Administrative Team

Rodney Fuller

Chief Executive Officer
Rodney brings to the Boys and Girls Club of Newark a wealth of experience and success in fundraising, youth and community development, education, volunteerism, board and staff development, strategic planning, and executive leadership of youth-service organizations. Rodney is an accomplished community leader and nonprofit executive with more than 20-years experience.  He is the former Executive Director at Public Allies New York and has successfully led a number of other organizations in New York. He is a recipient of the Union Square Award, is a Robert Bowne Foundation Research Fellow and is the recipient of many other academic and civic awards. Rodney has been an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Marymount Manhattan College, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Yeshiva University.  Rodney is presently in the dissertation phase of his PhD at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.


Cynthia M. Banks

Vice President of Operations
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.


Catherine Plymel

Director of Culture & Human Resources
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.


Diana Lynn Zeller

Director of Finance
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.


Ameer Washington

Director of Development
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 Director of Development.

Gardan Speights

Director of Community Wellness and Teen Services
Gardan Speights is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years of experience in the field of mental health with a focus on child/ adolescent behavioral health. She has a bachelor's of Arts in Psychology and Black Studies from SUNY New Paltz, and a Master's in Social Work from Columbia University. Gardan has worked with adults with developmental disabilities and co-morbid mental health challenges, in the jail system, and in one of the largest inpatient behavioral health hospitals in NJ. She has also co-facilitated programming for the Tyrone D. Franklin Technology Center in Westwood, NJ, and is excited to continue helping families stay healthy at BGCN. 

Program Team


Rosa Arenas

Clubhouse Manager
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.


Shontonette Crawford

Membership Coordinator
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.


Chris Crockett

Teen Services Manger
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.


Stephanie Rojas

Team Academy Site Coordinator
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.

Kelly Stukes

Seek Academy Site Coordinator
Kelly grew up in New York, and describes the Boys & Girls Club of Newark as more of a home than a job. She’s excited about the ability to make a difference in Members’ lives everyday. She attended Wings Academy High School in the Bronx. She currently attends Essex County College as a Sociology major. Kelly is also CPR certified, and a mandated reporter.

Vanessa R. Deraville

Spark Academy Site Coordinator
Vanessa joined BGCN in 2015, with over 10 years of experience in customer service. The ability to connect with families, create exciting activities for Members, and see BGCN’s impact on alumni are some of the highlights of her role as a Site Coordinator. Vanessa graduated from Columbia High School, and attended The Art Institute of Philadelphia. She is currently attending Union County College, and working towards her Associates in Radio Communications.

Youth Development Specialists

Clubhouse YDS

Tiffany Brown

Geraldine Code

Farrakhan Durant

Clem Farrar

Tamika Muhammad 

Elijah Plant 

Barbara Redway

Yvonne Reeves 

Gionnah Johnson 

Sana Lewis 

Tammy Williams 

Najah Bateman 

Constantentine Morgan 

Zaki Michael 

Damon Williams 

Myasia Holmes 

Rosa Bello 

Shawntai Bhaxton 

Al-Jannah Jackson 

Moquette Lott 

Arelis Tapia-Vargas 

Carl Snead 

Teen Coordinator

Jovan Sylvester

STEM Coordinator

Vaughn Crosby

Clubhouse Staff

John E. Wilson

Ana Marrera De Sanatana

Team Academy

Deidra Lee-Spells 

Tamesha Felder 

Takai Wheeler 

Seek Academy

Vanessa Germain 

Baheem Wise 

Jazmeen Murray 

Myasia Corbette 

Kameesha Moffett 

Life Academy

Charles Simonson 

Portia Askew 

Micere Richardson 

Lakeisha Bright 

Spark Academy

Moquette Lott 

Amira Outlaw 

Zaki Michael 

Austin Koiquah 

Board of Trustees


Officers of the Board

Sharad D. Madison, President
CEO, United Building Maintenance

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.


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.

Dan Colleton
Vice President of Partner Marketing, Mastercard

Stephen Gilbert
Lawyer, Retired

Michael Gilfillan
President, Brick City Sports Capital

Kate Gratto
Vice President, HR Service Delivery, Prudential Financial

Michael Gruber, DMD
Dentist, Gruber Dentistry

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


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

Allyson Cook
College Spring

Diana Houenou
ACLU of New Jersey

Thomas Gallagher 
Prudential Financial

Mouna Moussa
NJIT/ Armand Life Ink, LLC

Al-Lynn Symmons
Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.

Bill Schramm
Logan Circle Partners

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, BGCN’s Development Associate.