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Nikia Brown
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Nikia Brown
Development Associate

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Florence Mui
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Florence Mui
Director of Development

Florence Mui has been a grant writer and fundraiser for 10 years. Her passion for helping and empowering New York City’s vulnerable women and children led her to the YWCA-NYC in June 2017. Florence is responsible for maximizing institutional and corporate giving and contributing to the overall fundraising effort for the YW. Prior to the YW, Florence worked at the New York Asian Women’s Center (now Womankind), where she secured foundation, corporate, and government funds for counseling, advocacy, and support services for domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking survivors. At enCourage Kids Foundation (formerly Starlight Children’s Foundation NY-NJ-CT), she raised funds for in-hospital and out-patient programs for seriously and chronically ill children.

Before finding her true calling in nonprofit development, Florence honed her research and writing skills as a commodities market analyst and an industrial equipment magazine editor. She is an alumna of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Bronx High School of Science. Florence has lived in Queens, NY, for three decades. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her toddler and helping her discover the world.


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Dr. Danielle Moss Lee
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Dr. Danielle Moss Lee
President and CEO

Dr. Danielle Moss Lee joined the YWCA of the City of New York–the nation’s first YWCA association–in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing to the role over twenty years of experience in education and human services. Under her tenure, the YWCA of the City of New York has expanded its program portfolio to include a women’s speaker series for professional women, girls leadership programs, STEM education for girls and young women, and has increased advocacy for women and girls in New York City. Since taking the helm of the YWCA, she has launched the #YWWomanKind Campaign to amplify the YW’s work to engage, uplift, and support women of all ages from all walks of life. In 2015, these efforts were recognized when the Speaker of New York’s City Council asked Dr. Moss Lee to Co-Chair the NY City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative, a citywide effort to remove the systemic barriers to achievement that disproportionally affect girls of color. In 2016, Mayor DeBlasio appointed her to the city’s newly established Commission on Gender Equity.

Dr. Moss Lee began her career as a teacher in the Bronx and Brooklyn. She previously served as President and CEO of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Youth Policy at CCNY, Director for Community and Parent Partnerships at The After-School Corporation, and Consulting Project Director for The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. Her accomplishments include expanding access and opportunities in underserved communities in ways that reflect integrity, respect, and an eye toward sustainable impact. As a result of her leadership, and with support from a committed Board of Directors and stellar team of professional staff, the YWCA of the City of New York has returned to the forefront of the conversation on girls and women in New York City.

Co-founder and lead applicant of Sisulu-Walker Children’s Academy – Harlem Charter School (the first authorized charter school in the state of New York), Dr. Moss Lee has also served on the boards of the Dodge YMCA, the Teachers College Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation Advisory Board, Community Education Council District 3, the National Advisory Board of The Next Generation Venture Fund, and the Teachers College 125th Anniversary Steering Committee. She is currently President of Black Agency Executives, a member of the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women Advisory Board, a Board Member of the Human Services Council, and a member of the Swarthmore College Board of Managers. She received her B.A. in English Literature and History with a concentration in Black Studies from Swarthmore College, and holds M.A. and Ed.M. degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, where she also completed her Doctorate in Organization and Leadership with a focus on Education Administration. She has earned Certificates in Nonprofit Management from the business schools of Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford, as well as a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University, The Fundraising School.

Dr. Moss Lee’s contributions to education and the social sector have been recognized by the New York State Education Department, The New York City Comptroller’s Office, The New York Coalition of 100 Black Women, Harvard Business School Club of New York, Bank of America, and The College Board. In 2015, The Network Journal named her one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. Dr. Moss Lee is a passionate social change activist whose writing has been featured by The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Edutopia, The Amsterdam News, and City Limits Magazine. She has shared her views on WABC-TV’s “Here and Now” and “New York Viewpoint”, WNBC’s “Positively Black”, Fox 5’s “Street Talk”, Bronx Net’s “Perspectives”, NY1’s “Inside City Hall,” and on Power 105.1, WCBS, and Bloomberg Radio. Journalist Stanley Crouch hailed Dr. Moss Lee as one of the most important players in public education for her ability to respectfully meet young people where they are, while providing them with the tools and agency to transform their own lives.

For speaking engagements, please contact Brian Franklin at bfranklin@thewakemanagency.com.

 


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Don Vogel
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Don Vogel
Chief Development Officer

Don has been a development executive for nearly 25 years, who has applied his passion for public service to his work for grassroots organizations, such as the Northfield Local Development Corporation, and Research 1 institutions, such as Stony Brook University. Similar to just about anyone in the development business, he didn’t grow up wanting to be a fundraiser. His initial introduction came when, as a nascent professional with a degree in creative writing, someone dropped an RFP the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica on his desk and said, “if we don’t get this, we’re all unemployed.” Since that nerve-wracking, but successful, experience, Don has acquired a diverse array of skills, raising millions of dollars through institutional, individual, government, and special events fundraising. He has been fortunate to learn from some of the brightest minds in the business with the most essential lesson being that development work is about building lasting and effective relationships with people one should be proud to call friends. Don is also a published writer and Navy veteran who holds an MA in English from Stony Brook University and a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Houghton College. He lives in West Islip, Long Island, NY, with his wife, Linda, who is a speech pathologist, and son, Alec, who is in 10th grade.


