Bergen Family Center


Mitch Schonfeld, MSW

President & CEO

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, BA

Director of Human Resources

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, BA

Director of Development

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.



Suad Gacham, BA

Director of Family and Children’s Services

Suad Gacham joined Bergen Family Center in October of 2023. She oversees programming related to children’s services, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) and the Family Success Center. Suad has over 23 years of experience in school-based, education and nonprofit services. Prior to BFC, she served in a leadership role at Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey, overseeing operations, budgeting and community partnership building. Suad supervised 150 employees in 17 school-based programs. She earned her BA in Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture.

201-568-0817 x 121


Rachel Cohen, LMSW

Director of Community Health and Outreach

Rachel Cohen joined Bergen Family Center in November of 2023. Rachel oversees programming related to seniors, adolescents, families in court and HIV/AIDS. She came to BFC after 10 years in social services and nonprofit management, focusing on supporting individuals and families impacted by homelessness, substance use, mental illness and HIV/AIDS. Prior to her social services career, Rachel worked in media for 20 years, including as an editorial director for A + E Networks. She earned her MSW from Fordham University, her MS in publishing from Pace University and her BS in Corporate Communications from Drexel University.

201-567-1495 Ext. 233


Abel Bantyiwalu, BS

Director of Finance

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, MA

Director of Early Learning Services

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.



Marisa Tarateta, MA

Director of Older Adults

Marisa Tarateta joined BFC in April 2024 as the Director of Older Adults. Marisa has a MS in Medical Marriage and Family Therapy, a MS in Community Psychology and is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She oversees Bergen Family Center's senior programs: SESCIL, Adult Day Program, Care Management for Homebound Seniors, Caregiver Support, and the collaboration with Age-Friendly Englewood. Marisa has 15+ years of experience ranging from hospice care to local government senior services, including programming, Alzheimer’s support groups, grant writing and older adult education.



Elizabeth Acevedo, MA

Director of the ZONE at Janis E. Dismus Middle School

Elizabeth Acevedo joined BFC in March 2024 as Director of the ZONE at Janis E. Dismus Middle School. Elizabeth is a Licensed Social Worker with over 20 years of experience working with at-risk youth, children, young adults and families in non-profit, school and government settings. Before coming to BFC, she coordinated Early Intervention services in Bergen County and created Start Now! Counseling & Education services. She earned an MSW from Adelphi University, is a Radiant Sister of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and is fluent in Spanish.



Rachel Solomon, LCSW

Director of the Zone at Dwight Morrow High School.

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.

201 862-6282


Natalia Valencia, MSW

Director of Bridges Family Success

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.



Rachele Vetrone, MSW

Director of Parent Engagement & Home Visiting

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 M. Tenebruso, LCSW

Supervisor of HIV|AIDS Services

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 B. Steinbach, LPC

Director of Court Services

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

Director of After School Programs

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

Director of After School Programs

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.