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Staff & Board of Directors

STRIDE employs 4 full-time staff members: Executive Director, Operating Officer, Development Director, and Program Director. During this period of leadership transition, Whitney will stay on as a consultant executive.  STRIDE also employs seasonal program directors for camping and swimming programs, fitness coaches for the SHARE  Center and various unpaid interns from local colleges during the year.

STRIDE operates with an thirteen-person Executive Board. Each individual brings their own strengths and attributes to the organization either in the form of skill-set,  financial contributions, service within their particular field of expertise or assistance with our various fundraisers, events and programs. The Executive Board meets ten times per year to delegate direction on items and topics relevant to sustaining the organization, including formulating and continually updating the Strategic Plan for continued growth.

STRIDE Administrative Staff

  • Mary Ellen Whitney

    Mary Ellen Whitney

    Founder / Outgoing CEO

    STRIDE’s management team has been led by Whitney, who took a full-time leadership role in 2006 after running the organization for over 20 years as a volunteer while teaching in public school system. Whitney holds a M.Ed from Lehigh University in Special Education and a BS in Health and Physical Education / Adaptive Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University. She is accredited or certified through numerous national organizations including Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), American Association of Snowboard Instructors, Move United, United States Paralympics, Red Cross,  Special Olympics, American Heart Association, and the National Association of Underwater Instructors and is on the steering committee and board of educational staff  @ PSIA/AASI Eastern division.  She has been recognized for her leadership skills statewide and nationally including such honors as  Named in Time Magazine for Wounded Warrior programs; National Community Leadership Award from President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition;  Beacon Leadership Award  by Independent Living Center of Hudson Valley,  Excellence in Business Award, Jefferson Award for American Institute of Public Service,   Woman’s Day magazine “Woman of the Year” award, NYS Senate “Woman of Distinction” Award; Rensselaer County Good Scout Award; and was inducted into both Muhlenberg High School and East Stroudsburg University Halls of Fame.

    Whitney resides in North Greenbush, NY with her husband Jonathan (LJ) and two American Eskimo dogs. She plans to be fully retired by 2025 and continue as a consultant/ board member, and volunteer in skiing and other programs. Besides the obvious love of skiing/snowboarding, she enjoys fitness and yoga classes, biking, sailing, water sports and adventure world travel.

  • Alex Brame

    Executive Director

    Executive Director

    Brame joined the STRIDE team  in March 2024, with 20 years of experience growing and scaling businesses.  Brame has transformed struggling start-ups to nationally recognized successes and was recognized in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Shifting his focus and passion for driving organizational success within the nonprofit sector, Alex expanded the reach of the Global Premier Soccer Foundation to include special needs groups and to advocate and fundraise for new programs to fill gaps for young athletes in New England.  For the last 7 years, he was the Executive Director of the New York State West Youth Soccer Association, engaging with and advocating for all players, parents, officials and partners with active representation at regional and national level youth soccer.  Brame served as the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional Committee member for the National Championship Series and the US Youth Soccer Regional Olympic Development Program Tournament Facilitator. He currently lives in Rochester, New York with his wife and two children, taking residence here soon.


  • Joe Russo

    Joe Russo


    Joe Russo came to us from Rye NY, purchasing a new home in Averill Park with his wife Ann and rescue dog, Cassie. His resume is extensive in the areas of operations in corporate and real estate management, directing extensive capital projects and overseeing risk management for an internationally known media company in NYC.  As Chief Operating Officer, Joe handles the finances, manages our property assets, works with development, and assists the Executive Director with management tasks. Joe’s diverse skills and talents are offset by his engineering skills to work at our facilities . Joe enjoys hiking with his dog, swimming in Lake George and spending time in nature.

  • Christine Golden

    Christine Golden

    Development Director

    Chris is proud to be a member of the STRIDE team in the role of Development Director. Previously, Chris worked for Rensselaer County, initially as Project Director for Tourism and the County’s Film Commissioner. Most recently she was with the Rensselaer County Civil Commission. Prior to Rensselaer County, Chris was the Vice President for Programs for the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Public Information Officer for the New York State Tax Department and as a consultant for her own company providing event planning and communications services to a variety of organizations in Rensselaer County. Chris is a graduate of Taylor University with a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing.

    Chris lives in North Greenbush with her husband Steve and their puppy, Jasper. Chris’ son recently relocated to Tennessee and her daughter is a student at UConn.

