Melwood Appoints Larysa Kautz as Chief of Staff

Kautz promoted to key leadership role to advance Melwood’s mission

Online PR News – 25-May-2017 – Upper Marlboro, MD – Cari DeSantis, President & CEO of Melwood — a leading provider of job opportunities for people with differing abilities in the Washington metropolitan area — recently announced the appointment of Larysa Kautz as Chief of Staff & General Counsel. Kautz has been with Melwood since 2014, serving as the General Counsel.

“We are so proud to name Larysa as Chief of Staff at Melwood. She has proven to be a valuable asset to our organization and is well deserving of this promotion,” said DeSantis. “Melwood’s success is in direct correlation with Larysa’s expertise and proven leadership.”

In addition to being responsible for the supervision of Melwood's legal, compliance, risk management, and external affairs functions, Kautz will provide general coordinating leadership to all departments, working behind the scenes to execute Melwood's strategic goals, address challenges, and handle day-to-day issues that impact Melwood.

“I’m thrilled to take this next step in helping Melwood reach its objectives and expand the organization,” said Kautz. “One of my immediate advocacy missions is to get Melwood in front of large companies and encourage them to hire individuals with differing abilities. This community takes such pride in their work — they work hard and are dedicated employees. Their contributions are needed in larger private sector organizations.”

Kautz has more than 15 years of experience in law, corporate governance, risk management, government relations, and communications. Prior to joining Melwood, she was partner at the Schaner & Lubitz, PLLC law firm, as well as counsel and associate at other prestigious firms. She also has lent her expertise to the Obama Administration and the Foundation for the National Archives as pro bono counsel.

Kautz was recently named a 2017 Leadership in Law honoree in her position as General Counsel to Melwood. She was also recently appointed by Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe (D), to serve on his State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

Kautz holds a JD from Yale Law School and an LLM in taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center. She has been admitted to practice law in New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.


About Melwood:

Melwood is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and empowers people of differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community. Since 1963, Melwood has envisioned a world in which people with differing abilities are fully included. Using an innovative and effective social entrepreneurial model, Melwood offers job training, employment, life skill improvement, community support, and recreation opportunities to more than 2000 people each year in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and throughout the State of Maryland. Melwood operates a training program graduating approximately 100 workers with differing abilities each year and employs more than 1,600 workers annually, including over 900 persons with differing abilities. For more information visit