December 21, 2023

Summit CEO Stephen Anderson says farewell

Dear Friends,

For 28 years, it has been my honor to lead this exceptional organization so filled with heart, purpose, and talent. On January 1, I’ll turn over the reins to Chief Financial Officer Lisa Foti, who will become CEO, and Vice President Amy Jablonski, who will serve as President. Both of these dedicated women are true champions for the individuals we serve.

When I moved to Buffalo in 1995, the landscape of autism services looked very different. Students with obvious signs of autism weren’t being diagnosed and treatment options were extremely limited. Early in my career at the May Institute in Boston, I realized the importance of intensive therapy at a young age. It’s the key to helping children with autism achieve their immense potential. Fortunately, a handful of school administrators were willing to listen about the power of early intensive intervention. The Early Autism Program was born. Today, Summit has a range of educational, community integration, and behavioral health programs that allow people to live their best life.

Parents have often expressed how much Summit means to them and the hope it represents for their child’s future. Author Brene Brown said it best: “Hope is a function of struggle—we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort.”

Our families are all too familiar with adversity. But instead of collapsing under the weight of it, they rise to the occasion. Their strength is my motivation. It’s why I committed myself to providing the most effective treatment. When you take the time to understand someone’s unique needs and use proven methods, a brighter future can be a reality. I’ve seen it again and again. At Summit, even individuals with the most significant challenges can make life-changing progress.

Of course, no CEO accomplishes anything alone. I need to acknowledge the many people who’ve made my job so rewarding.

To our donors: You help people move mountains. Through your generosity, we provide the highly personalized support children and adults deserve. I can’t thank you enough.

To our board members: You ask the critical questions that must be asked, and you embrace new ways to make a difference in the community. Thank you for showcasing how much Summit means to you.

To our employees: Your belief in the individuals we serve is beyond measure. Few people could do the work you do with such compassion, enthusiasm, and unparalleled devotion. I hope you are proud of the impact you have each and every day.

And finally, to our families: Your resilience is extraordinary. Thank you for being a fierce advocate for your child, and for trusting us to help them reach their greatest potential.

I’m incredibly proud of the work that takes place at The Summit Center. Thank you for 28 years of new milestones and breakthrough moments. Summit will continue to be a source of hope for generations to come.



Stephen R. Anderson, PhD., BCBA-D, LBA
Chief Executive Officer