  • Allison Ryan

    Program Director

    Program Director

    Alli is the youngest member of the STRIDE team as the Program Director. She has 5+ years experience working with individuals with disabilities, and is ecstatic to take on a position where her passion for helping others, and love for sports, can come together. Alli graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communications. She also holds an Associate’s degree from Columbia-Greene Community College, where she focused on Psychology and Communications courses. Prior to working at STRIDE, Alli has worked as a Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional at Living Resourses, a Direct Support Professional at COARC, and has held administrative and clerical positions as well. She is dedicated, hard working, and is always up for a challenge.  In June of 2022, Alli had the honor of helping her friend who has Cerebral Palsy and is legally blind, complete his first Spartan Race (5k with 20 obstacles).

    Alli is a Columbia County native, and currently resides in Valatie. She loves snowboarding, biking, bowling, kayaking, and grew up playing many sports as a child. She also enjoys singing, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit her in the office, ask her how fast she can solve a Rubik’s Cube. 


Executive Board

  • Daniel Bopp

    Board Member / Owner Avres Services, Inc.

    Dan Bopp is pleased to join the Board in 2023. Bopp has a career in sales with his own company as a certified HUD Inspector, but his true passion is carpentry. His company provides Property Management for residential properties as well as remodeling and repairs. In addition to his work activities,he and his wife Wendy have devoted much of their lives to volunteering,  active in their church,  a Volunteer Fireman for 37 years and a Volunteer Ski Patrol at Jiminy Peak for 10 years.

    Bopp served as a Board Member for the Albany Area Builders Association and Adirondack Builders Association. He is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Columbia County  and  Stuyvesant Falls Fire Company and currently a Commissioner for the Stuyvesant Falls Fire District. 

    Bopp is looking forward to working with STRIDE Adaptive Sports while continuing to support worthy programs.

  • Curtis Butler

    Curtis Butler

    Board Member, Financial Advisor, Darien, CT
    Curtis joined STRIDE in 2019 as a veteran investment professional and the father of a child with multiple physical challenges, who has been a frequent participant in the organization’s adaptive ski program. He has worked since the early nineties for such institutions as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Lazard Frères, and J.P. Morgan. Curtis is a graduate of nearby Union College and has a masters degree in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University. Curtis brings a wealth of financial and global experience and serves on the Board’s Finance committee. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Darien, CT. In his free time, Curtis serves on his town’s legislature, provides mentoring to college students and young professionals, and spends as much time with his family as he can.
  • Amy Earing

    Amy Earing

    Board Member   Lavelle & Finn LLP – Partner

    Earing started her career at Lavelle & Finn as a law clerk while attending law school and worked her way up to being a partner. In a professional sense, this is where she grew up. She assists clients at various stages in their lives as well as multiple generations. Amy is a very compassionate person, which comes in handy when assisting clients address tough topics, such as planning for incapacity or death, the death of a loved one, Medicaid planning  or the sale of a business.   She has been successful in bypassing the probate process, when particular circumstances would render the process cumbersome and costly, by carefully navigating the New York statutes and working closely with the financial institutions.

    Earing grew up in the close-knit community of Castleton, New York, where she returned with her husband and son Carson. She has worked on the board for STRIDE for 12 years as Treasurer, and now as a member at-large.

  • Steve Ferro

    Dr. Steven Ferro

    Medical Advisor/ Physician in residency, South County Hospital, Westerly, RI
    Welcome to newest, youngest Board Member, and Medical Advisor Steve Ferro.Steve grew up in Cheshire, MA as a typical active kid of the 90’s, He enjoyed riding mountain bikes, swimming and basketball. In 2012 he suffered a T-4 spinal cord injury from a motorcycle accident leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. Since then he has chosen a daily path of continual growth. One of his early supporters was STRIDE. Through skiing, sled hockey and hand-cycling, Steve was involved in activities that provided reintegration to sport. In 2017 he started medical school at University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine pursuing his desire to fight disease and improve the health of others. Now a graduate, he resides in Westerly, RI with his fiance Kelsey. He accepted a residency at South County Hospital.
  • Patrick Fitzgerald

