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Normal-based Marcfirst names new CEO
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Normal-based Marcfirst names new CEO

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NORMAL — A Bloomington man with 16 years of experience in special education has been named CEO of the Normal-based agency that assists people with disabilities.

Brian Wipperman, 40, was named CEO of Marcfirst on Monday.

He succeeds Laura Furlong, who retired on June 28Marcfirst Chief Operating Officer Gregg Chadwick will continue as acting CEO until Wipperman takes over on Aug. 26.

Wipperman told The Pantagraph that he comes to Marcfirst after two years as vice president of education with the Children's Home Association of Illinois in Peoria, which provides counseling, education and support to more than 1,700 children and families each month.

Previously, he was supervisor of special education for Sewanhaka Central High School District in Floral Park, N.Y.

"I very much believe in the mission and vision of the board of directors and of Laura Furlong for Marcfirst," Wipperman said. "I will continue that mission and vision for the community."

"I'm looking forward to getting to know the staff and the people we work for," Wipperman said.

Marcfirst Board Chairman Sam Lewis said Wipperman is qualified for the job, has a passion for the work of Marcfirst and will complement the existing Marcfirst staff.

"We've got a great team at Marcfirst," Lewis said. "We found someone who will fit well with that team."

Wipperman's yearly salary will be $115,000, Lewis said.

Services of Marcfirst, 1606 Hunt Drive, Normal, include the SPICE (Services for Parent Infant and Child Education) program, the high school transition program, the Supported Employment Program and the Residential and Day Programs.

Marcfirst, which serves about 800 children and adults each year, has 150 full- and part-time employees and a budget of $6 million.

Wipperman has a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in education and is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Leadership Academy for Administration Certification.

Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Marcfirst has several direct support professionals who have worked there for more than 15 years, despite the hard work and low pay. The DSPs say they stick with it because they like making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

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