CLEVELAND – Karen Knavel was named CEO of New Avenues to Independence by its board of directors. The nonprofit organization, headquartered in Cleveland, serves more than 750 men, women, and children with disabilities.
Knavel had served as COO and has nearly 15 years of distinguished achievement at New Avenues, including serving as director of community relations and housing. With more than 25 years of expertise in the field, she brings strategic and hands-on experience to her new role. The Concord Township resident holds a law degree from Ohio State University and a BA in political science and history from Walsh University. She also grew up in a family committed to advancing the opportunities of loved ones with disabilities.
“We are most fortunate to gain her leadership in operations, programs, planning, fundraising, community relations and more at a pivotal time for our agency,” Jon Good, the chair of the board of directors, said in a prepared statement. “As CEO, Karen will continue to drive New Avenues transformation, implementing innovative programs that attain the highest standards of care and support to the individuals, families and guardians we serve. Using the state guidelines as a roadmap, she will be responsible for growing our mission to include greater inclusion and contribution in the community, competitive employment, and many more choices for individuals with disabilities.”
Knavel’s promotion is part of a reorganization of leadership at New Avenues to respond to the changes occurring at the state and federal levels and to ensure a continued high level of support to the people it serves. From day services to new opportunities in housing, the changes that New Avenues anticipates will make the 65-year-old agency stronger, more competitive, and a key player at a historic time in the developmental disabilities field.
“Together we are achieving transformative change, growing our mission of helping people with disabilities lead more independent lives filled with dignity and achievement,” Good said.
New Avenues to Independence, Inc. provides services, programs, and opportunities to more than 750 people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio so that they can become more independent and productive members of the community. www.newavenues.net
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