Meet the MSNT Staff

Midwest Special Needs Trust staff serve our beneficiaries with care and compassion. Our backgrounds may be varied but our purpose is a common one. Would you like to learn more about our staff?

Kathy Birkes Executive Director MSNT

Bianca Farr

Executive Director

Bianca Farr, MSW, LCSW, joined MSNT as Associate Director in November of 2019. Graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a BA in Psychology and Master’s in Social Work, Bianca devoted her career to enhancing the quality of life for people of all abilities. Her experience includes over 22 years in state government as a mental health professional working with individuals/families with disabilities as well as policy development for behavioral health programs. For the past seven years, she served as the Director of Employment Services for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health. In this role she managed special projects that promoted the importance of supported employment and financial well-being of individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders.

Kathy Birkes Executive Director MSNT

Casie Stephens

Director of Trust Services

Casie joined MSNT in September 2011, after working as a case manager with the Clay County Public Administrators office. Casie educates professionals, families, and individuals about special needs trust and ABLE Accounts. Casie works closely with Co-Trustees and guardians to help administer the trust. Casie graduated from William Jewell College with a BA in Psychology and received her certification as a Certified Work Incentives Practitioner from Cornell University.

Kathy Birkes Executive Director MSNT

Shelley Morse

Trust Specialist III

Shelley joined MSNT in January 2021. Attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Educational and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Rehabilitation. This further developed her interests and passion for serving and advocating for individuals with disabilities and seniors. Shelley brings over 25 years of experience of serving those with special needs including her most recent experience as the owner of a home care company serving Central Missouri.

Kathy Birkes Executive Director MSNT

Gabe Wilkerson

IT Director

Gabe is an IT professional with over two decades of successful experience in managing and supporting business IT needs. Gabe provides a collaborative approach to his position using IT technologies and strategies that improve efficiency and provide reliable access to critical data. A strong believer in the mission of Midwest Special Needs Trust, Gabe uses his personal relationships with persons with disabilities to bring a compassionate and dedicated attitude to his position.

Heather Stewart

Communications and Development Director

Heather joined MSNT in August 2023 as the Communications and Development Director. She brings over 20 years of marketing and nonprofit experience including working with individuals with disabilities. Heather is originally from Iowa and graduated from William Penn College with a BA in Marketing and Sales. She has received various certifications from Google, Hubspot, Facebook and other organizations in digital marketing, e-commerce, and social media. Her focus will be growing awareness of MSNT and growing our funds for the Charitable Grant Program. She has a personal connection to individuals with disabilities and is passionate about our mission.

Danielle Thomas's headshot

Danielle Thomas

Charitable Trust Specialist

Danielle joined MSNT in October 2023.  She spent 9 years working for the State of Missouri and 10 years in private industry.  At MSNT, she looks forward to assisting people with disabilities obtain financial assistance grants.  Danielle earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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