October 22nd, 2018

On Thursday, October 18th, The Arc of New Jersey hosted their annual Awards Celebration at The Imperia in Somerset, NJ. The event was extra special because The Arc of Essex County’s very own Melissa Soules received the 2018 Professional of the Year award.

As stated in The Arc of New Jersey Awards Celebration speech:

“Melissa Soules began her career with The Arc of Essex County in 1999 as the Director of Recreation and has successfully progressed in various management roles with the chapter over her almost 20 year tenure. Currently the Senior Director, Supports Program, Melissa’s role in the development of the procedures necessary for the organization to convert Day Habilitation and Respite services into the new Fee-for-Service model was the foundation for its success. Working directly with families, guardians, individuals with I/DD, and support coordination agencies to understand the new system, provide guidance on how best to navigate it, and to champion The Arc of Essex County, placed all of Melissa’s wonderful skills on display.
            From the beginning, Melissa has established long-term relationships with families, consumers, and professionals in the field. Through triumphs (successfully transitioning from one life change to another) to providing crisis support (crisis situations where family members have passed) to helping other colleagues looking for guidance, Melissa is always there to provide whatever is needed. Through Melissa’s experience, kindness and compassion, families and professionals know that she will be the person who “returns their call” and provides the assistance needed with the situation at hand. Melissa’s knowledge, commitment, engagement, and endless effort to infuse humor, warmth and care into her various roles at The Arc of Essex County, contributes to her success as a highly effective and respected professional in this field.”

On behalf of The Arc of Essex County family, congratulations Melissa!

Left to Right: Linda Lucas, CEO, Melissa Soules, Marnie McNany, Board President, Tom Baffuto, The Arc of New Jersey