Image shows woman on blue background with text that reads Superintendent Appointed

New Superintendent Selected

Lee Ann Emmons to assume role beginning May 1, 2024

At the March 14 board meeting, the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities (BCBDD) appointed Lee Ann Emmons as superintendent beginning May 1, 2024. Current superintendent, Lisa Guliano, will remain on staff into May to make the transition as seamless as possible.

From left: Incoming superintendent, Lee Ann Emmons; current superintendent, Lisa Guliano; board president, Jacqueline Rioja Velarde.

Lee Ann is a former BCBDD employee, having worked in various roles at the Board from 2008 until 2021 when she took a position as director of IMPACT Innovation at the University of Cincinnati. Lee Ann has a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Morehead State University and Master of Education in Special Education, Transition to Work Endorsement from the University of Cincinnati. Her 26-year career has been focused entirely on supporting people with developmental disabilities and includes experience as a private provider, various positions at the county board, and direct support to people with developmental disabilities.

The hiring process was rigorous with several outstanding candidates vying for the position. Resumes were vetted by John Trunk, Ohio Association of County Boards Superintendent Search Advisor. A search committee consisting of Board President Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, Vice President Elisha Hill, and Member Dan Hughes conducted the first round of interviews. Applicants who made it to the second round were then interviewed by the entire seven-person board. Questions were tailored, in part, according to feedback from BCBDD staff on what they value most in a leader. “One of the qualities that Lee Ann Emmons brings to the board is her strong personal and professional commitment and passion for improving the quality of life of the people we serve as well as for supporting their families in this journey for full inclusion,” said Jacqueline Rioja Velarde.

Current superintendent, Lisa Guliano, has not yet set a retirement date and has committed to remaining at the Board into May, ensuring a seamless transition of leadership. “I appreciate the careful efforts made by our Board to select the next superintendent to lead our agency,” said Lisa. “I am confident that Lee Ann will lead this organization with excellence and continue the very important work that is done here every single day.” Emmons is eager to begin, noting that her entire career has been building to this moment. “Really my career goals are to be in a position where I’m impacting change either right on the front line or at a level where I can affect change in a bigger way,” she said. She is particularly excited to be back in Butler County where she has spent the majority of her career, noting that BCBDD is often at the forefront of innovation and what’s “coming next in services.” “We’ve always had superintendents who really, at the heart of what they did, they cared about people. I want to continue that legacy.” Despite how difficult it will be to say goodbye to her current work, Emmons is eager to get started. “I’m honored and thrilled to be selected for this position,” she said. “I can’t imagine a better team to work with. There’s so many people there that are doing such good work and I’m really, really honored to be leading that team.”