Farmington Hills resident Kristin Rohrbeck, director of OUCARES, Oakland University’s award-winning program for more than 2,300 people impacted by autism spectrum disorder, was selected by a public vote as the winner of the Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2019.
The announcement was made February 14 at Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s State of the County address, held at the United Shore Financial Services Auditorium in Pontiac. As the winner, Rohrbeck introduced Patterson to the crowd of about 600 guests.
“I am grateful to all of my family, friends and colleagues who supported me during the voting process, and during my professional and personal highs and lows that have led me to this point in my life,” Rohrbeck said in a press release. “It feels great to be recognized both professionally for the work that I love to do, and personally for my community involvement. Most people are not aware of the volunteer work I do, so it is really nice to share that with others as well.”
“We are fortunate to have talented and passionate leaders such as Kristin who are committed to their professions and improving their communities every day,” Patterson said. “She joins an outstanding class of ambassadors for Oakland County.”
Rohrbeck, 32, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a graduate degree in developmental psychology from Ohio State University.
As director of OUCARES, she serves people impacted by autism spectrum disorder in southeast Michigan with more than 100 annual programs. The award-winning OUCARES program has been featured more on various TV, radio and other media. In 2018, she led the development of a partnership with the Ted Lindsay Foundation, which resulted in a $1 million gift to grow OUCARES programs to support teens and adults living with autism spectrum disorder.
Rohrbeck developed an employment readiness skills program for adults that resulted in more than 30 adults either receiving jobs or continuing their education to reach career goals. She is a graduate of the Leadership Oakland Cornerstone program.
“I am constantly looking at trends in the disability community to try to improve the quality of life for families that I serve as well as future generations,” she said.
The 40 Under 40 honorees were selected from about 250 applications and nominations reviewed by a panel of judges. Of that group, the three candidates who scored the highest were placed before the public to determine the 2019 winner.