Who's On Our Board of Directors?
Nancy E. Laxer
President, she previously worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County since 1984. She also served as an Executive Assistant District Attorney in a trial bureau where she supervised approximately 45 attorneys as well as a large non-legal staff and served in various other supervisory positions as well as a trial attorney including being assigned as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Homicide Bureau.
In February 2010 Nancy was awarded the Robert N. Kaye Memorial Award by the Kings County Criminal Bar Association. In February 2014, Nancy was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Administration at the Kings County District Attorney's Office. In this new role she supervises the employees of the Operations Department, Office Services, Technical Services, Graphics Department, Payroll and Timekeeping Units and Records Management. As part of her responsibilities she wrote new legal and non-legal manuals for the Office's 1200 employees. She is responsible for liaising with the various Unions representing the 500 plus Union employees and for conducting conferences to deal with disciplinary issues and charges against union employees. In addition, Nancy serves as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for the entire office. In this role she investigates all complaints and allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment, prepares reports of her findings and makes recommendations to the District Attorney regarding disciplinary action against those found to have committed acts of discrimination or sexual harassment.
She is also responsible for r'esponding to complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment filed with outside agencies. Nancy has been a member of the FFTA Executive Committee and Fund Raising Committee and has helped to raise well over $ 50,000 for FFTA’s education and outreach in the community. Ms. Laxer’s 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, 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 3 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 will serve as an asset to FFTA in her capacity as Treasurer.
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.
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.
Amy A. Hecht
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. Amy is a local 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 is eager to contribute to FFTA.
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.
Board Member, is the adoptive parent of two daughters; one from Honduras, and the other from the Dominican Republic. Mr. Pitkowsky currently serves as the President of the New York City Chapter of the Adoptive Parents Committee, Inc. (APC), a parent support group serving over 3,000 New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut families. Sam has represented APC at Joint Council, The Hague Alliance, and the Advisory Council on Intercountry Adoption (ACIA), and 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 will be a valuable asset in the guidance of FFTA’s International program. Sam has been named one of the 2007 Congressional Angels in Adoption.
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 several dogs. Leah has been a very dedicated volunteer helping FFTA with its marketing strategy and fundraiser events. FFTA looks forward to Leah’s creative guidance and involvement as a Board Member of Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc.
Purchase a ticket to our Annual Fundraiser on October 9th, 2014 in advance for $75.00 or at the door for $100.00!
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What's New at FFTA?
Not your typical lawyer. Debbie Wolf got to where she is today one challenging job at a time. After studying psychology in college, her first job was as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. This turned out to be both wrenching and rewarding. One Thanksgiving eve, she was charged with delivering a 6-year-old boy whose mother was mentally ill and abusing drugs to his new foster home. "The place was so bad I refused to leave him there,” she said. “Instead I took him back to my office and we ended up spending the night at work with another co-worker until we found a more suitable alternative."