About Us

Current Officers

Sue Sawyer, President

Vicki Shadd, Vice President

Carol Barrett, Treasurer

Anjali Atkins, Technical Support, Social Media

Liz Zastrow, Training

Anna Bell-Holeman, Secretary, Web, Social Media

Jill Larson, Membership, Social Media

Richard Rosenberg, Liaison, CA Promise

Dr. Robert (Bob) Snowden Sr., Marketing

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The  2017 CA Transition Alliance Leadership Team

Sue Sawyer, President, CA Transition Alliance

In addition to her role with the Alliance, Sue is currently a member of the California Community of Practice Leadership Team, representing the CA. Transition Alliance and serves as a member of the Consortium on Employment for California Youth (CECY). Sue is  passionate about the value of career planning and self-advocacy for every young person. Currently retired, Sue has directed an Improving Transition Outcomes project, funded through the Office of Disability Employment Policy.  She has a history of participating in the WorkAbility I program as a project Director, Chair of the Governmental Relations Committee, Regional Chair and State Advisory Board member.

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Vicki Shadd Vice President, CA Transition Alliance                                                                             

Vicki currently works with Chico State University.  Prior work experience including serving on the State SELPA Transition Team, Director of WorkAbility I and the Transition Partnership Program  in Glenn County,  Chair of WorkAbility Advisory Committee,  Vicki's passion has always been and still is that our job, no matter what our role, is to support students in developing the skills, attitudes and behaviors they need to be successful in adult life. She has participated in several statewide leadership roles in the area of Transition. At the local level she has been a part of creating several collaborative that focus on integrating students with disabilities into larger efforts which include a multitude of populations and topics.


Carol Kuhling Barrett,   CA Transition Alliance Treasurer

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Special Education, Carol completed a Masters’ internship in Special Education with children with autism.  Her 38 years in the field of Special Education have included  teaching students with a wide array of disabilities in varied settings – summer camps, residential treatment centers,  private schools, non-public schools, public schools and community colleges.  After working at the community college as both an LD Specialist and teacher of students with moderate to severe disabilities, Carol’s passion to see students with disabilities supported in making a successful school-to-work transition grew.  She has been working in her current  position with WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Programs for 23 years. 


Elizabeth Zastrow,   CA Transition Alliance Training Chair

Program Specialist, Lodi  Unified School District

Liz's career includes working as special education teacher of the Deaf and Blind and she served in the United States Peace Corps employed with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf and the Salvation Army for the Blind.  Upon returning to the United States she joined Lodi Unified School District where she has worked as a teacher, and program specialist that focuses on autism and low incidence disabilities.  She is playing a leadership role in transition through the WorkAbility program, CA Promise Grant and a member of the CA CoP leadership team.  Liz chairs the Secondary Transition Institute.


 Jill Larson, CA Transition Alliance Transition Nuggets Chair

Jill was a teacher of the Deaf for over 25 years.  From 1997-2001 she developed a School-to-Career Program for the California School for the Deaf in Fremont.  In 2001, she went to work for the California Department of Education (CDE) where she served as the Secondary Transition Specialist and facilitated the California Community of Practice on Secondary Transition (COP) from 2010 - 2015.  Jill is now retired, but continues to be passionate about helping youth transition to adulthood by serving on the Alliance Board.



 Anjali S. Atkins, CA Transition Alliance Secretary 

Anjali combines her Bachelors in International Business, minor in Spanish, with her Education Specialist teaching credential in Mild to Moderate disabilities to bridge the gap between employment and education, primarily Special Education. As a Transition Program Coordinator with over 13 years of experience overseeing and acquiring new work based learning and grant funded programs to increase the self sufficiency of youth with disabilities, Anjali has developed some innovative strategies to connect youth with disabilities to the business community in Long Beach. Grants that Anjali oversees as a Transition Program Coordinator include: CAPromise, WorkAbility, Transition Partnership Program and Workforce Investment Opportunity Act. She is passionate about creating inclusive work based learning opportunities in Long Beach and also facilitates a local Transition Best Practices committee as a strong believer in sharing and collaboration to provide our youth with the best services available. Anjali has also been a  California Department of Education Secondary Transition and Cooperative Programs Trainer and is currently a Department of Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Trainer on the topics of Transition Aged Youth and Tech Savvy Job Development. 


