?
Do something extraordinary. Become a citizen advocate.

Board & Staff

The program is governed by a local board of directors consisting of business professionals, community leaders, and individuals who are concerned about the welfare of people with developmental disabilities.

Board of Directors

  • Perry R. Giovannelli - Westmoreland County
    Perry is the President for ESCA's Board and he brings a wealth of experience to his role as Senior Managing Consultant. Perry has a background in asset management for both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans. Prior to joining The PFM Group, he spent the last 8.5 years with PNC Institutional Investments focused on DB and C&E assets. He has 15 years of experience in the investment industry working with Public & Taft Hartley DB plans, Religious organizations, Higher Education, Healthcare and C&E assets. Perry spent several years with Manning & Napier Advisors Inc. working with Institutional Assets and he worked at Automatic Data Processing, INC (ADP), overseeing the retirement plan design as retirement services district manager. He also worked in the payroll and Human resources division at ADP for over six years. He earned his BS degree in Human Resource Management and MA degree in Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
  • Jill Krauza - Westmoreland County
    Jill is the Secretary for ESCA's Board and is currently Director of Human Resources at Vocollect, a Business Unit of Intermec. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing the full spectrum of Human Resources services. Prior to joining Vocollect, Jill was an Assistant Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Pittsburgh Branch with responsibilities in various departments, including the Treasury Retail Securities and Human Resources functions. Ms. Krauza received a bachelor's degree in business from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, a master's degree in business from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXVII. She has earned a designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Human Resource Certification Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, and a designation as a Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute.
  • William R. Foster - Allegheny County
    Bill is Treasurer for ESCA's Board and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a retired accounting manager from CONSOL Energy Inc. His career at CONSOL spanned thirty one years, where he served in a variety of financial accounting positions, including corporate accounting, regional accounting, Controller's staff, and revenue and disbursements accounting. Bill began his accounting career as an auditor at Price Waterhouse & Co. (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), an international accounting and consulting firm. Bill earned his BA degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Westminster College. He is an active member of Baldwin Community United Methodist Church, where he has served on several committees and groups, including the Board of Trustees, Program Council, the Methodist Men, and currently, the Finance Committee. He is also a past adult leader for Boy Scout Troop 323. Bill is the proud father of one adult son, and is an advocate for his brother who has cerebral palsy.
  • Peggy Slezak - Westmoreland County
    Peggy is serving on the ESCA Board and is a licensed social worker with a BA in Psychology and a MSW (Masters in Social Work). She has been working in the mental health field for 32 years as a child and adolescent therapist. Peggy is currently employed by Excela Health and contracted by Derry Area School District as a school based therapist in the Derry Middle School and High School. Peggy volunteers with Special Olympics Allegheny County and is a certified coach in basketball and swimming. Peggy has served on the Westmoreland County Farm Bureau board as secretary, treasurer and a board member and on the state board as Women’s Committee representative. She is currently the county newsletter editor. Peggy and her husband Fred own and operate a grain farm and have three children. The family attends St. James Church where Peggy and her daughter, Emma, are altar servers. Peggy is a strong advocate for Emma as she begins the transition process from high school to adulthood.
  • Dennis Gounley, Esq-Westmoreland County
    Dennis Gounley graduated St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 1971 and went on to graduate from Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle Pa in 1974. Since then, he has practiced private, mostly civil law, as a sole practitioner from his office in Greensburg, Pa. Since 1992 he has served as a Mental Health Review Officer for Westmoreland County. He has also been a member of the Murrysville-Export Rotary Club since 1988, serving as president from 1999-2000. His efforts with the Rotary included fundraising efforts in support of the Miracle Field Project in Murrysville, PA. He is married to Martha, who is also an attorney.
  • Jacqueline Smith-Westmoreland County
    Jacquie has recently rejoined the ESCA Board. She is a Senior Consultant for Reliability First Corporation headquartered in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from Purdue University in 1986 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She also earned an M.S.in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She is active in The Golden Triangle Bull Terrier Club and is an active member of her church serving on committees at St. John the Baptist Church. Jacquie has served as an advocate and volunteer payee for many years for an individual with developmental disabilities. Jacquie and her husband, Bill are both generous supporters of ESCA with their time and resources.
  • Clare Budd, DO-Westmoreland County
    Dr. Clare Budd is a 1984 graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She has been practicing medicine for 31 years and currently has an office in Murrysville. She specializes in Family Medicine and is affiliated with UPMC. Her medical practice supports many individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Clare Budd and her husband, Dr. James Budd, have three adult children. Two of her children have complicated developmental disabilities which include the medical term: mental retardation. Dr. Budd also has a brother with a developmental disability.

Staff Members

  • Kate Cala, Executive Director
    Kate has been involved with ESCA as an advocate since 1998 and the Coordinator from 2005-2009. She was made the Executive Director in 2010.
  • Dreama Bartolacci, Advocacy Coordinator, Part time
  • Luke Stynchula, Technology Assistant, Part time
  • Simone D'Souza, Office Support, Part time
  • Christine McAdams, Office Support, Part Time
  • Ron Forys, Volunteer, Business Office
  • Rose House, Volunteer, Advocate

Recent News

2018 Park Ticket Sale (Sandcastle and Idlewild)

You can now buy tickets at a discounted rate while supporting the Autism Connection of PA. Sandcastle Tickets ...

Drumstix Ends with a BANG

Another successful year has ended for the DrumStix Program at Clelian Heights. Colleen Bortz led the group from September ...

Kentucky Derby - Turtle Creek Rotary

A big thank you to the Turtle Creek Satellite Club for hosting an amazing Kentucky Derby event in Oakland this ...

Special Olympics - ESCA Hosts Booth in Olympic Village

This Years Westmoreland Track and Field Special Olympics was held at Norwin Stadium. ESCA hosted a booth in the ...

Update from the PA Waiting List Campaign

The PA Waiting List Campaign is excited to announce the governor is proposing a new High School waiting list initiative ...

Upcoming Events

View All Events »