We would like to congratulate Joanna Pierson on her 35 years of service as the Executive Director of The Arc of Frederick County. The Arc was extremely fortunate to find a leader who had one clear vision that has sustained the agency for the past 35 years. That one vision is that people with developmental disabilities should be meaningfully included in all aspects of their communities. And that community members play a significant role in supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families with feeling welcomed and truly part of their communities.
One of the greatest accomplishments of the agency and Joanna is that no matter how many people The Arc of Frederick County served, every single person was treated in a unique and dignified way that allowed them to be their own true self.
Joanna’s vision has allowed each person served to obtain a life that was important to them as an individual. The importance of one was never lost with Joanna.
What an accomplishment it is for a leader to have one vision that is so powerful that it trickles down to each individual person that the agency serves in a way that is meaningful and empowering to them. No matter if The Arc was large or small; serving a handful of people or serving a state full of people; serving people in big cities or serving people in rural areas, Joanna’s vision of the importance of one has always been clear.
As we celebrate Joanna’s 35 years of making a difference in people’s lives in Frederick, we also want to celebrate her accomplishment of living out a promise she made to her sister, a promise that has an impact on people in Frederick, a promise that has an impact on people in Maryland, a promise that has an impact on people throughout the country with Joanna’s leadership positions in organizations such as AAIDD, and a promise that has an impact throughout the entire world as she has reached out to train and share knowledge with countries such as, Russia, India, and Israel.