With big growth plans on the horizon for PYD in 2023 and beyond, and after working with an executive search firm, we are pleased to announce that Angela Ortiz will join our organization as our new Director of Operations as of March 13, 2023.
Angela is a Commissioner on the Permanent Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, established by the Legislature in 2020, to advance the cause of all persons with disabilities in the Commonwealth.
In 2019, she was appointed to the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council by Governor Charlie Baker and elected as the Chair to lead its Public Policy Committee and later hired as their Policy Analyst to further support the membership in undertaking policy education and awareness activities with elected and appointed officials to advance priority legislation that impacted individuals with disabilities and their families.
She completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School in 2018 and earned her second masters, Master of Public Administration in Health & Disability Policy, from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School in 2021.
After experiencing barriers to access skilled nursing care that her daughter Ayla with complex medical needs required, she participated in the Mass Families Northeast Family Leadership Series in 2016, which became a springboard to her launching the Massachusetts Pediatric Home Nursing Campaign, a statewide coalition of parents, providers, disability & health organizations, and state leaders, to advocate for the medically necessary services needed to keep the state’s most medically fragile kids safe at home. Angela was honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2018 Class of Unsung Heroines, nominated by Senator Cindy Friedman, because of her outstanding advocacy and contributions to this relentless effort.
Prior to having her twin daughters in 2013, the disability and medical community were central to Angela’s mission-driven work and aspirations. She was the first Development and Communications Director at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress after being a Special Events Coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust working with grateful patient families. She credits both these organizations for giving her invaluable insights, resources, and the “diagnosis doesn’t define the child” type of expectations she would hold on to during her own lived experiences of parenting and advocating for a disabled child.
Angela started out in higher education where she worked as Director of a Living Learning Center as well as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Activities & Multicultural Affairs, where she advised African, Latinx, Asian, Native-American and International students, LGBTQ+ students, and student government leaders while obtaining her Master in Business Administration, which has served her well across all lines of work. Her understanding and appreciation for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice stems from her comprehensive training and exposure while being an undergraduate Resident Assistant at UMass Dartmouth.
Angela is an activist at heart and is known for her indomitable spirit. Her twin girls Sierra and Ayla are her greatest joy. She loves animals, new adventures, competitive ballroom-dancing (rhythm), learning American Sign Language, going to the theater/ballet, working with flowers, and doing anything creative.
At PYD, Angela is looking forward to all the new relationships, experiences, and learning that is involved in becoming a part of a new organization and team. Starting on March 13, 2023, she will be working with our staff to lead the transformation of PYD from its current state to a more mature and impactful organization. She will ensure PYD’s financial, operational, fundraising, marketing, human resource, technology, and programmatic functions are effectively and efficiently implemented across all parts of the organization to fulfill and execute PYD’s long-term strategic vision.
Angela shares, “I come ready and eager to do this mission-driven work with an amazing PYD team, the board, and all stakeholders to build strong partnerships and seize meaningful opportunities to elevate the work to have greater impact.”
On this exciting announcement, PYD Executive Director Tere Ramos notes, “Angela is a wonderful addition to our senior management team. She brings the skills, experience and heart to make sure our organization runs smoothly and efficiently, without losing sight of our mission and values.”
We are thrilled to have Angela join the PYD community.