Leadership

Sue Ruzenski, Ed.D.

Acting CEO, Helen Keller Services

Dr. Ruzenski serves as the H​elen Keller Services Acting Chief Executive Officer since October 2020. 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 Acting 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

Chief Development and Marketing Officer, HKS

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 a Vice President and the Treasurer of the Association Fundraising Professionals, Long Island Chapter.

Sharona Hebroni

Chief Financial Officer, HKS

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

Executive 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 visually impaired. 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.

Chris Mastrangelo

Director of Facilities, HKS

In his role as director of facilities for Helen Keller Services (HKS), Mr. 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.

Ayana McQueen

Supervising Manager, Wantagh Residential Facility, HKSB

As supervising manager for Helen Keller Services’ Wantagh Residential Facility, Ms. McQueen has served the developmentally disabled population and their families for over 15 years.

Ms. McQueen is responsible for the 24-hour operation of the facility, which includes and is not limited to providing safe and appropriate community integration, habilitation, financial assistance and dietary services for each individual at the residence. She also oversees staff and conducts hands-on training on a weekly basis.

Prior to joining HKSB, Ms. McQueen served as assistant manager of the Epilepsy Foundation’s East Meadow house. In that role, she was responsible for providing 24-hour clinical care to people with severe epileptic conditions as well as profound disabilities. Ms. McQueen also was instrumental in the utilization of Vegas nerve stimulation earlier in her career. She also was a social work supervisor at the Beach Terrace Care Center in Long Beach (New York).

Ms. McQueen earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Rust College, a historically black college in Holly Springs, Mississippi. At that time, she became a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., which is an action-oriented, community-conscious organization.

Elizabeth Meade

Associate Executive Director, HKSB

Ms. 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  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.

Gary Messina

Chief Facilities Officer, HKS

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 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

Chief Human Resources Officer, HKS

Effective January 2017, Ms. 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.

Garth White

Principal, Children’s Learning Center, HKSB

Mr. White has more than 19 years of experience in educational leadership positions, directing general and special education programs for nonprofit organizations and the New York City Department of Education.

Prior to joining the team at Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB), he served as principal at the Mill Basin & Nazareth Early Childhood Center, director of child care services at the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service and director of children’s services/school principal at Lighthouse International.

In addition, he brings classroom experience to his role at HKSB. An adjunct college professor, he also spent eight years teaching in early childhood, elementary and junior high school settings.

Mr. White earned an M.S. in special education and an advanced certificate in educational administration and supervision from Hunter College and a B.F.A. in graphic communications from Pratt Institute of Design. He holds New York State certifications in School Administration and Supervision (SAS), School Business Administration (SBA), School District Administration (SDA) and Special Education/Fine Arts, and New York City licenses for Principal/Assistant Principal – Elementary and Teacher/Supervisor – Special Education/Art.