Your help is vital in ensuring that we continue to fulfill our mission of exceptional care.

Volume nineteen / Issue four


News from the Independent Living Association, Inc.

Spring/Summer 2023


The End of an Era

On June 30, 2023, ILA Executive Director Arthur Palevsky retired from ILA. Mr. Palevsky’s distinguished career at ILA spanned 32+ years, 20 of which included serving as Executive Director. He began his career in services for people with developmental disabilities more than 45 years ago.

Reflecting on his significant contributions to the field and to ILA, Mr. Palevsky says, “I was given an honor far beyond I ever imagined. I have been privileged to work with people of every job title and every walk of life who were and are committed to caring for people with developmental disabilities.”

Mr. Palevsky credits the ILA team for helping to grow the reach of ILA, expanding ILA from a Brooklyn-only provider into a citywide Agency serving all five boroughs. He is grateful to ILA’s founder, John P. Welch, and to the entire ILA staff for giving him the opportunity “to be a part of the team.”

ILA’s Board of Directors has appointed Frank De Lucia as ILA’s new Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer. Mr. De Lucia has been working with ILA since 1986 – first as an auditor, then as the Agency’s Chief Financial Officer. He was named Deputy Executive Director in May 2003. Ava Morgan has been named ILA’s new Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer after many years serving as the Agency’s Director of Operations. Alex Kan, promoted from Controller, will now serve as ILA’s Chief Financial Officer. All new leadership positions took effect July 1, 2023.

To quote Mr. Palevsky, “ILA’s Board of Directors, whose job it is to appoint executives, got it right.”

Congratulations to Mr. Palevsky on his retirement and to Mr. De Lucia, Ms. Morgan, and Mr. Kan on their well-deserved promotions! Thank you all for your outstanding service and for your continuous commitment to enhance the lives of everyone we serve.

A Celebration to Remember

On June 28, 2023, ILA staff gathered at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities to honor the extraordinary career of Arthur Palevsky. Many offered well wishes and acknowledged his dedicated leadership to ensure the very best care for ILA’s Individuals. Area Coordinators, Supervisors, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), and more shared an array of memories, including the time Mr. Palevsky drove all the way to Ocean Avenue to ensure a DSP received her holiday bonus. Several staff thanked Mr. Palevsky for his continuous support, noting his compassion and his wonderful ability to create a family-like environment while providing opportunities for growth and advancement.

“Arthur, your legacy will live on forever,” said Linda Schnabel, Area Coordinator, ILA.

Mirroring those sentiments, Marcia McIntosh, Area Coordinator, ILA, said, “You will never be forgotten.”

For Mr. Palevsky, the feeling is mutual. He gave a heartfelt shout-out to the entire ILA team for the amazing work that they do. “My father first taught me what it means to mean something in someone else’s life. It’s that same mindset that brings us all together as a cohesive unit to fulfill ILA’s mission and carry on the legacy of our Founder, John P. Welch,” Mr. Palevsky said. He commended his successor, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Frank De Lucia, and ILA’s newly appointed Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Ava Morgan and Chief Financial Officer Alex Kan for bringing a “new energy to ILA.” Mr. Palevsky also thanked his wife of 44 years, Karen, for being his rock and for her support and understanding of his often challenging schedule.

Mrs. Palevsky was in attendance to proudly celebrate her husband’s outstanding career and achievements, and his unwavering commitment to his ILA family. “If anyone needs anything, Arthur is the first person to help,” she said. “He’s so passionate about what he does. And he’s the love of my life.”

We love you too, Mr. Palevsky – continued success in the next exciting chapter of your journey!

ILA Individuals Celebrate and Thrive

ILA Individuals Celebrate and Thrive

What Goes Into Maintaining an ILA Residence?

How ILA Achieved a Perfect Audit

ILA’s 16th Annual Golf & Games Tournament

Tee off for a great cause at ILA’s 16th Annual Golf & Games Tournament on Monday, September 18, 2023 at Harbor Links in Port Washington, New York. All proceeds raised will help to enhance ILA’s programs and services for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Staff Watch: Dvorah Martin, Speech Services Coordinator

Affecting Change: Simple Ways We Can All Improve Lives for People with Disabilities

With Support and Encouragement, The Sky’s The Limit For People With Develomental Disabilities

Fun in the Sun 

Delicious food and endless camaraderie were among the many highlights of the ILA Management Staff Picnic held on Staten Island. It was a wonderful day to kick back and relax, play games, catch up with colleagues, and make some great summer memories! 

Welcome Aboard!

