Joseph F. Bruno
President and Chief Executive Officer, HKS
Joseph Bruno had been an active member of the board of trustees at Helen Keller Services (HKS) for more than 16 years before becoming the organization’s president and chief executive officer on January 29, 2016. He brings to his role decades of proven excellence and global recognition in the spheres of law, public service and emergency management, including more than 40 years of service under five New York City mayors: John Lindsay, Abe Beame, Ed Koch, Mike Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio.
Mr. Bruno's public service career has been marked by significant achievement from his beginning days as a parole officer for the State of New York to his most recent tenure as commissioner of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management. Joining the NYC Law Department in 1971, he rose to manage three major divisions within that department.
In 1983, Mr. Bruno became the city's first deputy fire commissioner. Three years later, he was selected by Mayor Ed Koch to head the Parking Violations Bureau (PVB), which at that time, was riddled with scandal. Under his leadership, the PVB was restored to respectability and was able to continue its work within the NYC government.
In 1987, after successfully completing his PVB tour of duty, Mr. Bruno was appointed by Mayor Koch as fire commissioner of the City of New York - an historic NYC position.
In 1991 and 2001, he was elected to two separate 10-year terms as a judge of New York City’s Civil Court. In 2002, while "on the bench," he was elected to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
In 2004, less than three years after the 9/11 tragedy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked Mr. Bruno to join his administration and serve as commissioner of the newly chartered NYC Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM).
Over the course of his 10 years at NYCOEM’s helm, Mr. Bruno proved instrumental in the development and leadership of the Office, shepherding its growth into the largest and most highly regarded municipal emergency management agency in the country ─ and perhaps the world.
Mr. Bruno's expertise in emergency management has garnered international attention. Under his leadership, NYCOEM hosted military and civilian leaders from Europe, Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East, and became a global model for success in crisis management. In 2004, he rolled out the NYC Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS), which stands today as the system under which NYC manages all major emergencies.
He also has worked in the private sector, most recently serving as vice president for emergency management and senior strategic advisor at RedLand Strategies.
Mr. Bruno has long history of lending his time and talents to nonprofit organizations. In addition to his work on behalf of HKS, he has served as a trustee of Brooklyn Maimonides Medical Center and continues in a senior leadership role with the Big City Emergency Managers (BCEM) ─ a not-for-profit group he organized that is made up of directors and commissioners of emergency management agencies from 15 major U.S. cities.
A lifelong New York City resident, Mr. Bruno holds a B.S. in economics from City College and a J.D. from St. John's University Law School.
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).
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 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.
Director of Communications and Events, HKS
Deborah Rodriguez brings over 35 years of public relations, marketing, corporate communications and development experience to Helen Keller Services, including work in agency, corporate and nonprofit settings. Over the past 18 years, Ms. Rodriguez has added various aspects of information technology to her resume, including work on websites (internal and external) and blogs, and overseeing corporate IT systems (hardware and software). Through her initiatives as director of communications and events, she raises visibility (and brand awareness) for the organization and develops, cultivates and sustains relationships with supporters through strategies that greatly enhance and expand fundraising efforts, including all aspects of development (foundations and corporate relations), government relations and special events. Ms. Rodriguez also develops and manages marketing campaigns agency wide.
Prior to joining HKS, she was the director of communications for Common Ground Community and director of marketing and public relations for Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHS of NYC). Rodriguez raised visibility and unified the image of both organizations, developing aggressive marketing campaigns and placing dozens of articles per year, including major pieces in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Fast Company and NY1 News. She began her nonprofit experience with the launch of a Spanish public television station devoted to education (including creating, executing and producing on-air promotions and all marketing materials). Her agency and corporate experience includes creating and executing program promotions (network, cable and overseas) for Westinghouse Broadcasting and working on public relations campaigns for such clients as The Netherlands Industrial Commission, MasterCard, United Media Enterprises, The United States Football League (USFL), Cotton Incorporated and Kelly Services.
Educated at New York University, Ms. Rodriguez earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in political science and media studies from Hunter College and certification in television production from The Center for Media Arts. She is a longtime member of the Public Relations Society of America, ISES (International Society for Event Specialists), Women in Communications and the Association for Fundraising Professionals, and is a former associate broker (residential real estate). Ms. Rodriguez received a Customer Service Award and the 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award from NHS of NYC. She also received the Paul F. Zucker Award, Grand Prize Winner, for outstanding public relations program (Ruder Finn & Rotman, United Media Enterprises-Client). Ms. Rodriguez is a board member of the Staten Island Inter-Agency Council and co-chair of the Ambassador Committee for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers her time on the events committee with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
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, a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, holds a B.A. in special education from Dowling College and an M.A. in deaf education from New York 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