President and Chief Executive Officer, HKS
In June 2019 Kim Zimmer was named President and CEO of Helen Keller Services by the organization’s Board of Trustees. For over 125 years the nonprofit organization has enabled individuals who are blind, visually impaired, deaf-blind or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice. Helen Keller Services consists of two divisions under its umbrella, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults and Helen Keller Services for the Blind.
Prior to her role at Helen Keller Services, Zimmer was chief marketing officer and senior vice president of global development at Goodwill Industries International (GII), a global social enterprise that provides job training, career and support services to nearly 39 million people a year, through the revenue from the sale of donated clothes and household goods. At GII, Zimmer developed and implemented innovative communication and public affairs initiatives for 160 members across the United States, Canada and 13 other countries. She executed international business development, brand and cause marketing, social media and digital applications that directly impacted top-line growth.
Prior to joining Goodwill, Zimmer was the vice president of corporate communications for National Industries for the Blind (NIB), a national nonprofit that works in partnership with more than 88 associated agencies around the U.S. to enhance economic opportunities and professional development for people who are blind and employed through federal set aside contracts. While at NIB, Zimmer led a team to develop and implement strategic corporate communications and marketing campaigns to drive social enterprise, increase brand awareness and positively impact mission measures.
Before NIB, Zimmer was vice president and chief operations officer at the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB), in Washington, D.C. CLB is dedicated to providing training programs, services and employment opportunities to people who are blind. In that role, she oversaw key areas of opportunity, including consumer programming, the introduction of virtual skills development, fundraising and brand marketing and public policy. She also introduced social enterprise through federal set aside contracts for employment of people who are blind.
Zimmer started her career as a consultant to state and county economic development initiatives and global technology companies.
She holds a degree from James Madison University.
Marc Feldman, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, HKS
A financial executive with over 30 years of experience, Marc Feldman oversees the financial and accounting functions for Helen Keller Services.
Prior to joining HKSB, Mr. Feldman was the chief financial officer (CFO) at The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation (DKM), a privately held multi-industry, multi-national corporation. At DKM, he directed all external relationships related to corporate finance, tax, real estate, insurance, audit/financial reporting, cash management, pension, environmental and IT. In addition to his responsibilities as CFO, Mr. Feldman managed invested assets as treasurer of The Dyson Foundation.
He also served as chief financial officer at Biopharmaceutics, Inc., and as assistant vice president of Finance at Del Laboratories. Mr. Feldman began his career as a supervising audit senior at Ernst & Young.
He holds an M.B.A. in finance (Dean’s List) from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and a B.B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan. Mr. Feldman is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Chief of Staff, HKS
Ms. Fu joined HKS in January 2015 as part of the HKNC Helmsley Grant development effort and has continued in that position after grant support ended. Ms. Fu has over 20 years of experience in development and prior experience in the financial sector. She earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree from Hofstra University and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Finance from LIU. Ms. Fu heads up the HKS Development Team and is responsible for all day-to-day development operations and will supervise and manage the entire development team.
Ms. Fu has responsibility for all HKS’ IT infrastructure, contracting, policy, logistics and change management and continue to act as liaison to LISS Consulting, our IT service firm. Also, she continues her role as liaison to the HKS Board of Trustees.
Director of Facilities, HKS
In his role as director of facilities for Helen Keller Services (HKS), Chris Mastrangelo manages the operation and maintenance of the physical plants of the agency’s two divisions, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults (HKNC) and Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB). Mr. Mastrangelo, who has been with HKS for more than 25 years, oversees the work of outside contractors; manages his area's budget; and supervises employees in the maintenance, landscaping, housekeeping and dietary departments. He also handles union-related staff issues.
Mr. Mastrangelo’s previous experience includes the installation and servicing of fire and safety equipment as well as the wiring of electrical installations in industrial, commercial and residential settings. He completed coursework at the Nassau Technological Center and the Buildings Technical Training Center, and holds an Air Conditioning Contractors of America certificate in refrigerant transition and recovery.
Chief Facilities Officer, HKS
Gary Messina is the Chief Facilities Officer for Helen Keller Services (HKS), where he coordinates the operation and maintenance of the physical plants of both the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) division and the Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) division. Mr. Messina works closely with the director of facilities to ensure optimal operation of HKS’ buildings and premises, and to maintain a safe and cost-effective environment for all who utilize the facilities and grounds.
