Governance & Sustainability

Of Independent Living, Inc. and Independent Home Care, Inc.
Doug Hovey, President and Chief Executive Officer

Board of Directors

  • Christopher Seger, Chair
  • Audrey Lark, Vice Chair
  • Andrew Weyant, Treasurer
  • Joe Ranni, Esq., Immediate Past Chair
  • Thomas Gordon
  • Tom Sylcox
  • Charles Walwyn
  • Colin Jarvis
  • Jean Minkel
  • Donna Ponessa

Honoring Kate Malkan, Secretary

Thank you to our Board. You are an integral piece to the puzzle of an equitable and accessible future for all people.

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Andy Weyant

Andy is a person that has lived his life for the past 38 years with a permanent disability due to a spinal cord injury. Despite this, Andy owns his own financial planning business and currently sits on and was past president of the Board of Directors of Independent living Inc., headquartered out of Newburgh, NY. Andy is very active in the community. He thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, his hobby of amateur radio, and loves to help advocate for folks who want to live their lives independently in the community as well.

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Audrey Lark

Audrey Lark has been practicing law in New York State since 1999 and focuses her practice on the defense of physicians, nurses, hospitals, and nursing home liability claims.

Audrey received her undergraduate degree with distinction from Simmons College and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  While in law school she participated in and coached moot court competitions.  Following law school, Audrey served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for seven years where she prepared and tried Misdemeanor and Felony crimes. She then worked as a medical malpractice defense attorney for prominent medical malpractice defense firms in Manhattan and Westchester.

Audrey is a member of the New York State Bar Association.  She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Audrey and her family reside in Orange County where they actively act as foster parents for unwanted dogs from a local no kill shelter.

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Charles Walwyn, III

Born in Riverdale, NY and raised in Beacon, NY, Charles graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Sociology in 1996. He began his career in management and sales at a local medical billing office immediately after graduation. After honing his sales skills, he went on to work as an Account Executive for ABC in Manhattan. In 2001 he began his career in banking with M&T Bank. After almost 20 years in finance, Charles has held positions of Cash Management Specialist, Business Relationship Manager, Commercial Lender, and Business Development Officer with various banks. In 2023 Charles left the world of finance and currently holds a position as a Business Development Specialist with Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center in Newburgh, NY. Charles is a believer in volunteerism in his local community and serves on several local boards. He is the past Chair of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s Foundation Board, and current Secretary for the Trustee Board of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. He serves on the Independent Home Care Board and has been past Chair. He also currently serves on the Cornerstone Family Healthcare Board and has been past Vice Chair. He also serves on the Independent Living Inc. board as past Chair. When Charles is not working or volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his family, most of whom still reside in Beacon. Charles, an Orange County resident for almost 20 years, lives in Newburgh, NY with his 2 fur babies, a 9-year-old 150 lb. male Rottweiler, and a 1 ½-year-old 90 lb. female Rottweiler.

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Christopher Seger

Although I was previously unfamiliar with Independent Living, the first time I spoke to someone involved in the organization I immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.  As I was taken on a tour of the facility and introduced to the staff, everyone’s passion for the organization inspired me to become involved.  Independent Living goes above and beyond in all areas of support through methods such as community outreach and education, advocacy, living skills, and mental health services.  Clients are given the necessary support to be in direct control of their services.  My background as a CPA has allowed me to become Treasurer of the Board, and I am grateful I am given the opportunity to be involved in such an impactful organization.  I am looking forward to seeing the amazing things Independent Living will continue to do for our community in the future.

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Colin Jarvis

Newburgh Ministry Executive Director

Mr. Jarvis was born in Antigua, a small island in the Caribbean. The fourth of eight children in a family that struggled to provide enough food to feed all of the kids, yet he has always considered himself fortunate and blessed. Inspired by his parents’ teachings of dignity and gratitude for what they had, Mr. Jarvis used those life lessons to build a 40 plus-year career serving those in need with long term programs starting with the United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization as well as the Freedom from Hunger Foundation and the Inter-American Foundation, organizations well known for addressing poverty in the Third World and Latin America.

