The Child Center of NY
Board of Directors

Executive Officers

Adam H. Schwartz, Board Chair

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 more than 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. Adam 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.

Richard Jay, Executive Vice Chair

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, New Hampshire. 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 degree 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 two daughters and grandfather of four.

Samuel B. Freed, Vice Chair

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 of The Child Center of NY since 1988.

Cynthia Mann Haiken, Vice Chair

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 B.A. in history from Yale University in 1987 and a J.D. 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.

Garrett R. D’Alessandro, Treasurer

Garrett D’Alessandro is an executive working in the investment business for more than 30 years. He was CEO of City National Rochdale from 2012 to 2023. Prior to joining City National, he was CEO of Rochdale Investment Management from 1986 through 2012. 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.

Kristen Lonergan, Secretary

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‘s “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.


Kris Amato-Aliani

Kris Amato-Aliani is an SVP and senior relationship manager to the New York Mid-Market Commercial Banking Team at City National Bank, an RBC Company. She is a relationship-driven commercial lending specialist with more than 25 years of experience. Her deep understanding of business ownership and efficiency processes makes Kris a trusted advisor to business owners and top-level executives seeking holistic financial guidance. Kris’s knowledge of treasury management, FX, and trade and supply chain lending options enables her to design solutions that empower businesses to thrive and succeed in a dynamic market. She combines her financial expertise and passion for helping others as a board member of The Child Center of NY.

Kris is inspired by her young daughter and son and her supportive husband. She is actively involved in her children’s school events and coaching youth athletics.

Paul Avvento

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

Benjamin Bahr is a portfolio manager at First Eagle Investments. 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 Dobbs Ferry, New York, with his wife, Anne, and three sons. 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

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.

Barbara Deli, M.D.

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 Morningside 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.

Allison Greene

Allison Charles Greene was born in Trinidad and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 9. She grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and attended public schools in the area.

Having begun her career in banking while attending college, Allison has more than 30 years of finance experience and now serves as a cash management senior sales officer-vice president of Flushing Bank. She is also a founding member of My Sister’s Keepers, a mentoring group for young girls, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. As a Child Center board member, she brings a wealth of finance experience and community service passion. She enjoys being an advocate for the people The Child Center serves while helping to identify new opportunities to leverage The Child Center in additional communities.

Allison holds an MBA from Mercy College and is the mother of two young adult sons.

Anne Marie Macari

Anne Marie Macari, a poet and essayist, is the author of five books, including Heaven Beneath (Persea, 2020) and 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 was published in 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

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 Long Island University with a master’s degree 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 2018.

Jennifer Milacci

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 B.S. 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.

Barbara Mulvee

Barbara Mulvee is a seasoned financial services executive, strategic advisor, and angel investor. Most recently, she served as a managing director and global COO of securities research at Credit Suisse. During her 12 years at the bank, she held multiple roles, primarily leading business strategy for the Global Markets division. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, she spent five years at Deloitte Consulting. In 2020, Barbara was appointed as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, where she is currently serving a five-year term. Barbara holds a bachelor of science from the University of Maryland and has been a board member of The Child Center of NY since 2018. She resides in New York City with her husband, Conner.

Joanne Persad

Joanne Persad hails from Trinidad, where she spent afternoons and weekends assisting in the family grocery store. She experienced firsthand the level of commitment and hard work it takes for a business owner to be successful. Today she serves as the chief operating officer at the Queens Chamber of Commerce, where her focus is ensuring that the Chamber provides every resource available to small business owners in the borough, so they can work toward and enjoy the success her family did. Prior to joining the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Joanne served in project management, government affairs, and public relations at the corporate office of Waste Management, the leading national waste management solutions company.

Joanne immigrated to the United States at the age of 27 so that her children would have every opportunity to reach their full potential. She brings this commitment to children to her work on the Board of Directors at The Child Center, and she lends a valuable perspective to conversations, as she can look at issues analytically, but also through the lens of someone on the receiving end of policies and changes.

