Member Updates

Looking to the future, OACB announces updated organizational structure

By Staff Report, OACB
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:00 am

As Ohio’s county board of DD system begin a new year filled with hope, possibility, and optimism for brighter days ahead, the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD (OACB) is pleased to announce that—effective January 13—OACB’s table of organization has been updated to more accurately reflect the way we support our members. These changes formalize internal shifts in staff responsibilities that have taken place organically over the past 12 months and will result in some team members receiving new job titles that better align with their current and future responsibilities.

Why is OACB making these changes now?
Trade associations like OACB must constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of their members and stay competitive with their peers. For this reason, we have updated several positions to reflect a more business-forward approach that will put us on more even footing with similar groups advocating in Columbus and in Washington, D.C. In addition, we hope that these reclassifications will better position OACB to recruit new staff members and provide incentives for internal advancement as a number of our current staff leaders prepare to retire over the next several years.

Will the creation of these positions require hiring additional staff?
Not at present. While OACB does plan to fill the event management position vacated early last year, there are no plans to hire additional full-time staff above and beyond staffing levels that existed at the beginning of 2020.

Will any OACB member services change as a result of these updated titles?
No. While some member services may be handled by a different staff member than might have been previously responsible, members will experience no interruption in the quality services they have come to expect from their association. We remain ready to support you and will continue improving the quality of services to which members have grown accustomed.

If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to Bridget Gargan ( for more information. We appreciate your continued membership in OACB and look forward to exceeding your member service expectations in the coming year. The changes to OACB’s structure are as follows:

Executive Leadership Changes

Bridget Gargan has served as OACB’s Executive Director since July 2013, during which time she has led the association’s staff in support of county board priorities through periods of great uncertainty and unprecedented change. To better reflect her leadership role at OACB and align this position’s title with peer associations in Ohio’s DD service delivery system, Gargan will assume the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Adam Herman, who has served as OACB Communications Director since February 2011, will apply his decade of experience representing county boards of DD along with previous experience in political communications, advocacy strategy, and organizational management as the association’s new Chief Operations Officer (COO). In addition to taking on more day-to-day oversight of the association’s general operations, Herman will oversee the association’s flagship professional development events and a host of special projects and initiatives in the coming years.

Rick Black has served as OACB’s Chief Operations Officer since February 2016. Formerly CFO at the Butler County Board of DD, Black will continue to leverage his more than 38 years of county board administrative experience to benefit OACB members as the association’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, he will continue to guide the association’s long-term fiscal sustainability, advocate on behalf of county board financial interests with state officials, and support superintendents, business managers, and key management staff as they prepare financially for the future.

Lori Stanfa has held many titles at OACB, most recently serving as Senior Policy Analyst. To better reflect her leadership role at the association, Stanfa will become OACB’s Chief Policy Officer (CPO). With more than four decades of experience in Ohio’s DD service delivery system, Stanfa’s unparalleled institutional knowledge, deep understanding of the inner workings of our system, and long-standing relationships with key decision makers in state agencies will allow her to continue being a highly effective policy advocate on behalf of county board interests.

Departmental Leadership Changes

Willie Jones, who many county board and provider agency staff will recognize as a co-founder and trainer with the Good Life Network positive culture program, will take on a new role as OACB’s first-ever Director of Health, Safety, and Wellness. In this position, Jones will use his past experience as a direct support professional, county board operations director, and behavioral support specialist to oversee training and technical assistance initiatives focusing on the health and safety of people served, particularly those related to abuse prevention and trauma-informed care. In addition, he will increase the association’s focus on the personal development and overall well-being of county board professionals in the workplace.

Erich Hiner, who has served as Communications Coordinator since September 2014, will become the association’s new Communications Director, guiding OACB’S overall strategies on internal/external communications, media relations, social media, and publications. Hiner has performed a leading role for the past several years in writing, editing, and distributing OACB’s flagship e-publications—including OACBInsider, PolicyBrief, COVID-19 Updates, and SSA Today. In his new role, Hiner will continue to guide OACB’s statewide messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, develop county board reference documents, and collaborate with government relations staff to refine OACB's advocacy messaging.

Additional Title Changes

In addition to the staff transitions above, the following team members will be assigned new titles to better reflect the supports they have offered and will continue to provide members: Randy Beach, formerly Leadership Specialist, will now have the title of Board Leadership Advisor. Susan Jones, Beth Popich, and Bev Smith—each of whom previously held the title of Children and Families Consultant—will now all hold the title of Children and Families Advisor.

OACB Director of Government Relations Erich Bittner, Service and Support Advisor Lisa Comes, and Executive Assistant Lana Beddoes will continue with their current titles as their job duties will remain unchanged as a result of this reorganization.

If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to Bridget Gargan ( for more information. We appreciate your continued membership in OACB and look forward to exceeding your member service expectations in the coming year.

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