The Child Center of NY
Board of Directors Roster and Biographies
Richard Jay, President
Richard Jay joined the board of The Child Center in 1998 and became president in 2008. He is the Chairman and principal of Port City Air in Portsmouth N.H. He is the former president and chairman of Display Technologies LLC (located in College Point, Queens), which he sold to IMI plc (a global engineering group). Prior to this, Dick served as a senior marketing executive for many major companies. He received his bachelor’s from Cornell University and his MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Chicago. He lives in Manhattan and Connecticut with his wife and is a proud father of 2 daughters and grandfather of 4.
Samuel Freed, Executive Vice President
Samuel Freed is a retired attorney with the law firm of Farrell Fritz who focuses on business law and commercial and residential real estate transactions. He formerly ran his own practice for 40 years. He and his wife live in Bronxville and are the parents of four children and grandparents of six. Sam has been a board member since 1988 and currently serves as executive vice president of the board.
Cynthia Mann Haiken, Vice President
Cynthia Mann Haiken is a reference and readers advisory librarian in Connecticut. Each of her maternal grandparents, mother, and aunt taught in the NYC public school, and she credits them for her a strong belief in education and youth support and development. Cynthia received a BA in history from Yale University in 1987 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1990. Cynthia received her MLIS degree from Rutgers University in 2016. Prior to becoming a librarian, she practiced tax law in New York City for 27 years. She and her husband Matthew have two daughters.
Adam H. Schwartz, Vice President
Adam Schwartz is a Senior Managing Director at First Manhattan Company. He joined the firm in 2001 as a research analyst and in 2006 began managing client accounts. With over 15 years of investment experience, Adam is leading an effort to build First Manhattan’s research and money management capabilities in China and travels frequently to the mainland and Hong Kong. Prior to joining First Manhattan, he spent two years working in London for a telecommunications firm. Adam began his career at Morgan Stanley as an investment-banking analyst. And holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University. He currently resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, two sons, and daughter.
Gregory D. Shufro, Vice President
Greg is a Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Shufro Rose, an independent wealth management firm. He joined the firm in 2003 and was named a Senior Managing Director in 2008. For over 80 years, Shufro Rose has helped generations of families and individuals navigate life’s challenges, building portfolios responsive to evolving goals and changing market conditions and providing guidance for future generations. Greg received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1997. In addition to serving on the board of The Child Center of NY, Greg serves on the Advisory Board of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, the Advisory Board for Andover Bread Loaf, and as a member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons. Greg lives in Manhattan with his wife Jen, their two sons, and their rescue dog Ajax.
Garrett D’Alessandro, Vice President/Treasurer
Garrett D’Alessandro is CEO of City National Rochdale, which currently manages over $39 billion in assets and is a wholly owned subsidiary of City National Bank, the 38th-largest commercial bank in the United States. City National Bank is backed by over $50.9 billion in total assets, and provides banking, investment, and trust services through 71 offices. Prior to joining Rochdale in 1986, Garrett was a certified public accountant at KPMG Peat Marwick. He received his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute.
Diane Macari, Secretary
Diane Macari is the President of Lewis & Murphy Realty, Inc., a property management agency located in Manhasset, Long Island. The company was founded by her father over 60 years ago; Diane has been working there for over 20 years. The company manages commercial and residential properties throughout Queens and Long Island and is led by Diane, her uncle, and her son. She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She has two sons and is the proud grandmother to two young grandsons.
Kris Amato is a Senior Relationship Manager in commercial banking at TD Bank based in Forest Hills, NY. She is responsible for assisting businesses with financing, treasury management, foreign exchange alternatives, trade and supply chain options, and other services, serving companies and organizations across Queens County in metro NYC.
Kris has more than ten years of commercial banking experience and has been consulting with business owners and executives for over 20 years. Prior to joining TD Bank, she served at HSBC in its New York corporate office running projects for the North American commercial segment. Kris began her banking career as a business banker at Chase. Kris’s background prior to banking involved corporate insurance, healthcare, investments, payroll/human resources, software and services, as well as a business efficiency expert.
