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Assoc. for Community Living Names Ruth Banta Executive Director

SPRINGFIELD — The Association for Community Living, which provides residential and community services for people with intellectual disabilities, has named Ruth Banta the new executive director, effective Aug. 22.

Banta, who has served as the vice president for administration at the association since 2003, will oversee the $30 million organization, headquartered in Springfield. The association provides a variety of services to people with disabilities through its programs throughout Western Mass., including Community Resources for People with Autism, Specialized Home Care, Whole Children, an extensive residential division, and Valley Tees.

“We are thrilled to have Ruth Banta taking on the responsibilities of the executive director position,” said Mark Germain, president of the association’s board of directors. “Her first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities we face and her relationships within and outside of the organization will allow her to hit the ground running on her first day on the job. We all look forward to working with Ruth in the years to come.”

Banta has more than 30 years of management, including positions at J.P. Morgan and Aetna.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the association’s next executive director,” Banta said. “I am looking forward to working with all our constituents to meet the challenges we face to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are able to build the lives they seek and deserve.”

Banta has a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and an MBA from Yale University. She became interested in the human-services field when one of her sons was diagnosed with autism. She previously served on the board of Community Resources for People with Autism, a program of the Assoc. for Community Living.

The Assoc. for Community Living, which is set to change its name to Pathlight in September, has been providing programs and services to people with developmental disabilities since 1952. Its programs include residential homes, supports for independent living, family-based living, recreation, enrichment, employment supports, family resources, autism supports, and more.

Banta is an amateur photographer whose photographs have been exhibited in Western Mass. She has volunteered with the Special Olympics and coached the unified basketball team for five medal-winning seasons.

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