Little Rock, AR, June 2, 2020
After 33 years of service to Easterseals Arkansas, Vice President of Adult Programs Linda Rogers is retiring. Her new venture will start at the end of June. Saying goodbye to this dedicated Easterseals leader is bittersweet. We applaud the many contributions Rogers has made over the years to help make Easterseals Arkansas the quality provider of people with disabilities that it is today. It is because of leaders like her that we are able to carry on our 75-year legacy of providing quality education, therapy, job training, and independent living opportunities to children and adults with disabilities.
Rogers has shared not only her vast knowledge and experience with Easterseals Arkansas for over 30 years “but more importantly, her heart and her incredible sense of humor,” shares Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Smith. “She has been a steadfast resource and a shoulder to lean on for not only the children and adults served by Easterseals but also their families and the staff. Linda has been that first voice and face of ESA for so many families looking for help and for answers. Her office, which includes a welcoming ‘Big Bird,’ has been a place where tears are shed, problems are solved and hope begins.”
Rogers joined Easterseals on July 6, 1987, as the Early Intervention Program Coordinator and was promoted to Vice President of Programs in 1996 and to Vice President of Adult Services in 2017. As a key member of the ESA Executive Team, Rogers has been instrumental in the start-up of new services, including the Grand Prairie Child Development Center and Outpatient Therapy programs in Stuttgart; four apartment complexes providing independent living opportunities for adults with disabilities; the ACCE program at UA Little Rock, which provides a college experience and employment outcome for young adults with disabilities; and the SET program in Central Arkansas high schools, which provides employment skills training and internship opportunities for juniors and seniors.
Rogers’ leadership also has been key in the growth and expansion of ESA’s Home and Community Based Waiver; the Children’s Rehabilitation Center; the Little Rock Developmental Preschool and Outpatient Therapy programs; and the Adult Center for Training and Wellness.
Throughout the decades, there have been many changes and challenges, Smith says. “At times it appeared that the light at the end of the tunnel was going to burn out but we did find it and continued on, and in large part because of Linda’s incredible ability to laugh and to help us all laugh and to remember why we do what we do and why we are a part of the Easterseals family. Linda’s service at ESA truly exemplifies how we are all meant to share our gifts with others to make the world a better place for everyone. It is really hard to say goodbye to not only my dearest co-worker but my incredible friend.”
Brad Hagan of Benton, who already is working alongside Rogers, will take over as the new VP of Adult Programs following Rogers’ departure.
Easterseals Arkansas provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. Easterseals Arkansas has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 75 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easterseals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.