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.

1Jen Scully

Executive Director

Jen Scully has extensive experience working with individuals and families who are impacted by serious illness and loss. Jen has held a variety of positions at Gilda’s, including overseeing the Children, Teens and Families Program, School-Based Program, and quality improvement. Jen was most recently the Sr Director of Program Administration where she was responsible for administrative and non-clinical aspects of the program including lectures, workshops, and social events. In addition to her work at Gilda’s Club, Jen also provided support and education to the larger community by coordinating and carrying out GCW’s school outreach program, Gilda’s CLASS, and serving as a resource to community organizations. Jen has a Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University and is a board certified registered art therapist. Prior to working at Gilda’s Club, Jen worked as Children’s Program Coordinator for Hospice of the North Shore in Massachusetts. She has also served as an adjunct lecturer, teaching Creative Arts Therapy in Clinical Social Work, at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.
2Christine Speck

Senior Program Director

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 and Sr Director of Counseling Services. Chris currently oversees Gilda's Club Westchester's Program Department. Previously, Chris worked as a Social Worker with Hospice of Westchester, providing supportive counseling to patients, families and caregivers. She has worked in a variety of settings including at home, in hospitals, and in-patient and skilled nursing facilities. Chris is experienced in individual, family and group counseling and has worked with all ages across many diagnoses. 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. She completed a focused internship at Westchester Medical Center in acute in-patient oncology. 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.
3Deborah August

Development Director

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.
4Jaime Aker

Manager, Children, Teens and Families

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 who has experience coordinating nonprofit programs, conducting research on child welfare issues, and working with children and families since 2014. Jaime previously worked as the Child Advocate and Program Coordinator at Deirdre's House in NJ, where she provided services to children impacted by trauma. 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.
5Eleanor Nyakina Akumu

Manager, Clubhouse Operations

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.
6Sarah DiGiaimo

Oncology Social Work Manager

Sarah joined Gilda's Club Westchester in 2020 as the Oncology Social Work Manager. In this role, Sarah facilitates groups, completes intakes, provides counseling services, and manages the social workers and group facilitators. Sarah really enjoys working with Gilda's Club members and is particularly interested in helping to expand outreach towards Young Adults. Prior to working at Gilda's Club, Sarah was the Clinical Supervisor for a community mental health program, where she gained experience facilitating groups and providing counseling and case management services. Previously, Sarah worked with adolescents providing in-home therapeutic and behavioral services. Sarah 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.
7Stephanie Falk

Strategic Director of Development

Stephanie Falk joined Gilda’s Club Westchester in 2008 and is presently the Director of Corporate Giving and Partnerships. In this capacity, Stephanie is responsible for developing strategic partnerships with the Westchester, Rockland and Connecticut business communities and also oversees the organization’s Resource Advisory Council which is made up of long-time Gilda’s supporters and former Board members. At Gilda’s Club Westchester, Stephanie has worked in various roles designing comprehensive development and fundraising strategies and maintaining relationships with existing supporters while cultivating support and awareness among new donors. Prior to working at Gilda’s, Stephanie worked as a Vice President, Retail Brand Director for Lady Foot Locker and then as a marketing and communications consultant, providing strategic planning and brand development for corporate clients in the areas of special events, retail and marketing. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Syracuse University.
8Judy Freeman

Program and Evaluation Coordinator

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.
9Kristen Harris

Development Coordinator

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.
10Aileen Landes

Special Events Manager

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.
11Andrea Markowitz

Oncology Social Worker

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.
12Essie Steckler

Sr. Coordinator, Clubhouse Operations

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.
13Debbie Vincent

Director of Outreach and Clinical Partnerships

Debbie is a Licensed Master 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.  
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