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

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. 

LOLITA SILVA-VAZQUEZ, MA, LMHC

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.

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

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.

Michael J. Golia

MICHAEL J. GOLIA

Board Member

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.

Alexis Keurbis

ALEXIS KUERBIS, LCSW, 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.

howard leifman

HOWARD D. LEIFMAN, MA, MSW, CSW, PhD

Board Member

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.

ELIOT LOCITZER

ELIOT LOCITZER

Board Member

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.

NASIR H. NAQVI

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

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.

THOMAS P. OGDEN, JD

BLAIR PAN, MS

Board Member

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.

BRUCE D. TINDAL, ARM, CPIA

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.

STANLEY ZAREFF

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

David Rosenstein

Peter Santoro

Rev. Paul Smith

Lee B. Stephens III