460 West 41 Street, New York, NY 10036 | 212-613-0300

Leadership

 

Dr. Shakeema North

Executive Director, Covenant House New York

 

Shakeema North is a servant leader with a passion for youth and community development who has committed her life’s work to empowering young people to reach their fullest potential, despite the challenges many of them have faced. She has an exceptional ability to develop holistic and inclusive youth development initiatives that are strengths-based, trauma-informed, healing centered, and geared toward serving marginalized youth in search of hope and healing. Shakeema is skilled at designing strategic programs, preparing thought-provoking workshops and seminars, facilitating community-based campaigns, and improving overall organizational productivity. Prior to joining Covenant House New York in 2015, Shakeema worked for over 10 years as a marketing and production professional with HBO. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University and her Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary. She is a 2017 Faith and Justice Fellow at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and a 2014 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary. In May 2020, Shakeema received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Leadership in the Christian Tradition at Duke Divinity School.

Lisa Crook, LMSW

Chief Program Officer

 

Lisa has devoted her career to supporting young people. Lisa formerly served as VP of Justice for Youth and Family Programs at Rising Ground, where she oversaw all residential and community-based juvenile justice program. She also led the design and implementation of multiple system reform efforts in her previous roles at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Lisa is a licensed social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

Vesna Selmanovic

Chief Planning and Performance Officer

Vesna Selmanovic has 15 years of progressive leadership experience with data, compliance, and quality improvement for at-risk youth programs, and she is responsible for ensuring high-quality services and client outcomes for all programs at CHNNY. Prior to her work here, she was the Director of Quality Improvement and Compliance at New Alternatives for Children.

   Tony Johnson, SCP, JD

Senior Vice President, People & Culture

Tony Robbins, a native New Yorker from Brooklyn and Queens, brings nearly 20 years of experience as a Human Resources leader to CHNY. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor degree from the Cardozo School of Law. Tony’s diverse career spans multiple industries, including Technology, Banking, Entertainment, and Non-Profit, reflecting his commitment to social justice and advocacy.

Before joining CHNY, Tony led Human Resources, internal communications, legal, operations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, implementing strategies to improve workplace accessibility, equity, and talent acquisition. As the Senior Vice President of People & Culture at Covenant House New York, Tony is dedicated to supporting youth experiencing homelessness and collaborating with staff to create an exceptional employee experience that advances organizational and DEI goals.

Maria (Rannie) Morota

Vice President of Operational Controllership

 

Maria “Rannie” Morota joined Covenant House New York in September 2019 as a Controller and assumed the position of VP Operational Controllership in January 2021. She brings over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting in non-profit organizations such as Teach for America, Turnaround for Children and Environmental Defense Fund. She also had IT experience as a Consultant for IBM projects . Rannie is most proud to be involved in organizations that promote children and youth education and well-being.

Camden McDaris Black, Esq.

Vice President of Development & Communications

 

Camden McDaris Black oversees all of Covenant House New York’s fundraising efforts, including foundation, government, and local corporate grant-seeking, as well as fundraising collaborations with Covenant House International. She is also responsible for oversight of all internal and external communications, as well as Covenant House New York’s volunteer program. Camden brings over a decade of fundraising experience to her role, as well as an extensive prior professional writing background.

 


Board of Directors

Covenant House New York is governed by a Board of Directors, to whom our Executive Director reports. The Board of Directors plays a critical role in helping transform the lives of runaway and homeless youth. The Board of Directors is Covenant House New York’s governing body, caring for the fiduciary aspects of our organization, and ensuring fulfillment of our mission.

Current Members:

David Bocchi

Principal Head of Investment Banking
Alliance Global Partners
Libby Cantrill

Managing Director, Head of Public Policy
PIMCO
Sezin Cavusoglu

Senior Vice President, NBC TV & Streaming
David Cornish

Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer & Corporate Controller
Santander, USA
William (Bill) Dacunto

Executive Vice President
Silverstein Properties
Fran Glasenberg

Foundation Executive
Creative Artists Agency
Ben Grizzle

Managing Director
Goldman Sachs
Maureen A. Henegan

Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Henegan Construction Co., Inc.
Jason Juliano

Managing Partner & Strategic Advisor
Digital Bridge Advisors
James Karwel

Partner/Principal
Ernst & Young
Pam Lewis

Founder and Executive Director
Connect Us
Mary Mayland
Lou Rauchenberger

General Auditor/Member of the Operating Committee
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Covenant House New York Board Chair
Matthew Schmeelk

Senior Executive Vice President
Kensington Vanguard National Land Services
Brian Strong

Global Head of Communications
Bloomberg Media
Alan Thomas

Managing Director
Morgan Stanley
Keri Thomson-Yhlen

SVP of Stores - East Division
Ulta Beauty
Rick Van Benschoten

Executive Vice President
Wealthspire Advisors
Ethan Wiener

Director, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
NYU Langone Health
Halim Wise

HR Director, GMS
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