Strong Leadership for a Better Community
Katherine Maciol, President/CEO
- 30+ years of experience in human services
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Previously the Rensselaer County Commissioner of Mental Health
CEO is an amazing place to work. We serve over 13,000 Capital Region residents each year and we strive to provide the best service we can. Community Action is about taking action to improve the lives of others. “Changing lives and improving our community” is at the heart of our mission… how can you not be passionate about such a great cause?
I wanted to become a Social Worker since I was in high school. The work at CEO embraces the very core of social work values. Helping others, empowerment, respect and dignity, community action and advocacy. Not only do I fit into CEO but CEO fits me! I love the staff, the quality of our work, an amazing community and a great Board of Directors.
Sue Rosa, Vice President
- Graduate of Russell Sage College
- BA degree in Public Administration
- With CEO for almost 24 years and has spent the last 17 years as the Director of Human Resources
We’re constantly seeking opportunities to make a bigger impact on our community and improve the lives of our customers and staff alike.
I love my job because of the variety of responsibilities my position at CEO offers me. At CEO, I’m provided an opportunity to utilize an array of skill sets that encourage and support me personally and professionally. I’m allowed to be creative and independent and that promotes a workforce that is innovative.
Mary O’Grady, Chief Financial Officer
- 30 years of professional experience
- 10 years with CEO
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration
- Previous experience as a research associate and an investment accounts performance analyst
Every year I am here at CEO, I see what an impact our programs have not just on the families but also our staff. It continues to amaze me how much just a little guidance or help can influence an individual or family. I believe we make a difference in people’s lives and our community. Even during the toughest of economic times we manage to secure funding for our programs so that our families will be able to have the tools necessary to become self-reliant.
I have always enjoyed working in Finance but really feel that I have found my “niche” at CEO. I am encouraged every day that what is done in the fiscal department ensures that the programs can be sustained and the individuals we are serving will flourish.
Erin Hernandez, Program Operations Director
- 12 years with CEO
- Began as an Assistant Center Manager and grew career extensively over time
- B.S. in Community and Human Services
- Graduate of the Emerging Leaders’ Institute for Training and Excellence
I have always wanted to work in a field that made a positive impact in people’s lives. I get to come to work every day and contribute to something that helps such a large number of people, in so many ways. I quickly fell in love with Community Action; its mission, history and vision for the future inspire me on a daily basis. I have regularly seen CEO’s impact in people’s lives and believe strongly in our dedication to providing high quality services that meet the needs of our community.
Each day is something exciting and new. I have the opportunity to develop myself professionally in a challenging and very rewarding field. I work with a great team of people, both internally and externally, towards common goals that are focused on changing lives and improving the community. I also get to witness the passion and dedication of our staff, which makes me proud to be a part of this organization.
Renata Gwozdz, Assistant Director of Program Operations
- 9 years with CEO
- Began as Food Pantry staff and grew career through various roles within CEO
- Bachelors in Art and Education
- ROMA Implementer
I came to CEO without any direct human services experience, but knowing that what I was doing was helping people kept me coming back every day. Over the years I have seen the impact of Community Action and the importance of empowering individuals and families through resources, kindness and respect. I am always excited to share what CEO is doing with my family, friends, and neighbors.
I love my job because I get the opportunity to create impact and instill change for both individuals and families in the community I live in. I love the challenge of navigating multiple programs and working with some of our smallest but mightiest teams. I appreciate the opportunity to help staff grow and develop like my supervisors have done and still do for me. My position gives me the opportunity to wear different hats, pursue interesting and challenging professional development, and incorporate my creativity.
Tia Nunziato, Early Childhood Services Director
- 12 Years in the Early Childhood Education field
- 6 years with CEO
- Started with CEO as a Head Start Center Manager
I am passionate about CEO and its mission because our main focus is to assist children and families in times of need. CEO’s services support customers, helps them learn how to access community resources, and empowers them to become self-sufficient.
Our programs make a lasting impact on customers and we truly make a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve.
Every day I get the opportunity to be part of a program that has the charge of making a difference in the lives of our families and children. We have a huge responsibility and each day we come across challenges, but the end result of ensuring a child and family is safe, healthy, and ready for kindergarten is what matters the most. It is a privilege to be able to do what I do and come to work each day and be part of CEO’s EHS/HS program.
Pamela Maxstadt, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Education
- Bachelors in Elementary Education
- Masters in Reading
- NYS Certified Teacher, Early Childhood
- 10 years with CEO
I believe in providing the best possible education for children and that education starts in early childhood. CEO provides high quality early childhood programming that supports the child and the whole family. We never give up on a child and will do everything within our power to support them.
It allows me to be creative, to plan and try new things. I get to work with an amazing team of managers and staff. My work makes a difference in the education of children, and has allowed me to learn and grow in my field and I continue learning every day.
Lori Tantakis, Assistant Director of Center Based Operations
- B.S. in Psychology
- M.A. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction
- 25 years experience in the field of Early Childhood Education
At CEO, I have the opportunity to be part of a dedicated team of individuals who work with commitment and purpose every day. It’s exciting to see our mission come to life as we empower individuals and build strong communities through our programs and initiatives.
I’ve dedicated my career to working with young children because the first five years of life is the most critical time to establish a strong foundation for future success. Through our early childhood programs at CEO, I get to impact these early years by providing new opportunities to children and families that will strengthen them and equip them to be their very best.
Pearl Higgins, Marketing & Communications Director
- 10 Years in Marketing & Communications
- 5 years with area nonprofits
As a resident of Troy, NY, I am passionate about seeing this community thrive. The work that CEO does throughout Rensselaer County is driven by a mission to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities by helping them rise out of poverty. It is truly inspiring to be a part of this work.
I have the opportunity to work with all of our programs and see the great work being done across all of our service areas and centers. It’s wonderful to see how much dedication our staff brings to their work, and how much of an impact each of us can make.
Nancy Uber, Quality Assurance Coordinator
- 12 years with CEO
- Former Daycare and Afterschool Program Director
- AAS in Early Childhood
- Member of NYSCAA Emerging Leaders Institute
By providing access to a wide range of services, we can assist thousands of people across Rensselaer County overcome barriers to personal and economic growth. Because CEO offers services to such a wide range of individuals from pre-birth through seniors, the most vulnerable residents can rise out of poverty and become more self-sufficient.
I love my job because I am a part of such a talented senior team; we are driven to help all our staff do their very best for our customers. We are always available to support staff to reach our agency goals and are always looking for ways to expand our services to reach even more individuals and families living in Rensselaer County.
Don Keefe, Building and Energy Services Team (BEST) Director
- 14 years of property management experience
- 6 years of plumbing and heating experience
- 2 years with CEO
It is fulfilling to be part of a team that is dedicated and passionate in helping the community. To be able to go to a job every day that impacts people in the community in a positive way is highly rewarding. CEO really cares about its customers and staff.
I love my job because there is always something that needs to be fixed. It is great to be challenged on a daily basis allowing me to be creative while also continuing to learn and grow professionally. I work with a great team of dedicated and passionate people who share the same belief of having a personal and professional balance.