Kristie Golden, Ph.D.
Kristie Golden, Ph.D., has a Doctorate in Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Health Administration from Union Institute and University, a Master of Science in Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from Hofstra University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Stony Brook University. Dr. Golden is nationally certified as a Rehabilitation Counselor (C.R.C.), licensed in New York State as a Mental Health Counselor (L.M.H.C). She is currently the Associate Director of Operations for the Neurosciences Service Line at Stony Brook University Hospital, including Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery. In this role she works with hospital and physician leadership, department administrators, and key stakeholders to focus efforts on the success of the neurosciences service line through strategic planning, business development, and operational effectiveness. Prior to this role she served as the Administrator for the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook where she was responsible for clinical and business operations, planning, department finances, and overseeing human resource functions.
Previous experience includes her role as Vice President at South Oaks Hospital and Broadlawn Manor, where was responsible for ambulatory healthcare operations and business planning. She also supervised clinical oversight, budget management, quality improvement activities, legislative advocacy, grants, research, and community development.
Dr. Golden pioneered the first vocational rehabilitation program at South Oaks as well as other behavioral health and school transition services benefitting countless children, adolescents, and adults. She also created the first Grants and Research Department for the organization.
An adjunct professor at Hofstra University and Suffolk County Community College, Dr. Golden has taught graduate counseling and vocational rehabilitation. She is an advocate in the areas of primary care and behavioral health integration, vocational counseling, and work-skill development for those with disabilities as well as innovative prevention and treatment in the area of addiction.
Dr. Golden has served on several not-for-profit boards. She was President of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County; Chairperson of the Provider Advisory Committee for the Long Island Behavioral Health Organization; Vice President of Clubhouse of Suffolk; as well as a board member of Concern for Independent Living, the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, the Curriculum Advisory Board at Hofstra University, and the Transition Task Force with the Nassau County Mental Health Association.
Dr. Golden has also served on a number of legislative-appointed committees including the Suffolk County Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Board; the Nassau County Prescription Drug Task Force; and, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Suffolk County.
Dr. Golden has received several awards during her career including two Peer Recognition Awards and the George Estabrook Distinguished Service Award from Hofstra University as well as recognition as Organization of the Year Award from the National Rehabilitation Association.
Active in her local community, Dr. Golden is a Girl Scout Troop Leader and Boy Scout Troop Committee Chairperson.
W. Scott Bradley, M.S., PMP, CISSP, ITTL
W. Scott Bradley is an information technology (IT) enterprise executive with strategic-level experience designing and managing major IT production environments within complex organizations.
Currently serving as the Commissioner of Information Technology for the Town of Brookhaven, he has an exceptional reputation as an effective leader of large IT organizations and expert technologist with a comprehensive understanding of IT strategic planning, project management, and cutting edge technologies.
Scott has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of IT leadership roles in the federal government, as an independently incorporated senior consultant, and as an IT Systems Officer in the US Marine Corps, including a tour as a Communications Detachment Commander in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Scott has M.S. in Information Technology from Johns Hopkins University, is certified as both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), in addition to being certified in ITILv.3 Foundations.
Andrew T Garbarino, Esq.
Andrew T. Garbarino is Of Counsel to the firm of Ruskin, Moscou and Falitschek, PC in Uniondale. A lifelong resident of Long Island, Andrew has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a member of the firm’s Health Law Department, as well as the White Collar Crime and Investigations, Not-For-Profit, and Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice groups.
As an Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County, Andrew was assigned to the Crimes Against Real Estate Unit and Public Corruption Bureau. While there, he prosecuted cases ranging from sex crimes to white collar crimes, including larcenies, identity thefts, cyber-crimes, forgeries and frauds.
Andrew advocates for and advises various corporations, hospitals, law firms and individuals, including CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, bankers and members of law enforcement, as well as hundreds of physicians and healthcare professionals accused of (or victimized by) criminal, professional, or other misconduct.
Andrew possesses significant experience dealing with regulatory authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and state authorities including the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), Office of Professional Discipline (OPD), Workers Compensation Board, and a variety of New York City administrative departments. He has also counseled law firms and attorneys facing inquiries by Attorney Grievance Committees and addressed matters involving the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
He has managed dozens of internal investigations for clients including municipalities, hospitals, medical practices and law firms. He often liaises with forensic experts, private investigators, and members of law enforcement.
Articles by Mr. Garbarino have been published in the New York Law Journal, the Nassau Lawyer and Long Island Business News.
