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 the 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 Fundraising. 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 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 the 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 have three Peer Counselors on our staff. Our Peer Counselors are 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.

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. Robin provides one-on-one counseling and support, and facilitates 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.

Denise Rodman, BA, Peer Counselor

Denise joined our staff as a Peer Counselor in January 2022. Denise is a survivor of both breast and ovarian cancer. In 2018 at the age of 40, she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. In 2019, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Prior to joining our staff Denise utilized our individual and group services to help her navigate her own journey through diagnosis and treatment. Denise will be providing one-on-one counseling and support. Working closely with Robin and Marlene, she will also take on additional responsibilities pertaining to planning and implementing our other programs and services.

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. Marlene provides one-on-one counseling and support, and facilitates support groups. She is also responsible for managing our Resource Directory (including research and review of all community resources), for helping to plan our annual Celebrate Life Day, as well as special projects such as our Annual Services Survey.

Support Staff

Katherine Foley, MBA, Director of Finance and Business Operations

Katherine joined our staff in 2018. She is responsible for managing the daily business operations of Support Connection and Fantastic Finds. This includes oversight of financial reporting and analysis, budgeting, human resources and technology. Katherine holds an MBA in Accounting and Finance from Loyola University and a BS in Business Administration from Trinity University.

Celeste Baccari, Communications and Special Projects Coordinator

Celeste joined our staff in 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 Annual 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 Higgins, MBA, Director of Fundraising Activities and Outreach

Melissa Higgins

Melissa began volunteering for Support Connection in 2008 while in high school. She joined our staff in 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 fundraising activities that include management of the Support-A-Walk and special events. She also manages our office and event volunteers, coordinates community and donor outreach, and is instrumental in increasing awareness about our services while soliciting sponsors and donors.

Arianna Goggin, Administrative and Development Coordinator

Arianna joined our staff in 2022 after volunteering as an intern for a year. As Administrative and Development Coordinator, Arianna is responsible for ensuring that our office runs smoothly. She also answers the phones, connecting people seeking support with our counselors. In addition, Arianna assists the Director of Fundraising Activities and Outreach with preparing for events and managing volunteers, and is involved with promotion of our upscale resale shop Fantastic Finds.

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.

Support Connection is looking for enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers to join the Board. Learn more here.

Board Officers

President: Gary Wawrzycki
Financial Center Manager, Bank of America,
New York, NY

Vice President: Steve Kollias
Social Studies Teacher, NYC Department of Education, Bronx, 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

Carol Cirieco
Real Estate Salesperson, Houlihan Lawrence, Somers, NY

David D. Paganelli
Highway Superintendent, Town of Yorktown

Diana Quast
Town Clerk, Town of Yorktown


Richard Adamski (1941-2017)

Nancy Heller
Co-Founder, Board President Emeritus