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Staying Put changing top leadership

Barbara Achenbaum, of New Canaan, will take over as the executive director of Staying Put from Jane Nyce, who is moving to Maine this summer.

Tom Ferguson, president of the board of directors, had high praise for Nyce, who has been with Staying Put since the initial planning sessions in 2007, guiding its launching in 2008 and overseeing its growth and development during the past five years.

"The tremendous success of Staying Put is a tribute to Jane's passion and dedication as well as her superb leadership," he said.

Achenbaum was chosen from a wide range of candidates for the position, according to David Bentley, of Bentley, Farrell, Ahl and Berrien, the firm that conducted the search.

She has previous experience that ranges from corporate management to running a nonprofit for special-needs children and hands-on involvement with her own 84-year-old parents..

She grew up in Evanston, Ill., graduated from Princeton and spent more than 20 years in the Chicago area. She was an executive with the Quaker Oats Co. and later executive director of the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit that provides a happy environment for special-needs children and their siblings.

The Achenbaums moved to New Canaan when her husband, Jon, took a job in Connecticut.

"We loved the village-like feel of this town," she said.

Achenbaum soon stepped up to leadership roles in the Encore Club, New Canaan High School Parents Faculty Association, the New Canaan Community Foundation and the Carriage Barn Arts Center.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to be part of this thriving organization," she said. "I recognize that I am following in Jane's extremely large footsteps. She has been an amazing leader over the past seven years and I feel fortunate that she and the founders have built such a solid organization.

"I have really enjoyed being involved in the New Canaan community as a volunteer and I feel like joining Staying Put is a very natural progression for me. It will allow me to build on the relationships I've made with town members and leaders, and to play a more direct role in making sure that all of our residents can stay happily and safely in this very special place. I've been extremely impressed by the commitment of so many dedicated and talented Staying Put volunteers, and have also really enjoyed meeting some of the wonderful members of Staying Put already. I look forward to getting to know all of them."

Members and friends of Staying Put will have the opportunity to say goodbye to Nyce at the annual picnic fundraiser at the home of a board member on Sunday, June 22, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be a celebration of Nyce's contributions to Staying Put.

A volunteer-driven nonprofit, Staying Put offer its members access to social and cultural activities, household and home maintenance services, and transportation and shopping assistance, as well as home health care services and assisted living at home.

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