2015 Award Winners

The Arc’s National Convention is the setting for recognizing those among us who represent the best of the core values of The Arc and NCE. Executives of chapters of The Arc have been working feverishly all over the country to make America a better place to live for people with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with their families, friends and communities.

The National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE) confers four awards annually to those among us who represent the best of the core values of The Arc. The NCE Award Program recognizes the awardees for their outstanding efforts to fulfill the mission, core values and position statements of The Arc.

Begun in 1980, the program honors the professional excellence and achievement of NCE members and those persons outside the membership who make significant contributions on behalf of our constituency.

Executive Excellence Award

George Suess, Executive Director, The Arc of Delaware County, NY

George Suess, M.S. has worked with people intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 40 years. He has been employed by The Arc of Delaware County, NY (Delarc) for 35 years and has served as CEO for the past 28. He has written three books published by Delarc: Shift Happens . . . Making the Shift to Proactive Behavior Management, Vantage Point. . . A Dynamic Approach to Employee Orientation, and Welcome to Caring Without Restraint.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. David Mank, Director, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, IN

David Mank, Ph.D., is the Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, and Professor in the School of Education. As a writer and researcher, Dr. Mank has an extensive background in the education and employment for persons with disabilities. He has authored or coauthored numerous articles and book chapters. His interests also include transition from school to work and community living.  

Outstanding Professional Achievement Award

Jane Ruff, Executive Director, Hopewell Center, IN

Jane has served for 42 years with chapters of The Arc in Illinois and Indiana. She is completing her 29th year as Executive Director of Hopewell Center in Anderson, IN. She began her career as a Direct Support Professional, which has informed her perspective for consumer needs as the I/DD landscape has evolved. Jane has been active with professional and community organizations at the local, state and national level.

Rising Star Award

Karyn Gregorius, Executive Director, The Arc of Amador and Calveras, CA

Karyn Gregorius has been collaborating with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 15 years. Karyn has been a part of The Arc of Amador and Calaveras for six years. She began as a Community Specialist providing direct support to individuals who participate in The Arc’s Adult Development Center, Community Integration, and Recreation Services.  In 2011, Karyn seized the opportunity to grow professionally; with a promotion to the Amador Director of Services position, she embraced supervising staff and coordinating services while utilizing person-centered planning. Karyn is strongly dedicated to The Arc’s mission and vision. Karyn’s value of working hard to create positive change and to serve others drives her visionary leadership. In 2014, Karyn was selected to serve as The Arc of Amador and Calaveras Executive Director. Prior to joining The Arc of Amador and Calaveras, Karyn worked for the Amador County Office of Education Department of Special Education providing support and services to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Karyn also served on the Board of Directors for the Resource Connection, a nonprofit organization providing safety net services for people in Amador and Calaveras Counties. 

Mary Van Haneghan, CEO, The Arc of Anchorage, AK

In 2013, Dr. Mary Van Haneghan became the Chief Executive Officer for The Arc of Anchorage. In her short time at The Arc, she developed: a thriving community based art program, an after school respite program, and an active self-advocacy group, raised employee wages/benefits, and increased Medicaid revenue by over a million dollars. Dr. Van Haneghan is an achiever with an excellent track record whose work ethic and character has lead The Arc of Anchorage team to where it is today.  

Special Thanks to the 2015 NCE Awards Committee:

  • Randy Costales, Awards Committee Chair, The Arc of New Mexico, NM
  • Tim Hornbecker, NCE Steering Committee Chair, The Arc Alameda, CA
  • Kim Dodson, Executive Director, The Arc of Indiana, IN
  • Cliff Doesher, Executive Director, Arc of Greater New Orleans, LA
  • Sue Elliot, Executive Director, The Arc of Washington State, WA
  • Peggy Englebert, The Arc of Camden County, NJ
  • Kirk Lewis, Schenactady ARC, NY
  • Amy Mizcles, Executive Director, The Arc of Texas, TX
  • Kate Rollason, Executive Director, The Arc of Central Chesapeake, MD
  • Deb Seman, Executive Director, 
  • Chris Stewart, President/CEO
  • Dan Stewart, President/CEO, Achieva Resources, IN
  • Gary Tonks, Executive Director, The Arc of Ohio, OH
  • Betty Williams, Consumer Education and Training Coordinator, The Arc of Indiana, IN


View past award winners