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Golisano Autism Center,
After 21 extraordinary years as the CEO/President of Happiness House, 13 years as Ability Partners Foundation CEO/President, and nine years as CEO/President of Ability Partners affiliates including CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation, I will retire in March of 2023.
Together we have led the way in developing collaborative community initiatives designed to meet the needs of the local community, including:
Non-certified transitional housing
Affordable housing for low-income and special needs individuals
The creation of Autism Services of the Finger Lakes and Monroe County
The development of the Golisano Autism Center
Expanded outreach efforts to bring accessible services to the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester areas including the Autism Evaluation and satellite Article 16 Clinics
Led the incorporation of Happiness House Foundation and the creation of Ability Partners Foundation
Executed successful Capital Campaigns to help build and expand preschool and day program services
Rochester Rehabilitation awarded $250K for Aftercare Services program with Monroe County
700 Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Podium Medals were New York-Made Podium Medals were packaged and delivered by Rochester Rehabilitation’s workforce
CP Rochester and Happiness House awarded $750K for 10 new vehicles through the NYS CDBG Cares Act
RBJ Nonprofit listing ranked CP Rochester 28th, Happiness House 33rd, and Rochester Rehabilitation 43rd largest employers in the Finger Lakes region
The four agencies play critical roles in the economic well-being of the communities in which they operate, employing 700 staff, serving 6,800 individuals and families in 15 locations in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes areas.
We cultivated viable agencies supported by APF through creative fundraising events such as the Autism Awareness Walk, annual Galas, and the Planned Giving/Legacy Society programs, as well as mission-driven corporate sponsors raising over one million dollars each year, which have helped bridge the financial gap and provide the necessary resources to ensure that all individuals receiving services through CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation have access to them.
We formed Ability Partners, Inc., a passive parent corporation, formally affiliating CP Rochester, Happiness House, and Rochester Rehabilitation Center as three subsidiaries of Ability Partners. The Rochester Business Journal ranked Ability Partners as the 40th largest corporation in the greater Rochester region.
“It has been my pleasure to lead Ability Partners and the Foundation during this period of transition and growth. I thank our employees including our frontline workers for their support of me and the efforts of our teams in helping to make the wishes and dreams of our consumers and families a reality, especially throughout the pandemic.” I also want to thank our consumers, colleagues, stakeholders, donors, Ability Partners and Ability Partners Foundation Boards of Directors, and our communities.
The agencies provide a lifetime continuum of services from birth through end-of-life care. All three agencies serve individuals with and without disabilities. However, more than 90% of those receiving services from CP Rochester and Happiness House are individuals with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, and more.
Rochester Rehabilitation assists individuals with physical and behavioral health needs, along with veterans, refugees and individuals with low-income by providing rehabilitative driver training, employment opportunities, training and experience, comprehensive behavioral health services, and service/benefits linkage
Rochester Rehabilitation’s Mental Health Center offers services that are trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, and person-centered for adults, children ages 5 and older, and adolescents. Across NYS, more than 350 individuals participate in our DriveOn program, a division of Rochester Rehabilitation, a driving school for people of all ages and abilities to drive safely and confidently and/or to obtain or retain a driver’s license each year. Rochester Rehabilitation's Ventures Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) is a program designed to help individuals overcome mental/behavioral health challenges, live well, and balance life roles. Ventures PROS team provides support to 186 individuals annually.
Ability Partners Board of Directors has appointed Darrell Whitbeck as my successor. Darrell will become President/Chief Executive Officer of both Ability Partners Foundation and Ability Partners agencies in March. He began his career working for Happiness House in February 2003 as an occupational therapist. Since 2018 Darrell has served as Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President for CP Rochester and Happiness House.
Mary Walsh Boatfield, President & CEO