After more than three decades leading CDS Life Transitions, Chief Executive Officer Sankar Sewnauth today officially announced he will retire from the position effective February 1, 2023.
Upon stepping down from the CEO duties, Sankar will refocus his attention and, for two years, will assume a consultancy role with the organization that will involve developing and launching a capital fundraising campaign.
In addition to the announcement of Sankar’s retirement, CDS Life Transitions (CDSLT) announces that Andrew Sewnauth, the organization’s current President and Chief Operating Officer, is the choice to lead the organization into the future.
In a combined statement, Mr. Gregory Gribben, Ms. Jennifer Carlson, and Mr. Mark Peterson – the chairs of the organization’s respective Boards of Directors (CDSLT, CDS Monarch [CDSLT affiliate], and iCircle [CDSLT affiliate]) – agree that they “are confident that Andrew brings the right skills, at the right time, to lead CDS Life Transitions.”
It’s their opinion that as the new CEO, Andrew will manage CDSLT’s affiliates toward the future envisioned by the organization’s governing bodies.
“This change comes at an important inflection point for the organization as we ask Sankar to work in collaboration with Andrew over the next several months through this pivotal leadership transition,” the Boards of Directors chairs stated, adding “We are eager for Sankar and Andrew to pursue new levels of innovative endeavors and investments – to evolve and revolutionize how CDS Life Transitions and its affiliates serve the needs and expectations of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors in our communities, and military Veterans who have served our country.”
Reflecting on his time as CEO and also looking to the future, Sankar says, “My passion and commitment have, and continue to compel me to serve, advocate, and deliver on behalf of my community and those with special needs. In this way, my CDS Life Transitions journey will continue on an exciting new path. I am enthusiastic about the future of CDS Life Transitions under Andrew’s leadership and with my new focus on bringing the impending capital fundraising campaign to fruition.”
Appointing Andrew as the next President and CEO is part of an overall organizational redesign that supports and advances CDSLT’s managed care strategy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to also align the management of day-to-day operations with the broader strategies of the organization’s affiliates: CDS Monarch, Unistel Industries, Salute Seasonings, Warrior Salute Veteran Services, iCircle, CDS Wolf Foundation, Prime Care Coordination, and CDS Rx.
Andrew’s CDSLT tenure began in 2008 when he started as a direct care professional in a day habilitation setting. He since has risen in the ranks, serving in numerous professional, managerial, and executive capacities, all while learning to build and lead teams through challenges, opportunities, and many of the changes necessary to the organization’s ongoing success. In addition to his roles as President and Chief Operating Officer, Andrew is also the CDS Monarch Executive Director.
“I have dedicated my career to the individuals CDS Life Transitions and its affiliates serve. My continuing commitment and focus to succeed drives me to imagine a better future and to energize others to believe and deliver. I look forward to working with my talented colleagues, exceptional coworkers, and dedicated boards of directors to ensure that we excel on behalf of the individuals who bring to us an array of specialized needs,” Andrew says.
In addition to his background and experience with CDSLT, Andrew has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from SUNY Geneseo, a Master of Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master of Divinity – Transformational Leadership from Northeastern Seminary. He serves on the Statewide Leadership Group for New York State provider-led specialized plans for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (SIP PL). Andrew is also a member of the National Business Council for the Roberts Wesleyan College School of Business and serves on the Browncroft Community Church Elder Board. He previously served as a member of the board of directors at Huther Doyle, a local non-profit and leader in the field of advanced and integrated addiction recovery.
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