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Who We Are

We are professionals, parents, siblings, and advocates for those with special needs. When you call our office, you are speaking to someone on the other end of the phone that ‘gets it.’


With headquarters in downtown Rochester, NY we have proudly assisted over 450 families across New York State, in developing sustainable life care plans for their loved one. We are one of the only organizations in New York State that bridge the private sector and nonprofit worlds to create long term solutions for individuals with disabilities. Our specialty is in working with families who have loved ones in New York State that need comprehensive planning solutions. We take our clients through a thoughtful, personalized process to create and preserve options for the future.


James Traylor, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC


James is a sibling, advocate and professional who has focused his entire professional career in creating the organization of choice for families planning for a family member with a disability..

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Nicole VanGorder

Chief Operating Officer & VP of Client Relations


As Chief Operating Officer & VP of Client Relations, Nicole oversees all day-to-day operations and new client engagements for Upstate Special Needs Planning...

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Melanie Crump

Administrative Assistant


Melanie assists in managing the day-to-day business at Upstate. She spent over twenty years in the NYC metro area serving in various roles. Most recently, she served as an assistant to the Managing Partner of a local financial firm....

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David Levy

Financial Planning Associate