About Us

Welcome to GEC

Joe Riley HeadshotFor over 60 years, GEC has supported families and helped children and adults reach their fullest potential. We believe that every life is special, and every person deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, and be in a nurturing and empowering environment. I am proud to support these exceptional people and honored to be part of the GEC family.

- Joe Riley, Executive Director and CEO


Our History

The Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC) is a non-profit agency founded in 1958 by parents and friends of people with developmental disabilities. GEC grew from a dedicated group of parents volunteering their time to a leading-edge advocacy agency that spearheaded community living options, opening the very first group home in New York City in 1970. 

Through the dedication of its founders, Senator William T. Conklin, Assembly Member Luigi Marano, and countless other community leaders, GEC helped create a civil rights movement for people with developmental disabilities.

A particular focus of GEC is to help families navigate the challenge of securing services for a person with special needs. GEC provides services to families and is proud of its history of keeping families together, stable, and better able to meet the evolving needs of their children with special needs.

Today, GEC serves 500+ individuals and family members each day and provides a full range of services and supports to children and adults with developmental disabilities. GEC is proud of its heritage and proud of its focus on individual quality of care.

Our Mission

We aim to help children and adults with developmental disabilities lead dignified and satisfying lives and reach their fullest potential all while assisting families in every step of their journey.

Our Vision

GEC is dedicated to providing exceptional support and services that will enable children and adults to lead respected and fulfilling lives in their community.