Joe Leddy, Sr. – Chairman of the Board
April 1982, Joe established Work Opportunities Unlimited, a multi-state, community-based employment program dedicated to individuals with barriers to employment. Under Joe’s leadership, the company has grown to more than 200 employees, and in 1994 Leddy Group spun off as a stand-alone staffing service. In 2004, Joe established Independence Works, Inc. providing employment services to individuals referred from Vocational Rehabilitation in Florida.
Prior to founding Work Opportunities Unlimited, Joe’s career included two years as the Director of Special Programs for the New Hampshire Department of Education and three years as the Director of Rehabilitation for the New Hampshire Department of Education. Joe has also held positions as the Coordinator for the Workshop for the Blind through the New Hampshire Department of Education, an Associate Professor at New Hampshire Vocational-Technical College, and the Acting Director and Blind Rehabilitation Specialist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Joe has a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Education from Keene State College. Joe has been active in his community. His volunteer positions include: a member of the Town Budget Committee; Selectman; Chairman of the School Board; Chairman of the School Building Committee; and member of the Town Planning Board. In 2000, Joe received the “Small Business Person of the Year” award for the state of New Hampshire from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Joe received the New Englander Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) in 1993.
Ryan Mountain – President & CEO
As President and CEO of Independence Works, Inc., Ryan brings over 25 years of experience in the field of employment for students and adults with disabilities. Having performed diverse roles in multiple states, Ryan brings a wide breadth of knowledge to the responsibility of planning and implementing the strategic direction of Independence Works, Inc.
Ryan began his career with Work Opportunities Unlimited in October of 1994 as a Career Resource Specialist providing direct supports to youth and individuals with disabilities. In January 1996, Ryan became the Director of the Portsmouth, N.H. office and opened a new office in Rochester, NH.
In June of 1999, Ryan became the Director of Program Development, creating student transition service models and securing contracts with school districts in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Florida.
Having been promoted in 2004 to Vice President of Program Development, Ryan was responsible for the expansion of Work Opportunities Unlimited to Florida, Maryland, and Washington D.C..
Starting in 2009, as Vice President of the Career Services Division, he became responsible for the operations, growth and service quality in Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Ryan was promoted to Sr. Vice President in 2019 and Chief Operating Officer in 2021.
Ryan received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1994, and completed graduate study in Behavior Management at Notre Dame College. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending his time golfing, skiing and traveling with his family.
Steve Wood – Treasurer
Steve joined the company as Vice President of Planning and Chief Financial Officer in 1996, and was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. Steve also serves as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. He also provides strategic planning and organizational development consulting to clients of Spectrum Consulting.
Prior to joining the company, Steve spent seventeen years in the banking industry where he rose to Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Loan Officer. He spent five years consulting in the area of strategic planning and organizational development to a range of businesses in New England. Steve was an adjunct faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University from 1994 to 2013. He taught Leadership and Managing Organizational Change regularly at both the graduate and undergraduate level and periodically taught Strategic Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and other management courses. He also served on the University’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
Steve received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine in 1975 where he was a member of the Senior Skull Society, and his Masters in Business Administration from Northeastern University in 1987 where he was selected for both the Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Societies. He also graduated from the Williams School of Banking.
Steve is active in a number of regional charitable organizations and currently is Treasurer of the Portsmouth NH Rotary Club and Independence Works, Inc.; and serves on the Board of the Business and Industry Association of NH.
Sue Abel – Director of West Palm Beach
Sue is Director of the West Palm Beach and Broward County regions of Florida, a position she has held since 2009. As Director, she enjoys supporting her team—whom she considers dedicated professionals with a passion for IW’s mission—in helping individuals with barriers secure employment in the division’s communities.
In 1987 Sue joined the Work Opportunities Unlimited team as an Employment Representative. Sue has held several positions during her tenure: Vice President of Field Services for six states; Vice President of WOU’s Maine division, where she developed four new offices in the state; and Director of WOU’s Portland and Biddeford offices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of South Carolina and was formerly a member of Maine Rehabilitation Association.
Sue and her husband Scott are members of the North Palm Beach Yacht Club and enjoy boating and socializing with other members. They also enjoy competing in trivia and dog sitting for friends and family.
Lisa Jaloski – Director of Martin County
Lisa is Director of IW’s Martin County, which also serves St. Lucie County. She manages the team’s direction in providing the organization’s services to the local market, as well as cultivates and manages relationships with clients, area businesses, employers, and others to help connect the community with IW’s services.
Prior to joining IW, Lisa had an extensive career with the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida as a Medical Case Manager/Prevention and Education Coordinator. After joining IW in April 2014 as a Career Resource Specialist in the organization’s Palm Beach County office, Lisa became a Team Leader in 2015 and was promoted into her current position as Director in May of 2019. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s in psychology and has been awarded internally for her participation in IW’s Discovery Services program, requiring team members to surpass additional standards in helping clients find community-based employment.
Outside of work, Lisa volunteers back to the community in which she was raised and is deeply involved with her children’s activities. She serves on the board of her son’s high school baseball team and until recently was the president of her daughter’s softball team. In addition, she has been involved with the Junior League of the Palm Beaches since 1999.