Turning Point relies on a passionate, talented group of employees, board members and volunteers who are committed to helping our clients find mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Meet our Program Directors and board members below.
Board of Directors
Turning Point’s Board of Directors provide the organization with a wealth of expertise, guidance and support.
American Express Alan Gallo is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Global Corporate Services and Enterprise Growth at American Express. He provides financial advice and support to the Presidents of Global Corporate Services and Enterprise Growth, groups that include the Corporate Payments, Business Travel, Mobile Payments, and Prepaid businesses as well as customer service, technology, real estate and procurement. Alan also serves as a key advisor to the CEO, CFO, and the Company’s Operating Committee on strategic and financial matters for American Express. In this leadership role, Alan oversees more than 500 finance professionals globally. A veteran of American Express, Alan has 25 years of experience in finance. Prior to his current role, Alan was the CFO of the Global Consumer and Small Business Services group, which consisted of the consumer and small business card franchises, the customer service network, the consumer travel business, and travelers cheques and prepaid cards worldwide. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Planning and Decision Support where he led key business planning processes and strategic projects across American Express, and as Chief Financial Officer of American Express Bank LTD. In addition to his current responsibilities, Alan serves as Executive Sponsor of Campus Recruiting and the Job Rotation Program for American Express Finance. He is also Board President of Turning Point and a Board Member of The League Education and Treatment Center, both Brooklyn-based non-profit organizations.In addition to his current responsibilities, Alan serves as Executive Sponsor of Campus Recruiting and the Job Rotation Program for American Express Finance. He is also Board President of Turning Point and a Board Member of The League Education and Treatment Center, both Brooklyn-based non-profit organizations. Alan holds a BS and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and is also a CPA. In 2010, he was awarded the Stern School of Business Distinguished Beta Gamma Sigma Alumnus from NYU. On the personal front, Alan loves to run and is proud to have completed the New York City Triathlon. Alan resides in Brooklyn with his wife Christine, son Andrew, and daughter Caroline.
Joseph Freyer, Program Committee Chair
Joe has been on the board at Turning Point since 2011 and is the Chair of the Program Committee, which aims to serve as a voice for Program Directors, highlighting programmatic successes and areas of focus to the Board of Directors. A life-long resident of Brooklyn, Joe is passionate about the services that Turning Point is able to provide within the local community and is keenly aware of the individual needs the organization helps to meet each day. In addition to his responsibilities at Turning Point, Joe is a member of the Finance team at American Express where he has worked since 2006. He is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and currently resides in the Sunset Park area.
Peter Cahill, Vice-Chair
Ernst & Young, LLP
James Snow, Treasurer
Prospect Park Alliance James Snow is a UK-qualified accountant and has been a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales for 20 years. His professional background includes positions in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. James was Comptroller of Turning Point during 2002-2004 and joined the Board in 2007. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the Prospect Park Alliance.
Salvatore Caruso, Member
Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly LLP Sal is a partner with the accounting firm of Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly LLP. The firm has concentrated its auditing and tax practice exclusively in the unique nonprofit sector and has earned a reputation for providing the highest quality personalized professional services to its more than 250 not-for-profit organization clients. Sal has approximately 20 years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations, and his prime areas of practice include accounting, auditing, and internal control review of not-for-profit organizations. Sal earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Iona College. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He serves on the Not-For-Profit Organizations Committee and the Exempt Organizations Committee of the NYSSCPA.