ILA is pleased to welcome the newest members of our exceptional team:
Ifeoma Onyenwena: Assistant Residence Supervisor, Lucille Avenue
James Brewington: Assistant Residence Supervisor, Faber Street
Anne Egby: Assistant Residence Supervisor, 226th Street
Marlorie Descartes: Assistant Residence Supervisor, New York Avenue
Rochel Bryant: Assistant Residence Supervisor, 109 Clinton & Battery
Ryan Stephenson: Assistant Residence Supervisor, 691 Madison
Woigline Zamy: Residence Supervisor, East 54th & East 102nd Street
Jacqueline Hagans: Behavioral Intervention Specialist, Lamoka Avenue
Chantel Bathersfield: Behavioral Intervention Specialist, 691 Madison, 49 Madison & Tilden Avenue
Pierre Cadeau: Behavioral Intervention Specialist, 226th & 233rd Street
Nandkumar Prasad: Registered Nurse, 226th & 233rd Street
Patricia Menyuah: Registered Nurse, Ocean Avenue, Lucille Avenue & Battery
Nannette Wharton: RN Coordinator, Brooklyn
Patrick Henriques: RN Coordinator, Brooklyn
Christian Rodriguez: Assistant Controller, 110 York Street

Soaring to New Heights

Congratulations to the following ILA staff on their outstanding promotions at the Agency:

Emil Redzematovic: From Human Resources Support Specialist to Purchasing Specialist
Roylyn Thomas: From HR Benefits Specialist to Director of Human Resources

Nayeka Henry-Hagerman: From Human Resources Recruiter to Talent Acquisition Manager

Looking for a Great Career?

Do you want to work for an organization where you can help people thrive? ILA is seeking diligent and caring professionals to join our dynamic team. We offer job stability, training opportunities, and unlimited advancement potential in a vibrant, supportive environment. Our culturally diverse, dedicated staff enables us to fulfill our mission of providing the best care available for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. ILA provides a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package for employees, including:
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Prescription
  • Vision
  • Disability
  • Hospitalization
  • Paid vacation, holidays, sick, personal, and bereavement days
  • 403 (b) noncontributory annuity plan
  • Life insurance coverage
  • 401 (k) contributory annuity
  • Long-term health care insurance
  • Tuition reimbursement

For a list of current job openings at ILA, visit ilaonline.org or call 718-852-2000. Follow us on social media for more information on our job fairs.

In Memoriam

ILA mourns the passing of five members of our ILA family. We remember our beloved Individuals, James, Sean, Jacqueline, and Louis, and our dedicated cook, Robert James, who brightened the lives of Individuals and staff while he worked at 691 Madison.
We miss you dearly and we will continue to hold you in our hearts.
May you all rest in peace.

Help Us Make a Difference

ILA is grateful to all of our supporters for enabling us to enrich the lives of every Individual we serve. Your generous contributions make it possible for Individuals to enhance their independence, self-sufficiency, and daily living skills while enjoying increased socialization and community inclusion at our residences and day programs.

Your support remains crucial to ensure the delivery of these essential services. Any donation – large or small – is instrumental in ensuring that our programs and services continue to operate successfully, providing further opportunities for our Individuals to thrive.

To make a tax-deductible donation to ILA, please call 718-852-2000 or visit us online at ilaonline.org/support-ila.

We also encourage you to consider opportunities for planned giving, estate planning, or a commemorative donation to honor a loved one. To submit a check to ILA, please forward your payment to Independent Living Association, 110 York Street, 4th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: Alex Kan, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Kan can also answer any questions you have regarding planned giving and other types of donations.

Thank you for your support!
Established 1984
John P. Welch


Board of Directors
Carlton T. Butler, Esq.

Board Chair, President, & Secretary

Lola Simpson, MS

Board Member

Rita Derman

Board Member

Bob McKenna

Board Member

Executive Staff
Frank De Lucia

Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer

Ava Morgan

Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

Alex Kan

Chief Financial Officer

Editor & Contributing Writer

Kelly Kass

Contributing Writer

Ivy Ching

Contributing Photographers

Shenee Briggs, Shante Campbell, Martin Castro, Keicha Goulbourne, Nayeka Henry-Hagerman, Omar James, Kelly Kass, Dvorah Martin, Tania Moreta, Nicole Sawyers, Ben Soto


Hive Art Media

ILA adheres to the principles of Medicaid Compliance. Please direct any concerns to Teako Lewis, Corporate Compliance Specialist, who can be reached at 718-852-2000, or by email at [email protected]. Anyone wishing to leave a confidential message can call the Corporate Compliance Hotline at 718-858-1204.

Connect With Us!

Lots of great things are happening at ILA! Visit ilaonline.org or follow us on social media for a glimpse of our programs, staff, events, motivational quotes, and much more! Like or share our posts to help us raise awareness about ILA’s Culture of Caring and our life-changing services for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.



110 York Street
4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

P: 718-852-2000
F: 718-852-2027
[email protected]