Mrs. Overton has served on Mercy Haven's Board since 2003 and has been Board President since 2008. "What I love about working with Mercy Haven is commitment and dedication of both the staff and Board of Directors," she explains. Dottie, as she's known to friends and associates, is Vice President and Branch Manager of Empire National Bank in Islandia.
Patrick T. Collins
A partner in Commercial Litigation at Farrell Fritz, Patrick T. Collins joined Mercy Haven's Board of Directors because he was touched by the mission and wanted to be a part of an organization with a clear purpose of changing the lives of those in need. A memorable experience that Pat shares is of the 2007 Fall Cocktail Party fundraiser where three young women shared their dreams and future goals, and how Mercy Haven has provided safe, clean and stable environments for their families. The follow up article in The Window, Mercy Haven's newsletter featured pictures of the speaker beaming with pride. "It was a very touching moment," says Pat. "It is important to be a part of something larger and I like that my work as a volunteer will impact future generations."
Ronald J. Eagar
Ron Eagar volunteers his time because he feels that he has been very lucky and successful in his life, and he wants to pay it forward. "I hold a special place in my heart for this mission and wanted to join to help the mission and the people in need." Born in Bethpage, NY and raised in Massapequa, Mr. Eagar has had so many memorable experiences and moments with Mercy Haven that he says he cannot limit it to just any one. Proud father and devoted husband, Mr. Eagar aids most in the financial planning of Mercy Haven. Through his position as a Certified Public Accountant and partner at Grassi & Co., Mr. Eagar brings deep financial knowledge and experience to the Mercy Haven Board.
Fred Brendel has served on Mercy Haven’s Board since 2009. “What I like most Mercy Haven,” Fred says, “is the dedication and fortitude of all the Mercy Haven employees. Their dedication to each of the residents and their concerns is exceptional.” Mr. Brendel, a financial planning specialist for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, shared that one of his most memorable Mercy Haven moments was hearing the story of a Breakthrough participant. “Listening to the past struggles of this man and how Mercy Haven has changed his life was very moving,” said Fred. Sharing stories of participants is critical to raising awareness. Fred points out, “The average Long Islander does not even realize that this population of people exists. With the hard work of all the Mercy Haven staff, these individuals now have a chance to move forward in life.”
Ninonde “Nina” Cabrol first became involved with Mercy Haven 5 years ago as a volunteer for the Breakthrough Program and joined the Board in 2013. After attending her first meeting, she quickly realized “that everyone gives their time in all capacities for the betterment of the community.” In addition to working as a Pharmacy Technician/Gatekeeper for PipelineRX, Inc. and continuing her studies toward her Master’s Degree, Nina is a hands-on mom who is very involved in the activities of her twin boy and girl. She enjoys her volunteer activities with Mercy Haven, and states “our community will always need advocates to help those with a special need. With an emphasis being placed on Mental Health awareness today, Mercy Haven has not only set the path for recognition, but will no doubt continue to expose what residents require to live meaningful lives on a daily basis.” Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, Nina currently resides in Bay Shore with her family.
Paul Conefry, a self-employed Certified Public Accountant, says that being on Mercy Haven's Board of Directors allows him the opportunity to make an immediate positive impact in changing the lives of individuals the agency serves. Mr. Conefry has chaired the Annual Golf Outing committee in since 2007. "I enjoy the challenge of meeting the agency's fundraising goals and the responsibility of staying on budget," he says, adding that "working closely with Mercy Haven's marketing department to reach out to the community reinforces my commitment to the mission." In the future, Mr. Conefry sees "Mercy Haven expanding to serve larger populations of people in need because the agency is stable and well-managed by forward-thinking management and board members."
Gail Donheiser, RN, LNC, MA, JP, is the vice president of risk management and patient safety for Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital—eastern regional members of Catholic Health Services (CHS). She is responsible for managing risk and patient safety issues, providing direct oversight for these programs at all three hospitals. She has more than 25 years experience in health care and has been with CHS since 2002, serving as administrator of risk management and legal services at St. Charles.
Ed Grayson, Mercy Haven’s voice for the residents, comes to our Board of Directors with an “interest in giving back and helping others in their challenges of living a normal life.” Living with a mental illness and rising from homelessness, Ed credits the selfless efforts of the staff at Mercy Haven for his determination to “continue being a part of Mercy Haven's incredible work that helped me put my life back together.” As for his role and future work for the Board, Ed plans “to continue being very successful in changing the hearts and minds of people about the reason why we're here, and to honor the work and mission of Mercy Haven.” A musician who is also employed part-time with Mercy Haven, Ed was born and raised in Brooklyn, is a proud father of three, and now resides in Bay Shore.
Proud mother of 3 beautiful girls, Tenaiyah, Destiny and Desiree, Denise Green-Jackson also prides herself on being an advocate for mental health consumers. She joined Mercy Haven because upon hearing the history of the agency, she wanted to be a part of its future. A reading enthusiast, Ms. Green-Jackson also volunteers her time because she feels it is for a very worthy cause. She sees the future of Mercy Haven expanding and having a lasting impact on the Long Island community. Ms. Green-Jackson says that her most memorable moment with Mercy Haven was at the Gala celebrating 20 years of service, held in 2005. "It was memorable because it was an evening of celebration," she says.
