Kathleen Hinnigan-Cohen Receives Prestigious Arc of New Jersey Honor

Photo of Kathy Hinnigan-Cohen holding her award plaque and surrounded by her family and The Arc of Essex County senior leadership.

The Arc of Essex County was proud to celebrate Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Hinnigan-Cohen at The Arc of New Jersey’s annual Award Celebration on June 6, where she was presented with the prestigious Martin Papish Award.

Kathy’s story with The Arc of Essex County begins in 1994, when she started as a social worker at Stepping Stones School and Early Intervention Program. In that role, she provided tools to help families effectively advocate for the needs of their children; sharing resources, offering guidance, and providing support as parents and guardians navigated various systems of care. Over the years, Kathy moved up into leadership positions within the agency, where she oversaw programs, coordinated with state funding agencies, and spearheaded the development of new programs, guiding The Arc of Essex County’s growth in response to the ever-changing needs of consumers and their families. In 2010, her role grew into her current position as The Arc of Essex County’s Chief Operating Officer, where she now oversees all programs and services including adult and children’s services as well as the operational support departments. In her nearly 30 years at The Arc of Essex County, Kathy has made an impact on countless individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, smoothing what can be a challenging road for families, providing a guiding hand along the way, and helping each individual realize a lifetime of achievement and community inclusion.

The Arc of New Jersey’s annual event, held at the Imperia in Somerset, was an opportunity to highlight and thank the individuals, organizations, and corporations that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the state. “The 2023 honorees bring something truly remarkable to the table. They give of themselves: their time, their resources and their heart, not because it will improve their own lives, but because it will improve the lives of others. These individuals and organizations go above and beyond to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead the best lives possible in all regions of New Jersey,” The Arc of New Jersey Executive Director Tom Baffuto said at the event.

The Arc of Essex County congratulates Kathy on this extraordinary and well-deserved honor, and thanks The Arc of New Jersey for the recognition.