In the late 1980’s, Futures teamed up with the University of CT’s Center for Excellence and began to transform traditional services for individuals with disabilities and their families. The philosophy was simple – empower each individual to live life to its fullest and know the satisfaction of personal achievement. With that philosophy in mind, Futures became the first agency of its kind in Connecticut to develop and implement customized service plans for individuals with disabilities and their families.
This includes employment at our social enterprises, educational support, mentoring, transition planning, job training and placement, independent living and recreation and community volunteerism. The services we provide improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by supporting each person and their families.
Pam is a natural leader and visionary. Her passion and ability to bring creative solutions to the many challenges facing individuals with disabilities and their families speaks for itself. Pam was the first to introduce one-on-one, community-based services in Connecticut, along with the first community-based transition school approved by State Department of Education and the first incorporated social enterprises – Good Cause Gifts and The Kitchen at Futures. These achievements have earned Futures, Inc. national recognition as an innovative model for others to follow. Pam is a long-time champion of empowering individuals with disabilities to achieve their fullest potential while enlisting the support and encouragement of their families. It is evident to all who know her that Pam lives her commitment to her profession in all that she stands for and everything she does.
Damion Williams manages Futures’ Finance department and brings solid academic and professional experience to that position. Before joining Futures, he spent 8 years as both an Accountant and Public Housing Manager in the city of Hartford working with the Hartford Tenants Rights Federation, a non-profit agency which works as the city’s advocate for low-income public housing residents. Damion is a Hartford High graduate with an Associate Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. He is currently completing a Master’s degree at the University of Hartford and a CPA degree.
Tracey is a dependable and reliable asset to Futures Inc. Her organizational abilities and attention to detail and follow through provide individual attention to each project. Tracey has a Masters in Human Service Administration and has been part of the human service advocacy system for over 25 years. Tracey has been a part of the Futures team for over a year and continues to value and promote the mission of the organization through her work in marketing and development.
Ed Orszulak, Ph. D. is a seasoned educational administrator with over 38 years of experience in public schools. He assumed the role of Director of Education for the Futures school in July 2018. As a school administrator, Ed has designed responsive and positive programming for students across the broad spectrum of disabilities. In 1995 he completed his doctoral work at the University of Connecticut. The essence of Ed’s research and practice continues to focus on best practice, staff training, and the development of strategic instructional designs to help young adults with disabilities succeed in school. He is also currently a member of adjunct faculty at the University of Connecticut providing professional instruction on topics including effective inclusion, special education law, the underlying psychopathology of disturbing behavior and responsive interventions and transformational instructional strategies. As Director of Education for the Futures School, Ed continues to connect and coordinate educational systems and community resources that effectively address the dynamic and individualized needs of our students.
Orv is one of the co-founders of Futures and has been with the organization since its inception. He has over 40 years of experience as a Professor of special education, counseling, and rehabilitation at the Universities of Wisconsin and Connecticut. He has also been a certified rehabilitation counselor, and he is licensed as a psychologist. Though he has retired from these important endeavors he still shares his invaluable wisdom, knowledge and considerable experience as a member of the Board of Directors and in his current role as a part-time consulting psychologist to Futures.
Jo-Ann began her career at Futures Inc. more than twenty years ago. In that time, she has been instrumental in building the Adult Services program into the dynamic entity that exists today. As Regional Director of Adult Services, Jo-Ann works directly with consumers, families, and other team members to develop and implement individualized programs that are designed specifically for the success of each participant. She is a passionate advocate for those she serves and also provides guidance to others in need on how to navigate state systems and apply for services. A consummate team player, Jo-Ann is well-respected both within her Futures family and the human services field at large. Though she doesn’t like talking about her accomplishments, they clearly speak for themselves.
Sharon leads by example. Her compassion, outgoing personality, and high-energy nature help to make Good Cause Gifts the successful business and employment training program it is today. Most people will tell you that you simply can’t say “no” to Sharon. Her experience in human services, retail management and long-standing connections to both Berlin and New Britain are a perfect fit for the store. Sharon’s knowledge and visibility in the community help to expand outreach and in turn increases store sales volume and employment opportunities for the individuals with disabilities. Sharon sees every employee, with or without a disability, as having potential to contribute to the business and to fulfill the Good Cause Gift’s mission to give back to the community.
Carlos Rodriquez came to work for Futures Inc. in 1995 as a job coach in the adult services division. He joined Futures School when it opened in 1997 and has been an instrumental contributor to the success of the program. Carlos has served in many capacities at the school including bilingual services manager, job site developer, community liaison and was recently promoted to Transition Case manager in 2017.
Carlos is completing his Bachelors in Human Services at Springfield College. He is also a coach for inner city youth 9-18 years old. Carlos uses sports to connect with youth and to maximize their potential in all areas of life. His ability to connect with students and work with them to overcome barriers is his passion. Carlos has the ability to motivate and build student’s self-esteem. As Transition Case Manager, he is responsible for ensuring students meet all post-secondary education requirements and learn valuable independent living and vocational skills. He provides access to community resources as well as develops networking strategies.
Olivia Bell joined the Futures School in June 2018 in the role of Social Worker. Olivia earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and has a background in both the medical and education industries. Olivia has a passion for social justice and advocating for those that she serves. As the Social Worker at Futures School, Olivia works directly with students, families, and other team members to develop and implement individualized and group programs that are designed to foster student success and to help students with issues that affect their school performance and behavior. Her mission is to provide transformative and collaborative learning that embraces the values of social inclusion and promotes enhanced quality of life for individuals and communities.
Lenore Mullady started at Futures Inc. in 2017 and currently serves as Lead Special Education Teacher. She earned a teaching certificate in Business Education from Central Connecticut State University. Lenore taught Business Education and technology at Farmington High School, Morse School of Business, and Hartford High School. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree and teaching certificate in Special Education from the University of Hartford. Prior to teaching at Futures Inc., Lenore was Magnet Theme Coach at Pathways to Technology & Design Hartford Magnet School. She also taught Technology and Special Education classes during her employment at Pathways. She is committed to empowering all students with disabilities to pursue their lives to the fullest.
Kimberly Swanson has enjoyed many years of working with children of all ages. She coordinated the Saturday for Kids program at MARC Community Resources, a recreational program for teenagers and young adults with disabilities. She also served as a private school preschool teacher and worked as a Literacy Tutor, Para-Educator, and Art Teacher in the public schools. Kimberly received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UConn and art certification from SCSU. In 2016, she earned a Master’s degree and certification in Special Education from University of Saint Joseph. Kimberly came to work for Futures in the Fall of 2017 as a Special Education Teacher. Her passion is helping young people with disabilities develop their independence and fulfill their highest potential.