Our Roots

More than 40 years ago, a group a local parents and families came together with a common vision to create better living opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Built on the foundation of compassionate and quality care, CDS Life Transitions was born.

Our History

1977

Where It All Began

Continuing Developmental Services, Inc. began with a group of parents whose goal was to ensure quality services would always be available for their children, no matter their ages. This later became known as CDS Monarch  and further developed to form CDS Life Transitions, as we know it today.

1979

Commitment to Providing Rewarding Employment Opportunities

With the goal to provide employment opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Unistel Industries’ was formed. Shortly after, Unistel’s  growth opened the opportunity to develop a retail product, Salute Seasonings 

2007

Devoted to Supporting Unfunded Areas of Need

Coming full circle, with the support of various community partners and donors, the CDS Wolf Foundation was founded in 2007 with the goal to continue to provide unfunded services like Warrior Salute Veterans Services, for others in the community. 

2010

A Passion for Helping Our Heroes

Upon seeing military personnel come home from war with limited support and with the goal to help struggling veterans successfully transition back into their communities, Warrior Salute Veteran Services was born.  

2012

A Mission to Make Affordable, Quality Housing Accessible to All

The need for affordable housing for seniors and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities became evident in New York State. As a result, CDS Housing was formed with the goal to provide quality, affordable housing opportunities for those in our community. We became the first non-profit developer building these affordable, accessible communities, including units set aside for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, veterans, families and seniors, in New York State.

2015

A Commitment to Improving the System

When it became clear that New York State intended to move to a Managed Care System, iCircle Services was created by providers with a passion for caring for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in the hopes of maintaining quality care and improving the lives of the people we serve. Even before the state was ready to make the change, iCircle began operating as a Managed Long-Term Care Plan for people with chronic illnesses. iCircle is provider and individual focused, with a commitment to quality customer service, which is why it has quickly grown to assist more than 3,000 people across 22 counties in Upstate New York.

2016

Dedication to Educating our Community

In an effort to provide professional development resources to our CDS Life Transitions team, the Allentoff  Institute was formed. Today, a wide variety of classes are open to CDS staff, individuals we serve, and the community at large.

2018

At the Forefront of Major Changes

When New York State began the shift to Managed Care, Health Homes were created to handle service coordination for Medicaid eligible individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CDS Monarch worked with a number of community partners to create Prime Care Coordination. CDS Monarch is proud to have ownership in a company which is committed to providing the best possible care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, those already in the system, and those entering the system now.

We’re Just Getting Started

We’re not stopping here. We take pride in our innovative and forward-thinking approach to serve those with complex and diverse needs in our community. We are excited to continue to transform, evolve, and grow to help even more individuals in need throughout our community

Our Commitment

We take an innovative approach in championing our diverse community of organizations in providing compassionate, holistic, and exceptional support for the people we serve.

Why Work With Us?

CDS will work courageously

We’re Courageous

We’re not afraid to step outside our comfort zone, and we face challenges with confidence

CDS will work to inspire

We Inspire

We are motivated daily by the people we assist

CDs will work with compassion

We’re Compassionate

We work to understand the challenges faced by the people we assist and empower them to overcome these obstacles

CDS will work to embrace innovation

We Embrace Innovation

We constantly seek out new and different approaches to meet our mission

CDS will work to build a community

We Build Community

We share common values, mutual respect, joint responsibility, and ownership of our mission with all stakeholders

CDS will work with the highest standard of professional behavior.

We Exemplify Professionalism

We conduct ourselves with responsibility, integrity, and excellence while upholding the highest standard of professional behavior