Maalika 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

Craig Ratigan is an SVP, regional vice president for the Manhattan II region for TD Bank. In this role, he manages a team of 11 commercial relationship managers, small business relationship managers, and commercial sales associates. Craig has worked at TD Bank for more than 16 of his 19+ years in banking. He began his banking career as a credit analyst intern at Commerce Bank. He was promoted to credit analyst upon graduating from St. John’s University. Craig became a portfolio manager before being promoted to relationship manager after spending seven years in credit management. As a relationship manager, he has serviced customers in a wide range of industries including wholesalers, manufacturers, doctors and dentists, supermarkets, nonprofits, commercial real estate developers and hotel operators.

Craig completed his MBA at St. John’s University and the Leadership in Action Harvard Business School Management Module.

In addition to his work at TD Bank, Craig is involved in the community through various charities. Craig serves as the treasurer of the HeartShare School and a member of the board of directors at The Child Center of NY. He formerly served on the board of the Long Island City Partnership and the Banking & Law Committee at the Chamber of Commerce.

Ilene Siscovick

Ilene Siscovick is a professional services business leader and partner emeritus at Mercer, a business of Marsh & McLennan, with extensive experience in the design and implementation of innovative workforce programs. She spent more than 20 years in Seattle leading business development and operations for the Pacific Northwest talent business. In 2014 she relocated to New York, where she developed a marque talent solution, Career Frameworks, and led a global team of consultants.

Ilene was inspired to join the Child Center Board by the work of her late mother, Beatrice Jacobs Callan, a New York City schoolteacher. Ms. Callan developed a groundbreaking work-study program for immigrant children that was recognized and mainstreamed by the NYC Board of Education.

Ilene is married to Dr. David Siscovick, professor emeritus, University of Washington School of Medicine and School of Public Health, senior research scientist at the New York Academy of Medicine, and an expert on the determinants of health equity. They have three children and 11 grandchildren, all living in the New York metro area. The Siscovicks reside in New York City and have an apartment in Jerusalem. Ilene holds a B.A. degree from Goucher College and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Kylie Springs

Kylie Springs, a double alumna of St. John’s University, is a first-year real estate associate with Farrell Fritz, P.C. in the firm’s Uniondale, New York, office. In this role, Kylie works with landlords, tenants, buyers, and sellers of commercial, retail, and industrial properties, and with investors and stakeholders in both simple and complex property transactions, such as development transactions, leasing transactions, purchase and sale transactions, and financings on both lender and borrower sides.

Throughout Kylie’s college and law school experience, she maintained a focus on raising awareness and creating dialogue on social issues and on giving back. During law school, she served on the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development (JCRED) as a staff member and associate managing editor. During her years at St. John’s, she also volunteered at the Briarwood Family Residence, a temporary housing shelter. Working with children there gave her a firsthand look at how even the smallest of efforts can turn a child’s life around. As a Child Center board member, she is honored to contribute to efforts that help change the trajectory for thousands of young people every year.

In addition to her work as an attorney, Kylie also teaches indoor cycling part-time and is the head instructor at Cyclebar. Her passions include health and fitness and traveling.

Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson

Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson is the general counsel, corporate secretary, and vice president of government relations at the Wistar Institute, a national cancer center. Previously, Gelvina was an associate general counsel at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she advised 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, U.S. 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 J.D. from New York University School of Law and a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She 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, New York regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, and a board member of the American Health Law Association. Gelvina presents regularly at national conferences on various health law and health equity matters and is deeply committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal professions generally and the health law bar in particular. 

Gelvina was raised in the Bronx and recently relocated to Philadelphia. She is the mom to twins.

Sunila Tejpaul

Sunila Tejpaul is the founder and 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.

Y. Claire Wang, M.D., Sc.D.

Dr. Claire Wang is a physician epidemiologist with a career that spans academia, federal and state governments, and the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as the associate deputy director in the State of Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. She oversees the agency’s data, evaluation, and informatics portfolio.

