Board of Directors
- Darlene Donofrio, Chair
- Susan Hoger, RCAL Chief Executive Officer
- Paul Scarpati, Secretary
- Brad Bernard, Treasurer
- Joan Gundersen
- Brian Berry
- Claudette Ford
- Keith Gurgui
- R. Marie Altenau
- Paula Kindos-Carberry
Policy & Procedures
Darlene Donofrio, Chair
Darlene Donofrio is the Manager of Community Services with Health Alliance Hospital: Broadway Campus. In this role, Darlene manages all aspects of Community services including installations of equipment and educating the community on falls safety and the benefits of a medical alert unit. Before joining the Kingston Hospital in 2004, Darlene worked for many years with not-for-profit agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities. In this role, Darlene was responsible for enriching the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Darlene helps educate independent older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions on how to avoid falls and to have a plan in place if they do. Darlene’s goal is for older adults to feel more confident about continuing to live independently in the one place where they feel most comfortable – their own homes. Darlene lives in Ulster county.
Paul Scarpati, Secretary
Paul Scarpati is a locally based Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Professional who has worked in a variety of settings with people throughout the lifespan in the Ulster county community since 2013. Providing opportunities for individuals to achieve their highest level of function and independence in their lives is a driving force for Paul, which matches with RCAL‘s mission as an Independent Living Center. He enjoys problem solving ways to increase accessibility and reduce barriers to independence. This includes being part of a team that utilized a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand for one of his students.
Paul has been a member of the RCAL Board since 2005 and has participated as a Board member and on the Executive Committee. Paul resides in New Paltz with his wife and two children. He can be found on the hiking and biking and rail trails or traveling to campgrounds throughout the state.
Brad Bernard, Treasurer
Brad Bernard has been the Branch Manager at Community Bank since 2013. He has many years of experience working in the banking industry and as a Regional Sales Manager. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ithaca College. He has served on a number of Boards, including Health Care Is A Human Right, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ulster County, and the Catskill Community Food Program. He also enjoys volunteer service and he is passionate about helping individuals with disabilities. He has been on the RCAL Board for a number of years.
Brad enjoys hiking, camping and spending time outdoors.
Brian Berry, Board Member
Brian Berry is currently a Registered Nurse practicing at the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley: Broadway campus. He cares for post-operative patients, most of whom have new knees and hips. He completed his Nursing training at Ulster County Community College in 1996. In 2000 he received his Paramedic Certificate from Hudson Valley Community College. He has been a Member of RCAL‘s Board of Directors for a number of years.
Brian practices as a volunteer with the Woodstock Rescue Squad. He has organized many Red Cross blood drives in Woodstock and has given many pints of blood himself. He is married to a wonderful woman for over twenty years and lives in Mount Tremper. They both enjoy bicycling and hiking in the Catskill Mountains.
Rita Marie Altenau, Board Member
Rita Marie Altenau is a semi-retired teacher with degrees from SUNY Ulster at Cortland and Russell Sage in Albany. She currently substitutes in local Elementary schools. Her past experience is mostly working with children with disabilities. She has also held leadership roles with Girl Scouts, conducted fundraising and badge work for the Boy Scouts, assisted with youth bicycle trips, and provided respite to families with children with disabilities enrolled in religious education programs. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance hiking, traveling, reading and gardening.
Rita Marie Altenau states “After years of preparing children with disabilities for the world, I find that the world needs to prepare for them. RCAL staff work constantly to see that the barriers to success are removed so that all may reach whatever level of independence and self-determination is possible. As a Resource Center, it opens doors to help from other places, if that is what is needed. I am constantly amazed at the ability of this agency to rise to the occasion and to go the extra mile when there is a need. I am proud to have been asked to serve on the RCAL Board of Directors.”
Rita Marie was gladly welcomed back to the Board in 2016.
Keith Gurgui, Board Member
Keith Gurgui‘s first experience with RCAL began in 2009 after he suffered a spinal cord injury during summer vacation. In need of environmental modifications to make his home wheelchair accessible and to organize and monitor an array of different services after rehabilitation, Keith became one of RCAL’s consumers being served under the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Medicaid waiver program. After his first year or so home after rehabilitation at Helen Hayes Hospital, Keith’s Service Coordinator made him aware of a part-time job opening at RCAL and encouraged him to apply.
Not too long after that, he began working as RCAL‘s Systems Advocate in May of 2011. After more than five years as Systems Advocate, Keith has decided to leave his position to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at SUNY New Paltz beginning in the Fall of 2016.
Keith is new to the Board, having been asked to become a member in June of 2016. In addition to serving on RCAL‘s Board of Directors, Keith serves on the Boards of the New York State Independent Lilving Council and the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.
Claudette Ford, Board Member
Claudette Ford is one of the newest Board Members at RCAL. She has been a Consultant at Clarose & Associates for over ten years. She received her Masters in Business Administration at Marymount University in Virginia. She was President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Hartford, Connecticut Chapter, which helped create educational scholarships. After she became legally blind, Claudette became sensitive to the need for accessibility and safety as it relates to persons with disabilities.
Claudette has served on numerous Boards (Keep America Beautiful, Pump House Gallery, Girl Scouts of America, Juvenile Community Advisory Board). She enjoys reading, theater and the Arts in her spare time.