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New members appointed to Lawrence County Development Disabilities Board

COAL GROVE —  Sara Marks, of Chesapeake, and Brandan Smith, of Chesapeake, joined the Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities (DD) Board in January.

One seat was vacant due to a resignation and the other was previously held by LoRena Cahal, who passed away last year.

Marks and Smith, both appointed by the Lawrence County Commissioners, are passionate parents of individuals eligible for Lawrence County DD services.

Marks is employed by King’s Daughters Medical Center as the CEO, and has held leadership positions in the healthcare service industry for over 18 years.

Smith is employed by Cabell Huntington Hospital in the Finance Department, where he has worked as a managed care analyst since 2013.

“Both of them will be tremendous assets to the board due to their professional backgrounds, but what is most impressive is their passion to see individuals with DD receive the best services possible in Lawrence County,” said Julie Monroe, Lawrence County DD superintendent.

Marks, who has a 20-year-old son with a developmental disability, has been active in advocacy efforts and volunteerism for organizations like the Huntington Area Autism Society.

“As I have seen from my personal experience, these individuals need a voice and support to create a path for opportunities, giving them a feeling of purpose in society,” Marks said.

Smith has been involved with various parent support groups and has participated in research conferences related to his 5-year-old son’s rare genetic disorder.

“Being a parent to a special needs child, I understand the daily challenges other parents face who are in the same situation,” Smith said.

For more information about the Lawrence County DD program, contact the board office at 740-532-7401.