The board of directors of Orleans County Citizen Advocacy announced that two new staff members have been hired for the non-profit organization. Wendy Hilliard is the new executive director. She brings experience in organizational management, marketing, fundraising and public relations.

"I am very excited about this opportunity. I look forward to working with the Board, Advocates and partners in strengthening OCCA and helping to carry it into the future," stated Hilliard.

Nicholas Briggs has been hired as the coordinator and will be responsible for advocate recruitment, matching and support of relationships. Briggs graduated from North Country Union High School and attended UVM. He has a lot of volunteer experience working with organizations providing support to people with disabilities.

Ann Standard, chairwoman of the board, stated "We are very fortunate to have both Wendy and Nick join our organization. We look forward to working with them on the challenges we face. We are very grateful to Ellen and Paula for their hard work and we are happy Wendy and Nick will help carry on their great work."

Ellen Bowen has worked for OCCA for nine years as both the coordinator and program director. Paula Manzi has been the coordinator for a year. Both Bowen and Manzi are pursuing other opportunities.

Orleans County Citizen Advocacy builds and supports one-to-one independent long-term relationships between unpaid community members and people with developmental disabilities, and ensures that they are heard, respected, included and empowered. To learn more about OCCA call 802-461-7460 or log onto their website at


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