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Arc Announces Executive Promotion and New Senior Staff

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., June 25, 2014 – Arc of Westchester is proud to announce the promotion of Tibisay (Tibi) Guzmán to associate executive director/chief operating officer, and the appointment of Nancy Patota as Arc of Westchester Foundation executive director.  Guzman and Patota will replace Thomas Hughes and Anne Sweazey, respectively, who have retired.

Executive Director Ric Swierat announced the change in the newly expanded associate executive director/coo position, commenting, “Tom Hughes made a tremendous contribution over his 28 years as associate executive director. While we are sad to see him go, we are very fortunate to have Tibi, who was already in a leadership position, ready to take on the growing challenges.”

Guzman has been an integral Arc of Westchester employee for nearly ten years, and during the past four years she has overseen the expansive team responsible for day and community services for over 900 individuals who receive daily support and services from Arc of Westchester.

“Tibi knows our organization inside and out,” explained Swierat. “In addition to being a remarkable leader, her dedication is deep and her energy is limitless.”

In her new role, Guzmán  will be responsible for supervising all agency services and managing all financial, human resources and facilities functions for the 2,000 individuals served by Arc of Westchester. She will continue to guide the evolution of the services and programs into a strongly supported community presence in Westchester.

During her tenure at Arc of WeGuzmán stchester, Guzmán  has been responsible for growing community-based employment by an average of 80 new positions per year. Under Guzmán ’s leadership, Arc of Westchester has also developed strong relationships with a number of community partners serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including New York Collaborates for Autism. The partnership led to the launch of Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism, a High School Transition Program providing high school seniors on the spectrum of autism with career training and job placement.

Foundation Board President Larry McNaughton announced the retirement of Anne Sweazey, the first executive director of the Arc of Westchester Foundation, earlier in the year.  An extensive search for Sweazey’s replacement concluded with the appointment of Nancy Patota to this position.

In her new role as Arc of Westchester’s Foundation Executive Director, Patota will be responsible for all fundraising activities and initiatives that support the agency’s wide range of services and programs. Prior to joining Arc of Westchester, Patota served as assistant vice president, Advancement Services, Prospect Strategy & Budgets at Iona College.  She will remain an adjunct professor for the Iona College MBA program, currently teaching graduate level courses in human resources management and organizational behavior.

“Nancy brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and stewardship to Arc of Westchester,” said Swierat. “The needs of our families and the people we serve are growing each day, especially with the increasing number of those on the spectrum of autism.  The funding we receive from the government for these services falls well short of what is necessary to provide valuable life experiences for these folks, such as guardianship, family support for preschool families, work development and residential opportunities for independence in the community.  Fundraising is critical to our success, and Nancy will be an essential leader of our team in support of these growing service needs.”

Veterans Say Good Bye

Tom Hughes, Arc of Westchester’s associate executive director for the past 28 years, has long been an advocate for community integration. Hughes has held elected and appointed leadership positions at the regional, state and national levels with the Association of People Supporting Employment, a group that exclusively focuses on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. He has also served as chair of the Community Services Board of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health since 2003.

“In so many respects, we have Tom to thank for how far we’ve come,” Swierat remarked. “And, it is with a touch of sadness that we are announcing Tom’s upcoming retirement.  Since 1977, Tom has spent every single day helping our people recognize and realize their dreams. Tom leaves an indelible legacy as well as a roadmap for a bright and successful future.”

A successful future must also be properly funded. Former Arc of Westchester Foundation’s Executive Director Anne Sweazey has insured that each fundraising goal was met, if not exceeded, during the past 12 years. Private funding has been and continues to be key to bridging the gap between government resources and the actual cost of services. The relationships that Sweazey developed have been instrumental in ensuring that Arc of Westchester’s diverse programs and services assist all who needed them.

“Achieving the kind of relationship where you can look a major donor in the eye and ask for a significant gift doesn’t happen quickly,” explained Sweazey. “That prospect needs to trust the person who does the asking, have confidence in the organization, and know that their gift will better the lives of individuals and families. Leaving Arc of Westchester at the end of May was difficult, but I am taking with me a deep gratitude for the many friendships I have made.”

About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the oldest and largest agency in the county serving children, teens and

adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Over 800 employees provide more than 2,000 individuals throughout the county with a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services designed to foster independence, productivity and participation in community life.

The mission of Arc of Westchester is to empower children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, to achieve their potential by

strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.

Arc of Westchester’s vision is a world in which children, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future             

Arc of Westchester is a chapter of NYSARC, Inc. and The Arc.


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Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as Arc of Westchester, not The

ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.