George Gurdak

George Gurdak is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor, concentrating on financial management and business planning.

George advises organizations on improved operating efficiency, and techniques for formulating and implementing a wide range of financial and business strategies. He has supervised internal audits resulting in significant operational improvements at reduced cost. His clients include not-for-profit educational and fund-raising organizations, real estate, medical and financial firms.

George’s prior experience includes executive level roles at American Express, The Interpublic Group of Companies and McGraw Hill.

George holds a deep commitment to Catholic school education and served for five years (2009-2014) as Director of Finance at St. Aloysius School in Harlem.

George has served on the Board of Trustees of St. Peter’s Preparatory School, a trustee at Palisades Medical Center and a regent at Saint Peter’s University. He graduated from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City.

Paola Hernandez

Paola serves as Internal Communications Manager for Performance Materials and Technologies, a $10 billion division of Honeywell International. Prior to that, Paula led media relations and internal communications for 127 TV and radio stations at Univision Communications, the leading media company serving Hispanic America.

Paola also served as Manager, Corporate Communications at NYSE Technologies, the commercial technology division of NYSE Euronext, where she established the first Latino Employee Resource Group. As a Communications Specialist at Johnson and Johnson, she formulated and implemented the communications strategy and site redesign for the company’s global social media intranet to drive employee collaboration.

Paola earned her BA in Communications and Sociology at Rutgers University and an MA in Corporate & Organizational Communication at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ariscielle Novicio

Ariscielle Novicio is Vice President of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at The New York Post.

A hands-on executive and technical professional with 20-plus years experience in creating technology products, Ariscielle is an industry leader with a proven track record in executing projects and building strong, high-performance teams. Ariscielle led the team that developed the first iPad-only publication, The Daily, in collaboration with Apple Inc. She launched 12 consumer products between with Apple, Google and Facebook

Ariscielle serves as Regional Sponsorship Lead for Women in Technology (WIT) and as an active speaker and participant in News Corporation’s Girls Who Code partnership. She is founder of Getter, LLC and is also a mentor, volunteer and student of all things technology-related. But most of all Ariscielle is the mother of two children, Dylan and Kai — and a dog.

Susan M. Odenthal

Susan Odenthal is a highly-experienced communication professional who works with clients to engage stakeholders and build trust. She retired in October 2015 from a 22-year career at Johnson & Johnson, where she most recently led the Communication and Public Affairs function for Johnson & Johnson’s $23 billion Medical Devices sector.

A former award-winning journalist, Susan has had responsibility for public and stakeholder relations, marketing communication, media relations, public affairs, acquisition/integration communication, organizational communication, employee engagement, issues and crisis management, digital marketing, reputation management and organizational leadership.

Susan has executed successful strategic communication plans in support of major organizational transformation, counseling senior leaders and leading internal and external communication through restructures, major downsizings, and rapid expansion.

While pursuing her professional vocation in Communications, Susan has also pursued an avocation in support of Catholic schools. Her roles have included: Chair, Board of Trustees, Saint Dominic Academy, Jersey City, NJ; Member, Diocese of Metuchen Education Commission, Piscataway, NJ; and Inaugural President, Immaculata High School Advisory Council, Somerville, NJ.

Susan graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Communication from Seton Hall University.

Joe Bonito

Joe Bonito has broad expertise and experience in management consulting, organizational effectiveness, human resources, and sales in a variety of industries.

Joe is currently at Bank of America as a Senior Vice President, Learning and Leadership Development Executive supporting the Chief Information Officers for the Consumer, Wealth Management and Global Markets technology organizations. Previously, he supported the Chief Risk Officer’s and Chief Compliance Officer’s respective global organizations. In these assignments, he and his team provided internal consulting in organizational effectiveness, talent management, leadership development and cultural change.

Previous to joining Bank of America in 2009, Joe held several leadership positions at Pfizer Inc. and Coach at the corporate and divisional levels. In both organizations, Joe and his teams were responsible for enterprise-wide HR capital processes to include talent acquisition, learning and leadership development, talent management, diversity, executive coaching and employee engagement. In addition, Joe started up and/or led internal consulting groups focusing on: strategy deployment, change management, organizational design, post-merger integration and process improvement.

In addition, Mr. Bonito was a Principal at Rath & Strong, Inc., a Boston based management-consulting firm as well as held human resources positions at McNeil Consumer Healthcare (a Johnson & Johnson company) and began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble in Philadelphia.

He holds a BA from Boston College, a MS from the University of Pennsylvania and an Executive Master in Human Resource Leadership from Rutgers University. In addition, he has taken executive education programs at Harvard Business School.

Joe has been active in a variety of leadership positions in local educational, religious and community-based organizations, as well as conducting workshops at Boston College and University of Pennsylvania.

