Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John Cocciolone, Executive Director of the GCDSNB: A Name and an Acronym to Know

By Lucy Hoffman, Event Director With Plan Ahead Events, Greenville
Part of the fun of my job is getting to meet the people who run organizations.  John Cocciolone is what I would refer to as a horse of a different color.  Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Organization hired Cocciolone to be a turnaround guy.  He was brought in to recreate this organization in broad sense.  His job is to get this organization noticed.  I admit I had never heard of it before I met him.  I’m guessing that is true of many of you as well.
John Cocciolone, Executive Director, GCDSNB
The mission of GCDSNB is as follows: “to serve and assist people in our area with developmental disabilities, Autism, and head and spinal cord injuries.”  At the Mauldin campus, there are 600 people bused in daily to help with their lives, their families, their work skills, and their life skills.  
Cocciolone has a background of working with nonprofits.  He worked with Easter Seals and owned his own consulting business assisting nonprofits with the many challenges they face.  He came on board here to bring the organization up to speed.  He is working on improving the website, shortening the name, fund raising, creating marketing pieces, and establishing a “face” of the organization.  According to LinkedIn, “John is an experienced and successful nonprofit executive with over 30 years of tenure as a CEO. John's strengths include; Board and Staff development, Strategic Planning, team building, project management, and advocate for people with disabilities and nonprofit organizations” – an ideal fit for this organization.  He graduated from Central Michigan University and Michigan State.
Cocciolone is working hard with the board in establishing priorities and motivating the staff.  He has positive things to say about the people with whom he works.  His determination to see this organization succeed is such that he spends 12 hour days working on it.
Cocciolone also hopes to get his organization involved with Eq Greenville – another great idea in Greenville, and have the clients work with the composting and garden creation.
One of his goals is regular events – which is where I come in.  I’m assisting Cocciolone in planning a comedy night on February 20, 2014, at the Gunter Theater. This is a fund raiser – but just as importantly, it will bring exposure to this great organization.  Come out that evening and help support the Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.  You will want to meet the forever affable Cocciolone.  He is a force with which to be reckoned.
Lucy Hoffman, Event Director with Plan Ahead events

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