Staff & Board

Support Connection Staff

Katherine Quinn, MBA
Executive Director

Katherine Quinn is the founding Executive Director of Support Connection. Katherine helped establish Support Connection in loving tribute to her friend, Isabel, who died of breast cancer shortly after the organization was founded. Responsible for the management of the organization, she leads her staff and works with the board, volunteers and donors in fulfilling Support Connection’s mission. Katherine is passionate about the work we do. “Support Connection is the human connection for a person dealing with a breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis. From the first day we opened our doors, our top priority has been consistent – offering personalized counseling and support to every person who turns to us. Since the professional peer counselors on our staff have experienced cancer themselves, it makes all the difference in the world. Through the power of caring, we offer hope and help to the many people who rely on us. I am so blessed to be the leader of this organization.”

Katherine holds an MBA from the Hagan School of Business, Iona College, a BS degree in accounting and professional certificates in Not for Profit Management, Grant Writing, Development and Fund Raising. Prior to her career at Support Connection, she held positions in the not for profit sector as the Business Director at the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center and as a grant writer for Careers for People with Disabilities. Before working in the not for profit sector, Katherine enjoyed a career in International Banking. She has also been an active volunteer in her community and the schools and has been recognized for her contributions to the community.


Barbara CervoniBarbara Cervoni, LMSW, ACSW
Director, Services and Communication

Barbara joined Support Connection’s staff in 2004. As Director of Communication, she is responsible for all communications and media outreach to promote Support Connection’s programs, services and fundraising events. As Director of Services, Barbara is tasked with management of the Counseling and Programming Department. In this role, she is responsible for oversight and management of all service provision; program planning, analysis and reporting; training and supervision of the Peer Counselors. In addition, Barbara is responsible for grant seeking and reporting, which includes obtaining and retaining grant funding to help support the organization’s programs and services.

Barbara earned her Master’s degree at Columbia University School of Social Work. She holds a certificate in Field Instruction from Fordham University, is a NY State Licensed Master Social Worker and has national certification from the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Barbara spent the first 11 years of her professional career as a social worker in a variety of settings, where her experience spanned direct service, consultation, training and supervision. She later worked at CAREERS for People With Disabilities for 7 years as their Communications and Outreach Coordinator. Barbara is also a cancer survivor; she was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2014.

PEER COUNSELORS

We currently have three Peer Counselors on our staff. Our Peer Counselors are all cancer survivors themselves, which is a requirement because of our commitment to the peer-to-peer service model. In addition to providing direct services, our Peer Counselors plan and implement all of the other programs and services we offer.

Andrea KarlAndrea Karl, BA
Peer Counselor

Andrea has been a Peer Counselor on our staff since 2005. Before that, she volunteered for 2 years, helping with outreach, events and office support. Andrea is a breast cancer survivor who first came to Support Connection in 2003, seeking support after being diagnosed. In addition to providing one-on-one counseling and support, Andrea currently facilitates two of our support groups. She is also responsible for managing our support groups (including training and supervision of our volunteer facilitators,) for planning our annual Celebrate Life Day, as well as special projects such as Community Outreach volunteers.


Robin Perlmutter, LMSW
Peer Counselor

Robin has been a Peer Counselor on our staff since 2006. She is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1999. In addition to providing one-on-one counseling and support, Robin currently facilitates two of our support groups. She is also responsible for planning and managing our year-round calendar of educational and wellness programs, for collecting and compiling our service statistics, as well as special projects such as our Ovarian Cancer Nursing Outreach project.

Marlene Stager, MS
Peer Counselor

Marlene has been a Peer Counselor on our staff since 2012. Prior to that, she was a volunteer support group facilitator for us for several years. Marlene is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 1998. In addition to providing one-on-one counseling and support, Marlene currently facilitates three of our support groups. She is also responsible for managing our Resource Directory (including research and review of all community resources) and our Lending Library, as well as special projects such as our Annual Services Survey.

SUPPORT STAFF

Celeste Baccari

Celeste Baccari
Communications and Special Projects Coordinator

Celeste joined our staff in January 2014 after volunteering for us for more than 5 years. She assists our Director of Services and Communication with communications efforts, and works on special projects such as Celebrate Life Day and our Spring Benefit Journal. Celeste also serves as a resource to the volunteers at Fantastic Finds, our upscale-resale shop that raises funds to help support our free programs and services. A breast cancer survivor who has used our services, Celeste knows first-hand the positive impact our organization can have on those who turn to us for help.

 

Melissa HigginsMelissa Higgins
Development and Outreach Coordinator

Melissa began volunteering for Support Connection in 2008 while in high school. She joined our staff in August 2016 to assist with the Support-A-Walk. In her current role, Melissa works closely with our Executive Director to plan and implement a wide range of development activities that include management of the Support-A-Walk and special events. She also works with office and event volunteers, coordinates community and donor outreach, and is instrumental in increasing awareness about our services while soliciting sponsors and donors.

 

Barbara Lichtenberger
Administrative Coordinator (Part-Time)

Barbara joined our staff in January 2018, but she has a long history with Support Connection, having volunteered for us in our early years. As Administrative Coordinator, Barbara is responsible for insuring that our office runs smoothly. She also answers the phone, connecting people seeking support with our counselors. In addition, Barbara assists the Development and Outreach Coordinator with volunteer schedules and preparing for events.

 

Ilene CohenIlene Cohen
Donor Relations Coordinator

Although Ilene is technically not a member of the Support Connection staff, she might as well be! An ovarian cancer survivor since 1994, Ilene has been volunteering for Support Connection since we opened our doors in 1996. All those years, she has volunteered an average of 15-20 hours a week in the office, which is an amazing contribution! Ilene is responsible for keeping our mail list up-to-date, processing donations and managing our donor appreciation program.  She is also invaluable for applying her eagle-eye to anything that needs proofreading.


Support Connection Board of Directors

The Support Connection Board of Directors is a diverse group of dedicated volunteers who devote their time and talents to helping us fulfill our mission. The Board includes people whose lives have been impacted by cancer, business leaders, and members of the community. In addition to providing governance for the organization, the Board works to raise funds and pursue resources to enhance and sustain our programs and services.

BOARD OFFICERS
President: Gary Wawrzycki
Regional Banking Branch Manager, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Shrub Oak, NY

Vice President: Denise D’Amico
Retired, Shrub Oak, NY

Treasurer: David Sacarny
President, Equity Portfolio Realty, and DBS Construction, Armonk, NY

Secretary: Janet DeVito
Office Manager, A. DeVito and Son, Inc., Yorktown Heights, NY

BOARD MEMBERS
Beth Beck
Founder, Club Fit, Jefferson Valley, NY

Laurie Leahy
President, Food Fantasies of Westchester Ltd., Yorktown Heights, NY

Michael William Murphy
Brand Manager, Marketing (retired) Altria Group, Inc., New York, NY

David D. Paganelli
Highway Superintendent, Town of Yorktown


CO-FOUNDERS
Richard Adamski (1941-2017)
Co-Founder

Nancy Heller
Co-Founder, Board President Emeritus