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Board of Directors of The Arc of Pennsylvania

Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The members work hard to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.

 

Officers | Board of Directors

Officers

Jessica Capitani

Jessica Capitani

President – Dauphin

Ms. Capitani joined the Board of Directors of The Arc of Pennsylvania already experienced in advocacy and serving people and their families with intellectual disabilities. She is the former co-chair of the Family Advisory Council at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, member of the Family Faculty at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Miracle Mom for Children’s Miracle Network, and contributing author to the book “Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives”. Ms. Capitani participated in numerous speaking engagements with topics ranging from Early Intervention to How to Communicate with Parents. She has also led training seminars teaching other parents how to share their stories with professionals.

Lucille Piggott-Prawl

Lucille Piggott-Prawl

First Vice President – Monroe

Lucille Piggott-Prawl is a Special Education/ Disability Rights Advocate. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Urban Studies from Rutgers University. Presently she is working on completing her Masters in Community Economic Development at Penn State. Lucille has certification from Temple University in the fields of Grant Writing and Nonprofit Fundraising.

Her professional experience includes Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities, State and Federal Government, Education, Intensive Case Management, and Housing. Lucille serves on the boards and committees of the Pennsylvania Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP), Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Monroe County’s Women’s Commission, Pennsylvania Right to Education Task Force, Local Right to Education Taskforce IU 20 and 21 – Past Co Chair, Co-Founder Pleasant Valley School District Diversity Task Force, and the United Way of Monroe County PA – Funds Distribution Committee Member.

Lucille Piggott-Prawl resides in Kunkletown with her family.

Julie Gerhart-Rothholz

Julie Gerhart-Rothholz

2nd Vice President - Montgomery

Julie Gerhart-Rothholz is a pharmacist, Medical Affairs professional, diversity and inclusion professional, The Arc of Pennsylvania board member, and Arc Alliance Foundation Board Vice President. Her most important role is mom to 7-year-old Evan, who has Down syndrome. After receiving Evan’s post-birth diagnosis, which focused on symptoms and expected medical problems rather than on possibilities, Julie became an advocate for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Julie has engaged in “hill days” with her US representatives and senators and has visited her state representative and senator to educate them on the needs of individuals with disabilities. She also worked to connect US and state senators and representatives’ staff with her school district. Julie led the global Merck capABILITIES Network, one of 10 employee business resource groups that focuses on diversity and inclusion. Julie also leads social media engagement for the Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition.

In her spare time, Julie enjoys watching Evan’s soccer games, running her Buddy Walk Auction/Raffle, and reading.

Phil Rosenbauer

Phil Rosenbauer

Treasurer - Butler

Mr. Rosenbauer retired after thirty-two (32) years as Executive Director of The Arc of Butler County. He was a member of the National Conference of Executives of the Arc (NCE) and the Pennsylvania Conference of Executives of the Arc (PCE) until retiring in 2012. He was also a board member on the PAR Board of Directors and the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board.

A graduate of the Grantsmanship Center Training Program and member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council. Philip graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in political science.

John Goryl

John Goryl

Dauphin

Mr. Goryl has a long history of working in the world of disabilities. While spending 15 years in the Pennsylvania Senate, he was involved in many pieces of legislation involving people with disabilities. While working with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), he worked closely with the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council, The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to design programs to help provide homeownership opportunities for people with disabilities. Through Mr. Goryl’s participation, loan programs designed to retrofit homes for persons with a disability resulted in them being able to remain in their own home.

Mr. Goryl retired from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in 2013 but continues to work with them on a part-time basis. As an attorney, he has worked in private practice as well as with the Pennsylvania Senate. He received his Juris Doctorate from Dickinson School of Law and his Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Joshua Stranix

Joshua Stranix

Secretary – Schuylkill

Mr. Stranix first became interested in The Arc because he wanted to be an advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He was first elected to the Board of Directors for The Arc of Pennsylvania in 2010. Mr. Stranix is committed to sharing his experiences with Pennsylvania Legislators, as well as informing others with intellectual disabilities what their rights are, and showing them what is available in Pennsylvania to allow them to have an inclusive life in their communities.

Mr. Stranix has been trained as a speaker through Special Olympics, which has allowed him to speak in the State House of Representatives and emcee various local and state events.

