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The Arc of Massachusetts Annual Meeting

Event Details + Registration

The Arc of Massachusetts
Annual Meeting and Dinner

Thursday, May 23, 2024 4:45 – 8:30PM
The VERVE
1360 Worcester Street | Natick, Massachusetts

Join us for The Arc of Massachusetts Annual Meeting and Dinner. This annual event will include a panel discussion focusing on the who and what of The Arc of Massachusetts. What has The Arc accomplished in our 70 years of advocacy and where are we going in the future?

4:45 PM Reception

6:30 PM Dinner and Panel Discussion
What has The Arc accomplished in 70 years of advocacy and where are we going in the future?

Panelists:

  • Anne-Marie Bajwa – President and CEO of Charles River Center
  • Jeff Keilson – Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Advocates, Inc.
  • Janet Sweeney Rico, PhD – President of The Arc of Massachusetts Board of Directors
  • Maura Sullivan – Deputy Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts

Moderator:

  • Leo Sarkissian – Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts

7:45 PM Annual Business Meeting

Join us earlier for 70 Years of Progress: Advocacy, Empowerment, and The Arc of Massachusetts, a look at the history of disability policy and advocacy. See how life has changed and be inspired to continue on the journey.

Panelists:

  • Robert DeLeo – Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 2009-2020
  • Cynthia Haddad – Sibling and former Board Member of The Arc of Massachusetts
  • Roger Walsh – Self-Advocate and former Board Member of The Arc of Massachusetts

Moderator

  • Leo Sarkissian – Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts

For more information and to register for 70 Years of Progress and/or the Annual Meeting Dinner, visit www.thearcofmass.org/70Years

Full Day Schedule
2:30 – 3:00 pm 70 Years of Progress Registration and Welcome
3:00 – 4:45 pm 70 Years of Progress Panel and Presentation
4:45 – 6:15 pm Reception for guests of both the afternoon program and Annual Meeting
6:30 – 8:30 pm Dinner and Annual Meeting

Tickets
70 Years of Progress $70 per person
Dinner and Annual Meeting $75 per person
Both the program and dinner $125 per person

Panelist Bios

Anne-Marie Bajwa, President and CEO, Charles River Center
Anne-Marie has worked in the non-profit sector for over 45 years, developing and implementing programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities, autism, physical challenges, and acquired brain injury. She was appointed President of the Charles River Center in October of 2016, after serving as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008. She has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Charles River Center, as she oversaw the Day Habilitation, Residential, Family Support, Community-Based Day, and Employment divisions. For seven years, Anne-Marie has served as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Day Habilitation Coalition. She has been an active member of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers for decades, working on the Autism Blueprint and Employment First committees, and co-chairing the Day Services Committee. She currently serves on the Boards of ADDP and AFAM. Anne-Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston College and a master’s degree in public administration from Bridgewater State University.

Jeff Keilson, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Advocates Inc.
Jeff has more than 40 years of experience working with elders, people with autism, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and persons with mental health needs and their families. His experience is focused on developing and evaluating comprehensive local and state-wide systems of services, including family supports, residential, day and employment, and health care for people who are poor and have Medicaid or/and Medicare. He has worked with and provided the leadership in developing services to support people to move to new homes in the community from state developmental centers, state hospitals, and nursing homes. Jeff is a former Assistant Commissioner for Community Programs and Regional Director for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). In the past two decades, he has advanced the implementation of a more person and family centered system of services, including self-determination options in the Commonwealth. As regional director, he established a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to begin self-determination in the Commonwealth. Jeff also has received various awards including the 2008 Gunnar Dybwad Leadership Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in 2015, the President’s Award from Northeast Arc. He serves on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s state Disability Rights Advisory Committee.

Janet Sweeney Rico, Ph. D., President, The Arc of Massachusetts
Janet is President of The Arc of Massachusetts and served on the board 2004-2010. She recently returned to full-time practice as a Nurse Practitioner at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine. Until then, though practicing part-time, Janet oversaw graduate nursing or nurse practitioner programs at Northeastern University (Assistant Dean) and Simmons for more than 30 years. Janet has served in many volunteer roles including Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, member of the Massachusetts Patient Centered Medical Home Council, Vinfen board member, and Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Turning 22 Task Force for Medically Intensive Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Janet earned her Ph.D. in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University in 2013. She attained her MBA from Boston University and her MSN as a Nurse Practitioner from the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She and her husband Art live in Wrentham.

Maura Sullivan, Deputy Executive Director, The Arc of Massachusetts
Maura was recently appointed Deputy Executive Director after a decade leading Government Affairs for The Arc. She is also the Director of Operation House Call, a nationally recognized training program and partnership between The Arc and all Massachusetts Medical Schools. This program focuses on best practices when treating patients with autism or intellectual and developmental disabilities and it reaches 1,000 medical and graduate nursing students each year and provides foundational and experiential learning. Maura led the advocacy for the passage of several pieces of priority legislation for the disability community and lobbying successfully for significant increases in state budget funding that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism and their families. She is a former LEND Fellow with a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University and was recently awarded the Suffolk University Commitment to Service Award. Maura is also the mother of three, she has two young adult sons with autism and intellectual disability.