LARC wel­comes new di­rec­tor

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - Story con­trib­uted by LARC,Torrington.

TORRINGTON » Af­ter a na­tional search, The Arc of Litch­field County, Inc. (LARC) has hired Michael Me­nard as its new ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s board made the an­nounce­ment in a press re­lease on Fri­day.

“The Board of LARC un­der­went an ex­ten­sive search to find the most qual­i­fied in­di­vid­ual,” said board pres­i­dent Kim­ber­ley Brown in the state­ment. “We were for­tu­nate that so many truly out­stand­ing can­di­dates were in­ter­ested in the po­si­tion. It was unan­i­mous, though, that there is no one more qual­i­fied and equipped to lead LARC in the years to come.

“We were for­tu­nate that so many truly out­stand­ing can­di­dates were in­ter­ested in the po­si­tion.” — Kim­ber­ley Brown, board pres­i­dent

Not only does Mike em­brace our vi­sion of ‘com­mu­nity for all’, he is a pro­gres­sive leader who will be able to move LARC’s vi­sion strate­gi­cally for­ward while meet­ing any chal­lenge head-on,” said Brown.

Me­nard re­places Larry Casella, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s for­mer ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, who re­tired in June af­ter 36 years on the job.

Me­nard brings sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence, Brown said, hav­ing led “large, com­plex and di­verse di­vi­sions” at the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut, in­clud­ing run­ning the UConn Torrington cam­pus. Dur­ing that time, he forged col­lab­o­ra­tions and com­mu­nity part­ner­ships with mu­nic­i­pal, non-profit and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties, she said.

Me­nard also brings skills in fa­cil­ity in­fra­struc­ture, bud­get and fi­nance, pub­lic safety, com­mu­nity out­reach, gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity re­la­tions, per­son­nel, staff re­cruit­ment and de­vel­op­ment, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, fundrais­ing and donor re­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

“I feel it is a great priv­i­lege to join the team of ded­i­cated men and women who com­prise the LARC fam­ily,” Me­nard said in the state­ment. “Through my work I have seen ex­tra­or­di­nary pas­sion, pur­pose-driven lead­ers and the sat­is­fac­tion that comes from mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence in the lives of those in the com­mu­nity. Per­haps nowhere is that more ap­par­ent to me than through the peo­ple I have met at LARC. To be able to help LARC con­tinue to build on its ex­tra­or­di­nary rep­u­ta­tion in the re­gion and be­yond truly is an honor.”

Me­nard has served in a va­ri­ety of ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tions at the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut for the past 22 years. While at Hartford, he led a full and part-time staff of more than 200 peo­ple and man­aged a $7 mil­lion op­er­a­tional bud­get.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, Me­nard earned a bach­e­lor of arts de­gree from Worces­ter State Col­lege, his mas­ter’s de­gree and later his Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut. He was part of the de­sign team for the North Hartford Health and Well­be­ing Col­lab­o­ra­tive, the board of di­rec­tors for the Hartford Con­sor­tium for Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, Torrington De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and North­west Con­necti­cut Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

“LARC’s vi­sion of com­mu­nity for all is one that res­onates with me in a very spe­cial way,” Me­nard said. “I be­lieve in con­nect­ing di­verse groups of peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions with each other, help­ing them find com­mon ground, and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively to­ward shared and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial goals. My goal at LARC is to be a cat­a­lyst that will help move LARC ever closer to an in­clu­sive com­mu­nity where dif­fer­ing abil­i­ties are cel­e­brated.”

The Arc of Litch­field County (LARC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, was founded 50 years ago to sup­port in­di­vid­u­als with in­tel­lec­tual and de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties. LARC serves 220 in­di­vid­u­als through­out North­west Con­necti­cut. Ser­vices in­clude res­i­den­tial group homes, in-home sup­ports, trans­porta­tion, day, and em­ploy­ment pro­grams.

To learn more about LARC and its ser­vices, visit www.litch­fiel­d­arc.org or call 860-482-9364.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Michael Me­nard is the new ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Art of Litch­field County (LARC) in Torrington.

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