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Trailblazers 2022 Honoree: John Lipscomb

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John Lipscomb began his professional life in 1975, before there was such a thing as “community based care”, and at a time when individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) were routinely excluded from community life. John belongs to a generation of pioneering nonprofit leaders from across the state who helped build a statewide network of community nonprofits that now supports thousands of individuals to participate fully in their local communities.            

John joined Search in 1996 as CFO. He was appointed President and CEO in 2000.

Through his principled leadership and innovative vision for over 25+ years, John has impacted the lives of the individuals we serve, our frontline and leadership teams, and community members and families from across the state. 

At the State level, John has spent his professional life advocated for excellence and solid financial leadership in organizations that provide services to people with disabilities. Here at Search, his sensible perspective on the field, and his experience in supporting those most in need, offers everyone he works with a unique window into the ways that people and communities care for each other.  

Under John’s leadership as CEO and President of Search for the past two decades, Search’s annual budget has grown from $5 million in 1996 to $20 million today. Along the way, he oversaw the opening of 25 community living arrangements, expanding residential services to over 140 individuals. An innovator by nature, John has spearheaded visionary initiatives throughout his tenure at Search, cofounding our Planet Access Company social enterprise, and opening two specialized clinics that provide access to quality healthcare and behavioral health services. In 2009, he was instrumental in the founding of the Keystone Alliance, an administrative services organization which has helped strengthen the impact and sustainability of Search’s mission, and the missions of its other nonprofit partners.     

John’s signature accomplishments touch on almost every aspect of services and supports for people with disabilities, including access to comprehensive healthcare, disability awareness and self-advocacy, quality housing and supports as well as creative alternatives to traditional services and building pathways to employment through social enterprise, among many others.

For his quarter century of insightful, innovative and collaborative leadership, and for being our champion, we are thrilled to honor John with our 2022 Trailblazer Award. 

Learn more about Trailblazers 2022 here.

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