In 1992, Bergen Family Center's Board of Trustees selected Mitch Schonfeld to be the organization's 4th President and Chief Executive Officer since 1922. Mitch came to BFC after 15 years of professional work with young children, adolescents, families, and clients with special needs. At the time of his hire, BFC had 35 employees and a $1 million budget, serving 800 clients. BFC now serves nearly 5000 clients with a $5 million + budget and a staff of over 100. In addition to his work forging partnerships between the non-profit and the private sector, Mitch has been honored for his commitment and leadership by the National Council of Jewish Women, Bergen County Section, and the Englewood Rotary Club. Mitch graduated from Binghamton University with a BA in English. He earned his MSW in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.
Davia Valenzuela joined Bergen Family Center in 1999. She has served in multiple capacities throughout her tenure, helping to grow and sustain community programs. Davia became the Director of Human Resources & Administration in 2016. She now directs, develops, and coordinates policies and practices to ensure legal compliance and implementation of the organization's mission and talent strategy. Davia received her BA from William Paterson University.
Alexis Cooperman joined Bergen Family Center in March 2017 as their Special Events Advisor. In 2018 she became our Director of Development. Alexis drives BFC's fundraising strategy, stewardship, and major gift cultivation. Prior to her arrival at BFC, Alexis served for 12 years on the Dwight-Englewood School's Board of Trustees and Committee on Trustees. While in these roles, she also served as Chair of Development and Co-Chair of Special Events for D-E. Alexis attended Duquesne University, and earned her RN from the Helene Fuld School of Nursing at the Hospital for Joint Disease in New York City.
Abel Bantyiwalu joined Bergen Family Center in 2018. Abel oversees all financial aspects of the organization, driving BFC's financial strategy and planning, assessing financial risk and performance, and managing all Federal, State, and County grants. Before arriving at Bergen Family Center, Abel was an Accounting Manager/Senior Accountant at Family Connections, Inc. Abel received his BS in Accounting from Kean University. He is fluent in Amharic
P: 201.568.0817 | F: 201.568.0913
Maribel Tapia joined Bergen Family Center in February of 2023 as the Director of Early Learning Services. Prior to her arrival at BFC, Maribel served for 6 years as a technical assistance specialist with the state's early childhood quality rating system, Grow NJ Kids. She obtained her master’s degree in child advocacy and policy from Montclair State University in 2023. Maribel is fluent in Spanish.
DeManuel Edmondson joined BFC in 2021 after 6 years as the Mental Health Clinician at Center for Family Guidance's School-Based Youth Services Program. DeManuel oversees the ZONE, based at Dwight Morrow High School, and supervises the leadership of our middle school teen programs. He has expertise in addiction treatment. DeManuel received an MA in Marriage & Family Therapy and an MA in Addictions Counseling from La Salle University. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Rachel Solomon joined Bergen Family Center in November 2021 as a Mental Health Clinician. She became Director of The ZONE at Dwight Morrow High School in July 2023. Rachel oversees mental health counseling, prevention programs, job readiness and the apprenticeship program at the high school. She has years of expertise in teen mental health. She received her MSW from Seton Hall University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Natalia joined BFC in 2007 as a Family Development Worker. She became Director of Bridges Family Success Center in January 2019. She oversees prevention programs, resources, and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. She has expertise in community engagement and child abuse prevention. She leads BFC coordinated efforts in food and essential item distribution. Natalia received her BA in Sociology & Social Services from William Paterson University and is also fluent in Spanish.
Tashiera Howard joined BFC in 2020 as Director of Senior Services after 15 years as a Clinical Coordinator for SERV Centers of New Jersey. She brings expertise in complex mental health disorders and oversees all program leaders and services in our Older Adult Department. Tashiera received her MS in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate.
Rachel Ventrone joined BFC in 2005 to lead our evidence-based, internationally recognized home visiting program (HIPPY). She has led the expansion of home visiting/instruction services at BFC becoming the Director of Parent Engagement and Home Visiting in 2019. Rachel brings expertise in early childhood development and literacy, parent and community engagement, and school and family partnerships. She holds a certification from HIPPY USA and a Master's in Social Work from Hunter College.
Paula Tenebruso joined BFC in January 2000 as a Clinical Social Worker and became the Supervisor of HIV-AIDS Services in 2001. She offers expertise in client and community engagement on issues related to HIV and LGBTQ+. In her previous work at Bergen Pines County Hospital, she treated patients with complex mental health and addiction challenges. Paula received her BSW from Seton Hall University and her MSW and from Rutgers University.
P: 201.563.3819 | F: 201.569.4084
Sheila Steinbach joined Bergen Family Center in 2015 as the Director of Court Services. She oversees the organization's work to provide a forensic evaluation for the family court regarding disputed custody/visitation. Before arriving at BFC, Sheila was Director of Clinical Services at Jewish Family Services and private practice. Sheila has extensive experience providing individual and family therapy and expertise in co-parenting, divorce mediation, and best interest evaluations. Sheila earned M. Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Boston University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is fluent in Yiddish.
P: 201.569.4080 | F: 201.569.4084
Cathy Robertson joined Bergen Family Center part-time as Director of After School Programs in 2018. Cathy works for the Englewood School District as the Media Specialist Clerk for the Janis E. Dismus Middle School. She holds a BA in Psychology and Education K-8 and is a candidate for an MA in Psychology/certification in Life Coaching.
Yolanda Salazar joined BFC as a part-time Director of After School Programs in 2017. She works at the Englewood Public School District as a certified Preschool Intervention and Referral Specialist, partnering with BFC's Pre-K expansion program. Yolanda taught Special Ed in New York City before arriving in Englewood. She received her Masters in Education from Felician College Med. Yolanda is fluent in Spanish.