Robert Ciatto is the president/chief executive officer of Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, one of the largest non-profit agencies in the state of New York.
Mr. Ciatto is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization, providing innovative leadership and assuring the integrity and effectiveness of the agency’s wide-ranging programs.
Under Mr. Ciatto’s leadership, ACLD supports more than 1,300 children and adults with autism and learning/developmental disabilities and their families throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Mr. Ciatto also directs the activities of more than 1,200 employees at over 100 program sites, including community residents and apartment programs.
With a distinguished career in the non-profit sector spanning more than 30 years. Mr. Ciatto has dedicated his entire professional life to ensuring that individuals with special needs receive the services and attention they need and deserve. His commitment to operational excellence has earned him a well-earned reputation as a trailblazer offering compassionate, visionary leadership.
Mr. Ciatto joined ACLD in 2014 as Assistant Executive Director. In that role, he was instrumental in the exceptional growth of ACLD’s residential program, expanding from 29 homes to nearly 50 homes today.
In addition, Mr. Ciatto managed the agency’s programs, including residential and day services, community habilitation, children’s services as well maintenance, information technology, purchasing and human resources.
He played a key role in ACLD’s annual budget process and setting the agency’s strategic plan.
Prior to joining ACLD, Mr. Ciatto spent more than two decades with AHRC-Nassau, joining initially as a direct support professional and ultimately rising to the post of senior director of business operations.
Mr. Ciatto is a recipient of the 2021 Schenps Media Healthcare Hero Award for his leadership through the pandemic; a 2022 honoree of the Long Island Herald’s Excellence in Healthcare Awards, Long Island Business News’ Executive Circle Winner in 2020, and he has been named to Long Island Business News’ Top Healthcare Executives in 2021 and 2022.
Mr. Ciatto’s professional affiliations include memberships in the InterAgency Council, Advance Care Alliance of New York (ACA/NY), New York Disabilities Association and the Long Island Alliance.
He was previously a member of the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed. Active in the community, Mr. Ciatto is a longstanding supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation as well as Italian-Americans in Government Inc.
He also donated his time to support youth and coach in the Connetquot Youth Baseball Organization and Youth Flag Football for the Sports Arena and i9 Sports.
Mr. Ciatto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from SUNY-Old Westbury and earned his Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from LIU Post. Mr. Ciatto resides with his wife and son in Ronkonkoma.
How do you see your business evolving due to the changing times?
The major challenge in our field is the workforce. Our industry continues to deal with evolving issues such as staff shortages and lack of funding to support salary increases. Funding has always impacted us, but it is at the forefront now as we deal with inflationary costs and the workforce shortage.
Because the increased housing market has also impacted us, and there is no increased funding stream, we have to continuously think outside the box and create new revenue streams. We have to do more outreach in the community and improve our marketing efforts to bring in more like-minded people to the organization who can support our mission.
What advice would you give other business owners?
No matter what obstacles are thrown in your direction, you need to consistently stay true to the mission of your organization or business and still have the ability to adapt and pivot. It’s vital to see the bigger picture within the organization, the economy, revenue streams and funding.
In this day and age, it is vital to collaborate with your peers in the field—brainstorm and share ideas; focus on your workforce, not just the salaries. It is also important to reflect on what benefits you can offer to your employees and what type of culture you can develop in your organization so that people enjoy being at work.