The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Tuesday:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 25, 2022
Stone Belt appoints new CEO
Bloomington, Indiana—Stone Belt Board of Directors has named Bitta DeWees as its next chief executive officer. Leslie Green, Stone Belt’s current CEO will retire on April 1, 2022. DeWees was selected by the board’s search committee after a thorough selection process. She brings 31 years of experience with Stone Belt and the field of disability services to her new role.
“The depth of experience and working knowledge of the many services provided made Bitta DeWees the clear and unanimous choice for Stone Belt’s next leader,” said Board of Directors’ President Dan Lodge-Rigal. “She also brings with her an overarching concern for clients, their families, and staff.”
As chief operating officer for Stone Belt, DeWees currently oversees executive program directors and works closely with Stone Belt’s chief financial officer on developing budgets and ensuring the fiscal viability of revenue-generating programs. DeWees also coordinates with Stone Belt’s human resources director to assure staff are recruited, trained, developed, compensated, and evaluated.
DeWees has participated in many state committees to advance services for people with disabilities in Indiana and is a strong advocate at the state level for progressive public policies. She currently serves on the Indiana Association of People Supporting Employment First Board of Directors, the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Training and Professional Development Committee, and Indiana’s Employment Leadership group.
DeWees began her career at Stone Belt in 1990 and has advanced in the agency numerous times serving as an employment consultant, team leader, teams coordinator, director of employment, director of service development, and chief operating officer.
“DeWees has lived Stone Belt’s mission of preparing, empowering, and supporting individuals with developmental disabilities in all she has done,” said Leslie Green, Stone Belt’s current CEO. “She will apply her skills and compassion to the advancement of Stone Belt. It’s great to know that Stone Belt is in such capable hands.”
Leslie Green, Stone Belt’s current CEO will retire on April 1, 2022. Green has served as CEO of Stone Belt since 2000. Prior to becoming the organization’s third executive leader, she held a variety of leadership roles within the organization since joining the agency in 1979.
In her capacity as CEO, Green has overseen a multi-million dollar operating budget and fifteen service locations throughout south-central Indiana. Thanks to her leadership, Stone Belt currently supports more than 1300 clients each year, through programs including job placement and supported employment, work training, residential supports, lifelong learning opportunities, and clinical mental health services. One of Green’s greatest passions during the last decade has been the development of Stone Belt’s highly visible and thriving arts program. It has given many individuals with disabilities the opportunity to become successful professional artists in the community.
“Leslie (Green) has contributed 42 years of experience to Stone Belt and her achievements will not be forgotten,” said Dan Lodge-Rigal, president of Stone Belt’s board of directors. “She has been a mentor to many, and her influence has made an indelible mark on generations of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.”
Green has been involved in community building through her leadership participation in Bloomington Rotary Club, serving as its President in 2016-2017. She is the Past-President of the Indiana Council of Executives of The Arc, and a past board member of the trade association INARF. She was appointed by the FSSA Secretary to serve on the Division of Rehabilitation and Disability Services Advisory Commission, which has provided her the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on State policy issues related to services for individuals with disabilities.
Green has received many awards and accolades during her career, including the Executive Excellence Award from the National Conference of Executives of The Arc, Bloom Magazine’s Community Leader award, Mayor’s Award from the City of Bloomington Council on Community Accessibility, The Rebecca McDonald Award for Leadership in Supported Employment, and the Women Excel Bloomington Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.
About Stone Belt
Stone Belt Arc is a nonprofit agency that prepares, empowers, and supports more than 1,300 people with developmental disabilities and their families to live fully and thrive in their communities. Stone Belt is the oldest and largest agency of its kind in south-central Indiana, maintaining lifelong learning, employment, residential, and mental health programs in Monroe, Lawrence, and Bartholomew counties. Find out more online at www.stonebelt.org.