Lakeshore Announces John Kemp as President and CEO

White man with gray hair and mustache wearing a gray suit and purple tie

The Lakeshore Foundation Board of Directors has announced the appointment of John D. Kemp, Esq., as president and chief executive officer (CEO) effective November 1, 2021. Kemp succeeds Jeff Underwood, who last year announced plans to retire this Fall. Kemp currently serves as president and CEO of the Viscardi Center and Henry Viscardi School in Long Island, NY.

An accomplished executive, Kemp is widely respected for his many achievements in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. He has decades of experience in the disability movement as a disabled leader and is a co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities. His previous leadership roles include serving as the National Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy Associations, President and CEO of VSA Arts and VSA Arts International, and as General Counsel and Vice President of Development for the National Easter Seal Society, among others.

Kemp is a recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award, widely regarded as America’s highest honor for disability leadership and service, and the Dole Leadership Prize from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, whose recipients include Nelson Mandela and former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“John will be only the second CEO in Lakeshore’s 30-year history,” said Board Chair Mark McColl. “It is important to our board that the new CEO be able to build on our strong foundation and continue to expand our mission to provide opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities to lead active, healthy lives. With his wealth of experience as a national leader and passion for our mission, John is a great fit for Lakeshore.”

As board chair/member or partner, John has supported numerous leading disability and nonprofit organizations. In 2001, he became a partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, P.C., where he developed an active federal legislative and lobbying practice.  A much sought-after global speaker, in 2019 John spoke at the inaugural Symposium on Disability rights, co-sponsored by Lakeshore and the UAB Institute for Human Rights.

John is a graduate of Georgetown University and Washburn University School of Law. He and his wife Sameta (Sam) will relocate to Birmingham later this year.