About us

The Association of Group Homes and Nodaway County Services

Meet the Leaders

Mark Parra, M. Ed., BCBA, lba

Executive Director

Mark has been with the agency since 2007, working various roles. He has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Education Instruction and Curriculum (Applied Behavior Analysis).

Mark is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a license for the state of Missouri. He specializes in crisis situations, Acceptance and Commitment Training, and Organizational Behavior Management.

AMy Gessert

Assistant Director

Amy is the Assistant Director of Nodaway County Services & Association of Group Homes. She oversees all divisions and coaches Department Heads, serves on the Executive Team, and actively seeks out new funding and contract opportunities.

Amy started at AGH & NCS as a DPM who created, developed, and oversaw a transitional home, assisted in transitioning some locations from Group Homes to Independent Supported Living homes, and facilitated the opening of three additional ISLs while managing the Personal Assistance program. Then, as the Director of Development, she established NCS Works-their Employment Division, and brought Community Integration and Independent Skill Development to NCS, merging those services with the Personal Assistance program to create Building Independence.

In 2020, Amy combed through, compiled, translated, and assessed ever-changing guidance and best practices to lead the agency through the first year of the pandemic. She fought tirelessly to help the people we support and the staff who serve them be among the first in Nodaway County to receive COVID vaccinations.

Prior to working at AGH & NCS, Amy worked for 10 years at Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services, a public interest law firm, where she started as an Advocacy Specialist and grew to oversee a team of attorney and non-attorney advocates in the firm's Social Security Hearings Unit.

Amy is also active in her community as a business owner, serves on a statewide Board of Directors supporting employment for people with disabilities, volunteers on the area’s Mental Health Resources Implementation Committee, and actively participates in partnerships to keep the community strong.

Luke Johnson

Fiscal Manager

Luke Johnson currently serves as the Fiscal Manager for AGH/NCS. He began working for the agency in April 2018 as Direct Support and later as a House Manager while a college student at Northwest Missouri State University. Luke graduated from Northwest with bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Marketing in May 2020. Luke says he has enjoyed developing relationships with our individuals and is glad to help them live a fun, healthy lifestyle they choose!

Tara White

HR Generalist

Susan henggeler, Financial/HR associate


  • Impact over 400 individuals yearly with developmental disabilities.

  • Employ nearly 200 employees to carry out our mission.

  • Over a dozen locations.

  • Seven programs in a total of 7 counties in Northwest Missouri.

  • Four divisions.

  • Two Corporations.

  • One Administration


Community Living Services

      • Group Home Programming

      • Independent Supported Living Programming

      • Respite Services

      • Building Independence Programming

        • Personal Assistance Services

        • CI Services

        • ISD Services

NCS Works Employment Services

      • Real work for real wages

      • Customized Employment

Turning Point Behavioral Services

      • Team of Professionals for Assessment Services

      • Staff Training onsite

      • Multiple programmatic options

      • Future Behavior Analyst Services

Service Coordination Services

      • Targeted Case Management Services in 7 counties in Northwest Missouri

A little History

A few citizens of Nodaway County wanted to enhance services available to people with developmental disabilities in our area. Limited opportunities for employment had been established through a sheltered workshop, and a great void existed in the areas of residential services and other supports. After several years of meeting and planning informally, on November 26, 1980, the first not-for-profit corporation was formed. This organization became known as the Association of Group Homes for Nodaway County, Inc. (AGH). On September 24, 1984, AGH opened the first three group homes.

A few months later, in February 1985, the board began offering non-residential supports through a sister agency. This new agency was named Nodaway County Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. (NCS). NCS became officially incorporated May 13, 1986.

The mission of AGH and NCS is rooted in the strong belief that every person has a right to live in their community as an accepted and active member. AGH and NCS strive to help people, with and without disabilities, learn from one another to promote a strong and inclusive community of acceptance and opportunity.

AGH and NCS recognizes each person as an individual with their own unique talents, strengths, gifts and needs. This is what drives our mission: to help people live the life they want and reach their fullest potential through compassion, dignity, and respect.

Board of Directors

Board President: Cindy Williams

President Elect: Kristine Barclay

Secretary: Christy Tapps

Treasurer: Jeanette Whited

Member: Marlin Kinman

Member: Teresa Nielson

Member: Dagmar Whipple

Member: Carl Droegemueller

Member: Lenda Kling