MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER AND AUTHOR
DIANNE BILYAK is a Pushcart-prize nominated writer and graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music and Art. Her book of poems Against the Turning was published in 2011, and her work has been featured in America Magazine, Drunken Boat, The Massachusetts Review, and The Tampa Review. In 2012 and 2013 her plays Cradle to Gravy and The Unauthorized Biography of Dr. Irma King were chosen to be part of the United Solo Festival on Manhattan’s Theater Row. Bilyak’s interviews with poets can be found on the Poetry Society of America’s website, and her memoir, Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters, published by Wesleyan University Press, is available at HFS Books, Amazon, and B&N. Find out more at her website: www.diannebilyak.com.
Frank Bartoli is the founder and CEO of NEPA Inclusive. His career spans more than 25 years of successful non-profit leadership experience. His advocacy experience, and the reason for starting NEPA Inclusive, includes advocating for his own daughter Ellie, who has Down Syndrome, and was fully included in her high school classroom, as well as attending typical community programs.
Frank furthered his advocacy experience as the Executive Director of The Arc of Delaware County, a Board of Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania, and as President of The Arc Community Trust, an organization that manages more than 1100 special needs and education trusts. His non-profit leadership experience includes multiple positions within the YMCA movement, including Executive Director/CEO of the Greater Pittston YMCA, and Associate Executive Director at the Ambler Area YMCA, a branch of The YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity. He provides consulting and grant writing services to non-profit organizations under his private business called Bartoli Advocacy and Consulting Services.
Joseph Sulpizio is a senior attorney in our Philadelphia office. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
Joseph represented low-income elderly clients, including those with special needs, while serving as a Student Attorney in the College of Law’s Elder Law Clinic, gaining valuable advocacy and litigation experience. He was awarded the Onondaga County Bar Association Award for his clinic work.
Before joining the Cuddy Law Firm, Joseph served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Margherita Patti-Worthington, President Judge of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas (PA), where he conducted legal research on various substantive and procedural issues and drafted opinions, orders and legal memoranda for the court.
Pastor Lamont E. Purnell is the Executive Pastor of New Church of Redemption at 60 Fir Avenue, Bear, DE. He is President and Founder of Innovative Treatment Alternatives (ITA), Inc. a non-profit 501(C)(3) faith-based organization established in 1992. He attended West Catholic Boys and John Bartram High School and entered the Army at age 17 where he earned a GED diploma and was honorably discharged. His first real job was as ZEROX operator and mail room clerk for an actuarial firm. It was there he taught himself to operate and ultimately programming the IBM 5110 computer, the father of the PC. He found his calling working for Crisis management Services as mental health counselor and case manager on its’ residential unit.
As one of the first Case Coordinators of Behavioral Health Special Initiative-the Act 152 Project, he saw the that devastating effects of drug abuse on our society was only getting worse. Recognizing that treatment was just a part of the recovery process, ITA was formed to fill gaps in the behavioral health service delivery system. Our focus is to provide stable supportive housing, case management, education and employment readiness & training. Our purpose is to give people tools to be resilient, self-determining and self-sufficient.
Pastor Purnell earned a degree in Human Services at night. ITA has been able to offer supportive housing and give residents an opportunity to receive diplomas and certifications in the Information Technology, Building Trades and Direct Care Workers fields. We are in the process of licensing a 34-bedroom unit to house and train formerly homeless veterans. ITAs’ “Hope Empowerment Education and Training Center” is a comprehensive adult education and training program located in North Philadelphia. You could say that his ministry to empower individuals through spirituality, education and employment training giving them hope for the future.
Pastor is married and the proud father of eleven children and a whole heap of grandchildren. My son Justin Purnell is 38 and has been working for Shop Rite since he graduated high School at age 22. Although, we didn’t know it for many years he is Autistic. Justin was diagnosed as ADHD when he was just 6. I am not an expert on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am a parent who wants to share the effects that Justin’s condition has had own our family dynamic. As a parent, I experienced denial, guilt, blame, shame and anxiety. I felt helpless and did not what to do. After all my other children were, so called normal. I had to learn that Justin is normal too.
Pennsylvania Sibling Support Network Inc. Publication 2018