Al Condeluci

Al Condeluci

Al Condeluci has been an advocate, a catalyst for building community capacities, and a leader in understanding social culture since 1970. Born and raised in the steel town of Pittsburgh, PA, where he still makes his home, Al received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Youngstown State University and his Master's in Social Work and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1973, he has worked as an attendant, caseworker, advocate, planner, program director, and, now, CEO of his organization, CLASS. CLASS has created a family of corporations and is dedicated to its mission: working toward a community where each belongsCLASS, under Al’s leadership, has grown to become the third largest disability specific agency in Southwestern PA. CLASS was listed in the "50 Best Places to Work” in Allegheny County, PA, in 2007 and 2011.

Along with his work at CLASS, Al is associated with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social WorkSchool of Health and Rehabilitation Science and Robert Morris University Graduate School of Business. In these academic roles Al teaches, supervises students, and serves as advisor and consultant.

Al has emerged as a national leader and consultant on human services and community issues. He speaks annually to national and international audiences, reaching some 15,000 people each year. His books can be found here and have won praises and awards for their thoughtful approach to culture and community and are now used at many colleges, universities, and in-service settings.

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Jamie Curran

Jamie Curran holds a degree in Psychology from York University in Toronto and has been enhancing the lives of individuals who have an intellectual disability for over 20 years. In his role as Manager of the Outcome Support Team at Community Living Mississauga (CLM), Jamie is responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of all quality assurance initiatives.

Certified as a reliable interviewer and trainer by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) since 2004, Jamie has participated in accreditation reviews and has conducted and overseen hundreds of interviews using the CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures process. Jamie is an experienced presenter and has developed numerous staff training workshops for CLM. Jamie has presented workshops on Building Social Capital at associations and conferences across Ontario. One of the co-founders of the Interdependence Network, Jamie has helped organise and facilitate numerous symposiums on social capital throughout the United States and Canada. Jamie has also played a key role in the development of the many tools and resources offered by the Interdependence Network.

Jamie has authored an article entitled “Building a Community That is Open to All” in the February 2009: Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation ISO Press Special Issue on Social Capital and Disability. Jamie can be reached at

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Jeff Fromknecht

Jeff is the President of Side Project Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting charitable and philanthropic efforts large and small. His team provides legal and professional services to socially-minded people and organizations. Jeff is licensed to practice law in both Pennsylvania and Florida and splits his time between Pittsburgh, PA and Boynton Beach, FL.

Jeff holds graduate degrees in both social work and law and has over 12 years of experience working at nonprofit organizations in a variety of direct service and administrative roles. Most recently, Jeff worked as a community partner at Community Living and Support Services (CLASS) in Pittsburgh, where he developed and evaluated programs designed to help people with disabilities to build social capital. He has developed several presentations and has co-authored two published articles related to the community engagement – The Critical Nature of Social Capital and Social Capital: A View from the Field. Working with Dr. Condeluci he co-authored Social Capital: The Key to Macro Change a book that takes a strategic look at the interdependent paradigm, the importance of social capital, how it manifests, and what sets approach apart from micro or clinical efforts. 

Patti Flaherty

Patti Flaherty lives in British Columbia, Canada, and is the Executive Director of CONNECT Communities. She has been working with people with disabilities and in the field of rehabilitation and health services for more than 20 years. Patti has an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and a Master of Education degree from Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario.  Patti has also completed the Executive Health Leadership Program from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.

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Marti Howard is the Quality Assurance Coordinator for John F. Murphy Homes, Inc. in Auburn, Maine, an agency that provides specialized supports to people with developmental disabilities.  She has worked for JFM for 23 years and worn several other hats including Direct Service Professional, Developmental Training Coordinator and Administrator.  Known for her ability to create a dynamic team she loves to help people find their strengths and use them for good.  Before working for JFM, Marti worked with troubled youth in a group home in New Hampshire and processed disability claims for Prudential Insurance Company in New Jersey.

Marti holds a B.A. from Wheaton College (Illinois) in Christian Education.  Hailing from New Jersey she bemoans her forever status as “from away” by the locals in Maine.  When not at work, Marti and her husband home-school one of their two teenagers, garden and work to mobilize the power of community through their local church.   A brain science junky, Marti loves to share how new findings can revolutionize relationships, especially between parents and children.  Marti can be reached at (207) 782-2726 ext. 216 or mhoward (at) jfmhomes (dot) org.

Rachel Drew

Rachel Drew is Director of Mamre Association in Brisbane Australia and has worked in the area of disability for 26 years.  Rachel is passionate about family support on a family, community and sector level.  She has represented Mamre on a local, national and international level through presentations, conferences, training and conversations, sharing a values-based approach to supporting people with disability and their families.  Rachel is also very committed to supporting positive change through capacity building and is often responding to requests from families and services who are seeking ways to shift the power of choice and control from services to families and individuals.

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David Isitt

David Isitt is Manager Effecting Change for Mamre Association based in Brisbane Australia and has worked in the area of disability for 28 years both in Australia and New Zealand. During this time he has filled a number of roles which have involved family support, service development and management.  David’s current role sees him managing the Pave the Way program which works with families throughout Queensland to clarify their vision and to plan for a good life for their relatives with a disability and the Brisbane based program Inspirit which works to build the capacity of families, services and the broader community to work towards positive change for people with a disability and the community.

Rex Zimmerman

Rex Zimmerman is Vice President of Programs and Services at Hope Services in San Jose, California, and was published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation in 2008. Rex has more than 20 years of experience serving people with disabilities. Having worked at Crippled Children’s Society, Eastfield Children’s Center, and Zonta Children’s Center, he joined the Skills Center in July of 1990. With a background in psychiatric nursing and special education, he started as a direct service staff member and was promoted to manager in 1991. Rex’s accomplishments include the development of the Mobile Work Group, an integrated day program providing work opportunities to people with challenging behaviors; development of the Skills Center’s successful Staff Development program; and certification as a PART instructor. Rex holds an Associate Arts degree as a Psychiatric Technician, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Master of Management and Disability Services degree from the University of San Francisco.


Dr. Stuart Kamenetsky - University of Toronto Department of Psychology 

Dr. Marita Flagler - Shippensburg University Department of Social Work