2014 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

Debra Seman

Deb Seman, Executive Director, The Arc of LaGrange County, Indiana

Deb Seman began volunteering with The Arc in Lagrange County as a teenager. Her mother, Geraldine Prisock, was the first Executive Director of The Arc of LaGrange County. Today she is the Executive Director of the chapter of The Arc that she began with so many years ago. 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Cordelia Robinson

Dr. Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, Director, JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Colorado

Dr. Cordelia (“Corry”) Robinson Rosenberg has dedicated her professional life to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. She has worked in the field of early intervention for children as a clinician, researcher, and educator, since 1973 in Tennessee, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Colorado. She has been the Principal Investigator on over 30 federally funded I/DD demonstration trainings or research projects. Dr. Robinson holds degrees in Nursing (BS), Special Education (MA), and Developmental Psychology with a research specialty in Intellectual Disabilities (PhD) from Vanderbilt University. She has been a member of The Arc for more than 40 years and serves on the Board of Directors of The Arc of Colorado.

Betty Williams

Betty Williams, Consumer Education & Training Coordinator, The Arc of Indiana, Indiana

Betty Williams has been appointed to the President’s Committee on Persons with I/DD, traveled internationally and extensively in the US, and become one of the leading spokespeople for self-advocacy across the country. Betty is always looking for new adventures and ways to speak out for others. She always pushes the envelope of what she is comfortable with and what needs to be done. She has previously served as President of both SABE and Self-Advocates of Indiana, and is now employed with The Arc of Indiana.

Outstanding Professional Achievement Award

Dan Stewart

Dan Stewart, President/CEO, Achieva Resources Corporation, Inc. Indiana

Dan Stewart got his start in the field as the CEO of Michiana Industries. After leaving Michiana, Dan worked in private health care management before joining The Arc as the CEO at The Arc in Richmond Indiana. As their CEO, Dan helped them grow and develop into an advocacy focused chapter.

Rising Star Award

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart, President/CEO, The Arc of Jefferson County, Alabama

Chris Stewart became the Chief Executive Officer at The Arc of Jefferson County in May 2013, after serving as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer since 1999. As CEO, Chris is responsible for over 530 employees who manage early intervention, adult day activities, employment and residential programs. Under his leadership in the last year, The Arc of Jefferson County has been a finalist for the top nonprofit in central Alabama, by both the Birmingham Business Journal and the Birmingham Business Alliance. Chris has grown his chapter’s relationships with not only federal and statewide entities, but high dollar supporters like the United Way of Central Alabama. Currently, he is overseeing the purchase, renovation, and move to a new main campus for The Arc in East Birmingham.

Chairman's Leadership Award

Cliff Doescher

Cliff Doescher, Executive Director, Arc of Greater New Orleans, Louisiana 

Cliff has over 35 years of experience in the habilitation field with expertise in vocational and employment services, as well as extensive experience with social enterprises. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, his agency underwent a conversion of services focusing on employment, health and fitness, and community involvement and participation. He has served as the Executive Director of Arc of Greater New Orleans since 1993, and has held leadership positions in a variety of local and statewide organizations. He received a Master’s Degree in Human Development Counseling/Rehabilitation from the University of Illinois, Springfield, and has earned a Certificate in Management, University of Arkansas’s Community Rehabilitation Program Administration   

Special Thanks to the 2014 NCE Awards Committee:

  • Randy Costales, Committee Chair, The Arc of New Mexico, NM
  • Sue Elliot, The Arc of Washington State, WA
  • Peggy Englebert, The Arc of Camden County, NJ
  • Kirk Lewis, Schenactady ARC, NY
  • Amy Mizcles, The Arc of Texas, TX
  • Kate Rollason, The Arc of Central Chesapeake, MD
  • Richard Swierat, The Arc of Westchester, NY
  • Gary Tonks, Executive Director, The Arc of Ohio, OH


View past award winners