The PEAL Center Announces New Executive Director

[Pittsburgh, PA, June 6, 2024]—The PEAL (Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership) Center welcomes Meredith Peterson as its new Executive Director beginning July 8, 2024.

Following the departure of the previous Executive Director, Mary Hartley, the PEAL Center’s Board of Directors worked with Nonprofit Talent to conduct a state-wide search.

“The PEAL Center is excited to bring on Meredith as our next Executive Director,” said PEAL’s Board President Paul Fogle. “In our search, her background as an advocate and change agent was clear. We look forward to her leadership among us!”

“I would also like to thank Cindy Duch, who has served as Interim Executive Director for the past 6 months,” Fogle added. “She has led the organization through this transition period well, in addition to serving as Director of Individual Assistance.”

Meredith Peterson has served as the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh (DSAP) since April 2020, significantly contributing to its growth and impact. Additionally, she has served on both local and national boards. In December 2023, Meredith was honored with the Marsha S. Blanco Excellence in Community Leadership award at the Achieva Awards of Excellence event.

Before her tenure at DSAP, Meredith was the program coordinator at the Down Syndrome Center of Western PA and accumulated over a decade of experience in human resource management, primarily in healthcare. Meredith and her husband, Mike, are the proud parents of two teenagers. Their eldest, Macee, who has Down syndrome, inspires Meredith’s dedication to creating a more inclusive and accepting world for all.

“I am deeply honored to begin my new role as the Executive Director of The PEAL Center,” said Peterson. The PEAL Center’s mission aligns perfectly with both my professional and personal passions. With a background in nonprofit leadership and human resource management, I am eager to bring my experience and dedication to this opportunity. I am committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by welcoming diverse perspectives, building respectful relationships, and addressing systemic disparities and biases. I look forward to advancing The PEAL Center’s mission to educate and empower all families, ensuring that children, youth, and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives as full members of their communities.”

Read the full press release: The PEAL Center Announces New Executive Director

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