Mr. Stranix has been employed at Giant Foods since 1999 where he is a Customer Service Associate. He has been associated with Special Olympics for 28 years where he has held various offices, including Global Messenger.

Anne Couldridge

Anne Couldridge

PCE Representative - Cumberland

As one of the larger provider Arc chapter, The Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties (CPARC) serves over 1700 people annually. Anne has been Executive Director of CPARC since 2017. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Anne was CPARC’s Director of Development.

Mother to adult children with intellectual disabilities, Anne brings to life our mission of empowering, inspiring & educating people with intellectual disabilities, their families and the community. Under her leadership, stakeholders developed a strong strategic plan that focuses on finding innovative ways to take on the challenges facing the intellectual disability field, with a focus on Workforce Development, Board engagement, Advocacy and Development.

Anne currently serves as Vice President on the Cumberland-Perry Housing Initiative. This organization works with the Cumberland Perry Redevelopment Authority and is focused on providing housing for people experiencing mental health, intellectual disabilities and/or physical disabilities. She is also an active member of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Task Force of Cumberland and Perry Counties. CPARC is also a member of the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability where Anne is active on a variety of committees.

Anne holds a BS. in Business Administration from Shippensburg University with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies. When not at work Anne enjoys spending time with her family, genealogy research, traveling, cooking, gardening, and perusing antique shops.

Sara Holland

Sara Holland

Immediate Past President – Lancaster

Ms. Holland has been involved in family support and leadership efforts at both the local and statewide levels. She is a past chair of the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Services and her local Arc Chapter in Lancaster. Ms. Holland has been employed by Parent to Parent of PA, The Special Kids Network, and has worked as an independent consultant. Currently, she is a Special Assistant with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning, focusing on Family Engagement.

Board of Directors

Don Broderick

Don Broderick

Lackawanna

Mr. Broderick joined the board of The Arc of PA in June 2018 as a presidential appointee. He recently retired from The Arc of North Eastern PA after serving that chapter for 46 years, 40 as Executive Director. Don holds degrees in Psychology and Rehab Counseling, both from the University of Scranton. He has been a respected and tireless advocate for the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at home, in Harrisburg, in Washington D.C., and across the nation.

Don and his wife, Rosemary, live in the Clarks Summit area of North Eastern PA. She is President and CEO of Summit Peak Associates, a consulting firm. They have two children, Stephen, 29, Washington D.C., and Sara, 26, London, U.K.

Deb Brubaker

Deb Brubaker

Susquehanna

First and foremost, Deb Brubaker is a parent. For the past 30 years, she has strongly advocated for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is proud of the work being accomplished by The Arc. She feels that having a daughter with Autism gives her a perspective on life that she might have otherwise missed out on.

Currently, Deb is the President of The Arc of Susquehanna Valley, which serves five counties (Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Montour, and Columbia).

For the past 20 years, Deb has worked with her daughter to: bring WNEP TV 16’s Trail of Treats to the Susquehanna Valley; raise over $165,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network through “Ashley’s Auction;” author by then PA State Representative Russell Fairchild “Ashley’s Law,” requiring school districts to set a policy allowing students with disabilities to be able to participate in high school commencement ceremonies; and co-found (along with the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit) “Celebrate Community Day” (a day created especially for children with speech impairments).

Cindy Dias

Cindy Dias

Greene

Ms. Dias is currently the Executive Director of The Arc of Greene County. She has also served on the Greene County Special Olympic Committee and has been an advocate for individuals with disabilities for over 35 years. She is presently a member of the Pennsylvania Conference of Executives of The Arc, a member of The Arc of Pennsylvania as well as The Arc of the United States. In 2011, Ms. Dias was awarded the EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD, from The Arc of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Dias is a graduate of California University. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education as well as a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood. She is a member of Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta Honor Society for Special Education. She is also a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society for Education.

Jeanne Downey

Jeanne Downey

Erie

Jeanne Downey is a speech-language pathologist and provides early intervention speech therapy in the Erie area. She received her master’s degree in speech pathology from Clarion University. She has been an advocate for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Jeanne has completed two terms as President of The Arc of Pennsylvania and begins a new term on The Arc Board. Her youngest daughter has Down syndrome and this has been a driving force for Jeanne’s focus on families and people with disabilities. Jeanne especially loves spending time with her two young granddaughters who live in Erie.

