Monadnock Developmental Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Keene, New Hampshire. We are the Region V Area Agency designated by the State of New Hampshire to assist individuals of all ages with disabilities to live, work, and learn in their communities.
Everyone, from children to the elderly, has the right to experience a safe, supportive family life, in all its many facets;
Respecting each person’s and each family’s values is the foundation for building and strengthening people’s lives;
Power, authority, and responsibility lie with each person for how they will live their life;
to work toward inclusion, participation and mutual relationships for all people who are at risk of isolation from community. We will promote self-determination and quality of life, develop an environment which encourages creativity, innovation, and individuality, and ensure quality of supports.
The governing body directing MDS’s general management, the Board may range in size from 9 to 25 members. The Board is required to include at least a third of its membership as people with developmental disabilities or as parents/siblings/guardians of those with developmental disabilities. Each Board member must reside in one of the Monadnock Region’s 34 towns. The work of the Board is done by seven committees, made up of Board members, staff, and community representatives. These committees are Executive, Finance, Personnel, Nominating, Human Rights, Development, and Building/Maintenance.
We currently serve more than 600 families and over 1,000 individuals and their families in the 34 towns of the Monadnock Region, which includes Cheshire and western Hillsborough counties.
A few generations ago if you lived in New Hampshire and had a child with a disability, your choices were to either institutionalize your child or keep that child at home for life. Following the court-ordered closure of the Laconia State School in 1981, Monadnock Developmental Services was founded in 1983 as one of the original 12 area agencies in New Hampshire charged with the task of creating and providing community-based services for people with disabilities and their families.
For 40 years, MDS has quietly but effectively gone about the business of helping people with developmental and related disabilities live, work and go to school in their communities. During this time, MDS has provided services to thousands of individuals; helped families cope with the daunting task of raising a child with a disability; paved the way for students with disabilities to get into and through local schools and then transition into the adult world; and collaborated with many local agencies to better serve the Greater Monadnock Region.
Today people with disabilities attend class with our children, belong to sports teams, have jobs with benefits, go to church and Sunday school, live with families or roommates, volunteer for the community, attend concerts, plays and events. But the challenges remain for families, friends and communities to ensure that all people, regardless of ability, have the opportunity to create meaningful lives on a day-to-day basis.
Adele Remillard has been a long-time member of the MDS Board of Directors, and currently serves as Board President. Adele lives and works in Jaffrey, NH.
Mickey Cronin lives in West Chesterfield and has been on the MDS Board of Directors for six years.
Steven R. Nelson has served on the MDS Board of Directors for three years and on the MDS Family Council for 17 years. He received his BA in Business Administration and is retired from careers in both the United States Army and as a Human Resources Specialist for the federal government. Steven is a member of the VFW/DAV/AL services organization, the Souhegan Lions Club and treasurer of the Temple Plow Co-op. In his free time, Steven enjoys coin collecting and metal detecting.
Jon is semi-retired, having worked for many years at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital as Information Services Director and then Chief Compliance Officer. He now works part-time for the Catholic Diocese of NH as a bookkeeper in their centralized accounting department, helping to support parishes across the state. Jon graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. He is a long-time resident in the Monadnock Region, and currently lives in Surry with his wife, Diane.
On weekends, Jon can be found playing the organ and directing the choir at St Bernard Church in Keene where he is Music Director.
Terry Manahan is semi-retired and a graduate of Keene State College. She worked for over 20 years as an educator in Special Education at Keene High School. Terry currently works part-time for Dartmouth Healthcare Systems in telecommunications. She loves to travel and spend time with her grandchildren.
Mike Forrest retired in 2000 after a career in manufacturing, construction and government. He has resided in Keene for 40 plus years with his wife, Betty. He has served previously as MDS Board of Directors President and currently serves on the Finance and Development Committees.
Mike’s hobbies include woodworking and furniture making. He also serves on other community non-profit boards.
Jeanne Hearn received her BS in Elementary Education and English as well as her Med in Student Personnel in Higher Education from Springfield College in Springfield, MA. Jeanne recently took early retirement from Keene State College after 38 years in Higher Education. She also has over three decades of experience as a Group Fitness Water Aerobics Instructor. Jeanne is currently working as a substitute
teacher for the Keene School District. In addition to serving on the MDS Board of Directors, Jeanne is the Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon Wall Team Captain.
Tim is a resident of Keene, NH, and has spent the majority of his adult life in New Hampshire. He earned his Master’s degree from Antioch University.
Tim devoted his 41-year professional career in higher education to serving in campus senior leadership positions. Upon retirement, from Antioch University, he held the position of Vice Chancellor for Finance, CFO, and Treasurer.
Tim has experience in myriad key areas which he brings in service to the MDS Board: strategic planning; program development and implementation; budget development and fiscal oversight; development of annual operating plans; human resources; Board – Staff relations; physical plant; risk management; and community outreach.
Tim is a Veteran and served in the U.S. Coast Guard as both an officer and an enlisted man. He has served on a number of Boards throughout the region.
Elizabeth H. Kenney grew up in Newton, MA and Peterborough, NH. She holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.Sc. in International Health Policy from the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis University. Following graduate school, she worked at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families, focusing on Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
Elizabeth’s health policy career ended in the summer of 2006, when she was hit by a car while vacationing in Portland, OR, and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and multiple physical injuries. Air-lifted back to New Hampshire after a month in trauma care in Portland, Elizabeth spent four months as an in-patient at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, followed by two years of out-patient therapies. Over the past 17 years, she has continued to work on the issues associated with her injury, including problems with memory, fatigue, focus and behavioral volatility.
Despite the obstacles she has faced, Elizabeth has volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Peterborough Elementary School, as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Disability, and for the past several years at the Monadnock Community Hospital. She currently serves as a board member of Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) in Keene and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire (BIANH).
Elizabeth is married to Michael Jourdan. They reside in Peterborough with their dog Lulu.
Erin Patnode is an Infection Preventionist at Cheshire Medical Center, Keene NH. Erin has been a nurse for 9 years, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Keene State College. Erin serves on the board of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology of NE, as well as, on the board of NH Infection Control and Epidemiology Professionals.
Beth graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in Psychology. She has worked for over ten years with autistic children in the Keene School District and is currently a Paraprofessional at the Jonathan Daniels Preschool. Beth earned a Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) certificate from Antioch University New England and has completed many professional development training hours teaching and supporting children with autism. She has
been a member of the MDS Board for eleven years, has served as Secretary, and has been on the Human Rights and Development Committees. As a member of the Development Committee, she played a pivotal role in founding the Run, Walk, Smile race, an event that raises dental health funds for adults who are supported by MDS.