Candice Jones Peelman


Executive Director

Candice Jones Peelman, Executive Director, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University (2007), and a Master of Arts from the University of Cincinnati (2009). Her graduate thesis was on the effect of social learning on the educational experiences of people with developmental disabilities. She has worked at Starfire since 2008, to de-construct segregated models while building new models of respectful support for people with developmental disabilities, and previously worked in special education in Catholic schools.

She has a wealth of experience in community building and launching projects, as well as having facilitated over 100 person-centered plans. She has chronicled this work on Starfire’s blog publishing articles and reflections that have been shared across the globe. She took over executive leadership of Starfire in June of 2017, and is currently leading Starfire through a strategic plan to scale our work and impact more broadly beyond Cincinnati including launching a family leadership project, a social enterprise nonprofit rental model within Starfire’s decommissioned day program space as well as developing a training program for other organizations and providers to learn from Starfire. Her work was featured in 2017 in U.S. Bank / Haile Foundation People’s Liberty print publication Circle for emerging local leaders.