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.
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Bernard joined LESC in 2021. He brings a wealth of experience advising nonprofits in financial management and fiscal operations, governance, budgeting and cost management, risk management, and taxation. Prior to joining LESC, he served as the Chief Financial Officer in a privately held real estate management and development company that specializes in public and private housing management. He received his BS in Accounting with Honors, from Medgar Evers College, City University of New York. He has completed several certifications in taxation, executive management, and leadership. Having worked in real estate management, development for low-income housing for the last 25 years, he is repose with unique skills in real estate management with an emphasis in tax credit financing.
Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer
Ms. Reid joined LESC in 2021. She has over 25 years of experience overseeing substance use disorder and mental health programs. She is a strategic, results-oriented leader with a background in steering behavioral healthcare and non-profit organizations to improved outcomes and growth. She has expert knowledge of federal, state, and DEA regulations. She is also a Surveyor for CARF federal accreditation commission and a COMPA board member from 2008 - 2021. She has a BA in Social Work from Shippensburg State College and holds a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Her goal is to maintain audit ready preparedness and achieve the highest possible levels of service provision.
Vice President, Chief Program 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Michael J. Golia has been a board member since 2017. Michael recently graduated from Fordham Law School and is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. Prior to law school, Michael received his M.D. from St. George’s University Medical College and completed a one-year residency in Internal Medicine. Michael attended The University of Pennsylvania and is currently clerking in the New York State Supreme Court.
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.
Dr. Leifman is an experienced corporate leader, counselor, and human resources consultant. His consulting work with Fortune 500 organizations, academic and nonprofits has focused on all aspects of HR and strategy, including HR assessments, organization change, HR development, diversity, employee audits and recruiting strategy and planning. He has a PhD in social work from New York University, where he serves as an adjunct faculty member, and a master’s degree in communications management from Syracuse University. Dr. Leifman joined the board of LESC in 2020.
Mr. Locitzer began his architectural career at I.M Pei & Partners during the construction of the Javits Convention Center. He then worked as a construction manager for various New York City contractors and real estate developers including Tishman, HRH, Rockrose and Forest City/Ratner. Over the course of his career, Locitzer has worked on such prominent projects as the renovation of the Plaza Hotel, and the construction of the Goldman Sachs corporate headquarters, Tower 4 at the World Trade Center site, and the Warner Communications Center. He looks forward to assisting LESC with translating needs and ideas for the future into detailed plans, solid budgets, and physical reality.
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.
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.
Blair Pan received her B.S in Taiwan and her M.S in Construction Management from Columbia University in 2013. In 2018, she decided to contribute her time and effort on promoting women in construction and joined the PWC as a member. Later she was selected to be on the committee of PDAC, a newly formed council that focus on women’s professional development. In 2019, she was invited to be the panelist on AECOM TISHMAN International Women’s Day event about advancing women in the construction industry. She is currently a MBA student enrolled in EMBA 2019 Saturday Program and expected to receive her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2021.
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.
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.