Zach Hicks

Zach Hicks

Dauphin

Zach Hicks became a member of The Arc of PA Board of Directors in March 2019. He is a self-advocate from the Harrisburg Area who enjoys telling his story so that he can help others in the disability community. He works part-time at Hershey’s Chocolate World and has been seeking additional employment through the disability system.

Zach has been active in Special Olympics for many years and has been trained to be a Global Messenger or spokesperson for Special Olympics. He has also been trained to be an Athlete Representative and currently is the Athlete Representative for our local Area M program which services over 2000 athletes.

In January 2019 Zach was appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Employment 1st for people with disabilities.

Gary Horner

Gary Horner

Allegheny

Gary K. Horner is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the ACHIEVA family of organizations. He has 36 years of experience in government and the non-profit sector as an executive and manager. He has served on many non-profit boards and committees including The Arc of the United States and its Budget and Finance Committee and the National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE). He was named the Chief Financial Officer of the Year for Non-Profits for 2012 by The Pittsburgh Business Times. Gary has a B.S. in Administrative and Management Science and Social Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

Pat Leo

Pat Leo

Philadelphia

Throughout Pat’s 25+ year career in disability services, she has provided direct service, supervision, management, and leadership, delivering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the support and services required to realize their goal and right of self-determination.

Pat Leo joined The Arc Alliance in 2006 and since that time has performed a critical role as President of the Pennsylvania Conference of Executives. As Chief Operating Officer for The Arc Alliance, Pat is an integral executive, involved and providing oversight in management and service provision for The Arc Alliance. Pat demonstrates the utmost of integrity, exemplified by her simple yet profound question at every level, “What is the right thing to do?”. Pat has shown herself to be a tremendous advocate for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is not uncommon for her to be working weekends and after hours with individuals who receive guardianship services from The Arc Alliance. Pat Leo also serves as a board member for The Arc of Pennsylvania, the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance, and the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council, which is a citizen advisory board for The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Michael Owens

Michael Owens

Delaware

Mike Owens has supported and advocated for individuals with disabilities for the last 40 years across the state of Pennsylvania. His accomplishments include coordination and development of a prototype of what is now known as the IM4Q, facilitation of the first self-advocacy group in western PA, facilitation of 6 parent groups supporting school-age students with disabilities, and chair of the Montgomery County local “Right to Education” taskforce. In addition, he has been involved in individual and systemic advocacy with Achieva and The Arc Alliance over a 20 year period. He has given national presentations for TASH in areas of sexuality, self-advocacy, and outcome-based monitoring. His work experience includes direct service, a program manager in a variety of residential settings, support coordination, and an adult and education advocate with local Arc chapters.

Laura Princiotta

Laura Princiotta

Philadelphia

Laura Princiotta is the CEO of SpArc Philadelphia, a family of organizations including The Arc of Philadelphia, an advocacy organization, and SpArc Services, a day program service provider. The mission of the SpArc Philadelphia family of organizations is to ensure independence and inclusion for people with disabilities. The organization has a rich history of advocating for and supporting all people with disabilities and has been in existence for over 65 years.

Laura has worked at the SpArc Philadelphia family of organizations for over 25 years in a number of different positions, moving from a direct support role through to her current position. She created the highly-regarded Employment Partners Program that provides job training and employment search services for people who have barriers to employment.

Laura has worked as an Adjunct Professor at Rosemont College, teaching psychology and gender studies. She worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, providing counseling support to patients in the Department of Gynecologic-Oncology. And she was a small business owner, running a dance studio in Center City Philadelphia for which she received a citation from the mayor’s office for her on-going contribution to the Philadelphia arts community.

Laura is a past treasurer of the PA Conference of Executives and is a member of the Allegheny West Foundation board of directors. She is a Cum Laude graduate of The University of Hartford with a B.A. in Secondary Education and has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Rosemont College.

Linda Wise

Linda Wise

Montgomery

Linda is a retired special needs preschool program director, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Court Appointed Mediator who practices both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Linda specializes in family, child custody/divorce, domestic relations issues, and elder/ intergenerational mediation. She mediates both court-referred and private matters.
Linda has completed advanced mediation training, both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and currently practices mediation in both states.

