Genesee ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski was named Social Worker of the Year by the Western Division of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
She was selected for her service to people with developmental disabilities, her leadership skills and commitment to community development. Her award nomination was submitted by Barbara Demerest, of Amherst, a former aide to New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath.
“Community leaders and families served by ARC continually note the major positive impact that Donna’s leadership has on the lives of the individuals and families her agency serves, and on the larger community," Demerest said.
During the awards presentation, Demerest said, “Donna particularly has forged partnerships and collaborations, not only strengthening services but integrating persons with disabilities into their communities and maximizing their opportunities for full participation.
"Among the many initiatives she has led are a recreational partnership with the YMCA and a major fundraising effort for the Genesee ARC Community Center (formerly St. Mary’s School).”
Saskowski, a lifelong resident of the town of Darien, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in Social Work from the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and has been on staff at Genesee ARC since 1989 and Executive Director since 2004.
In addition to her affiliation with NASW, Saskowski is a member of the Batavia Rotary Club and the Genesee County United Way Board of Directors. She is president of the Finger Lakes Collaborative, and belongs to NYSARC’s Executive Directors’ Association and Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York. In 2006, she was a member of the Community Health Foundation Leadership Fellows and she is a member of Leadership Genesee’s Class of 2005.