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.


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.


Celeste BaccariCeleste Baccari
Administrative and
Communications Coordinator

Celeste joined our staff in January of 2014 and provides administrative support.  She also assists with communications and special projects. A breast cancer survivor who has used Support Connection’s services, Celeste knows first-hand the positive impact that our organization can have on those who turn to us for help. For more than 5 years prior to joining our staff, Celeste volunteered at Support Connection.


Marisa Giuliano-for websiteMarisa Giuliano
Development and Business Coordinator

Marisa joined our staff in May 2015 after volunteering for two years and interning for a year while in college. Marisa works closely with Executive Director Katherine Quinn to plan and implement a wide range of development activities that include management of the Support-A-Walk and special events. She also coordinates business functions as well as office and event volunteers.


Melissa HigginsMelissa Higgins
Community Outreach and Event Coordinator

Melissa began volunteering at Support Connection in 2008 while she was in high school. She joined the staff in August 2016 to assist with Support-A-Walk preparations. In her current role, Melissa works closely with Development and Business Coordinator Marisa Giuliano to help plan and implement our special events. She is also involved with community and donor outreach and is instrumental in increasing awareness about our services while soliciting sponsors and donors.

Ilene CohenIlene Cohen
Special Projects Coordinator

Although Ilene is technically not a member of the Support Connection staff, she might as well be! Ilene, an ovarian cancer survivor since 1994, 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, assorted record-keeping tasks, and additional special projects as needed. 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.

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

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

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

Beth Beck
Founder, Club Fit, Jefferson Valley, NY

Denise D’Amico
Retired, Yorktown Heights, NY

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

David D. Paganelli
Highway Superintendent, Town of Yorktown

Gary Wawrzycki
Branch Manager, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Shrub Oak, NY

Richard Adamski (1941-2017)

Nancy Heller
Co-Founder, Board President Emeritus