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Board Governance for Execs

Facilitated by:

Peter Berns, Marijo Rymer, and Richard Swierat

Thank you for your interest in joining a Special Interest Group (SIG).

SIG Description

A dynamic, effective board of directors will help your chapter of The Arc achieve its mission on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But it doesn't just happen by itself. As a nonprofit CEO/Executive Director, you have to work hard, in partnership with board leadership, to build a board that adds the value your chapter needs to be successful. It starts by having a clear understanding of the roles that the board and individual board members play. You then have to get the right people at the table with the skills and assets your chapter needs. And once on board, the members need to be fully engaged and working in sync with one another.

In this Special Interest Group, we will explore the CEO/Executive Director’s role in building, supporting and sustaining the Board of Directors, as well as the Board’s role in providing oversight and support for the executive. We will share tips, discuss the challenges we have faced and the successful strategies and tactics that we have used to strengthen governance and volunteer leadership in our chapters. Join us!

SIG Facilitators

  1. Peter Berns

    CEO, The Arc, Washington, DC

    Peter V. Berns has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Arc of the United States since 2008. Prior to coming to The Arc, he had been Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations since 1992. In addition, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Standards for Excellence Institute since its inception in 2004.

  2. Marijo Rymer

    Executive Director, The Arc of Colorado, Denver, CO

    Marijo Rymer has served as The Arc of Colorado's Executive Director since 2007. She has served on the Board of the National Conference of Executives of The Arc, on the Committee on the Future of The Arc, and was awarded the NCE Executive Excellence Award in 2012. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado Community Living Advisory Group and co-chairs the CO Waiver Simplification Committee.

  3. Richard Swierat

    Executive Director, The Arc Westchester, New Rochelle, NY

    Ric Swierat has been with The Arc movement since 1975 working in three chapters of The Arc in New York State. He has been the Executive Director of The Arc Westchester for the past 30 years. Mr. Swierat sits on the board of the Business Council of Westchester representing the not-for-profit businesses in Westchester County. In addition, he sits on a number of state and national boards related to the field of developmental disabilities and is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University's Ancell School of Business in Danbury, Connecticut. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Canisius College (Buffalo, NY), Master's degree in Special Education from the State University College at Buffalo and a School Administration Post-Master degree Certificate from SUNY New Paltz.