Meet Our Board of Directors

PAR is governed by a Board of Directors, which is made up of executives from 17 Provider Member organizations. PAR's Board of Directors and officers are elected each fall at the Annual Conference. Officers of the Board of Directors include Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Board Members are elected for staggered terms of three years each. A member may serve two consecutive three year terms. Each year, the Nominating Committee shall propose a slate of board members and officers after written solicitation for nominations from all general members.


Board Officers

   
Terrence McNelis has nearly forty years’ experience as a service delivery administrator, and is a 15-year member of the National Association for Persons with Dual Diagnosis Board of Directors. He is the Immediate Past President of the NADD board for 10 years and is a recipient of the Frank L. Menolascino Excellence Award. This is a National Award given to the finest leaders in the field of serving individuals with mental illness and an Intellectual Disability. Terry is a well-respected national and international speaker on issues surrounding the clinical treatment and national policy on issues surrounding IDD. He is often brought in as a consultant around difficult cases assisting in the support of people with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Illness. Terry is presently Senior Vice President for Supports and Services to Persons with Developmental Disabilities, for the Eastern of Merakey. Additionally, he is IDD Service Director for all of Merakey. Merakey serves people with IDD in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia Mr. McNelis and his staff support over 3,000 individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and their families.
   
Sister Maryalice Jacquinot, IHM, is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton PA. She received a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts from Marywood University as well as a Masters of Science from Neumann University, Aston, PA. In July 2010, Sister Maryalice was appointed to serve as the President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Center, Scranton PA. A ministry founded in 1888, Saint Joseph’s offers residential and community-based programs for children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities as well as maternity and family services. 

Previously, Sister Maryalice was the President and CEO of Friends of the Poor, an outreach ministry sponsored by the IHM Congregation. Friends of the Poor seeks to bring together those who have a desire to give with those in need of assistance. Sr. Maryalice also served in various roles at Marywood University, Marian Community Hospital and Maxis Health System in Carbondale, PA. 

As a community volunteer, Sr. Maryalice serves as a Board Member with The Wright Center, Graduate Medical Education Board. Previously, she served as a Board member and past President of the Board of Directors of EOTC (now Outreach), past president and Board member of American Cancer Society, past Board member of Marywood University Alumni Association.

   
Dean Stoesz began his post-academic career in service where he worked as a Pharmacy Manager at Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Dechapelles, Haiti for 2½ years through the Mennonite Central Committee. Upon his return to the US he worked in basic research positions as a research scientist. After several years in that field, he made the move to pharmaceutical development and manufacture in various roles of increasing responsibility for 18 years. Upon taking an early retirement from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson he began to look for a leadership role for an organization that was: not-for-profit, faith based and where he could have a positive impact. This led him to the social services field where he has been working for the past 9 years, most recently as CEO of Indian Creek Foundation in Souderton, PA. Dean has held his current role for the past 2½ years. Indian Creek is an organization that serves persons with Intellectual and Developmental needs in the areas of residential, community based and day services as well as behavioral health. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA and an MBA from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. Dean finds board involvement rewarding as well and currently serves as a director on 5 boards. Dean has been married to Marcia for 41 years and he has two grown daughters. They currently reside in Akron, PA.
   

As Senior Vice President of Mission and Business Services for Goodwill, Sue has overall responsibility for the organization’s services that fulfill its mission “to support people with disabilities and other barriers to independence to reach their fullest potential as workers and members of the broader community”. These services span all divisions and provide services to both employees and clients across 22 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania. Sue has worked for Goodwill for over 30 years, serving in a variety of roles. 

Sue has always taken great pride in her ability to help others grow to their highest potential- whether it was her clients in her earliest role in the organization, direct care staff as she moved into supervisory positions or, now, both staff and leaders in her division and across the organization. Because of her passion for Leadership Development, after Sue’s completion of her Executive Development Program through Goodwill Industries International in 2013, she returned to her local Goodwill and developed a Manager in Training Program that trained current and future leaders across all divisions.

In addition to her work, Sue has served on a number of Boards, both at a local and state level- these have been in the service sector, professional organizations and church related organizations. Sue earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Messiah College and her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University.

   

Kathy McHale has an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a BA in Psychology from Temple University. With over forty years of experience in the field of Intellectual, Developmental and Autism disabilities, Kathy began her career as a Direct Support Professional in 1972 while in college and has dedicated her career since 1978 to the management and leadership of community-based human service organizations. Since 1983, Kathy has worked for SPIN a nonprofit organization that is nationally and regionally recognized as a premier provider of human services and a top workplace. In January of 2012, Kathy was selected as SPIN's President. Kathy developed the SPIN brand with the tagline of a life of possibilities through commitment to SPIN’s Pillars of People First, Professionalism, Performance Excellence and Productivity.