Andrew is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section and Criminal Justice Section, where serves on the White Collar and Ethics Committees. He is active with the Hauppauge Industrial Association, serving on the Healthcare and Technology committees.
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys cooking, reading, and writing.
Cindy Reide-Combs, LMSW
Cindy has been a social worker for over 25 years with the bulk of that time as a school social worker in the Brentwood School District. In that role, she provides counseling services to individual students and groups and develops collaborative services with community agencies to help address student needs. Cindy has been an Adelphi School of Social Work Field Faculty Liaison since 2015. She also worked for the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk when that agency was awarded the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which partners with MHAW/Suffolk County United Veterans SSVF Outreach team. Cindy joined the MHAW Board in 2016 and serves on the Organizational Diversity workgroup.
Cindy is married to Fred Combs, Executive Director of the Bellport-Hagerman-East Patchogue Alliance, a non-profit community organization that assists homeless and low income households to live lives of dignity.
Rosemary Cusack Speciale
Rosemary Speciale had a distinguished and successful forty-year career in commercial banking. She rose through the ranks to Vice President, concentrating on commercial lending and business relationship management.
Rosemary is a summa cum laude graduate of New York Institute of Technology having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Finance. She is a member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society for Business and Economics.
A former Rotarian who was honored with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award, Rosemary has a strong history of community service and volunteerism. She joined the Clubhouse of Suffolk board in 1992 and within a few years was named Vice President and Chair of the Finance Committee. She currently serves as MHAW’s Treasurer.
Rosemary has lived in Islandia since 1973 and was a catalyst behind the village’s incorporation in 1985. She has two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
Lorraine Botti is currently the Marketing Lead for the Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute. She directs marketing efforts for the Institute and its specialty service lines within Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, while ensuring alignment with the mission, goals, and objectives of both the Institute and the larger Stony Brook Medicine academic medical center enterprise. She has more than 20 years of expertise in healthcare marketing across all channels in categories ranging from managed care and pharmaceuticals, to medical devices, wearable fitness technology, and academic medical centers.
Previously, Lorraine spent several years as an ad agency copywriter. Her clients included a range of consumer goods and services and B2B companies. Lorraine entered the world of healthcare marketing as a Relationship Marketing Manager at Vytra Health Plans, where she led the development and launch of the healthcare industry’s first customer relationship marketing (CRM) loyalty program.
As Marketing and PR Manager at Olympus America, Lorraine was responsible for establishing the brand marketing, PR, and communication functions for the GI Endoscopy Division, raising awareness of colorectal cancer prevention and contributing to Olympus increased market share.
On the agency side, she was VP at Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Healthcare practice, where her clients included medical devices, pharmaceutical, and genetic testing companies. She also worked as Director of Brand Marketing at Polar USA, a subsidiary of the global wearable fitness technology company that invented the category. At Polar, she led PR, social media, and advertising across all product lines. She also headed her own marketing consultancy before joining Stony Brook Medicine in 2012.
Lorraine received her BA degree in Spanish with a minor in Marketing from the University of Richmond. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks, cooking, reading, writing, the visual arts, exploring vintage shops, and spending time with family and friends.
Rev. Alexia Burgess Huart
Reverend Huart serves as Pastor of the Grace Community Church in Amityville. She is also a retired educator following over 25 years in the New York City Public Schools. She serves on the Board of Directors of MANA (Ministerial Alliance of North Amityville) and is active with the NAACP and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Pastor Huart leads her congregation with a mantra, “Healthy Minds, Healthy Hearts = A Healthy Church,” ensuring that her congregation has an understanding of the impact of mental health and vital resources in their community. Prior to coming on the Board, Pastor Huart worked with MHAW to organize a Mental Health Awareness Week program featuring gospel singer and mental health advocate Michele Williams. She also helped to organize a Mental Health First Aid training course for Long Island clergy.
She is an avid reader and book club participant as well as a gym workout devotee.
Entrepreneur Virginia Cravotta is a pioneer in the field of long term care. In 1976 she launched Geriatric Planning, Inc. (GPI), the nation’s first company to help families deal with long term care needs. Her guidance, and that of her professional healthcare team, has enabled families to communicate more effectively, acknowledge the functional needs of their frail loved ones, and make informed decisions and choices.
GPI later expanded to include elder law and financial planning services, transforming the firm into a one-stop shopping resource for seniors and their families. Virginia’s expertise in nursing and the field of aging resulted in her becoming a featured speaker for the National Council on the Aging, Hofstra University, and County and State Offices of the Aging.
