As a nonprofit organization, Forestdale deeply values the trust that has been placed in us. Partners trust us to carry out joint projects; governments and private entities trust our ability to safeguard children and families; and donors trust us to use their funds to innovate with evidence-based approaches that can positively transform child welfare as we know it. To safeguard this critical trust, Forestdale is committed to best practices in governance, accountability and transparency. Our talented leadership team helps to direct and implement Forestdale’s strategies and advances our mission to end the intergenerational transmission of poverty and trauma among low income families in Queens.
Bill Weisberg, PhD has worked in the fields of youth services and international conflict resolution since 1981 motivated by the conviction that children deserve to flourish free from the obstacles of poverty and war. He is currently Executive Director of Forestdale, Inc, a leading family service organization in Queens, New York. He is working with the Forestdale team to continue to develop wrap-around supports that help families in distress create the conditions for their children to thrive, from evidence-based treatments increasing secure attachment in children to prevention programs that promote the long-term growth of families to internship programs that place young people on a path to adult success. Prior to Forestdale, he was with The Children’s Aid Society (CAS), where he held a variety of positions, including Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer. He developed two strategic plans while at CAS to reshape its services into a cradle-through-college continuum of services in 4 distressed communities. He worked to bring the full-service community school strategy to scale, to create a state-of-the-art service center for young people who are out-of-work and out-of-school, to develop the African American Male Initiative, and to implement new family asset-building cash transfer and college savings initiatives. He helped to design and implement a collective impact strategy, building a cradle through college pathway for children living in poverty. In international affairs, Bill has been a facilitator of multi-party talks to address conflicts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, the Haitian Diaspora, and the Mohawk Nation. His manuscripts on ethnic relations appear in three books. Dr. Weisberg graduated from PS 7-8 in downtown Brooklyn, JHS 104 in lower Manhattan, LaGuardia High School. SUNY Binghamton (BA, Psychology), and Harvard University (MA, PhD, Social Psychology).
Robert Aguirre, CFO, develops and manages agency’s $19 Million+ annual operating budget, manages organization’s cash flow and working capital, including management of billing and vendor relationships, conducts quarterly budget presentations to Board of Trustees, and prepares/reviews financial reports for funders. Mr. Aguirre oversees Forestdale’s annual operating budget and financial operations. In his capacity as CFO, he ensures that Forestdale maintains its track record of financial strength and fiscal responsibility that our community and funders have come to expect. He joined Forestdale in 2016 after serving as Deputy Director of Operations at The Children’s Aid Society where he oversaw budget and operations for their School-Age division. Mr. Aguirre has an MPA and BBA from Baruch College, where he was also a National Urban Fellow, and is a lifelong resident of Queens.
Rosemarie Ewing-James, LMSW, Associate ED of Programs has 26 years’ experience working with families and provides administrative oversight to all of Forestdale’s client service programming, with the exception of clinical programs and Strong Mothers. Ms. Ewing-James most recently held the position of Assistant Executive Director at Forestdale and oversaw all foster care and adoption programs. She holds an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and Social Psychology from Swarthmore College, and is a longtime resident of southeast Queens. She directly supervises the Asst. ED of Foster Care, Administrative Director of Preventive Services, Director of Strong Futures/Youth Development, and the Administrative Director of Strong Fathers. Rosemarie is responsible for continued program compliance with all institutional, governmental, and regulatory guidelines
Linda Ford heads Forestdale’s Strong Families - Foster Care, therapeutic foster care and adoption programs. Before coming to Forestdale, she was a Program Director at Steinway Child and Family Services, working with adults with severe mental illnesses. The Bronx native has also worked as a substance abuse counselor, a hospital-based social worker and a case planner for pregnant mothers in foster care.
Lorraine Gonzalez-Camastra, LCSW - R, is a social service professional in New York State with more than 20 years of experience in social work practice, public policy, and non-profit management. Since she started at Forestdale four years ago, In her role as the Assistant Executive Director, she is responsible for has overseeing Forestdale's health and clinical services, program development, and evaluation. Ms. Gonzalez-Camastra has holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She has served on the Boards for of several non-profit organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers-NYC and the Coalition for School-based Health Centers in New York State. Known for her project management, organizational, clinical, and policy advocacy expertise, she is also a very nice person and a wonderful baker.