Jerry Rivera, Member
Ernst & Young , LLP
Previous Employment: Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase Education: City University of New York-Baruch College-Zicklin School of Business
Rodneyse Bichotte, Member
Rodneyse Bichotte is the 42nd Assembly State Committeewoman / District Leader dedicated to improving the neighborhoods and lives of her fellow Brooklyn residents. Born and raised in Brooklyn, her steadfast devotion to providing resources on affordable housing and homeownership, financial literacy, public safety initiatives, affordable healthcare, high-quality education, job fairs and social reform is demonstrated through her ongoing involvement in the community including delivering on the rehabilitation of Haiti by volunteering to help build 100 homes through Habitat for Humanity with President Jimmy Carter. Rodneyse Bichotte is the first Haitian-American woman elected for any position in New York City. Rodneyse has been a dedicated public servant for over 20 years, and have continuously worked on a number of initiatives on Education lobbying against cuts towards special education program and program funding cuts for public schools. She plans to raise funds to allocate as scholarships to the local schools in her district. Rodneyse’s work experience includes Mergers and Acquisition, Corporate Development, Corporate & Investment Banking, Engineering and Secondary Education in Mathematics. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from SUNY Buffalo, an MS in Electrical engineering from IIT and an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
Elizabeth Yeampierre, Secretary
Elizabeth Yeampierre, a Puerto Rican civil rights attorney of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Her vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE; she is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around sustainable just development in Sunset Park and beyond. She holds a BA in Political Science from Fordham University and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Elizabeth is part of the New York City environmental justice leadership responsible for getting 3 important pieces of legislation: NY State’s first Brownfield legislation, Article X power plant siting legislation and NYC’s Solid Waste Management Plan passed. In Sunset Park, Brooklyn she facilitated an aggressive urban forestry initiative, helped double the amount of open space and developed a project that resulted in the retro-fit and re-powering of 12 diesel trucks for a local business. She successfully organized a community coalition that defeated a 520 mega-watt power plant application. Elizabeth created a community participatory model that resulted in a community led greenway design for the waterfront. $8.4 million dollars have been allocated for the greenway and park and $36 million dollars in Brownfield remediation funds for the waterfront park. (the largest brownfield grant in New York State History) Elizabeth secured $1,000,000 for emission reduction projects that have been distributed throughout the community.
Jeremy Laufer, Member
Jeremy Laufer was born and still lives in Brooklyn. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from SUNY Albany and has worked for New York City government since 1994. He has been the District Manager for Brooklyn Community Board 7 since 2000 and previously worked for New York City Council. Upon taking his current job, Jeremy set his personal goals for his job as defeating a proposed power plant on the waterfront, building the long-awaited Sunset Park High School and finishing the Board’s 197-a Plan. All of these goals were accomplished during his tenure. Jeremy is an avid reader, writer and golfer and is tenacious in his love for Brooklyn and its history. Jeremy has a house in Mill Basin, Brooklyn which he shares with his dogs and cat.
Turning Point’s Executive Team provides administrative and clinical oversight for the organization.
Tata Traore-Rogers, Executive Director
Tata has an extensive background in nonprofit management and service delivery with a strong emphasis on women’s self-determination, Fluent in five languages and a former resident of France, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal, Tata brings a unique intercultural perspective to her work. Prior to joining Turning Point, Tata served as Deputy Executive Director at the Astraea Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting groups working to secure human rights for the LGBTI people, and advancing gender, racial, economic and social justice worldwide, for five years. In partnership with Astraea’s Executive Director, Tata worked to develop and direct the Foundation’s strategic and operational plans. For eight years, Tata served as a Director in the Prevention Division of Harlem United Community AIDS Center. During her tenure there, she designed and managed innovative HIV prevention programs, including behavioral interventions focusing on risk-reduction and prevention support for immigrant communities, women of color, and LGBTQ populations. Additionally, she worked to improve service access for undocumented, immigrant women–increasing cultural competency and bridging gaps present within the HIV service landscape of New York City. Prior to Harlem United, Tata worked at Montefiore Hospital, Pathways to Housing and Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, where she provided support and assistance for clients seeking mental health, homelessness, and domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse services. Tata is an Adjunct Professor at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College where she focuses on Urban Public Health and Community Health. She also serves on various boards as an advisor/member including Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, an advocacy organization that works on women’s rights within the global women’s, human rights and social justice movements. She lives in Brooklyn with her two young daughters. Get in touch with Tata here.
Karen is a native of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge and is thrilled to be working in a neighborhood that holds so many memories for her and her family. Brooklyn has always been home and she currently resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Karen is a licensed LCSW with 20 years of social services experience following graduation from Hunter College School of Social Work in 1991. She has post-graduate training in Assessment/Diagnosis and Clinical Supervision. Karen has served as a lead clinician in a variety of settings including the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, The Door, Harlem United and Housing Works. Karen’s other love of the work comes from political activism to address health care disparities and issues of social justice. Get in touch with Karen Remy here.
Garraud Etienne, Chief Operating Officer
Garraud Etienne has joined Turning Point as Chief Operating Officer. Garraud will be responsible for managing the organization’s finance, human resources, IT and physical plant operations. Garraud has extensive experience with non-profit organizations and he has a unique skills mix; he has managed family homeless shelters, Research and Evaluation and Budgets & Contracts departments. This mix of social services delivery and financial management experience will help Turning Point achieve its strategic goals. Garraud was most recently an Assistant Vice President at Women in Need (Win). He holds a B.A from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently studying for his MBA at Columbia Business School. Get in touch with Garraud Etienne here.