Her quest to publicize her business and to discuss the critical issues confronting the rapidly aging population on Long Island planted the seeds for a second career in broadcasting.
Realizing that seniors didn’t have a strong voice in the media despite their growing numbers and increased financial clout, Virginia took to the airwaves with a four-year run hosting a local radio program on older adult issues. Its success led to a weekly half-hour program on Cablevision titled Young at Heart, which ran for an unprecedented eight years due to its rapid commercial success and positive viewer-feedback. That became the springboard for a regular spot on News 12 Long Island as the station’s Senior Affairs Correspondent.
A frequent speaker and workshop presenter, Virginia is currently the president of Senior Care Solutions of New York, a geriatric care management firm. She is also active in the community and devotes her time and expertise to many not-for-profit organizations such as Literacy-Suffolk and PUPS for Parkinson’s Disease, Inc.
Robert E. Detor, LCSW
Robert E. Detor retired in 2015 as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Long Island Home, a member of Northwell Health System, which operates South Oaks Hospital, a 193-bed behavioral health facility with ambulatory services for Children, Adolescents, and Adults. He also oversaw Broadlawn Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 320-bed skilled nursing facility with a sub-acute care and rehabilitation specialty as well as an adult day health program.
Previously, Bob served as Director of Health Services for the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Catholic Charities, Executive Director of the North Suffolk Center, and the Director of the Bureau of Training for Narcotics and Drug Research, Inc.
Bob currently serves, or has served, on the following boards: The National Association of Psychiatric Health System; LeadingAge New York; United Way of Long Island; Health and Welfare Council of Long Island; Hands Across Long Island; Clubhouse of Suffolk, and; the Victims Information Bureau. He was also a gubernatorial appointee to the Mental Health Services Council.
Bob completed his graduate work at Syracuse University and resides in Port Washington.
Jennifer L. Martin, Esq.
Jennifer’s career has traversed positions in corporate and public service sectors. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Tennessee State University in 2005, and was awarded a J.D. from Touro College School of Law in 2009. Jennifer is currently Chief of Staff for Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartwright. She held prior public posts as a District Representative to State Senator Jeffrey Klein and positions in the New York State and Tennessee State Attorney Generals offices. As a law school student, Jennifer served as Northeast Regional Chairperson for the National Black Law Students Association, presiding over regional board meetings and facilitating diversity events. The daughter of a US Air Force Veteran, Jennifer joined MHAW’s Board in 2017 and has been active on our fundraising events committees and our Organizational Diversity workgroup.
Mike St. Pierre
Mike St. Pierre possesses more than 35 years of experience leading business units of Citicorp, Metropolitan Life, HSBC, and New York Community Bank in support of retail, commercial, and not-for-profit clients as they plan for, and achieve, financial security. Direct consulting efforts have assisted the National Association of Counties, the American Conference of Mayors, the Miami Rescue Mission, among others.
A Registered Securities Principal with FINRA, Mike maintains active Life, Health, Variable, Property, and Casualty Insurance certifications in New York as well as twelve other states. Long Island Business News has recognized Mike as a Top Financial Advisor. He attended St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary and graduated Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
A resident of Smithtown, Mike and his wife, Cyndi, are married thirty-five years with three adult children: Thomas, Gabrielle, and Jacqueline. An active community advocate and volunteer, Mike provides pro bono assistance and advocacy for community residents as they attempt to navigate issues related to Social Security Disability, Workers Compensation, Medicare/Medicaid, IRS inquiries, and other entitlements.
Jason D. Sattler
Jason D. Sattler, a Holbrook resident, has more than 13 years of officer-level experience providing an array of commercial banking services to Long Island’s business community.
He presently serves as a Managing Director for Sterling National Bank. Based in the Babylon and West Islip financial centers, he manages a $300-million portfolio of assets and focuses on business development in the Long Island Market.
Jason, who has formal credit training, had previously held positions with Capital One Bank, the Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase Bank in various locations on Long Island.
Through his own family experiences, he developed an awareness of mental health issues as well as an understanding of society’s critical need to dispel stigmas associated with the disease.
Dedicated to community service, Jason is active with a number of social service and Veterans organizations. He also participates and contributes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Hydrocephalus Association, and United Cerebral Palsy. Jason also teaches finance education to grade-school students through Junior Achievement.
Saadia Z. Yunus
Saadia Z. Yunus is a licensed marriage and family therapist, trauma specialist, motivational speaker, and community leader. She has over 10 years of experience working with individuals, couples, families, and groups.
