Rosie Moriarity was named 2013 Direct Support Professional of the Year by ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at a ceremony in Washington DC. This annual and exclusive recognition is given to one professional working at one of the 600 ANCOR member organizations across the United States who succeeds in helping people with disabilities build social networks and engage in substantive community participation and who advocate for people with disabilities.

Rosie has served people with disabilities for 25 years. Since 2008 she has provided full-time support to Melanie Kett, a friend who has Multiple Sclerosis and with whom she lives. “Rosie has been a strong ally and advocate for people with disabilities,” Mel explained when she nominated Rosie. Together they are actively involved in advocacy, meeting with their state representatives and participating in public forums. Most important, however, is the deep friendship that has developed between them. “You have to be good friends to make space for my elephants amid Mel’s Betty Boop collection,” Rosie laughed.

“Rosie exemplifies our person-centered care philosophy and the exceptional care and respect we provide those we serve at Dakota Communities,” said President and CEO Julie Manworren.

“Rosie is the kind of person who if you bottled up her energy and sold it, you’d be a millionaire,” said Toni Gillen, Dakota Communities’ Director of Community Life. “I have never met anyone anywhere who is so positive and full of sunshine. Rosie keeps the spark of life going for Mel through trips and friends and activities and she can maintain that level of energy for 24 hours every day. She is simply amazing.”