    Patrick Fitzgerald, III

    Counsel / Partner, Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., Loudonville, NY
    Fitzgerald joined STRIDE in 2004. As a partner with the law firm of Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C. in Albany, he focuses his practice in the area of construction litigation, commercial and business litigation, personal injury litigation, and labor and employment law. Before returning to the Capital District in 2001, Fitzgerald was a partner in a prominent law firm in Connecticut and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. While in Connecticut, he was involved in many community activities and was a founder of the Bridgeport Youth Leadership Academy. In addition to his service on the board of STRIDE, he is the President of the St. Pius X School Board, and is actively involved in a leadership position in many endeavors at the school and at St. Pius X Parish in Loudonville, NY. Fitzgerald received his Undergraduate Degree from Fairfield University (Magna Cum Laude) in 1987 and his JD from The University of Connecticut School of Law (Magna Cum Laude) in 1992. He also attended Medical School at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He and his wife, Sheila, have three children and reside Loudonville, NY.
  • Tom Gilbert

    Tom Gilbert

    Board Member / Catamount Ski Area (retired), Lenox, MA
    Tom has spent his entire life in the ski industry, at least part time, starting with selling hot chocolate at a ski-in ski-out coffee shack before learning to make snow at age 6 with the first SMI prototype snow gun, and then learning to drive a Snow Cat at age 9! Over the years he has performed many functions at ski areas. Tom graduated with a BS degree in Business Management from Alfred University in 1981 with a minor in Accounting and Computer Science. After graduating, he moved from CT to begin his career implementing Accounting and Budgeting systems while keeping active involvement in the ski industry. He has completed implementations for more than 250 companies as staff, consultant, and eventually as a business owner. Tom is also involved in other ski industry activities and an active participant with the New York Passenger Tramway Advisory Council, a division of the Department of Labor. Tom resided in Lenox, MA with his wife Beverly and their son Matt, a former STRIDE athlete who is now in college.
  • Dick Miller

    Dick Miller

    Vice President /American National Insurance (retired), Loudonville, NY

    Miller was Senior Agent at American National Insurance (formerly Farm Family), helping business owners and families protect their assets since 1984. He specialized in agribusiness protection and was inducted into the Farm Family Hall of fame in 2010. A dedicated skier for nearly forty years, Dick has served as a ski instructor with STRIDE since 2000. Beginning in 2002, he also participated annually as a ski instructor for the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans, young and old, ski again, held in Aspen, Colorado. He plays soccer year round and enjoys cycling when lack of snow prevents skiing. Dick lives in Loudonville, NY. He has three daughters who are also great skiers: Roxanne, Libby, and Sammi, all college graduates.

  • Richard Peters

    Board Member, SABIC Chief Scientist (retired)  Hinsdale, MA

    Peters is a retired Chief Scientist at SABIC, where he worked in Research &Development for  15 years of his 30 year career in the plastics industry, a career which brought him around the world developing applications in many industries, for many companies, and granted patents for the work.  He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from RPI as a non-traditional student.  Prior to going to college, he was a long haul owner/operator truck driver for 4 ½ years, traveling to all lower 48 states and all  Canadian provinces. 

    Peters has been involved with STRIDE since its inception, first with skiing at Ichabod Crane School and also on the inaugural camping trips in the early 80’s. He is a supervisor to the Snowsports programs at Jiminy Peak.  Additionally, he is involved in many community activities and currently Chairs the Central Berkshire Regional School District school committee.  He is also an instructor at the Berkshire Advanced Manufacturing Academy. 

    He lives in Hinsdale, MA with his wife Alison and has a daughter and a son, both of whom volunteered for STRIDE in camping and skiing prior to college, and both now live and work in the Boston area.

  • Daniel Rhatigan

    Daniel Rhatigan

    Executive Director, EHS and Security Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wynantskill, New York

    Dan is an EHS and Security professional with over 25 years helping protect and serve others. He is a US Marine veteran and served 17 years in the fire service serving all ranks up to 1st Assistant Chief and Commissioner with the Delmar Fire Department. Dan has also previously served on the Local Emergency Planning Committee’s for both Rensselaer and Albany Counties where he served as Chairperson. He started working with STRIDE as a 100k Vertical Challenge team captain for Delmar Fire Department and has continued to get more involved ever since. A resident of Wynantskill, NY with his wife, kids and 2 dogs he is an avid skier, hiker and loves to fish with his son Aidan who has also volunteered as a ski instructor with STRIDE. Dan holds a master’s degree from Georgia Tech and is completing his doctorate in Criminal Justice/Homeland security.

