The Arc Howard County

Achieve with us.

Sign up for Email Updates



2018 Celebration of Excellence Awards Event

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ten Oaks Ballroom

Memories from the 2018 Celebration of Excellence Awards Event

FotoJet (2) - Copy

Congratulations to the 2018 winners!

Self-Advocate of the Year

  • Mike Morgan-For making enormous strides in his personal life and for now expressing his wants and needs. He has stopped stating, “I don’t know”, and replaced that statement by telling people what he likes, what he wants to do, and what he does not want to do. About a year ago, Mike chose to move his day program hours to his home. He hired a staff person-of his choosing. He made enormous strides in his personal life and is now expressing his wants and needs. 
  • Tim Proch-For achieving taking charge of his health and losing over 100 pounds. Tim likes to call his weight loss “Tim’s Style”! Through the help of his family, friends, medical professionals and staff , he now chooses to make healthy food choices new skills and embracing new challenges with a positive spirit.
  • Shelley Ryall-For her commitment to community integration and self-advocacy. In addition to having a job at the Dakota Salon, Shelly is a member of People Power, a self- advocacy group that meets once a month at The Arc of Howard County. Shelly is also a member of the No Boundaries theatre group and has performed in several productions including Cinderella and the upcoming Aladdin. Shelly participates in Out and About through the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, where she attends baseball games, dances and movies on Friday nights. Shelly bowls on Saturday and attends church on Sunday. She never lets her disability be an excuse for not doing what she wants to do.  

Excellence in Employment

  • Brookfield Christian School-For its practice of  environment of inclusion at the school and encouraging professional growth and achievement in employment opportunitites for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This award recognized both School owner Cheryle Johnson and Brookfield Christian School. 
  • Safeway Long Gate-For both Front End Manager Lisa Mercier and for Safeway Long Gate, for proving to be a strong advocate for inclusive hiring practices.

Excellence in Community                                       

  • The Lutheran Village at MILLER’S GRANT- For supporting The Arc’s Employment Services with the development of internship positions at Miller’s Grant for the purpose of building skills for paid employment.
  • Lance Cook-Owner Tino’s Italian Bistro. For his commitment to community giving, his inclusive hiring practices and his support for The Arc mission and the people we serve.

Excellence in Professional Services                                       

  • Nancy Nicaise- Dimensional Healthcare Associates.  Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. Recognized for her commitment to The Arc of Howard County and unwavering professional dedication to support the health needs of those supported by The Arc.
  • Somnath Sengupta-Founder My Life Learning Center. For his efforts to understand the need for employment for all people and bringing forth an entrepreneurial micro business model for training young adults based on their strengths.

Excellence in Schools

  • Nigel LaRoche, Principal Dayton Oaks Elementary SchoolRecognized for inspires a vision for inclusivity at Dayton Oaks Elementary and for being intentional about focusing on the individuals and teams who create the culture of his school and make it possible for all students to thrive. 

Excellence in Public Service

  • Senator Edward Kasemeyer, Maryland State Senator. Recognized for being an ardent supporter and for his tireless efforts serving the state of Maryland and advocating for people with disabilities for over 30 years. 

Volunteers of the Year

  • St.John’s Episcopal Church-For generously supporting the people served by The Arc through holiday baskets, Ladies Night Out activities, and always having a and generous and giving spirit.

Employee of the Year

  • Linda Irby-For her outstanding work as a Direct Support Professional and Direct Support Manager with The Arc of Howard County.  Linda’s has outstanding ability to be a team player along with an upbeat personality and commitment to the individuals she supports.

The Amanda and Jill Dean Award for Outstanding Direct Support Professionals

  • Rose Ofori-Amanfo-For her outstanding work as a Direct Support Professional. Rose Ofori-Amanfo has been a direct support professional with The Arc of Howard County since 1995. During her tenure with The Arc of Howard County, Rose has supported several different people. Her dedication is unmatched. She is respectful of each person’s individual needs, preferences and desires. Rose strives to help each person have the best day possible, each and every day. She truly helps those we serve to maintain independence but is also present to preserve health and safety as needed. Rose has a positive attitude and a stellar work ethic. She has stated that she sees her work of serving others as “her purpose in life.”

Excellence in Service

  • Linda Lombardi, Director, Community and Family Services at The Arc of Howard County. Recognized for her 20 year career with  The Arc of Howard County. Linda began her career at The Arc as a program specialist in The Arc’s Employment area. In 2001, she became a Program Coordinator in our Residential Program and in 2007; Linda was named the Assistant Director of Residential Services. Since becoming a Director in Community and Family Services, Linda has helped us navigate many changes and played a critical role in our internal transformation. Linda has been focused and committed to ensuring that our individuals receive the best possible supports so they can live fully integrated lives.

2018 Legacy Award

  • Sue Haynes, Associate Executive Director of Administration, The Arc of Howard County. Recognized for her 30 year career with The Arc of Howard County. Sue Haynes has dedicated her career to The Arc of Howard County. For 30 years she has provided sound fiscal management. She has been the agency “glue” as she understands all the intricacies associated with being a disabilities provider. While her career has centered on financial administration, Sue has always been a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. This is reflected in her day to day work with state agencies, our fellow Arc’s, our agency departments and our staff. Sue is a direct and precise leader, never leaving anyone confused or uncertain about our mission and the person centered support we need to provide. Her job duties are not that of a traditional CFO, but more of a financial chief of staff. Sue is an encyclopedia of knowledge and an invaluable resource. Sue will retire at the end of this year. She will be greatly missed but the Legacy she leaves behind will continue to be of value to The Arc of Howard and the people for years and years to come!



Everyone deserves to live the fullest life they can. Of all the board’s achievements, that’s the one that makes me proudest.”

— Robert Vigorito, Former Board Member, The Arc of Howard County