STAFF

Executive Director

Kathy Vecchioni, M.S.W.

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Financial Coordinator

Beverly Rill

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Administrative Assistant

Sandie French

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Kathy Vecchioni has advocated for the preferences, well-being, and rights of people with disabiities for over 30 years. An Advocate with By Their Side since 2006, Kathy became Executive Director in 2012. Since that time, By Their Side has added new options to meet needs presented by families including short term advocacy and problem resolution, non-member rates, reduced sibling membership, and also options for people in services who have no family.

Kathy began her career at the Arc of Frederick County's Service Coordination division, where for 15 of 20 years she was a director for central and later also western regions of Maryland. During that time, the division grew to serve over 6000 people. Highlights included helping plan needed support as people moved from closing institutions into community homes, assisting families to plan and access services when the Legislature funded the Waiting List, working as a partner in the Statewide initiative to establish individual self-determination and control of funding and 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.

Sandie French brings 25 years of experience to By Their Side, and works part time.

CONSULTING ADVOCATES

Central Region Advocates

E. Ann Brady, BSW, Crofton, MD

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Susan Buehl, M. Ed., Baltimore, MD

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Ron Christian, MSW, Baltimore, 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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Rachel Sye, M.A. Shrewsbury, PA.

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

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

Ann Brady has over 30 years of experience providing and directing residential services in Anne Arundel and Prince Georges Counties, including directing a program that assisted people with retirement.

Susan Buehl has 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.

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.

Rachel Sye provided Service Coordination and served as a Supervisor for almost 20 years. She also has experience with issues and services for people with I/DD involved in the judicial system.

Kathy Vecchioni - see above.

Southern Region Advocates

Kari Borgealt, B.A. Woodbine, MD

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Tia-Juana Cunningham, M.Ed., Waldorf, 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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Portia Willis, B.S.W. Columbia, MD


Kari Borgealt served as a Service Coordinator and Supervisor for over 20 years, and lead a team in Statewide efforts to transition to individual self determination and control over services and funding. She provides outreach for the Arc of Frederick County.

Tia Cunningham served for over 20 years as a Resource Coordinator in St Mary's and Charles County. She was a Resource Coordination program manager with the Charles County Health Department for 8 years.

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 was appointed to 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.

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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Beverly Rill, Hampstead, MD

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Nancy Berger was a service coordinator and supervisor in western Maryland for 20 years. She lead a team in Statewide efforts to transition to individual self determination and control over services and funding.

Beverly Rill - See above.

Eastern Shore Advocates

Paul Mysak, M.Ed. Allen, MD

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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.