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Our Trustees

It can be a challenge to find trustees with that unique combination of skills, knowledge, and insight into financial products, the laws regarding supplemental needs trusts, and the needs of people with disabilities.

Our trustees set expectations for each trust, create policy, and work with our executive staff and financial managers to maximize both your investment and the legal protections a trust can offer.

Many of our trustees have loved ones with disabilities, so they bring compassion and deep personal understanding of what you go through every day. Executive staff members are leaders in the field of disabilities and supplemental needs trust administration.

The Trustees

Warren H. Heilbronner, Esq. Chairperson

Term Expires: April 2017

Warren Heilbronner.JPGEducation: J.D., 1957, Columbia Law School; B.A., 1954, Cornell University

Professional Experience: Heilbronner maintains an active Trusts and Estates practice and has served as a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for more than 45 years, handling more than 11,000 cases.

Professional Affiliations: Heilbronner is admitted to practice in New York, Florida, the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, and the United States Supreme Court and is a member of the New York, Florida, American, Monroe County and Wyoming County bar associations. He is a member and former chairman of trusts and estates section of the Monroe County Bar Association; a member of trusts and estates section of the New York State Bar Association, serving as vice chairman of the committee of the elderly and disabled; and a member and former director of estate planning council of Rochester.

Professional Honors and Achievements: Heilbronner became the first recipient of the President's Pro Bono Service Award for Senior Attorneys awarded in 2008 by the New York State Bar Association for his work with the NYSARC Trust. He is also listed in the Trusts & Estates Section of "The Best Lawyers in America" (Naifen & Smith).

Community Service: Heilbronner is a member of Board of Governors of Jewish Community Federation; member of Board of Governors of Hillel Foundation; past president and honorary member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of Monroe County; member of Board of Governors of NYSARC and chairman of the NYSARC Trust.


Deborah S. Ball, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2019

Deborah Ball.JPGAs a former Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Ball investigated home repair schemes against the elderly community. Ms. Ball has been apppointed as guardian, guardian ad litem, court evaluator, and attorney for the alleged incapictated person, as well as representing clients in guardian proceedings invoving elderly and disabled individuals.

Ms. Ball is a member of the New York State Bar Assocation Elder Law Section where she serves as the eleventh district delegate to the executive committee. She serves on the Guardianship Commitee, the Mental Health Law Committee, the Committee on Elder Abuse and the Committee on Special Needs Planning. She has served on the Committee on Representing Developmentally Disabed Person for over fifteen years; and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Section. She is a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association Elder Law Section. Additionally, Ms. Ball presently serves as a member of the board of the Brandeis Association of Jewish Lawyers. Ms. Ball is also a member of the Attorney's Council of the New York Chatper of Hassadah and served as the co-chair for the Working Mother's Committe of the Women's Bar Assocation. Ms. Ball is a past member of the board of directors of the Queens Interagency Council on Aging.

Ms. Ball regularly presents lectures on issues affecting the elderly and disabled, and their families to various organizations and associations. She has been a participant in a panel discussion on elder abuse, hosted by the Kings County District Attorney's Office. Ms. Ball is on legal referral lists for the Department of the Aging, SelfHelp Community Services, UJA-Federation, and the Alzheimer's Association, where she is a frequent lecturer. Ms. Ball has co-chaired continuing legal education programs for the New York State Bar Association on "pooled trusts" for disabled persons, and most recently on obtaining and disclosing medical records. Most recently, Ms. Ball participated as a panelist for the New York State Bar Association Article 81 Training for Guardians.

Ms. Ball is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. She received her Bachelor's Degree as well as a Master's Degree in History from the State University of New York at Albany. 

Ms. Ball maintains office locations in Manhattan and Queens.


