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Founder Information:

Donna Levine
Sandy Balayan
Carolyn Carpino

Board of Directors

President – Ruth Nuss

ruthnussRuth was elected President of the PATH Board of Directors in 2013, after becoming involved with the organization as a “Listener” in 2011, and then later recruited to the Board. A 21 year veteran at Sikorsky Aircraft, Ruth is an Engineering Manager specializing in protected wiring systems for extreme Helicopter environments and managing the Wiring Installation Group.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Ruth moved stateside in 1991 to marry Roy, and they completed their family through adoption in 2001. The couple’s three, now teenage, children keep both parents busy and on their toes with all of their sports, hobbies and extracurricular activities. All three children have learning disabilities and medical challenges but are thriving with the appropriate supports and are learning to be their own best advocate(s) as they navigate the world around them. Ruth is a member of the Legislative Committee for CAFAP (CT Assn of Foster and Adoptive Parents) and a Parent Advocate with CPAC (CT Parent Advocacy Center). She is active in Girl Scouts having been a leader of her girls’ troop for 8 years. Ruth says, “becoming involved with PATH has felt like “coming home,” a way to help other parents of children with challenges find the support and help they need, an opportunity that I see a blessing.”

Vice-President – Tiffany Katz

Tiffany2Tiffany Katz is a special education teacher who has worked both in a resource room and a self contained classroom. She has sevearl years experience administering standardized academic assessments, writing Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and running PPT meetings. After many years in the classroom and sitting through countless PPT meetings that it was imperative that parents be an integral part of their child’s special education team, Tiffany took on the role of being a special education advocate.

 

Treasurer – Robin Butler

 

robinbutler2Robin Butler is the Recruiting & Administrative Office Coordinator for A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists. In this role she supports the company with special projects, and jumps in to assist branches during busy periods and vacation coverage. In addition to working full time, Robin is completing her degree at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT with an expected graduation date of May 2015. She will be receiving her Bachelors Degree in Business Management with a Concentration in Human Resource Management. During her free time she loves to work out at the gym, hike and go for long walks on the Canal in Hamden. She also enjoys strength training with her personal trainer. Robin has served on the Board of Directors since 2012.

 

 

Secretary-

 

 

 

Kaitlynn Ramos- CT KASA Youth Rep.

Kait pictures 004Kaitlynn is proud and honored to be the KASA (Kids as Self Advocate) liaison with the PATH Board.  She is a 2013 graduate of Winston Preparatory School in Norwalk and is currently employed at TJ Max in addition to starting her own dog sitting business. Kaitlynn enjoys participating in Special Olympics swim competitions.

 

 

Ann Ramos

Ann Ramos PictureAnn is a wife and mother of five children. She is a Job Developer and Job Coach for Transitional Employment Unlimited (TEU), an organization which provides vocational options and supports to individuals with disabilities in the community. Prior to TEU, Ann provided consulting, advocacy and facilitation services to families and individuals in the special education process, IDEA and Section 504 rights, with a focus on Transition and Post-secondary options. Ann was inspired to follow this career path after advocating for her own children who had a variety of special healthcare and learning challenges. Ann is a Boston College graduate who worked for 12 years in Finance and Accounting roles at General Electric.

 

Sue Bastien

picasabackground-024.bmpSue is a retired special education teacher and single adoptive mom who raised 4 sons with severe/profound disabilities and one daughter with childhood emotional issues, all now adults.  Two of her sons have ID with severe nonverbal autism, hyperactivity and OCD, one with severe behaviors. Her other two sons are multiply handicapped (quadriplegic, blind, tube fed, ID), one with numerous medical issues including a trach, requiring 24 hour nursing care.   Sue herself has a severe central auditory processing disorder.
Sue is a very active leadership member of CT DDS Families First, a group of families advocating for DDS services/funding, meeting weekly with legislators.  She especially advocates for those on the DDS Residential Waiting List.  Sue is also a member of the ARC CT Families for Families and recently began attending DDS RAC meetings.
In the past, Sue instituted/coordinated a Cub Scout program (and was a Den Mother) for residents of the New Haven Regional Center, and later for special needs Cub Scouts in Prospect.  She has also served in the past as founder/director/coach of Region 16 Special Olympics and instituted the Region 16 Special Olympics yearly awards banquet.  She was co-organizer of Cheshire Special Olympics, president of the Cheshire ARC, president of the Naugatuck Valley Society for Autistic Children, and a governor-appointed member of the CT Developmental Disabilities Council for two terms.  Sue also enjoyed serving on the Special Education Resource Center’s school inclusion advisory team for South Central Connecticut.