Krista Larson joined Forestdale as the Assistant Executive Director for Preventive Services in July, 2020. She brings over 25 years of experience as a social worker, serving young people and families through direct practice, program development and management, and policy advocacy. Most recently she was the Director of the Center on Youth Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice, a national criminal justice reform organization based in NYC.
Rachel Tzimorotas, Esq. is Forestdale's General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director of Operations. Ms. Tzimorotas oversees several Forestdale operational units, including Development/Community Engagement, HR, IT, and Facilities. Additionally, all capital/renovation projects for all three Forestdale locations (i.e., in Jamaica & Forest Hills, Queens, and Downtown Brooklyn), fall under her management. As General Counsel for Forestdale, she coordinates all work performed by outside counsel. She joined Forestdale in 2011 after working as a Family Court Legal Services attorney with the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS). Ms. Tzimorotas graduated from St. John's University School of Law and went on to work as an Assistant D.A. in Kings County for six years and then practiced medical malpractice litigation before her tenure at ACS.
Anstiss Agnew, LCSW, is Senior Advisor to Forestdale, researching new strategies – especially those to ensure that when young people leave foster care they have the resources and caring support to succeed socially, academically and professionally. Ms. Agnew formerly served as Forestdale’s Executive Director from 2006 - 2016. Ms. Agnew brings more than 40 years of experience in organizational leadership and therapeutic practice, including eight years as Associate Director and Executive Director of Inwood House. An expert in adolescent health, Ms. Agnew began her career in 1971 as coordinator of a community mental health center in New Mexico.
Derek Carter joined Forestdale in November 2014, and oversees the Strong Fathers program as its Administrative Director. Prior to joining Forestdale, Mr. Carter worked for 30 years with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. During that time he worked in various areas within ACS including the Family Preservation Program. Mr. Carter also served as ACS representative in the Brooklyn Fatherhood Coalition. He last served as Director of Field Operations in the Division of Child Protection and received his BA in Urban Studies from Queens College and a MS in Urban Policy and Administration from Brooklyn College.
Javier Estrada Joined Forestdale in December 2015 and oversees The Facilities Department as the Director of Facilities. Before joining Forestdale Javier worked as the Director Of Operations for The New York Public Library for 10 Years and oversaw all Operations for 85 of its locations throughout Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx. Javier Loves to Spend time with his Family on his spare time as well as work on his cars.
Danielle B. Fuller is a capacity leader offering comprehensive experience in senior-level planning, administration, resource development, and goal setting with expertise in program and youth development. International and nationally recognized practitioner well versed at improving systems and developing comprehensive professional development curricula for the social service field. Consistent record of success in effectively developing resources, building healthy work environments, staff morale, strong teams through: professional communication, devotion to ethical practice, and leading by example. Ms. Fuller came to Forestdale with 20 years of leadership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. Most recently, Ms. Fuller served as Chief Program Officer, where her responsibilities included strategic planning, fundraising, and managing the operations, marketing, and quality of programs that served 4,000 youth annually. Ms. Fuller received her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work and her BA from SUNY Stony Brook.
Rose Jones, MSW, is the Clinical Director of Preventive Services, and she monitors the safety and risk concerns for families to prevent out-of-home placement. She has over 18 years’ experience working with families at risk. Ms. Jones graduated from Lehman College with a MS in Special Education --- Learning Disabilities. After having taught “boys at risk” at DeWitt High School in the Bronx, Ms. Jones decided to return to school. She enrolled in the Graduate School of Social Services at Fordham and graduated with an MSW. She currently holds an LCSW-R license and advocates for families by procuring entitlements and providing access to information related to job/career opportunities and affordable housing.
Suchireta Kapoor oversees the Children’s Health Home Care Management Program and Forestdale's medical clinic. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Stony Brook University in 2009 and is an LMSW. Ms. Kapoor has been working in the field of social services and child welfare for the past 10 years. She was born and raised in Queens and has an extensive knowledge of the community resources that this borough has to offer.
