Abilities!, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to fully integrating people with disabilities into society, has appointed John D. Kemp as President and CEO. He assumes his responsibilities upon the retirement of current President and CEO Edmund L. Cortez on February 4, 2011. Christopher Pascucci, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abilities!, made today's announcement.
John Kemp's credibility, knowledge and influence in the field will build upon our very strong foundation here at Abilities!, said Pascucci. We are exceedingly grateful to Edmund Cortez for his stewardship of this organization over the past 17 years. Kemp currently serves as Executive Director of US Business Leadership Network, a national organization dedicated to assuring full and equal employment for people with disabilities.
Kemp will be responsible for overseeing Abilities! daily operations and programs, as well as representing Abilities! in matters of public policy and government relations. He will supervise a staff of over 400 in sustaining Abilities! reputation for successful programs in K-12 education, on-site vocational training programs, employment services, research, advocacy and leadership.
He has successfully led a number of well-known non-profits, including positions as National Executive Director of the United Cerebral Palsy Associations and General Counsel and Vice President of the National Easter Seal Society. His interest in business and management has informed his career pursuits, most recently as a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville PC. An author of several articles on disability policy and trends, Kemp serves on advisory boards for Boys and Girls Club of America and the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities. He is on the board of directors of ICD and Goodwill Industries of Greater Washington. He holds a degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Washburn University School of Law.
I was introduced to John Kemp by Abilities! founder Hank Viscardi, said Cortez. Over the years, we have worked together on initiatives to advance the interests of people with disabilities. I hold him in the highest regard and believe the Board has found the most qualified, talented, and dedicated person to lead Abilities!.
Kemp is himself disabled and, beyond his considerable skills, training and talents, brings personal experience and insight to advancing integration of individuals with disabilities.
Abilities! is an organization that has always been in the forefront of supporting progress for people with disabilities and their families, said Kemp. I will honor this heritage and I thank Ed Cortez and the Board of Directors for their confidence.
Founded in 1952, Abilities! is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where people with disabilities receive the same treatment as all other people and have equal access to the benefits society offers. With a staff of more than 400, including experts in education, human resources and technology, Abilities! has grown to become a global leader in the full integration of people with disabilities into everyday life. More information about Abilities! and its wide range of services to individuals, organizations and private-sector businesses is available at www.abilitiesonline.org.