Administrative Team

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Cynthia M. Banks

Vice President of Operations
cbanks@bgcn.org
Cynthia has served the Boys & Girls Club of Newark with distinction for over 25 years in several leadership roles, though no single title could ever contain the full force and scope of her impact on the children who have been in her care. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2009 Ms. BGCN Award, and selection as a 2011 Professional of the Year for Outstanding Service by the Garden State Chapter for her work with women and minority professionals. Cynthia currently serves on the Youth of the Year Committee for Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey, working with colleagues from across the state.

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Catherine Plymel

Director of Culture
cplymel@bgcn.org
Catherine has been a part of the Boys & Girls Club since 2014 and started as an intern while attending Rutgers Newark. After her internship she joined the team and has been hard at work ever since. Catherine completed her Bachelors of Arts in Public and Non Profit Administration and is pursuing her masters in Public Administration and Non Profit from Rutgers Newark with a concentration in leadership. She has over 5 years of experience in organizational leadership and is passionate about harvesting a healthy, happy workplace with real emphasis on a strong organizational culture.

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Diana Lynn Zeller

Accountant
dzeller@bgcn.org
A valued BGCN finance department employee since 1976. In 2007, Diana developed an innovative means of tracking grant-related staff allocation, a system that has proven instrumental in our own recordkeeping and has been adopted by other Clubs throughout the state. Diana was named a BGCN employee of the Year in 2011, and in 2006 was recognized at BGCA’s Leadership Conference for 30 years of service.

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Jessica Faith

Director of Development
jfaith@bgcn.org
Jessica Faith has spent over 10 years in fundraising and management for non-profit organizations focused on education and youth development. She was most recently the Director of Development at Friends of the Children in Harlem before joining the team at The Boys & Girls Club of Newark in April of 2016. Jessica is also an infant and toddler specialist and facilitates courses for nannies and parents interested in implementing the RIE® methodology. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Ameer Washington

Development Associate
awashington@bgcn.org
Ameer Washington grew up at BGCN, having joined the Club as a six-year-old in 1989. By his senior year in high school, he was elected Keystone Club President and Youth of the Year for the state of New Jersey. Ameer went on to earn a bachelors degree in economics from Temple University, and then returned to the Club to hold numerous leadership positions in the organization, including coordination of BGCN’s first school-based site at First Avenue School. He currently serves as BGCN’s Development Associate.

Program Team

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Adam Cox

Director of Engagement
acox@bgcn.org
Adam Cox has been part of the Boys & Girls Club of Newark family since 2011 and has brought hundreds of college students to BGCN every March for Alternative Spring Break as the co-founder of Break A Difference.  Adam joins the BGCN with nearly a decade of experience managing individual, student and corporate volunteers for a variety of non-profit and corporate partners. He is excited to bring his passion for service to the Boys & Girls Club of Newark and help Newark’s kids reach their full potential.
 

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Rosa Arenas

Clubhouse Manager
rarenas@bgcn.org
Roselle “Rosa” Arenas has been a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark family for over 25 years. She was first a member and then joined the BGCN staff as a camp counselor. Her responsibilities grew within the organization, leading our team as the Clubhouse Manager. Rosa is a dedicated long-term employee of the Boys & Girls Club of Newark and is passionate about the care and nurturing of the Clubhouse members and their families.

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Chris Crockett

Teen Services Manger
ccrockett@bgcn.org
Chris is a Newark native who studied Marketing and Criminal Justice at Boston College and Rutgers University of Newark. He joined the BGCN two years ago in order to follow his dream of working in education, and being a mentor and positive male role-model to young people from Newark. Chris is also a professional martial arts teacher and personal fitness trainer, and a history and culture aficionado. He has three young sons.

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Stephanie Rojas

Team Academy Site Coordinator
srojas@bgcn.org
Before joining BGCN, Stephanie worked as a team leader at Good Shepherd Services in the Bronx, where she created lesson plans and curriculum for students between the ages of 5-13. Over a year and a half ago, she the chose to work at BGCN because when she was younger she also attended after school and it helped her learn about herself in ways in which school didn't - she wants other children to have the same experience. As site coordinator, Stephanie leads a small staff in developing and implementing innovative after school programing at a Newark charter school.

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Samantha Hendy

Life Academy Site Coordinator
shendy@bgcn.org
Sam Hendy has been part of the Boys & Girls Club of Newark family since 2014. She has worked with both Newark Public Schools as well as KIPP NJ's after school programs. Sam has over a decade of experience in training development and quality assurance, which contributes to the quality of service BGCN is renowned for providing. She is dedicated to ensuring that our children, families and the community of Newark get the support they need to lead successful lives.
 

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Mushir Poole

Spark Academy Site Coordinator
mpoole@bgcn.org
Mushir Poole graduated from Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Business Marketing. After graduation, Mushir worked as a marketing consultant for Excela Health. His work at Excel focused on promoting healthy habits among middle and high school students. Before joining BGCN, he mentored and taught at a drug and sex offender rehab facility. Mushir is committed to nurturing young people and enriching the community he has lived in for two decades.

