On Thursday, April 14, The Arc of Massachusetts held our Annual Meeting at the Verve-Crowne Plaza in Natick. The meeting featured guest speaker Mary Lou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services, who spoke about her involvement with The Arc and The Arc’s important role in disability policy and implementation.
The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for The Arc to recognize members of the disability community who have had a significant impact. This year’s honorees were: Brockton Area Arc; Rick Hawes of Berkshire County Arc; John Grugan of Charles River Center; Dan Burke and The Arc of South Norfolk; and Michael Moloney and HMEA.
Outgoing Board President Dan Sullivan welcomed Tracy Atkinson, who was elected The Arc’s new President at the meeting.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Read more about this year’s honorees:
The Brockton Area Arc- For Leadership in Diversity
The Brockton Area Arc has made a significant impact in supporting diverse families. Kathy Kerwin, Family Resource Center Director, has recruited bilingual staff to provide groups and information offered in 3 different languages. Jay Lynch CEO and the Brockton board have provided strong support to reach out to more communities. The affiliate continues to be an active participant in the Council of Executives and initiatives at The Arc including the annual legislative reception.
Richard Hawes and Berkshire Arc – For Leadership in Advancing Inclusion
Rick joined the advisory committee of “Widening the Circle” (formerly Real Friends) collaboration between DDS and The Arc. The program is focused on building relationships between people with and without disabilities. He is Director of Employment Services at the Berkshire County Arc. Berkshire County Arc supported Rick’s activities in the project. Rick took a leadership role in developing the “Friends at Work” toolkit in conjunction with project director Jim Ross. They received input from others including the advisory group and consultant Mary Ann Brennan.
The toolkit has been hailed as an effective tool to further spur inclusion.
John Grugan, Charles River Center- For Decades of Leadership and Acheivement
John has served 16 years as the leader of the Charles River Center. He began to work there in 1981 after serving as head of I/DD services in the South Shore Area office of the Dept of Mental health (MH and DDS were one agency at the time). During that period he helped lead development of community supports during implementation of deinstitutionalization.
John has been a strong participant in the Council of Executives – he has reminded us of the importance of work, human rights and common sense. We recognize John For his Decades of Leadership and Achievement.
Daniel Burke, The Arc of South Norfolk – For Leadership and Sustained
Over the years, The Arc of South Norfolk has been a steady steward of the state organization. It also provides an array of respected community supports and services through The Arc and Lifeworks. Along with other affiliates it has always embraced statewide legislative advocacy. When other means were required, the agency did not hold back, assisting in the waiting list and other priorities. Dan has been an active leader in our Council of Executives as well, taking on leadership of the autism task force and representing us on the Governor’s Commission. Most recently, Dan and his board including Past President Frank Sally committed to leadership support of our capital campaign. This generous support not only assists us directly in establishing the new headquarters and a more positive image for our movement, but it also helps to jump start outreach to affiliates and other agencies. We recognize Dan Burke and The Arc of South Norfolk for leadership and sustained support of advocacy.
Michael Moloney and HMEA- For Leadership and Sustained Support of Advocacy
Michael is the CEO of HMEA, a non-profit agency provides innovative services in school, at work, at home and in the community reaching nearly 3,800 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Mike has provided leadership on addressing the growing population of those with autism and his agency has tried to develop new strategies to address the needs of our diverse workforce. HMEA has made a commitment to supporting The Arc’s advocacy on a consistent basis including in-kind support such as good terms for our IT support through clouds4causes. Most recently Michael pledged a Leadership gift to our capital campaign as it moves into its last stage. We are happy to recognize Michael and HMEA For Leadership and Sustained Support of Advocacy.