Kathy served as the Chair of The Philadelphia Alliance’s Intellectual Disabilities Domain for seven years and the Vice President of its Executive Board. In November 2010, Kathy was elected to the Board of PAR, the statewide association that represents 80% of Pennsylvania’s providers who serve people with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. Kathy serves on the Board of William Penn Human Services whose mission is to transform the current service system by creating an innovative, person-centered human services system in Pennsylvania. Kathy is a married mother of three and grandmother of five. She is devoted to family and loves nurturing and supporting all of them to live their best life of possibilities.

 


Board Members

John Barber

John Barber serves as the President of the Barber National Institute, a diverse non-profit organization, headquartered in Erie, Pa, that provides supports and services to more than 4200 children, adults and their families who have intellectual disability and autism, or mental health concerns.

John has a unique educational and professional background, including earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University Law School. He is a member of the Erie County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and has served as Erie County Public Defender, and Chief of the Children and Youth Division. He has been admitted to practice law before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Federal District Court of Western Pennsylvania. In addition to his legal credentials, he serves as a member of the Erie County MH/MR Agency Directors Committee and lectures on various topics related to the legal rights of persons with mental retardation and their families. His community activities are as varied as his professional endeavors, including service as a former member of the Erie Historical Museum Board, Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Review Board, and Officer of Kingtown Action Team Effort (K.A.T.E.), a neighborhood revitalization group. John was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

   

Alan Benson currently serves as President & Chief Executive Officer at Lakeshore Community Services, Inc. in Erie, PA. Alan brings thirty-eight years of experience in the field of Intellectual Disabilities. Alan began his career as a substitute DSP at the Dr. Gertrude Barber Center, progressing to a live-in house manager. Alan then moved to Corry Counselling where he served as a Program Specialist. It was here, while developing services for consumers in the “Ruth L” program that he met Richard Ruedy and was hired to supervise Lakeshore’s “Ruth L” and Specialized Programs. Alan supervised Lakeshore’s expansion into Cameron, Elk & McKean, Clearfield & Jefferson and Warren counties more than doubling the agency in size. Alan then supervised Lakeshore’s expansion in to the Mental Health Services field through the “Erie Warren Project” where consumers were returned to their home communities with enhanced supports from Warren State Hospital. This resulted in additional Mental Health services programs for Lakeshore. Subsequently, Alan was then promoted to C.O.O. until he was selected to succeed C.E.O. Richard Ruedy in January of 2016. Additionally, Alan serves on the Board of Directors for Bethesda Lutheran Services Foundation, and Keystone Rural Health Consortia. Alan also served sixteen years in the United States Army Reserves in both enlisted and commissioned positions. In his free time Alan enjoys traveling, (trips with his Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Baxter) hunting, fishing, woodworking and photography.  

   
Steve Bruce Steve Bruce is the Vice President of Operations of Adult Services for Devereux. He has close to 30 years’ experience in non-profit leadership with the depth of his experience in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, and intellectual and developmental disabilities with services spanning across pediatrics through the adult life span. Before joining Devereux in May 2015, Steve was President and CEO of Midland, a provider of educational, residential and day services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey. Prior to that role, Steve was a team member at Bancroft for a significant part of his career - ranging from Area Supervisor early in his career to his most recent roles which included Vice President of Planning/Marketing/Admissions, Vice President of Clinical Operations, and Vice President of Strategic Planning. In addition, Steve is a board-certified behavior analyst and has served as an adjunct professor at Temple University, where he taught courses in applied behavior analysis. He holds a Master’s Degree from Temple University in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has also completed doctoral courses at Temple University in Educational Psychology.
   

Rita M. Gardner is the President and CEO of Melmark, and leads operations and management of Melmark service divisions in New England, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. Prior to her appointment as President and CEO in 2015, Ms. Gardner served as Executive Director of Melmark New England, based in Andover, Massachusetts, which she co-founded in 1998. Ms. Gardner and Melmark New England were honored to be named on The Commonwealth Institute’s (TCI’s) list of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts from 2018 to 2020.

She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) and has devoted over 35 years of her professional career to the field of community-based services for children and adults with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), acquired brain injuries, neurological disorders and severe challenging behaviors. 

Prior to her work at Boston Children’s Hospital, Ms. Gardner directed the service center of Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services for The May Institute in Massachusetts.

Ms. Gardner earned her Master of Public Health degree from Boston University’s School of Public Health in the School of Medicine, majoring in Behavioral Sciences and Health Services Administration.

   
Mr. Hooker is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Keystone Human Services. Mr. Hooker ensures that the operations and services of the organizations are compatible with and in support of the Board approved Vision, Mission, strategic initiatives and policies. His other responsibilities include strategic planning, supervisor of corporations and agencies, formation and oversight of management boards, fund raising, legislative relations, relations with funding sources and training.
   

G. N. Janes has been the Executive Director of Valley Community Services since 2015. Prior to his current posting, he held various positions as a Regional Operations Director, Compliance Officer and Direct Support Professional.   

