Forever Families Through Adoption
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What's New at FFTA?

In Westchester, Bowling to Celebrate Forever Families and Support a Local Charity

On Sunday, April 3rd, Forever Families Through Adoption (FFTA) held a very special "Family Bowling Party" fundraiser to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Rye Brook-based agency, hosted at the Scarsdale Golf Club bowling alley.

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Former Board Members

Shelly Perlman Foster, (deceased)

President is currently an adjunct professor at the Westchester graduate campus of LIU. Shelly has made many strides within the Education field such as, co-founding and directing the HELP program at Manhattanville College which was developed to provide academic support to college students identified with learning disabilities. Among her Board experiences, she has participated in Section 504 & IEP Committees, Academic Oversight Committees, and has lectured on topics such as transition from high school to college or the workplace, as well as integration of technology into the classroom. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, and as President, Shelly is able to bring her advocacy skills training, and knowledge of the local community to FFTA. She has traveled extensively for International advertising and has a working knowledge of Spanish and French. Being multilingual and connected with the Hispanic culture will serve as an asset to FFTA's International Program in the Dominican Republic. As a parent and educator, she has the skills needed to develop a collaborative environment in which to lead FFTA's Board.

Anne Beier, (retired)

Board Member has been a public librarian in the Westchester Library System, a non-profit organization, since 2005 and has a specialty in Youth Services and Social Media. She has published five, non-fiction books for children about notable African Americans, and about aspects of our government, including The Importance of Being an Active Citizen for second graders. Anne is also a book reviewer for School Library Journal. As an active supporter and involved volunteer for FFTA since 2009, Anne has helped to raise over $5,000 in gift certificates/donations for the annual silent auctions. Additionally, she has helped collect shoes, clothes and books for the orphanages that FFTA supports in Aruba. As a native Westchester resident, Anne is very familiar with the needs of the FFTA community and is appreciative of the invitation to participate on a Board that does such meaningful work in the community and throughout the world.

Richard Cutler, (retired)

Treasurer, will assist in administrating the financial matters of the agency in addition to being able to contribute with any strategic planning of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Richard will also be able to make a contribution to the business management aspects of the agency. His years of business planning, experience in financial matters, in addition to his varied Board experience in private sector and not-for-profit organizations, will help contribute to the start-up, planning, and management of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Richard has assisted the agency in providing cradle care for infants awaiting placement into their forever families. Furthermore, as an adoptive father, his personal life experiences make him an asset to the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.

Hon. Joan Cooney, (retired)

Board Member, is an experienced attorney and Judge, which will enable her to advise Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. in any legal matters that may arise. Former Judge Cooney supervised a Court system of 16 Judges and 11 hearing examiners and has had extensive experience in all facets of adoption and family law. She has already assisted several not-for-profit child advocacy organizations and held positions on many committees and start up projects. Overall, Judge Cooney’s years of legal and professional experience and activities will make her an esteemed member of the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.

Yube Levin, (retired)

Board Member, will be able to oversee any marketing and advertising matters of the agency in addition to being able to contribute with any strategic planning and fundraising of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Mr. Levin is already affiliated with many not-for-profit agencies and this experience will assist him with his decision making for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Overall, Yube’s years of business experience and professional activities make him a valuable member of the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.

Ryann Lyden, (retired)

Secretary, rejoined the Board in 2011to help manage the outreach and fundraising functions of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. As an adoptive mother, Mrs. Lyden brings forth the “mother perspective and language” which can benefit the agency when dealing with prospective adoptive parents because she can closely relate to their needs. As an educator, Ryann can help manage the teaching and training programs the agency will sponsor. In addition,as a former member ofthe community Ryann can help represent Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. because she is familiar with the local hospitals and schools where potential clients might need assistance. With her hands on approach she is a resourceful member of the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. and we are all thrilledto have her accept the role of Secretary.

Gregg Marrazzo (retired)

Board Member - has been a practicing attorney in the Intellectual Property field since 1981. Currently, Gregg is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for The Estee Lauder Companies where he oversees the company’s patent, trademark, copyright and licensing matters worldwide. During his career, Gregg has worked for a wide variety of personal product companies such as Kimberly-Clark, Bausch & Lomb (Ray-Ban), Revlon and Playtex. Gregg has served on the Board of Directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA), the largest organization of brand owners in the world with over 5,000 members from 160 countries, for 6 years. He also was INTA's 2012 President and was selected by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the IP industry. Before returning to New York, Gregg was a member of the Board of his local Wisconsin YMCA for several years. He also was elected Registrar of the Fox Valley Youth Hockey Association where in addition to coordinating the registration and try-out process, he was active in their fundraising efforts. Gregg is a graduate of St. John's "an organization such as FFTA must spread the word about the important work it does and needs the finances to accomplish its goals".

