Neil J. Pollack Begins His Next Journey On January 2, 2017 the entire Anderson community will say a fond farewell to our leader, Neil J. Pollack as he begins his next journey with his wife, Andrea by his side. It will surely be a bittersweet moment both for Neil and for everyone who will remain at Anderson as he, deservedly, begins his retirement. Rather than dwell on the farewell, let us look instead at the impact of Neil’s tenure at Anderson because it is comprehensive and personal to so many individuals and families who make up our community. Since joining Anderson as CEO in 2001, the changes to Anderson’s infrastructure, facilities and programmatic opportunities are obvious to anyone who visits the campus and learns about us. The children’s program village is a reality, just come for a tour and see for yourself! The opportunities afforded to the individuals we serve have grown exponentially, through the LifeLong LearningSM model. Adults in our program spend the majority of their days in the surrounding communities volunteering
and working in local businesses and enjoying the fruits of their labor whether through exercise, shopping, gardening or being leisurely adults as is their right. Anderson is a living, breathing place full of joy, learning and reliable services and treatment options. It is a place that many call “home”- a point that Neil has never taken for granted. Neil, both personally and professionally, has touched the lives of many. He is often sought out by colleagues and trade associations to be their spokesperson, to lead the charge, to fight the good fight in the name of children and adults with autism, and their families. He is sought out because he is great at this. Never one to shy away from an opportunity for “debate” Neil has, for years, brought his problem-solving skills to the front lines, with important and positive results. Anderson Center for Autism is a name known by NYS and Federal legislators, important trade associations and local and regional business leaders, not to mention families in need of quality services. Anderson is known to be an excellent program and business partner and continues to be approached as a leader in the field when a need in the autism world is identified.
While the above is indisputable, some readers may wonder, “what happens now?” In the words of Neil, himself, “In my view, Anderson’s Executive Team and Leadership staff are among the finest colleagues throughout the field of human services I have ever had the privilege to work with. Building this team of professionals has been one of my main priorities and a lasting legacy I am very proud of.” Patrick Paul, COO and incoming CEO effective January 3, 2017 answers, “Neil’s leadership has been inspiring to all who have had the opportunity to know and work with him during his time at Anderson. I am honored that the Board of Trustees and Neil have confidence in my ability to build on the success of Anderson Center into the future.” January 2, 2017 will certainly be an emotional day for all of us. But it will not be a sad day. Rather a day of new beginnings, the honoring of an accomplished professional legacy, and the next chapter in Anderson Center for Autism’s amazing story.