Administration

Executive Staff & Senior Administration

Arthur Palevsky

Executive Director

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Mr. Palevsky began his career in social services in 1975 after receiving two Masters Degrees from Columbia University. He entered the field working in direct service before advancing to managerial and executive roles. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of developmentally disabled individuals. With specializations in program development and quality assurance, Mr. Palevsky is strongly attuned to familial challenges associated with caring for a loved one with special needs. Prior to joining Independent Living Association, Inc. in January 1991, he worked for a parent-run service provider for more than a decade. Under Mr. Palevsky’s outstanding leadership at ILA (he was appointed Executive Director in 2003), the agency has grown significantly and continues to expand to serve many more Individuals and families across New York City.

Steven Bonici

Director of IT Services

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Mr. Bonici joined ILA in January 2006 as an IT Manager and was quickly promoted to IT Director. During his tenure with the agency, he has been committed to helping ILA quickly adopt new technology, while streamlining processes to improve productivity and better serve ILA’s Individuals.

Mr. Bonici began his career as a system administrator at a reinsurance company, where he was the sole creator of a Network and email system that helped to enhance communication between multiple offices. He later became a systems manager for a large retail company where he was instrumental in a Network redesign that connected three offices, a Point-of-Sale (POS) system, 70 outlet stores, and a warehouse.

In his spare time, Mr. Bonici, along with his wife and three children, perform a great deal of community service. During the holidays, they organize an annual toy drive in the name of Mr. Bonici’s brother in-law, a former New York City police officer whose life was taken while off-duty. The heartfelt event has been brightening the lives of children and families in need since 1995.

Jonelle Best

Assistant Director to the Director of Operations

Frank De Lucia

Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Executive Director

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Mr. De Lucia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John’s University, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1984. After working as an auditor for the City of New York and then a major bank, Mr. De Lucia spent 13 years in public accounting, performing audits and tax services. In 1986, he performed the first fiscal audit of Independent Living Association, Inc., and then joined the Agency as its Chief Financial Officer in 1992. He was also named Deputy Executive Director in May 2003. Mr. De Lucia specializes in Medicaid funding, not-for-profit accounting, financial projections and budgeting, as well as internal control policies and procedures. He wrote ILA’s manual of accounting policies and procedures, which has been lauded by auditors from the State of New York and independent auditing firms. Mr. De Lucia remains well-respected in the not-for-profit field.

Theresa Smith

Director of Incident Management / Quality Assurance

Ava Morgan

Director of Operations

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Ms. Morgan joined Independent Living Association, Inc. in 1993 with 15 years of dedicated service to the developmentally disabled under her belt. Ms. Morgan worked for voluntary and New York State service providers before becoming a standards compliance analyst for New York State, where she audited community programs and became an expert in regulations. During her tenure with ILA, Ms. Morgan has held a range of leadership positions, including Director of Quality Assurance and Director of Residential Services. In her current role as ILA’s Director of Operations, Ms. Morgan is responsible for overseeing four departments, 32 programs and more than 600 employees.

Velma Bishop

Director of Vacancy Management

Arthur Palevsky

Executive Director

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Mr. Palevsky began his career in social services in 1975 after receiving two Masters Degrees from Columbia University. He entered the field working in direct service before advancing to managerial and executive roles. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of developmentally disabled individuals. With specializations in program development and quality assurance, Mr. Palevsky is strongly attuned to familial challenges associated with caring for a loved one with special needs. Prior to joining Independent Living Association, Inc. in January 1991, he worked for a parent-run service provider for more than a decade. Under Mr. Palevsky’s outstanding leadership at ILA (he was appointed Executive Director in 2003), the agency has grown significantly and continues to expand to serve many more Individuals and families across New York City.

Frank De Lucia

Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Executive Director

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Mr. De Lucia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John’s University, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1984. After working as an auditor for the City of New York and then a major bank, Mr. De Lucia spent 13 years in public accounting, performing audits and tax services. In 1986, he performed the first fiscal audit of Independent Living Association, Inc., and then joined the Agency as its Chief Financial Officer in 1992. He was also named Deputy Executive Director in May 2003. Mr. De Lucia specializes in Medicaid funding, not-for-profit accounting, financial projections and budgeting, as well as internal control policies and procedures. He wrote ILA’s manual of accounting policies and procedures, which has been lauded by auditors from the State of New York and independent auditing firms. Mr. De Lucia remains well-respected in the not-for-profit field.

