STAFF

Executive Director

Kathy Vecchioni, M.S.W.

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Financial Coordinator

Beverly Rill

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Administrative Assistant

Whitney York, B.A.

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Kathy Vecchioni has been an Advocate with By Their Side since 2006, and became Executive Director in 2012. Since that time, the organization has expanded the range of advocacy services offered, including to non-member families.

Kathy began her career in the field with the Arc of Frederick County's Service Coordination division, where she worked for 20 years and served as a director for central and later also western regions of Maryland for over a decade. During that time, the division grew to serve more than 6000 people. Highlights included helping people move from closing institutions into community homes, assisting waiting list families to plan and access services, and developing grants to assist aging caregivers to plan for the future of their relative with I/DD.

Beverly Rill has worked for By Their Side for over 35 years, initially supporting the guiding parent Board of Directors and then as Executive Director. Beverly is a strong advocate for By Their Side members and families, and following her retirement in 2012, continues part time as Advocate and Financial Coordinator.

Whitney York has a background in marketing and database management as well as publishing. She works part time.

ENRICHMENT CONSULTANT

Tracy Wright, Kensington, MD

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CONSULTING ADVOCATES

Advocates are listed in their primary region of service and work from home offices.

Central Region Advocates

Susan Buehl, M. Ed., Baltimore, MD

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Ron Christian, MSW, Baltimore, MD

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Kathy Grey, M.S. Severn, MD

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Joanne O'Connell, M.S. Timonium, MD

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Catherine Raggio, M.Ed., Columbia, MD

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.Joan Rumenap, M.B.A. Glen Burnie, MD

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Kathy Vecchioni, M.S.W. Phoenix, MD

Tracy Wright is skilled at discerning interests of people with I/DD who may not communicate their wishes directly. With Arc Maryland's Ask Me! program, she interviewed and supported people to evaluate their provider agencies. She was Director of the Self Advocacy Network working with people residing in the Holly and Potomac Centers, and continues to serve as a Voting Advocate with Disability Rights Maryland.

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Susan Buehl advocated for Marylanders with disabilties for 30 years as a Service Coordinator and Supervisor. She began her career as a Special Education teacher and also has experience with aging and developmental disabilities.

Ron Christian directed residential and community living services at Arc Baltimore for 20 years. He was previously a service coordinator and pastoral counselor.

Kathy Grey is well known to families in Anne Arundel County where was a Service Coordinator for 11 years until her retirement in 2018. Her background includes 10 years in vocational rehabilitation.

Joanne O'Connell has worked with people with disabilties and their families for over 30 years, as a coordinator and director for Arc Baltimore's residential program, and a special educator.

Before becoming a By Their Side Advocate, Catherine Raggio served two terms as Cabinet Secretary of the MD Department of Disabilities. Her 30 years of experience includes serving as Executive Director of UCP, Independence Now, and the MD Developmental Disabilities Council. Cathy has a M.Ed in speech pathology with related work experience.

Over the past 25 years, Joan Rumenap has served as Service Coordinator and Supervisor, DDA Statewide Quality Assurance Chief, and a Director for Abilities Network.

Kathy Vecchioni - see above.

Southern Region Advocates

Linda Blake, B.A. Indian Head, MD

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Karen Gipson, B.S. Gaithersburg, MD

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Beatrice Rodgers, M.S.W. Greenbelt, MD

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.Gail Singletary, BA, Columbia, MD

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Joyce Taylor, B.S. Hyattsville, MD

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Portia Willis, B.S.W. Columbia, MD


Linda Blake has worked with the Charles County Health Department for 30 years. She was Service Coordinator, Program Manager, and Division Director of the Service Coordination program for 25 years, and also has experience with Charles County Waiver and Aging programs.

Karen Gipson has over 20 years of advocacy experience including work as Resource Coordinator and Program Manager for Montgomery County DHHS Resource Coordination, and the Autism Waiver.

Beatrice Rodgers served two terms as Director of the Governor's Office on Disabilities. Her 30 years of experience includes serving as Executive Director of Resource Connections in Prince Georges County, Prince Georges County Department of Family Services' Division of Individuals with Disabilties, and Prince Georges County Commmision on Disabilities.

Gail Singletary was Parent's Place of Maryland's first parent educator. Over the past 20 years she also served as a Charles County Service Coordinator and in various roles with DDA's Southern Maryland Regional Office including Acting Director.

Joyce Taylor retired in 2018 following 28 years of service in various capacities at Arc Montgomery, where she served for her last 8 years as Executive Director.

Portia Willis has 30 years of advocacy experience where she served as a resource coordinator and resource coordination program manager for Montgomery County DHHS.

Western Region Advocates

Nancy Berger, B.A. Newville, PA

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Christine Boggs, B.A. Frederick, MD

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Beverly Rill, Hampstead, MD

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Nancy Berger was a service coordinator and supervisor in western Maryland for 20 years before her retirement, leading a team in Statewide efforts to transition to individual self determination and control over services and funding.

Christy Boggs' 20 years of experience spans service coordination and management, vocational, and residential services. She also served as a Trust Administrator of a Pooled Special Needs Trust.

Beverly Rill - See above.

Eastern Shore Advocates

Rob Chirnside, B.A., Port Deposit, MD

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Paul Mysak, M.Ed. Allen, MD

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Rob Chirnside served 26 years with the Cecil County Health Department's Service Coordination program including 24 years as Program Manager.

Paul Mysak Before consulting with By Their Side, Paul served many years as Service Coordination Program Manager for Wicomico County Health Department. His 30 years experience also incudes work as a Service Coordinator and in various capacities in vocational services.