FUSE (Families United for Support and Encouragement) announces new interim executive director in the following release:
As Denise Arland, our founding Executive Director, transitions out of her full time roll with FUSE this month, we are pleased to announce that Sara Cummins will serve as our Interim Executive Director as the FUSE Board continues its search for a full time Executive Director. Sara has been with FUSE since 2015 and has been the Development Director for the past two years, leading the fundraising efforts that allow FUSE to continue our mission. Sara shared, "I love my job as Development Director of FUSE, and that part time role better fits my family life at this time. During this transition, I am honored to take on the role as Interim Executive Director to give our Board of Directors the time it needs to find the right person to lead FUSE into the future and best serve our families."
Sara is the parent of a two young child with rare disorders. In 2013 Sara reached out to FUSE for resources and referrals to assist her son and family, and her passion for our organization was ignited as she connected with other families for support. Sara started volunteering for FUSE as a member of the Cruisin’ for FUSE Charity Motorcycle Ride in 2014. Sara left her career in the retail management industry to join FUSE as our Development Associate in 2015. She moved into the Development Director position in March 2017, drawing upon her skills in sales and marketing to secure funding for our operations. Sara has served as a parent representative on the First Steps Local Planning and Coordinating Council since 2014.
Sara is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Shelby County and a 2017 graduate of Indiana’s Partners in Policymaking Academy, an eight month training program of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. Governor Holcomb appointed Sara to the Interagency Coordinating Council in 2018. In 2018 Sara became the first Indiana Early Childhood Leadership Parent Cohort with the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) and Division for Early Childhood (DEC).
She also recently joined the Major Health Partners Family and Consumer Advisory Council.
Sara will have the assistance of our support staff and members of the FUSE Board. Denise Arland will continue to support both programs and administrative needs for FUSE, working 15 hours a week until the new Executive Director transitions into the organization. Courtney Locke is the FUSE Administrative Assistant who brings additional experience and skills to her role to help families. Courtney lives in New Palestine but grew up in Shelby County, where she and Sara attended high school together. Courtney has a young son with autism who was diagnosed in 2015. She began attending FUSE events that year, and joined us as part time staff in 2018. Courtney also works part time as a Direct Support Professional for a waiver service provider. Courtney's previous career included over 10 years in financial services as a loan officer. Courtney graduated from Partners in Policymaking in 2017 and has stayed active with the council as a volunteer. In the past she has also volunteered for events with the Autism Society of Indiana and at Easterseals Crossroads in the Autism Family Resource Center. She was a HOSTS mentor at New Palestine Elementary, helping children learn to read. Currently she serves as moderator for on online ABA parent group, and she runs a parent group with another mom for her son's ABA therapy center. Courtney will be assisting Sara with parent contacts and taking a lead role in program coordination in the coming weeks.
Sara emphasized, "While Denise may be moving on to a new phase of life, FUSE isn't going anywhere! We will be right here empowering individuals and families, connecting them with resources, and continuing the programs that help our families grow and live their best life."
For assistance with programs or resources, families and individuals with disabilities can reach Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-462-9064.