  • Amy Earing

    Linda Wager

    Treasurer /Retired, East Greenbush School District

    Linda Wager was formerly the Director of Business and Finance, as well as previous Treasurer, for the East Greenbush Central School District.  As a recent retiree, Wager now has an opportunity to give back with her commitment of time, energy and talent.  Wager has lived in the Sand Lake community for over 40 years, and has two adult children, Michael and Lauren, and two grandchildren, Leah and Thomas. Wager is a graduate of Siena College with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree.

    Wager looks forward to the opportunity to participate on the STRIDE Board and be of service to the staff, athletes and families in continuing the empowerment of individuals through a healthy and active lifestyle.

  • Linda Reiss

    Kerrie Williams

    Secretary / Pediatric OT and Assistant Director of Special Education, Unity House in Troy

    Kerrie Williams is a pediatric occupational therapist and the Assistant Director of Special Education at A Child’s Place @ Unity House in Troy.   A Child’s Place provides special education and therapy services to children with special needs from birth to 5 years old in center based programs and in the community.   The program serves nearly 1000 children with special needs each year.  

    Williams holds a Master’s degree in occupational therapy and was a graduate of Russell Sage College/Sage Graduate School in Troy, NY.   She has worked at A Child’s Place for nearly 25 years as a clinician and administrator.    She lives in Rensselaer with her husband and has three sons.   She has been a volunteer adaptive ski instructor with STRIDE for the past 5 years and enjoys skiing and snowboarding with her family each winter.    She also enjoys hiking, camping and water sports.  

  • Mary Ellen Whitney

    Mary Ellen Whitney

    Board Member Ex-officio / Founder, STRIDE Adaptive Sports Wynantskill, NY
    (See Bio above)

Honorary Board

  • Greg A. Adams

    Greg A. Adams

    Vice President, Americas, SABIC (retired 2022), Lenox, MA

    Adams served as vice president of the Americas region. In this role for SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, he supported the company’s growth agenda throughout North and South America.

    Adams has over 25 years of global experience in roles leading business units, as well as marketing and growth operations. Prior to his current position, he served as vice president of global industry marketing & strategy for SABIC’s former Innovative Plastics business. From 2005-2013, he was the vice president of the company’s global automotive business.

    Adams currently serves on the board of the engineering advisory board at his alma mater, the State University of New York at Oswego; and was on the Supervisory Board of Inpro, a joint venture dedicated to collaborative innovation in automotive production in Berlin.  He has recently returned back to his home in Lenox,MA

  • Phil Bayly

    Phil Bayly

    Anchor (retired), WNYT NewsChannel 13, NBC Affiliate, Clifton Park, NY

    Bayly has been reporting for television and radio since 1975. He was a member of the news staff at WNYT since June 1986, and recently retired as the morning news anchor. He grew up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. When he graduated from Colorado State University, Bayly was already a reporter for KHOW Radio in Denver. He also worked as a reporter for KLOV Radio and KRNK/NBC All News Radio before he moved to television. At KJCT-TV in Grand Junction, Colorado, Bayly won numerous Associated Press awards for his reporting and rose to News Director. Metroland named him ‘Best Television Reporter.’ For many years, Bayly served as WNYT’s political reporter as well as a general assignment reporter. Bayly raced on the ski team at Colorado State University and continues to race on the masters level. He serves in various capacities for the STRIDE organization, including the Master of Ceremonies for such fundraising events as the annual Gala and Silent Auction and Wounded Warrior Snowsports Event. Bayly is married to wife Carolyn, and is an avid skier.

  • Rob Braverman

    Robert Braverman

    Principal & Managing Partner, Braverman / Greenspun, New York, NY

    Braverman is an attorney who is well-versed in the myriad legal issues faced by boards and founded what is now Braverman Greenspun. He has continued to further build upon his father’s 50 year legacy. Since joining the firm in 1993 and overseeing its exponential growth with partner Scott Greenspun, they have maintained the basic principles on which the firm was founded—hardworking, innovative and compassionate counsel who provide the firm’s clients with an unparalleled level of service and commitment.

    Having provided legal counsel to boards for over a quarter of a century, there is unlikely to be an issue that Braverman has not encountered. His in-depth knowledge of co-op and condominium law is just one area. Equally important, is understanding of how best to practically approach the legal issues faced by co-ops and condominiums. Braverman joined STRIDE as an adaptive ski instructor and sat on the Executive Board for many years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Jane and dogs, he also enjoys visiting his twin sons in college. Hi is an avid skier and sailor in his free time.

