CLC Announces New Executive Director

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Karen - HeadshotGRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 7, 2014 – The Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College has announced Karen Mueller O’Neill as its next executive director. Mueller O’Neill brings significant nonprofit management experience to the Center and assumes the role immediately, succeeding Terry Stelter, who in June stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

“I am deeply honored to lead such an extraordinary organization, one with a strong track record of success in transforming the lives of children with motor disorders, by helping them achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence,” said Mueller O’Neill.

“I feel very fortunate to be joining the Conductive Learning Center at this exciting time in its history. The board of directors and staff have done a wonderful job building and sustaining the organization, and identifying hopes and dreams for its future. I look forward to leading the CLC in those next steps through building new partnerships, developing resources and programs, and increasing awareness of the CLC and conductive education – all which will translate to more children and families served in our community and beyond.”

Mueller O’Neill brings both deep, and varied, nonprofit expertise to the position with a professional background that includes leadership roles in media consulting, higher education and the performing arts. For more than two decades, she led the marketing and public relations efforts for the Grand Rapids Symphony. As the Symphony’s vice president for marketing and public relations she worked collaboratively with artistic leaders, the board of directors, committees and community partners to create and execute the strategic plans of the organization. Highlights of her accomplishments include the orchestra’s 75th Anniversary sold-out tour performance at Carnegie Hall, and the development and launch of top performing concert series such as the Picnic Pops at Cannonsburg Ski Area and the SymphonicBoom Series, including Cirque de Noel annual performances and Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Prior to her work with the Symphony, Mueller O’Neill held the positions of director of enrollment research at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., and a research director at Research Communications in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Mueller O’Neill is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics. She has pursued graduate coursework in strategic marketing and advertising at Suffolk University and is a graduate of Inforum’s Executive Leadership Program.

Board President John M. Ritch said following a three-month search, members of the Search Committee unanimously recommended Mueller O’Neill for the role of executive director.

“Karen Mueller O’Neill is uniquely qualified for this position,” said Ritch. “She has the mind of a businesswoman combined with the passion, creativity and sensitivity required of today’s nonprofit leader.”

As executive director, Mueller O’Neill will oversee the CLC’s day-to-day operations. She will lead its overall strategy and management, direct organizational planning and program expansion, guide fundraising, marketing and public relations efforts, and develop community-wide relationships.

Ritch noted that the Search Committee was impressed by Mueller O’Neill’s prior accomplishments, knowledge of the Grand Rapids/West Michigan community and commitment to organizational success. “We look forward to taking the Conductive Learning Center to the next level with her leadership,” said Ritch.

About the Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College
The Conductive Learning Center (CLC), located in Grand Rapids, Mich., serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, cerebral palsy, spina bifida or brain injury. Since 1999, the CLC, a subsidiary corporation of Aquinas College, has helped more than 350 children reach their maximum physical, cognitive and social independence through the application of conductive education principles. Through a unique collaboration between Aquinas College and the Andras Peto College in Budapest, Hungary, the CLC acts as a laboratory school for Aquinas College’s School of Education, the only teacher training program in North America to utilize the conductive education methodology.


View the PDF version of this press release here.

To provide opportunities for preschool and school age children with motor challenges to achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence through the application and promotion of conductive education principles.CLC is a 501(C)3 Organization