The NCE Distinguished Award Program recognizes leaders from The Arc's network of over 600 chapters for their outstanding efforts to fulfill The Arc's mission, core values and position statements.

Nominations are due by June 12, 2020.

Winners will be notified on or before July 10, 2020

Awards will be presented at The Arc's NCE Awards Luncheon during The Arc's 2020 National Convention in New Orleans, LA on October 26, 2020.

The Awards Categories are:

1. The Rising Star Award: This award recognizes a professional from The Arc's chapter network in their first five years in senior chapter leadership who has made significant contributions to their chapter.

2. Diversity and Cultural Competency Award: This award recognizes a senior chapter leader who has successfully leveraged the skills of their staff to provide innovative programming that meets the needs of a diverse I/DD community.

3. Program Innovation Award:This award recognizes senior chapter leaders whose chapters have successfully designed and implemented innovative programming to meet the needs of people with I/DD in their community.

4. Exemplary Mentor Award:This award recognizes senior chapter leaders whose mentorship of one or more NCE member(s), has resulted in the mentees’ demonstrated professional growth.

5. The Executive Excellence Award:This award is granted each year to a chapter Executive Director/CEO whose career exemplifies, to the highest degree, fulfillment of the mission, core values and position statements of The Arc. This is the highest honor bestowed by the NCE.

6. Exemplary Career Leadership Award: This award recognizes a retiring chapter Executive Director/CEO who has demonstrated a high level of commitment within The Arc movement for at least ten years.

7. The Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award: This award recognizes an individual inside or outside The Arc network who lives by the core values of The Arc by providing leadership resulting in a significant improvement in supports, services, opportunities, and community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Three Tips for a Winning Entry

1) Start early and respect the deadline

Entries open on May 4, 2020. Please review all criteria, and give yourself ample time to craft a compelling application. A common thread present in the strongest applicants and award winners is timely, well-prepared submissions. Please respect the deadline. Applications submitted after 5:00pm Eastern Time on June 12, 2020 will not be considered for entry.

2) Address the criteria and make sure your application is complete

 In order for the Awards Task Group to effectively judge your application, you will need to compile a submission that includes: (1) a response of no more than 750 words that answers the questions being asked; (2) a letter of support (written by a board chair or president or an executive director, as appropriate) that provides insight into the nominee’s abilities and achievements and is not a generic statement that fails to speak to the nominee’s relevant strengths; and (3) a photograph of the nominee. The Awards Task Group may still consider incomplete applications, but you are placing your nominee at a distinct disadvantage if you fail to submit all requested materials. Failing to address all listed points in your 750-word response also weakens your nominee’s eligibility, making him or her less likely to be recognized.

3) Provide examples that paint a well-rounded picture of your nominee

 An effective application is one that shows the nominee’s qualifications by providing specific examples of how the nominee fulfills the listed criteria, rather than simply telling the Task Group that the candidate deserves to win. Use the criteria as guidelines to build evidence and support your case for why the nominee merits the award.