Saadiaâ€™s passion is to engage with people on a personal level to uplift them into discovering the best version of themselves. In addition to therapy, she achieves this through motivational and trauma-informed presentations and workshops throughout the country.
Saadia owns a private practice in Deer Park, NY, and offers online therapy to anyone in the states of New York and Florida. She is Vice Chair of the advisory board of Dolan Family Health Center and Social Media Director of the NY Marriage and Family Therapy Network. She serves on the board of The Barbershop Group, a national men’s mental health organization. She is also Co-founder and Chair of Muslim Women of Long Island (MWLI).
Raised in Bonifay, FL, Saadia currently resides on Long Island, NY, with her husband, four children, cat, and fish. She has an active social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. She can be contacted via her website.
Dr. Davis Pollack
Dr. Davis Pollack is a local, state, and national leader and advocate for people with mental illness.
In 2013, Dr. Pollack retired as President of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County, Suffolk County United Veterans, and Clubhouse of Suffolk, 23 years after he led a group of six family members to form the latter organization.
After graduating from dental school in 1947, Dr. Pollack served as Captain in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. When he returned home, he opened a successful dentistry practice in Babylon.
After two of his children were diagnosed with a mental illness, he and his wife, Helen, a licensed Social Worker, decided they needed to get involved in mental health advocacy.
Dr. Pollack joined the Board of Directors at Fountain House in New York City, an organization that was at the forefront of the clubhouse model, a community-based center for facilitating vocational and social integration. Dr. Pollack went on to became a national advocate, serving as the First Vice President of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Needing a local affiliation, he established a Queens/Nassau NAMI chapter at Long Island Jewish Hospital. In 1998, Dr. Pollack co-founded Venture House, a clubhouse program located in Jamaica, NY. Within two years, he and his wife, Helen, founded Clubhouse of Suffolk and in 2006, was inducted into the Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame for improving the quality of life for Long Islanders.
Dr. Pollack’s advocacy and drive to open Clubhouse was personal and with it the firm belief in the potential and productivity of all people in recovery. When asked about the success of Clubhouse, Dr. Pollack summed it up this way. We realized my vision: a successful program that treats people with dignity to achieve life goals including housing, work, socialization, and becoming productive citizens of society.
Colleen Merlo, LMSW
Colleen Merlo, a licensed social worker, has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness since November 30, 2020.
She has worked for more than twenty years in Long Island’s not-for-profit sector, focusing on issues of domestic violence, mental health, gender equity, and poverty.
Colleen had previously spent more than six years as executive director of L.I. Against Domestic Violence. Her visionary leadership increased capacity and broadened the agency’s ability to respond to the changing needs of Long Island through innovative programs, such as the first pet-friendly shelter for domestic violence victims in the region.
Before that, she was executive director of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County where she provided direction to drive the mission and vision. Colleen’s strength in building effective collaborations, her advocacy, and tirelessly efforts to bring public attention to the issues facing Long Island’s most vulnerable, greatly enhanced the effectiveness of local programming.
A past co-chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island, she serves on the board of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, the Suffolk County Family Violence Task Force, and the Suffolk County Teen Pregnancy Advisory Board. She was honored two consecutive years by Long Island Business News, receiving the Top 50 Women in Business award in 2019 and the Non-Profit Leadership Excellence award in 2020.
Married with two children, Colleen lives in Rocky Point.
Marianela Casas, MPA
Marianela Casas, MPA, is a highly experienced and respected leader in both the government and non-profit sectors within Long Island and New York State. Her dynamic skills in community engagement, strategic planning, and policy development have significantly benefited the public in various critical areas over the past 25 years.
Casas earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia and an MPA in Non-Profit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her graduate studies concentrated on disparities in public health, social policy, the intersection with government, and barriers to healthcare access. She currently serves on the Board of the Long Island Federally Qualified Health Centers (LIFQHC) in Nassau County, now rebranded as Harmony Health Care, and is the Chair of their Quality Assurance Committee. In her role as Chief Operating Officer at the Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW), Casas oversees all licensed and unlicensed behavioral health programs for both children and adults, housing programs and services, health home care management, and the administration of the agencyâ€™s corporate compliance program.