Kris is a graduate of the SUNY Farmingdale Business School and Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business. She serves on three committees for the Queens Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of Women in Banking, The Commercial Bankers Group, Commercial Lending Forum, American Marketing Association, and the American Payroll Association.
Paul Avvento is the Chief Financial Officer of Gabrielli Truck Sales and has held this position since 1990. Previously, he worked as a vice president for lending for several banks for eight years and he worked for seven years as a senior credit analyst for Dun and Bradstreet. He earned his associate degree in business from Kingsborough Community College. Paul is married and has two children.
Benjamin Bahr is an investment analyst at First Eagle Investment Management. Previously, he was a member of the investment team for Alliance Bernstein’s value funds and an investment banker at Deutsche Bank. He earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Columbia University. Benj lives in Manhattan with his wife Anne, two sons, and their dog. He is a founding member of the Junior Outreach Committee (now Associate Board) of The Child Center of NY and with his wife Anne, created and organized dodgeball benefits which attracted teams from firms throughout Manhattan.
Katie Brennan, a New York City native, graduated from Dartmouth College and went on to work in publishing and then serve as a volunteer tutor in an afterschool program for disadvantaged children. Her experience as a tutor inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in Education at Boston University. Katie worked as a classroom teacher and admissions associate for three years before leaving the workforce to start a family with her husband.
Dr. Barbara Deli grew up in Pittsburgh and moved to NYC after medical school. In medical school, she was involved in health outreach in the struggling neighborhoods of West Philadelphia and then did her residency in New York at Beth Israel. Now Barbara works at Mount Sinai St Luke’s and West Hospitals, mainly with the under-served, Medicaid (and uninsured) population that visits the hospital and its clinics. In the clinics, she works most closely with high-risk obstetrics patients and patients desiring contraception. She has two young children with her husband.
Jennifer Gebbie is an attorney in the real estate and corporate finance departments at Farrell Fritz, P.C. Prior to joining Farrell Fritz as an associate in 2012, Jennifer spent two years as an associate in the real estate finance and investment group at the law firm of Alston & Bird LLP. Before entering law school, Jennifer had a career in market research. From 2004 to 2006, she worked in the client development department at The NPD Group, Inc., a private market research company. From 2000 to 2004, she was an assistant vice president in the marketing strategy and analysis department at the retail financial services firm, UBS Financial Services, Inc. (formerly PaineWebber).
Jennifer earned her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Hofstra University School of Law in 2009, where she was a staff member of the Hofstra Law Review and a Dean’s Scholar. During the summer of 2007 she studied at the University of Sydney Law School. She received her B.S. in Finance, high distinction, from The Pennsylvania State University in 2000.
Jennifer has two daughters, ages 4 and 1, with her husband, an entrepreneur and business owner. The couple grew up on Long Island and currently reside in Wantagh, New York. Jennifer hopes to bring her love of children, family and community together with her enthusiasm and analytical strengths to build longstanding relationships and make a meaningful contribution as a board member of The Child Center of NY.
Rosie Gonzalez is currently Vice President for New York Community Bancorp/Commercial Lending Dept., where she specializes in community outreach and marketing. She has served in several capacities within the Bancorp’s subsidiaries for the past 29 years, starting as a teller at the Queens County Savings Bank. Throughout her career, Rosie has developed strong ties to the community at the grass roots level and was instrumental in establishing long-term relationships with the borough’s colleges, offering the bank’s various products to students and faculty. Rosie is a member of both the Queens and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and APEC “Ally Pond Environmental Center,” she spends much of her time giving back to the community by volunteering with many charitable organizations. She resides in Queens.
Ron Hartmann is an Executive Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending at Flushing Bank, where he is responsible for originating and underwriting new commercial real estate loans. Lending facilities include commercial and multi-family loans involving all types of residential and commercial use buildings up to $30 million. Ron joined Flushing Bank in 1998, having 21 years of experience prior working in commercial lending and an MBA degree in Finance from St. John’s University.
