The board of directors of Suburban Adult Services (SASi), and Claddagh Commission, Inc., two private non-profit organizations, have announced their intention to complete a formal merger between the organizations. Both agencies provide services and supports to people with developmental disabilities, and families in the Western New York region. Claddagh is located primarily in the towns of Evans and Brant, while SASi reaches people in Erie, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties.
“This is a merger of two strong organizations that could only strengthen our position in a changing service environment as we prepare for the future, states SASi Executive Director, Anthony Annunziato. “We are faced with ongoing budget and regulatory challenges; as well as trying to predict the impact of managed care which is on our horizon. “We see this merger as a way to gain some efficiency, while maintaining our commitment to program excellence and to our staff”.
The agencies started collaborating about two years ago and soon recognized the similarities in their missions, history and philosophy. At the same time, they complement one another by offering services unique to each organization. SASi and Claddagh are both members of OPWDD’s (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities) Compass initiative which identifies organizations for high quality, person-driven services. Claddagh was awarded full Compass status in 2002, a designation earned by less than 1% of agencies in New York State. “We are energized by knowing that we will be reaching out to more people, notes Claddagh’s current Executive Director, Barbara Lamoreaux. “I envision endless opportunities for the people we serve in recreation, employment, housing and relationships within their communities”.
Although still in the legal process, the merger could take place as early as January 2016. At the time the merger becomes final, SASi will remain as the corporate entity. The Claddagh Commission name, logo, history and uniqueness will remain unchanged as a division of SASi. Some members on the Claddagh board will be joining the SASi Board of Directors and the Claddagh administration and management will be integrated into one administration. Barbara Lamoreaux, Executive Director at Claddagh will continue as an executive administrator in the merged organization, including involvement and oversight of Claddagh. “Our boards should be commended for their vision, and progressive decision-making that we believe will insure our ability to provide quality services and staffing for years to come”, comments Mr. Annunziato.