Value and Acceptance for All
Pam started out as a CETA worker at MidState Arc more than 40 years ago. She became the nonprofit's top executive in 2002, and under her leadership the agency has grown from an annual budget of $3MM and 80 employees to over $11MM and 200 employees. Pam has an undergraduate degree in Human Services and a MBA with a concentration in non-profits. Pam has worked in all areas of service supports from day options to independent living. She works closely with the Arc’s dynamic Board of Directors to assure MidState Arc provides quality services for every person supported. She is active in advocating for rights of people with developmental disabilities and their services both in Hartford and in Washington. She has developed a partnership with other interested parties to create a Assistive Technology Training Center to assure providers have a place to gain knowledge and build capacity. Pam is currently leading the staff in transitioning from a service model to a support model and with an end goal of enabling each person to be as independent as possible and fully connected and autonomous with their communities.
Geri's son began attending the MidState Arc day program about 6 years ago and loves it. In November 2017, Geri became chair of the board of MidState Arc after previously serving as secretary. Geri has a master's degree in education and after many years advocating for children in special education, went into the field and taught in a clinical day setting. Besides supporting and volunteering at MidState Arc, she also is an advocate for foster children and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL).
Becky is a Certified Public Accountant who received both her master's and bachelor’s of science in accounting degrees from Wake Forest University Prior to her employment at MidState Arc, Inc., Becky volunteered for the organization for nine years, audited nonprofit organizations in the state, and worked for a comparable private provider. She is currently on the nonprofit committee of the Connecticut Society for Certified Public Accountants and serves on the steering committee of the Business Manager’s Forum for the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance.
Maritza joined Midstate Arc in 2001 and was drawn to the field by a desire to understand better and assist her family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Starting as a direct service provider, Maritza has held several positions at the agency and has a successful track record of aligning budgets with services. In her current role, programs she oversees include Opportunity for Older Adults, Community Experience Meriden, Community Experience North Haven, Community Experience South Meriden, and Individuals Services, comprising a staff of 75, an annual budget of $3.8MM and supporting 125 individuals daily to connect to their community.
Shariann has over 30 years working in the human services field. She started out as a teenager working as a direct support staff with individuals with developmental disabilities because of her Mother’s passion for the field. Since then, she has held a wide variety of positions including manager of a residential home, case manager, manager of an employment program, assistant director of day support options, group supported employment and individualized employment, and director of quality assurance. She joined MidState Arc, Inc in 2002 and is currently director of HR. In 2012, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Bridgeport with Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Certificate in Human Resource. She went on to pursue her Master’s degree and Graduated with a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Villanova University in 2015.
Matt joined MidState Arc in 2001 as a job coach in Group Supported Employment and then found his passion in residential working every position from DSP to Assistant Director. Matt has worked to assist people in moving from group homes and/or nursing home settings into their own homes with the use of technology to assist and support them to live as independently as possible with minimal staffing supports. In his current role, Matt oversees eleven Residential Group Homes and the Residential In-Home Supports and Cluster division comprising a staff of over 120 with an annual budget of $7.4MM supporting 67 individuals in the community. Matt is a graduate of Xavier High School and studied at Southern Connecticut State University and graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse from Lincoln Technological Institute.
Regina joined MidState Arc in 2013, and under her leadership our employment program has expanded to have one of the highest rates of placement for adults with disabilities in the state. She has also mentored many of MidState staff members from direct service provider positions to management roles. Regina previously was director of a work program for Catholic Charities where she was named employee of the year. She continues to consult on social work programs at Yale New Haven Hospital where she previously held positions as well. She graduated from Springfield College with a degree in Human Services; currently pursuing a master’s degree in leadership.
Mary Ellen is the Director of Facilities for MidState Arc, overseeing the maintenance management of the administrative building, offsite program areas, and group homes. She was instrumental in implementing the renovations of the main building on Research Parkway which currently houses four program areas, the Arc Eatery and the administrative offices. Prior to joining MidState Arc, Mary Ellen was a newspaper photographer for 11 years. A graduate of Endicott College, she has been with the Arc for over 27 years.
Courtney Spector is a licensed clinical social worker and has 20 years experience as a social worker with various populations including children/adolescents and families through geriatrics. Over 13 years have been in the field of assisting people with intellectual disabilities and behavioral challenges overcome obstacles in their lives. She has experience working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as other psychiatric disorders. She obtained her MSW from Southern Connecticut State University and has a small private practice in Southington.
Amy brings over 30 years of experience as an Assistive Technology Specialist to her role at MidState Arc and The Assistive Technology Training Center of Connecticut. As one of the original founders and directors of the Center for Educational and Assistive Technology at Southern Connecticut State University, Amy developed a program that still provides a full range of assistive technology services to students with disabilities, faculty, and educators across the state to ensure full access to higher educational settings. Following SCSU, Amy spent the next decade at CAST, Inc. developing innovative assistive technology solutions for students and adults with disabilities and helped create the Universal Design for Learning principles that support all learners. More recently, Amy led a team of assistive technology specialists at The NEAT Center at Oak Hill in their work to provide a full spectrum of assistive technology services and training to students and educators throughout Connecticut. Amy has presented at national assistive technology and educational technology conferences on innovative uses of assistive technology to support learners with a wide range of disabilities as they strive to have full access to education, employment, and independent living.
Mary Ellen Kingsland-Eckels
Marsha Beckford, Esq.
Joe Palfini, Advisor
* = Family member of a person with IDD.