We are Achieva Family Trust

People are our passion, and our life’s work is helping individuals with disabilities and their families lead better lives through special needs trusts. We have extensive knowledge and experience in social services, trust administration and government benefits.

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Did you know?

Our professional Trust Administrators average 20 years of experience with social service and government benefits.


Amy Dolan Strano

Amy Dolan Strano is the President of the Achieva Family Trust and was one of the original members of the planning committee which guided Achieva in the creation of Achieva Family Trust in 1998. She was also a long standing member of the Achieva Family Trust Board of Trustees, including serving as the Board's Chairperson.

Prior to joining Achieva Family Trust, Ms. Dolan Strano spent more than 10 years in the UPMC Corporate Legal Department, representing Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic and Magee-Women’s Hospital as Associate Counsel. She also represented the Department of Human Services for Allegheny County as Assistant County Solicitor, a job she held before working at UPMC.

Ms. Dolan Strano is a graduate of Bethany College and Duquesne University School of Law. She taught Mental Health Law at The University of Pittsburgh School of Law from 2005 through 2008. Amy is active in the Allegheny County Bar Association's Elder Law Committee and Committee on Law and Disability. She served as Chair of the Health Law Section from 2011-2012 and as Chair of the Elder Law Committee from 2016 - 2018. Amy is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) as well as the Pennsylvania Chapter (PAELA). She also serves on the Vincentian Child Development Center Board and is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Michelle Sipple

Michelle Sipple is the Vice President of the Achieva Family Trust. Michelle served on The Family Trusts’ Social Service Committee since 2009 prior to taking on her current role in June of 2015.

Michelle spent 16 years at Familylinks in Allegheny County as the Service Coordination Unit Director. In this role, Michelle directed several departments including the Supports Coordination division serving over 3000 individuals throughout Pennsylvania. Michelle has spent her career in the Social Service field and has extensive experience working with individuals diagnosed with ID and mental health, as well as the aging population.

Michelle is a graduate of Penn State University and received her Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh.                                                                                                                                                          

Jacquelyn E. Connell

Jacquelyn E. Connell is the Trust Attorney for Achieva Family Trust. In her current role, she works with attorneys, families, and individuals with disabilities on reviewing and establishing special needs trusts. Prior to working at Achieva Family Trust, she focused her practice on estate planning and estate administration. She has extensive experience in drafting and reviewing Wills and Powers of Attorney, as well as advising clients on estate planning techniques with regard to trusts, real estate, and long term care. Jacquelyn is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and its Law and Disability section. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude and her Juris Doctor from Duquesne University.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Mary Peterson

Mary Peterson is the Trust Manager at Achieva Family Trust. Mary has served on the Advocacy Action Team at Achieva for the past year.
Prior to joining Achieva Family Trust, Mary served as the Senior Program Manager in the Supports Coordination Department at Familylinks where she was employed for 19 years. Her initial role at Familylinks was in the Supports Coordinator position prior to being promoted to Program Manager and Senior Manager. Mary was an agency trainer in Risking Connection which is a trauma-informed care model of service.

Mary has worked with individuals diagnosed with both intellectual disabilities and mental health, for the majority of her career. Her previous employment history includes Pressley Ridge Schools where she worked as a Therapeutic Support Staff in family and residential treatment homes as well as Allegheny Intensive Treatment Program (AITP) where she worked with juvenile offenders for several years.

Mary is a graduate of Penn State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.


Call (412) 995-5000 x 565 or email us at familytrust@achieva.info.




Jeff Ash Trust Administrator 2 x 586
Valerie Benik Trust Assistant x 442 
Greg Benzy Trust Assistant x 590 
Jessica Briggs  Trust Administration Supervisor x 498 
Jennifer Britton Benefits Counseling Specialist jbritton@achieva.info
Devorah Brown Trust Assistant x 622 
Jacquelyn Connell Trust Attorney  x 452 
Diane Edgar Trust Administrator 1  x 414 
Chrissy Grimes Trust Administrator 1  x 577 
Romaine Knox-Chapman  Trust Administrator 1  x 595 
Nicole Martin Regional Trust Liaison - Philadelphia (215) 678-0609
Nancy McMillan Benefits Counseling Specialist x 437
Mary Peterson Trust Manager  x 478 
Katherine Reim Regional Trust Liaison - Erie (814) 504-5556
Natalie Rosborough Legal Assistant x 441
Michelle Sipple Vice President x 479
Maria Smith Director of Education & Outreach x 434 
Daniel Snyder Trust Administrator 1  x 594 
Jennifer Stoyer Residual Account Coordinator x 493 
Amy Dolan Strano President x 405 
Patty Yerina Education & Outreach Coordinator x 589 
Laurie Zola Benefits Counseling Coordinator  x 633 




Bernie Cook Financial Assistant x 591 
Bob Doerge Trust Accounting Manager x 581 
Anita Gillinson Trust Accounting Assistant Manager x 477
Linda Kovach Supervisor of Trust Accounting x 592
Dave Matteo Accountant x 568
Richard Pfab Financial Assistant x 522 
Joe Ritter Trust Coordinator x 474
Cindy Short Treasurer - Achieva x 413