Dr. Wang has more than 20 years of research and practical expertise in decision sciences, chronic disease prevention, and public health policy. Before moving to Delaware in 2020, she was vice president for research, evaluation and policy at the New York Academy of Medicine. She also has been a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health policy fellow, serving in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration. Dr. Wang has published more than 85 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reports and was selected by the National Academy of Medicine as an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine. Dr. Wang obtained her medical degree from National Taiwan University, as well as a doctorate in health policy from Harvard Chan School of Public Health. She and her husband live in Wilmington, Delaware.

Associate Board

Anna Quintana, Associate Board Chair

Originally from Miami, Anna graduated from the University of Florida with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history and a minor in business administration. She is currently the VP of editorial operations at Distractify. Before moving to NYC to pursue an editorial career, Anna worked at a top law firm in South Florida in the marketing department, coordinating fundraisers for district judges and political candidates and spearheading the firm’s scholarship program. Anna has been involved with The Child Center of NY since 2016 and is currently serving as the associate board’s chair.

Stanley Harcharan, Engagement Chair

Since his adolescent years, Stanley has always maintained a compassion for helping others. Growing up in Queens and being a first-generation American and college student, he often heard stories about the struggles and difficulties his families faced. From an early age, he began to view common essentials like housing, food, water, and basic freedom as blessings rather than givens.

As Stanley embarked on several leadership conferences that surveyed the culture and situational outlook of cities such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna, he witnessed firsthand encounters affecting access to basic resources and necessities. This experience fueled his drive to make an impact both locally and globally. He decided he wanted to have a direct impact on underprivileged children and communities, and he has supported numerous local, national, and global nonprofits over the years. Fortunately, he happened upon The Child Center of NY. Finding that The Child Center does more than meets the eye, he was intrigued by our mission and our ability to engage with more than 58,000 children and families facing significant challenges, such as immigration, accessibility of services, and trauma. After listening in on our virtual benefit, he was profoundly moved by how direct of an impact this organization was able to have on families, as well as its forward-looking trajectory and endeavors.

Though Stanley attends medical school in Maine, he knew he wanted to maintain ties with The Child Center in efforts to remain loyal to the New York City community and an organization that continuously assesses what it can do for others. As an associate board member, he is thrilled to offer perspective and guide input from other contributing members. Ultimately, he sees serving others as not just a passion, but his purpose in life, and he believes The Child Center is the organization that best aligns with his values and aspirations.

Alexandra Schmidt, Secretary

Alexandra Schmidt is a multifaceted procurement professional, ambitious freelancer, and tea connoisseur. Originally from Binghamton, New York, she has the privilege to live and work across three continents. Alexandra holds a dual bachelor’s degree in supply chain and strategic management from Syracuse University, as well as an MBA from West Texas A&M University.

Determined to forge an untraditional path, Alexandra accepted her first professional endeavor as a program and project advisor for a local global health organization in Uganda. This experience deepened her passion for learning about other cultures, working directly with those she was serving, and of course traveling. After more than two years in Africa, she returned to New York, where she put her degrees to work as a procurement agent. Her experience has included roles in various industries, including health care, education, consumer goods, beauty, and, most recently, a multinational chemicals company. Driven by curiosity, in her spare time she works as a freelancer with an events application programming interface (API) company. 

For nearly a decade, Alexandra has demonstrated an enthusiasm for serving others from all walks of life. Despite her focus on international service, coming full circle and offering a hand up to those in her own community has always been one of her core values. After her experience with underprivileged populations, poor education, and inadequate health systems specifically in developing countries, she has made a commitment to serving others of all ages and needs. She strongly believes that where large-scale services can offer a strong foundation, there is no substitute for the support and customized approach a one-on-one relationship can offer. The work of The Child Center of NY embodies everything she believes in, and she is keen on supporting The Child Center’s mission as a member of the associate board. 

In her free time, Alexandra loves drinking tea, traveling, painting, cake decorating, and listening to podcasts about entrepreneurship.

Jennifer Cabana

Jennifer Cabana is a bicultural journalist born in the U.S. to Colombian immigrant parents. After graduating from high school in Lowell, Massachusetts, she emigrated to Barranquilla, Colombia, where she studied mass communications and journalism and immersed herself in learning Spanish, as well as the culture of her ancestors.

