As a resident of West Bay Residential Services for the past 15 years, James Boucher is uniquely qualified to serve as the new president of the Warwick-based nonprofit’s board of directors.
The son of Polish immigrants, 36-year-old Boucher grew up in Woonsocket and had thought of settling in New Hampshire until West Bay Residential Services Executive Director John DiMarco presented him with, as Boucher put it, “the opportunity to come home to Rhode Island after so many years of being away.”
Until the meeting with DiMarco in 1996, it seemed as if Boucher might spend the rest of his life in New Hampshire, the medical needs related to his spina bifida seemingly better met there than in Rhode Island. After Boucher made his decision to return “home,” as he always refers to Rhode Island, DiMarco kept him apprised of the details of a new group home – still under construction in 1996 – where Boucher eventually lived for his first five years at West Bay Residential Services.
“I eventually felt the need to move on to a different living arrangement that suited my changing needs,” Boucher said in a statement. “I moved into my current home in Warwick with two other gentlemen who have different needs.”
“James has served on the West Bay Board since 2003,” said West Bay Residential Services Assistant Director Kathleen Millard. “As board president, he will be presiding over board meetings with John DiMarco.”
Millard added, “James brings his unique understanding of the services West Bay provides to the board. This is especially important when policy changes are proposed and discussed.”
Of his new position, Boucher said, “I am honored to have been considered for the role. Since I've been a member of the board for many years now and been a director and vice president previously, I know some of the ins and outs of West Bay both as a client and employee.”
“I find it very satisfying to be able to give the agency something in return for their service,” he said.