There are some days ahead that you know are going to come. You ready your mind for that day. But then it comes and no matter how you much you think you have prepared, you aren’t.
That day is here for Disability Rights Texas. After an almost 37-year career with our organization, the last 20 as Executive Director, our fearless and devoted leader Mary Faithfull is retiring in December.
Mary started in February 1985 as the first employee in our then newly funded Client Assistance Program. We had 15 employees at the time in our only office which was located in Austin. (We now have 160 employees and 8 offices throughout the state.)
Fast forward a few years when she then started a new role supporting the Transition Services Task Force funded through a grant by the Texas Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. A few years later, Mary moved to Houston to open a regional office there. Ten years later, she returned to Austin briefly as the Deputy Director and then the Executive Director in 2001.
Some words from Mary on her retirement: “I believe that almost everything and everybody has a shelf life, a ‘best if used by’ date. My time has come. After much consideration, I believe it is time for new leadership in the Executive Director position at DRTx. Twenty years is a long time. I am very proud of all the organization has accomplished. DRTx is a strong, vibrant, resilient, highly respected P&A. The success of the organization is directly attributable to the high caliber of staff who consistently go the extra mile to deliver quality services on behalf of people with disabilities. It is and has been my great privilege and honor to work alongside so many dedicated, talented, and passionate staff, Board and PAIMI Council members. We have been through much together, and together we have worked to create a P&A that is second to none. I am grateful beyond words.”
So what’s next for Disability Rights Texas? Upon Mary’s announcement, the DRTx Board of Directors formed a committee to oversee the search process and has hired a firm to assist with a national search. The position will be formally posted in the next few days with the goal of having someone in place in January or February of 2022.
In the meantime, stay tuned for announcements about how we plan to honor Mary Faithfull for her almost 37 years of service.