BERWYN, PA — Rita M. Gardner, President and CEO of Melmark, Inc. has recently been named the Overall Winner and Financial Strength Category Winner of the 2022 CBIZ Inc. Women Transforming Business Awards. Martha Stewart unveiled the news to those in attendance during the live, virtual event in Minneapolis, MN on April 26th.
CBIZ is a $2.1 BIL award-winning professional consulting provider that works with businesses across the nation. This annual award program is powered by CBIZ Women’s Advantage and recognizes visionary women in business across the country for their success in advancing financial, cultural and innovational initiatives. Ms. Gardner was nominated because of her leadership at Melmark throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During her acceptance remarks, Ms. Gardner thanked all of Melmark’s direct support professionals for always putting Melmark’s mission of serving those with intellectual disabilities first.
“It’s such an honor to have been nominated alongside this group of exceptional women leaders,” said Gardner. “I really want to share these two awards with all my team members at Melmark who have worked tirelessly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, maintained the organization’s financial stability and who continue to take their roles as essential workers seriously for the vulnerable children and adults they work with. They are truly mission-driven and they make Melmark everything it is today.”
Rita M. Gardner, M.P.H., LABA, BCBA leads Melmark’s more than $100-million multi-state operations across all of its divisions. Melmark’s programs include premier private special education schools, professional development, and training and research centers. The organization’s clinically-sophisticated, evidence-based programs serve individuals with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, acquired brain injuries, medical fragility and severe challenging behaviors.
Gardner, who is the co-founder of Melmark New England and Melmark Carolinas, is an accomplished legislative advocate, and her work has positively impacted services for individuals diagnosed with autism throughout the United States. One of her most notable accomplishments as an advocate is her involvement in the establishment of multiple public policy pieces that improve services to students and adults with autism and their families.
Gardner received her Master of Public Health degree from Boston University’s School of Public Health in the School of Medicine. She states that she holds the heart of Melmark’s mission at the core of her professional standards and is dedicated to every child, adult and family served at Melmark, as well as every member of Melmark’s professional staff.
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