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