The Granite State Independent Living CEO Clyde E. Terry has decided to retire effective late summer 2019. According to a statement from the GSIL Board of Directors, Terry played a critical role in leading growth of the Concord-based organization for more than 16 years.
During that time, GSIL became a statewide resource for seniors and people with disabilities, expanded from three to eight office locations across NH, while increasing employment from 30 to 110 full-time staff and from 138 to 750 personal care attendants.
“Mr. Terry has steered GSIL into the 21st century by expanding programs and services to thousands during his tenure,” says Board Chair Eric Schlepphorst. “Clyde has worked tirelessly to advance the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) principles of equality, opportunity, independent living and community participation for Granite Staters”.
Other contributions cross a broad range of company operations, including employment and education services. GSIL acquired Bancroft Products, Inc. in 2005, which added a variety of employment services to the organization’s menu of supports. As Terry affirms, independent living is well-defined by an earned pay check and money in the bank to reduce dependency on public benefits. With this addition of employment services to the organization, Terry aimed to break the historical link between disability and poverty.
This philosophy was carried forth throughout the organization, leading to GSIL’s entrance into education services. Specialized transition programs were designed for at-risk students with disabilities to explore possible career paths while building soft skills and earning academic credit. Since program inception, including the Earn and Learn Opportunities Program and IMPACCT AcademyTM, GSIL has helped 884 students with disabilities transition into life after high school.
In 2011, former President Barack Obama appointed Terry as a member of the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with advising the president and Congress on national disability issues. Four years later, Terry received presidential appointment to NCD Chairperson. Terry says his experience learning the issues on the ground in NH guided his work at the national level.