Meet Our Board
Corinne Vinopol, PhD | President and CEO, IDRT
Corinne K. Vinopol, Ph.D. has been working in the field of deafness for 50 years as a teacher, school administrator, college professor, educational consultant, researcher, and due process hearing officer. She has been President and CEO of the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT) since 1986. Under her leadership, the company has been presented with a number of awards including a Tibbetts Award at the White House by the Small Business Administration for being a Model of Excellence in the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, a Zero Project award at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria for breaking down barriers internationally for people with disabilities, and a Codie Award for Best Special Needs Software. She was recently appointed to the Citizens Review Board for Children by the Governor of Maryland and is on the Advisory Board of the NIDLRR-sponsored IMPACT Center in Pittsburgh that provides technical assistance and training nationwide to assistive technology developers to aid in commercialization.
Over the past 35 years, IDRT has become the most prolific developer of ASL-accessible software in North America and a development and marketing mentor to those just entering the field. During this tenure, the company has developed many training packages and over 100 software products for the benefit of special needs populations. Dr. Vinopol has managed more than 40 R&D projects for a number of government agencies (e.g., NIDLRR, OSEP, NSF, IES, NASA, USAID, NOAA) here and abroad and private entities (e.g., Wal-Mart, AT&T, Georgia Tech, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights). These have ranged from 6-month efforts of approximately $50,000 to 3-year efforts of approximately $1.6 million.
Dr. Vinopol holds a Ph.D. in Education Administration and Supervision from Gallaudet University; an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from California State University, Northridge, (National Leadership Training Program in Deaf-Blindness); a M.Ed. in Deaf Education and a B.A. in English Education from McDaniel College.
John McInerney | Senior Consultant, Westinghouse | Board of Directors for Blind and Vision Rehab Services
I have recently retired from the Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), am currently consulting for WEC on nuclear decommissioning projects, and am involved in the non-profit sector as a member of a Board of Directors for an organization in Pittsburgh. I am open to considering other licensing and engineering consulting opportunities in the nuclear industry as well as management opportunities in a non-profit organization.
I have a broad span of experience in a variety of functions including executive management, project management, regulatory and licensing compliance, business development and Entrepreneurship , strategic planning, revenue generation, and public/board relations.
In my career atWEC, I have held management positions of increasing responsibility in various engineering and project functions including executive management (i.e. vice president) of WEC’s automation business With nearly 1,200 employees worldwide and revenue of approximately $400M. In addition, as Vice President, New Plant Design Delivery, I was responsible for the completion of the engineering design performed by both Westinghouse and engineering sub-contractors for the Westinghouse Advanced Passive (AP) 1000 Megawatt nuclear power plant currently being constructed in China, Georgia and South Carolina.
With the completion of the standard engineering design for these multi-billion dollar power plant projects, a slowdown in corporate business growth, and consolidation of organization functions under a new CEO and executive staff, I had the opportunity to retire commensurate with an organizational realignment.
I hold a Six Sigma greenbelt. I have a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Sara Czaja, PhD, MS | Director of the Center on Aging and Behavioral Research at Weill Cornell Medicine
Dr. Sara Czaja, an internationally recognized behavioral scientist with a background in engineering, has been serving as the Director of the newly launched Center on Aging and Behavioral Research at Weill Cornell Medicine since her recent recruitment to the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. Under Dr. Czaja’s direction, the new center is achieving major breakthroughs in research in applied gerontology. Advances at the center are rapidly creating a better quality of life for an ever-growing older population. By 2040, it is estimated that 80 million people (or 21%) in the U.S. will be over the age of 65 years old.
Dr. Czaja has also been a major contributor to the REACH trial, the nation’s largest caregiver intervention trial that focused on the chronic stress associated with dementia caregiving. “Caregivers can benefit from technology that can support caregiving activities, such as learning about caregiving skills and the daily life activities,” says Dr. Czaja.
Those daily activities include dealing with prescriptions and obtaining medications, booking a ride, food deliveries, and more. Another line of study that Dr. Czaja is investigating focuses on older adults and financial exploitation. In collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, this NIH-funded five-year study explores the factors and variables that predispose older adults to financial exploitation with the goal of developing a targeted intervention. Dr. Czaja is examining a host of factors including social support, cognitive abilities, education, literacy, and numeracy in relation to susceptibility to financial exploitation. At the study’s completion, Dr. Czaja and colleagues will establish a baseline model that will lead to interventional tools and training.
Since her arrival in 2018, Dr. Czaja has been working within many areas of medicine and science on the Weill Cornell campus. In addition to her work in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, she has interacted with neurology, public health, and the HIV clinic. She has also covered an enormous swath of territory throughout New York City, having already visited all five boroughs.
Dr. Czaja received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo in New York. She was recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine from the University of Miami where she was Director of the Center on Aging. Her honors include the Jack A. Kraft Award for Innovation from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Social Impact Award from the Association of Computing Machinery, and recently, CREATE was the recipient of the first American Psychological Association (APA) Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research.
Stephen Sundarrao, PhD | Assistant Director of CARRT
Dr. Sundarrao is the Assistant Director of the Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation & Robotics Technologies (CARRT) at the University of South Florida. CARRT is an interdisciplinary research center that includes faculty, staff and students from various colleges and disciplines, including: Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Science), Arts and Sciences (Psychology, Communication Sciences & Disorders), The Arts (School of Theatre & Dance), College of Behavioral & Community Sciences (Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling), and USF Health (School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences).
Todd Hargroder | Founder & CEO at AMP Mobility, LLC
Todd Hargroder sustained a spinal cord injury at the age of 19. Shortly after rehab, he started ADI with one product and over a twenty year period grew the business to be a leader in designing cutting edge products for the wheelchair mobility industry with worldwide sales and distribution. In 2015, Todd sold his company ADI to Stealth Product a division of Pride Mobility.
Todd enjoys technology and studies many industries for design inspiration. He holds ten plus US patents and with his research partners University of Pittsburgh has been awarded multiple research grants. Through new endeavors in design, innovation and research, he continues his work of developing life changing technology for ALL.
Don Morrison | Chairman of Dealflow, BlueTree Allied Angels | Entrepreneur in Residence, University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute
Don is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results. Don has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from 1 to 165 stores as President and CEO, Sundance Catalog Company as Executive Director, and Bear Creek Corporation as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. Since 2012, he has served as Chairman of Deal Flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, a Pittsburgh-based angel investment organization and also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute. Mr. Morrison is actively involved in mentoring and coaching startup and early-stage companies in the region and serves on several boards of directors and advisors including, Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance and was the previous Chairman of The Linden Pointe Development Corporation which operates The eCenter @ Linden Pointe and The Entrepreneurship Academy program for area high school students.
Dianne Goodwin | Former Founder & President of BlueSky Designs
Entrepreneur in field of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering. Founded BlueSky Designs in 1997. Have won numerous SBIR awards to support the development of innovative accessible technologies, including mounting technologies to improve access for individuals with disabilities, a camping tent, and a watercraft transfer mechanism.
Previous experience includes product development and project management at AbleNet; co-founding Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, a company which provided services in rehab engineering, wheelchair seating, orthotics and prosthetics; and a position at Gillette Children's Hospital as a Rehab Engineer and Assistive Technology team leader.