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logoTwo of the greater Rochester region's legacy non-profits serving people with disabilities have announced the completion of their merger and the new name for the resulting organization. In May, the NYS Attorney General's office ratified the merger of The Advocacy Center and LDA Life and Learning Services. June 1 marked the first day of operations of Starbridge (starbridgeinc.org), as the combined organization will now be known.

 

"As Starbridge, our mission is to partner with people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them, to realize fulfilling possibilities in education, employment, health, and community living. Together we transform communities to include everyone," said Colin Garwood, Executive Director.

Since announcing our affiliation, our agencies consolidated locations into one presence at 1650 South Avenue, on the Wolk Campus of the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. In addition to the physical move, staff at all levels began exploring collaborations between programs, all with the goal of providing more comprehensive services and resources to individuals with disabilities, their families, and the larger community.

Over the past twelve months, workgroups of staff and Board members from the legacy organizations participated in a thorough process to develop the agency's brand, name and logo, facilitated by The Ad Council of Rochester. The brand provided a guiding framework to move beyond the initial step of combining agencies and blending the best elements of The Advocacy Center and LDA, while keeping an eye on the future.

Mr. Garwood said, "The name and tagline – Starbridge: For the Hope and the How – embody the idea that we offer both the optimism and vision to identify opportunities, as well as the tools and connections to help people get there."

"United Way is proud to support organizations that are exploring collaborations that enhance programs and create efficiencies to better provide services to people in need," said Patricia Leo, Director of Community Investment at United Way. "Through our Synergy Fund, the agencies received the technical assistance needed to make the merger happen and funding to help with the one-time costs associated with a smooth implementation of the new structure. We are delighted to be a small part of the hard work that these two organizations have done to come together, and are confident that the new organization is well positioned for future success."

Mr. Garwood said, "This merger strengthens our capacity to better deliver person-centered, integrated services that reach from school to work to community living to self-directed services. We will continue to keep an eye on the realities of today's care environment, ongoing government reform and tomorrow's needs."

We at Starbridge look forward to inviting the community to an open house later this summer. In the meantime, we invite you to browse our website and read about all that we offer to support individuals, families, and our community.