Elizabeth (Betsy) Sorrel, (retired)

Board Member, has had years of experience in the publishing and advertising world where she was involved in all aspects of publishing, with a focus on marketing and sales. In addition, Betsy has extensive experience in fundraising through her years of active volunteer work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundationís Westchester and New York Chapters, and the Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, Connecticut. Betsy was instrumental in assisting FFTA to raise over $ 30,000.00 at its first annual major fund raising event. She is currently a Sales Executive with Prudential Connecticut Realty. Betsyís experience in the marketing and fundraising arenas, and volunteer work for not-for-profit agencies, as well as her never-ending enthusiasm and love for children, makes her an invaluable asset to FFTA.

Curt Launer, (retired)

Board Member, will be able to oversee any financial matters of the agency, in addition to being able to contribute with any strategic planning and fundraising of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Mr. Launer is presently the Managing Director of an Investment firm, and is also affiliated with various not-for-profit agencies such as the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and the Institute of Medical Research at North Shore LIJ and this experience will greatly contribute to his decision-making for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Overall, Mr. Launer’s years of business experience and professional activities will make him an important asset to the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.

Kenneth P. Martin, (retired)

Treasurer, will assist in administrating the financial matters of the agency in addition to being able to contribute with any strategic planning of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Kenís extensive experience working in the financial sector of numerous successful businesses, such as Control Equity Group, inc., and ACC Construction Corporation, will act as a beneficial asset to the FFTA team. In addition, Ken has worked as a financial advisor for more than 20 years, helping developing companies to reorganize and perform to their highest potential. With his love of children and his eagerness to assist non profits with their fundraising efforts, Ken will be an exceptional contribution to FFTA.

Brendan McKiernan, (retired)

Board Member, is one of FFTA’s proud adoptive fathers. Brendan completed his formal education at Fordham University and graduated with a degree in Business Management. He currently works as bartending manager in Rye, New York. In the past, he worked as an investment banker for First Fidelity Capital Corporation. Brendan is also a retired fireman of the New York City Fire Department. Throughout his multiple career endeavors, Brendan has exuded a dedicated, service-oriented, and hard-working spirit. He is a Ranger fan and an avid boatman, but his claim to fame is raising his two sons with wife Lisa - one by birth and one by adoption. His experience with management and his own adoption process will be a valuable asset to FFTA.

Nancy Louden, (retired)

Secretary and retired Board Member is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in the legal department at The Estee Lauder Companies. Nancy is a past president of The New York Women’s Bar Association and has been active in bar association and community organizations. With her legal expertise and drive to help others, Nancy will be able to support the corporate governance responsibilities of FFTA while also supporting the agency’s mission. Nancy currently serves on the Board for The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and The MAC AIDS Fund. Furthermore, as an adoptive mother, her personal life experiences make her an asset to the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Nancy is Chair of FFTA’s Governance Committee.

Lawrence A. Rand, (retired)

Board Member, is Senior Vice President, co-founder and director of Kekst and Company, Inc., a New York-based corporate communications counseling company, a subsidiary of The Publicis Groupe, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing companies. Mr. Rand has had extensive experience in financial public relations and investor relations. Mr. Rand is the former Chairman of the Board and remains an Honorary Trustee of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (The ALS Association), a non-profit health care organization that is dedicated to the eradication of Lou Gehrig's disease and has received that organization's Jacob Javits Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Rand has served as Chairman on the Rye Brook Village's Ethics Board, was elected to the Rye Brook Board of Trustees and then as Mayor of the Village of Rye Brook. He is currently a member of the Westchester County Board of Ethics. FFTA is pleased to have Larry offer his expertise on the financial and auditing committees.

Marlene Marcus, (retired)

Board Member, will be able to manage any teaching and training programs sponsored by Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. in addition to being able to coordinate any fundraising drives. Prior to becoming the President/Owner of her gift basket company Mrs. Marcus was a teacher for the NYC public school system as well as Executive Secretary for a large cosmetics company. Marlene is already affiliated with many not-for-profit agencies such as the American Cancer Society and the Ardsley Education Foundation, and these affiliations coupled with the day-to-day handlings of her company make her an asset to the inner workings of FFTA. Overall, her years of not-for-profit experience and professional activities make her a highly appreciated member of the Board of Directors.

Amy A. Hecht, (retired)

Board Member,  is the founder and clinical director of the Hecht Ribas Group for Psychological Services. A graduate of Gallaudet University’s PhD program in clinical psychology, Amy is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in adoption and families, GLBT families and disability. She is a founding member and president of the Nepal Adoptive Families Association and is particularly proud of the NAFA Nourishes program which provides health and nutritional supports to unparented children in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.  Amy is a Westchester resident and along with her wife, she is the proud parent of four beautiful children including a daughter adopted from Nepal in 2010. As a member of both an extended birth family and an adoptive family Amy brings personal as well as professional experience to her passion for adoption and all members of the adoption constellation. Amy’s experience as both an adoptive parent and a member of an extended birth family as well as her training and clinical experience as an educator, trainer, and clinician in the areas of adoption, race/ethnicity and gender and sexuality have given her skills and expertise that she eagerly continues to contribute to FFTA as a dedicated Board member.