Duane St. Clair has been named executive director of the Columbia-based Association of Community Services (ACS). He will take the reins of the 48-year-old human services advocacy organization of 120 nonprofit, government, business and faith-based organizations and community advocates following the retirement of Anne Towne, who served in that position for 10 years.
Howard County resident St. Clair “brings to ACS not only exemplary experience in the public and private sectors at the local, regional and national levels, but also a long-term and proven commitment to human service issues and the Howard County community,” said board President Harry Schwarz, on behalf of the ACS Board of Directors.
“In one respect, Duane will be coming home as he served as an ACS committee member and treasurer in the early 1990s,” Schwarz added.
“For the past seven years, I have mostly been involved in Baltimore, the state of Maryland and nationally,” said St. Clair. “About a year ago, I decided to return to a focus on Howard County with my program development, networking and community organizing activities. With the wealth of community resources that we have in Howard County, I look forward to identifying new opportunities to facilitate and advance the work of our human services community.”
St. Clair brings to ACS a diversity of professional experience, including 26 years of service at the Howard County Office of Aging. Highlights of his time there include involvement with the development of senior centers in East Columbia, Elkridge, Savage and Glenwood, and partnering with community organizations and advocates to develop the Emmanuel Group Home program for the elderly, a reduced fee dental program, the 60-plus wills program for seniors and the Coalition of Geriatric Services.
Since leaving government service in 2004, St. Clair has led several community service efforts. He worked with the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Howard County’s Office of Children’s Services to develop services for grandparents raising grandchildren. He also partnered in the development of Communities of Care of Maryland, a nonprofit organization that initiated Maryland’s first affordable intergenerational housing, and has worked in the areas of Alzheimer’s, youth development and leadership, and emergency human services.
As an adoptive parent of two foster children, St. Clair’s most diligent community service work has been in support of services for this population. He is a long-term member and officer of the National Foster Care Association Board of Directors, serving as the organization’s representative to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) committee that developed AAP’s Healthy Foster Care America program.
His most recent undertaking is Fostering Futures (with a group of other concerned citizens), partnering with Howard County Voices for Children, the local Court Appointed Special Advocates program, to organize a community network of resources for older youth in foster care in Howard County.
In 2010, he started HoCoConnect, a blog for Howard Countians to network and partner with each other to address community issues or needs. He also organized and initially moderated Columbia Freecycle, an online recycling program that has recycled more than 150,000 items within its membership of 4,600 users. His other local community activities include volunteering as a Neighbor Ride driver and recently joining the Board of the Friends of the Howard County Library.
St. Clair can be reached at 410-715-9545 and firstname.lastname@example.org.