Leadership

Executive Team

We are a team of believers with over 100 years of combined professional experience. We are dedicated to guiding the most effective operation of LESC for the communities we serve. Through our continued efforts, this leadership brings progressive management and compassionate thinking to our opioid treatment services.

VALERIE WALTERS, MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Ms. Walters joined LESC in 1995 as the Vice President of Human Resources. As President and CEO, she continues to set the vision for LESC in numerous ways, from expanding supportive housing capacity and increasing the organizational budget to the addition of four dynamic new programs to the LESC roster. She previously held administrative- and director-level roles at SCI Business School/WAE Corporation and American Business Institute (ABI). Ms. Walters earned her MBA in Organizational Behavior and Management at C W Post, Long Island University, a BA in Business Management from Herbert H. Lehman College, and holds certifications in Human Resources, Executive Leadership Support for Non-Profit Management, and Methods of Occupational Instruction. 

JOSEPH KRASNANSKY, LCSW

Vice President, Chief Program Officer

Mr. Krasnansky joined LESC in 1987 and works with the Executive team on strategic projects, oversees LESC programs and supervises program management staff. His academic and clinical training in social work and the social sciences and his advanced training in psychotherapy has assisted him in over 20 years of supervision with distinguished practitioners. In his determination to improve LESC services, he contributes knowledge to think tanks with stakeholders in the field and collaborates with senior leadership as Board Member in other organizations. Mr. Krasnansky holds a BS from New School for Social Research, MSW from New York University, LCSW from New York State and continued Psychoanalytic Training from New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training.

ERNESTO COSME, JR., CPA

Vice President, Chief Financial & Information Systems Officer

As a Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years' experience in both public and not-for-profit accounting, Mr. Cosme has served as Controller for several major not-for-profits that provide services in foster care, early childhood, mental health, transitional housing and to populations with developmental disabilities. Mr. Cosme is a member of the American Institute of CPAs. He attended Hunter College and University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

LOLITA SILVA-VAZQUEZ, MA, LMHC

Vice President ,Chief Compliance Officer

Ms. Silva-Vazquez joined LESC in 2006. She has over 30 years of experience in various progressive roles with vulnerable populations, including individuals with emotional and developmental disabilities, women and children affected by domestic violence and adolescents and adults with substance use disorders. At LESC, she continues to focus on advocacy, education and improving treatment services for substance dependent individuals and their families. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical / Community Psychology from Marist College and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

JACQUELINE VARGAS, MA

Vice President of Human Resources

Ms. Vargas joined LESC in 2007 in the role of Human Resources Director and was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources in 2013. She brings over 25 years of Human Resources experience from several well-respected social service organizations, including New York Foundling and Lexington Vocational Services. Her goal is to add value to our dedicated and caring staff in their effort to improve the lives of individuals and our communities. She holds a Masters Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Brooklyn College and is a member of both Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Human Resources Professional Association of Non-Profits (HRPANO). She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in American Sign Language.

board of trustees

The Board of Trustees helps LESC achieve its mission in many important ways, from shaping our vision and values to developing our long-term strategy and creating policies that govern our organization's activities.

PATRICIA HOFFMAN

Chairperson

Ms. Hoffman has been a board member since 1993 and contributes her significant financial services experience towards analyzing LESC credit and financial data to keep our organization's practices fiscally sound. She holds a BS from Fairfield University.

DAVID L. ROSENSTEIN

Secretary

Mr. Rosenstein joined our Board of Trustees in 1984. In addition to his role as Secretary, he chairs our Program Committee and the Board's representative on LESC's Institutional Review Board. He brings more than 30 years of distinguished experience as a corporate communications executive to his role with LESC. He holds a BA from City College of New York and Addiction Studies Program certification from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

ALEXIS KUERBIS, MSW, PhD

Board Member

Ms. Kuerbis is Assistant Professor at Hunter College, Silberman School of Social Work. Her expertise includes substance use and misuse, interventions, mechanisms of addictive behavior change, and substance use pertaining to aging and LGBT populations and those mandated to treatment. She holds PhD and MSW degrees from New York University.

NASIR H. NAQVI, MD, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Naqvi is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Division on Substance Use Disorders at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute. He has significant expertise in addiction psychiatry, addictive disorders and neural mechanisms relating to substance use disorder treatments. He completed his residency in Psychiatry and was awarded a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at Columbia University.

THOMAS P. OGDEN, JD

Board Member

As a Partner with Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch, LLP, Mr. Ogden brings nearly 30 years of litigation and dispute resolution experience to his role as Board member, with deep knowledge in areas of securities, bankruptcy, antitrust, corporate internal investigations and other commercial litigation. He received his BA from Princeton University and his JD degree from The University of Chicago Law School.

ELIZABETH TALBOT-MONTGOMERY, CCMEP

Board Member 

Ms. Talbot-Montgomery is President of Iolite, Inc. a strategic learning and change management consultancy serving the healthcare industry. She is also the founder of the not-for-profit Society To Improve Diagnosis In Medicine. Ms. Talbot-Montgomery earned a BS from Empire State College. 

BRUCE D. TINDAL, ARM, CPIA

Board Member

Mr. Tindal is Executive Vice President in charge of operations in the New York City office of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. In addition to serving as a Board member of LESC, Mr. Tindal was a “coach” for five years with the MDA “Muscle Team Gala” and was instrumental in involving the insurance industry in NY with this fundraising event. He earned his BS from York College.

QUENTIN H. WALZ

Board Member

Mr. Walz brings over 20 years of private sector experience in digital media and revenue strategy to his role with LESC. His goal is to help us expand development so that our data and IP are readily available and actionable for communities across America that lack basic knowledge of how to fight the nation's current opioid epidemic. He hold a BA from Hobart College.

STANLEY ZAREFF

Board Member

Mr. Zareff brings deep communications expertise to the LESC Board, drawing upon 18 years' experience as an Executive Communications Specialist at Credit Suisse and more than 30 years as a professional acting coach in NY, LA and London. He has served on our Board for more than 30 years and has been a communications instructor at Su Casa for 16 years. He is also a Board member of Urban Stages and Broadway Walk of Stars Foundation. Mr. Zareff received his MA from University of Colorado and was honored with the LESC 50th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award.

Business Advisors

Dale B. Bernstein

Richard Bradspies

Evelyn E. Kender

Hank Linden

Richard Maltz

Irene Rivera

Carol Selby

Martha Wilke-Murray

Emeritus Trustees

David Brown

Ellen Foley

Scott C. Hoyt

Deborah McManus, AIA

Sondra L. Murphy

Peter Santoro

Rev. Paul Smith

Lee B. Stephens III