Michele Ford will step down as president and CEO of Inroads to Opportunities after a 35-year career serving individuals with disabilities.
Her decision was announced by the organization March 28, along with word that current Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Angela Calzone was selected by the board of directors to succeed Ford, effective July 1.
Based in Roselle, the nonprofit human services agency provides programs and services – including vocational preparation, transition from school to work, job placement and mental health services – to individuals with disabilities, ranging in age from 16 to retirement.
In 2022, Ford was recognized for her leadership at the organization, and more broadly in the Garden State business community, with an NJBIZ ICON Award. According to Inroads, she leaves behind a great legacy for Calzone.
In a statement, the newly appointed leader expressed humility about taking up the post and following Ford.
“I am humbled to be passed the torch from Michele Ford and fully commit myself to leading this extraordinary agency into the future,” Calzone said.
Meet the new leader
According to a statement from board of directors Chairperson Jill Schafhauser, Calzone first came to Inroads as a consultant and trainer more than 10 years ago to help with the group’s first Strategic Plan.
“Over the years, she provided training for our leadership team and staff, worked with us through the launch of our transition from OCUC to Inroads, and supported us on subsequent strategic plans. She even served briefly on our board of directors,” Schafhauser stated. “We look forward to her continued commitment to our mission.”
Before her time at Inroads, Calzone was COO for The Webster Apartments in New York City. She also spent 10 years as co-managing member of Change & Response Strategies LLC, a consortium of leadership, management, human resources, training, and marketing strategists.
Inroads described Calzone as an award-winning business and talent management strategist.
In addition to being named a finalist for NJ’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners by New Jersey Monthly Magazine and nominated for Garden State Woman of the Year, she was celebrated among the Best 50 Women in Business in New Jersey by NJBIZ in 2007.