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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.
  • 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 and has been involved with the organization for nearly 20 years. She is a Senior Manager of Regulatory Compliance with the Duquesne Light Company in Pittsburgh. She graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh. 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.
  • Amy Wilkenson - Westmoreland County
    Amy Wilkinson recently joined the ESCA board as the recording secretary. Amy graduated from Penn State as an Electrical Engineer and the University of Pittsburgh with an MBA. After working in the utility industry for a time, she focused on raising her three children with her husband David who is a police officer in an Allegheny County municipality. Amy now continues to work in several part-time situations and volunteers actively in the community and ministries of Poke Run Presbyterian Church in Mamont.
  • Jennifer Price - Westmoreland County
    Jennifer Price is a special education attorney in the Pittsburgh metro area who has received awards for her legal skills and advocacy. She was a former prosecutor for the Allegheny County Office of the District Attorney in both the adult and juvenile divisions, where she honed her craft for advocating on behalf of others. She believes in making sure every child has an opportunity to succeed both in school and in life. Her boutique law firm provides disability law-related legal services in special educational law, guardianships, and special needs trusts. With over 10 years of experience, Jennifer Price has advocated on behalf of individuals from protecting their assets to protecting their education. She is the author of the book, EmpowerEd: Using Real Case Examples to Look Deeper into IEP Management, where she summarizes legal cases and provides analytical questions, in a workbook format, to help parents analyze their child’s educational situation. Jennifer Price is a dedicated volunteer in the community where she has served on boards including Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council and Adagio Health. She is a former hearing officer for the Disciplinary Board for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania where she held this position for six years. In addition to ESCA, Mrs. Price currently serves on the boards of the Murrysville Community Library Foundation and Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania. She lives in Murrysville with her husband and two children.

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.
  • Heather Speeney, Associate Director, Full Time
  • Lisa Hnath, Office Support, Part time
  • Linda Leavy, Office Support, Part time
  • Christine McAdams, Office Support, Part Time
  • Ron Forys, Volunteer, Business Office

Recent News

Virtual 5K fundraiser

Registration is OPEN!! Remember this is our Virtual 5K Fundraiser to take place April 3rd through April 10th to raise ...

Free Virtual Art: Happy Hour and a Doodle!

Our wonderful Miss Gabi is starting a Doodle series with ESCA! Every Tuesday night at 6:30pm for 15-30 min Miss ...

FREE Virtual Art Class!!

Get Ready for some FREE creative fun!!
We have Miss Gabi back for a 3 month series on Saturday ...

Friendship group!

Hello ESCA Friends! We have been running a social get together at ESCA for quite a while on Fridays, and ...

My Ground Strokes Program!

One of the programs we sponsor, My Ground Strokes, (A youth-led organization that offers free tennis training to children with ...

Upcoming Events

March 01, 2021

  • Art from the Heart (On hold due to Covid-19)
    9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Drumstix @ Redstone Highlands Murrysville (On hold due to Covid-19)
    3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

March 02, 2021

  • Happy Hour with a Doodle
    6:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    VIRTUAL
View All Events »