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FUSE promotes Cummins as executive director

Families United for Support and Encouragement (FUSE) has announced the promotion of Sara Cummins as executive director, starting on March 1.

Formerly as the development director the past three years, Cummins has led fundraising efforts for the organization.

Through restructuring efforts by the board of directors, Cummins will continue those fundraising efforts while adding additional responsibilities in operations management and marketing.

As a result of the restructuring, FUSE has created two new positions: programming director and special events coordinator.

The program director, which has been filled by Courtney Lock, will have primary responsibility for FUSE programming including education and training events, adaptive swim, Destiny, FUSE-D for Dads and a new young adult group.

The special events coordinator will plan and organize FUSE’s big events, including all of the fundraisers, the Inspiring Abilities Expos and the Barnyard Bash.

Cummins is the mother of two young children who have rare disorders. She reached out in 2013, looking for resources and referrals to help her son, and she became passionate for the organization while connecting with other families.

She joined FUSE 2015 as development associate.

“I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to expand my role with an organization that has deeply impacted me and my family,” she said in a press release. “This new alignment allows me to continue doing the work I love sharing the significance of our organization with those who can help us fund our mission, as well as taking on new challenges with overseeing our programs and overall operations.”

She said it also aligns FUSE with similarly sized organizations in which executive directors are responsible for funding their organizations.

“This position blends my passion for talking with people about FUSE with my desire to continue to grow and expand our reach to individuals and families who can benefit from the information, training, support and encouragement we offer. I can’t wait to start this new part of my journey with FUSE and our community!”

FUSE board president Cheryl Blocher said in the press release that the organization was happy to have Cummins on board.

“She has always been our first choice for the job, but life circumstances did not work for her to take this position last year. We are thrilled that this new alignment of duties makes it possible for Sara to move into a full-time position with FUSE. We look forward to having her lead the organization in our mission to empower people with disabilities and mental health needs so they can achieve their best life.”

Among her many achievements, Cummins graduated from Leadership Shelby County in 2016 and from the Indiana’s Partners in Policymaking Academy in 2017. She was also appointed to the Interagency Coordinating Council by Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2018.

Former executive director Denise Arland, who co-founded FUSE with Amy Borgmann in April 1996, left the position in 2019 when she moved.

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