Our Staff

Our staff is always available to make your visit to Gilda’s Club Westchester enjoyable and beneficial. If you have any questions, please e–mail us at info@gildasclubwestchester.org or click on a staff person’s name to send an email.

Julia is a seasoned Executive with experience in all aspects of running a non-profit agency. She has expertise in board development and governance; grant writing and management, fiscal stability and controlled growth with a diversity of funding. Julia has a passion for creating a vison and offering inspiring leadership to make real change and improve the lives of people in their communities. Most recently, Julia served as President/CEO for Meals on Wheels in Rockland County. Julia holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado and an MSW from Columbia University.

 

JAker@gildasclubwestchester.org

Jaime joined the staff at Gilda’s Club Westchester as the Children, Teens, and Families Manager in the fall of 2020. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker with experience coordinating nonprofit programs, providing outreach and education, and offering clinical support to children and families since 2014. Jaime provides short-term counseling, group support, and parent consultations to children, teens and families at GCW, as well as running the Gilda’s CLASS program for local schools. Jaime is also an adjunct instructor for the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy at Montclair State University. Jaime holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a post-graduate certificate in Child Advocacy and Policy from Montclair State University, and a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University.

EAkumu@gildasclubwestchester.org


Eleanor brings 10 years of direct experience assisting senior executives and a highly skilled multitasker with top-level organizational skills, who exercises sound professional judgment, confidentiality, and works well with employees at all corporate levels. She has a Bachelor of Science form the Syracuse University in Political Science/International Relations.



Deborah is an experienced development and fundraising professional with demonstrated history with annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, stewardship, and cultivation. Her career in fundraising began twenty years ago as the Director of Alumni Relations at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT. Prior to her start at Gilda’s Club, Deborah worked at Sacred Heart Greenwich for the past ten years as the Annual Fund Director providing leadership and strategic direction for parent, alumnae and other constituency fundraising efforts. Deborah has a BS from SUNY Albany in Human Biology and a MS from Georgia State University in Sports Administration, Sports Management and Events.

JFreeman@gildasclubwestchester.org

Judy Freeman began working at Gilda’s Club in June of 2002, following a seventeen-year career at Columbia University School of Social Work. Judy is responsible for managing Gilda’s Club Westchester’s calendar of monthly activities, including social and health and wellness programs. Judy also coordinates lectures and workshops facilitated by physicians, authors, health and wellness experts and community-based organizations. Judy maintains relationships with over 200 physicians, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers and wellness experts who provide their expertise through our lectures and workshops which connect individuals with cancer, and their family members, critical information that assist with decision making and quality of life. Judy graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Secondary Education.

kharris@gildasclubwestchester.org

Kristen joined Gilda’s as the Development Coordinator in February of 2020. She works in all areas of the Development Department including fundraising event coordination, social media management, donation processing and community advocacy. Prior to this position, Kristen has past experience in marketing, public relations, nonprofit event planning, packaging design and textile manufacturing. After 5 years working in apparel industry management, she realized her true passion was helping others and she returned to non-profit development at GCW. Kristen graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and Marketing.

ALandes@gildasclubwestchester.org

Aileen joined Gilda’s as the Special Events Manager in May 2019. She coordinates all fundraising events and other special program events at Gilda’s Club Westchester. Prior to this position, Aileen was responsible for implementing Gnosis, Gilda’s database system which enables us to track members, allows them to sign up for classes online, and enables staff to use ADAPT reporting. Aileen has lead and participated in many successful fundraising events for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She has also volunteered in the clinic at Pet Rescue in Harrison NY, assisting in the vetting and adoption of hundreds of rescue animals. Aileen graduated from The University of Vermont in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

AMarkowitz@gildasclubwestchester.org

Andrea joined Gilda’s Club in 2018 as an Oncology Social Worker; she facilities support groups, provides individual counseling, and completes intake visits. Andrea earned her MSW with an individualized concentration on health and mental health from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Andrea has worked in both in-hospital and outpatient medical settings with experience in oncology, primary care, transplant, and emergency units for both adult and pediatric populations. She has extensive experience working with a diversity of populations in the community mental health setting, providing individual, family, and group therapy. Andrea has received specialty training in CBT, DBT, substance use, trauma, and chronic-disease management.

ssedo@gildasclubwestchester.org

Sarah started at Gilda’s Club Westchester in September 2020 as the Oncology Social Work Manager. She is now the Program Director, where she oversees the program department of Gilda’s Club Westchester, including all clinical work, healthy lifestyle, educational, and social programs. Sarah also facilitates groups and provides counseling services. Prior to working at Gilda’s Club, Sarah was the Clinical Supervisor for a community mental health program, as well as worked with adolescents providing in-home therapeutic and behavioral services. Sarah is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who received a Masters of Social Work Degree, with a concentration in Clinical Social Work, from Rutgers University. She also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Seton Hall University. 

