Our Staff & Consultants


Marianne Durrant is the Director of the Center for Human Services Education and the Employment Alliance at Heritage Christian Services. In her 24 years at Heritage Christian Services, Marianne has held a variety of positions, including direct support, residential and day services management positions. She is responsible for starting and growing our supported employment division, both in Buffalo and Rochester. She currently serves as Director of both The Center for Human Services Education and the Employment Alliance. Building relationships with community businesses, school districts and other community resources are a primary focus for Marianne. She is President of the Rochester Area Employment Network, a collaborative group that strives to promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She has participated in local High School Transition Groups. She has completed a Travel Training course, as well as a Travel Training Administration Course through Easter Seals Project Action. She has completed training as Benefits Practitioner through New York Makes Work Pay. She has been responsible for developing and carrying out a variety of employment related services through multiple grants awarded to the Employment Alliance, including our AmeriCorps Program (2016).


Christopher Frank, MSL, is the Associate Director at The Center for Human Services Education. Chris has been in the Human Services field for over 15 years as a direct service provider, trainer, and supervisor. He has experience in a variety of departments including employment, adaptive technology, self-direction, respite, and residential services. He earned a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2015. Chris has experience building and leading teams, identifying and tracking performance metrics, creating instructional materials, and writing training curricula. He has worked for Heritage Christian Services, ARC of Monroe, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI), and Lifetime Assistance. Chris is able to draw from these broad experiences to enrich the trainings he delivers. 

Stacy Waite is a Project Support Specialist at the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services. She began her career at Heritage in 2008 in the dayhab department fulfilling a variety of roles, including Senior DSP. She also served on committees that piloted documentation software and payroll systems used agency wide. A majority of her career was in the role of dayhab manager before she joined CHSE in 2017. Prior to the field of Human Services, Stacy was a Kindergarten teacher in Fairport, NY and collaborated with inclusion specialists at the elementary level. She continues to enjoy the role of educator as a Positive Supports and SCIP-R trainer at Heritage.

Jessica Burgado is a Project Support Specialist who joined our team at Heritage Christian Services in May 2018. Prior to starting here, Jessica was a Job Coach at the Arc of Monroe County and Assistant Manager of maurices in Brockport, NY. Jessica holds an Associate’s Degree in Psychology and plans to continue on to earn her Bachelor’s. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family and her beloved dogs. She has rescued all of her dogs and believes deeply in the healing power of animals. Jessica trained one of her dogs, Maggie, to become a Certified Therapy Dog. Jessica also spent time volunteering at an animal shelter and helped to train puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.


Amy Scott, MA, CESP, is currently a Training and Organizational Development Specialist for The Center for Human Services Education, a Department of Heritage Christian Services. Amy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Amy has over 23 years of experience managing and directing programs that provide vocational coordination, social work, Supported Employment, residential and day habilitation services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Additionally, she has worked with families and detention facilities providing vocational instruction to at-risk students in preparation for school to work. As a Certified Benefits Advisor, Amy worked for 5 years as an Employment Specialist for New York Works a Social Security pilot project. Throughout her career and during employment with the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center at the University of Buffalo, Amy has developed and delivered numerous Supported Employment curriculum, professional presentations and is has ongoing involvement in national rehabilitation communities of practice surrounding program evaluation/quality assurance and supported employment.


Mike Barry, M.S.Ed., is a Training and Development Specialist for the Center for Human Services Education. Mike served for the last 5 years as a Business Outreach Coordinator and Job Developer for Challenge Workforce Solutions in Ithaca, NY. Mike is very experienced in counseling and creating new programs for clients in a wide range of supported employment programs. Mike has also developed and delivered curricula for clients in substance abuse recovery, career assessment, and higher education environments. Mike received his Master’s in Educational Psychology from Cornell University, where he was employed as a Program Director for 7 years. Mike left Cornell to run a successful restaurant for 5 years and as a result is passionate about finding new and innovative solutions for job seekers and businesses.

Luke Massey works as a Training and Organizational Development Specialist for The Center for Human Services Education. After graduating from SUNY Buffalo State, Luke worked at Heritage Christian Services full-time before moving to School of the Holy Childhood as a Teachers’ Aid and Job Coach.  Most recently, Luke worked for Best Buddies International where he was Program Manager of Mission Expansion. He has also continued to provide direct services to people with developmental disabilities as relief staff at Heritage Christian Services.  Luke’s long history of working with both adults and students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities is what motivates him to ensure proper training when it comes to job readiness skills. In addition to his role with CHSE, Luke spends most of his free time enjoying the outdoors with his wife and their Golden Retriever, Gryffin.


