About Us

The Arc of Smith County is part of a non-profit, nationwide volunteer organization of involved parents and family members, active professionals, and interested friends who work on behalf of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1962, The Arc of Smith County serves more than 1,500 families. The Board of Directors is selected from the Smith County community, and these volunteer directors include professionals, parents, and interested citizens bringing various backgrounds and expertise to the organization. Like most local Arc organizations, The Arc of Smith County is involved in direct services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families and caregivers. In addition, The Arc works with community agencies to develop better programs in areas of education, job training, advocacy, support, and public awareness.

The Arc of Smith County is an organization qualifying from federal income taxes under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).

Board of Directors



Rachel Gee

Brookshire Grocery Co.

Holley Howard

Vice President of Governance
Community Volunteer

Shirley Snodgrass

Gollob, Morgan, & Peddy

Lainie Browning

Board Member

Director, Life Blessings Day-Hab

Annie Dwyer

Board Member

Laura George

Board Member
CEO/President –
All Home Infusion Inc.

Kris Gusa

Board Member
CPA Partner –
Gollob Morgan Peddy

Joni Harbert

Board Member
Community Volunteer

Charles McPherson, Jr

Board Member
Adult Protective Services

Karen Ogletree

Property Manager

Brian Pearson

Board Member
New York Life Insurance

Chandler Salzer

Community Volunteer


Susan Z. Hawkins

Executive Director

Susan attended Texas Tech University before working for American Airlines as a stewardess in the late 60”s and early 70’s living in New York City and Fullerton, California then moved to Tyler , Texas in 1993. She has been involved in Fundraising both in Politics as well as non-profits for over 30 years. Having a heart to serve, Susan has served as a Board member on several boards including the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County, the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, The Discovery Science Place in Tyler, The United Way of Tyler/ Smith County as well as several other agencies. Other professional experience includes working for over five years as a supervisor for CASA for Kids of East Texas.

Rhonda Boaz

Program Manager

1994 – I began volunteering my time at the Alzheimer’s Alliance after finishing TJC and while looking for a job. The Alzheimer’s Alliance decided to hire me as their office administrator. Later on I was given the additional position of Education Coordinator for a 16 county area and Newsletter Editor.

2005 – I left my position at the Alzheimer’s Alliance and worked in a Law Office until 2007. I really missed the non-profit sector and decided to begin looking for an opening at another non-profit.

2007 – I began volunteering my time at The Arc of Smith County. A position became available for an office assistant and I was hired. Within a few months I was moved into the position of Program Director. I’m also the volunteer coordinator, AP/AR, and office administrator.

Being the Program Director at The Arc is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and in the process earn a special place in someone’s heart. Working with this population was a great way to accomplish those goals. So much more has been given to me because they show me so much determination, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, laughter, love and acceptance.