Peter S. DeBiasi

President/CEO

Since March 2005 Peter has served as the President/CEO of Access, the state and federally designated anti-poverty Community Action Agency in northeast CT. He is also an Adjunct Professor in UConn’s Master of Public Administration Program.

Peter began his 40-year career in human services working in homeless shelters and soup kitchens. He also taught High School in inner-city Boston, directed large-scale annual and capital fundraising campaigns, and provided staff leadership in community-based nonprofits and the statewide CT Council of Family Service Agencies.

Under Peter’s leadership, Access has focused efforts on meeting its mission to create opportunities that empower under-resourced individuals, families and communities to achieve and sustain economic stability by ensuring they have access to adequate food, safe decent affordable housing, jobs, and other pathways to self-reliance.

Peter was appointed as the first nonprofit leader to Co-Chair the CT Governor’s Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services, and he is currently the Board Chair of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance.

His formal education includes a Bachelor Degree from Boston College and a Master Degree from Harvard University.

Elizabeth Smith

Senior Director – Planning & Performance

Elizabeth Smith is a lifelong resident of Windham County and has a deep connection with the community. She joined Access in 2012 as an Energy Intake Technician and in 2013 took on the role of Employment Program Manager of Climb the Latter to a Better Future. Prior to joining Access Elizabeth was an Employment Specialist assisting individuals with disabilities to choose a career path. She celebrates the achievements of others and is interested in encouraging people to reach their full potential.

Parker Stevens

Senior Director – Finance and Information Systems

Kathleen Krider

Senior Director – Community Engagement and Resource Management

Kathleen has called Willimantic home since 1971 when her family moved to the area from Wisconsin.  Her deep roots in the community have shaped her professional and personal path, bringing a rich knowledge of the people and places Access calls home.  Her background includes many years in the early childhood field, working at Mt. Hope Montessori, the Town of Mansfield and EASTCONN before coming to Access in 2016.

She holds a BS from UCONN in Sports Medicine, having spent 20 years giving medical care to athletes before turning her attention to her second career.  Currently, she serves as the Board Chair of the Willimantic Food Coop’s Board of Directors, is a Justice of the Peace and certified PEP (People Empowering People) trainer.

Luis Rodriguez-Perez

Senior Director – Community Services

Luis Rodriguez-Perez recently took on the role of the Senior Director – Community Services and will oversee: CEAP/Energy Assistance, CACFP-Child and Adult Care Food ProgramCrossroads – Adolescent Services, Emergency Food Pantries, and the WIC- Women, Infants, and Children program.

Luis worked in the Dept. of Corrections and Rehab, Administration of Youth Institutions in Puerto for close to 20 years. During that time his roles included Mental Health Social Worker, Public Policy Coordinator, and Director of the Social Work Program that covered 7 Institutions and 7 Community Service Offices. He was then promoted to Head of the Maximum Security Youth Institution, and then promoted again to serve as the Head of Institutional Complex at Bayamon which served youth with Mental Health challenges.

Luis moved to Willimantic in 2014 to be closer to his father. While Luis committed to improving his English proficiency over time, he worked at Windham Public Schools in a variety of support roles, and then as a Case Manager at Perception Programs.

Luis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Human Services from Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico.  He resides in Willimantic with his wife and young adult son.

Emma King

Senior Director – Community Engagement and Resource Management

Emma Pietrantonio King recently took on the role of  the Senior Director-Human Development Services and will oversee: Case Managers, Resident Service Coordinators, Emergency Shelter, and Homeless Prevention Services

Emma worked most recently as Deputy District Director for US Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2). During that time, she worked with municipalities, state agencies, businesses, and nonprofits to assist constituents to navigate federal programs that included ensuring an equitable roll-out of the federally-supported rental assistance program in CT called UniteCT. She also focused on housing, energy and transportation issues. Prior to working for our Congressman, Emma worked in case management, housing support services, and/or senior services for TEEG, Habitat for Humanity, MetroWest/Greater Worcester, and the Town of Coventry. Emma holds a BA in Political Science from Providence College, and a Master of Social Work from Wheelock College, where her focus was on community organizing and public policy.

Alejandro Fuentes

Senior Director – Housing and Property Management

Alejandro Fuentes joined Access Agency in 2007 as Supportive Housing for Families Manager. On October 2014, Alejandro (Alex) obtained the position of Property Management Director and he is responsible for the oversight of the management of the Access Senior Housing of Willington and Access Senior Housing of Franklin. Alex is also responsible for the management of the Access’ residential and commercial properties and the supervision of the maintenance department as well. Since Alex moved to the United States in 2002, he has been working with individuals and families from our community. Alex holds a Law degree from the Santa Maria University in Caracas Venezuela, U.S. equivalent to Bachelor of Arts degree in Law.

David Shadbegian

Director – Homeless Shelter Services

David Shadbegian began working with the Access Agency in 2006 as the Case Manager for the NEXT STEPS SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM. After working many years implementing that program and working with the homeless population both in and out of shelters, David took on the role as Director of Homelessness Prevention with the Access Agency. David now oversees both the Supportive Housing Program as well as the operations of the Access Emergency Shelter. Prior to coming to Access David worked many years at a non-profit in Massachusetts working with at risk youth.

Jolene Berard

Director – Adolescent Services

Jolene Berard, previously the Supervisor for the Hawkins House residential group home, became the program supervisor of the residential group home in Norwich, CT in 2018.

Rhiannon McCabe

Director- Homeless Prevention Outreach

Rhiannon McCabe, Director- Homeless Prevention Outreach, oversees the Homelessness Prevention Services.

Cathy Whitehead

Director – CEAP
View the Staff Directory