July 1, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Interim chief named for disabilities board

MEDINA — The Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities has named an interim superintendent.

Adult Services Director Annette Davis-Kramp replaces former superintendent Dr. Greg LaForme, who retired earlier this month after 10 years with the agency. Davis-Kramp will head the board until a permanent superintendent is named.

Annette Davis-Kramp

Davis-Kramp, who has been with the board for more than 20 years, unanimously was approved as interim director at a board meeting Dec. 9.

“I’m happy to assist the agency in any way I can,” she said. “If this is how I can best serve at this time, then I was glad to do that.”

Board officials said Davis-Kramp knows the agency’s inner workings better than anyone and her expertise will help with the change in leadership over the next few months.

“We are fortunate to be able to have a person of Annette’s caliber to assume this important leadership position,” board President Jay Mitzel said. “Her long history with the Medina County Board of DD will serve us well during this time of transition.”

A news release said the board has conducted focus groups with parents, individuals, community leaders and staff to identify the qualities the agency will need in its next leader.

The board operates the Medina County Achievement Center and Windfall School, which provides educational programs to children with developmental disabilities. It provides transportation for adults and children, adult services and specializes in helping people with developmental disabilities live and work independently.

The board already has interviewed the top five candidates for the superintendent’s position, public relations coordinator Patti Hetkey said.

She said the board will decide soon whether to go through a second round of interviews or to make an offer to one of the five.

Davis-Kramp is not one of the applicants, but that is by her own design, she said.

“I very much enjoy my job as adult services director and I feel I have a chance to interact with the people we serve better in that way, and I have a couple of projects near and dear to my heart that I’d love to finish,” she said.

Among those projects, she said, is heading up the Employment First Initiative — a program put into place by an executive order from Gov. John Kasich last year.

The order makes community employment the preferred objective for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“They want the same things in life as we all do. They want employment in the community and a home and friends and loved ones in their lives, and they want to be able to make the choice for those options,” she said. “I feel it’s my job to help assist them in that process.”

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.