Susan Constantino steps down as CEO of CP State

Mike Alvaro to assume position effective Feb. 1

It’s the end of an era for Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS.

Susan Constantino, a stalwart advocate who has dedicated her life to fighting for disability rights and helping individuals achieve independence, has retired as President and CEO of CP State, effective February 1.

For decades, Susan has been tireless in her service to people with disabilities, and her accomplishments are numerous and awe inspiring.

She began in the field as a special education teacher, and eventually became the director of an education program for children with disabilities in Buffalo. From there, she served as the Director of Children’s Services at Aspire of Western New York from 1984 to 1989.

When computer-usage was still in its infancy, Susan had the foresight to become an early adopter of computer technology to aid people with disabilities, creating a program in the 1980s called “Special Friends and Computers.”

Susan was named President and CEO of Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State in July of 2004 after serving as Deputy Executive Director. For nearly 20 years, Susan led an association with 24 affiliates united by a mission of enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families. Under her leadership, CP of NYS affiliates continued to provide a wide variety of programs, including community-living opportunities, early-intervention, special-education, home service directors and family support services.

“To say that Susan shaped the landscape of disability services in New York would be an understatement,” said Mike Alvaro, who assumes the position of CEO. “Her legacy is the lasting positive influence on services, legislation, and the way we advocate for people with disabilities. CP State is truly the house that Susan built, and I am forever grateful for her leadership.”

Mike has been with CP State since July of 2003 and has been the Executive Director of the association since 2019. He has been instrumental in the formation and management of statewide advocacy coalitions, like New York Disability Advocates.

“Mike’s accomplishments at the CP State Association are too many to list and we are very fortunate to have him move seamlessly into his new position,” said CP State Board Chair Louis Tehan. “CP State is in the most competent hands and I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Mike on his new position.”