DELMAR, NY (10/30/2014)(readMedia)-- NYSARC, Inc., the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the nation supporting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families, elected Laura J. Kennedy as its President at the Organization's 65th Annual Convention.
Kennedy and her husband, Henry, are parents of four daughters, including one who has a developmental disability. She currently serves as Director of the Early Childhood Direction Center at Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, New York.
"It's a privilege to serve in this position and carry out what was started 65 years ago by families, for families," said Kennedy, adding, "There is no other organization like NYSARC. We serve people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families in every county in New York state. Our diversity is our strength."
The Executive Director of NYSARC, Inc., Marc N. Brandt, upon the election of Kennedy, stated, "Laura is the nineteenth person to become President of NYSARC, Inc., and I can think of no better individual to serve in this capacity than Laura Kennedy. Our field as well as our Organization is going through major changes and shifts, and Laura possesses the skills and commands the respect essential to see us through this changing period. All of us within the NYSARC family wish Laura the very best of success, and we look forward to working with her."
Kennedy has been active in NYSARC at both the statewide and local levels for more than three decades. She has served on the NYSARC, Inc. Board of Governors representing the New York City Chapter, served as Senior Vice President, Vice President of the Southeast Region, Secretary, and chaired the NYSARC, Inc. Membership Committee. She has also served as a member of numerous committees, including Ad Hoc Special Committee on Structure, Education, Issues and Positions, Quality Standards Oversight and Ad Hoc NYSARC MCO Committees. She is President of the New York City Chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and is currently a member of the Chapter Board of Directors.
She has always been active in her local community, serving as Executive Board Member for the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council, Chairperson for the Council's Advocacy and Education Committees, Board Member for Friends of the College of Staten Island, and Board Member for Staten Island Mental Health Society, Inc. Kennedy also serves as Alter Guild Member for Christ Church New Brighton.
Her awards and honors include 2000 Staten Island Advance's Woman of Achievement, recipient of the NYC Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services' Mental Hygiene Family Award, and recipient of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2011 Parent Advocate Award (Staten Island).
Kennedy has residences in both Staten Island, NY, and Essex, NY, in the Adirondacks. "I'm an upstater and a downstater -- I'm an entire-stater," she proclaimed.
About NYSARC, Inc.
NYSARC, Inc. is the largest nonprofit in New York and the United States serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The 54 Chapters comprising NYSARC, Inc. are located in every county in New York State. The Organization supports over 60,000 individuals, employs over 30,000 people and has a membership of over 103,000.