[KeyStoneChapter] FW: OVR BBVS Director & Acting Operations Manager

Joseph Drenth joe.drenth at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 13:11:18 UTC 2020

>From OVR Executive Director Shannon Austin:
I am pleased to let everyone know that we have hired Rod Alcidonis, the new
Bureau of Blindness and Visual Service (BBVS) Director, and Anne Strollo as
the Acting Operations Manager. They both will be starting their positions on
June 29th.  
Rod Alcidonis Bio -
Rod Alcidonis is a long-time advocate on behalf of individuals with
disabilities. As an attorney, he spent close to ten years litigating civil
cases in the greater Philadelphia area on behalf of under-represented
individuals, including those with disabilities. Rod has also served as a
legal consultant to the Pennsylvania Client Assistant Program. After leaving
the private practice of law, Rod went on to work as the Executive Director
of the non-profit organization, Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania,
where he was responsible for administering accessible housing programs and
initiatives for Pennsylvanians with disabilities on behalf of the
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance
Agency and other organizations. 
Rod was appointed to the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee for the Blind in
2013 and was most recently the Chair of the Committee until his appointment
to the role of Bureau Director. Rod has also served as a member of The
Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities
following his appointment to the Committee in 2017.
Prior to entering law practice, Rod worked with individuals who are blind or
visually impaired for over 20 years as a Camp Counselor, a Braille and Music
Instructor, a mentor to college-bound students and an adviser to parents of
students who are blind or visually impaired. In addition to his legal
background, Rod has garnered extensive experience and expertise in an array
of blindness-related assistive technology for increasing accessibility in
the home, the workplace and in the classroom. He is a self-taught computer
programmer, a sound engineer and an avid musician of several tunes.
Given the demands of a constantly changing world, Rod believes that for
individuals who are blind or visually impaired to succeed in the 21st
century and reach their maximum potential, we must ensure they are fully
informed of all available opportunities, equipped with proper technological
tools, and sufficiently supported with resources and services that are
specifically tailored to prepare them to excel in the classroom, compete in
an integrated workplace and to be able to live independently in a home that
is configured for their personal comfort and enjoyment.
Rod earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Plattsburgh State
University of New York and his Juris Doctorate degree from Roger Williams
University School of Law. Rod currently maintains active law licenses in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the State of New Jersey.
Anne Strollo Bio - 
Anne started her career with the Commonwealth as a Capital Semester Intern
and then completed a one year training program as a Pennsylvania Management
Intern in the Governor's Office. Her next position was with the Department
of Public Welfare working as the Attendant Care Program Manager. Anne became
the Assistant District Administrator in Altoona BBVS in 1992 and then the
District Administrator in 2003. She now has 28 years of management
experience with BBVS.
Anne has participated in many workgroups over the years with an emphasis on
program development and writing policies/procedures/handbooks. Her work
focus has been on customer service and staff development, and she was part
of the initial team that developed the Summer Academy Program.
Anne graduated from Bloomsburg University of PA with a bachelor's degree in
psychology and earned her master's degree in applied research and evaluation
from Indiana University of PA.
Shannon Austin, M.S., CRC, CWDP, GCDP, OWDS| Executive Director
PA Department of Labor and Industry | Office of Vocational Rehabilitation 
1521 North Sixth Street | Harrisburg, PA 17102 
Office (717) 783-3784 Cell (717) 579-0108
Email  <mailto:shaaustin at pa.gov> shaaustin at pa.gov
Joseph Drenth 
First Vice-President, National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation
Senior R&D Software Engineer, JBT Corporation, Automated Systems Division
Cell: 215-827-7787
Email: joe.drenth at gmail.com
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