by Chelsea Day
Health and human services champion to serve as forward-thinking leader of Austin-Based Nonprofit
Any Baby Can, the Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to stabilizing families with wrap-around support services, today announced Veronda Durden, former Commissioner of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), as President and Chief Executive Officer of Any Baby Can.
As DARS Commissioner, Durden provided leadership and oversight of an operating budget of approximately $640 million dollars and more than 3,000 statewide staff responsible for ensuring Texans with disabilities and children with developmental delays pursue independent and productive lives. This mission is directly aligned with Any Baby Can’s, and Durden views her role at Any Baby Can as an opportunity to continue her career of commitment to giving Texans the best lives possible.
“Coming onboard at Any Baby Can is an exciting opportunity to join an organization making a difference for children and families in Central Texas,” says Durden. “Everyone on our staff is committed and passionate. We all know why we are here. We serve as an extension of families providing the support that otherwise might not be there. Our wraparound services help families on every step of their journey. We give parents the tools they need to succeed for the sustainable long term.”
In the past five years, Any Baby Can served more than 15,000 clients in Central Texas. Clients served face crises that could permanently destabilize their home or children and come from every corner of the city. Any Baby Can services helped 90 percent of families meet or exceed their goals for stabilization – be it health or developmental outcomes, parenting or financial goals.
Prior to DARS, Veronda served as the Assistant Commissioner for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. She holds a Bachelor’s in Education from Northwestern University, and a Master’s of Science in Health Administration from Texas State University. Active in her church and community she serves on the Board of Directors for United Ways of Texas, United Ways of Williamson County and the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union.
As Any Baby Can expands to meet the growing needs of Central Texans, Veronda will proactively lead the organization into the future, leaning on her years of health and human services experience and detail-oriented, compassionate, team building skills to establish Any Baby Can as a nonprofit industry leader in Austin.
“We are preparing as Central Texas continues to change and grow and our communities continue to evolve,” says Durden. “We will meet new needs, and we will meet families where they are. We have a long history of helping families and children for the past 39 years, and we will continue to grow alongside families in Central Texas.”
Veronda will share remarks publicly for the first time in her new role at this year’s Rockin’ Round Up 2018 benefit concert at ACL Live at the Moody Theater featuring St. Paul & the Broken Bones to benefit Any Baby Can. For tickets and sponsorship, please visit https://austinfamily.com/charity-concert/. Media interviews and access to the event available upon request.
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