April 24, 2018
Walnut Street Center Appoints Carolyne Guffey as ED

Carolyne Guffey
January 9, 2017 — Walnut Street Center, a nonprofit serving adults with intellectual disabilities that has been based in Somerville but which is moving to Medford, last week announced that Carolyne Guffey has been named executive director of the human services agency.

Guffey, who has been serving as chief operating officer since 2011, succeeds Joseph Churchill, who retired at the end of December.

Churchill, who held the position since 2011, will continue working with Walnut Street Center on a consulting basis to assist with the leadership transition. After that he plans to join the board of directors.

Guffey said, “I’ve been with Walnut Street Center for the past six years, and throughout that time we have been strengthening every aspect of the organization, making sure that we are offering the absolute highest standard of service. I’m excited to take this even further in 2017, and to lead the organization even higher.”

The leadership change comes as Walnut Street Center moves to new facility located at 291 Mystic Avenue in Medford. The existing Somerville location at 35 Charlestown Street was seized by eminent domain by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and no longer will be a part of Walnut Street Center. The 20 existing residential homes around Somerville and surrounding areas that house residential programs will all remain.

Prior to joining Walnut Street, Guffey, who has three decades of human services experience, worked at the May Institute for 13 years in a variety of human services positions, and also previously worked at North Shore ARC.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational development from Cambridge College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Norwich University.

The new, 42,000-square-foot building in Medford, due for completion in March, will serve as the organization's main administrative offices and location for all day services. It will include a covered drop-off area, music/movement, horticultural, art, and sensory rooms, as well as a gymnasium, computer lab, and fully accessible training kitchen.

When the move was announced last year, Churchill said, “We’re going to be able to reach more people, and have a chance to renovate this building to be exactly what we want, which is not something we have ever had the chance to do before.”

Founded in 1970, Walnut Street Center provides a wide range of services to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, including 24- hour residential supports, individual home supports, supported employment, group employment, community based day supports and day habilitation.

Residentially, the agency serves 115 individuals, with additional individuals supported through its employment and community based day supports and day habilitation. The services provided to individuals are mainly funded through the Department of Developmental Services from the Charles River West, Central Middlesex, and Metro North Areas. The Day Habilitation program is funded by MassHealth.

For the year ending June 30, 2015, Walnut Street Center reported $11.8 million in revenue, of which $9.8 million came from contributions and grants, and $11.3 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

Carolyne Guffey photo by Harlem Logan HarlemShoots

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