  • Tyler Fairbank

    Tyler Fairbank

    CEO, The Fairbank Group, Jiminy Peak, Hancock, MA

    With an MBA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Tyler Fairbank manages and oversees the group of businesses, the Fairbank Group that includes the ski resorts Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Bromley Mountain as well as EOS Ventures, Bullwheel Productions and other endeavors. Collectively, the three resorts welcome over a half a million skiers each year. With 20 years of business experience, Tyler partners with his Dad, Brian. The duo is dedicated to providing fun skiing experiences for families, teaching kids self-confidence through winter sports, and giving back to their community and the environment. EOS is a leader in renewable energy in the Northeast region. As well as overseeing the business side to Jiminy Peak, Fairbank also serves as President and oversees day to day operations. Jiminy Peak has graciously held numerous STRIDE events and races. Fairbank’s assistance throughout the years has helped STRIDE propel to where it is today.

  • Pat Flaherty

    Pat Flaherty

    Former NFL Offensive Line Coach NY Giants; Jacksonville Jaguars; Miami Dolphins
    Pat Flaherty has more than 38 years coaching experience and finished his 19th season as an NFL coach. Flaherty had recently joined the Miami Dolphins after 2 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars after spending a year as the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive line coach. Prior to the 49er’s, Flaherty spent 12 years with the New York Giants and helped win Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. Prior to joining the Giants, Flaherty coached for the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins. He began his coaching career at his Alma Mater, DeLone Catholic High School in PA, from 1978-80. Flaherty was an All-American center at East Stroudsburgh University (where he was friends with Mary Ellen Whitney) and coached in the collegiate ranks from 1980-99. Flaherty joined the staff at Penn State in 1982, a season in which their Nittany Lions won the national championship. After two seasons at Penn State, Flaherty moved to Rutgers where he coached the offensive line for eight years. He and his wife Lynne have two children, Shawn and Colleen.
  • Chris Gibson

    Chris Gibson

    President of Siena College, Kinderhook, NY

    Chris Gibson grew up in Columbia County, in the town of Kinderhook, and attended Ichabod Crane public schools. At 17, he enlisted in the New York National Guard and later earned an ROTC Commission at nearby Siena College.  The first in his family to go to college, Chris graduated magna cum laude with a BA in history, and later earned an MPA and PhD in government from Cornell University and is the author of Securing the State, a book on national security decision-making published in 2008.

    Over the course of his 24 year Army career, Chris rose to the rank of Colonel and deployed seven times.  This included four combat tours to Iraq, and separate deployments to Kosovo, the Southwestern US for a counter-drug operation, and most recently – just prior to his retirement – Haiti where he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) during the opening month of that humanitarian relief operation. 

    Chris earned two Legions of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. Other key assignments included tours teaching American Politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, serving as a Congressional Fellow with US Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and completing a Hoover National Security Affairs Fellowship at Stanford University.  Chris was also the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.

    After retiring , Chris and his family returned home to Kinderhook. He was elected to represent the 20th Congressional District in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2014 to represent the 19th Congressional District. In Congress, Chris served on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Small Business Committees. After his term in Confgress he tok a professorial position at Williams College, MA. In 2020 he was hired as president of Siena College in Latham NY.

    Chris has been married to Mary Jo, a NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, for 25 years and they have three children: Katie, Maggie, and Connor.

  • John Gray

    John Gray

    News 10 Anchorman North Greenbush, NY

    John graduated with honors from LaSalle Institute, Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Oswego. Over nearly 3 decades, John has covered many big stories including the terrorist attacks of September 11th ,  the Pope’s visit to America and a number of Presidential campaigns. However, his favorite stories involve helping people right here at home. John volunteers with a dozen local charities including, ALS, M.S., Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes, Hospice, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters to name a few.

    He has won numerous awards for his television work and writing,  most recently winning a prestigious Emmy Award for his story about STRIDE athlete, Steve Ferro.He has been awarded “Columnist of the Year” honors from both the Associated Press and New York News Publishers Association.

    John’s passion is writing and for 20 years his column in The Record and Saratogian newspapers has become a local favorite, along with thousands of social media followers.   John has three children and two dogs. In his spare time John enjoys skiing, rollerblading, golf and travel. He lives in North Greenbush with his wife and dogs. 