Ron is involved with several professional organizations, including the Community Bankers Mortgage Forum and the Metropolitan Mortgage Officers Society. His son Kevin is a third-generation graduate of St. John’s University, with a degree in Business Marketing from the Tobin School of Business. Kevin works for Nike as a Marketing Coach. Ron’s daughter Johanna is a chemical engineer working for Redox Power Systems doing fuel cell research.
Kristen J. Lonergan
Kristen J. Lonergan is a shareholder in the Real Estate Practice of Greenberg Traurig’s New York office. She provides counsel to REITs, investment funds, developers, lenders and other clients on the acquisition, development, financing and disposition of multi-family, office, hotel and other types of properties throughout New York and the rest of the country.
Kristen was recently recognized as one of Crain’s New York “Notable Women in Law.” In addition, she has been recognized in The Legal 500 United States, Super Lawyers magazine, and Chambers USA among others. She is a member of several industry organizations including the Real Estate Board of New York, Association of Real Estate Women, and the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network. Kristen received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her A.B. from Brown University. Kristen lives in Forest Hills with her husband and two children and spends time volunteering at their school, P.S. 101.
Anne Marie Macari
Anne Marie Macari, a poet and essayist, is the author of five books, including the forthcoming Heaven Beneath (Persea, 2020), as well as her most recent book, Red Deer (Persea, 2015). Her first book, Ivory Cradle, won the prestigious American Poetry Review Honickman First Book Prize in 2000. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines and has been widely anthologized.
A teacher of writing at the graduate level, Anne Marie founded the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation. She has read her work all over the country as well as in England, Austria, and the Czech Republic, where she taught at the Prague Summer Seminar several times. A book of her selected poems translated into Bengali is forthcoming in the spring of 2019.
Anne Marie serves as president of the board of Alice James Books, a small, thriving press started in 1973 as a cooperative press dedicated to publishing women and other marginalized poets.
Kara Manners is a Queens resident, raised in Forest Hills and currently living in Rego Park. Kara went to Forest Hills High School, followed by Hunter College for undergrad, and graduated from LIU with a Master’s in Urban Education. She has been in banking for about 15 years. Kara began her career at Astoria Federal Savings and came full circle when she left TD Bank in 2013 to rejoin Astoria under the leadership of James Griffin, which was later acquired by Sterling National Bank. Kara currently sits on the Board of NHS of Northern Queens and volunteers at various organizations including BUILD NYC and Junior Achievement. Kara has been in her current role as Regional CRA Officer since June of 2018.
Barbara Mulvee is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse in the Global Markets (GM) division, based in New York. She joined the bank in 2009 from Deloitte Consulting and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland. Barbara currently resides in New York City with her husband and joined the Child Center of NY Board in 2018.
Jennifer Milacci is a Managing Director and Head of Client Service at Renaissance Institutional Management. She joined Renaissance in August 2005, and prior, worked at Banc of America Securities, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Putnam Investments in Boston. Jen received her BS from Carnegie Mellon University and her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a CFA Charterholder, Board member of The Child Center of NY since 2007, a member of the CFA Institute, New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), and Financial Women’s Association of New York, and a Sustaining Angel of 100 Women in Finance. Jen resides in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Maura Nicolosi, Esq.
Maura Nicolosi is a general law practitioner with a concentration in residential and commercial real estate transactions and financing; business transactions; various corporate matters; civil and matrimonial litigation in state and local courts; wills, trusts and estate administration with her firm, The Nicolosi Law Firm, PC. She was educated at St. John’s University School of Law and Catholic University of America. Maura has been a member of the board since 2016. She is also a member of the Queens County Bar Association, Nassau County Bar Association, Catholic Lawyers Guild, Queens County Women’s Bar Association, and the Columbian Bar Association.
