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Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board names new leader

Springfield News-Sun - 7/6/2018

July 06--Leigh Anne Wenning has been named superintendent of the boards of Developmental Disabilities in Shelby and Champaign counties.

Wenning will start her new role on Oct. 1. She is replacing Laura Zureich who will retire at the end of December, according to a news release from the boards. Zureich worked with the boards for 14 years.

Wenning will work and train with Zureich until the end of the year, according to Zureich.

"Most of that (time) will be focused on making sure that she gets connected well to all the people and groups that she'll be interacting with on a regular basis," Zureich said.

Wenning, a resident of Shelby County, has served at the Miami CountyBoard of Developmental Disabilities for about 14 years, most recently serving as the personnel and staff development director, she said.

She began her career providing in-home care to individuals with developmental disabilities as a direct support professional for Toward Independence, according to a news release.

She worked as a service coordinator in Franklin County and as a case manager in South Carolina before joining the Miami CountyBoard of Developmental Disabilities in 2004.

As superintendent, Wenning will be responsible for overseeing all services and programs provided by the boards of Champaign and Shelby counties.

Zureich said she feels particularly rewarded to have been involved in state-level developmental disability initiatives.

"The focus of the county boards is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have the services and support that they need from birth through all ages of life," said Zureich. "Those services are individualized person by person, because each person's needs are going to be different."

Under her leadership, the boards have participated in state-initiated pilot programs including the Waiver Pilot and the Remote Supports Pilot, according to the news release.

"That has enabled us as counties to stay at the forefront of what seems to be an ever-changing field," Zureich said.

Zureich has also helped Champaign and Shelby counties save more than $600,000 annually by sharing multiple administrative positions, according to the news release. Zureich's position has been shared between the two since 2011, she said.

"Ms. Zureich is a cornerstone of the developmental disabilities field in Ohio," said Wenning.

"From increasing community engagement and employment to transitioning our early intervention entirely to an evidence-based natural environment process for children and families, the people we serve have flourished under her leadership," said Shelby CountyBoard of Developmental Disabilities President Nathan Count in the news release.

Wenning said that she hopes to live up to Zureich's legacy. "Learning from her is going to be a wonderful experience for me," she said.

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(c)2018 Springfield News-Sun, Ohio

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