Katharine Wilson Conroy

Term Expires: April 2021

Katharine Wilson Conroy.JPGKatharine Wilson Conroy is a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart, Teachers College of Columbia University, and Fordham Law School. She taught English for a number of years in the public schools of White Plains and New Rochelle. After graduating from Fordham Law School in 1980, Conroy become an associate and later a partner in the law firm now known as Kent, Hazzard, Wilson, Conroy, Verni, & Freeman, LLP. She is now Of Counsel to the firm of Bertine, Hufnagel, Headley, Zeltner, Drummond, & Dohn, LLP.

Conroy was a founding board member of Hospice and Palliative Care of Westchester and is a longtime member of the Board of Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester, Inc. She sits on the boards of the Westchester ARC and Westchester Care at Home, a subsidiary of Visiting Nurse Services, as well as on the guardianship committee of NYSARC, Inc.

Conroy is married to John M. Conroy, who retired after 21 years as the principal of Pelham Memorial High School. They live in New Rochelle and are the proud parents of five sons. They now have three daughters-in-law, two granddaughters, and five grandsons.


Sonia A. Burgos-Crannage, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2018

Sonia Burgos-Crannage is a graduate of Adelphi University and the Jacob D. Fuchsburg Law Center of Touro College where she received her Juris Doctor in 1987. She was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988.

Burgos-Crannage was the former New York State coordinator for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. She has lectured on issues concerning the elderly and the disabled at CUNY Law School, Suffolk Academy of Law, C. W. Post College, Hofstra University, various accounting associations, parent organizations, and Senior Citizen centers. She has spoken about Elder Law and issues concerning the disabled on various radio stations.

In July 1999, she was instrumental in securing the second largest civil rights verdict in New York: $16 million for a psychologist falsely accused of molesting a developmentally disabled patient.

Burgos-Crannage is a member of the New York State and Rockland County bar associations, and active on several committees. She has been at the forefront of state guardianship legislation enacted under Mental Hygiene Law Article 81; the legislation on both the state and federal level (OBRA '93) with regard to Supplemental Needs Trust for persons with disabilities and legislation concerning the Health Care Decisions Act for Person with Mental Retardation.


Lisa K. Friedman, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2018

Lisa Friedman.JPGLisa K. Friedman's practices law in the area of planning for persons with disabilities and their relatives, including transition planning from special education to adult programs, residential and program issues, personal needs guardianship and property needs guardianship, including trusts, supplemental needs trusts and estates. She has served on surrogate decision-making panels under to Article 80 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law.

Friedman is a member and former co-chair of the New York State Bar Association standing committee on issues affecting people with disabilities. She is a member of the Elder Law Section and Trust & Estate Sections. She is vice-chair of the Committee on the Elderly and Disabled of the Trust and Estates Section and is chair of the Committee on Persons with Disabilities of the Elder Law Section.

She has co-written and regularly updated, with Lawrence Faulkner, Esq., a chapter entitled "Distinguishing Article 81 and Article 17-A Proceedings," in the New York State Bar Association's book Guardianship Practice in New York State, (1997). She has also co-written and regularly updated, with Lawrence Faulkner, Esq. and Rosemary Bailey, Esq., Legislative Delegation: Guardianship Alternatives to Guardianship and Medical Care Decision-Making, a chapter in the New York State Bar Association publication, Representing People with Disabilities, 3rd Edition (2003).

She has co-chaired and presented at continuing legal education programs and agencies and advocacy groups on future care planning and representing people with disabilities, as well as pooled supplemental needs trusts, and guardianship. She chaired and presented New York State Bar Association Programs titled, Estate Planning and Future Planning for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, and Their Families, and Estate Planning and Future Planning for Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families.

She was a founding board member of the Guardianship Association of New York State, Inc.


