The Roots & Wings Team: Committed To Excellence
Dr. Jessica Guberman
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Guberman has been a pioneer in the nonprofit sector supporting vulnerable populations for over twenty years.
She started her career as a direct support worker in a group home with people who have developmental disabilities and mental illness. From there, she worked in various capacities as a Rape and Sexual Assault Care Director, a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Director in an at-risk youth shelter, a Domestic Violence Treatment Director, Vice President of National Development and Public Relations for a national nonprofit and for the past six years, has been the Chief Executive Officer for a New York-based organization supporting people with Autism.
Her program development experience has included site acquisition, financing of projects, budgeting, forecasting, long-term planning, and sustainability. She has developed homes and programs in New Jersey and New York and supervised programs all over the United States. Jessica opened the first Children’s Placement Enhancement Pilot (CPEP) group home for children in New Jersey. This initiative brought children back home to New Jersey from out of state placements that allowed them to be closer to their birth families.
Jessica has worked extensively with the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Labor to create and implement social enterprise models that allow for competitive employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities not to mention instrumental transfers of people with developmental disabilities from institutions to community-based settings.
In 2007, she founded the iMatter Surf Camp for Children with Autism now known as the Kristen Bednar Memorial Surf Camp for Children with Autism. It is a one-day free surf camp for children and their families on Long Island, NY. Children get to surf in tandem with an instructor and reap all the benefits of aquatic therapy. The camp supports over 1,000 children and families every year.
In 2008, Jessica was appointed to the NJ’s Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism and was a member until 2011. She was awarded the New Jersey Business Journal’s Top Forty under Forty Award in 2009. In 2011, Jessica won Philadelphia’s Smart CXO Executive Management Award and in 2015, Jessica was given the Continental Who’s Who Pinnacle Professional Award. In 2016, Jessica was named Most Influential Woman of the Year by the Bronx Times.
Jessica currently holds memberships with the National Association of Professional Women and the National Grants Management Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women’s Studies, Master of Science in Addiction Psychology and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology.
Shaun is the Program Director here at Roots and Wings. He earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree from Iona College, and a Master’s degree from The Hunter School of Social Work. For over 14 years, Shaun has been working in the fields of trauma and supportive housing. Shaun’s passion has been to help those who have endured cycles of trauma and abuse break free of those harmful relationships, patterns, and belief systems. He is passionate about building healthy communities, creating stable and nurturing environments, and supporting a strong team of clinicians to make a significant impact in helping our clients to define and achieve full and satisfying lives for themselves.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology. She has worked in the fashion industry in sales management and buying and has years of experience in office management in the real estate industry. Stephanie has decided to join the Roots & Wings team to be part of an organization that aids in empowerment of young people and has the ability to impact the course of their lives in a positive way.
Roben Rasheed-Hernandez is the Volunteer Coordinator at Roots and Wings. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University. Prior to joining Roots and Wings, Roben worked in the corporate sector for 30+ years as a communications consultant, media spokesperson and employee and volunteer programs coordinator. A former board member of the Urban League of Union County, she believes in helping NJ communities in need achieve positive and lasting change.
Amanda Elgarhi is the FLY Coordinator at Roots and Wings. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Dominican College. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Idaho, and due to graduate December 2019. Prior to joining Roots and Wings, she worked with children on the autism spectrum for over 5 years. She is passionate about helping those with disabilities reach their full potential.
RISE Case Manager
Lamont James is one of Roots and Wings Case Managers. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Bloomfield College. Lamont is currently pursuing a boxing trainer certification at Aces Boxing Club in Boonton, NJ and a Personal Training certification at the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI). Lamont has a passion for helping people from all ages and back ground.
RISE Case Manager
Allison Mirabelli is one of Roots and Wing’s Case Managers. Allison is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of New Jersey and a National Certified Counselor. She earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Bachelor’s degrees in Criminology and Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Allison began her involvement with Roots and Wings as an intern where she developed a passion for helping young adults work towards their goals and independence.
Tyra Thomason is the Executive Assistant at Roots and Wings. She recently earned a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Technology at East Stroudsburg University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public and Organization Relations at Montclair State University. She is excited to be apart of the Roots and Wings team because she has the opportunity to work with an under-served population. Tyra looks forward to watching the program flourish and is thrilled that she gets to play a role in such an amazing organization.
Our Supportive Board
- Maria Chernock, President
- June Toth
- The Honorable Barbara A. Curran
- Cynthia Evans
- Donna Hughes
- Brian Jennings
- Scott Keith Kraemer
- Farad Lowther
- Wendy Masteller
- Marni Neuburger
- Lisa Phillips
- Susan Portnoi
- Robert Winston