Janet Sweeney Rico, MBA, NP-BC, Ph.D.

As a Nurse Practitioner and a leader in the field of nursing and health sciences education, Janet has been engaged for decades in advocating for greater support and health care access for people with disabilities as well as for the elderly. Now Assistant Dean of the Graduate Nursing Programs at Northeastern University’s Bouve College of Health Sciences, she continues to inspire her students to focus on the long-term needs of those who face ongoing healthcare disparities.

Tracy Atkinson

Tracy Atkinson serves as Vice President of The Arc of Massachusetts’ Board of Directors. Since joining the board in 2009, Tracy has been a generous contributor and provided thoughtful leadership on organizational development. Through her participation, State Street has been one of the leading donors of The Arc for the past five years, strengthening our advocacy on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Michael Borr

Michael J. Borr is Chairman of the Executive Committee of Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM), a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 to champion the individual and civil rights of people of all ages affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). AFAM is dedicated to improving and expanding the funding and resources for Massachusetts residents with an ASD, by educating and informing legislators and policy-makers and by generating greater awareness and mobilizing public support. Since its founding, AFAM has been hosted by The Arc of Massachusetts and the two organizations have collaborated to advocate for legislation and regulations affecting the lives of people with disabilities.

Neil V. McKittrick

Attorney Neil McKittrick, a shareholder in the Boston Office of Ogletree Deakins, has represented persons with developmental disabilities in several significant lawsuits. The most prominent of these is Boulet v. Cellucci, a class action filed in federal court in 1999 on behalf of approximately 3,000 adults with developmental disabilities. The Court ruled that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had violated the Medicaid Act by placing class members on a waiting list for services. The Commonwealth subsequently agreed to settle the case in 2001 by providing $114 million worth of services to the class members over a five-year period. Neil served as the Class Monitor to ensure that the Commonwealth complied with its obligations under the agreement. This involved interactions with the Massachusetts Legislature from 2002 through 2006 to ensure that all of the agreed-upon funds were appropriated as required by the settlement agreement, and assistance to various class members and their families.

Jim Brett

People sometimes ask how I came to be interested in helping the disabled, and I have a single answer. It happened the day I was born. My oldest brother, Jack, was challenged with an intellectual disability. In the 1930s, when he was born, it was common for persons with his disability to be committed to institutional care. Our mother would have none of that. Jack was her son, and he was to be with his family in her home. He was a gift and a blessing to his brothers and sisters. He opened our eyes and our hearts to the needs of the disabled. In Jack’s special way, he was our teacher – and we learned the lesson.