- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 5, 2004

The American Occupational Therapy Association, a Bethesda-based trade association, has promoted Frederick Somers to be its new executive director.

Mr. Somers has been with the association since 1985. He most recently served as the managing associate director, overseeing the public-policy function of the association.

In his new position, he will work with the board of directors and staff while helping to define the role of the association in society and overseeing all its activities, including advocacy, communications, publications and education.

“I think that one of the most important things I’ll be doing in my first year on the job is to define [the association’s] vision and path to the future,” Mr. Somers said. “That path is really about defining how the profession responds to society needs.”

The decision to promote Mr. Somers was made after a national search showed him to be the best candidate for the job, said Carolyn Baum, president of the association.

“He emerged as the person we wanted because he has the right skill set, a history with the profession,” Miss Baum said. “[He] brings a level of commitment to move the profession where we need it to go.”

Through his position as executive director, Mr. Somers said, he looks forward to supporting the board of directors and association staff in their decisions and work.

“We’ve got a great group of people, [who are] enormously talented and committed to the profession,” Mr. Somers said. “Because of that … I have the chance to make a difference.”

Miss Baum is excited to be able to work with Mr. Somers and watch where he will take the association, she said.

“He has a real way of working with people and ideas,” she said. “I know he’ll bring major leadership to the profession as well as to the association.”

Mr. Somers lives in Chantilly with his wife, Jeanette, and 14-year-old son, Patrick. He enjoys spending time with his son through youth sports.

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