The Arc Montgomery County announces that Chrissy Shawver has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer and Daria Cervantes has been appointed Interim Chief Operating Officer, effective today. Together, these seasoned leaders bring more than 55 years of experience to benefit The Arc Montgomery County. Both newly-created positions will report directly to the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors made a strategic decision to divide the duties formerly assigned to one Executive Director in order to provide more individualized attention to both programmatic and administrative operations. Shawver will assume responsibility for administrative duties, including advocacy and community outreach. Cervantes will assume responsibility for the programmatic operations of four service divisions. Together they are charged with moving The Arc Montgomery County forward in a positive direction.
“I am excited about embracing change for the people we support and their families,” said Shawver. “I wasn’t expecting this and am humbled to be asked to fill such an important role.” She has been engaged with The Arc since 1990, most recently as Director of Children & Youth Services. Over the past eight years, Shawver has consolidated and relocated the programs in her division, now operating Maryland’s only fully-inclusive child care program for children with and without disabilities and special medical needs. She has leveraged county resources to create mutually-beneficial partnerships and is active in local, state and national advocacy.
Cervantes has worked for The Arc’s Vocational & Day Services division since 1989 when she was hired as a Direct Support Professional, and was appointed Director in 2009. “I am honored and humbled to take on this new challenge and look forward to moving The Arc in a new and exciting direction,” said Cervantes. During her tenure, the division ceased all sheltered workshop operations, moving people who receive support into their communities to participate in inclusive activities. Most recently, she secured additional funding from Montgomery County to ensure that county contracts held by The Arc pay minimum wage to people with disabilities.
Karen O’Connor, President of The Arc’s Board of Directors, is “excited to move The Arc forward in a new way.” “The Board believes this separation of duties will result in more attention on both programs and administration. I have full confidence that Chrissy and Daria will work collaboratively to lead our organization and provide the best possible support services to people with and without disabilities and their families,” said O’Connor.
Founded in 1958, The Arc Montgomery County supports over 3,000 children, youth, adults and families affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing inclusive child care, work skills training, employment, community living services, resources, advocacy and respite. The agency is a local chapter of The Arc of the United States, the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.