Learning Community

The Family Success Institute Learning Community

New Jersey boasts countless local leaders who have developed positive community initiatives. They are parents and grandparents, leaders of nonprofits and state agencies, as well as leaders of local neighborhood initiatives. They invest their time and talent in laying the foundation for family success in their communities.

Many of these remarkable leaders have joined FSI to form a Learning Community. This collaborative group shares information, experiences and inspiration to form positive strategies for collective impact. Their services draw both direction and strength from place-based community mobilization, and are achieving better outcomes for children, youth and families.

Our members connect often in bi-monthly meetings, as well as in individual work groups, where they develop policy recommendations and devise goals to support specific issues that affect New Jersey families.

Members of our Learning Community have included:


Carlos Rodriguez

President & CEO, Community Food Bank of NJ
[email protected]

Kathleen Roe

Executive Director, Parents Inc.
[email protected]

Doreen Finley

Program Director, Parents Inc.
[email protected]

Rhonda A. Lewis

Executive Director, Greater Newark LISC
[email protected]

Gerard Costa

Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University
[email protected]

Kathleen Mulcahy

Associate Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University
[email protected]

Jill Wodnick

Doula & Breastfeeding Educator, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University
[email protected]
[email protected]

From Bergen

Rose Zeltser

Senior Vice President Planning and Program Development – Children’s Aid & Family Services
[email protected]

From Camden

Diana Cooper-Vanderlip

President/CEO, Community Planning & Advocacy Council
[email protected]

Richard Stagliano

President/CEO, Center for Family Success Services
[email protected]

Merilee Rutolo

Chief Operating Officer, Center for Family Success Services
[email protected]

Megan Lepore

Director of Development & Sustainability, Center for Family Services
[email protected]

Barbara Ann Johnson-Stokes

Parent Member, First Comes Health
[email protected]

From Essex/Newark

Barbara Dixon

Chief Program Officer & Executive Director of the South Ward Children’s Alliance, Brick Academy
[email protected]

Dominique Lee

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Brick Academy
[email protected]

Beverly Lynn

CEO – Programs For Parents
[email protected]

Ronald Chaluisan Batlle

Executive Director, Newark Trust for Education
[email protected]

Rasheba Stevenson

Director of Early Learning Strategy, Newark Trust for Education
[email protected]

Victoria Hernandez

Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation
[email protected]

Keri Logosso-Misurell, Esq.

Director at Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition
[email protected]

Mary Long

Administrative Assistant, Greater Newark Healthcare Colition
[email protected]

Sean LaCon

Founder & Executive Director, Blessed Ministries Inc.
[email protected]

Lisa LaCon

Co-Founder & Director, Blessed Ministries Inc.
[email protected]

From Hudson

Alex Forrester

Chief Strategy/Innovation Officer, Rising Tide Capital
[email protected]

From Passaic/Paterson

Carolyn McCombs

Executive Director, New Destiny Family Success Center, Inc.
[email protected]

Robert Guarasci

Founder & CEO, New Jersey Community Development Corporation
[email protected]

From Mercer

Marygrace Billek

Director of Human Services – Mercer County Department of Human Services
[email protected]

From Middlesex

Gloria Aftanski

President & Chief Professional Officer, United Way of Central Jersey
[email protected]

Stuart Grant

Senior Vice President, Community Investment, United Way of Central Jersey
[email protected]

From Monmouth

Jeffrey Schwartz

Director of Human Services, Monmouth County of NJ

Colleen Verriest

CEO, Family & Children’s Services

Mary Pat Angelini

CEO, Preferred Behavioral Health Group

David Stout

President, Brookdale Community College
[email protected]

From Union

Debbie-Ann Anderson

Director of Human Services, Union County of NJ
[email protected]

James Horne

President & CEO, United Way of Greater Union County
[email protected]

Janus Solutions

Gena Haranis

Senior VP, Consulting Services, Janus Solutions
[email protected]

Family Success Institute

Tom Blatner

Board President, Family Success Institute
[email protected]

Jeanne Warnock

Board Treasurer, Family Success Institute
[email protected]

Charlie Venti

Board Philanthropic Liaison, Family Success Institute
[email protected]

Timothy L. Carden

Director, Family Success Institute
[email protected]

Loredana Henry

Community Liaison, Family Success Institute
[email protected]


Lauren Lilacon

Policy Director, Office of the NJ First Lady
[email protected]

Christine Beyer

Commissioner, NJ Department of Children & Families
[email protected]

Cary Booker

Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood, NJ Department of Education
[email protected]

Retha Onitri

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
[email protected]

Bari Mattes

Community Member
[email protected]

Juan Carlos Nordelo

Legislative Director, Office of Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez
[email protected]

Dr. Candice Dias

Director of Research and Evaluation, Camden Promise Neighborhood (Center for Family Success)
[email protected]

Cecilia Zalkind

[email protected]

Christine Idland

Special Assistant to the Commissioner, NJ Department of Children & Families
[email protected]

Maria Vizcarrondo

President/CEO. Council of NJ Grant Makers
[email protected]

Thomas Owens

Executive Director, Newark Mentoring Movement
[email protected]

Mark Dinglasan

Executive Director,
CUMAC: Feeding People and Changing Lives
[email protected]

Adele LaTourette

Director, Hunger Free New Jersey
[email protected]

Evan Delgado

Director of Programs, Turrell Fund
[email protected]

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