The Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities (RCBDD) has appointed Michele Giess as the next superintendent of Richland Newhope. Giess will succeed Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Prather, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Giess was selected from a field of eight qualified candidates and was one of three people interviewed by the RCBDD Search Committee, which was comprised of three board members. The Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB) assisted in the search.

A 27-year employee of Richland Newhope, Giess has served as director of the agency’s Service and Support Administration (SSA) since 2013. “Michele is truly worthy of this position,” noted RCBDD President Nicholas Gesouras. “Her dedication to this organization for over 27 years has prepared her for future challenges and successes for the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities.”

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead this organization and work with this wonderful group of employees in this capacity,” says Giess. “The Richland County Board has maintained a great reputation for supporting individuals to live the lives they want and be a part of their community. I look forward to leading our organization as we continue this mission. “

Born and raised in Richland County, Giess attended Lexington High School and is a graduate of Ashland University. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University. Giess completed OACB’s Executive Development Program and has a superintendent certificate from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. She currently resides in Lucas with her husband, Brian.

Giess will assume her new role on January 1, 2018.

In 2016, Richland Newhope supported more than 1,700 individuals through early intervention, preschool, adult, residential, therapy, transportation, and other family support programs.

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