A Message from Cesar Villalpando, Chairman of the Board

AbleLight: A game-changer for people with disabilities!

Friends of Bethesda,

When Bethesda first came to be more than 100 years ago, we were a small Wisconsin organization serving just five people. Since then, with the help of our loyal supporters, generous donors and a dedicated team, we have grown to a national nonprofit that’s benefited the lives of tens of thousands. And we’re just getting started.

Today, we’re choosing to undergo an ambitious but necessary transformation that will allow us to deliver new, life-changing services – all while reaching more people than ever before through our Christian mission.

Why are we doing this? After prayerful consideration, we’ve realized that there is far more that can be done for people with disabilities, and we’re building on our strong tradition as a leader in the field to push the boundaries even further. Simply put: We believe the world shines brighter when people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their full potential.

Our services are more essential than ever before. And our unique approach to supporting the whole person and our drive to continuously improve the world for people with disabilities are what sets us apart in the disability field.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited to share that with that renewed commitment comes a new name to fully represent who we are and where we are headed: AbleLight. In the pages of this special edition of Messenger you will learn how we chose this name and, more importantly, why it matters. You will see how we are building on our rich history as we light the way to a brighter future.

I hope we inspire you and give you confidence in our mission going forward. Please know that we need your help to continue this important work.



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About Cesar Villalpando

Cesar Villalpando has served on the Bethesda Board of Directors for the past four years and has been chairperson since 2019. His expertise is in health care leadership. Cesar is the former Corporate Senior Vice President, Enterprise Shared Services at Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system. During his 29+ years with Kaiser he oversaw a broad range of services, including hospitals, pharmacy, construction, support services, and financial and strategy divisions.

AbleLight – Who We Are

About the Name