Mr. Messina joined HKS in 2014, bringing with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in construction management, building materials, workmanship standards, municipal codes and safety regulations. He has managed projects ranging from new construction to restoring historic landmarks; has implemented cost controls to improve efficiency and productivity; and has conducted training programs to develop staff, facilitate efficiency and improve performance. Mr. Messina also owned and operated a private residential and commercial renovations business for nearly 20 years.
Chief Human Resources Officer, HKS
Effective January 2017, Mia Murro has been appointed the agency-wide position of HKS Chief Human Resources Officer and will oversee all human resources for Helen Keller Services. Prior to this appointment, she was the director of human resources at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC). Since 2007, she has been responsible for the management and direction of the human resources function, providing support to over 150 employees. Her duties include recruitment and selection, training and development, policy development and implementation, benefits administration, compensation and employee relations within a union environment.
Prior to joining HKNC, Ms. Murro was the HR manager at Bertelsmann Direct North America, the largest direct-to-consumer distributor of media products in the United States. Over nine years with Bertelsmann, she implemented many innovative and cost-savings procedures, which resulted in a number of successive promotions culminating in being appointed HR Manager.
Ms. Murro graduated from Hofstra University with a B.A. in psychology and business management. She also earned a certificate in human resources from LIU Post and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Director of Direct Services, HKNC
Laura Rocchio joined the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) in 1984, serving in a variety of capacities witha real penchant for supporting consumers with deaf-blindness and intellectual disabilities. Ms. Rocchio currently serves as director of direct services. In this role, she provides oversight to Destiny Home, New York State’s first home for individuals with deaf-blindness and intellectual disabilities. She also supports students in HKNC’s training program, coordinating adult learning, peer learning and mentoring opportunities to help them lead their own lives. Ms. Rocchio is an advisor to the HKNC Town Hall Committee and a board member of the New York Parent Association for Deaf-Blind.
Executive Director, HKNC
Sue Ruzenski has dedicated her career to working with and advocating on behalf of the deaf-blind community.
Over the course of her 35-year tenure at HKNC, Ms. Ruzenski held positions of increasing responsibility, including director of direct services, before assuming her current role as executive director. She has led and worked with employees across the organization to implement innovative changes, especially in the area of vocational rehabilitation programs.
Ms. Ruzenski earned an B.A. in special education from Dowling College, an M.A. in deaf education from New York University and an Ed.D. from Columbia University.
Director of Field Services, HKNC
Laura J. Thomas is the director of field services for the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC). Based in E. Moline, Illinois, Ms. Thomas provides support, guidance and supervision to 12 regional representatives, covering ten regions throughout the United States. As a member of HKNC’s senior leadership team, she participates in the organization’s strategic renewal process.
Prior to assuming her current role in 2014, Ms. Thomas was HKNC’s Region 5 representative, covering six states – Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. In this capacity, she provided information, referral, assistance, linkages and consultation; conducted assessments; and collaborated with other entities. Previous HKNC positions include case manager, supervisor of case managers, direct services supervisor, and professional and consumer relations national representative.
Ms. Thomas has extensive experience working with individuals who are deaf-blind, state and national agencies/organizations, rehabilitation and academic programs, and consumer groups, including serving these constituencies as a workshop trainer and as a consultant.
Ms. Thomas earned a B.A. from Gallaudet University and an M.A. from New York University, and completed post-graduate coursework at San Diego State University and Northern Illinois University.
She holds professional-level certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) and has taught ASL and deaf studies for the last 25 years in the New York City/Long Island area; Chicago, Illinois; and Moline, Illinois. During a 15-year period, Ms. Thomas held various board positions with ASLTA, and she is currently an evaluator on the National ASLTA Evaluation Team.
Associate Executive Director, HKNC
Chris Woodfill was appointed associate executive director at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) in 2014. In this position, Mr. Woodfill supervises 60 employees in five departments --vocational training, admissions, interpreting, residence life and the community service program-- and monitors the budgets of each department. He also facilitates HKNC’s Professional Learning and Leadership Institute, deaf-blind self-advocacy training, the Young Adult Summer Program, and cultural diversity and sensitivity training programs.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Woodfill, who joined the organization in 2012, served as HKNC regional representative for the Mid-Atlantic Region, where he provided assessment, consultation, training and technical assistance, and information and referral. Before joining HKNC, he spent nearly 20 years as an educator, teaching such subjects as history, social sciences, Spanish and ESL.
Mr. Woodfill earned an M.S. in deaf education from McDaniel College, an M.A. in Latin-American studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in history and Spanish from Gallaudet University. He serves on the boards of the World Federation of the DeafBlind and of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind.
Director of Accounting, HKNC