduation she worked at Allendale, a residential treatment center for children with psychiatric disabilities and conduct disorders. While working at Allendale, Daisy discovered the Health Resource Center for Women with Disabilities and quickly became immersed in several projects there in her spare time where she also learned of Access Living. At Access Living she worked for three years as the Housing Community Integration Coordinator. Her work focused on expanding homeownership opportunities for people with disabilities and advocating for more integrated, independent housing as alternatives to group homes. In 2002, Daisy became the Associate Director of Programs at Access Living. As the Associate Director of Programs, her responsibilities included program development, evaluation of Access Living programs and grants administration. In 2004 she was promoted to Director of Development and was responsible for raising Access Living’s $3.5 million operating budget as well as our $18 million dollar capital campaign. In 2007, Daisy was promoted to Executive Vice President. In that role, she is responsible for the internal operations of Access Living.

Rahnee Patrick

Director of Independent Living

Prior to becoming Director of Independent Living, Rahnee served as our Fair Housing Testing and Investigation Coordinator, Youth and Education Team Leader, and Director of Programs. In 2007, the Governor appointed her to the Illinois State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities. She was the recipient of the 2008 Paul Hearne Award of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). She has also served on AAPD’s board. Rahnee’s experience as a person with a disability and her experience working with and serving people with disabilities have given her the necessary expertise to lead our direct service work.

Amber Smock

Director of Advocacy

Amber started at Access Living in 2005 as an organizer working with young people with disabilities. Amber currently serves on the Transit Access Committee of the Regional Transit Authority, is a Commissioner on the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, is a co-founder of Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA), and is a member of the disability rights group ADAPT. She has been honored many times for her advocacy work, most notably as a 2012 recipient of the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities, the 2009 Chicago Disability Pride Parade Grand Marshal, the 2008 Progress Center Annie Hopkin’s Advocate of the Year, and the 2008 Founder’s Award recipient from the Chicago Foundation for Women. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in English and art from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mimi Alschuler

Director of Development

Mimi Alschuler graduated from Northwestern University in 1986 with a B.A. in Political Science and Urban Studies. She worked as a political consultant and fundraiser for sixteen years representing candidates running for local, state, and federal offices. She left the political arena in 2002 to become Director of Development for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. In November 2006, Ms. Alschuler became the Director of Development for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. As such, she coordinates Access Living’s individual, corporate, foundation, special event, and government fund-raising efforts; is responsible for the oversight of a team that raises an annual budget of approximately $5.2 million.

Bridget Hayman

Director of Communications

Bridget Hayman specializes in digital, media, and content marketing with 17 years of experience activating cross-channel communication strategies in healthcare, finance, and the nonprofit sector.
 
Before joining Access Living, Bridget was the Director of Digital Content Marketing at Easterseals national headquarters and served as the Associate Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Valence Health. 
 
Prior to that, she built and executed social media strategies from the ground up for both the American Dental Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. She began her professional career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
 
Bridget is a 2018 University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy Fellow, a 2017 ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellow, and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
 
She holds an MA in Visual Culture from Lancaster University, England, and a triple BA in English, Journalism, and Public Relations from the University of Northern Colorado.