Board of Directors

Arcelio Aponte, President
Barclays

The Board of Directors of La Casa de Don Pedro consists of talented individuals that provide expertise to La Casa’s lines of business, represent Newark based businesses, and reflect the community that La Casa serves. The 18 member board provide direction and oversight and utilizes an active committee structure to undertake its work. The committees are: Executive, Finance & Asset Management, Governance, and Resource Development & Marketing Committees. The Board is also responsible for selecting and assessing the Executive Director, who is the chief operating officer, and in whom the Board delegates operational and administrative responsibilities.

Board of Directors

Arcelio Aponte, President, Barclays         

Rita E. Robles, Vice President, Legal Service of New Jersey

Daniel Czerniawski, Treasurer, Actors Federal Credit Union

Antonio Valla, Secretary, RBH Group

Jossue Bonilla, Bank of America

Margaret Cammarieri, American Heart Association

Enrique Dilone, Amicus Therapeutics

Dawn Gammon, Prudential Financial

Steven Gomez, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation

Dr. Gayle Griffin

Lanny Kurzweil, McCarter & English, LLP

Zoraya Lee-Hamlin, RayZo Marketing Inc.

Jesus Mercado Jr., Secretary-at-Large

Eltia Montano Galarza

Fatima S. Raymond, Township of Union

Richard W. Roper, Immediate Past President

Ivette Rosario, Rutgers University-Newark

Nicholas Scalera, Scalera Consulting Services

Grizel Ubarry, GUbarry, Inc. Board Consultant

Senior Management Team

Raymond Ocasio, Executive Director

La Casa de Don Pedro’s leadership team’s personal experiences, professional track record and perseverance, ongoing training and leadership on coalitions and advisory boards, make us uniquely qualified to lead an organization whose foundation is to build community resilience. With an average La Casa tenure of 17 years, we are regional experts in our respective fields. Six grew into their position, promoted internally with two beginning as program participants. Most grew up in Newark or similar communities, faced similar challenges as our constituents, while others have community-based experience exposing them to these conditions.

Trend setters in neighborhood planning, multi-cultural preschool education, and foreclosure prevention, La Casa is regarded as the go-to organization for peer-to-peer learning and advice.

Raymond Ocasio, Executive Director

Carrie Puglisi, Director of Program & Fund Development

Raquel D.  Merlino, Chief Financial Officer

Julia Ochoa, Director of Finance

Enid Roldán, Director of Business Office

Yun Shin, Division Director, Early Childhood Education                

Maria P. Stephen, Deputy Director, Education & Disability Services, Early Childhood Education

Laura Vazquez, Deputy Director, Operations, Early Childhood Education

Dr. Carmen Pelaez, Deputy Director, Mental Health, Early Childhood Education

Edward Hernandez, Division Director, Youth, Family and Health Services

Jacqueline Martinez, Deputy Director, Youth, Family & Health Services

Rosalina WendyMelendez, Division Director, Personal Development

Gregory Hodne, Deputy Director, Personal Development

Louis Prezeau, Jr., Division Director, Community and Economic Development

Norma Sessa, Division Director, Community Improvement

Cecelia S. Aiken,Home Energy Assistance Program Manager

Christopher Pagan. Weatherization Program Manager