Starting at American University in Washington DC, G. N. earned his bachelor’s degree from Regent’s College while on active duty in the United States Navy; graduating cum laude from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California from the Farsi program.   

Since taking his position, G. N. has focused on technology, innovation and employee outreach; expanding the agency footprint by 20 percent, digitizing large swaths of the program and retaining over 90 percent of the agency’s front-line supervisors. He also serves on the American Network of Community Options and Resources’ (ANCOR) International Council. 

In his spare time, G. N. enjoys the company of his two daughters; Sadie, a law student at American University and Mia, a high school freshman.

   

Jeanne Meikrantz has been serving as the Executive Director for The Arc of Chester County for the last six years. In her role of Executive Director she is responsible for overall management and operations of the organization that serves individuals with disabilities from birth through the lifespan. The Arc of Chester County provides services and supports to over 3,000 people a year and has an annual budget of over thirteen million dollars.

A graduate of Kutztown University Jeanne has nearly four decades of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families and those who love and care for them. Her passion for social justice and equal rights began during her time volunteering at Pennhurst in 1978. After graduation Jeanne began working as a direct support professional, at Ken Crest Services in 1982. Since that time Jeanne has committed her life to serving others in whatever capacity she has been needed by working in multiple services settings and in various positions such as advocacy, management, administration, policy and operations in both the non-profit sector and in government. Jeanne has served on a number of boards, committee’s and councils including the MAX Association Board, The Pennsylvania Conference of Executives for The Arc of Pennsylvania Board, The Chester County Self Determination Committee, Church Council and most recently the Chair of PAR’s Simplify the Systems Committee just to name a few.

   

Margaret "Maggie" Rothenberger joined Partners For Quality in October 2019, bringing with her more than 20 years of human services industry experience. Throughout her career, Maggie has developed and implemented innovative programs that became statewide models for home-based, supported living, and lifesharing residential services. She is a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware and was awarded the Montgomery County Office of Developmental Disabilities Management Staff Award. She has chaired two statewide lifesharing conferences, served as the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR) Liaison for Lifesharing to the PA Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), completed training for ODP licensers, and served on several panels for PAR conferences.  Maggie participates on the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) Residential Steering Committee and various PAR committees. Maggie holds a BS in Administration of Justice from Penn State.

   
 

Tim Sohosky is the Chief Operating Officer for The ReDCo Group, Inc. and Raystown Developmental Services, Inc. In this position, Tim is responsible for administrative oversight and support for all adult service lines. He is responsible for implementing and monitoring the budgets, quality of care, and ensuring maximum consumer and employee satisfaction. Tim has over fifteen years of experience in the human service field.

Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Penn State University.

   

Robert Stack has been a national leader in the continuing struggle to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One of the first in the nation to implement a national nonprofit implementing an alternative to the warehousing of the disabled in large institutions.

Stack was one of the first to pioneer the concept of community-based housing programs and work force training and development.  He actively challenged public policy and antiquated clinical practices that inhibited opportunities for self-efficacy and individual growth.

As a young civil servant in 1980 at the then entitled New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, he opened the first two state-operated group homes on the grounds of Long Island's Suffolk Developmental Center.  As Deputy Director at the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities in 1988, he led the efforts to migrate individuals out of high-density institutions.

His vision realized changes years before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a decade before the Olmstead decision by the Supreme Court directed states toward this policy change. Stack’s dedication toward the disabled community led to the first closure of a large developmental institution in New Jersey.

Following a decade of efforts to make a change as an insider within the human services divisions in two different states, Stack realized that there needed to be a more proactive approach outside of government to effect a reform.  In 1989, he founded Community Options, a non-profit organization built on the belief that all people with disabilities deserve to live a life of dignity and realize all opportunities available according to the abilities of each individual. This includes the realization of employment opportunities, which play a critical role in self-efficacy, personal growth and quality of life.

   
  The Woods National Research and Evaluation Center, led by Dr. Scott Spreat, has been developed to promote and conduct policy related research.  Work is done both independently and collaboratively with other research organizations. In addition to conducting research, the mission of the Center is to help inform decision-makers who have an impact on policy and legislation that affect the people served by Woods.  He has been a valued member of our Woods team since joining us in 1992 as the Administrator of Clinical Services. He was responsible for designing, opening and running our Woodlands program and served as its Executive Director before being promoted to Vice President for Behavioral Health in 2005.

In recent years, Dr. Spreat has been our key liaison with Harrisburg legislators and lobbyists and serves on the board of PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability). He was a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability’s Terminology and Classification Task Force and served in the work group that developed the definition of Intellectual Disability. 

Dr. Spreat received his doctorate in Educational Psychology and is a licensed psychologist who worked for Temple University’s Woodhaven Center, conducting research, directing the clinical services department, and serving as the Executive Director of the 284-bed program before coming to Woods.