Roseann Lowe is the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services and she started at Forestdale in 2016. A graduate NYU School of Social Work, LCSW-R, she has worked in mental health for her entire career. Prior to Forestdale she worked as a Director of School Based Mental Health Programs in Brooklyn with The Institute for Community Living for 15 years. She is motivated by seeing the potential and the growth in families, and elping to advocate and support children and families. In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and cooking.
Yanick Maakheru is the Director of Development at Forestdale Inc. Forestdale is a child welfare agency that provides comprehensive foster care, preventive, and wrap-around services to more than 1,500 children & families each year. Yanick works with Forestdale’s executive leadership and heads a team of professionals responsible for grant-writing & management, community engagement, individual donor relations, and other fundraising activities that help support Forestdale’s innovative, trauma-informed programming. Ms. Maakheru has over 30 years of experience encompassing work in Fund Development, Grants Management, as well as Program development & implementation within the non-profit sector. She also has extensive Project Management experience with large scale capital projects and short-term initiatives of varying duration and scope. Before joining Forestdale in 2016, Yanick worked with such well-established NYC-based agencies as A Better Chance, Inc., AHRCNYC, LaGuardia Community College, Urban Health Plan, Hunter College, MCCUSA Ltd, and the BMS, Joseph P. Addabbo, and Access Family Health Centers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Nutrition Sciences from Brooklyn College, CUNY.
Dominique Manfreda, LMSW, is the Administrative Director of Behavioral Health Services at Forestdale. She brings her extensive experience, empathy and energy to assist and support children and families at Forestdale, and has done so since 2018. She previously worked at Lawyers for Children as the Director of the Mental Health Advocacy Project. A resident of Queens, she attended Siena College and Fordham University.
Vicky Minor has been the Director of Human Resources at Forestdale since 2009. Prior to her role here, she was the Associate Director of Investment Banking Recruitment at UBS and the Campus Recruiting Manager for Citigroup in Long Island City.
Darya Moser is the Best Practice Initiatives Director at Forestdale, ensuring that Forestdale adheres to model fidelty by integrating theoretical constructs into a workable practice. Ms. Moser believes that we owe it to the families that we serve to push child welfare practice forward, so that our involvement can lead to positive and sustainable change for children and families. She has worked at Forestdale for 11 years, helping the agency stay abreast of new innovations from Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup (ABC) to the Mockingbird Family Modell to Fair Futures. Her position allows her to stay at the forefront of that innovation by teaming with executive and senior staff to move best practice forward while advocating for children and families. In her spare time she plays tennis at the iconic West Side Tennis Club or bikes down the nearest street path with her very active family.
S. Jasmine Pitts joined Forestdale Inc. in October of 2019. She joins the Forestdale team with more than 20 years of experience in organizational management and child welfare services, starting as a case planner and progressing to leadership positions in a variety of programmatic and administrative roles. Jasmine is an energetic and innovative leader with a proven track record of increasing operational efficiencies through organizational and culture reengineering, including coaching and educational development of her team and has established an impeccable reputation with management, staff and colleagues for being accessible, innovative and holding the highest standards for herself and her team. Jasmine honed her expertise in performance improvement as the Acting Director of Preventive Services and Program Coordinator of Continuous Performance Improvement at Lower East Side Family Union and as the New York State Family Engagement Specialist with Office of Children and Family Services where she conduct best practice trainings and program reviews. Jasmine gained child welfare experience also gathered at Safe Horizon, HeartShare/St. Vincent Services, Abbott House and Good Shepherd credited her with improving organizational structure and implementing new policies to promote high fidelity best practice.
Marlene Pressner joined Forestdale in March 2013 and serves as the Director of Quality and Performance Management. She comes to Forestdale with over 20 years of quality experience in health care and human services organizations. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA from New York University.
In 2019, after three years as a Supervisor within our Strong Families, Foster Care division, Christine was promoted to Director of Forestdale’s Reproductive Health department. She provides oversight, guidance, and strategic direction to the Reproductive Health programs (i.e., Parenting, Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Trauma-informed therapy, and Case Management). She provides direct supervision to MSW interns, and direct services to Spanish-speaking clients. She has over 20 years of experience working with children and families in child welfare and school settings and holds a Master’s degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work. Christine serves as an Adjunct Lecturer for the Department of Social Work at York College. In her spare time, Ms. Rodriguez enjoys spending time with her two sons, her family, and in the great outdoors.