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Connections - 01.31.22

#TeamANCOR Rings in the New Year with Fresh Faces, New Volunteer Leaders

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By Sean Luechtefeld

Photo of Sean Luechtefeld, ANCOR

#TeamANCOR is an occasional series in which we update our members and friends about transitions and exciting changes among ANCOR’s staff and volunteer leaders.

We’re just a month into the new year, but 2022 has already proven to be an exciting one here at ANCOR. Between a successful set of virtual winter retreats, deep planning for an in-person Annual Conference in April and our ongoing advocacy around the Build Back Better Act, you could say we’ve hit the ground running.

Alongside this excitement—and helping to make it all possible—has been the addition of new staff and new volunteer leaders to #TeamANCOR. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to two new members of staff, who you may have already had the pleasure of meeting:

  • Sasha Sencer joined ANCOR during the first week of January as our Events Coordinator. To this newly envisioned position, Sasha brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in event planning, of course, but also deep experience with diversity, equity and engagement initiatives; curriculum development and planning; and program management and administration, including most recently in her role as a high school principal.
  • One week later, ANCOR welcomed Jill Jones Borak to the staff as our new Director of Federal Relations. This reenvisioned role on our Government Relations team will have Jill leading not only ANCOR’s legislative affairs on Capitol Hill, but also our engagement with a range of government agencies at the federal level. Jill’s experience expands beyond policy advocacy and includes policy analysis, campaign management and more.

When it comes to our association’s leadership, we’re also excited to welcome Yadira Holmes, Director of Government Affairs for Consumer Direct Care Network, to the ANCOR Board of Directors. The recipient of ANCOR’s inaugural Bonnie-Jean Brooks Rising Star Award in 2020, Yadira was appointed by Board President Heidi Mansir to serve out the remainder of Mark Matulka’s term, which ends September 30, 2022. If you haven’t gotten the chance to meet Yadira yet, seek her out—you’ll be glad you did.

Of course, that means that we’re sad to say “see you later” to Mark Matulka, formerly Vice President of Public Policy for Mosaic, who resigned from the ANCOR Board of Directors effective December 31, 2021. Mark completed his law degree last summer (while working full time and raising two young children during a pandemic!), and left Mosaic at the end of the year to start a new position with a prestigious law firm in Omaha. Although we’ll miss him, we wish Mark all the best in his new endeavors and thank him for his many contributions to ANCOR, including nearly two years as co-chair of the Government Relations Committee.

But wait! That’s not all! In addition to these exciting changes, we’ve been fortunate to welcome four new volunteer leaders to the ANCOR Foundation Board of Directors. These new leaders include Marian Baldini of Kencrest in Pennsylvania, Gene Boes of Northwest Center in Washington, Cheryl Plank of Hope Haven in Iowa, and Mary Valachovic of The Arc of Plymouth & Upper Cape Cod in Massachusetts. These leaders join 11 others in comprising an outstanding slate of leaders that are taking the ANCOR Foundation to the next level.

Of course, the addition of these new members of the Foundation Board also means we have to say “see you later” to three others who completed their terms of service at the end of 2021. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the contributions of Bonnie-Jean Brooks, Mike Hutcherson and Chris Stevenson, each of whom served multiple terms on the Board and steered it to the stature and relevance it commands today.

Our growing team is stronger than ever, and with these new additions to #TeamANCOR, there’s no telling what we can accomplish together with you in 2022. Onward!

Sean Luechtefeld is Senior Director of Communications for ANCOR. He can be reached at [email protected].