Kennedy Center’s 67th annual awards dinner and annual meeting

Opportunity, possibility, and impact will be the focus of The Kennedy Center’s 67th annual awards dinner and annual meeting on Thursday, April 19, at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn. The social hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner, annual meeting, and awards at 7 p.m.

Richard E. Sebastian Jr. of Shelton, the new president and CEO of The Kennedy Center, will be the keynote speaker. He will address the importance of honoring The Kennedy Center legacy, while embracing its future.

Sebastian was appointed the new president and CEO of The Kennedy Center on Jan. 2. He comes to The Kennedy Center with more than 30 years of experience in the developmental disabilities sector. He brings to The Kennedy Center a deep and personal commitment to helping those with developmental, intellectual and cognitive disabilities live full, self-determined lives within the community as well as a vast knowledge in helping organizations increase growth and future sustainability.

Most recently, Sebastian served as the president/CEO of Didlake, a multi-state organization based in Virginia serving people with disabilities. Before that, he served as president/CEO of Human Technologies Corp., an organization based in New York serving people with disabilities and behavioral needs.

Sebastian holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology/child life from Utica College of Syracuse University and a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Baltimore.

The awards dinner and annual meeting also recognizes and pays tribute to those who have made outstanding personal achievements or significant contributions to people with disabilities. Fairfield University will receive the Corporate VIP (Very Important Partner) Award in recognition of its ongoing support and commitment to The Kennedy Center and to the individuals with disabilities it serves.

Other annual awards will be announced that evening. The accomplishments of area employers, volunteers, staff, and persons with disabilities will be recognized.

This year, two new employee awards are being given. The DSP Empowerment Award singles out a direct support professional who has shown consistent dedication, has gone above and beyond his or her responsibilities, and has empowered and awakened possibilities in those served. A DSP is any employee who works face to face with an individual served by The Kennedy Center.

The Employee Impact Award, on the other hand, recognizes an employee other than a DSP who has demonstrated exemplary initiative, optimism and/or effectiveness that has led to a positive impact within the organization.

Area residents serving on the Annual Meeting Committee include Pietro Andres of Fairfield; Bridgeport residents Mary Brown and Teri Brown; Trumbull residents Joe Dennin, Randye Kaye, and David Kmetz; and Michele Macauda of Monroe, Dottie Kellersman of Shelton, Jo Ann McMullan of Wilton, Dan Long of Cheshire, Anna Maisner of Easton, Debra Kane of Ansonia, and Rachelle Mitchell of Milford.

Tickets for the annual awards dinner are $50 per person. Register online at thekennedycenterinc.org or call 203-365-8522, ext. 213.

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