  • Kathleen Jimino

    Kathleen Jimino

    Rensselaer County Executive (retired), West Sand Lake

    Kathleen Jimino grew up and was educated locally at Catholic Central High School, and Siena College, from where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She received her Master’s degree in Social Policy from SUNY Empire State College.

    She then began a long career in service, political and elected positions. In 2001, Kathy was appointed Rensselaer County Executive. Six months later she was elected by the largest margin ever afforded any Rensselaer County Executive in history! Unopposed, Kathy was subsequently reelected in 2005, 2009 and 2013.  Rensselaer County administration under her guidance is steadfastly dedicated to the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. Kathy is also noted for her aggressiveness in advocating new businesses in the County, and encouraging expansion for the ones who already call the County their home, being convinced that community-sensitive economic growth is the proper path for success.

    Among other governmental and community responsibilities, Kathy currently serves as Co-Chair of the Center for Economic Growth’s Local Government Council and is on the board of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, as well as serving on the Community Advisory Board of the Sage Colleges Academy for Character Education.

    Kathy retired from government in 2019 and lives in West Sand Lake  with husband Vince. They have two children and two grandchildren.  STRIDE is thrilled to have her in an advisory position!

  • Geoff Krill

    Geoff Krill

    Professional Adaptive Athlete

    Geoff Krill, from North Woodstock, New Hampshire.  When Krill was younger, he believed he would work in the hotel restaurant industry. However, a snowmobile accident leaving him paralyzed in 1995 led him in a different direction, one which has gifted him innumerable life experiences with travel to amazing places and interactions with incredible people. Today, he is the Executive Director and Chief Motivational Officer of Eastern Adaptive Sports (EAS) and a fourth term member of the PSIA/AASI National Team. He continues to serve on the steering committee of the Adaptive Board of Examiners for PSIA-Eastern.

    When Krill isn’t organizing summer sporting activities on Little Squam Lake for EAS, he is the Training Director for Loon Mountain’s Snowsports School. Over the last four years, Krill has also helped to grow and facilitate the Spaulding Adaptive Ski Club. In his spare time, Krill speaks with students of all ages about overcoming challenges and meeting adversity with problem solving. Krill credits sports with the path he took for education as helping to meet each goal he sets for himself. He is married to Heather and has two children.

  • Brian McLane

    Brian P. McLane

    CEO Paradigm Solutions, Syracuse, NY

    McLane is one of five people nationwide to be inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Individuals with Disabilities in 2000. During his 11-year tenure at VESID, nearly 150,000 individuals with disabilities joined the State’s workforce with the help of VESID services. He has participated in advocacy efforts that led to the development of laws and regulations that greatly expanded employment and independent living opportunities for adults with disabilities and have strengthened programs and raised academic standards for students with disabilities in New York State. Before coming to VESID, McLane served as Assistant Commissioner in the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He also served as Senior Executive Assistant to NY Assemblyman Melvin Zimmer. A longtime advocate and consultant for the rights of persons with disabilities, McLane served as a New York delegate to the 1977 White House Conference on the Disabled, and as Chairman of the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. He has served as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on the Handicapped, the NYS Mental Hygiene Planning Council, the Governor’s Disability Constituency Cabinet Workgroup, and the Governor’s Task Force on Accessibility – 1980 Winter Olympic Games. McLane has also served on the Onondaga County Cerebral Palsy Center Board of Directors and on the Onondaga County Task Force on the Handicapped. McLane’s has a long list of many distinguished awards and honors. A graduate of Syracuse University, McLane also holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. He has been active as a basketball coach at the semiprofessional level and is a member of countless sports and community associations.

  • Ann Myers

    Dr. Ann Myers, Ed.D.

    Director of Doctoral Programs, The Sage Colleges, Rensselaer, NY

    Myers has a rich history with STRIDE as a community partner when she served as District Superintendent for Questar III BOCES. As Professor Emerita at Sage Colleges where she was Founding Director of the Sage Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and of the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center of the Promotion of Mental Health and School Safety. Prior to her career in higher education, she was District Superintendent at Questar III BOCES, a regional educational organization in Upstate New York. She is a national facilitator affiliated with the Center for Courage and Renewal. She leads Circle of Trust® retreats, leadership development programs and strategic planning for school districts and nonprofit organizations. Ann was a consultant for the Metro Nashville Public Schools on the trust building project. She is the founding chair of New York State Association for Women in Administration and remains on the board for that organization. To all of this work, Ann brings a unique mix of intelligence, wisdom, and intuition. She brought us to understand the nature of an edge walker, called to innovation and exploration and to reflection and growth for herself and others. Ann is co-author of Leadership 360, a blog published by Education Week. Ann lives between the Adirondacks in New York State and the gulf coast of Florida with her husband Ed Hallenbeck and her golden retriever.

