Richard Ferrari Named CDS Life Transitions Interim Chair

Rochester Chamber member CDS Life Transitions named board of directors member Richard Ferrari its interim board chair.  Ferrari, vice president, commercial banking officer at Community Bank N.A., will complete Mark Peterson’s term as board chair through the end of 2017. Peterson held the position since 2010.  Ferrari’s role as chairman is expected to become permanent when elections are held in December. 

“We are very grateful to our dear friend and colleague Mark Peterson for his contributions to CDS Life Transitions over the past years, and wholeheartedly welcome Rich Ferrari as the interim chairman, a potentially permanent position, of our board as he completes Mark’s term,” said Sankar Sewnauth, president and CEO of CDS Life Transitions. “CDS Life Transitions is a $130 million-plus organization and one of the largest, most innovative not-for-profits in our region. It takes a compassionate, strategic and accountable chairman to keep our organization at the forefront of industry changes, conversations and trends. We saw this with Mark and I am confident that under Rich’s leadership and direction, we will continue to grow as the entrepreneurial, thriving and innovative organization that CDS Life Transitions is. We will always serve our mission and give back, just as we have since day one. It’s what we do.”

Ferrari has served as a board member with CDSLT since 2000. Most recently, he was chairman from 2006 to 2010, vice chairman from 2003 to 2006 and sat on the executive committee since 2002. As interim chairman, he will be responsible for leading all governance functions for the board and executive committee, approve policies to ensure compliant governance and management of the organization, and partner with Sewnauth to lead all development and growth efforts at CDSLT.

“Because Rich served as our board chair for four years starting in 2006, he will step right back in this role, finish out Mark’s term strong,” added Sewnauth.

With over 30 years of leadership experience in the commercial banking industry, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Science in social science education from the State University of New York at Oneonta. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in United States history from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration in financial management from Iona College. He resides in Fairport with his wife, Geralyn.

“I echo Sankar’s remarks regarding Mark serving as a great friend and colleague,” said Ferrari. “Mark contributed greatly to the success, growth and spirit of CDS Life Transitions. We will sorely miss him. It’s a great honor to be returning to the board leadership role at CDS to continue the success and mission for this fantastic organization.”

CDS Life Transitions is the parent company of CDS Monarch and its five other entities — iCircle, Unistel Industries, CDS Housing, Warrior Salute Veteran Services and the CDS Wolf Foundation — and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Greater Rochester. The organization serves more than 3,700 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, people with chronic illnesses, seniors and veterans seeking residential services, transitional employment and health care needs, helping them live more independent and fulfilling lives.