Casasâ€™ extensive interdisciplinary experience in government, policy, and non-profit management has established her as a valuable and trusted advisor and collaborator to various organizations and government officials. She plays a crucial role in assessing stakeholders’ needs and in developing and implementing strategic plans and initiatives that promote the greater good. Before her tenure at MHAW, she served as a strategist and special advisor to Congressman Tom Suozzi, as Assistant Commissioner for Community Engagement at the Nassau County Police Department, and as an Advisor to the Nassau County Executive.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Casas has diligently worked to honor the sacrifices of her family and others like them who immigrated to the United States. Her efforts aim to integrate diverse communities and strengthen the fabric of American society.
Kim Koster, CPA
Kim joined our agency in 1995 and has engineered Clubhouse’s finances from its early, manual stages to its full integration of an electronic health record (Anasazi) with our accounting program (FUND-EZ). Included in this development was the agency’s transition from contract management to much more extensive Medicaid and Medicare billing. Kim participates in all aspects of the agency’s organizational development including work with the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors and the Corporate Compliance activities of the agency. Kim oversees a staff of five bookkeeping and billing professionals, a group whom she proudly calls “a great crew!”
Kim came to Clubhouse following eight years with Holtz Rubenstein & Co, a metro area accounting firm at which she advanced to the position of Supervisor. While at Holtz, she participated in all aspects of client audit review, testing, financial statement forecasting and analysis, and the preparation of corporate and partnership returns.
Kim graduated from Dowling College in 1987 with a BBA in Accounting and successfully passed all exams in order to achieve Certified Public Accountant status shortly thereafter. She is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Roni DeKoning, LMHC, CRC
A licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor by training, Roni has over twenty years of professional experience in behavioral healthcare. She came to Clubhouse of Suffolk in 1992 following several years as Recreation Specialist/Aquatics Specialist at Kings Park State Psychiatric Center.
Roni was promoted to the position of Associate Director in 2006. As a member of the Senior Management team, Roni assumes a leadership role in designing services to respond to the wide diversity of needs of our members. She has helped design “special need” services to younger adults, seniors, people with co-occurring substance abuse disorders, and people with trauma backgrounds and more. Roni also has a responsibility for oversight and quality improvement in the agency. She has spoken at several conferences and meetings of senior agency and government personnel about key concepts in facilitating a “recovery-centered” program.
Roni completed her graduate work with distinction in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1990 at Hofstra University and for the past eighteen years has served as an adjunct Assistant Professor at Suffolk County Community College in the Health Careers Department where she inspires and guides future health care professionals for their future practice.
In May of 2010 Ruth McDade brought to our organization over fifteen years of professional experience in the behavioral healthcare field. In her role, she has assumed responsibility for the planning and execution of all fundraising events, grant projects, and other community relations activities. Prior to joining the Association for Mental Health and Wellness Ms. McDade was the Grants and Research Associate for the Long Island Home/South Oaks Hospital and Broadlawn Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, working on behavioral health, senior services, rehabilitation, and long-term care projects.
Ms. McDade has a successful history in generating millions in grant funding for projects providing shelter, food, employment assistance, transportation services, and various wellness programs. She is a member of the Long Island Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Ms. McDade completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Texas A&M State University at Corpus Christi in 1987.
Jacki Powers became a member of the MHAW Executive team in January 2018 when she was promoted to Deputy Director for Care Management Initiatives. Jacki has been with MHAW for nearly five years and was Director of Care Management Programs since August, 2015. Under her leadership, MHAW has become one of the largest care management providers on Long Island. With new projects and imminent transitions to value-based contracts ahead, Jacki’s input will be critical to coordinating care management with any initiatives that evolve in managed care relationships.
Jacki began her human services career at the Pederson-Krag Center in 2002, following completion of her Masters Degree in School Counseling from LIU-CW Post. Jacki worked for many years at the Pederson-Krag Center serving children and adolescents with severe emotional challenges. She assumed the positions of Individualized Care Coordinator for the HCBS Waiver Program, Program Supervisor for the Family Support Services Program, and Coordinator of the LINK Crisis Intervention Program. In 2007, she relocated to Charleston, South Carolina where she served as Director of Youth Services (Residential Treatment Facility, Acute Psychiatric Unit and Partial Hospitalization Program) at the Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health Center. Jacki returned to Long Island and Pederson-Krag as the Assistant Division Director for Child and Family Community-Based and Residential Programs where she remained until joining the MHAW Care Management team in April, 2013.
Jacki serves on the Board of Directors for the New York State Care Management Coalition where she represents Suffolk County. She is also an enthusiastic member of MHAW’s Wellness Committee, representing our Wellness team at a number of charity and fun runs across the Long Island.