HKS Leadership

Sue Ruzenski, Ed.D.

Photograph of Sue RuzenskiActing CEO, Helen Keller Services

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.

 

Mary Fu

Photograph of Mary FuChief 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.

Deborah Harlin

Acting Executive Director, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults

Sharona Hebroni

Photograph of Sharona HebroniChief 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.

 

Lorraine M. Locurto

Photograph of Lorraine LoCurtoExecutive 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.

Elizabeth Meade

Photograph of Elizabeth MeadeAssociate Executive Director, HKSB

Liz began her career at HKSB 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, Liz 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

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.

Mia Murro

Photograph of Mia MurroChief Human Resources Officer

Mia 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 Deaf-Blind 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.