  • David Patterson

    David Paterson

    Former NYS Governor, New York City, NY

    Governor Paterson served as the 55th governor of New York from 2008-2010. He was the first African American Governor of New York, and the second legally blind Governor of any US state. Prior to service as Governor of New York, Paterson received a B.A in History from Columbia University in 1977, and later graduated from Hofstra Law School. After law school, Paterson worked in the District Attorney’s office in Queens County, NY. He also served on the staff of Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. In 1985, he was elected to the New York State Senate. Upon his election, he became the youngest State Senator in Albany. He won the seat again in 1986 for a full term representing the 29th District in the New York State Senate. He served as senator for that district until assuming the office of Lieutenant Governor on January 1st, 2007. Paterson was elected as Minority Leader by the Democratic caucus of the State Senate on November 20th, 2002, and became the first non-Caucasian state legislative leader, and the highest ranking black elected official in the history of New York State. Paterson became known for his consensus-building style coupled with his sharp political skills. Since leaving office, Paterson has been working as a radio talk show host on the station WOR in New York City. David Paterson continues to inspire us in his career achievements that he has been able to make as someone who is blind. He wholeheartedly supports our programs, particularly our programs for visually impaired youth.

  • John Robinson

    John Robinson

    CEO Our Ability, Glenmont, NY

    Robinson, a truly inspirational and motivational individual, was born a congenital amputee, without extension of his arms and legs. Only 26 out of every 100,000 children have congenital amputations, and in most cases it is only one JohnRobinsonor two limbs. Despite his challenges, Robinson has reached insurmountable success, which lead to his decision to write “Get Off Your Knees: A Story of Faith, Courage and Determination” to share his inspirational story. Robinson was the subject of a 60 minute documentary created by and featured on WMHT, and served as the Keynote Speaker for STRIDE’s 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration. In 2001, he was selected to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through Albany on its way to Salt Lake City for the 2002 games. Robinson acknowledges the importance of first impressions as the best way to make people just as comfortable about his body as he is. In 2014, John Robinson was named one of ten national White House Champions of Change for Disability Employment and honored with the Excelsior College President’s Award for Advocacy in 2010. Since 2011, he’s served as managing partner, CEO and Founder of Our Ability, which provides inclusive workforce and employment consulting, mentoring, workshops, keynotes and seminars on disability and diversity.

    Married and a father of three, Robinson enjoys playing golf in his spare time and riding his handcycle.

  • Donald Rutherford

    Chaplain (Major General)(R) Donald L. Rutherford, US Army

    23rd U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains, Averill Park, NY

    Chaplain Donald L. Rutherford is a native of Kinderhook, New York. Ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in 1981, he served as Associate Pastor of St. Gabriel’s Church in Schenectady, New York; as Roman Catholic Chaplain of Albany

    Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York; and as Parochial Vicar of St. Mary’s Parish, Oneonta, New York. Chaplain Rutherford  became the 23d Chief of Chaplains, United States Army, on July 7, 2011. He has served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Hurricane Andrew Relief, Operation Desert Thunder, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military awards include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the South West Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, the Army Staff Identification Badge, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

  • Frank Wicks

    CSM(R) Frank Wicks, US Army

    Command Sergeant Major (Retired), US Army, West Sand Lake, NY

    Command Sergeant Major Frank Wicks was born in Troy, New York. He entered the Army in November 1982 and attended Basic Training in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and advanced individual training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Command Sergeant Major Wicks has served in every leadership position from Team Leader to Command Sergeant Major. He has also served as an Instructor at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. Command Sergeant Major Wicks’ awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 bronze oak leaf clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with bronze oak leaf cluster), Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with 4 bronze oak leaf clusters), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (“M” device 4th award, bronze hourglass), the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with numeral 4), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, and the Combat Infantry Badge. CSM Wicks is currently on a leave of absence from his civilian employer, the New York State Police, to serve as the New York State Command Sergeant Major. He is married to the former Beth Johnson from Clifton Park, NY. They have two children, Jake and Julia and reside in West Sand Lake, NY.