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Commitment, experience and so much more
Passionately committed to our mission, people and programs
Meet our agency and foundation board members and executive leaders.
Arc of Westchester Board of Directors Officers
Bernard A. Krooks, Esq., President
Anthony Assalone, Immediate Past President
Rosa Rodriguez, President-Elect
Abby Reuben, Secretary
Christopher Orlando, DPM
Jerrold Shenkman, Esq.
Arc of Westchester Foundation Board of Directors
Elaine Masket, President
John J. Corgan, Esq. Treasurer/Secretary
Anthony Assalone, Member
Beth Beck, Member
Katharine W. Conroy, Esq., Member & Director
Bernard A. Krooks, Member
Jonathan Ferguson, Member
William V. Healey, Director
Justin Israel, Director
Steven Masket, Director
(immediate past president)
Laura Scherr Saggese
Gerald Singer, Member & Director
Susan Walker, Director
President, Arc of Westchester
Bernard A. Krooks, Esq. was elected President of the Arc of Westchester’s Board of Directors in June, 2014. In this role he is responsible for the general business affairs and property of the Chapter.
Krooks is a founding partner of Littman Krooks LLP, with offices in New York City, White Plains and Fishkill and is the Chair of its Elder Law and Special Needs Department. He is a nationally prominent expert in all aspects of estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning. He has been chosen among The Best Lawyers in America®, the definitive guide to legal excellence, in the field of Elder Law and Trusts and Estates for each of the last seven years. He has also been recognized as a “New York Super Lawyer” since 2006.
Krooks was recently recognized as an entrant into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame® by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) and is the recipient of an Accredited Estate Planner® (Distinguished) Nominee designation for 2014.
He has been named Vice Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Additionally, Trusts & Estates magazine recently appointed him Chair of the Elder Care Committee of their Editorial Advisory Board. This committee was created to address the increased importance of elder care issues in the practice of estate planning professionals.
Krooks is Past President of the Special Needs Alliance, Past President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and Past President of the New York Chapter of NAELA. He has served as Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. He is co-chair of the Long Term Care, Medicaid, and Special Needs Trusts Committee of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association
Krooks is a sought-after expert on estate planning, elder law and special needs planning matters and has been quoted in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Forbes, among others.
Executive Director, Arc of Westchester
Since 1975, Ric has worked with people with developmental disabilities, including holding the position of executive director of Arc of Westchester for the past 20 years. He frequently speaks at state and national meetings on such topics as guardianship, quality metrics, corporate compliance, person-centered planning in residential and vocational services, board training, family advocacy and the development and management of direct service worker career systems.
Swierat is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University's Ancell School of Business in Danbury, Connecticut. He is on the staff of the graduate school of health care management, with specialties in strategic and financial management. On behalf of the university, he has taught in the Bahamas as a member of the systems change team for health care organizations. Swierat periodically works on these issues with other community organizations as a private consultant.
He has a master's degree in special education from the State University College at Buffalo and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in administration and decision management sciences at Walden University. His dissertation focuses on the recruitment and retention of direct service workers in the field of developmental disabilities. The National Conference of Executives (NCE) of the Arc of the United States has bestowed its highest honor—the 2008 Executive Excellence Award—to Westchester Arc Executive Director Ric Swierat.
President, Arc of Westchester Foundation
Elaine Masket brings over 35 years of advocacy experience to her role as President of Arc of Westchester Foundation. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law, Elaine practiced law in Manhattan, specializing in corporate litigation.
She is the proud parent of Alex, who has severe autism and resides in Arc of Westchester’s Pemart House, and his older brother Will.
A former resident of Westfield, New Jersey, Elaine has been a passionate advocate for people with autism for over two decades. Her efforts with Senator Robert Menendez of NJ earned her an “Autism Advocate of the Year” award from Autism NJ (formerly COSAC). She successfully advocated for legislation allowing for random drug testing for New Jersey school bus drivers. Providing a parent’s perspective, Elaine also conducts workshops for education students seeking Master Degrees in Special Education.
Since 2009, Elaine and her husband Steven, who is a member of Arc of Westchester Foundation’s Board, have resided in New Rochelle. Elaine’s connection to the Arc of Westchester began shortly after Alex moved into his group home in 2011, when she became an active volunteer at the Foundation offices. She is a member of the Arc of a Life Campaign Committee, serves as Co-Chair of the “A Matter of Taste” fundraiser, and is a member of the Arc of Westchester Board Nominating Committee. In recognition of her extensive volunteer work and commitment to Arc of Westchester, Elaine was honored with the Katzenberg Award in 2012.
Elaine is also a “momager”, handling the exhibition and sale of Alex’s artwork. Alex is an internationally recognized artist, who is the subject of the award-winning film “Breaking Boundaries: the Art of Alex Masket.”
Executive Director, Arc of Westchester Foundation
Nancy Patota, Executive Director of Arc of Westchester Foundation, directs and coordinates fundraising and development to support Arc of Westchester programs. The Foundation, now in its 11th Year, drives charitable giving through individual membership, special events, and corporate and foundation funding to help bridge the gap between what it costs to provide exceptional services and what is covered by government funding.
Nancy spent the last 15 years at Iona College located in New Rochelle, NY, where she held a number of leadership positions in the Advancement & External Affairs Office. Most recently, she held the position of Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services, Prospect Strategy and Budget Management. In addition, Nancy is an adjunct professor for the Iona College MBA program where she teaches courses in Human Resources Management, Organizational Behavior and Training and Development.
Earlier in her career, Nancy was a true leader in the corporate world with specific experience in the retail and communications industries. Now, she brings her diverse range of skills and experience to the Foundation.
“I feel so fortunate to work with the people of Arc Westchester and the Foundation in support of the inspiring work done each day to provide opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our Westchester community. The more I learn about the Arc mission and the accomplishments made possible by all the stakeholders of the organization over the past 65 years, the more excited I am to use my experience and skills to lead the Arc of a Life Campaign and ensure that important mission continues.”
Nancy is a native of Westchester County and currently resides in Rye, NY.