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www.wmfd.com - The Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities welcomed two new members during its 2014 reorganizational meeting on Wednesday. }}" />

   
 
 
Developmental Disabilities Board Welcomes New Members

Story By: Brigitte Coles

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 1/23/2014

The Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities welcomed two new members during its 2014 reorganizational meeting on Wednesday.

Richard Otto and Stephen Swank were sworn in by Richland County Probate Judge Philip Mayer as the newest members of the board.

Judge Mayer appointed Otto and Swank to four-year terms that run through Dec. 31, 2017.

Otto fills a vacancy created by the departure of Jack Stewart while Swank replaces Gabe DeSantis. Both Stewart and DeSantis served three terms and could not be reappointed due to term limits.

"We are very fortunate to have two experienced and interested community members volunteer for our board,” said Superintendent Liz Prather. “They will bring a unique perspective on how we can best support people with disabilities in Richland County.”

Otto is a partner at the law firm Weldon, Huston & Keyser, L.L.P. and is a member of the Richland County and Ohio State Bar Associations. He is a past member of the boards for the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library, Mansfield Art Center, Discovery School, Rehab Center, and Planned Parenthood.

“I have been aware of Newhope since shortly after I moved to town in 1980,” noted Otto. “The organization provides many valuable services and has a good reputation in the community.”

Swank is assistant chief of operations for the 179th Airlift Wing Fire Department. He is a former member of the Madison Board of Education and has volunteered with numerous community organizations, including the Washington Township Fire Department, the Boy Scouts, and Special Olympics.

Swank’s daughter is eligible for residential services or supported living through Richland Newhope.

“I have a genuine interest in helping people with disabilities and I have a vested interest due to having an adult daughter who receives services from Richland Newhope,” said Swank.

The Richland County commissioners have also reappointed Board Members Virginia Harmon and Margaret Davis. Both are serving their third, four-year term that began Jan. 1.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Geneva Cummins was re-elected president, Harmon will serve as vice-president, and Nick Gesouras was named secretary.

The board will continue to hold its regular meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at Richland Newhope’s Administrative Offices, 314 Cleveland Ave. There will not be a meeting in July.

The November and December board meeting will be combined and is scheduled for Dec. 10. All meetings are open to the public.

   
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