Our Team

Meet Our Senior Leadership

  • Sankar Sewnauth
    Sankar Sewnauth
    Sankar Sewnauth, MPA
    President & CEO
    Sankar Sewnauth serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CDS Life Transitions. He began his career working for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a direct support professional and has held a variety of leadership positions since joining the Agency in 1989. He is responsible for the overall strategic vision, growth, leadership and administration of more than 1,200 people employed across 36-counties in New York State. Under his leadership, CDS Life Transitions has grown into one of the largest, most diversified, high quality run not-for-profits in New York State.
  • Andrew Sewnauth
    Andrew Sewnauth
    Andrew Sewnauth, MBA, MDiv
    Chief Operating Officer, CDS Life Transitions, Executive Director, CDS Monarch
    Andrew Sewnauth joined CDS Monarch in 2005 when he began his career as a direct support professional and has served in numerous capacities since his start. He is the Executive Director of CDS Monarch, with responsibilities for all day-to-day operations as well as administrative functions. As Chief Operating Officer for CDS Life Transitions, he supports all affiliates with strategic relationships and planning.
  • Sharon Marble
    Sharon Marble
    Sharon Marble, MSM
    Chief Operating Officer, iCircle
    Sharon Marble has been with CDS since 1987. She has held a variety of roles in direct care and leadership of OPWDD services. Sharon was integral in forming and operationalizing iCircle. In 2014, she became the Chief Operating Officer of iCircle where she is responsible for oversight of all operational procedures, systems, and controls.
  • Judy Consadine
    Judy Consadine
    Judy Consadine, CPA, MBA
    Executive Vice President of Finance
    Judy Consadine joined CDS Life Transitions in 2000. She has 25 years of experience in finance. Judy oversees all financial operations for CDS Life Transitions.
  • Dr. Joel Haas
    Dr. Joel Haas
    Joel Haas, M.D.
    Chief Medical Officer, iCircle & Warrior Salute Veteran Services
    Dr. Joel Haas joined iCircle and Warrior Salute Veteran Services in 2018 with more than 30 years of experience as a practicing physician and retired Medical Director from the Rochester V.A. Dr. Haas is responsible for oversight of medical and clinical review, he chairs numerous committees, and he monitors quality improvement activities.
  • Kate Wagner
    Kate Wagner
    Kate Wagner
    Executive Director, Prime Care Coordination
    Kate Wagner started with CDS Monarch in 2012 as a registered nurse and worked her way up to Vice President of Operations for CDS Monarch and Warrior Salute Veteran Services. Ms. Wagner has overseen the care and support of more than 1500 people with IDD, gaining expertise in administration and leadership, nursing and clinical services, facilities, quality management and driving systemic improvements. She has a keen focus on the delivery of services to the individuals and families Prime Care Coordination serves and appreciates the role of PCC in their lives.

Meet Our Board of Directors

  • Richard Ferrari
    Richard Ferrari
    Richard Ferrari
    Chair
    Mr. Ferarri is the Vice President and Commercial Lender at Community Bank N.A. He has been a board member at CDS for 20 years.
  • Greg Gribben
    Greg Gribben
    Greg Gribben
    First Vice Chair
    Mr. Gribben is a Partner at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
  • Jennifer Carlson
    Jennifer Carlson
    Jennifer Carlson
    Second Vice Chair
    Mrs. Carlson is CEO at FLACRA
  • William Woodard
    William Woodard
    William Woodard
    Treasurer
    Mr. Woodard is a family member whose daughter lives at the CDS Monarch Turk Hill Apartments and is a retired financial executive.
  • Richard Yarmel
    Richard Yarmel
    Richard Yarmel
    Secretary
    Mr. Yarmel is a Partner at
    Harter Secrest & Emery LLP.
  • Jean Lowe
    Jean Lowe
    Jean Lowe
    Ms. Lowe is the retired President of the Greater Rochester Housing Partnership. Her son works for Unistel Industries.
  • Jerry McCullough
    Jerry McCullough
    Jerry McCullough
    CDS Wolf Foundation Board Chair
    Mr. McCullough is the Vice President at Ryan Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Fire Protection. He feels connected to the mission because he has an uncle with a developmental disability.
  • Glenn Pezzulo
    Glenn Pezzulo
    Glenn Pezzulo
    Mr. Pezzulo is a partner at Barclay Damon, LLP. 
  • Robert Relph
    Robert Relph
    Robert Relph
    Mr. Relph is the CEO of Relph Benefit Advisors
  • Tim Thaney
    Tim Thaney
    Tim Thaney
    Mr. Thaney is a Partner at
    DeJoy Knauf & Blood LLP.
  • Dr. James Evans
    Dr. James Evans
    Dr. James Evans
  • Mark Peterson
    Mark Peterson
    Mark Peterson
  • Timothy Pope
    Timothy Pope
    Tim Pope
    Mr. Pope is CEO at
    Ironwood Heavy Highway, LLC.

Ready to make a difference?

Transform your passion into a rewarding career. Explore job openings at our diverse community of CDS Life Transitions organizations.

Our Impact

“When my parents envisioned a better life for my younger brother, Carl, CDS Monarch was there. And more than 20 years later, CDS is still here! The whole spectrum of his care is managed by CDS-not just the care that he receives now, but in the future as well.”

CHUCK FYLES, FAMILY MEMBER