Guy Riddick, Sr.

riddickGuy is a native of Waterbury, CT. Guy is a 1978 graduate of Sacred Heart High in Waterbury, CT where he was co-captain of the Boys’ Basketball Team and first runner-up as Scholar Athlete for the Naugatuck Valley League. Guy served as the State Youth President and Region II Youth Chairman for the NAACP from 1976-1978. Guy has an Associate Degree in Business Management from Post Junior College (now Post University) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Southeastern Massachusetts University (now University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth). Guy was a member of the Men’s’ basketball team at both schools and was the co-captain at Southeastern Massachusetts University in 1983. Currently, Guy serves on the School Board at Sacred Heart High and is an Associate Minister at the Grace Baptist Church in Waterbury, CT.

 

 

Pamela Corbin Riddick

Pamela Corbin Riddick is a native of Boston, MA. Pam is a 1981 graduate of Wayland High School in Wayland, MA. Pam served as the Assistant Church Clerk at Calvary Baptist Church from 1995 until 1998 before relocating to Waterbury, CT. She also was a member of 3 choirs at Calvary Baptist Church and served in many other capacities. Pam attended Southeastern Massachusetts University (now University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth). Pam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from the University of Connecticut.

 

 

Co-Executive Director – Carmina Cirioli

CarminaCarmina Cirioli is Co-Executive Director (2004-present). She is a wife and mother of 3 boys. Her son Carlo is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Carmina got involved when Carl was in the Birth to Three and went on to serve on a variety of state councils, committees and boards. Carmina was a 2013 graduate of Partners in Policy Making. Her professional interests include; Autism Awareness to First Responders and extended Family Members and Collaboration of all Statewide Family organizations, so that parents will be able to access the most information to become the best advocate for their child and to make sure that their child is receiving the utmost services that they can. Current committees include; Member, Community of Practice Committee; Chair: Family Leadership & Mentoring Committee, Member, and Connecticut Autism Action Coalition.Outside of work, Carmina enjoys time with family, friends, and baking along with being involved in the PTA as an Executive Board Member for the past 14 years.

 

Co-Executive Director – Nanfi Lubogo

NanfiNanfi N. Lubogo is Co-Executive Director (2004-present). She is a wife and mother of 3 children. Her daughter Stephanie is diagnosed with multiple special needs.  Nanfi got involved first as a volunteer when Stephanie was in Birth to Three and has since gone on to serve on various committees, councils and boards both in state and nationally. Current appointments include: CT UCEDD Consumer Advisory Board; CT Office of Healthcare Innovation SIM Consumer Advisory Board and Practice Transformation Task Force; National Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Family Advisory Network; Department of Transportation National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) and State Affiliate Organization Representative to the Family Voices Board of Directors. Nanfi is a Maternal and Child Health/Public Health Leadership Fellow and Partners in Policy Making Graduate. Outside of work, Nanfi is a Girl Scouts Leader and enjoys time with family, reading and gardening.

PATH Staff Members

 Parent to Parent Coordinator – Sheri Romblad

SheriSheri is a wife and mom of 2 boys.  Her 12 year old son had a late diagnosis of Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) at age 8.  Her 9 year old is also diagnosed with ADD.  Sheri is a 2014 graduate of of CT Partners in Policymaking.  Upon graduation, Sheri became actively involved at the legislative level and introduced three bills to the House of Representatives.  All bills are to increase the amount of hearing screenings for children in CT.  She also became an active member of state boards, councils and committees.  Sheri has a degree in Communications and Media and a a background in advertising and marketing.  She and her family love the outdoors, traveling, cooking and gardening.  Sheri is committed to providing information and support to deaf and hard of hearing families to become more knowledgable and powerful community members.

