Thursday, April 18, 2013

ESPA Welcomes Carol Wright as Senior Director

Contributed by Mary A. Leary

As Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) continues to support accessible transportation for the 26th year, we stay firmly grounded in our mission yet look to the current and future needs of cities and towns across the country. Finding and keeping talented team members is one way we maintain our high productivity, passion for making a difference and achievement of stellar results. Like many other organizations today, we also go through periods of transitions and changes in program leadership. After five years of leading the day-to-day operations of ESPA, I have assumed additional responsibilities in Easter Seals which necessitate a change in how we manage the ESPA program. I am launching an innovation initiative to help Easter Seals find new ways to provide services and assistance that leverage movements such as brain health, the intersection between health and transportation, healthcare reform and care transitions, and many others. I will continue to manage Easter Seals Transportation Group but will transition day-to-day program management responsibilities as I start up the innovation team at Easter Seals as vice president for business innovation and advancement.

Carol Wright,
Senior Director for Accessible
Transportation Programs
So, I am truly pleased to announce that we have found and hired a talented leader to manage ESPA—Carol  Wright, formerly the associate director of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) at North Dakota State University. Before working at SURTC, Wright held positions in human services transportation and aging and disability services. She has expertise in many areas of transportation including emergency preparedness. She is a trainer, a curriculum developer, a presenter, and an experienced manager. With her background and relaxed-yet-focused approach, Wright will provide superb leadership for ESPA's technical assistance and outreach activities. With her guidance, ESPA will continue to build coalitions based on goals shared by the disability and transit communities.

Since joining the United We Ride team in 2004, I have had the distinct honor and privilege to meet and work with many wonderful partners and people. Thank you for your support over the last five years, and I know I can count on your continued support for our new senior director of ESPA, Carol Wright. Our team has grown so much as has our level of program activities. We will begin posting our major accomplishments for last year soon, and I hope you take a moment to read them. As we go forward, please do not hesitate to email me or Wright if we can answer any questions of be of assistance. Above all, we are here to serve.

And on a final note, I am also pleased to share that Dr. Cheryl Irmiter has joined our new business innovation and advancement team at Easter Seals as the assistant vice president of innovation solutions. Over the last four years while at the American Medical Association, Irmiter worked with me and our ESPA staff to help us in our charge to expand awareness regarding the importance of access to transportation for a person's health and wellness. As Irmiter helps us build out an even stronger connection with clinicians and medical professionals, we will continue our relationship-building efforts in this important area.  

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