NTID Employer Advisory Group

Overview / Introduction

The NTID Employer Advisory Group’s (EAG) mission is to help NTID stay current with relevant information that is critical to employment, both cooperative work experiences and full-time jobs, for our deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates.


The EAG is a crucial resource for helping to promote the marketability of our students and graduates by providing resources for NTID faculty and NCE staff to learn about technological advances and trends in business and industry.

Current Representatives

Sam Sepah

A.I. Research Product Manager

Headshot of Sam Sepah Before arriving at Google, Sam worked at the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Labor, IBM, GE-NBC Universal, Siemens, Sprint, and Apple. At each company, Sam was responsible for developing and advancing workforce and talent management.

Sam serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ohlone College Foundation, Board of Associates of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in addition to the NTID Employer Advisory Group. He graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Social Science and an M.S. in Human Resources Development.

Linda Sutton

Director of Staff Development and Training – Walden School
The Learning Center for the Deaf

Headshot of Linda Sutton With more than 30 years of experience working with both deaf and hearing populations in residential treatment and psycho-social rehabilitation settings, Linda Sutton found her passion for this work while completing her degree in social work. She joined The Learning Center for the Deaf’s Walden School in 1998 as the Residential Director and served in that capacity until 2007 when she became Walden School's Director of Staff Development and Training. Linda has become a valuable senior leader during her time at Walden School. She is a Certified Lead Instructor for both Professional Assault Crisis (Pro-ACT) and Residential Child and Youth Care Professional (RCYCP). Linda enjoys the recruitment and training of interns and new staff for Walden School and watching their growth and development.

Sean M. Lucas

Director of IT Service Management
Intermountain Healthcare

Headshot of Sean M. Lucas Sean Lucas serves as a Director of IT Service Management at Intermountain Healthcare. He has more than 14 years of experience within healthcare IT, with more than 11 of those years serving in various leadership roles. Sean has partnered with RIT/NTID for 10 years, onboarding co-op students as well as serving on the NTID Employer Advisory Group for the past five years. He also sat on an advisory council for NTID, assisting with developing Internet-of-Things-related curricula. Sean holds two bachelor’s degrees in Computer Information Systems/Business Information Systems as well as an MBA specializing in Information Systems Management.

Joshua Stewart

Senior Vice President
Head of Talent Acquisition
The PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Headshot of Joshua Stewart Joshua Stewart is the Senior Vice President and Head of Talent Acquisition. A PNC employee for 19 years, Joshua maintains oversight of talent acquisition, sourcing, and employment marketing, early career internships/development programs and accessibility.

Previously the Director of Talent Solutions & Outreach, Joshua also maintained oversight of PNC’s K-12 recruitment strategies including the 2018 launch of the PartnerUP program. PartnerUp is a PNC-led, multi-employer collaborative that develops and recruits career-bound high school seniors from underserved school districts.

Prior to his current role, Joshua was a senior manager on both the Leadership and Executive Development team, the corporate Diversity and Inclusion team and held various roles within PNC Bank’s Consumer Lending business. As a former project manager for Consumer Lending, Joshua managed key initiatives including the integrations of Mercantile Bank, Sterling Bank and National City bank as well as other key product/service implementations.

An ardent advocate for Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Joshua served as the founding President of PNC Proud the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) Employee Business Resource Group at PNC Bank. Josh is a co-author of the Forté Foundation’s Men As Allies tool kit training program, leads PNC’s Men As Allies program and provides coaching to organizations facilitating the program around the globe. Josh is a member of the board of directors at the Consortium for Public Education, a member of the board of directors at the Forte Foundation and a member of the Employer Advisory Board at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf.

Joshua earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences and holds a certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell University.

Jonathan Poe

Deputy Director of Disbursing Operations
Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Headshot of Jonathan Poe Jonathan Poe is an RIT/NTID alumnus and a Rochester native residing in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Master in Business Administration from Ashland University, and he serves as Deputy Director of Disbursing Operations at Defense Finance and Accounting Service. He has nearly 13 years of experience in various positions with the Department of Defense agency, including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Accounting Systems, and current directorate. In his current role, he manages and monitors daily disbursements and collections to various vendors and small businesses. Last year, the directorate disbursed over $185 billion dollars for Army, Air Force, Navy, and multiple Defense agencies. He also served as a champion for the Employees with disabilities program to share and spread awareness to other DFAS employees about disabilities.

Michelle Cummings

Senior R&D Leader
Dow Performance Silicones – Product Development

Headshot of Michelle Cummings Michelle Cummings is a Senior R&D Leader within the Hybrids, Polymers, and Silanes Group. In this role Michelle is responsible for leading the Hybrids product development group to deliver on new innovative products combining organic and silicone chemistry for differentiated advanced performance.

Most recently Michelle was a Research Scientist within the Engineered Materials Product Development Group and Global Technology Platform Leader for Secondary Optics at Dow. Michelle was responsible for developing and commercializing products for secondary optics applications in lighting. Michelle has made significant contributions to Dow’s product portfolio through the commercialization of more than seven individual products into applications such as electronic adhesives, pottants and foams. She is a 2018 Edison Award and 2019 R&D 100 Award Recipient, as well as an inventor on five granted patents and four pending patents.

Thomas Petroski

Thomas Petroski

Chief C4ISR Finishing Division
Tobyhanna Army Depot

Headshot of Thomas Petroski Mr. Petroski, a native of Northeast PA, is a family man and dedicated to the service of others. In addition to his service to the military, he is a foster parent and loves to volunteer to help children and less fortunate people in his community.

After graduation high school, Tom joined the army and served 14+ years in both active duty and National Guard before receiving a medical discharge. During his time in the army, Tom served with the 82nd Airborne Division in a very diverse role. This unique role helped to shape who he is today. He has multiple deployments abroad with various missions from combat to humanitarian aid.

Upon completion of his initial active-duty tour, Tom was accepted into a Construction Management program through Drexel University. Post-graduation, this led his career into a very diverse infrastructure field. Some of the programs that Tom managed include the NFL Films building, Borgata Casino, Sands Bethworks Casino, Mohegan Sun Casino, the Renaissance Center for Art, the Newark Airport Continental Airline terminal, and more.

In 2013, Tom again joined the army. This time, it was as a civilian and at West Point Military Academy. Tom was able to use his military and civilian experience to help the growth and development of the newest leaders of the most elite military in the world. One of Toms most notable achievements was to manage the production of the nationally televised graduation ceremony. Tom worked with the Secret Service and the White House Press to ensure that every last detail was accounted for. Two of the Keynote speakers that Tom served for were President Obama and then-Vice President Biden.

Tom then moved his service to Tobyhanna Army Depot where he currently serves as the Division Chief for the Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, C4ISR Division.

Gerald Homme

Manager of Talent Acquisition and Technology
Bender Consulting Services, Inc.

Headshot of Gerald Homme Gerald is the Manager of Talent Acquisition and Technology for Bender Consulting Services, Inc. He has over 15 years of experience in supporting disability employment programming. Gerald also supports internal technology at Bender and projects in Digital Accessibility in a project management capacity. Gerald is the product manager of Bender’s Careers2B program, Workplace Mentoring, and the Bender Virtual Career for persons with disabilities.

Gerald supports the Bender Leadership Academy as a volunteer, where he is integral in supporting PA REV UP Coalition and head of the Bender Lead On Team, a grassroots social media team focused on ending bullying and supporting self-advocacy. Gerald has previously served on the advisory board for IUP’s career services. As a person with Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and mental health disabilities, Gerald remains an advocate for employment equity for people with disabilities.