Forever Families Through Adoption

Who's On Our Board of Directors?

Nancy E. Laxer

President, Nancy has worked at the Kings County District Attorney's Office since 1984. After a number of years trying cases, including over six years trying homicide cases, she served in a number of supervisory positions. Nancy served as Executive Assistant District Attorney in charge of a trial bureau where she trained and supervised approximately 45 attorneys as well as a number of support staff.

In 2010 Nancy was awarded the Robert N . Kaye Memorial award by the Kings County Criminal Bar Association. In February 2014, she was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Administration. In this role she serves as the EEO officer for the agency's 1200 employees responding to complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment. As EEO Officer she investigates all allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment and prepares reports of her findings and makes recommendations to the District Attorney regarding disciplinary action against those found to have committed acts of discrimination and sexual harassment. 

Nancy remains an active member of the FFTA Executive Committee, Financial Committee and Fund Raising Committee and has helped to raise well over $ 75,000 for FFTA’s education and outreach in the community. Her strong commitment to the pursuit of justice and high ethical standards continues to allow her to bring a significant and positive perspective to the Board of FFTA.

Karen A. Eisenberg

Treasurer, Karen has been involved in the financial world since 1979 where she worked for 14 years at American Savings Bank, starting as a teller and ultimately being promoted to systems analyst in the headquarters when she left and moved on to become a full time parent. When Karen returned to the work force she began to work independently as a bookkeeper for many individual clients, small business and accountants and continues to do so today. Karen was involved with FFTA from its inception until 2009 as the in-house bookkeeper and has always had a special interest in the nonprofit world and the mission of FFTA. Karen served three consecutive terms as Treasurer for the PTA at her local children’s elementary school and the New Rochelle High School. Her knowledge and experience with the internal financial workings at FFTA and prior Board experience continues to serve as an asset to FFTA in her capacity as Treasurer.

Sam Karliner

Secretary - attended Binghamton University and The New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts attaining his J.D. Sam began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and rose to the level of a Senior Trial Assistant where he handled homicides and other high profile cases. In 1994 he formed the practice of Adler & Karliner, a practice that is devoted to the law of Criminal Defense. While proud of his professional accomplishments, it is his personal life that that he is even more proud of. In 1995 he and his wife became members of the Adoptive Parents Committee (APC) and successfully adopted twin boys. Besides his family and professional life, Sam is very active in the local community and for the last four years has been the Chairman of the Youth Committee at the Westchester Jewish Center overseeing all youth activities for grades 3 through 12. In addition, he serves as a Board Member for the United Synagogue Youth Metropolitan Region.

Sam’s personal adoption experience as well as his professional and life experiences make him an asset to FFTA and we welcome him to the Board.

Sandra Doerr

Board Member along with her husband, is a proud adoptive parent through FFTA. A graduate of Syracuse University, Sandra has made her career in the highly competitive field of Sports television. She developed her career at ESPN working on cornerstone events such as X Games, Great Outdoor Games and Golf. She is currently Director of Remote Operations for NBC Sports Network and is responsible for the organization, budgeting and management of all the network’s college and professional sports properties from PAC12 to Tour de France, NHL and MLS. For years, Sandra was a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “Women Against MS Luncheon” committee, and she still participates yearly in MS fundraisers. She is also involved with the United Way, and with her husband, is an avid supporter of the animal rescue group, PAWS. Sandra’s experience in organizing and executing large events, along with the insight and experience she gained during her own adoption process will make her valuable asset to FFTA.

Marta Moya-Goldenberg (LCSW)

Board Member, is a bilingual, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is licensed in New York, Massachusetts, and Florida. Marta has extensive volunteer experience on non profits Boards including being Treasurer of Hispanos Unidos Day Care Center Board of Directors and assistant director of El Ecuatorian, an Ecuadorian newspaper. She also worked at the Brockton Dialysis Center to organize and facilitate emotional and educational support groups, and provide counseling for dialysis patients and families. Marta is certified as a School Administrator and worked as the Supervisor of School Social Workers on the Committee on Special Education in New York City where she was also the coordinator of the Surrogate Parents Program. Marta has worked with and provided counseling for disadvantaged children as well as incarcerated women. Her service to these populations has earned her several awards such as the Award for Outstanding Service to the community from the Hispanos Unidos Adult Education and the Award Valores Humanos given by channel 47 for community services. She is also a lecturer at the graduate school level on child abuse: detection, referral and treatment. Marta’s extensive experience in the social service field with various populations as well as her work with cultural and community resources make her a valuable member to FFTA and support of its mission.