Ava Morgan

Director of Operations

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Ms. Morgan joined Independent Living Association, Inc. in 1993 with 15 years of dedicated service to the developmentally disabled under her belt. Ms. Morgan worked for voluntary and New York State service providers before becoming a standards compliance analyst for New York State, where she audited community programs and became an expert in regulations. During her tenure with ILA, Ms. Morgan has held a range of leadership positions, including Director of Quality Assurance and Director of Residential Services. In her current role as ILA’s Director of Operations, Ms. Morgan is responsible for overseeing four departments, 32 programs and more than 600 employees.

Steven Bonici

Director of IT Services

READ MORE

Mr. Bonici joined ILA in January 2006 as an IT Manager and was quickly promoted to IT Director. During his tenure with the agency, he has been committed to helping ILA quickly adopt new technology, while streamlining processes to improve productivity and better serve ILA’s Individuals.

Mr. Bonici began his career as a system administrator at a reinsurance company, where he was the sole creator of a Network and email system that helped to enhance communication between multiple offices. He later became a systems manager for a large retail company where he was instrumental in a Network redesign that connected three offices, a Point-of-Sale (POS) system, 70 outlet stores, and a warehouse.

In his spare time, Mr. Bonici, along with his wife and three children, perform a great deal of community service. During the holidays, they organize an annual toy drive in the name of Mr. Bonici’s brother in-law, a former New York City police officer whose life was taken while off-duty. The heartfelt event has been brightening the lives of children and families in need since 1995.

Theresa Smith

Director of Incident Management / Quality Assurance

Velma Bishop

Director of Vacancy Management

Jonelle Best

Assistant Director to the Director of Operations

Board of Directors

Michael Kass

Board Chairman

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Mr. Kass brings more than 30 years of government and investigative experience to his role as Board Chairman, including two decades of service at the New York State Division of Parole. He began his career at the agency as a Parole Officer and was later promoted to Supervisor. Mr. Kass’ service to ILA spans more than 25 years, working closely with the agency’s late founder, John P. Welch, to ensure high quality care for ILA’s Individuals. Today, he continues to meet that mission, collaborating regularly with ILA’s Board and executive team to make sure the agency functions effectively. Mr. Kass holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College.

Lola Simpson

MPA

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Lola Simpson has led an esteemed career in the public and private sectors improving data management, conducting program evaluation, and administering contracts. In January 2015, she joined The Fund for NYC Health and Hospitals, and within five months successfully streamlined contracts and fiscal procedures for the Cure Violence Initiative (valued at $9M), served on the evaluation committee for uninsured populations, and improved procedures across 11 hospitals to recoup lost revenue from insurance denials for medically necessary procedures. She now works as Senior Director for OneCity Health Services, a subsidiary of NYC Health and Hospitals, where she oversees Operations, Purchasing, and Contracts.

Prior to joining Health + Hospitals and OneCity, Ms. Simpson was a Senior Associate for Metis Associates, a national research and evaluation firm, where she consulted with clients in government, nonprofit, and foundations, and applied solutions to common organizational, technical, and programmatic challenges. Ms. Simpson, a recipient of the LaGuardia Management Fellowship, holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management from the New School University.

Carlton Butler

ESQ., President

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Carlton Butler’s distinguished career spans more than 20 years of service in managerial and attorney positions. For six years, Mr. Butler served as Assistant Commissioner, Criminal Investigations in the Office of Tax Enforcement at the New York City Department of Finance. Prior to that position, he worked for the Department of Sanitation, Department of Consumer Affairs, the Board of Education, and the Brooklyn and Queens District Attorney Offices.

Most recently, he worked as Managing Attorney for the Consumer Complaints Prosecution Unit at the Taxi and Limousine Commission. After retiring in January 2016, Mr. Butler, a graduate of Columbia University Law School, is now pursuing a number of personal interests and activities in addition to his role on ILA’s Board of Directors – a position he has held since 2004.

Rita Derman

.

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Rita Derman came to the United States from Russia in 1979 with her husband. During her distinguished career as a Systems Analyst, she held a 20-year position as a Senior Lead Design Specialist at Securities Industry Automation Corporation, where she was responsible for the design, development and maintenance of Equities Market Data Systems and other sophisticated information systems.

Ms. Derman received a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1971 from the prestigious Lviv Polytechnic National University in the Ukraine, and later augmented her training and education at Brooklyn College, where she completed courses in Data Structure, Algorithms Analysis and Computer Architecture.

