FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 12, 2022
St. Peters, Mo. – Community Living, Inc. announced today that Barb Griffith, president and CEO, plans to retire after nearly four decades of dedicated service to people with disabilities. The Board of Directors has appointed Sheri Wiltse to assume the role of president and CEO following Griffith’s retirement at the end of 2022. A search to replace Wiltse’s current position, chief program officer, will begin immediately.
Griffith’s passion has been to build awareness and bring about positive changes for people with disabilities since beginning her career in disabilities in 1978. She joined Community Living, Inc. in 1986, and was named executive director in 1998. In 2005 the position was advanced to president and CEO. Under Griffith’s leadership, Community Living has grown its annual budget from $2 million to over $14 million. In 2010, she led a merger with Family Support Services that enabled Community Living to add children and adolescent services to its offerings. Griffith has received numerous awards for contributions to the disability community including the 2013 Athena Leadership Award from Athena Leadership of St. Charles County, the 2013 Visionary of the Year by Vision St. Charles County Leadership, the 2014 Beyond the Best – Top 50 In Business Award, the 2017 Advocate of the Year from Family Advocacy and Community Training (FACT), and the 2018 Loving Hands Award from BCI.
“This work has had profound impact on me. The individuals we serve have enriched my life in so many ways,” Griffith said. “It will be my privilege to pass the torch to Sheri Wiltse, who shares my passion for helping people with disabilities realize their dreams.”
Wiltse’s appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive succession planning process. The transition committee recommended offering Wiltse the position of president and CEO. The Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept the committee’s recommendation.
“Sheri’s unique leadership qualities and experience will be an extraordinary asset to the continued growth of Community Living, Inc.,” said Joe Schneider, chair of the Board of Directors. “Sheri is undoubtedly the right choice to lead the organization, and the Board and I are excited to work with her.”
Wiltse has worked in the disabilities field for 41 years. She joined Community Living in 1984 and has held her current role of chief program officer since 1998. In this position, she oversees programs for approximately 1100 children and adults with disabilities. She has played the lead role in the organization achieving and maintaining the highest level of national accreditation status. Wiltse’s industry and community involvement includes the Cottleville Weldon Spring Chamber of Commerce (past board member), Vision St. Charles County Leadership, and Gateway Coalition of Service Providers (past president). Wiltse received the Beyond the Best – Top 50 in Business Award in 2017 and the Leadership Award from the Athena Leadership Foundation of St. Charles County in 2022.
“Barb Griffith’s leadership has been instrumental in broadening the reach of Community Living,” said Wiltse. “I’m honored to lead this organization into its next phase.”
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to thank Barb for her leadership, passion, and incredible impact over her more than three decades with Community Living,” said Schneider. “Her vision, drive, and inspiring personality, combined with her commitment to serving the best interests of the organization, have materially strengthened Community Living. The Board is sincerely grateful to Barb for her dedication to the organization and wishes her nothing but the best in this next chapter.”
Community Living, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to enrich the lives of people with disabilities so they can achieve their highest potential. We do this by providing children and adults with services and programs to allow them to live, learn and work in our community. In turn, they make our community inclusive, diverse and a better place to live.
Leigh Walters Communications, LLC