Chad W. Underwood serves as Chief Executive Officer for Access to Independence and is responsible for the overall leadership of the agency. Chad works in concert with the Board of Directors to implement strategic plans, policies and programming that are consistent with the agency’s mission, vision and values. Chad is responsible for the development, design, operation and improvement of the agency’s programs, finances and operating systems. Chad actively represents the agency at the local, state and national level on issues relating to education, employment, housing, transportation and the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.
Aaron T. Baier serves as Consumer & Systems Advocacy Coordinator for Access to Independence. Aaron coordinates the day-to-day operations of ATI’s youth transition, peer mentoring and work readiness programs. Aaron works with youth, adults and older individuals to help them to overcome barriers to independent living. Aaron also coordinates ATI’s Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN) and local systems advocacy initiatives, including those relating to transportation and housing.
Susan Lewis serves as Independent Living Coordinator for Access to Independence.Sue provides independent living skills training and peer counseling to consumers one-on-one and in class settings. Sue is a Certified Benefits Counselor and manages the agency’s work relating to nursing facility transitions and diversions. Sue also provides operations support for the management of consumer data.
Stacee Sholar serves as Public Relations & Fundraising Coordinator for Access to Independence. Stacee works with ATI's CEO and program staff to coordinate the Agency's publications and communications for internal and external audiences. Stacee also coordinates ATI's annual fundraising plan, including the coordination and facilitation of events and the execution of the Agency's annual Friends of the Center campaign.
Frances A. Pizzola serves as Community Education Coordinator for Access to Independence. Fran develops, coordinates and presents educational and outreach programs about disability issues to diverse audiences. Fran actively works to achieve systems change in the community that lead to improved access for people with disabilities. Fran served as ATI’s founding volunteer Director from 1998 – 2000, and as ATI’s Executive Director from 2001 – 2002.
Richard Couch serves as Architectural Barrier Programs Coordinator for Access to Independence. Rich provides primary program support in the implementation of architectural barrier removal services provided through the DHCR Access to Home program, the DDSO program, the TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waiver programs and a variety of other grant and fee-based programs. Rich is currently pursuing his Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification. He has a Master of Public Administration degree and more than 10 years experience with coordinating and managing programs and projects.
John M. Quinn serves as Architectural Barrier Specialist for Access to Independence. John completes architectural drawings and provides essential scope-of-work design and development in the implementation of architectural barrier removal services provided through the DHCR Access to Home program, the DDSO and a variety of other grant programs. John is currently pursuing his Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification. John has more than 20 years experience in the construction field.
Anne Marie Piche serves as Transition Specialist for Access to Independence. Anne works with service providers, as well as social workers in nursing homes, to coordinate the access and delivery of community-based supports and services to individuals interested in home and community-based sevices rather than institutional-based services. Anne identifies and helps to eradicate barriers to community integration. Anne also provides essential support to the Cortland County NY Connects initiative thanks to funding from a Balancing Incentive Program (BIP).
Emily Jensen serves as Transition Specialist for Access to Independence. Emily works with service providers, as well as social workers in nursing homes, to coordinate the access and delivery of community-based supports and services to individuals interested in home and community-based sevices rather than institutional-based services. Emily identifies and helps to eradicate barriers to community integration.Emily primarily serves individuals in Tomkins COunty
Jarett Withers serves as Clerical Assistant for Access to Independence. Jarett provides behind-the-scenes administrative and operations support for the Agency’s youth transition, work readiness and systems advocacy programs. Jarett is also instrumental in providing data management support.
Scott Roman serves as Bookkeeper for Access to Independence. Scott maintains the agency’s journals, ledgers and books of account, including accounts payable and accounts receivable. Scott also maintains organization of all financial records consistent with program and agency policies and procedures and serves as primary agency liaison during annual fiscal audit and any other periodic audit, as needed.