Linda lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and is an active community volunteer who serves on several non-profit boards. She is a consonant professional and a staunch advocate for children.

Sara Wolff

Sara Wolff

Lackawanna

Ms. Wolff has been involved with The Arc since 2004. She is the coordinator of Self-Advocacy Services for The Arc of Northeastern PA. Ms. Wolff serves on the Board of Directors for the National Down Syndrome Society. She is Secretary for The Arc of Northeastern PA Board of Directors.

Ms. Wolff, as a self-Advocate, specializes in Public speaking. She has been a public speaker since high school. Ms. Wolff brings a strong passion to her public speaking engagements. Her passion was born of a strong family support system that made inclusion a priority from her birth, her pre-school experience, through high school and college.

Ken Oakes

Ken Oakes

Director-Board Member The Arc US - Philadelphia

Mr. Oakes has been involved in The Arc movement since he became a volunteer leader in The Youth Arc movement while in college. His career in special education spans 39 years and includes many different leadership roles in the disability and special education communities. He is past president of The Arc of Philadelphia.

Mr. Oakes is currently an Adjunct Faculty member in the Education Department, School of Graduate Studies at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He is also a Special Education Consultant for Foundations, Inc.. Before that, Mr. Oakes was a Special Education Director at the School District of Philadelphia, a Consultant with PaTTAN, and a special educator.

Karen Shoemaker

Karen Shoemaker

Director-Board Member The Arc US - Lehigh-Northampton

Karen Shoemaker has served as the Executive Director of The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties since 1999 and has over 34 years of experience in management positions of non-profit disability organizations, with expertise in the areas of Board relations, programs and services, personnel, development, finance, and administration.

Karen is currently the Chair of the National Conference of Executives of The Arc of the United States (NCE) and serves on The Arc of PA Board in this capacity. She is invested in the mission of advancing the independence of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and has a deep commitment to advocating for people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of their lives. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and a Master of General Administration in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland Graduate School in College Park, MD.

NEW Module Just Arrived - Trauma-Informed Care. Visit our E-Learning Module Series. This series provides information and strategies for teachers, families, and paras to support the education of all students.

The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Making Employment Work course is an ACRE Basic Certification Training. In order to receive certification, participants must attend a 3 day, in-person training and then complete a self-paced, online curriculum. Completing this certification course will qualify individuals to provide Supported Employment services with Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Developmental Programs. Our training combines lessons learned from traditional Supported Employment and Customized Employment techniques.

Arc Discovery Employment Transitions (ADEPT) is The Arc of Pennsylvania’s customized employment program. The Arc of Pennsylvania supports individuals with significant impact of disability to seek and maintain customized employment in their community. As a result, The Arc of Pennsylvania’s consultants are trained and nationally certified by Marc Gold & Associates, a national leader in customized employment, to provide Discovery, Customized Employment Job Development, and Systematic Instruction to individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania who are seeking employment. In addition to providing customized employment services, The Arc of Pennsylvania hosts several certification courses with Marc Gold & Associates for individuals and organizations interested in national certification in Discovery, Job Development, and Systematic Instruction.

Include Me is a new model for inclusive education and gaining meaningful employment for Pennsylvania’s students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Pennsylvania and Include Me believe all individuals with significant impact of developmental and intellectual disability deserve equal educational and competitive employment rights. Our mission, build and strengthen the inclusive education capacity for all public-school students, and discover meaningful employment opportunities meeting Pennsylvania employee and employer needs. Include Me strives to ensure all impacted students have equal access to all aspects of life and the community throughout their lifespan.

Include Me is an initiative that was part of the agreement on final terms between the plaintiffs and the Pennsylvania Department of Education in the Gaskin Settlement Agreement. We were initially assigned to districts with the lowest inclusion rates but after the initial success, we have grown in reputation among school districts. We now operate on a volunteer basis and serve districts that volunteer for our services. Include Me initially started as a School Age program but we have since expanded to include a PreSchool program and now we are excited to begin offering our transition-age services to help find a path to customized employment for students transitioning out of high school.

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