The Minnesota Council on Disability announced a change in leadership in mid-January, as the council decided to take the organization in a new direction. Joan Willshire stepped down as executive director.
Willshire was council chairperson before she became executive director in 2004. In 2018 Gov. Mark Dayton honored her with a Commitment to Service Award at the 32nd Annual State of Minnesota Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in St. Paul. She has won other honors and recognition for her work.
Current Council Chair Nancy M. Fitzsimons thanked Willshire for her work and announced a search for a new executive director. Laurie Beyer-Kropuenske will serve as interim executive director. She is on leave from her post as general counsel and director of the Minnesota Department of Administration’s (Admin) Community Services Division. She has more than 15 years of experience as a state government manager and more than 25 years of experience in state and tribal government.