Community Options: Believing in dignity for all

May 23, 2018 | ROI-NJ Online

Community Options: Believing in dignity for all

Gov. Phil Murphy, left, last year toured The Daily Plan It in Princeton, one of Community Options’ businesses that provide job training and employment to people with disabilities. Svetlana Repic-Qira, right, regional vice president.

ROI-NJ.

Origin

Community Options was founded in 1989 by Robert Stack, who is currently CEO and president.

Mission

Community Options’ mission is to develop housing and employment supports for persons with disabilities.

Goals

Over the next few years, we have identified five key objectives as part of our ongoing strategic plan: expand services, leverage technology, cultivate personnel, improve fiscal operations, and enhance marketing and development. We are confident that we will achieve the goals set forth by our Leadership Team by 2020.

Programs

Community Options is a progressive, national nonprofit organization that has been in operation for over 35 years. Community Options believes in the dignity of every person and in the freedom of all people to experience the highest degree of self-determination. Our focused efforts include developing residential housing, specialized programs for medically fragile adults, entrepreneurial businesses, employment supports and transitional education programs benefiting thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Achievements

Community Options recently celebrated the opening of our 500th home. We secured a donation to open our second Vaseful flower store, providing employment to people with disabilities. The flower store is expected to open in the fall. We’ve continue to expand our services with homes for people with disabilities that recently opened in Princeton, Marlton, Franklin and Willingboro. We have plans to open an additional six to 10 homes within the next year.

Fundraising

Community Options holds two annual fundraising events. The first is the Cupids Chase 5K race, held over Valentine’s Day weekend. In 2018, there were 38 races across the 11 states that Community Options operates in. Funds are raised through runners as well as corporate sponsorships. The second major fundraising event is the Annual Golf Classic, which took place this year at Jasna Polana in Princeton. Throughout the year, Community Options’ executive directors will also hold various fundraisers for their local offices. Many of these include partnering with small businesses in their local communities.

Benefactors

Community Options is supported by many local businesses in the areas that we serve. All of our offices are supported by a Community Options Business Advisory Council, or COBAC, which advises executive directors on local economic trends, establishes and maintains corporate and civic connections, and raises funds for local programs. COBAC members include representatives from Robert Wood Johnson, Staples, New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, Yardville National Bank, Haldeman Ford, Pepper Hamilton, First Washington State Bank, Sovereign Bank, the National Association of Catering Executives and many other prominent lawyers, consultants and business leaders.

Board members

We are proud to have an active and engaged board of directors that include many prominent business and community leaders. Some of our board members include:

Philip Lian, chairman — Parcside Equity LLC
Alec Taylor — Matrix Development Group
Lori Grifa — partner at Archer Law and former DCA commissioner
Gail Gordon — attorney and wife of state Sen. Bob Gordon
James Spano — Spano Partners Holdings
Delia Donahue — partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP

Finally

As a national agency, Community Options seeks to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community through person-centered and natural supports, and collaboration with community partners to increase accessibility to services. Community Options does not administer any large congregate programs, recognizing that people with the most severe disabilities need environments, equipment, clinical and staff support that are tailored to their very specific needs to enable them to live life to their fullest potential in the community.

Conversation Starter

Reach Svetlana Repic-Qira, regional vice president, Community Options, at: Svetlana.Repic-Qira@comop.org or at 973-905-4015.

In Brief

Serving: We are a national nonprofit organization providing services to people with disabilities. We are based in Princeton; however, we currently operate in 11 states: Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Key People

Robert Stack, CEO and president; David Sweeney, chief financial officer; Svetlana Repic-Qira, regional vice president; Brian Dion, regional vice president; Catherine Carroll, regional vice president

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