AccessCNY Executive Director to Retire
Prudence York, Executive Director of AccessCNY, has announced her retirement from the agency, effective September 1, 2016.
“After a career that began in 1979 working directly with people with disabilities, I am retiring to spend time with my husband kayaking, hiking and finding new ways to give back to our community,” York stated in an announcement to staff. “Over 37 years I had the rare privilege of being part of a revolution – a revolution that fought to establish basic human rights for people with disabilities.”
York’s steady leadership was one of many guiding forces that led to the creation of AccessCNY in 2015. The agency was formed as the result of the merger of Enable and Transitional Living Services. She has always helped others move forward when their instinct was to stay still, helping others embrace change and be part of the big picture. “I have been rewarded with a career that has taught me that challenge brings opportunity, perseverance brings rewards, and that we are stronger when we work together,” York said.
Under York’s guidance, the agency grew from serving 1,500 individuals with development disabilities with a budget of roughly $18 million dollars, to an agency that serves over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries or mental health issues. AccessCNY has an annual operating budget of over $32 million dollars.
York joined Enable in 1986 as a recognized pioneer in developing innovative employment programs for people with disabilities. Prior to being named Executive Director in 2012, York served as the agency’s Director of Community Services for individuals with development disabilities. York’s philosophy was formed by her direct care experiences. “I have found that learning comes at unexpected times from unexpected places and that the greatest rewards are relationships.”
“It’s with great sadness that the AccessCNY Board of Directors accepts Prudence’s letter of retirement. Her leadership over 37 years has transformed the lives of thousands of individuals with disabilities in Central New York,” said Ricky Ryder, President of the AccessCNY Board of Directors.
“She joins the ranks of dozens of community leaders whose vision created robust systems of support in our community so that people with disabilities have choices in their services. Every day we see firsthand how personal touches and genuine kindness make all the difference when working with someone in need. Every person has value and this is modeled by Prudence to each and every employee, board member and every person served by the agency. She will be deeply missed and has left enormous shoes to fill.”
The AccessCNY Board of Directors has begun a broad search for a new Executive Director. The agency anticipates hiring a new leader this summer to shadow Ms. York for a period of several weeks before her departure.