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Shantonette Crawford

Membership Coordinator
scrawford@bgcn.org
Shantonette has been with the Boys & Girls Club of Newark for the past six years. An integral member of the BGCN team, she has served a number of different functions at the administrative level, including managing the Club's office and coordinating with all our parents to ensure the successful enrollment of their children.

Global Health Corps Fellows

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Kaylin Pennington

READY Family Wellness Center Manager
kpennington@bgcn.org
Kaylin Pennington grew up near San Francisco, California. Before joining BGCN, she co-managed a student-run free clinic and served two terms with AmeriCorps in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her current role, Kaylin supports the provision of high-quality, trauma-informed mental and behavioral health services at the Central Ward Clubhouse. Kaylin received her BA degree from Stanford University and her MPH degree from San Francisco State University.
 

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Sachi Shah

Communications Associate
sshah@bgcn.org
Sachi graduated with a degree in international development from Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, New York. Before joining BGCN as a Global Health Corps fellow, she has worked on strategic communications at the Rockefeller Foundation. She has also founded Y-Act Project, a venture that trains low-income high school students in East Africa to address public heath issues in their own communities. At BGCN, she works on a number of communications efforts, manages the organization's website and monitoring and evaluation systems.

Youth Development Specialists

Clubhouse YDS

Brittany Bascombe

Tiffany Brown

Vaughn Crosby

Jason Cejour

Geraldine Code

Farrakhan Durant

Clem Farrar

Tamika Muhammad

Elijah Plant

Marie Reddell

Barbara Redway

Keldejia Stukes

 

Clubhouse Staff

John E. Wilson

Ana Marrera De Sanatana

 

Team Academy

Deidra Lee-Spells

Deja Parks

Robert Reddick - Sub

Sharif Williams

 

Seek Academy

Karina Cosme

Christopher Davis

Jordan Geffard

Sharaini Rambaran

Yvonne Reeves

Jovan Sylvester

 

Life Academy

Jason Brown

Stormi Cooper

Khadijah Davis

Dorothy Isler

Aliyah  Lewis

Ruel Moore

Syntycne Pringle

 

Spark Academy

Vanessa  Deraville

Deidra Foster

Ade ‘Kamil Kelly

Sana Salaam

Tiesha Spann

Take Wheeler

Javier White

 

Board of Trustees

 

Officers of the Board

Cynthia Benjamin, President
Vice President and Chief of Staff to CFO, Prudential Financial

Thomas R. Valen, Board Chair
Partner, Gibbons, PC

Kathleen Barnett Einhorn, Vice President & Treasurer
Partner, Genova Burns

 
 

Jason Sobel, Vice President & Secretary
Of Counsel – Real Estate, Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.

Sharad D. Madison, Vice President
CEO, United Building Maintenance

Members of the Board

Joseph F. Accardo Jr.
Deputy General Counsel, PSEG Services Corporation

Sam Boraie 
Vice President, Boraie Development LLC

Heather Daur
Managing Director, Head of Multi-Asset Sales,  HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.

Daniel M. Fontaine
Vice President Retail Market Manager, Essex Region, TD Bank

Lissa Jean Ferrell
Chief Executive Officer, LJF Consulting

Stephen Gilbert
Lawyer, Retired

Michael Gilfillan
President, Brick City Sports Capital

Troy E. Glover
President, AMEX Assurance Company

Kate Gratto
Vice President, HR Service Delivery, Prudential Financial

 

Michael Gruber, DMD
Dentist, Gruber Dentistry

Shavar D. Jeffries
Partner, Lowenstein Sandler

David Lohuis
Managing Director and Global Head of Prime Financing, Barclays

Mary Beth O’Connor
Ironbound Film & Television/Lucky Viii Films/Harlan Media

Charlie Rubin
Executive, MCJ Amelior

 

Cecil Sanders
President, C.H. Sanders Construction Co.

Marla S. Smith
Principal, Berkenkamp Realty Group, LLC

Dean Thompson
Vice President of Finance, Enterprise Holdings

Kelly Thompson

Young Professionals Council

 

LaShaun E. Skillings, YPC Co-Chair
Amazon

Princess Williams, YPC Co-Chair
SPARK Academy

Franklin Barbosa, Jr. 
Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera, & Sodono, P.C.

Allyson Cook
CollegeSpring

Jennifer De Los Angeles 
Board of Education

Dianiris Lebron
Wake fern Food Corporation

Ghatul Abdul
Seton Hall Law

Diana Houenou
ACLU of New Jersey

Albert Chen
Seton Hall Law

Mouna Moussa
NJIT/ Armand Life Ink, LLC

Al-Lynn Symmons
Munic Reinsurance America

Elizabeth Coulter
Murphy for Governor

Franklin Barbosa
Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera & Sodono P.C.

Kiran Gill
PARS Environmental 

Bill Schramm
Logan Circle Partners

Lawrese Brown
Brown Coaching and Consulting, LLC

Through networking events, social outings, meaningful volunteer opportunities and fundraisers, the YPC focuses on bringing additional resources to BGCN and the kids they serve.To learn more about how you can become a member of BGCN’s Young Professionals Council, please email Ameer Washington at awashington@bgcn.org, BGCN’s Development Associate.