Mary Deatherage

Mary Deatherage has been with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management since 1986.  She and her team of ten manage $2.0 billion in assets. They provide financial planning, asset allocation, manager selection and liaison, estate planning and tax strategies.

Mary has her undergraduate degree in English, French and education.  After teaching for five years around the world, she earned her CPA and went on to do audit and acquisition work at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  She “saw the light” and came to wealth management in 1986, where she finds a synthesis of her teaching skills and analytical abilities.

Mary has served as co-chair of the Morgan Stanley Consulting Group Wealth Advisory Council and the Smith Barney Director’s Advisory Group.   She is currently the co-chair of the Morgan Stanley FA Cabinet and serves on the PWM Advisory Council.  Mary is the proud President of APIC.   She is involved in many focus groups and beta tests for future state firm systems and processes.

Mary was listed as #73 in Registered Rep Magazine’s “Top Wirehouse Advisors” and has been named one of Barron’s “Top Ranked Women Advisors in America” and “America’s Top Advisors: New Jersey” since 2006.  Mary was also named #15 in Wealth Management Magazine’s survey of the “Top 50 Wirehouse Women in 2013.” The Financial Times (FT) named Mary one of its top 50 women advisors.  She was also named a “MAKER” as a representative of Morgan Stanley in 2013.  Mary has appeared on Wall Street Week, CNBC and Fox Business.

Brian Keenan

Brian is the founder and President of Build with Purpose (“Build”), an innovative nonprofit real estate development company that uses real estate to promote social change. Brian’s work has facilitated the development of over thirty schools in low- income communities in New Jersey and the development of over 300 units of affordable housing in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Brian’s extensive knowledge of real estate finance has enabled Build to access both traditional and nontraditional capital to develop an array of nonprofit real estate projects.  Under Brian’s leadership, Build has secured over $250 million for charter school development, making it one of the largest charter school developers nationally.

In 2012 the Federal Department of Education awarded Build $8 million in grant funds to further its charter school work. In 2013 Brian spearheaded Build’s latest initiative, the development of Supportive Housing.  By partnering with parishes, lenders and governments Brian is working to convert vacant convents into much needed affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities.  Brian is also seeking to certify Build as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) via the US Treasury which would enable the organization to expand its work from real estate development to real estate finance.  Prior to his work at Build, Brian was employed as a Real Estate Project Manager at both Common Ground Community and The Community Builders.  Brian also served as a Vice President of Financial Products and Services for New Jersey Community Capital.

Brian is a graduate of Molloy College with a Bachelors of Art in Social Work, Pratt Institute with a Certificate in Community Economic Development and Saint Peter’s University with a Master’s in Business Administration. Brian’s work has been recognized by NJBiz with its “40 under 40” Award.  This awards program celebrates 40 of New Jersey’s most accomplished young business people.  Brian is also the recipient of the Fathers for Our Children Award from Marion P. Thomas Charter School.  Brian serves on the Advisory Boards for the Archdiocese of Newark’s Catholic Urban School Partnership, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Community Reinvestment Fund.  Brian resides in Metuchen, NJ with his wife Lisa, daughter Anna and son James.

Pat Lacognata

Pat Lacognata joined Catapult Learning in 2004 and now serves as Senior Vice President of Development and School Partnerships, overseeing the company’s non-public school sales efforts. Previously, Pat co-owned and served as President of Worldwide Educational Services. She started her career as a classroom teacher at both the elementary and high school level. Pat received her bachelor’s degree in Business from St. Francis College and her master’s degree in Literacy from Fordham University. Pat has worked tirelessly over the past decade to advocate for the schools and students she serves. As a result of her passion and unbending commitment to this important work, Pat’s direct efforts have helped us to establish countless new programs that have benefited tens of thousands of educationally and economically disadvantaged students.

Nancy B. Matthews

Nancy B. Matthews is a lawyer who has spent her career in service to the Catholic Church and other civic and political entities ranging from the state of Connecticut to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Her expertise includes education, financial procedures, insurance issues, and civil liberties.

She began her career in private practice and worked as deputy treasurer of the state of Connecticut. During this time, Nancy served on a statewide panel for equality in education. Her path then led her to work as the Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, CT. In this capacity she worked closely with Bishop Lori and a senior team of seasoned professionals to reorganize diocesan operations, establish a diocesan governance model for the elementary schools, implement an up-to-date parish financial procedures and controls system, and establish a safe environment program. Her duties also included putting her legal skills to use in service of defending the Church’s religious freedoms.

Upon stepping down as Chancellor, Nancy was asked to serve as a lay consultant to the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty for the USCCB. Additionally, Nancy is a founding organizer of the Catholic Benefits Association and the Catholic Insurance Company.

