The Boards of Directors of Suburban Adult Services, Inc. and Claddagh Commission Inc. are pleased to announce the successful completion of their merger. The two organizations, who serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, began their collaboration in late 2014. Under the corporate realignment, which became effective January 1, 2016, Suburban Adult Services (SASi) is the surviving entity, with Claddagh Commission as a division. The newly formed governing board of SASi includes four previous members from the Claddagh board. “We thought that it was important to add the Claddagh directors to maintain continuity for their programs and to support and strengthen our existing SASi board, comments Mark Balus, SASi Board Chairperson. A special transition committee was established in the spring of 2015 made up of board representatives and executive staff from both agencies. The transition team soon recognized their similar missions, and the compassion that they shared for the people served. SASi and Claddagh had a long history of collaboration, including sharing services, personnel and facilities. “It was a cohesive group from the very beginning”, commented Anthony Annunziato, SASi CEO. The decision to complete a full merger was made after careful and deliberate consideration by both boards. In light of the fiscal and regulatory environment, the boards believed it was important to act expeditiously in order to begin capitalizing on the opportunities expected from the merger.
In the fall of 2015, the organizations released a joint statement on their intention to complete the merger by January 1. Although most considered the time line to be aggressive, it was made possible in part by the support of the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. “OPWDD Director, Kirk Maurer and his staff; and Colleen Delaney and her colleagues were tremendous, adds Annunziato, “we could not have made this happen without their guidance and expertise”.
The combined SASi agency will operate on $46.5 million annual budget, and offer employment opportunities to more than 1,100 people in the local communities. Most importantly, they will provide supports and services to more than 3,000 people in the Western New York and Finger Lakes region. The board believes that it has positioned SASi in a manner that will allow it to meet the demand for the vital services that it provides in our communities.
The executive leadership team at SASi will be led by Anthony Annunziato, President and CEO who has 37 years with the agency. The Executive Vice-President of Operations and Day Services, Karen Gustina has 14 years with SASi and extensive experience in the field of DD. Former Claddagh CEO, Barbara Lamoreaux, with a 33 year history at Claddagh, accepted the position of Executive Vice-President of Quality and Community Services in the newly merged organization which includes her continued oversight of the Claddagh division. For decades the quality of the Claddagh programs has been recognized across NY State. “It is important to SASi that the Claddagh name, logo and unique characteristics be maintained, states Mr. Annunziato. The Claddagh programs have built a culture that encourages innovation, person-centered and quality approaches to services. “We have found a partner in SASi who embraces this philosophy, comments Ms. Lamoreaux. “We look forward to finding the best that both organizations have to offer as we reach more and more individuals and their families”.