Turning Point’s Program Director team is made up of experienced social services professionals who work every day to bring hope and empowerment to Turning Point clients.
Geddes Gibbs, Division Director
Geddes is a dynamic leader with over 23 years experience in the social services, educational and leadership arena. As a clinician and leader he has excellent communication and interpersonal skills and has worked with individuals and families throughout New York City and abroad. Prior to coming to Turning Point, Geddes was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of the Southern Caribbean, and a Clinical Supervisor at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. He has also worked extensively as a director in the homeless shelter system primarily with mentally ill and substance abuse clients and has managed large program budgets, while successfully undertaking comprehensive New York State and New York City program audits, and evaluations. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Lehman College and a Masters degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work. He is also licensed to practice in New York State (LMSW). In addition to his clinical skills Geddes brings a strong degree of professionalism, skill and support to the development of organizations staff at Turning Point, and also holds a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College of New York. Get in touch with Geddes here.
Bringing almost ten years of adult education experience, Josh Willis joined the Educational Center in 2007. Since that time, he has taught many GED levels, led several education initiatives focused on post-GED achievement and coordinated the ABE/GED department. Originally from Maryland and raised in the Quaker beliefs of ‘faith in action,’ Mr. Willis earned his B.A. from Oberlin College in Ohio. His educational philosophy was forged early in his career at Seattle’s downtown jail, where he taught classes, managed a volunteer tutor program, and advocated for more robust education services under the ideals of critical consciousness, peer support and personal achievement. More recently in New York, Josh worked at a family literacy program at the Brooklyn Center for Urban Environment before joining Turning Point. Get in touch with Josh here.
Iesha Moore started at Turning Point in 1997 as a Peer Educator. Since then, she has undertaken a series of challenging assignments as a Case Manager, Client Worker, Intake Coordinator, Employment Counselor, Program Manager, and Program Director, first for Turning Point’s single room occupancy facility in Red Hook, and now as head of our transitional shelter for young women. In her current role, Iesha supervises a staff of over 20 full- and part-time workers and helps young women ages 18-25 find stable housing. Iesha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Medgar Evers College and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College of New York. Get in touch with Iesha here.
Willie Powell, Exodus Program Director
Ms. Willie Powell joined the Turning Point team as a Program Director for the Scattered Site Housing Program for Substance Abusers in December 2011. She is currently the Program Director for the Exodus Program. Willie has been in the Social Service field for over 15 years. Prior to joining Turning Point, she worked with the Juvenile Justice system with programs focused on offering youth a safe and nurturing environment and a range of positive interventions aimed at preventing a return to custody. Prior to her work with the Juvenile Justice system, Willie served as a Program Manager at an agency serving people with developmental disabilities. There she helped to assure the quality of life for her clients through the recognition of each person’s inherent dignity and absolute right to a life filled with learning, respect and love. Willie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Service and Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Get in touch with Willie here.
Ms. Pemberton has twenty five years’ experience working in adult and youth education, youth leadership building initiatives, community advocacy, and program design and management. She has worked as an ESOL and GED Teacher, Job Developer, Events Planner, and Program Director. Prior to coming to Turning Point,she worked at HANAC, Inc. where she enjoyed great success in moving public assistance recipients to independence and self empowerment. She possesses a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University. Her Master’s Thesis, “An Intervention To Address Welfare Reform and the Impact on Child Care in Central Harlem”, won an Academic Achievement Award at Lincoln University’s Graduate Awards Ceremony in 2004. She is a Lifetime Member of the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Science. Get in touch with Margaret here.
Ms. Brown began her career over 25 years ago working with children. She has worked in many different levels within OPWDD and OMH from direct care to auditor. Most recently Ms. Brown was a Case Management Consultant with CUS working with the Division of Forensic Mental Heath securing housing, case management and mental health services for inmates returning back to the communities within the 5 boroughs. She holds a BA degree form John Jay College with a specialization in Forensic Psychology. Get in touch with Lisa Brown here.
Michael Edwards, Facilities Management Coordinator
Michael Edwards oversees Turning Point’s scattered site housing facilities which comprise approximately 230 apartments. He has worked in the Caribbean and in New York for over 23 years in the fields of carpentry, furniture building and general construction. Mr. Edwards worked for Turning Point for eight years before taking on his current position. Mr. Edwards is trained in the field of Construction Technology and holds a bachelor degree in Theology.Get in touch with Michael Edwards here.