Josh Elias is a Regional Vocational Rehabilitation Community Employment Specialist at the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services. In his role he works with 68 school districts and local educational agencies to provide training, consultation and technical assistance for school staff supporting transition age students with disabilities in the mid-west region of New York State. Josh has over 20 years of experience working in the field of Human Services. This includes roles in residential, Service Coordination and Vocational Services. Prior to joining the team at the Center for Human Services Education, Josh served as the Director of Employment Services at Ontario ARC. In this role Josh provided supervision over all of the agency’s employment services division. For his entire career Josh has supported inclusive work opportunities, it is his passion to educate schools and businesses on processes that promote discovery, job matching and long term retention. He believes that this starts with strong work-based-learning in school and continues with collaborative business partnerships. Josh holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management from Keuka College. He also has a Green Belt certification in Six Sigma Performance Excellence which bring a unique perspective to systems and process development.


 Sarah Kent is a Regional Vocational Rehabilitation Community Employment Specialist at the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services. As an RVR-CES, Sarah provides training and technical assistance to school personnel from 68 school districts throughout the Monroe, Genesee Valley, Livingston, Yates and Wyoming Counties on how to promote successful post-secondary outcomes for transition age students. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and certification in Elementary Education (N-6) from SUNY Brockport and a Master’s degree in Inclusive Childhood Education (1-6) with Severe/Multiple Disability Annotation from Nazareth College. Sarah brings to the position over 21 years of experience in the field of human services. She began her educational career as a TA with Mary Cariola Children’s Center in 1996 and then moved to a position in the residential setting as a Child Habilitation Specialist at the Kreag Road residence while finishing her master’s degree in 2007. In 2005, Sarah took on a position as a Head Start teacher through Happiness House in Canandaigua. Since 2012, Sarah has worked as an elementary teacher in a co-taught 12:1:1 classroom. Her background in both inclusive education and residential services bring a valuable perspective to the work she does in supporting schools to prepare students for meaningful employment after they exit high school.

Brennon Thompson works as a Cultural Competence and Health Literacy Operations Specialist at the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services. Brennon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from American University. While at American, his thematic focus was Global Inequality and Development and he minored in Public Health. Brennon has a passion for bringing people together to share and learn about the unique identities and experiences of our local and global neighbors. He has led international service-learning trips, organized interfaith events, and facilitated critical conversations on social justice.
Michael Edelman is a Cultural Competence and Health Literacy (CCHL) Operations Specialist for the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services. He has eight years of experience in human services, working with individuals with a variety of diagnoses. These include mental health, substance abuse and chronic health conditions in settings ranging from inpatient services and residential facilities to outpatient services. Before working for the Center for Human Services Education, Michael has worked for Behavioral Health Services North, in Plattsburgh, NY, as well as DePaul Community Services and Catholic Charities Community Services in the Rochester, NY area. 

Consultant Trainers

Maura Denning, Works as a Training and Organizational Development Specialist The Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services.Maura brings to her role 21 years of experience in Vocational Rehabilitation with roles ranging from Job Coach to Program Coordinator. Over the span of her career she has developed a specialty in providing supports and services to job seekers who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and has received acclaim for the Sign Language and Understanding Deaf Culture courses she developed/taught for Monroe County NY employees, Rochester Fire Department and graduating Law Enforcement Officers. Maura brings a varied background to the TODS role, she spent several years working in Human Resources in the business sector which allows her a unique stakeholder perspective. As a result of her passionate advocacy she was elected to the position President of the Rochester Area Employment Network for two consecutive terms, she was instrumental in the annual NDEAM Employer Recognition event in the Greater Rochester Area.At the Center for Human Services Education, she will work on the Innovations in Employment Supports statewide training project creating training curriculum, designing resource materials and teaching Innovations courses. She is a talented instructor and operates on the belief that learning collectively will lead to great opportunities for professionals in the field!

Robert Statham, Training & Technical Assistance for the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS). Robert has extensive experience in developing and delivering effective trainings all across the state of New York for people with disabilities. Robert’s passion is delivering engaging trainings that will educate providers in assisting people with disabilities discover their future employment goals. Robert is also President of Pathlight Career Counseling Inc., which assists college students in obtaining career related goals. Robert has been in the field of Employment & Counseling for over 15 years. He was awarded the Employment Specialist of the year in 2004 for the Rochester Area Employment Network (RAEN) and continues to forge positive relationships with area employers and companies in the local Rochester community. In addition, you may know Robert as “the boy band trainer,” as he was in a boy band for several years early in his life.


