Local Leaders Graduate from Volunteer New York’s Leadership Westchester Program

Volunteer New York! celebrated the latest graduating class of Leadership Westchester, its signature professional advancement program. The nine-month-long program provides select individuals the opportunity to sharpen effective leadership skills and to gain clarity in defining and achieving their personal and professional goals in life. The event was held on Tuesday, June 20th, at the Westchester Community College Gateway Center in Valhalla, NY.

“We are proud to graduate another extraordinary class of community leaders from Leadership Westchester,” said Jeanette Gisbert, Executive Director of Volunteer New York!. “Individuals who dedicate their time and attention to this program are gifted with greater clarity and understanding of their own personal vision and mission, a stronger professional network, and more confidence to lead the life they were meant to lead. And, on top of all of that, they all become a part of the Volunteer New York! and Leadership Westchester Alumni communities.”

Every year, Volunteer New York! selects an alum to honor who has continued to demonstrate the mission of Leadership Westchester. Neal Keller, class of 2014, is an embodiment of leadership and community service. Beyond his active role in the Leadership Westchester community, where he mentors rising leaders, co-started a men’s alumni group exploring intimate leadership and personal issues faced by members, and assists in recruiting future class participants, Neal’s dedication to his community extends into a variety of valuable organizations. A retired IT specialist from IBM’s Watson Research Center and contributing author of over 25 IBM patents, Neal has leveraged his professional expertise to provide invaluable knowledge to various causes dear to his heart.

“I am deeply honored to accept the 2023 Alumni of the Year award from the Leadership Westchester program,” says Neal Keller. “As I reflect upon this recognition, I am reminded that our strength as leaders is defined by our commitment to lift others and make a positive impact in our communities. This distinction is not just an acknowledgment of my actions but a testament to the incredible individuals I have been privileged to work with and learn from. My journey continues, and with every step, my goal is to make a difference in lives, one person at a time.”

“These individuals are all special and unique in their own ways,” said David Severance, facilitator of Leadership Westchester. “Being a part of this program challenged each of them to go beyond their normal thought processes and to evolve into new leaders with deep self-awareness. The journey is never done, and we know they will continue on this path after graduation.”

For those who might be interested in being a part of the 2023-24 Leadership Westchester class, visit the website to connect with an alum of the program if you have any questions or fill out an application for consideration. As part of this program, you are required to attend all classes. You will form a dynamic, exclusive, and connected community of caring people who are active in learning and demonstrating the practice of leadership, in creating communities that reflect their highest ideals and aspirations and are considerate of how they choose to show up.

Graduates of the 2023 Leadership Westchester Class are:

  • Rosie Acampora, PCSB Community Foundation
  • Carlos Andrade, M&T Bank (Tarrytown)
  • Anthony Bailey, Yonkers Community Action Program
  • Patrick Bardsley, Spectrum Designs Foundation
  • Joan L. Feinstein
  • Chloe Fernandez, Westchester Youth Alliance (Peekskill)
  • Kareema Gathers
  • Chris Januski, JWI Group
  • Patti Jewell
  • Nicole Lowrance, Volunteer New York! (Tarrytown)
  • Marlene McLarty
  • Margarita Pineiro,YMCA of Central Northern Westchester
  • Dylan F. Pyne
  • Alessandra Restiano, Westchester County Board of Legislators
  • Jessica Richardson, My Sisters’ Place Inc.
  • Jonathan Rosen, Collaberex (Tarrytown)
  • Catrina Shivers,New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority
  • Araceli Soriano, Westchester Community College – Mount Vernon Center
  • Stephanie Tkach
  • Michael Zaro,Zaro’s Family Bakery

Watch Leadership Westchester Graduation

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