by Stephanie TABER
Michael Gross returned to his native Buffalo three years ago after living and working in Rochester for 25 years. He took the position as Executive Director at Heritage Centers, one of the largest providers of programs for individuals with disabilities in Erie County.
He grew up in Kenmore, where he graduated from Kenmore West High School.
He received a bachelors degree from Hobart College and a masters degree from New York
After starting his career in social work at the New York State School of
Industry, Michael moved into the field of Developmental Disabilities in 1972, when he
joined the Monroe Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO), now the Finger Lakes
DDSO. This agency is an arm of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation (OMRDD).
While with OMRDD, Michael has held positions of Treatment Team Leader, Chief of Community
Services, Director of Planning and Program Development and finally, Coordinator of the
Home and Community Based Services Waiver Program. In these last three capacities he worked
closely with private agencies to develop new and exciting opportunities to benefit the
consumers and their families.
Over the past three years, Mr. Gross has brought a wealth of program
creativity as well as a sound financial expertise to Heritage Centers. As Executive
Director, he sees his role as offering leadership to an agency dedicated to providing
meaningful programs these individuals deserve, within the framework of the financial
climate of our times.
Michael is very active in the community. Among his current commitments are
the board of directors of the Private Industry Council; co-chair of the Strategic Alliance
for Children; Western district representative of the Executive Directors Association
of NYSARC, Inc.; and the steering committee of the United Ways Day of Caring.
Michael is also a member of the Leadership Buffalo class of 1999.
An avid, long-time Bills and Sabres fan, Mike loves to take long walks and
spends most of his free time reading and listening to all kinds of music.
Michael and his wife Nancy reside in Amherst. He has two children; Heidi, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina and Adam, 22, a graduate student at SUNY Binghamton.
Stephanie Taber is a freelance writer.
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