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Board of Directors


Candace Barriteau Phaire, Ph.D.

Dr. Candace Barriteau Phaire is an Assistant Professor of Education, as well as the Program Coordinator of the Infant/Toddler Mental Health and Early Childhood Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University. Prior to completing her graduate studies, she was an early childhood/elementary school teacher in NYC public schools. She has also served as an Early Childhood Science Evaluator and Early Childhood Literacy Coach for the Educational Development Center (EDC) in New York City.

Dr. Barriteau Phaire received her Ph.D. from NYU in the Department of Teaching and Learning and received a highly competitive Outstanding Dissertation Nomination.  She earned her M.S. Ed in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College and her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.  While working in many areas of education, Dr. Barriteau Phaire’s research focuses on teacher development, especially in the area of early childhood curriculum and teacher development.  In addition, Dr. Barriteau Phaire spends considerable time working with early childhood faculty and staff from the NYC Department of Education on implementing best practices in pre-kindergarten classrooms.

In addition to her work with teacher in various school districts, Dr. Barriteau Phaire also founded a professional development company, titled S.E.E.D.S. (Supporting Educators with Engaging Development and Services) and has successfully organized her consulting staff to provide support for teachers in several private, public and charter schools.  

Nelba Marquez-Greene

Nelba Márquez-Greene is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked in private practice, community mental health, and academic settings in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to founding The Ana Grace Project, Nelba served as the Coordinator for Klingberg Family Therapy Center’s outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric clinic and was an adjunct faculty member at Central Connecticut State University. “Love Wins” is the family slogan they adopted after Ana’s senseless murder. This movement is one of increasing relational connections. Nelba maintains an online community of over 100,000 followers and an Ana Grace Project community where people from all over the world learn, share, grow and witness love through grief. Behind this is the belief that not only does Love Win – it also save lives. The Ana Grace Project has adopted classrooms in New Britain that focus on social and emotional learning. It has hosted mental health conferences and professional learning opportunities all over the country.

Nelba holds a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School and a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Joseph College. Nelba was the founding member of the CTAMFT Diversity Committee and has served on the CTAMFT Board of Directors. For her efforts, she has received the 2004 Minority Fellowship Award by the AAMFT, the 2004 Distinguished Professional Service Award, and the 2013 Service to Families Award by the CTAMFT. In 2018, she was selected as one of “100 Women of Color” and as a YWCA Women’s Leadership Award recipient. She is featured in the 2019 release “ The Book of Gutsy Women” by Hillary Rodham and Chelsea Clinton and in People Magazine’s October 2019 issue as one of ten Women Changing the World. Nelba has testified and advocated at the state and federal levels on many different mental health initiatives, hosted TEDx talks, and is a sought after speaker nationall

Shona Pinnock

Shona Pinnock is a visionary Diversity and Inclusion leader. She was recently appointed as the inaugural Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Louis Vuitton, North America. In that role she will be responsible for creating and implementing strategy aligned with company priorities. Most recently she served as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Meredith Corporation, a leading multiplatform media company for women with iconic brands that include PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living. Pinnock was responsible for Meredith’s diversity and inclusion programs across all businesses and locations.

She has nearly 20 years of human resources experience in various industries including publishing, real estate, and legal.

Prior to joining Meredith, Pinnock was Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Human Resources Director of Consumer Reports. Under her leadership, the company was named by Digiday as an organization “Most Committed to Diversity and Inclusion.” Previously, she served as Senior Human Resources Manager of Riverbay Corporation, a property management company in New York City.

Pinnock is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute, an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR). She also serves on the Boards of Directors of Coney Island Prep School, Sister to Sister International and The Violet Torch Foundation.

Charnay C. Phaire

Charnay C. Phaire is the Executive Director & Founder of Westchester Barber Academy, Inc. & Westchester Barber Academy Foundation. Charnay has a unique blend of blue/ white collar experience. By trade he is a licensed master barber of over 25 years and is a former New York State examiner for the master barber exam. Charnay earned a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies and a Master’s degree in the field of Human Resource Management both from Stony Brook University. He also holds a PHR certification (Professional in Human Resources), with nearly 20 years experience in the field of HR & Operations. Charnay has spent the past 10 years as a Director of a charter school in Queens & Mount Vernon, NY. Charnay is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Lisa Scaramuzzo-Jones

Lisa is the Secretary and member of the Board of Directors at Chelsea’s Charity.  Lisa enjoys devoting her time to her family, and to serving the community.  Lisa is the Founder of the non-profit organization, Secret Santas (a New York 501(c)3 dedicated to providing local foster children with presents and holiday joy during the Christmas season), and is in her second term serving as the PTO President at her son’s school.  Lisa is a founding member of the largest media and events company dedicated to lending and digital banking, and served as the Director of Delegate Affairs until 2017.   Lisa has a Master’s Degree in Theology from Liberty University; she was in the United States Army; she enjoys using her Diplome de Patisserie Intermediaire from Le Cordon Bleu to prepare baked goods for her friends and family; and loves celebrating the many wonders of Christmas all year long.         

Jamaal Solomon

Jamaal Solomon is the owner and CEO of J.S. Tax Corporation, which provides virtual tax services, business consulting, and IRS problem resolution. He has a Bachelor degree in Business Management and Master degree in Taxation. He is the ebook author of A Good Guy’s Tax Journey. He claims the ebook is the world’s funniest tax advice book. Jamaal is a passionate speaker that loves creating financial literacy programs for all ages. He has graced the Google stage in NYC and has created a highly respected entrepreneurship workshop series for his local fraternity chapter (Queens Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc.) in NY. Recently, he created a financial literacy brand called Tax It and Forget It. Under the brand, he created “Crypto-J” themed workshops which incorporates teaching individuals (adults and kids) and businesses about blockchain technology, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Jamaal prides himself on creating unexpectedly creative and engaging workshops. Jamaal has received several awards based on his work to educate people about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. He is the founder and executive director of a youth financial literacy organization called Crypto J Means Business Inc.

Wendi Vescio

Ms. Wendi Vescio is the Associate Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Mercy College. Prior to this role, Ms. Vescio was the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at The College of New Rochelle. Ms. Vescio earned her Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling from The College of New Rochelle in 2007 and her Bachelor of Science in Finance from Fairfield University. She has worked in a variety of settings, including as a trader for a money management firm, at a children’s day camp and various public schools. The experiences she had in these settings helps her to bring a unique perspective to the Board of Chelsea’s Charity.