Maalika N. Rastogi
Maalika Rastogi is currently a Director and Senior Group Manager at Citigroup, in a Global Program Management Office responsible for overseeing a $250mm portfolio of regulatory commitments. Prior to that she served as a Senior Vice President in Franchise Risk & Strategy – Plan Implementation, also at Citigroup. Her previous experience includes internal strategy roles with UBS and Pfizer, as well as management consulting with Booz & Company and Katzenbach Partners. Maalika earned both a bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is fluent in Hindi, and conversant in Spanish and French. Ms. Rastogi was raised in Forest Hills, Queens and now resides in Manhattan. She has been involved with The Child Center of NY since 2001, having served as the Chairperson of the Asian Outreach Committee from 2009 to 2017, and as an advisor and mentor to the Child Center’s Associate Board since 2017.
Craig Ratigan has over 12 years of experience in Commercial Banking and currently serves as Vice President/Relationship Manager of the Business Lending office at Investor’s Bank. He was previously a Vice President/Relationship Manager at TD Bank. Craig earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in 2007 and received his MBA in 2014. He lives in Wantagh, NY, with his wife.
The son of Eastern European immigrants, Mel grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, got his education at the public schools, and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1969 with a degree in economics.
After a stint in the Army, Mel started a 35-year career in the ad agency business, first as a media buyer, later in account management at Grey Advertising and Foote Cone Belding, rising up to Executive Vice President/Managing director. Over the course of his agency career, Mel’s managed a wide range of accounts, including Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, Campbell Soup, M&M/Mars, US Postal Service, Merck, Amgen, and Pfizer, to name a few.
In 2005, Mel launched a second career as a marketing consultant by writing and publishing a primer called “Shortcuts to the Obvious, an Insider’s Guide on How to Get More Effective Advertising, More Efficiently.” Mel’s consulting practice is focused on helping products and services develop effective “positioning;” he conducts corporate seminars on a variety of subjects; and he speaks regularly at advertising/marketing conferences.
David M. Spungen
David M. Spungen is the Chief Executive Officer of Hillview Capital Advisors, LLC, where he advises successful entrepreneurs on integrated strategies to preserve, manage, and enhance their family’s wealth, incorporating investment, wealth transfer, tax, and philanthropic objectives. He sits on the firm’s investment committee and has an active role in the formulation and oversight of the firm’s investment policy and implementation of client portfolios. He brings more than 30 years of experience covering a broad spectrum of capital markets investing.
Prior to founding Hillview Capital Advisors, David was the founder of the Capital Management Division of CMS Companies in 1989, and he served as a principal there from 1995-1999. David was previously an Associate with Ryan, Beck & Company. He served as a Director of M Funds, Inc., M Financial Investment Advisors, and Hirtle Callaghan Trust. He also has extensive experience in the restaurant industry as a chef. He served as lunch chef and sous chef at La Terrasse and as the opening head chef at the White Dog Café, both in Philadelphia. He remains passionate about food and cooks for his family seven days a week. David resides in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, Aliana, and his children Ella and Joey. David holds a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania.
Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson
Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson is an Associate General Counsel at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she advises the hospital on the legal aspects of medical research and scientific innovation. Gelvina also provides legal support to health care providers in a number of areas including privacy, HIPAA, billing, controlled substances and obtaining valid informed consent from minors. Prior to working at CHOP, Gelvina was an Associate University Counsel at Weill Cornell Medical College, a Legislative Attorney for the New York City Council, an associate at Chadbourne & Parke LLP and a law clerk to The Honorable Audrey B. Collins, US District Court, Central District of California. Gelvina also currently works as an Adjunct Professor at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia where she teaches a course on pharmaceutical law.
Gelvina holds a JD from New York University School of Law and a Master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Gelvina has served as the Vice President of the Law Alumni of Color Association of NYU Law, Co-chair of the HNBA Health and Life Sciences Committee, NY Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and as a Vice Chair of the AHLA Teaching Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers practice group. Gelvina presents regularly at national conferences on various health law issues and serves as a mentor to junior high school students in the Spark mentorship program.
Gelvina was raised in the Bronx and recently relocated to Philadelphia. Gelvina is the mom to 7-year-old twins.
Sunila Tejpaul is the Founder and the Head of the Forest Hills Montessori School, whose mission is to provide both creative and stimulating intellectual, artistic and developmental experiences for children ages 3 – 12.