Employee Awards and Accolades

Stairways Board of Directors Welcomes New Members

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Four new faces recently joined those regularly gathered around the board room table, each bringing a strong history of work with Stairways along with their expertise.

Kate Bender, peer specialist in the mental health community and Employment Outreach Coordinator at the Mental Health Association of NW PA rejoins the board this term.  Kate had been on the Stairways Board of Directors for several years prior to her reappointment. We are so happy to have her back. Kate is the founder of "Freedom of Expression," an organization devoted to the promotion of emerging artists. She brings incredible experience and knowledge, particularly in the arts and mental health concerns.  Her valuable insights at the board table are incalculable.  

Mary Ellen Dahlkemper, former Chief Administrative Officer and board member also returns to us after serving as President of Mercyhurst Preparatory School.  Ms. Dahlkemper has always had great passion and vision for the mission and especially for our clients and the wonderful health care professionals who work so hard to make a difference every day in the lives of our clients. She has a deep knowledge of the organization and was actively involved in bringing forth many exciting initiatives during her tenure at Stairways. Her grace and care in preserving the organization’s mission and history have been so important to us.  We are pleased that she will be sharing her passion again at the board level.

Judge Ernest DiSantis, judge of the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, will also join the Stairways Board of Directors. Judge DiSantis has been involved in assisting persons with mental health care needs through the courtroom for many years. His compassion for the people whom we serve along with his knowledge and skill set will be a great asset to our board.  Judge DiSantis was also a former adjunct professor at Gannon University (Criminal Law and Procedure) for a number of years.  We are delighted to share his expertise in all matters, but especially those concerning clients who are in the prison system.  

Kerry Schwab is the owner of Schwab Hospitality Corporation and former chairperson of the regional Center for Workforce Excellence.  Mr. Schwab has been an active member of the Board of Directors for Opportunities Unlimited of Erie, an affiliate organization of Stairways Behavioral Health, where he has volunteered countless hours and expertise to that mission.  With his strong business background and his passion for assisting persons with mental health care needs, we enthusiastically welcome him to the Stairways Board.


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