Jonette Arms settles in as new ADRC Regional Director
As of mid-March, Jonette Arms has taken the helm as the new executive director of the ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center) of Central Wisconsin; serving the counties of Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon and Wood.
The ADRC stands as an inter-governmental agreement between the four counties. As Executive Director, Arms is responsible for overseeing the regional operations of the agency and ensuring the agency is meeting the needs and desires of a growing aging and disabled population, as well as providing support to families of the population.
A native of Milwaukee, Arms takes the reins of the agency with a background spanning nearly 20 years in both first-hand service in various human services positions as well as holding various leadership roles. From serving as a Nursing Assistant in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility working with developmentally disabled residents, to later serving in various capacities with the City of Milwaukee Public Health Department.
Arms holds a Bachelors Degree from Concordia University-Mequon with a double major in Health Care Administration and Communication. In addition, she earned a Masters of Science-Human Services Degree from Springfield College-Boston.
Arms’ leadership experience includes serving as Director of the New Age of Aging initiative from 2007-10, a grant funded program to inspire and motivate human service professionals around the country to work with and appreciate contributions older adults bring to their communities and workplace. Then in 2010, she was recruited to serve as Assistant Director of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging; overseeing all activities of the department’s area agency on aging. Beginning in 2015, Jonette served as Interim Director of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging; overseeing all department operations and staffing of 78 employees.
“I’ve always had a passion for working with older adults and people with disabilities,” Arms explains. “When I saw Marathon County’s posting for ADRC Executive Director last December, and reading the job description, I knew this position was for me.
“At the time, I had no idea where Marathon County even was,” she adds with a smile. “But I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The more I interviewed, the more I knew this is what I wanted to do. Everything about the position gelled with my background.”
Following a lengthy and intensive hiring process, Jonette took the lead of ADRC-Central Wisconsin effective March 19. Since accepting the position, Arms readily admits she is very happy and excited to be in the Wisconsin Northwoods.
“I am very happy and comfortable here! It is of course much different living and working in this area compared to Milwaukee, but I love it! I have come to enjoy the area so much. Everyone I have met has been very friendly. Most of all, I enjoy the slower pace of life compared to Milwaukee. In terms of my role as Executive Director of the ADRC, I most enjoy the opportunity to be innovative and adaptable throughout the four counties of which we serve.”
The ADRC operates four offices within the four counties of which it serves. Each office in Antigo, Merrill, Wisconsin Rapids and Wausau are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.