Arc of Seneca Cayuga names new Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Arc of Seneca Cayuga formally announced that Allen Connely has been selected as the Agency’s new Executive Director. Connely will assume his new position on May 30th. He will succeed Kevin Smith, who will be stepping down after 35 years of service.

Board President Mary Pat Harris said that the Board was “confident that Allen brings the leadership and executive management experience our agency needs to move through significant policy and funding changes in our field. He also brings a great deal of experience in securing and growing nonprofit funding and has a real focus on the individuals that the Agency supports and assists.”

Connely began his professional career in the international business arena where he held senior management roles for the Amway Corporation and during his career he has worked in over 20 different countries. Once their children started to reach school age, Connely and his wife, Brenda, decided they wanted to move back from England to the States so that their children could be educated here and grow up in this country. Upon returning to the States, Allen began his own company supplying quality assurance inspection services to the automotive industry

Allen then followed his heart and became the Executive Vice President and COO of Keystone Independence Management, Inc. Keystone is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit management services organization that offers management and leadership services to nonprofit organizations. Keystone provides services to agencies that assist and support individuals with visual impairments, physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Over the last seven years, Allen was responsible for significantly increasing Keystone’s total revenue. He has developed many new product lines and signed many new contracts with the state and federal governments. Allen has consistently demonstrated an ability to ensure that nonprofit organizations are sustainable, that they have ample funding sources and also provide jobs for the people that they serve. Allen was recently involved in obtaining a capital improvement grant of $1million from the State of Pennsylvania. While at Keystone, Connely not only expanded the number of product businesses Keystone has (hand tools, toilet paper and safety helmets) but also the number of service businesses: lawn maintenance and snow removal services, facilities management, janitorial services for colleges, mailroom services.

During his time at Keystone, Allen also served as the CEO for three of Keystone’s affiliated nonprofit agencies, gaining valuable experience in a number of areas. Tammy Slayton, Arc Director of Human Resources, who led the search team, was impressed by Allen’s ability to lead people through times of challenge and change, while ensuring they get the support they need to succeed.” She also noted that, “His ability to listen and understand was praised by the people who worked for him, as was his ability to direct and collaborate. During the interview process he demonstrated a keen understanding of the challenges facing human service agencies.”

As the Executive Director of Arc of Seneca Cayuga, Connely will oversee an Agency with a budget of over $25 million and a staff of over 500 employees who are dedicated to providing opportunities to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Arc works with individuals assisting them as they demonstrate their ability and desire to participate in community life in meaningful ways. These service options are delivered through its person-centered approach. Individuals can select how they wish to reside, work, pursue leisure activities and participate in the community with the comfort of knowing they will receive training, transportation, equipment and supports in a safe and welcoming environment. Serving over 1200 individuals, Arc of Seneca Cayuga is the largest provider of such services in the Finger Lakes. Allen is, “Looking forward to continuing the strong tradition of serving the disabled in the Seneca and Cayuga counties and the opportunity to expand the mission of the Arc of Seneca and Cayuga.”

Allen and his wife, Brenda, will be relocating from Pennsylvania where they have been living for 18 years. They have been married for 32 years and have two grown children. Their son, Colby, lives in Kentucky with his wife, Stephanie, who is pursuing her degree as a Physician’s Assistant while Colby is working in the recruitment office at the University of the Cumberlands. Brenda and Allen’s younger child, Kelsey, is attending the University of South Carolina pursuing her Masters in Human Resources. She will be in Houston this summer interning with GE in their oil and gas division. Brenda is the pastor of their local church and has her own bookkeeping business. Allen has served on various church boards. They are both looking forward to living in the Finger Lakes and enjoying all that their new home has to offer. In his spare time, Allen enjoys playing golf and watching professional football, although he is worried that with his move to New York, “being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan might prove to be a little problematic”.

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