Rachel Lauria

Board Member -  comes to FFTA with experience in the adoption field as an adoptee and a Licensed Social Worker. Prior to returning to school for her M.S.W., Rachel worked in the field of child welfare as a Case Manager in child protective services and adoption for the state of New Jersey. As a graduate student at Columbia University School of Social Work, she studied both practice and programs, which provided valuable experience in program evaluation and program development as well as experience in clinical social work with all populations from children and families to the aging population. Upon her graduation, Rachel began a career as a QI Compliance Coordinator for one of New York’s oldest nonsectarian child welfare agencies until the birth of her first daughter in 2010. Since that time, she has had another daughter and has continued the valuable work of raising her two children as a stay-at-home mother. While raising her family, she has also volunteered as a Board Member for the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) from 2010 to 2012 and she has served as a volunteer on numerous committees for the NASW. She is passionate about adoption looks forward to beginning a new Board position at FFTA that will allow her to give back to her community while pursuing her passion. 

Roberto (Rob) Olazagasti

Board Member, along with his partner, have recently become adoptive parents to their daughter through Forever Families Through Adoption. Rob currently works as a science Teacher in the New York City public school system. He is also actively involved with several gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender non-profit community organizations such as DirectEffect, The Center’s Wannabe Moms and Dads, and God’s Love We Deliver. Rob’s personal experience as an adoptive father, along with his involvement in the education system and the gay community make him an asset to the Board of Directors for Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. Rob is a native Spanish-speaker and he is able to assist FFTA and FFTA clients with issues that are relevant to the Hispanic community.

Sam Pitkowsky

Board Member, is the adoptive parent of two daughters; one from Honduras, and the other from the Dominican Republic. Sam has been an active member of the Adoptive Parents Committee, Inc. (APC) for over 30 years and currently serves as the President of APC, a parent support group serving  New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut families. Sam has represented APC at Joint Council, The Hague Alliance, National Council for Adoption (NCFA), AFFCYN (formerly Citizens Coalition for NY ADOPTION), and the Advisory Council on Intercountry Adoption (ACIA). He has also provided testimony in favor of adoption on Capitol Hill and in 1994 before Congress on the Hague Treaty.  With his extensive volunteer work and expertise on international adoption issues, he remains a valuable asset in the guidance of FFTA’s International as well as Domestic programs. Sam has been rightly named one of the 2007 Congressional Angels in Adoption.

Leah West

Board Member, has more than 20 years of experience in brand strategy, corporate marketing, Public Relations and creative facilitation. She has collaborated with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Better Homes & Gardens and Reader’s Digest. Currently, she owns a boutique consulting company that provides senior-level counsel to a handpicked group of clients. In addition, she is a Program Leader for Decker Communications, where she helps business professionals become more impactful and influential speakers. Leah earned a Master’s degree in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and a Bachelor’s degree in Literature & Rhetoric from Binghamton University. She resides in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and two dogs. Leah has been a very dedicated volunteer helping FFTA with its marketing strategy and fundraiser events. FFTA continues to benefit from Leah’s creative guidance and involvement as a Board Member of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.

Victor Kapella

Board Member, is a lifelong Information Technology consultant with over 30 years of experience helping large clients, in diverse industries including global finance, service provider and pharmaceutical research, achieve complex business objectives. His work often involves assessing business and technical objectives, then developing large-scale programs of work that implement technology to achieve these objectives. His work has taken him across the United States and across the globe to Europe and Asia. Originally born and raised in Alaska, Victor has set down roots in Rye Brook. He has a strong connection to the adoption community through his wife and her two adopted children who he has helped raise since 2002. Through them, he was introduced to the important work performed by Forever Families Through Adoption and has been instrumental in assisting with FFTA’s fundraising events.

 

 

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