Arc of Greater New Orleans Announces New Executive Director

Drrossheadshot7NEW ORLEANS — Arc of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has hired Dr. Mary Ann Ross to fill the role of executive director. The appointment will begin in August 2022.

Ross brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of mental health, reentry, education, substance use disorder treatment, permanent and supportive housing, nonprofit management and consulting. Most recently, she served as the director of treatment and programs for the Mississippi Department of Corrections where she earned the Commissioner’s Coin for Excellence in Corrections and the Mississippi Department of Corrections Coin for Innovative Reentry Programming. She said she aims to leverage her experience and expertise in program management to strengthen, support and grow ArcGNO’s mission to secure opportunities for all people with IDD in developing, functioning and living to their fullest potential.

“The ArcGNO’s board and search committee conducted a national search with a reputable nonprofit executive recruitment agency to identify the best fit to ensure stability and growth for the organization,” said Board President Katherine LeBlanc. “Dr. Ross stood out due to her passion for our work and her broad experience, education and expertise in leading complex organizations. We look forward to supporting her tenure as executive director.”

ArcGNO is best known for its work with the Mardi Gras Recycling Center, providing jobs for those with IDD who participate in the program. In addition, ArcGNO coordinates community integration services at five area community centers and residential support services to provide care to individuals and families in their homes. ArcGNO also offers employment services to empower participants to prepare for and attain jobs.

Ross has a doctorate in psychology from Walden University and a Master of Education from American Intercontinental University. Her bachelor’s degree is in Criminal Justice and Social Work from Alcorn State University. She also holds credentials/certifications in substance use disorder treatment and human resources management. She is a minister, mother to a son with Autism and a advocate for community-based diversion programs for justice-involved individuals with IDD.

“This position perfectly aligns my education, experience and passion to be of service with my personal experience as a parent to a child with IDD,” said Ross. “As executive director of ArcGNO, I look forward to fulfilling the organization’s mission of providing opportunities for all people with IDD to live to their fullest potential.”

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