Tibisay (“Tibi”) Guzmán took the helm at The Arc Westchester — the largest agency in the county for supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities — in 2018 with her own unique style and confidence. With a background in healthcare administration, Guzmán also has personal experience with the population The Arc Westchester serves, as the parent of a son with autism.
She started at The Arc Westchester 14 years ago, as director of the Wellness Center for diagnostic and therapeutic services. Before becoming CEO, she served as chief operating officer, overseeing an operating budget of $56 million, with services that include early intervention/preschool programs, programs for students transitioning from high school, and support for adults residing in The Arc Westchester’s 44 group homes.
“I am very conscientious about how every change I may recommend or decision I make affects our mission.”
She moved up the organizational chart, thanks in part to her ability to get the most out of her staff. “I believe in hiring not necessarily specifically to the position but looking at every staff member as a talent I can corral,” she says. “Also, employee engagement is very important in our field. We develop opportunities for employees to grow vertically and horizontally.”
She is especially proud of the expansion of The Arc Westchester’s employment-services programs, which encourage the business community to hire people with disabilities. Guzmán has helped convince 50 new organizations to hire these individuals since she took over the program in 2010. And she never forgets the population she serves. “As the parent of an adult with a disability, I am very conscientious about how every change I may recommend or decision I make affects our mission,” she says.