Robyn Kaufman named Executive Director

Robyn Kaufman has been named the new Executive Director of Boone County Family Resources, replacing longtime leader Les Wagner who stepped down from the post in July. She brings to the position 30 years of experience working in programs for individuals with developmental disabilities – more than 22 of those years at BCFR.

The agency’s Board of Directors voted unanimously last night to appoint Kaufman during its regularly scheduled meeting. She begins her duties immediately. No decision has been made about who will replace Kaufman as BCFR’s Associate Director.

“Robyn brings a wealth of experience and a deep reservoir of common sense as well as passion to her leadership of the agency,” said Board Chairman Bob Bailey.

Kaufman, who has been serving as the agency’s Interim Executive Director, is eager to continue her work with the agency.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve our county and the individuals with developmental disabilities and their families we support,” Kaufman said. “I look forward to not only continuing the nationally accredited services and programs of the agency, but also investigating innovative ways to support persons with developmental disabilities as they live, work, and are active participants in our community.”

Kaufman takes over for Wagner who was hired in 1977, two years after the Missouri General Assembly passed a law that allowed for the creation of taxing entities that could raise revenue though property taxes and use the funds to help people with developmental disabilities. Over the years, BCFR has expanded from serving eight clients to more than 1,500 in the current fiscal year. Today, the multi-faceted agency employs 118 people.

Kaufman is no stranger to the field of developmental disabilities, beginning her career in 1982 as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist/Adult Education Teacher with Woodhaven Learning Center in Columbia. Two years later, she was promoted to Adult Services Coordinator in which she oversaw a residential program for 80 adults with disabilities, including six group homes and two apartment programs.

In 1987, Kaufman joined BCFR as the Residential Program Manager responsible for client advocacy and supervision of staff among other administrative duties. After a one-year stint with Jefferson County Arc, Kaufman returned to BCFR in 1990 and a year later, was named Director of Family & Community Living Support, a new program providing case management on a local level. During her 19 years at the helm of this new initiative, Kaufman helped develop the program that grew from serving 99 individuals to more than 1,000. In 2010, Kaufman was named Associate Director and assisted Wagner with overall administration and management of the agency.

Kaufman’s commitment to helping individuals with developmental disabilities reaches far beyond Columbia. Among her many leadership highlights, she serves on the Special Olympics-Missouri Board of Directors and the Central Missouri Rapid Response Initiative. She also is a member of the Missouri Chapter of the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Board of Directors and served as the group’s President last year.