James M. Hayes, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2019

Jim Hayes.JPGAdmitted: New York, 1965; Florida, 1981; U.S. District Court, Northern, Western and Southern Districts of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit) 

Education: B.S., Lehigh University (cum laude), 1961; LL.B., Harvard Law School (cum laude), 1964

Professional Memberships: Broome County, New York State (Elder Law Section, Committee on Mental and Physical Disability, Trust and Estates Section), and Florida Bar Associations 

Civic Activities: Past Chairman, Broome County Mental Health Advisory Board; Chairman, Guardianship Committee, New York State Association for Retarded Children; Board Member, Broome/Tioga Association for Retarded Citizens; Advisor, SEPP Elderly Housing Corp.; Past President, Director, Mental Health Association in Broome County; Past President, Director, Binghamton Breakfast Rotary Club; Chair, Foundation of Broome/Tioga ARC; Chair, Victor and Esther Rozen Foundation; Trustee, NYSARC Trust 

Practice Areas: Health Law, Estates and Trusts, Corporate and Business Law 

Additional Information: Hayes specializes in estate and financial planning and guardianships, particularly assisting persons with disabled family members. He also practices in banking and commercial law.


James Moragne

Term Expires: April 2018

James Moragne.JPGJames C. Moragne retired in 2007 after more than 30 years with the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and now is a consultant to providers on consumer funds. As a regional manager, he was responsible for benefit development for all persons with disabilities residing in state-operated residences in 47 counties, as well as technical assistance to fiduciaries, provider agencies and families.

He has conducted dozens of workshops on consumer benefits and future planning across New York for NYSARC, the New York State Rehabilitation Association, the Financial Management Association, the Albany School of Law and other organizations. He co-edited Estate and Future Planning for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, and Their Families, published by the New York State Bar Association in 2001, and was a contributing author and editor for Planning For The Future, published by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in 2000. He served on OMRDD's Trusts Task Force and Board of Directors of the Guardianship Association of New York State.


John A. Schuppenhauer, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2020

Jack Schuppenhauer.JPGJohn A. Schuppenhauer, Esq., graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, Northeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and Syracuse University College of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree Cum Laude.  He is admitted to practice in New York and Ohio, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States, the New York State Court of Appeals, Federal District Court for the Western District of New York, and the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  He is also a Part Time City Court Judge in the City of Canandaigua, and a Partner in the Rochester Firm of Chamberlain, D’Amanda, Oppenheimer, & Greenfield, LLP.

Mr. Schuppenhauer’s practice focuses on wills, trusts, guardianships, estates, real estate, and civil litigation.  He is a member of the Monroe and Ontario County Bar Associations, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.  He was a longstanding member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario County Chapter of NYARC, Inc., a former NYSARC, Inc. Western Region Vice-President and Senior Vice-President, Chairman of the NYSARC, Inc. Legal Committee, and Immediate Past President of NYSARC, Inc. 

Mr. Schuppenhauer has also been a tireless charitable volunteer in his community over the course of his career, serving as the President of the Canandaigua Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the Canandaigua Kiwanis Club, Chairman of the Board of the Granger Homestead Society, and Chairman of the Board of Sonnenberg Gardens.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters, Erika, a Graduate of University of Buffalo Law School, and Hilary, a daughter with intellectual disabilities who attends a program at Ontario ARC.


Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq.

Term Expires: April 2019

Ed Wilcenski revised.jpgEdward Wilcenski practices in the areas of special needs estate planning, trust and estate administration, and elder law and long-term care planning.

He is a graduate of Albany Law School, and received his Bachelor of Science in economics, magna cum laude, from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.

Wilcenski is past Vice Chair of the Medicaid Committee of the New York State Bar Association's Elder Law Section. He is also a trustee of the Wildwood Programs Third Party Pooled Special Needs Trust, and serves on the board of directors of the Living Resources Home Health Agency.

He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the New York State Bar Association's Elder Law and Trusts and Estates Sections, and its Committee on Issues Affecting Persons Under Disability. He is a past President of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of leading disability law attorneys.

Wilcenski is a contributing author to various publications of the New York State Bar Association, including Representing People with Disabilities, and Planning for Incapacity, and Guardianship Practice in New York State, and has co-authored a quarterly article entitled "Regulation News" for the NYS Bar Association Elder Law Section Newsletter. He also has made many presentations before the New York Bar Association, and presented before the NYSARC Executive Directors Association and the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and other organizations.

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