Stuart James named new Executive Director of The Ability Center

Stuart James named new Executive Director of The Ability Center

"It’s an incredible honor to be named the Executive Director at The Ability Center. This organization has successfully served the Greater Toledo Area and Northern Ohio for more than 100 years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful group of people as we begin the next century of service.

My personal goal has always been to change the lens with which society views disability and raise the expectations people with disabilities have of themselves. I want children to dream beyond the boundary of their disabilities and those with newly acquired disabilities to realize, all the aspirations they had before their accidents or diagnoses still exist. They may look different, but they still exist and we're here to help them find the way.

My family and I are very much looking forward to settling into the community and my twin three-year-olds are looking forward to introducing themselves to the puppies."

Stuart came to the independent living movement seven years ago as the Executive Director at the historic Center for Independent Living in Berkeley (TheCIL). During his seven-year tenure, he renewed TheCIL’s commitment and overall vision for what a truly inclusive world would be like, and nearly tripled the organization’s endowment.

TheCIL adopted the “Be Your Own Normal” slogan and reorganized their services, communications, and operating philosophy around an idea that “normal” is everyone and that we all possess talents, skills, qualities, and responsibilities that contribute to our community. Stuart led the organization in developing and updating programs, including an expanded AT program, new Lifestyles events, a life-changing Residential Access program, and the evolution of TheCIL’s Youth programs. Additionally, he brought new corporate partnerships and attention to TheCIL through the PowerOn! web series and our annual Ed Roberts Day event.

Prior to his tenure at TheCIL, Stuart spent more than twenty years as an executive in the sports and entertainment industry, living and working across four continents.

Stuart is an avid sports fan with allegiances to his childhood teams, the New York Giants and Knicks, but he’s vowed to be a die-hard fan of the Toledo Mud Hen’s and University of Toledo Rockets.

Stuart has a master’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology and was a graduate assistant of their nationally ranked lacrosse program.