After nearly two decades, Ed Paquin is retiring as Executive Director of Disability Rights Vermont.
DRVT has thrived over these years. DRVT is a greater force for good in Vermont today than it has ever been in our 30+ year history, in large part due to the wise and compassionate leadership of Ed Paquin. Under his leadership, DRVT has helped thousands of Vermonters stand up for themselves and make real change that will have bettered people’s lives for years to come. These improvements have been made in many areas including police response to people with disabilities, protection of victims of disability crimes, use of force against patients in mental hospitals and emergency rooms, protection of vulnerable adults through our system of adult protection services and the state Places addressing the needs of people with disabilities in the public service, from child protection to economic services to the right to live in a most integrated environment and access to voting.
“When I leave DRVT for a different phase of my life, a different pace, new challenges and new journeys, I know it will be difficult to part with the wonderful people I have worked with over those years. They meant more to me than I can say and I will miss the joy of working with them to improve the lives of people with disabilities. I am comforted to leave the agency in the hands of AJ Ruben, our new Executive Director, who has been by my side as our hard working supervisory attorney for the past 18 years. AJ will bring the same expertise, hard work, and good humor to his new role, and our community will be better off. ”
President of the Board of Directors Sarah Launderville announced the news that AJ will take the ED position at a DRVT staff meeting, noting, “We are excited to see AJ start his new role with us, and at the same time the reality is Ed’s leaving now in sight. Ed’s work within DRVT and the disability rights movement has been exceptional. To say he’s missing is an understatement. ”
AJ has worked at DRVT under Ed’s leadership for the past 18 years and says, “It has been a unique honor in my life. Ed embodied the best qualities in people who strive to help others overcome unjust and unnecessary barriers to full and equal participation in our society. Ed and the staff at DRVT have proven time and again that compassion, hard work, and creativity in helping people with disabilities make positive changes in their lives and the social systems in which we all live. I am grateful for the Board of Directors ‘trust in my ability to move from solicitor to executive director and I am more determined than ever to work with the Board, Advisory Board, employees and most importantly, Vermonters with disabilities, on DRVT’s mission to bring Vermonters’ rights to life with Promote disabilities. “
Paquin’s last day is May 7thth.
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