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Board Member William Nardone’s Steady Guidance will be Missed

Well-known attorney served Olean Center for 11 Years 


William Nardone happened to mention during an Olean Center Golf Tournament one year that he’d be happy to lend a hand if the organization ever needed help.   


Soon afterward, the Board had a vacancy and the well-known Westerly attorney was the choice. That was in 2013. He had no idea that he would end up serving such a long period, but when asked what kept him at it, the reason was clear.

“I’d have to say it was the dedication of the staff,” Nardone said. “The dedication of the Olean Center staff is so impressive – that’s probably why I stayed involved so long. Every one of them is focused on meeting the mission of supporting the goals of those in the community who are living with developmental disabilities.”   

Nardone agreed to serve as a regular Board member, providing guidance and help where he could rather than mixing his legal counsel with Board responsibilities. “That’s never a good combination,” he said.


Nardone considers the Olean Center a vital component of the community and wishes more people in the region understood its mission and appreciated the staff’s efforts.


“I realized when I started on the Board that the center still had an identity problem, even though it had been around for decades,” Nardone said. “I would mention that I was on the Olean Center Board and people who lived here forever would ask what the center does. It was shocking – and sad – that people didn’t know the good work being done for children and adults with developmental disabilities. They do incredible work with very limited resources.”


Among Nardone’s early efforts was his participation in guiding updates to policies and procedures for both the day-to-day operations and the Board’s role. He served on the Personnel Committee and the Governance Committee to bring more structure to the organization and to raise pay scales. He realized that to raise pay scales, they needed to expand their donor base, and increase the census, a mission that continues today.       


“The Center is very fortunate that Ruth was interested in the position – she was an excellent find and she’s brought a focused approach to expanding both the donor base and the community’s understanding of the Olean Center,” Nardone said of Executive Director Ruth Tureckova. “Ruth has done a lot to increase that understanding. She’s everywhere.”   


“The bottom line is that the Olean Center provides a tremendous service, and more people need to understand and appreciate that. It was a pleasure to serve on the Board and with people so passionate about their mission.”


While Nardone acknowledges there is more work to be done, he feels he can finally leave the Board considering the strides that have been made and knowing the Board is in capable hands with the dedicated group currently serving. As both he and Ruth acknowledged, Nardone has been talking about leaving the Board for some time.


“Bill told me when I was interviewing that he would be leaving soon!” Ruth said. “But we managed to keep him coming back and the Olean Center is fortunate to have had his insightful, and steady counsel for so long. His input certainly will be missed.”

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