CSpeck@gildasclubwestchester.org

Chris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with critically ill individuals and their families since 2011. She joined Gilda’s Club in 2016 and has had several roles during this time, including Director of Clinical Partnerships, Sr Director of Counseling Services and Sr. Program Director. Chris currently oversees several areas of the organization including Program Evaluation, Clinical Supervision, Staff Training, Marketing and Communications and liaison with Cancer Support Community headquarters.  Previously, Chris worked as a Social Worker with Hospice of Westchester, providing supportive counseling to patients, families and caregivers.   She completed her Masters in Social Work with honors at New York University and was selected as a Zelda Foster Fellow which provided additional training and mentorship in palliative and end-of-life care. Chris completed a Post Masters Certificate in Palliative and End of Life training at NYU, and was the winner of the Association of Oncology Social Worker’s Conference Scholarship in 2011. Chris has additional training in CBT, DBT, ACT and Narrative Therapy and has served as both a Teaching Assistant and formal Mentor at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.

ESteckler@gildasclubwestchester.org

Essie began working at Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2002 and is often the first point of contact for new members Essie coordinates new member meetings and is responsible for overseeing the monthly informational mailing to members and the surrounding community. Essie keeps the Community Bulletin Board updated with current information and travels to hospitals, medical offices and libraries to distribute information on programs and services. Essie manages the volunteer program and the online calendar. Additionally, Essie volunteers at White Plains Hospital. A graduate of Mandl The College of Allied Health, Essie previously owned Modern Hardware and Paint/Essie’s Chocolate.

DVincent@gildasclubwestchester.org

Debbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who joined the staff at Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2017, after having been Youth Programs Manager and Director of the Newark Clubhouse for Gilda’s Club Northern NJ. Debbie’s expertise includes counseling and facilitating groups for those impacted by cancer, and providing supportive counseling, bereavement counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families, children, teens, and groups in both mental health outpatient centers and home settings. Debbie is a graduate of Duke University and completed her Masters in Social Work with honors from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service.  

Brianna joined Gilda’s Club in January 2022 as a Social Work intern.  She is involved facilitating support groups, gaining insight on how intake visits are completed, and being involved in the various supports that Gilda’s Club has to offer.  Brianna is currently earning her Masters of Social Work with a concentration on mental health from Simmons University School of Social Work.  She also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Health Studies from The University of Rhode Island.  During her time in undergrad, she was involved in providing Home Based Therapeutic Services to children who have special needs.  Brianna enjoys working with Gilda’s Club members, and is particularly interested in helping individuals impacted by cancer find the supports that they need.

GCW Support Group Facilitators

Andrea Markowitz, LCSW

Jaime Aker, LMSW

Debbie Vincent, LCSW

Sarah Sedo, LMSW

Christine Paletta, LMSW, MD

Mandy Dold, LCSW

Lydia Ecker, LMSW

Erica Forest, LCSW

Tamara Green, LCSW

Eileen Schmidt, LCSW

GCW Program Facilitators

Marjorie Miller:  J.D., AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor

Patty Schneider:  500 hour Certified Yoga Teacher

Mari Kent:  Certified Group Fitness Instructor

Scott E. Weiner:  Ph.D. in Philosophy; CH (Certified Hypnotist)

Susie Aybar:  BSN, MFA

Mimi Leibman:  Ph.D.

Rheba Rosenbluth:  MS, LMHC

Marjorie Rosenfield:  YET – 500, SYT – 700

Pamela McKenna:  Certified Personal Trainer

Patty Wenig

Liz Sutton: BS; MA; Certified Level 3 Meditation Instructor; Certified 200 Hour Yoga Instructor

Saufung Yeung: Certified Yoga Instructor

Elizabeth Hughes: MAH; MLS

Margaret Matsumoto: Director of Teacher Training, Tai Chi Foundation

Nancy Kardon: M.A. Psychology; M.A. Dance therapy; CIYT certified Iyengar Yoga teacher      C-IYAT certified Yoga Therapist

Drew DiVittorio: NCCAOM; Founder, New York Herb School

Diane Midollo:  200-hour YTT – LifePower Yoga; 200-hour YTT – Gokul Yoga; Yoga4Cancer Teacher Training

Vinodray Shah: MD 

Carolyn Elizabeth Rodriguez: RN, LMT, CHT