We continue our series by introducing you to another member of our Board of Representatives: Margaret Farman! Mr.s Farman is the CEO of UCP of North Bay in California. Here's an excerpt from our conversation.
Could you tell me a little bit about your background and journey into the I/DD field?
While in college, I worked my first job in a residential program supporting children and teens with autism. I fell in love with the alternative community we created for each other and decided I wanted to continue to support the larger community to be more accepting of people with diverse needs. After graduation from college, a friend and I launched our own nonprofit, providing residential services to children and adults coming out of the state hospitals. That was over 40 years ago and I still have passion for this work today. In my current CEO role at UCP of the North Bay, we oversee employment services for over 350 people, educational services for 100 children and recreation supports for almost 450 children and adults annually.
What’s one thing that you’re proud of accomplishing in California, and how did it come to be?
I am very proud to have worked on the ARC/UCP California statewide collaboration. Through our combined efforts and in conjunction with the Lanterman Coalition, we have made strides in improving our rates and getting the legislature to engage in rate methodology review. While there is still much to be done to achieve a living wage for those we hire to support our folks with disabilities to live “life without limits,” we have a growing advocacy movement in California that is better coordinated than it has been in past decades.
What’s something you’re looking forward to in California in the upcoming year?
Finishing the rate study and addressing rates and a living wage for our DSPs.
How did you come to know and get involved in ANCOR?
When UCP National negotiated memberships for all UCP affiliates about three years ago, I was happy to get involved! I had several colleagues, Ron Cohen CEO at UCP LA and Linda Plourde, CEO of Bayberry, who spoke highly of the national advocacy work ANCOR was engaged in.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Board of Reps?
I really enjoy hearing everything that is going on around the country! Every state system has its own strengths and weaknesses; and it is so interesting to hear each other’s stories, our various funding struggles, and what we are all working on to improve the lives of people with disabilities in our own states.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me!