 Richard Louis Rosenberg, Ph.D., Liaison, CA Promise

 Ph.D. in Behavioral Disabilities and Educational Administration received from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1980. Over 35 years of teaching and administrative experience. Presently faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and San Diego State University, Interwork Institute (SDSU) as Region Manager with two federal grants - California Career Innovations (CII) and Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (CaPROMISE). Provide supports and technical assistance to Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute (TPI).  Completed 32 years as Career Vocational Coordinator for Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD) in administrative position responsible for coordination of vocational and career support for all students with disabilities for seven district high schools and providing technical assistance for Community Advocates for People’s Choice (CAPC) adult agency providing supported employment and supported living services.  Board member of the California Transition Alliance.  Developed and participated with a number of Interagency Systems Change grants linking Education, Rehabilitation, and Developmental Disabilities services at a local, state, and national. 


Dr. Robert (Bob) Snowden Sr. Marketing

Dr. Snowden received his Doctorate Degree from the University of San Francisco in Organizational Leadership, a master’s degree in Education (Counseling and Student Personnel) from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Santa Clara University.

Dr. Snowden began his educational career at DeAnza Community College where he contributed to the creation of the Ethnic Studies Division, developed courses and taught classes in cultural diversity and Afro-American Studies. His passion for working with youth emanated from his employment as DeAnza’s Multicultural Department Director. In that position, he oversaw the recruitment of minority students, developed support programs and managed a Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) grant that funded the school’s Summer Youth Program. After three years at DeAnza, he was hired as a teacher for the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) where he taught general and special education classes, and eventually was hired as the Coordinator of Vocational Education. During his fifteen year tenure at FUHSD, he successfully wrote and received state and federal grants including a WorkAbility I, JTPA and local grants where he created and coordinated vocational programs for over 600 students with disabilities.

Dr. Snowden was hired by the California Department of Education (CDE) as a WorkAbility I Field Coordinator in 1989, where he was responsible for the growth, development, and expansion of the program that is currently funded annually at $38,000,000 and serves over 100,000 students a year. During his first year as a CDE employee, Dr. Snowden was invited to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Education hearing concerning the reauthorization of the Education Handicapped Act (EHA). The Subcommittee was interested in hearing comments on a proposed transition initiative from a model program. Dr. Snowden was selected by the state to represent California’s WorkAbility I Program.

 As a CDE employee, his duties and responsibilities included: annual WorkAbility I grant dissemination and monitoring; budget negotiations; program implementation and evaluation; technical assistance to individual sites; staff development; and data collection for the program.

Dr. Snowden also accomplished the following: developed agendas and facilitated the WorkAbility I state advisory and committee meetings; conducted program quality reviews; added new sites and expanded existing sites with an increase in state funds; responded to internal audits; coordinated the first transition services language master train the trainers program; analyzed and disseminated information on the reauthorizations of IDEA; interpreted and disseminated information of child labor laws; and developed a budget change proposal for expansion of the WorkAbility I Program to include middle school students. Other responsibilities included intradepartmental collaboration regarding work experience education; work permits; and Regional Occupation Programs (ROP). He participated in interagency collaboration by working with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), Employment Development Department (EDD), the community colleges; and Regional Centers.  As a member of the Governor’s Committee for the Employment of the Disabled he participated in the selection of students, planning and implementation of the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for students with disabilities.

Dr. Snowden’s leadership and organizational activities included being on the following committees: Governor’s appointee to the DOR Advisory Committee;  DOR’s Americans With Disabilities Act Implementation Advisory Committee; Transition Research Institute of Illinois Advisory Committee; San Diego State University, Interwork Institute, Federal Training Grant on Provisions of IDEA Advisory Committee; School to Work Interagency Transition Partnership Consensus Building Retreat; CDE’s Special Education Division Director’s Symposium on Outcomes; and CDE’s Director’s Forum on Transition.