HKS Leadership

Sue Ruzenski, Ed.D.

Photograph of Sue RuzenskiCEO, Helen Keller Services

Dr. Ruzenski serves as the H​elen Keller Services Chief Executive Officer since February 2021. Prior to this, she had been the Executive Director at Helen Keller National Center ​from October 2014 – 2020. Dr. Ruzenski was​ also interim ED for 2 years and Director of Direct Services for 22 years at HKNC. During her 40-year tenure at HKNC, she has led and worked with employees across the organization to implement innovative services and meet the identified priorities of the community.

As CEO, Dr. Ruzenski leads the HKS executive team by setting organizational goals, implementing strategic learning initiatives, support​ing development activities, and being the liaison with the U.S. Dept. of Education while work​ing collaboratively with NY state and national partners. She has high enthusiasm for leadership development and mentoring, adult learning strategies, and management and organizational learning tools.

She received her B.A. degree (1980) from Dowling College in Special Education, M.A. degree from New York University (1985) in Deaf Education and Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University (2019) in Adult Learning and Leadership.

 

Mary Fu

Photograph of Mary FuChief Development and Marketing Officer ​

Ms. Fu joined Helen Keller Services 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 B.S. degree from Hofstra University and M.B.A. 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.

Ms. Fu currently serves as the President Elect of the Association Fundraising Professionals, Long Island Chapter.

Deborah Harlin

Executive Director, Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths & AdultsDeb Harlin

Ms. Harlin has been recently named Executive Director of the Helen Keller National Center as of May 2021. She was previously the Director of Information, Research and Professional Development where among other responsibilities, she supported the development of Helen Keller National Center's variety of online courses and facilitated the HKNC DeafBlind National Community of Practice. Ms. Harlin has held a variety of positions at HKNC over a total of 28 years. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Colgate University and Master's degree from Long Island University/CW Post. She holds NY State teaching certifications as a teacher of the blind and low vision and as a special education teacher. She has also worked as an itinerant teacher of the low vision on Long Island and as a pre-school program supervisor for United Cerebral Palsy Association.

Sharona Hebroni

Photograph of Sharona HebroniChief Financial Officer

Ms. Hebroni has been appointed Helen Keller Services Chief Financial Officer effective July 2020. She joined Helen Keller Services in June 2010 as the Director of Accounting for the Helen Keller National Center. In this role, she was responsible for all financial operations of HKNC, including accounting processes, compliance, financial reporting, budgeting, and oversight of all Federal & state grants and contracts.

Ms. Hebroni comes to this newly appointed role with over 20 years of experience in nonprofit accounting. Prior to joining Helen Keller Services, she worked as an auditor, specializing in the non-profit and healthcare sectors. She has vast knowledge of all guidelines and regulations in both, state and federal regulatory compliance. She brings to HKS extensive knowledge of nonprofit accounting, with a focus on developing policies and procedures to improve internal controls, performance and productivity. Ms. Hebroni will be responsible for the overall direction, coordination and operation of the Accounting department of HKS as Chief Financial Officer.

Ms. Hebroni graduated from Queens College City University of New York with a B.A. in Accounting and Economics.

 

Lorraine M. Locurto

Photograph of Lorraine LoCurtoExecutive Director, Helen Keller Services for the Blind

Ms. LoCurto has helped further the mission of Helen Keller Services for the Blind for over 30 years. She is responsible for all programs serving the blind at all Helen Keller Services for the Blind locations.

Before becoming executive director, Ms. LoCurto was responsible for all rehabilitation and social services in Nassau County, including the day habilitation and residential habilitation programs. She also had served as director of day habilitation services and psychometrist. In these roles, Ms. LoCurto was responsible for day-to-day operations and psychological evaluations for the blind and low vision. She began her career as the school psychologist intern for the Copiague Public Schools on Long Island.

Ms. LoCurto earned an B.A. in Psychology from St. John’s University and M.A. in Clinical Psychology, where she is also a doctoral candidate in the field of child psychology. Ms. LoCurto has permanent New York State Certification as a school psychologist.

Elizabeth Meade

Photograph of Elizabeth MeadeAssociate Executive Director, HKSB

Ms. Meade began her career at Helen Keller Services for the Blind in 1995 as a Supported Employment Training Specialist. She has spent the last 25 years working in a variety of positions, with both youth and adults to increase their independence and opportunities for employment. In her current role, Ms. Meade oversees the Children’s Learning Center, OPWDD programs, Youth, Placement, Social Service programs and Camp Helen Keller.

Ms. Meade graduated from Iona College with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior.

Gary Messina

Photograph of Gary MessinaChief Facilities Officer

Mr. 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 DeafBlind 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.

Mia Murro

Photograph of Mia MurroChief Human Resources Officer

Ms. Murro is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Helen Keller Services. Ms. Murro is an executive team leader with over 20 years’ progressive experience working across all areas of Human Resources. Prior to being appointed to the Chief Human Resources Officer position, she held the position of Director of Human Resources at the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC). Ms. Murro currently oversees all aspects of Human Resources Management for the organization including as Recruitment, Organizational Development, Benefits and Compensation, Training and Employee Development, Safety and Labor Relations.

Before joining HKNC, Ms. Murro was the Human Resources Manager at Bertelsmann Direct North America, the largest direct-to-consumer distributor of media products in the United States. She was responsible for HR services to over 1,000 employees and held several Human Resources roles of increasing responsibility including staffing, employee relations and employee engagement.

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.