WisconSibs Board announces Ann Sickon as
The WisconSibs, Inc Board of Directors is excited to announce Ann Sickon (sigh’-kon), of Middleton, as the second Executive Director of WisconSibs, Inc.
Sickon was most recently the Executive Director, and then the Senior Executive Advisor of the Center for Independent Futures (CIF),Evanston, IL, an Illinois-based nonprofit organization dedicated to creating innovative product and service models that give individuals with disabilities and their families the skills and opportunities to realize full lives. Ann has degrees from Loyola University Chicago, University of Michigan-Flint, and Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing.
Having a sister with disabilities herself, Ann brings immense passion and understanding to this position. She is a parent of two adult daughters living in Madison, and a son attending the Cutting Edge Program at Edgewood College. She will fulfill her duties as Executive Director both in Appleton and remotely from Middleton.
Earlier this year, Harriet Redman, who founded the organization 25 years ago announced her retirement as Executive Director. She will continue in an advisory role as Sickon gets acquainted with the operations, participants, and collaborators and serve as the Director of Special Projects part-time. She will continue to advocate with and for siblings, locally and nationally.
Harriet received the Don Meyer Award honoring her deep commitment to supporting siblings of people with disabilities and her innovative sibling programs and solutions. The award itself was created by artists with developmental disabilities and presented at the national Sibling Leadership Network conference this past summer.
This August begins the 25th year for WisconSibs, Inc. As we look forward to celebrating this milestone, it’s only natural to think about how we started, how far we’ve come, and how we are planning for the future.
Our work started when a handful of volunteers across the Fox Valley connected around a critical, yet overlooked need: providing support to children who were siblings of kids with disabilities. One of those volunteers was Harriet Redman. She and others began offering Sibshops® —workshops for children ages 6-12 designed by Don Meyer of the Sibling Support Project.
Under Harriet’s leadership, the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network was chartered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on July 28, 1998. As we know today, it was the first of its kind in the United States. In 2014 we renamed the organization WisconSibs, Inc to reflect our broader statewide impact. We’ve now grown into a nationally recognized model for supporting siblings of people with disabilities throughout their life-long Sib journey.
A leadership change
As the Board of Directors started its strategic planning in 2020 to develop the next stage of WisconSibs, Inc., Harriet announced that it was time to find the next leader for the organization.
She plans to retire as Executive Director in August, but will continue in an emeritus role to help orient a new director and to cheer on WisconSibs as a loyal supporter to help it reach its full potential.
“I really think of this transition as a celebration of all that has been done, and of all that will come next. The organization has never been stronger and is ready for someone to take it to the next level. I’m looking forward to being helpful in whatever way I can,” says Harriet.