A special thank you to our esteemed
2019 essay contest judges!

Panel of Judges

Dr. Terry Kirchner is the Executive director of the Westchester Library System where he oversees all aspects of the 38-member public library system. His experience in various management positions at public and academic libraries spans 25 years. 

Spencer Barback, is a CPA and tax partner with Citrin Cooperman.  He has 35 years of experience providing complete tax, estate planning, business consulting and compliance services for businesses and individuals.  Spencer is also a Board Member and Past Chair of The Food Bank of Westchester.

Sandra Malpica Chaiken, LCSW retired after 42 years as a Public Hospital Social Worker. She is a recognized expert in crisis management, emergency response, biomedical ethics, and the prevention of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. She serves as a consultant to the NYS Department of Juvenile Justice and is a Past Chair and member of the NYS Board for Social Work.

Matthew Darnall is a Managing Director in Modeling and Technology at Element Capital Management. He received a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Mathematics from Humboldt State University. 

Nancy Garretto, RN started her career as a pediatric nurse at Blythedale’s Children’s Hospital.  For the past 30 years she has served as the school nurse for approximately 1,000 students at the combined campus of Blind Brook High School and Blind Brook Middle School in Rye Brook. 

Maria Imperial is the CEO of the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, whose mission is eliminating racism and empowering women.  Ms. Imperial is a member of the Board of Directors of Nonprofit Westchester and the Fund for Modern Courts. 

Danny Massey is a senior vice president at Berlin Rosen, where he helps lead the firm’s work on labor campaigns and issues. Prior to Berlin Rosen, Danny was a senior reporter at Crain’s NewYork Business. An award-winning journalist, Danny’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Salon, Newsday, The NewarkStar-Ledger and The New York Daily News.

Alessandra Ravetti is Assistant General Counsel and Executive Director at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals where she leads a team that provides legal advice on a wide range of regulatory law issues associated with helping get new products approved by regulators and to the patients who need them.

Denise Reshard is a Housing Retention Case Manager at Lifting Up Westchester were she has been serving homeless individuals and their families for over two decades. 

Dr. John J. Russell, Ed.D is currently the Head of School at Winward and has had thirty years of experience in leadership and teaching positions in Westchester and Fairfield County including serving as Superintendent for the Hastings-on-Hudson school district for 11 years.

Rashid Silvera is an award-winning educator who has taught in public and private schools across the US, most recently as a social studies teacher at Scarsdale High School where he served for 35 years until his retirement in 2016.