2015 Business Excellence Winner: Roy Gerstenberger of Community Bridges


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Nominated by: Josh Weinstein, Creative Co-op  

If a defining trait of a business leader is passion for realizing the potential of every person they work with, then Roy is a leader for all of central New Hampshire – helping 2,000 clients affected by disabilities find support and make contributions within their communities.

Since 1997, Roy has served as executive director of Community Bridges, overseeing a 400-employee area agency that works with the State of New Hampshire to provide services for individuals affected by developmental impairment, injury and aging.

Almost from its inception in the 1980s, Community Bridges has been forced to cope with shrinking public funding as need for services increase. But despite the obstacles, Community Bridges has thrived, thanks to Roy’s stewardship. Revenues have grown to $38 million, with Community Bridges breaking even annually.

In 2012, Community Bridges won the Dunfey Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, followed by an Advocate Award from the Granite United Way in 2013.

For 32 years, Community Bridges has held the State Contract for Developmental Disabilities Services in the Concord area. Under Roy’s leadership, Community Bridges has established a mission-focused service delivery team that works with a vital governing bard to deliver community-based services promoting meaningful lives to people who experience disability.

For instance, in 2013, Community Bridges was selected by state Department of Health & Human Services to construct and manage a first-of-its-kind respite home for people with intellectual disabilities and complex behavioral health needs. Hundreds of New Hampshire residents have benefitted from improved quality of care since the facility opened in 2014.

This year, Community Bridges became the first state organization to earn accreditation by The Council on Quality & Leadership, an international leader in quality improvement best practices for treatment of people with disabilities.

As Roy says, “it’s about better lives, not better paperwork. Changing lives is what we’re passionate about a Community Bridges.” 

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