Christopher O. Kosseff - Board Co-Chair
In 2016, Christopher Kosseff retired after more than 20 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer for University Behavioral HealthCare (UBHC), a division of Rutgers University. There his responsibilities included management of one of the largest academic behavioral health systems in the country as well as oversight of all medical and mental health services in the New Jersey State Prison System. The operating budget of the combined organizations totaled over $310 million with 2,200 employees.
As a firm believer in the contributions his mentors made to his development, he has mentored and continues to mentor others in the field and serve on non-profit boards.
Chris has a Master of Science degree from Syracuse University. Additionally, he holds clinical assistant professor appointments in the departments of Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School. Included in the awards he has received are the Meritorious Service Medal by the National Guard, the Verice M. Mason Community Service Leader Award and the Distinguished Leadership Award of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Nayeli Salazar de Noguera - Board Co-Chair
Nayeli is a doctorate student at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey studying Urban Health Systems, focusing on Latino Acculturation and Mental Health. She holds a master's degree in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish and English ) from la Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara and a bachelor of arts from Rutgers University.
Nayeli has functioned as Project Specialist for U.S. Senate; Consultant to the Government of Puebla Mexico; Consultant to the Mexican General Consulate in NY; Senior Executive Associate for the Dean of Rutgers School of Nursing; and was a State Fellow for NJ's Office of Communications. Nayeli was born in Mexico City and currently resides in Newark, New Jersey.
When asked why she is interested in our organization, Nayeli said: "Allies in Caring is an organization that aligns perfectly with my personal and professional missions, to focus on multilevel treatment for quality patient care.”
Mayra Hernandez Bergman
Mayra is the Vice President of PECO Communications at Exelon. She has cultivated an extensive and impressive career in marketing and communications. She graduated with a B.A. of Arts from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico in 1995. And went on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Management and Finance. Mayra is the Board Interim Chair.
When asked why she is interested in our Organization Mayra said: “While my professional accomplishments are fulfilling and keep me quite busy, I know that my true passion is to give back to the Latino Community near me. I have been searching for opportunities to contribute to a cause that aligns with my values and my background. After speaking with Ivette, “I believe that this is an organization where I will be able to contribute, give back, and be rewarded by performing meaningful work.”
Kellyanne Facenda Studied Political Science and Business at Douglass College, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is currently the Branch Manager of the Hammonton Branch of Oceanfirst Bank and has over 25 years of branch banking experience. She spent most of her career working in large national banks. However, she became frustrated as the industry changed, moving away from a service based industry to a retail environment, focused on sales. Ten years ago, she decided to move to a community bank where she can serve the financial needs of her community.
When asked why she joined Allies In Caring Board, she responded: "Allies in Caring’s commitment to expanding their presence through the Con-Vivir Wellness Center is truly exciting. The array of services & programs that the Wellness Center will provide will impact not only the local community, but the region as well. I look forward to being a part of such a special place. Being a part of Allies in Caring gives me the opportunity to impact the members of my community–my friends, neighbors & customers."
Earl is Principal of the Earl Jackson Architecture Workshop, the professional practice of architecture and urban design that focuses on an artful approach to solving building, city, and campus design problems. He has served as Associate Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation since 2009 and has taught at NJIT’s College of Art and Design in odd years since 2004. Earl was formerly Partner and Design Director at Cooper Robertson, Associate Director at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, and Designer with Michael Graves. He has led designs for diverse cultures all over the world to create successful Public Open Spaces, Mixed-Use Transit Oriented Developments, College Campuses, and Waterfront Designs. In the wake of Sandy, he served as a design lead for Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, Governor Cuomo’s New York Rising, HUD’s Rebuild by Design, and is an advisor for the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative.
Valerie is a career Human Resources professional with experience across various industries and organizations. Prior to her recent retirement she was VP of Human Resources at eResearch Technology, along with HR roles earlier in her career at Subaru of America, Greater Atlantic HMO and various other corporations. Valerie joined the board of AIC in late 2018 and is a lifelong resident of Burlington County NJ. She holds a master's degree in Human Resources from Widener University and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. Her prior board experience was on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Member Relations Committee for PEBA; a Philadelphia based regional professional benefits and compensation association for the Delaware Valley.
When asked why she joined the board she said “As the mother of four children, I fully support AICs mission to provide resources to families and children to deal with obstacles and challenges and hopefully reach their full potential. AIC provides resources and professional services at critical times for these families.”
“AIC has grown remarkably from its inception 5 years ago. It is entering a new chapter with expansion to a larger, centrally located building which will offer greater opportunities to the community through enhanced education, programs and professional counselling services.” says Valeria about her favorite thing about AIC.
Currently, Claudia Oceguera is the Finance Director for Global R&D, Global Regulatory and Global Strategic Marketing at FMC Corporation. She got her CPA and undergraduate degree in Finance at UNIVA in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1992; a few years later, she moved to Madrid, Spain, where she got a graduate degree in Accounting and Business Administration in 2000. After five years of living in Spain, Claudia moved back to Mexico. She started working for FMC Corporation while she got an MBA from the Guadalajara University with a special focus in Marketing.
During her almost 20 years at FMC, she has held many executive roles in diverse businesses, first in Mexico and since nine years ago, in the USA. She has vast experience in operations, internal control, treasury, accounting, FP&A, business development, strategic planning, and marketing.
When asked why she is interested in our Organization, Claudia said: “I’ve always been very passionate about supporting children and teenagers. If we make sure that we pay close attention to our children’s needs and ensure that they are physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy, our future generations would be better citizens, and the world would become a better place to live in.”
Betsy is a psychiatrist. She received her M.D. from Tufts University and her psychiatric training at Rutgers Medical School. She retired after a 30+ year career at Rutgers in the Department of Psychiatry and at University Behavioral Care, the mental health division of Rutgers. Wearing the hats of faculty, clinical administrator, and staff psychiatrist, Betsy gathered clinical teaching experience, program development and management, and direct clinical service. In her final role at UBHC, Betsy was the Project Manager for the implementation of the organization-wide electronic medical record (EMR). After retirement from Rutgers, she worked for seven years as a clinical consultant for the EMR vendor.
When asked about her interest in joining the AIC Board, Betsy said, “I greatly admire the spirit, mission, and creativity of AIC. It is a small, grassroots, organically developing organization with lots of energy and drive. It seeks to provide a sensible and interesting array of services to usually neglected groups of people. It embodies the type of effort which is closest to my heart."
Honorary Board Members
Patricia C. Miller
Patricia's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing (Major in Community Mental Health Nursing and Systems Theory) and a Juris Doctorate.
Upon graduation from law school in 1990, Patricia began employment at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an attorney advisor. She worked as a civil enforcement attorney ensuring that toxic waste sites (the Superfund Program) were cleaned up to standards that protected public health and the environment. Consideration of environmental justice communities was included in the clean-up priority. For the last 8 years Patricia has served as a Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsel and Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting environmental crimes.
When asked why she is interested in our organization Patricia said:
"Allies in Caring is an organization that comports with my belief that all persons are entitled to access to health care, especially mental health care, as a right, not a privilege...”
Merydawilda holds a P.h.D., M.Phil. (The Graduate Center the City University of New York), M.S.W. (Rutgers University). She is the Executive Director of the Stockton Center for Community Engagement, where she is also a professor of social work. Her areas of research include hospice, acculturation and attitudes of Latinos toward hospice, Latinos and community outreach.
When asked why she serves on the board she said “To be able to assist in guiding the organizations efforts and to represent the diversity of the community served by the organization.”