Meet Our Trustees

The Trustees of the NYSARC Trusts have a unique combination of skills, knowledge, and insight into the laws regarding supplemental needs trusts and the needs of people with disabilities.

Our trustees volunteer their time and expertise to 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 the challenges people with disabilities and their families face every day.

Meet our Executive staff members who are leaders in the field of disabilities and supplemental needs trust administration.

Warren H. Heilbronner, Esq., Chairperson

Education: J.D., 1957, Columbia Law School; B.A., 1954, Cornell University
Professional Experience: Heilbronner maintains an active Trusts and Estates practice and previously 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.

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He is a member and former Chairman of the 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 on the Elderly and Disabled; and a member and former Director of Estate Planning Council of Rochester.

Professional Honors and Achievements: In 2006, Heilbronner won the Hodgson/Jacobs Law Award presented by NYSARC Inc.; in 2008 Heilbronner became the first recipient of the President’s Pro Bono Service Award for Senior Attorneys awarded by the New York State Bar Association for his work with the NYSARC Trust. Since its inception in 1983, he has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” (Naifeh & 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. He is a Director of TEMPRO, an organization providing temporary housing for persons needing shelter currently in their 11 units, for 50 years.

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James Moragne, Co-Chairperson

James C. Moragne retired in 2013 after more than 30 years with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and then several years as a consultant to providers on consumer funds. As an OPWDD 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.

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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 OPWDD’s Trusts Task Force and also on the Board of Directors of the Guardianship Association of New York State.

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Deborah S. Ball, Esq.

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

Ms. Ball is a member of the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section where she serves as the eleventh district delegate to the executive committee.

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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 Association. 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.

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Katharine Wilson Conroy

Katharine 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 then 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 was a longtime member of the Board of Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester, Inc.

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She sits on the boards of the Westchester ARC and chairs 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 have five sons, four in-law children and ten grandchildren.

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Sonia A. Burgos-Crannage, Esq.

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.

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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.

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Lisa K. Friedman, Esq.

Lisa K. Friedman’s is a graduate of University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, magna cum laude, and Temple University Law School with a Juris Doctor. She 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 service issues, personal needs guardianships, property needs guardianships, 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 (NYSBA) Committee on Disability Rights.

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She is a member of the NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs, Trust & Estate and Health Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association. She is Co-Chair of the Special Needs Planning Committee of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section and a former Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Elderly and Disabled of the Trust and Estates Section. She is a Member of the Mental Health Committee of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section as well as a member of the Ethical Issues in Healthcare Committee of the Health Law Section.

She has co-written and updated, with Lawrence Faulkner, Esq., a chapter entitled “Distinguishing Article 81 and Article 17-A Proceedings,” in the NYSBA’s book Guardianship Practice in New York State, (1997). For the last 20 years she has co-written and regularly updated a chapter on 17-A Guardianship which is currently entitled “Guardianship Article 17-A Proceedings under the Surrogates Court Procedure Act,” in NYSBA’s Disability Law and Practice, Book 2: Financial and Health Care Benefits and Future Planning, Book 2, (2015), with Lawrence Faulkner, Esq. and Genoveffa Flagello, Esq.

She has Co-Chaired and presented at continuing legal education programs to agencies and advocacy groups on future care planning and representing people with disabilities, as well as supplemental needs trusts, and guardianship. She chaired and presented at many New York State Bar Association Programs on programs on estate and future planning for persons with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness and their families, and their families, special education, transition planning, supplemental needs trusts, records and guardianships.

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

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John A. Schuppenhauer, Esq.

John 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 Schuppenhauer Law Firm. Mr. Schuppenhauer’s practice focuses on wills, trusts, guardianships, estates, real estate, and civil litigation.

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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 NYSARC, Inc., a former NYSARC, Inc. Western Region Vice-President and Senior Vice-President, Chairman of the NYSARC, Inc. Legal Committee, and 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 Buffalo Law School, and an Associate in the Schuppenhauer Law Firm, and Hilary, a daughter with intellectual disabilities who attends a program at Ontario ARC.

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Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq.

Edward 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.

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He is also a trustee of the Wildwood Programs Third Party Pooled Special Needs Trust.
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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John Sherman

John retired in 2017 as NYSARC, Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Sherman is a native of Buffalo, NY and received his BA and MBA from Canisius College. He completed additional studies at SUNY Albany. He served in the US Army as a field artillery officer from 1968 to 1970. After his service he was employed as financial controller in both the private and non-profit sectors. He began his career with NYSARC in 1981 as controller of its Niagara County Chapter and moved to the State Office in 1984. His responsibilities included the development and management of NYSARC’s banking, financing, group purchasing, risk and financial sustainability programs, management information systems and administration of the NYSARC Trusts.

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In his capacity as CFO, he served as trustee of NYSARC’s Individual Trusts. Throughout his career at NYSARC, he was regularly called upon to serve as interim CFO of several chapters.

His experience includes sector specific rate and fee analysis, trusts, tax exempt and taxable financing as well as accounting and financial analysis. He has been an Adjunct Instructor of Accounting and Financial Management in the Department of Organization and Management at Antioch New England Graduate School. Mr. Sherman was a director of Equinox, Inc. (formerly Clear View Center, Inc. and the Mental Health Association in Albany County, Inc.); he is past president, treasurer and chair of its planning committee and sits on the board of its property holding company. He served on the board of governors of the Mental Health Association of New York State; as its treasurer he received the Caroline Cash Award as outstanding volunteer in 1996. Empire State Advantage, which provided programs to guide, assess and award organizational leadership and management appointed Mr. Sherman a reviewer of non-profit and business organizations. A resident of Rensselaer County, he was a member of its Unified Services Board and chair of its nominating committee.

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PO Box 1531
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 439-8323 Fax: (518) 439-2670
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