Patrick J. Hickey
"Sister Pat motivated me to become involved," says Patrick J. Hickey."I have never encountered a person who is as motivated and productive as Sister Pat. She is a difference maker. If the whole world lived like Sister Pat, the world would be a wonderful place." A Commercial Loan Officer for Empire National Bank, Mr. Hickey is a native of Far Rockaway. Proud to be a contributor at Mercy Haven, his most memorable experiences include hearing testimonials from the participants about Mercy Haven, and seeing how positively the organization is impacting their lives. "I joined Mercy Haven’s mission because I strongly believe that Mercy Haven does make a difference."
Anthony A. Lauto
Anthony Lauto was introduced to Mercy Haven by Advisory Council member, Katie Connors and was motivated to join the board by Sister Pat’s “urban legend.” After attending the 30th Anniversary Gala, Mr. Lauto was impressed with the mission and accomplishments of Mercy Haven. With a background in real-estate and property development and design, Anthony brings his award winning knowledge of green building techniques to Mercy Haven. “I have a strong desire to share my abilities so that others can benefit by them,” says Anthony, “I hope to help Mercy Haven improve the efficiency, environment and performance of the projects it builds.” Born in Brooklyn and raised in Huntington, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family, travel, vintage automobiles, photography, music and cooking.
Jane Macina, a Marketing and Training Liaison for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, would like to provide creative ways to generate funds to support the many programs offered. She states “the compassion Mercy Haven demonstrates by creating an environment to restore dignity and independence, by providing homes, teaching skills to enter the work force, and cultivating creativity, is the type of organization I want to volunteer my time to support.” She believes in giving back to the community and recognizes the blessing in her life and the desire to share these blessings with those less fortunate. As for her vision of where Mercy Haven is heading, she believes that “the services provided by Mercy Haven will be in high demand in the future. I feel Mercy Haven will continue to grow to meet these demands, as long as we can develop more sources of funding.” Living and raising her family in Northport for 30 years, her proudest accomplishment is her daughter, a writer and philanthropist who volunteers her time as a board member of a non-profit supporting ALS in Boston.
Tom Quigley comes to Mercy Haven after being introduced to the mission through Advisory Council members and old high school friends, Bryan Farrell and Kathleen Scanlon. He enjoys a fulfilling career as a lawyer practicing commercial litigation with Winston & Strawn, LLP, but offers “I have reached a point in my life where I would like to spend more time giving back.” Before joining the Board, Tom served on our recent Golf Outing committee, and currently sits on our Development Committee. Asked why he volunteers his time on the Board and various sub-committees, Tom responded “The short answer is because I can. I have been very fortunate and have never forgotten the ideals of my Catholic education in general and Jesuit education in particular: we are here to serve others, particularly those in need.” He has a vision to see Mercy Haven grow to serve more constituents over the years. Born in Brooklyn, raised in South Huntington, Tom currently resides in Garden City with his family.
Douglas Russell, Ph.D.
After spending 25 years in the marketing and advertising field Doug Russell transferred his skills to the public sector, joining the Nassau County Department of Health and Human Services. He is also a faculty member in the Psychology Department at Farmingdale State College. Dr. Russell was drawn to Mercy Haven because of its unique range of services. “Mercy Haven fills a very special niche in helping the homeless, especially those with mental illness or other major challenges,” he explains. “Mercy Haven’s formula of advocacy and housing is right and needs to be expanded.” His most memorable Mercy Haven moment was attending a graduation ceremony of the Breakthrough Program. “The gratitude and hope I saw on the faces of the people graduating was very uplifting and reminds me of why the time we spend helping others is so valuable and meaningful.” The proud father of six was born and raised in Lindenhurst, NY and currently resides in Oakdale.
Mark Sandberg, Ph.D.
A member of Mercy Haven's Board of Directors for more than a decade, Mark Sandberg's main motive for joining was "to make a difference." Dr. Sandberg operates a private practice in clinical neuropsychology in Smithtown and holds a wealth of knowledge that is most helpful in the planning of Mercy Haven's programs and services. He sees the future of Mercy Haven as bright. "I believe the agency will continue its trajectory and become the premier agency for assisting persons with disabilities."
Board Member Joe Singleton passed away in November of 2016 after serving on the Board for 8 years. He brought his steadfast commitment, intelligence, generosity and humor to all of our gatherings. We will miss him dearly.
Born and raised in Mt. Kisco, New York, Joe spent 51 years in the field of education. A proud husband, father and grandfather, he served as a teacher, program administrator, Assistant Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent, and assisted many Districts in Nassau and Suffolk County as a consultant, interim Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent. When joining the board, he explained "I joined Mercy Haven to help some of the most underserved residents of Long Island who have been bypassed by government and society."
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