After receiving her title from Universidad del Norte, she began working as a journalist for El Heraldo, the region’s most-read newspaper, and also worked as press manager and communications coordinator for renowned cultural events, such as Carnival of Barranquilla, Barranquijazz (International Jazz Festival) and Cine a la Calle (International Shorts Festival). In May 2022, a year after returning to the U.S., Jennifer joined the team at NY1 Noticias as a multimedia journalist—and occasional anchor—serving the Latin American and Spanish-speaking communities of New York City through character-driven stories and general news.

Jennifer believes it is important to be a part of the Associate Board of The Child Center of NY because she believes that children need allies, schools need allies, and it is necessary to address issues that so deeply affect the American society at the root. She wishes to advocate against bullying and to create movements and campaigns of mental health and self-love, hoping to impact kids and offer them the tools necessary to build adult lives they are proud of.

In addition to having a deep interest in story-telling, Jennifer is also passionate about dance, especially Colombian cumbia, folkloric genres, and salsa.

Lisi Madden

Elisabeth “Lisi” Madden serves as managing director and head of fiduciary services, Rockefeller Global Family Office, at Rockefeller Capital Management. She is a member of the firm’s management committee. In this role, Lisi is responsible for all activities across both Rockefeller Trust Company, N.A., and The Rockefeller Trust Company (Delaware).

Prior to joining Rockefeller in 2014, Lisi was an associate with Milbank LLP for seven years, focusing on estate planning and administration of trusts and estates. Lisi holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. She also holds a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and an Advanced Certificate in the field of Estate Planning from New York University School of Law. Lisi is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

As a lifelong New Yorker, Lisi is thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved with The Child Center of NY, an organization that is dedicated to children and families in New York City. As a mother of young children, Lisi is passionate about ensuring that all children in this incredible city are given every opportunity possible to thrive.

Idara Otu 

Idara Otu is founder and board chair of the nonprofit Let Girls Read, Run, Grow (LGRRG), driving its vision and programmatic objectives. LGRRG works to support the development and unlock the potential of African girls through education, athletics, and entrepreneurship. An All-American at Stanford University, Idara draws upon her student-athlete experience as a focal point to many of her later life successes. A 2012 Olympian for the track and field team of Nigeria—the country of her heritage—Idara considers it her duty to uplift girls who lack the access her own upbringing afforded her. 

Highlighting her entrepreneurial pursuits, Idara is also the founder and president of the premium vegan hot cocoa brand Nōk Choc. A portion of all Nōk Choc sales support girls’ education in Nigeria. 

By providing these girls—the next generation—with resources necessary for success through programming in education, sport, and entrepreneurship, Idara hopes to help produce the world’s next group of leaders. She is bringing that same spirit and commitment to her role as associate board member of The Child Center of NY, working with passion and innovation to unlock the potential of New York children and families who live in under-resourced neighborhoods where families face dramatic obstacles, compounded and brought on by the living legacy of racial injustice. She is dedicated to ensuring they have the resources to achieve their vision of success and sustain lives they are proud of. 

Idara holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Stanford University. Idara currently works at Credit Suisse as an executive director in scurities research. She resides in New York City. 

Darryll Persad

Darryll Persad was born in Trinidad and came to the U.S. at the age of 12. He returned to Trinidad to attend college, where he majored in business management. In 2011, he began his career at Waste Management (WM), the leading waste solutions organization in North America. In the past 12 years, his professional career has flourished. His introduction into management was at the WM A1 Compaction facility in Yonkers, where he oversaw both the hauling and waste transfer stations. In 2018, he was promoted to multi-facility manager, making him the youngest person to hold this position in New York City. Darryll oversees the day-to-day running of Waste Management’s Brooklyn and Queens waste transfer stations, as well as their organics recycling facility.

Darryll is a self-starter who enjoys problem solving. This is reflected in his professional life as well as personal. He enjoys DIY projects at home, being in the outdoors, and taking leisurely rides on his bike from time to time.

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