About Us

The California Transition Alliance was formed in 2002 to provide support for WorkAbility I.  In 2005, it was incorporated as a non-profit organization with the mission to provide information, tools and resources that can be shared with teachers, parents, educators, and transition partners at the California Department of Rehabilitation and the Department of Developmental Services. The California Transition Alliance has sponsored and organized the Bridge to the Future statewide Institutes on Secondary Transition.  We provide training in secondary transition throughout the state.  We are currently leading the California High School Diploma work group.  All of the Leadership team volunteer their time and are dedicated to helping our youth achieve employment and transition from high school to education and training.

Current Officers

Sue Sawyer, President

Vicki Shadd, Vice President

Carol Barrett, Treasurer

Liz Zastrow, Training

Anna Bell-Holeman, Secretary, Web, Social Media

Jill Larson, Membership, Social Media

Richard Rosenberg, Liaison, CA Promise


The  2019 CA Transition Alliance Leadership Team


Sue Sawyer, President, CA Transition Alliance

In addition to her role with the Alliance, Sue is currently a member of the California Community of Practice Leadership Team, representing the CA. Transition Alliance and has served as a member of the Consortium on Employment for California Youth (CECY). She is currently working with the High School Diploma Workgroup to improve the graduation rates for students who graduate with a diploma, including students with disabilities.

 Sue is passionate about the value of career planning and self-advocacy for every young person. Currently retired, Sue has directed an Improving Transition Outcomes project, funded through the Office of Disability Employment Policy.  She has a history of participating in the WorkAbility I program as a project Director, Chair of the Governmental Relations Committee, Regional Chair and State Advisory Board member. Sue wrote the resource guides Transition Planning:  The Basics and I Want to Work!  I Know I Can. 

 vicki profile.jpg

Vicki Shadd Vice President, CA Transition Alliance                                                                             

Vicki currently works with Chico State University.  Prior work experience including serving on the State SELPA Transition Team, Director of WorkAbility I and the Transition Partnership Program  in Glenn County,  Chair of WorkAbility Advisory Committee,  Vicki's passion has always been and still is that our job, no matter what our role, is to support students in developing the skills, attitudes and behaviors they need to be successful in adult life. She has participated in several statewide leadership roles in the area of Transition. At the local level she has been a part of creating several collaborative that focus on integrating students with disabilities into larger efforts which include a multitude of populations and topics.


Carol Kuhling Barrett,   CA Transition Alliance Treasurer

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Special Education, Carol completed a Masters’ internship in Special Education with children with autism.  Her 38 years in the field of Special Education have included  teaching students with a wide array of disabilities in varied settings – summer camps, residential treatment centers,  private schools, non-public schools, public schools and community colleges.  After working at the community college as both an LD Specialist and teacher of students with moderate to severe disabilities, Carol’s passion to see students with disabilities supported in making a successful school-to-work transition grew.  She has been working in her current  position with WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Programs for 23 years. 


Elizabeth Zastrow,   CA Transition Alliance Training Chair

Program Specialist, Lodi  Unified School District

Liz's career includes working as special education teacher of the Deaf and Blind and she served in the United States Peace Corps employed with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf and the Salvation Army for the Blind.  Upon returning to the United States she joined Lodi Unified School District where she has worked as a teacher, and program specialist that focuses on autism and low incidence disabilities.  She is playing a leadership role in transition through the WorkAbility program, CA Promise Grant and a member of the CA CoP leadership team.  Liz chairs the Secondary Transition Institute.


 Jill Larson, CA Transition Alliance Transition Nuggets Chair

Jill was a teacher of the Deaf for over 25 years.  From 1997-2001 she developed a School-to-Career Program for the California School for the Deaf in Fremont.  In 2001, she went to work for the California Department of Education (CDE) where she served as the Secondary Transition Specialist and facilitated the California Community of Practice on Secondary Transition (COP) from 2010 - 2015.  Jill is now retired, but continues to be passionate about helping youth transition to adulthood by serving on the Alliance Board.



 Richard Louis Rosenberg, Ph.D., Liaison, CA Promise

 Ph.D. in Behavioral Disabilities and Educational Administration received from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1980. Over 35 years of teaching and administrative experience. Presently faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and San Diego State University, Interwork Institute (SDSU) as Region Manager with two federal grants - California Career Innovations (CII) and Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (CaPROMISE). Provide supports and technical assistance to Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute (TPI).  Completed 32 years as Career Vocational Coordinator for Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD) in administrative position responsible for coordination of vocational and career support for all students with disabilities for seven district high schools and providing technical assistance for Community Advocates for People’s Choice (CAPC) adult agency providing supported employment and supported living services.  Board member of the California Transition Alliance.  Developed and participated with a number of Interagency Systems Change grants linking Education, Rehabilitation, and Developmental Disabilities services at a local, state, and national.