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Lisa DeCicco
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Lisa DeCicco
Chief Administrative Officer

Lisa DeCicco is a seasoned professional in the area of Human Resources Management with over 20 years of experience in the non-for-profit and for-profit sectors. In her tenure at the YWCA, she was instrumental in organizing and coordinating the agencies move from 610 Lexington Avenue to their new office at 50 Broadway as well as the YW Family Resource Center and new initiatives. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Communications along with two professional certifications in Human Resources Management from Pace University. Lisa is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). She lives in Dutchess County New York where she is active in the mission to fund support services and outreach for people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley.


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Gail Cruse
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Gail Cruse
Chief Financial Officer

Gail Cruse is Chief Financial Officer at the YWCA of the City of New York. Ms. Cruse joined The YWCA in 2013, and has brought over 35 years of experience in accounting, finance, audit management, and budget oversight to the YWCA of the City of New York. Prior to joining the YWCA, she served as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), an award winning college preparatory organization based in Upper Manhattan. Previously, she was Controller at Phone Programs, Inc.

Ms. Cruse received her B.A in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance and Accounting and has completed several education, finance and nonprofit leadership programs at Fordham University, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Fiscal Management Associates Institute, and the New York Council of Nonprofits. In addition to her work at the YWCA, Ms. Cruse is a founding trustee of 500 Men, an organization committed to helping disconnected men re-engage with their families, communities, and employment opportunities. For over 15 years, she has also provided fiscal consultancy and technical assistance to businesses and non-profit organizations throughout New York City as partner of Cruse Consultants.


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Stafford Murray
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Stafford Murray
Director of Systems and Computer Technology

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Shinn Yang
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Shinn Yang
Accounting Manager

Shinn has been a New Yorker all his life. He received his accounting degree from Monroe College and worked many years in the private sector. It was a socially and economically conscious decision at the time. The goal that he wishes to achieve through his contributions is to help and make a positive change in the lives of the people we serve. He hopes his efforts through this organization would help influence changes in all socio-economic classes.


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Raimonda Baneleviciute
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Raimonda Baneleviciute
Staff Accountant, Accounts Payable

Raimonda is the Staff Accountant, Accounts Payable. She was born in Lithuania, Europe and arrived in New York in 1996. She had a Civil Engineering degree from back home, but chose to take Accounting more seriously.

After graduation, in 2001, she was offered a job at YWCA OF NYC at the historical 610 Lexington Avenue building. This opportunity captivated Raimonda from day one, as she states, “it was wonderful to see such a variety of remarkable programs being offered to the public.” Most of all, Raimonda appreciates the YWCA’s dedication to the mission that started back in 1858.


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Bernard Jenkins
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Bernard Jenkins
Budget/Fiscal Analyst

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Judy Kutler
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Judy Kutler
Administrative Systems Manager

Judy grew up in the Bronx, New York and now resides in New Jersey.  She attended Mercy and Lehman Colleges and has worked at the YWCA for over 30 years. Prior to that, she worked in a human service organization in the Bronx.  She worked there running an after school program for five years and as a classroom teacher for three years. Working for nonprofit human service organizations gives her great satisfaction in knowing that she contribute in some small way to help others.


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Dr. Deidre Franklin
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Dr. Deidre Franklin
Vice President of Programs

Deidre Franklin has extensive experience in developing training institutes for master level counseling students and has led countless trainings on youth development and adolescent social identity development. Her research areas of interest are in racial identity development, racism and mental health. Prior to her appointment at the YW, Dr. Franklin spent 12 years creating and leading the mental health services and positive youth development programs for an award-winning college access program. She is from Brooklyn, NY and received her B.A. from Howard, an Ed.M. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Teachers College Columbia University.


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Jessica Bowers
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Jessica Bowers
Director, Social Services and Internship Programs

Jessica Bowers, grew up in Westfield, NJ and received her undergraduate degree in Education Studies from Brown University. Jessica has always loved working with young children and knew she wanted to dedicate her career to supporting children and families during the formative first 5 years.

After a brief stint teaching English in Granada, Spain, Jessica returned to the U.S. and received her Masters in Social Work from NYU in 2009. She has spent the past 6 years working in home visiting and Head Start programs to provide high-quality educational and family support services to pregnant women and families with young children. A majority of Jessica’s work has taken place in underserved communities of Brooklyn, including Brownsville, Bushwick, and Coney Island. Jessica is coming up on her 1-year anniversary with the YWCA and is committed to continuing to work towards eliminating racism and empowering women throughout New York City.


