Chief Financial Officer
Sharona Hebroni has been appointed HKS Chief Financial Officer effective July 2020. Sharona joined Helen Keller Services in June 2010 as the Director of Accounting for the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC). In this role, Sharona was responsible for all financial operations of HKNC, including accounting processes, compliance, financial reporting, budgeting, and oversight of all Federal & state grants and contracts.
Sharona 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. Sharona 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. Sharona will be responsible for the overall direction, coordination and operation of the Accounting department of HKS as Chief Financial Officer.
Sharona graduated from Queens College City University of New York with a BA in Accounting and Economics.
Chief of Staff
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.
Ms. Fu currently serves as a Vice President and the Treasurer of the Association Fundraising Professionals, Long Island Chapter.
Lorraine M. Locurto
Executive Director, Helen Keller Services for the Blind
Lorraine 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 HKSB 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 visually impaired. She began her career as the school psychologist intern for the Copiague Public Schools on Long Island.
Ms. LoCurto earned an M.A. in clinical psychology and a B.A. in psychology from St. John’s University, 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.
Associate Executive Director, HKSB
Elizabeth (Liz) Meade began her career at HKSB in 1995 as a supported employment training specialist, developing clients’ pre-employment skills and providing career counseling and job placement services. In 2007 Ms. Meade was promoted to coordinator of pre-employment services, overseeing the provision of services for both youth in transition and adults who require evaluation and/or other training prior to being referred for competitive employment. She was instrumental in the development of a 12-session training program to improve clients’ soft skills (i.e., communication, decision making, personal management, etc.). She then became the director of rehabilitation and placement services for Helen Keller Services for the Blind. In this role, Ms. Meade oversees all vision rehabilitation, adaptive living, pre-vocational, placement and summer camp programs and instructors.
Ms. Meade graduated from Iona College with a B.A. in psychology and an M.B.A. in organizational behavior, and she has a certification in advanced interpretation of the Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES) from McCarron-Dial Systems. Ms. Meade is a member of the Nassau Placement Network and was elected to their executive board in 2004.
Chief Facilities Officer
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
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.
Sue Ruzenski, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults
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 HNKC, 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.