In 1979, Mr. Jarvis’s career began as a youth worker to bring family planning education to the remotest outposts of Antigua and Barbuda for the Pan American Health Organization. As a direct result of his success within the organization, Mr. Jarvis was awarded a scholarship to St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1988. Upon his return to Antigua, Mr. Jarvis ran a United Nations construction training program for high school drop outs funded by USAID, an experience he counts as one of the most rewarding of his career.

In 1992, Mr. Jarvis returned to the US to complete his masters degree in human services at Metropolitan College of New York and make the US home. His work ranged from projects servicing the homeless population to workforce development programs for disenfranchised youth and adults and has secured grant funding for his projects ranging from $10,000 to 2.5 million dollars, which has been pivotal for poor communities.

Mr. Jarvis is the Executive Director at the Newburgh Ministry, a “grassroots, no-frills agency” that recently celebrated its 38-year anniversary fighting poverty in the City of Newburgh.

“Every day I see poverty, hopelessness, and despair reflected on the faces of those who walk through our door. Their struggle motivates me to usher in a new day, each with new opportunities for people who have suffered so long.”

Photo of a woman smiling with excitement; she wearing glasses, a white turtle neck and a purple poncho. On the poncho is a pin of a person exhibiting joy using a wheelchair.

Jean L. Minkel, PT, ATP

Ms. Minkel is a physical therapist and master clinician well recognized for her work in Assistive Technology.  Jean has a passion for insuring that people with a mobility disability have access to the products and services needed to support full participation in life.

Jean is the Senior Vice President of Rehab and Mobility Services for Independence Care System, a not for profit, care management agency for persons living with a physical disability in New York City.  She leads On A Roll, an OT/PT private practice specializing in Seating and Wheeled Mobility services. Jean is also an independent consultant who provides educational and consulting service to all members of the A.T. team.  As a seating and mobility specialist, Jean was the lead clinician in the development and testing of the IBOT™ stair-climbing wheelchair that we developed by DEKA Research and Development and originally marketed by Johnson & Johnson and currently consults with LUCI on the development and clinical use of the LUCI family of products including the driver assist system for power chair users and LUCI+Air.

Jean has been an invited keynote speaker at conferences in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  She is the co-editor, with Michelle Lange, of the textbook, Seating and Wheeled Mobility – a Clinical Resource Guide.

The A.T. community has recognized Jean for her contributions by awarding to her, the RESNA Fellow award in 1995 and the Sam McFarland Mentor Award in 2012.

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Joseph Ranni, Esq.

Joe Ranni has been involved in disability and civil rights advocacy starting before his 36 years as an attorney, later obtaining his Masters of Laws degree (LL.M.) in Elder law in 2014. Having personal experience visiting State Hospitals and since working towards full deinstitutionalization for all persons with disabilities regardless of type or age of onset. As an attorney in private practice he plans for living and ageing in place, his legislative and multi-bar association advocacy is directed towards Accommodative Housing for Older Adults and People with Disabilities and separately accommodating litigants with disabilities in the NYS court system. He is a member of several professional and grassroots organizations relating to elder, disability and employment rights.

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Thomas Gordon

I continue to be impressed with the growing mission of Independent Living. Desperately needed care is delivered with passion, efficiency, and insight. Having been involved with non-profits for over two decades, these qualities are not often found. I worked for 29 years on Wall Street. My last position was as Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Shortly after, I went back to school full-time for four years. I graduated from NYU with a Master’s degree in social work. Since, I worked for 6 years in a substance abuse clinic. In the last 18 months, I have opened a private practice as a psychotherapist.

My experiences and training bring a deep business sense intertwined with a deep understanding of the challenges that those in need face, and the myriad of obstacles that need to be overcome to support them so they can flourish. For me, working with Independent Living is not a chore but an honor and a blessing.