Meet the Board

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Ruth Wells
Vice Chair
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 Ruth Wells and her husband Jim Knight, Peekskill homeowners since 1988, have put down deep roots in their adopted home town. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, educated in public schools there, Ruth received her BA from Oberlin College and MFA from Temple University.  From 1969 to 2012 she worked as a designer and assistant designer of sets and costumes for theater, opera, ballet and finally, television, spending 23 years as an Art Director on ABC’s One Life to Live, winning two Emmy Awards.  Ruth first became involved in the civic life of Peekskill in 1999 while volunteering on a local election campaign.  She volunteered on the Middle School Bond Campaign and served the Peekskill City Scholl District’s Strategic Plan Evaluation Committee. Since 2008, Ruth has served on Peekskill’s Planning Commission, and is now its Vice Chair.

In 2005 Ruth joined the Board of CHOP, Inc.  As Secretary, Chair, and now Vice Chair she has worked to alleviate homelessness and hunger in her community. She helped found Fred’s Pantry, a joint project of CHOP and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Today she coordinates distribution of 14,000 meals annually.

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Ron Maurer
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I was born in the Bronx, New York in 1951 and attended James Monroe High School. I went to Mercy College and graduated from a certificate program in Behavioral Sciences. I became a State Certified Emergency Medical Technician.

I worked in the private pyschiatric sector as a Mental Health Worker, and then was promoted to Staff Development Department doing in-service education training for the various disciplines. I did outreach in a local Westchester Community with teens at risk for addiction and maladaptive behavior.

I am presently a Clinical Unit Manager at a 160 residential treatment facility and high school. I run a 40 bed unit for adolescents who attend high school and receive treatment for their addictions. I am a state licensed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor.

I began working at the Jan Peek Shelter in 2007 as a Warming Site Coordinator, providing service to drop-ins. I also filled per diem shifts as a Client Care Worker, and also was the acting Case Manager at times. I was honored to have been asked to be a Board Member in February 2013.

 

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Stephen Ryan
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I joined the board of Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill in January 2012. Peekskill was my first New York hometown (after moving from Boston in 1975), and I am now proud to be part of an organization that makes such a meaningful contribution to this community. Between the Jan Peek Shelter, the Sunny Donut breakfast program and Fred’s Pantry, CHOP works hard to help those in our community who need our attention and care the most. I am honored and grateful to be a member of the board of CHOP.

I moved to Croton-on-Hudson in 1977, where my wife and I raised our two children. I am a Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley in the Mount Kisco office, an avid golfer, and a big hockey fan.

 

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Pat Braja
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Pat Braja, a ten year resident of Peekskill, brings over 20 years non-profit experience to the CHoP Board.  In 2004, she moved to Peekskill and immediately got involved in the community.  Pat worked for the Peekskill Arts Council, worked for the Paramount Center for the Arts from 2007 – 2011, and became an active member of the Peekskill Rotary in 2006.  Currently, Pat is the director of development for the Westchester Library System and in addition to serving on the CHOP Board, she serves on the boards of Lifetime Arts, Inc. and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Pat learned about the CHOP through her work with the Peekskill Rotary serving meals on Wednesdays and working with her Chapel Hill neighbors to make home-made nutritious meals for the JanPeek twice a month.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve on the CHOP Board.  The organization fills an important need in northern Westchester. I believe that everyone deserves to have a good meal every day and a warm bed to sleep in every night.  In Westchester, we are so blessed – no one should go to bed hungry or without a roof over their head.”

Pat is the mother of two grown children, a son, Michael who works for the US State Department as a foreign service officer and a daughter, Katie, a yoga instructor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glenn Rickles
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Glenn has been volunteering at the Jan Peek shelter for the past 6 years and has served on the Board of Directors for the past 4 years.  CHOP meets critical housing, food and support needs for many in the Peekskill area.  “It’s an honor and a personally fulfilling part of my life to be involved in the mission of CHOP.”

 

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The Rev. Jan Nunley

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Mother Jan and her wife, Susan Erdey, have lived in Peekskill since 2000. Born in Mississippi and raised in Texas, Jan received her B.A. in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio and her M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. From 1975 to 1996, she worked as an award-winning radio and television news reporter, photographer, anchor and writer for stations in San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Boston. From 1991 to 1996, she was Director of Development for the World Media Foundation as well as newscaster for National Public Radio’s environmental news program, Living on Earth.
Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1995, she has served as deputy director of communications for the Episcopal Church’s national headquarters in Manhattan, director of communications for Political Research Associates and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, rector of a Providence, RI parish, and a traveling “supply priest” to two small congregations in Orange County, NY.
Since 2013, she has been priest-in-charge at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Peekskill, where she and Susan have been members since 2000.
She is a past vice president of Historic Peekskill, Inc., interim secretary for the Peekskill Area Pastors Association (PAPA), and serves as a member of the City of Peekskill’s Board of Ethics. In 2014, Mother Jan joined the Board of CHOP, Inc. as part of her commitment to Fred’s Pantry, a joint project of CHOP and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

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Patrick Norberto

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A Bronx native, Patrick joined the C.H.O.P. board of directors in 2014. He has more than two decades of experience in helping nonprofit organizations strengthen and grow, especially in the areas of fundraising and program management. He is a long-time advocate for programs designed to improve the quality of life for the disenfranchised and voiceless.

A graduate of Fordham University, Patrick is an accomplished fundraising executive with a background in major & annual gift programs, planned giving, capital campaigns, grant writing and special events planning. And he is a blogger on all things non-profit, “Mission is Everything”.

Patrick’s first experience with C.H.O.P. happened more than a decade ago through his church, Yorktown United Methodist Church, whose members serve dinner for the residents of Jan Peek Shelter on the first Sunday of every month. He also goes on Midnight Runs with fellow church members, bringing food and clothing to the homeless on the streets of NYC.

Patrick lives in neighboring Mohegan Lake with his wife, Debbie, an accomplished church music director and three children: college students Josh and Heather, and middle-schooler Grace.

 

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Lee Henry

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Lee Henry was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and has lived in Cortlandt Manor with his wife and two children since 2006. Lee received his B.S. Degree from Hofstra University in 2002 and is the owner of Red Carpet Professional Services, a residential and commercial carpet cleaning company in Westchester. Lee is an active entrepreneur currently pursuing various business interests. He enjoys his leisure with his children, reading, listening to music, dancing, and developing his game as a beginning golfer.

“I am honored to serve ChoP as a Board Member to ensure that the people of our community have a bed to sleep, a warm meal to eat, and the possibility of a new future to live into.”

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Steven Feldman

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Steven Feldman joined the board of CHOP in 2011. He has been serving as the board Chairman for the last year and a half. Steven is a long time Peekskill resident and lives with his Wife Angela. Steven owns and operates All Weather Home & Building Improvement, a full service residential and commercial building company. He also owns and operates Reliable Maintenance Solutions, a full service commercial real estate management company. Steven enjoys the company of his dogs and cats and is also on the SPCA board in Northern Westchester. When Steven is not working he dedicates much of his time to the community in which he lives. He is a Lieutenant in the Peekskill Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Rotary Club of Peekskill and a member of FASNEY.

“I feel selfish sometimes when I work with CHOP. I enjoy volunteering my time, but often feel like I get back more than I give. I have not found an organization that does more or cares more for the population they serve then does CHOP. It is a blessing to work with such a wonderful board and executive director in an effort to end hunger and homelessness in Peekskill and its surroundings!”

 

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