Josie Thomas to Retire as Parents’ Place Executive Director


GLEN BURNIE, MD – The Parents’ Place of Maryland (PPMD) Board of Directors and staff announce the upcoming retirement of its Executive Director, Josie Thomas.

Josie has served in this position for 20 years. She is one of the original founders of the organization which was established in 1990. Josie served as the first President of the Board of Directors and stepped down in 1997 to become the Executive Director. She will retire in June 2017.

“We have such deep gratitude for Josie, her leadership and especially her vision for children who have special needs and their families. Josie’s retirement will cap more than two decades of achievement and growth,” said Donna Riccobono, President of the Board of Directors. “She leaves us with a tremendous legacy that we are excited to capitalize on as we begin the search for a new executive director.”

Under Josie’s leadership, the Parents’ Place grew to serve more than 10,000 parents and families of children with special needs each year through individual assistance, training, and informational resources. During her tenure, she developed relationships with state and federal agencies, professional and community organizations, and parents of children with special needs.

Josie led the development of a variety of innovative parent and professional programs such as: the highly rated Parent Special Education LEADers Training program; the innovative Medical Home Parent Partner program; and the successful Maryland Consortium for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CoC). In 2014, Josie received the national Merle McPherson Leadership Award for exemplary contributions to further family and professional collaboration from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.

Josie led the Parent’s Place with determination, passion, skill, kindness, and humor. The lives of children in Maryland are forever changed due to her tireless efforts to raise the bar for education and health services, and most of all, ensuring that kids and families have the opportunity to live the fullest lives possible. Josie is looking forward to some rest, celebrating 50 years of marriage, and traveling with her husband.