Ann Dillon Retires after 30 Years of Service
Ann Dillon, one of the driving forces of the NH Leadership Series and part of its inaugural class, retired at the end of January.
Ann's career began as an occupational therapist, and since then, she has enjoyed supporting young children, their families, and providers, and working to provide supports and services that are family-centered and fully inclusive in schools and communities. As the parent of three children including a wonderful daughter Brianna who had disabilities and is now deceased, Ann applies her parenting experience to the Institute’s work in education, inclusion, medical, and family support.
At the IOD Ann had many roles including serving as the NH Leadership Series Coordinator, where she worked to ensure NH has a strong Leadership program, increasing the use of person-centered planning, organizing and designing responsive supports and systems, and continuing education. Ann also coordinated off-site clinical placements for the NH-ME LEND program and was their Family & Clinical Faculty member. She also supported the GEMSS (Genetics Educations Materials for School Success). Ann has worked with individuals and organizations in local communities, at the state and national level, and internationally in the areas of systems change, medical home, positive behavioral supports, family-centered care, autism, and developmental disabilities.
At her retirement party, many staff and colleagues shared their favorite stories about Ann as well as her impact.
Ann and her family… have been instrumental in establishing and solidifying the mission, vision, and values of the IOD. As a member of the first NH Leadership Series class, Ann broke through every single barrier that prevented Brie from living an ordinary life. From creating an accessible bus so Brie could ride to school with her friends, creating communication systems that supported Brie to participate in the general curriculum, to participation in higher education – Ann and her family led the way. - Mary Schuh
Ann… was an instant confidant, someone who spoke easily about the tough things… In our work on the GEMSS website, Ann wanted to show that everyone could have a full life. The way she helped families shape their stories, and sometimes their whole perspective, was something I don’t get to see very often. - Karen Volle
Ann’s leadership in family-centered care paved the way for today’s families. Her dedication built the foundation of how our families are included in decision-making. I thank her for inspiring me and hundreds of parents in New Hampshire to find and value their voice, to protect what has been built, and to be visionary leaders to improve the lives of all families. – Julie Smith
I have always been amazed by the way Ann can pull out a story or scenario to weave together the pieces of our sessions; she taught me the importance of making connections in everything we do. My mentor and friend! - Deb Genthner
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan also sent a letter to be read at the retirement party. Highlighting her work at the IOD, Senator Hassan wrote, “You have consistently gone above and beyond in your work with community, state, federal, and international governmental agencies – ensuring that individuals who experience disabilities are fully included in their communities… Because of your efforts, New Hampshire is a stronger more inclusive place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Everyone at the Institute on Disability wishes Ann Dillon the best as she embarks on her next adventure.
If you would like to keep Ann’s legacy alive through the NH Leadership Series, please make a donation to Leadership. https://iod.unh.edu/projects/nh-leadership/donate