Health Information Specialist – Kevin Daly

kevinKevin has worked with families of children and youth with special health care needs for over 15 years. His areas of expertise include public health care, family advocacy and special education advocacy. In addition to his duties with PATH, Kevin chairs the Connecticut Special Education PTO Alliance and the Route 2 Community Collaborative. He is a member of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys, the Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance and the Connecticut State Department of Education Parent Workgroup. Kevin is the father of adult twins. His son was a special education student for 12 years. Kevin also has a one year old grandson. Kevin and his wife Kathie live in Bristol.

Health Information Specialist – Marni McNiff

marnipicMarni McNiff graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in English. She worked full-time in the publishing industry for many years prior to having her three children, at which time she took on freelance roles doing editing and social media. Having three children with various needs, Marni took a career path change to help others with support and advocacy. Marni was one of the founding members of the Brookfield Special Education Parent Teacher Association, an organization that she with which she remains a board member. She also works as a Parent Support Specialist for PATH representing families in the Western Connecticut region. She also works directly with Pediatric Associates of Western Connecticut in Danbury, Connecticut one day each week consulting with patients on educational advocacy and general parent support.

 

Health Information Specialist – Andrea Richardson

AndreaAndrea Richardson, a loving wife and a proud mother of 3 beautiful children resides in Hartford CT and is a graduate holding a Bachelor’s of science degree in business administration with over 10 years of working experience with young adults within the Hartford community and is an active member of the CT. Children’s Medical Center Family Advisory Board.

 

Bilingual Cultural Comp Specialist –
Maria Lourdes Castellanos

Maria Lourdes Castellanos graduated in the dentistry field in her native country of Mexico. Maria Lourdes grew-up in a household of 12 siblings. Her youngest brother Felipe was born with Down syndrome. Felipe and her parents were her foundation stone to learn about life with disability.

She attended the University of Bridgeport, to enrich culturally and study English. She worked for families that were a key process of learning English and learning the American family’s culture. Her journey continued working in the dental assisting field. In 2008, Maria Lourdes and her husband learned that their youngest son was diagnosed with Autism. In 2013, she became proactive parent, when her school district invited parents to initiate a new group called “Norwalk SPED Partners.” The group focused on identifying and determinate families issues and interests, to later bring lectures series to the community. She invited advocacy and IEP experts to train Spanish families.

Maria was a 2013 graduate of Partners in Policy Making training. Based on her son’s wandering behaviors, her graduation project was focus on Autism awareness for First Responders at her resident town, but also for First Responders to train children with disabilities and their families about safety at home. She is a firm believer that parents should have home/community training by school and professionals on how to approach sensory behaviors.

 

Health Information Specialist – Tiffanie Allain

tiffanie

Tiffanie resides in Brooklyn CT and is the mother of two children ages 5 and 8. Her son has been diagnosed with ADHD and sensory processing disorder. Tiffanie is a 2014 graduate of CT Partners in Policymaking and graduate of the Voices for Families Class 2016. Tiffanie has her CPR and First Aid Certification and Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Certifications.

Tiffanie is a parent appointed member of The State Interagency Care Coordinating Council for Birth to Three CT , a Family Systems Manager Intern for DCF Region 3 with FAVOR, a meeting assistant for The CT Council For Developmental Disabilities, a  town designated appointee for The Brooklyn School Readiness Council, a representative of the Parent Advisory Council  for the Brooklyn Elementary Schools, an active member of the Eastern Region Medical Home Care Coordination Collaborative for Children and Youth with Special Health Care needs, an active member of the Communities Raising Children Collaborative and a member of the Regional Advisory Council Family Advisory Board for DCF Region 3. Tiffanie also part of the Family Legislative Alliance Group.

Tiffanie has been an active community member of The Connecticut Family Support Network for over 7 years and is a parent mentor with Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center and a parent listener with PATH. Tiffanie is also the Secretary of The Special Education PTO (SEPTO) of Eastern CT and the Spirit of Special Education Award recipient for 2016.

Tiffanie enjoys supporting other families, educating the community about special education and mental health awareness. Tiffanie has and focused on early screening, detection and ensuring adequate services and supports are available.

Tiffanie has an Associates degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Sales Management. She was a licensed Property and Casualty Personal Lines Insurance Agent for 7 years and has her certificate in General Insurance. Her hobbies include music and spending time with her family. Tiffanie is also serving her 4th year as the Vice President of Events for the Brooklyn Schools PTO.

PATH Allies

Doris Maldonado – Bilingual Translator and PATH promotions