Since 2000, Community Living’s Legacy Ball has celebrated those who make outstanding contributions to people with disabilities and to the community as a whole by honoring an impactful person with the Legacy Award.
Legacy Award: Peg Capo
Peg Capo was raised in suburban Detroit. Her parents instilled strong values in Peg and her four siblings, including family, faith, fun and contributing to the community. After 12 years of Catholic education, Peg was admitted to the University of Notre Dame in the 3rd Freshman class to include women. Upon graduation, she worked for the Girl Scouts of Singing Sands, organizing troops and training leaders. She left the Girl Scouts to enroll in graduate school at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University – Bloomington, where she earned an M.B.A. in Marketing. Peg moved to St. Louis to work in Product Management at Ralston Purina in the cereal group, managing brands such as Ghostbusters, Rainbow Bright and GI Joe Cereal.
After eight years at Purina, Peg returned to mission-based work when she was hired as the first Executive Director of the Handicapped Facilities Board of St. Charles County, now the Developmental Disabilities Resource Board (DDRB). The Board challenged Peg to create a funding process that was transparent and equitable to partner agencies, accountable to St. Charles County taxpayers and, most importantly, ensured that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families were able to access the services and supports they needed to be fully included in the St. Charles County community.
Peg has served as executive director of the DDRB for 29 years. The DDRB contracts with over 35 partner agencies to provide a broad array of services to over 2,500 individuals. The DDRB also provides case management services to over 1,300 St. Charles County citizens with developmental disabilities.
Peg has helped to establish the DDRB’s reputation as a leader in funding and providing supports to St. Charles County citizens with developmental disabilities through strong provider partnerships, innovative funding strategies and transparent processes that actively engage the St. Charles County community. Peg is a founding partner of the Eastern Regional Alliance (ERA), a partnership of the four County Developmental Disabilities Boards in the St. Louis Region. The ERA has created a common funding and accountability framework for partner agencies. Collaborating with public, non-profit, civic and corporate organizations, the DDRB has attracted innovative programs to St. Charles County.
Peg serves on committees and workgroups with state and national significance, including UMKC’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities’ Leadership Advisory Team and the Missouri Association of County Developmental Disability Services’ (MACDDS) Best Practices and Governmental Affairs Committees.
Peg has received several awards over the years, recently including East West Gateway Council of Government’s Lifetime Public Service Award (2022) and the Community Council of St. Charles County’s Community Collaboration Award, along with the Eastern Region Alliance (2022). Professional awards are wonderful, but Peg’s greatest inspiration has come directly from individuals with developmental disabilities who have benefitted from the supports they have received – people who work, live and build their own families in St. Charles County. It is their stories that have forever impacted Peg’s life and fill her with gratitude!
Peg lives with her wife, Gayle, in St. Louis County and is looking forward to spending time with their new grandson Henry! She especially treasures time spent with family and friends and will forever be a devoted fan of the Fighting Irish!