Emily B. Ellis is the founder and president of Giving Back to Our Communities, Ltd which is a faith-based consultant group specializing in helping families and organizations in multicultural communities develop the skills they need to access and provide quality services to their family members and constituents with developmental disabilities. She is also the co-owner of Sight & Sound Productions; a family owned video production and duplication services company located in the heart of downtown Yonkers, New York.
Laura McCaffrey has a Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in clinical services. She has been working in the field to support people with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities for over 20 years. Her experience reaches from the days of the Day Treatment Program to today, running one of the largest employment programs for people with ID.DD. Laura is currently the Assistant Director for Employment and Business Services at AHRC-NYC. She began this role at AHRC-NYC in 2001. Prior to this, she worked as a social worker and clinical supervisor for Helen Keller Services for the Blind. She was the Acting Executive Director for A-1 Universal Services, providing MSC and respite supports to the ID/DD community.
Christina Murgola, CESP, works as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor within Eastern Suffolk BOCES Supported Employment Services. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling through the University at Buffalo, State University of New York on-line Graduate School of Education. Christina has been immersed in the rehabilitation community on Long Island for over 15 years, serving in various capacities across many different professional affiliations. Previously, Christina worked for many years as the Senior Program Administrator of Supported Employment Services for AHRC Nassau. In her time at AHRC Nassau, Christina worked in every capacity of Supported Employment service delivery from front line job coaching to program management. She has been an active member of local provider associations and previously served as co-chair the Nassau Placement Network from 2009 to 2014. She is currently a member of the Suffolk County Rehabilitation Council serving in dual capacities of Treasurer and Vice President of the council’s board. Christina is a member of the New York State Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE) and serves as the Long Island Regional Representative and a member of the board of directors. Christina believes that professional development and the process of learning will not only enhance our ability to deliver quality supports and services, but will assist in elevating the field. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from SUNY Stony Brook University and expects to finish graduate school in the Spring of 2017. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter and rescued pit bull puppy.

Jim Scutt graduated from SUNY Fredonia and shortly after he began working in the field of Supported Employment. Jim has worked as a consultant for the Innovations is Employment Supports project since its inception. Jim uses his vast experience in Supported Employment to deliver, develop and design trainings that will help to develop people’s skills in delivering Supported Employment services. When Jim is not working as consultant trainer for the Innovations project, he is the Director of Vocational Services at People Inc located in Western New York where he manages and develops programs and initiatives focused on employment and vocational outcomes. In addition to his job at People Inc., James also serves as President of the New York State Association of People Supporting Employment First (NYSAPSE) Board, and holds various leadership positions locally within his community. Jim strongly believes with the appropriate supports and discovery that everyone who has the desire to work can do so. This belief starts with making sure the people providing the employment supports have the right tools and knowledge to provide comprehensive and responsible services. Jim lives in the Buffalo Niagara region of New York with his wife and 2 children.
Barbara Shay has a Masters in Vocational Counseling from New York University and is a certified rehabilitation Counselor. She has served as a consultant and trainer for SUNY Buffalo on both the SETI and TACE Projects. She is a trainer for Innovations in Employment Supports for the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), New York State Rehabilitation Association, Inc. (NYSRA) and the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services.
Esther Weinstein has an extensive background in developing, implementing and providing innovative services to individuals with disabilities, which include, but are not limited to supported employment, day habilitation, pre vocational services, case management and Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitative Treatment (IPRT). She has provided supported employment services for many years, and has provided training and education to staff throughout New York, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands.

Erica Belois-Pacer was the previous Associate Director of CHSE and also served as a Regional Vocational Rehabilitation Community Employment Specialist. She now serves as a consultant trainer for CHSE in addition to her new position with National APSE. Erica began her educational career as a First/Second Grade teacher in an inclusion classroom. Erica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education (N-6) and Special Education (N-12) with a concentration in History from SUNY Geneseo. She was accepted as a Graduate Assistant at Geneseo where she completed a Master’s Degree in Literacy/Reading Specialist (N-12). Most recently, Erica served as the Senior Director of Educational Programs at Falls View Academy. Erica was responsible for hiring, overseeing, and training a staff up to 60 qualified educators and/or specialist for each contract, providing ongoing advisement and guidance. She developed program opportunities through Supplemental Educational Services (SES), Supplemental Academic Services (SAS), and Extended Learning Programs (ELT) across the state. She created programs in urban, suburban and rural communities and learned valuable lessons from each experience. Erica also researched opportunities and created new partnerships with community organizations and department leaders within the City of Rochester for administering educational programs. She worked with the Office of New Americans to provide Citizenship Classes and educational opportunities for refugees new to the country. Erica formed and maintained relationships with individuals to provide programs that worked. Erica is originally from Clinton, NY where much of her family still lives.


Jeanne Ricigliano works as a consultant trainer for the Center for Human Services Education in addition her full time position with the Rochester City School District. Jeanne has over 25 years of experience working in partnership with students with disabilities, their families, schools and community providers. Her career has focused on assuring all stakeholders are provided with the information they need to assist in preparing for the complex and exciting transition planning process. This preparation is focused on preparing students and their families for life after high school in the areas of living, learning, earning and building relationships where they live. Jeanne has experience in teaching, training, transition planning, consulting, Person Centered Planning facilitation and training. She has developed programs in collaboration with community partners where gaps have been identified. These programs meet needs such as; after school respite, adult education/ life skills and a transition education series. Jeanne holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.


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