New Members Named to Richland County Developmental Disabilities Board
The Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities (RCBDD) held its 2018 re-organizational meeting on Wed., Jan. 24, and welcomed two new members.
Nicolas Comstock and Amanda Chapman were recently appointed by the Richland County commissioners to four-year terms. They succeed Virginia Harmon and Margaret Davis, who left the board in December after 12 years of service due to term limits.
Comstock is the first person currently receiving services to serve on the board in its 50 year history. A student at The Ohio State University-Mansfield, he is the president of the campus Best Buddies chapter and serves on Richland Newhope’s Human Rights Committee.
“We need more people with disabilities making decisions…because we are the ones who truly understand the struggle of having a disability,” said Comstock.
Chapman has a son who receives services. The Mansfield native is employed by Mohican Valley Title Agency, is active in the parent-teacher organization at Discovery School, and volunteers with the Autism Awareness Walk-A-Thon.
“Richland Newhope has provided my family with many opportunities via Early Intervention, Help Me Grow, and preschool,” said Chapman. “I’m hopeful for the chance to give back to an organization that I believe in.”
During the reorganizational meeting, Nicholas Gesouras was named president for the third consecutive year. Steve Swank will continue to serve as vice-president while Richard Otto remains secretary. Richland County Probate Judge Phil Mayer recently re-appointed both Swank and Otto to a second term, effective Jan. 1.
The board will 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 and November, and the December board meeting will be held on Dec. 5. All meetings are open to the public.
Other members of the board are Geneva Cummins and Michael Howard.
In addition to serving on the RCBDD, Swank was also recently elected as a trustee on the board of the Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB).
In 2017, the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Richland Newhope) served more than 1,600 individuals through early intervention, preschool, transition services, day services, supported employment, residential, therapy, and other family support programs.