No matter the format of the ANCOR Annual Conference, one of the most important purposes for our community to gather each year is to honor the leaders who are truly making a difference when it comes to the options and resources people of all abilities have to live a meaningful life in the community. In this session, the ANCOR Foundation will close out this year's Conference by presenting a series of awards and recognitions designed to honor leaders who have continually risen to new heights to meet challenges and seize opportunities, no matter the moment. We'll present the 2021 Community Builder Award, which recognizes a community partner that is making significant strides in promoting opportunities for people with I/DD. We'll also induct this year's class of long-time contributors to ANCOR's mission into the Legacy Leaders Circle, and recognize several members of the ANCOR Foundation Board of Directors as they complete their terms of service. Although we hate to see the Conference end, we have no doubt you'll walk away feeling inspired!
Members of the ANCOR community have long known the essential role direct support professionals play on the frontlines in our communities, day in and day out. But the challenges of the past year have required our essential workforce to rise to the occasion in ways never before seen. After a trying year, these workers deserve to be celebrated. To kick off this year's Conference, ANCOR President Heidi Mansir will deliver the annual President's Address. Then, we'll present the 2021 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards, sharing stories along the way of an essential workforce rising to meet the challenges of this unprecedented moment in our history.