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New Arc director speaks to Chamber Ambassadors

Arc Northland executive director Michael Ryan, speaking at a Chamber Ambassador meeting last week. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)

The new executive director of Arc Northland, Michael Ryan, spoke to the Chamber Ambassadors during their February luncheon meeting on Tuesday. The Arc was incorporated in 1952 and works to assist the disabled to live as independently as possible. The name now stands for Advocacy Resource Center.

Ryan stressed that the nonprofit’s goal is to help all people with disabilities. He said that many times disabled adults and parents of disabled children become isolated. He cited an example of a mother whose extended family excluded the disabled child from Christmas gatherings.

The Arc coordinates support groups, and family fun nights which he said many find helpful. “The whole goal is to integrate the child,” he said. Ryan also spoke about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. “This is one disease that could be prevented,” he said.

Ryan holds a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colo., and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He comes to Arc Northland and the Duluth community with an extensive background in administrative and financial management, having worked as an administrator or finance director of various health care organizations for more than 37 years. In addition, Ryan worked with an accounting firm where he audited several nonprofit organizations.

For information, contact (218) 726-4725 or visit www.arcnorthland. org.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at