Now retired, Ms. Derman enjoys devoting her time to serving on the ILA Board and contributing to a “truly worthy cause.”

Ernest L. White

CSW

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A “social worker at heart,” Ernest L. White was recruited by longtime ILA board member Marvin Holloway, Jr., who is a former colleague of Mr. White at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

As a caseworker at ACS, Mr. White investigated reports of child abuse and neglect, helping to ensure the safety and well-being of hundreds of New York City youth. For the last eleven years, he has worked as a certified mental health counselor at the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center in Brooklyn.

Mr. White’s commitment to high quality, compassionate care echoes ILA’s mission to provide exemplary service to Individuals and families served. His biggest goal is to make people feel safe and secure and considers human services to be one of the most rewarding fields there is.

Mr. White holds a Masters of Science in Social Work from Adelphi University.

Michael Kass

Board Chairman

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Mr. Kass brings more than 30 years of government and investigative experience to his role as Board Chairman, including two decades of service at the New York State Division of Parole. He began his career at the agency as a Parole Officer and was later promoted to Supervisor. Mr. Kass’ service to ILA spans more than 25 years, working closely with the agency’s late founder, John P. Welch, to ensure high quality care for ILA’s Individuals. Today, he continues to meet that mission, collaborating regularly with ILA’s Board and executive team to make sure the agency functions effectively. Mr. Kass holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College.

Carlton Butler

ESQ., President

READ MORE

Carlton Butler’s distinguished career spans more than 20 years of service in managerial and attorney positions. For six years, Mr. Butler served as Assistant Commissioner, Criminal Investigations in the Office of Tax Enforcement at the New York City Department of Finance. Prior to that position, he worked for the Department of Sanitation, Department of Consumer Affairs, the Board of Education, and the Brooklyn and Queens District Attorney Offices.

Most recently, he worked as Managing Attorney for the Consumer Complaints Prosecution Unit at the Taxi and Limousine Commission. After retiring in January 2016, Mr. Butler, a graduate of Columbia University Law School, is now pursuing a number of personal interests and activities in addition to his role on ILA’s Board of Directors – a position he has held since 2004.

Ernest L. White

CSW

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A “social worker at heart,” Ernest L. White was recruited by longtime ILA board member Marvin Holloway, Jr., who is a former colleague of Mr. White at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

As a caseworker at ACS, Mr. White investigated reports of child abuse and neglect, helping to ensure the safety and well-being of hundreds of New York City youth. For the last eleven years, he has worked as a certified mental health counselor at the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center in Brooklyn.

Mr. White’s commitment to high quality, compassionate care echoes ILA’s mission to provide exemplary service to Individuals and families served. His biggest goal is to make people feel safe and secure and considers human services to be one of the most rewarding fields there is.

Mr. White holds a Masters of Science in Social Work from Adelphi University.

Lola Simpson

MPA

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Lola Simpson has led an esteemed career in the public and private sectors improving data management, conducting program evaluation, and administering contracts. In January 2015, she joined The Fund for NYC Health and Hospitals, and within five months successfully streamlined contracts and fiscal procedures for the Cure Violence Initiative (valued at $9M), served on the evaluation committee for uninsured populations, and improved procedures across 11 hospitals to recoup lost revenue from insurance denials for medically necessary procedures. She now works as Senior Director for OneCity Health Services, a subsidiary of NYC Health and Hospitals, where she oversees Operations, Purchasing, and Contracts.

Prior to joining Health + Hospitals and OneCity, Ms. Simpson was a Senior Associate for Metis Associates, a national research and evaluation firm, where she consulted with clients in government, nonprofit, and foundations, and applied solutions to common organizational, technical, and programmatic challenges. Ms. Simpson, a recipient of the LaGuardia Management Fellowship, holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management from the New School University.

Rita Derman

.

READ MORE

Rita Derman came to the United States from Russia in 1979 with her husband. During her distinguished career as a Systems Analyst, she held a 20-year position as a Senior Lead Design Specialist at Securities Industry Automation Corporation, where she was responsible for the design, development and maintenance of Equities Market Data Systems and other sophisticated information systems.

Ms. Derman received a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1971 from the prestigious Lviv Polytechnic National University in the Ukraine, and later augmented her training and education at Brooklyn College, where she completed courses in Data Structure, Algorithms Analysis and Computer Architecture.

Now retired, Ms. Derman enjoys devoting her time to serving on the ILA Board and contributing to a “truly worthy cause.”