Candes Reid Retires from The Arc of Essex County

Six people across, embracing each other. Left to right: a man in a black hat and red jacket; a man in a dark gray coat; a woman in a green shirt with a black scarf and dark purple jacket, a woman in a blue and white striped shirt wearing a colorful necklace and a tiara, a woman in a black and blue shirt holding a poster board that says THANK YOU with balloons; and a woman in a pink jacket with a headband.

After nearly 41 years with The Arc of Essex County, Assistant Director of Community Services Candes Reid retired on March 18. Candes’s entire Arc family wishes her the best in her retirement and thanks her for decades of service to the families we serve.

Candes started working for The Arc in 1983, beginning with overnight shifts at the Bloomfield group home. She would soon switch to weekends, eventually moving up to be an assistant manager at the West Orange Community Residence, and later become manager. Over the years, Candes held many different titles, trying new things when opportunities arose. “Every time I’d learn about something else The Arc was doing, it made me curious to learn more, and I just went further and further into our programs,” she says. Most recently, Candes was working in the main office as Assistant Director of Community Services, where she supported families through the Home Assistance Program and other services—most notably, managing the Hotel Respite program, where she developed a close-knit team through the years.

“For more than four decades, Candes has been a valuable and dedicated member of The Arc family,” says CEO Linda C. Lucas. “She has always gone above and beyond to provide the best possible support to the people we serve and their families. She has shown compassion and commitment in her various roles, and has made a positive difference in countless lives. On behalf of everyone at The Arc of Essex County, I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for Candes and wish her all the best in her retirement. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. Thank you, Candes, for your remarkable service and contribution to our mission.”

Although she is looking forward to traveling and spending time with her own family, Candes says she will miss the people who have become like family at The Arc: coworkers, friends, and the consumers and their loved ones. “It really is a family,” she says. “You really have to love what you do, and I’ve always loved being a part of The Arc.”

In true Candes fashion, she led a conga line out the door on her last day, as her colleagues tearfully wished her the best in her next chapter. We thank Candes for all she’s done through the years and congratulate her on her well-earned retirement!