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Mary Menchaca
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Mary Menchaca
Senior Director of the Early Learning Programs

Mary Menchaca has been working in the Early Childhood field for 14 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Education in the Philippines and earned her MS in Education and Special Education from Touro College. She worked with Little Angels Head Start for 12 years, first as a Head teacher, then as An Education Director for 8 years. She then worked as an Instructional Specialist for Brightside Acdemy for two years.

Mary decided to work with YWCA because I share the organization’s mission and vision. Coming from a foreign land and culture, I am in awe at how the organization impacts change in the communities. I get a sense of belonging from simply knowing that there are organizations like YWCA.

Being the Senior Director of the Early Learning Programs, she is happy and challenged to bring our sites to a level where every family would trust us enough to walk hand in hand with us because their child is safe, because their child is secure, and because we have developed well-rounded individuals.


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Sheryl Quallo
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Sheryl Quallo
Educational Director, Brownsville ELC

Sheryl Quallo was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Utica College of Syracuse University and began working for the Administration for Children’s Services as a Child Protective Specialist upon graduation.  Sheryl remained with the Administration for Children’s Services for 10 ½ years, before deciding that she wanted to work more closely with children and their families in the field of Education.

Sheryl participated in the New York City Teaching Fellows program and earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the City University of New York—Brooklyn College.  She currently holds New York State Teaching Certifications in Early Childhood Education (Birth – 2nd grade) and Childhood Education (Grades 1 – 6).  Sheryl began teaching Special Needs Children for the New York City Department of Education and remained a Special Education Teacher for 5 years.  Sheryl entered the non-profit sector in 2012 in the role of Education Director.  She enjoys her work with children, their families, and the educators who impart their knowledge.

Sheryl became a part of the YW Team in September 2015 and believes that we all have a responsibility to help guide our children.  Her primary goal is to provide education and support to our families, while creating a learning environment that is welcoming and helps our children reach their fullest potential.

 


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Melissa Bittrolff
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Melissa Bittrolff
Educational Director, Polly Dodge Early Learning Center

Melissa Bittrolff was born and raised in Queens, NY. She attended Hunter College for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Upon graduation, she secured a Bachelor’s in Childhood Education, a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, a bachelor’s in History, and a NYS Teacher’s Certification for both Birth – 2nd Grade and Grade 1 – Grade 6. Melissa has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past seven years, starting off as a Pre-K Teacher and eventually going on to become Educational Director.  She works for a non-profit organization such as the YWCA because it is the most rewarding work for someone like herself. Coming from a low economic community, she values the work that non-profit organizations do and the opportunities that they offer to the communities that otherwise may not be awarded such opportunities.


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Merle McGee
Chief Program Officer

Merle McGee is Chief Program Officer at the YWCA of the City of New York. Her portfolio includes education and youth services, workforce development, racial justice and gender equity initiatives. Ms. McGee brings to the YWCA extensive experience in nonprofit management, youth development, staff development, organizational change management and leadership. Prior to joining the YWCA of the City of New York, she served as Vice President of Programs for the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), an award winning college preparatory organization based in Upper Manhattan, responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight for all program operations. Previously, she was Program Officer at The After-School Corporation and Director at The Door and at Morningside Area Alliance.

Ms. McGee has consulted on numerous educational and leadership development projects for nonprofit organizations including Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth, The After School Corporation, The CollegeBoard, Sports and Arts Foundation  and the Partnership for After School Education and is a frequent presenter on youth development, leadership and program design and development. She received her B.F.A. from the Tisch School at New York University and holds a M.S. in Non-Profit Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at New School University. She was named a Robert Bowne Research Fellow and selected for the Coro Leadership Program in New York. Ms. McGee has completed Executive Education Programs at Harvard University and Columbia Business School.  Ms. McGee has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University since 2006.


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Alicia Quinoñes
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Alicia Quinoñes
Director, P.S. 329, Coney Island

Alicia E. Quinones, Site Director for the YWCA-P.S 329 COMPASS Program, has been with the YWCA of the City of New York for six years. Prior to serving the community of Coney Island, Brooklyn, Alicia previously served as the Assistant Director at the YWCA site with the UFT Extended Day Program. As a group leader, Alicia has received recognition for being an effective educator. Alicia has her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CUNY York College. In 2014, Alicia received her Masters in Education as a School Counselor from Alfred University.


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Nicole Doherty
Human Resources Associate for YW Programs

Nicole has been with the organization since 2007. Prior to being promoted to work in the Human Resources Department, Nicole worked at the YWCA Polly Dodge Early Learning Center as the Assistant Bookkeeper. In 2014, she received a certificate in Human Resources Management from the Society of Human Resources Management. Nicole attended Northampton College in Tannersville, Pennsylvania with concentration on Business Administration.


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Karlene James