Senior Managers

Joe Sammons

Executive Director

Prior to joining Challenge in November of 2015, Joe served as the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, creating and completing a capital campaign of over $6 million while building new health centers in Hornell, Corning and Ithaca.

Joe has also served as Executive Director of the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center in Boston, and as Assistant VP of Operations for Community Healthcare Network in New York City. In these positions he lived and learned the difficult but rewarding work of running community-based non-profit health organizations. Before that, Joe served on the legislative and district staff of New York State Senator Catherine Abate; he began his career as a grassroots activist with the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Skilled and experienced in non-profit management, community health operations, legislative advocacy and leadership development, Joe’s focus at Challenge Workforce Solutions is to steer the agency through a difficult financial recovery while deepening the integration between Challenge’s mission and its businesses, and increasing visibility and impact for the community.

Joe lives in Cayuga Heights with his wife, Mary Schiavone and their son, Julian Sammons.

Marty Gold

Director of Employment and Vocational Supports

Marty has 39 years of experience providing services and management of residential and employment services for individuals with disabilities. Ms. Gold has worked in senior management at Challenge for 16 years, served as faculty at Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute and The Institute for Community Inclusion in Boston providing staff training and technical assistance related to Employment and Transition from School to Work, and has served as co-author and principal evaluator on multiple state and federal grants. In her current position, Marty is responsible for the development and implementation of all pre-vocational, employment and other support services to youth and adults with disabilities and other employment barriers. When not at work she lives with her husband Doug Bayer and their two dogs, Gabe and Zak, in their retreat in Danby  enjoys hiking, swimming, x-country skiing with the dogs and reading good mystery novels.

Melissa Chiusano

Director of Human Resources & Compliance

My favorite things about Challenge are Wednesday afternoon bus duty; Thursday morning visits from my pal KW; getting emails from staff of a community placement; listening to the inspiring stories at the awards dinner; and of course Donut Day!!!I am working on my 26th year at Challenge.

Ethan
Mancil

Director of Finance & Operations

I began working at Challenge in July of 2016. I greatly enjoy the friendly work environment at Challenge and everyone’s dedication to the people we serve. I was elated to be able to help such an important organization in the community get back up on its feet and running.

Kim
Pugliese

Director ofDevelopment

I have been working at Challenge since October 1, 2014. Deciding to change careers late in life and join the Challenge family was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  My role here is not just what I do it’s become who I am.  It’s hard to point to one thing as the best part of working at Challenge.  I am grateful every day that I can work alongside some of the most genuinely caring and dedicated people I have ever met. The is no greater feeling than knowing the work you do helps other people pursue and accomplish their dreams.  If you believe it you can achieve it!