Nancy has been lauded repeatedly for her service. She received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, also known as the Cross of Honour, from Pope Benedict XVI. She was recognized with the Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award as well as the Fourth Congressional District Award for Grassroots Organizing in her home state of Connecticut. [confirm CT.] Nancy is a Dame of the Order of Malta.

Nancy earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College and graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Stephanie Macias-Arlington

Stephanie Macias-Arlington is the executive director of the The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute at Seton Hall University. Stephanie is responsible for stewardship, strategic guidance, and fulfillment of the Institute’s mission and core programs, including the Joseph and Carmen Ana Student Scholarship, enriching cultural events and initiatives, as well as student mentorship.

Prior to this appointment, Stephanie spent a decade working with other nonprofits in Northern New Jersey with experiences ranging from marketing, fundraising and special events at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Dress for Success Worldwide, and the Mental Health Association of Morris County.

Raised in a family of educators and public servants and proud of her Latino heritage, Stephanie contributes her time and talents to a number of philanthropic areas including the advisory board of Sacred Heart School, Jersey City, as a board member emeritus of the Cuban American Alliance for Leadership and Education, and with the New Jersey Latino Task Force – Transition Committee.

Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology Tuchman School of Management where she also played Division I Soccer. She also holds a master’s in public administration from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Dave Carty

Dave Carty brings over three decades of experience in the business and education fields to the CUSP board. Currently in his fifth year as the Director of Strategic Operations at Kent Place School, Summit, NJ, Dave reports to the CFO on key budgeting and financial forecasting areas, directs and manages vital school programs such as food service, facility rentals and transportation, and manages other aspects of the school including crisis management, security, and sustainability. Dave honed these skills in prior volunteer positions with Stevens Cooperative School in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ, working as a trustee and treasurer and as well as helping with the advancement efforts both there and at St. Peter’s University, Jersey City.

Before working in education, Dave was a brand manager and a business development manager for Bestfoods, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, working with internationally-known brands such as Skippy, Hellmans and Knorr. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, an MBA from New York University, and a certificate in global education competencies from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Anthony Nicotera

Anthony brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of social work, law, education, coaching, fundraising, counseling, and management to his role as a CUSP board member. Currently, Anthony serves as an assistant professor in the Bachelor of Social Work Program in Seton Hall University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. He is also an adjunct professor in New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where he teaches courses in social justice, nonviolent peacemaking, multi-faith leadership and spirituality. Additionally, he is a clinical social worker in Wayne, NJ.

Beyond his roles in academia, Anthony’s experiences throughout his career have taken him from work as a founding leader of Christ the King Preparatory School in Newark, Chaplain at DePaul University, director of foundation relations at Rutgers University, director of social work at the Boys and Girls Club in Boston, and six years as a Jesuit scholastic in the Maryland Province among many positions working for peace and social justice. He also developed a resource for social work educators and all interested in social justice pedagogy and practice called Circle of Insight. Many additional organizations benefit from Anthony’s time and talent, including FOR USA, for which he served as a board member and consults as lead counsel for development and advancement.

Anthony has been arrested some 20 times for nonviolent civil disobedience. His spiritual and activist commitments have led him to be interviewed in various print and online media, as well as for the PBS documentary, Where We Stood. He also worked with Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence for children and helped produce the award-winning film The 5 Powers, a mixed media documentary about the relationship among Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hahn and others.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University, he studied law at Georgetown as well, and then completed his law degree at DePaul University in Chicago. He received his Master of Social Work from Loyola University, also in Chicago, where he also completed graduate studies in theology and philosophy. Anthony earned his doctorate in social work from Rutgers University.

Bart Erbach, CUSP Executive Director

Bart Erbach is a creative consultant and coach with 25 years experience as a CEO and a lifelong passion for serving others.

Bart’s specialty is communication. As founder and CEO of a multi-dimensional strategic communications company, Bart advised blue chip clients such as Pfizer and American Express, as well as entrepreneurs and non-profit executives on their approaches to communications, strategic initiatives, and organizational development. His company created successful marketing programs for more than 100 schools (at the elementary, secondary and university levels).

Bart approaches his work as a results-oriented thought partner, believing that motivated teams can identify and reach their own solutions once they clearly understand their challenges.

In addition to his career in business, Bart is a published poet, musician, and has served in leadership roles on the boards of many non-profit corporations in a wide range of sectors including education, health care, and the arts. Bart served as chair of the Mount Carmel Guild Behavioral Healthcare Advisory Board and was a founding board member and board president of Christ the King Prep, a Cristo Rey model high school for economically-disadvantaged youth in Newark, NJ.

Bart lives in Jersey City with his wife Margaret and two sons, Timothy and John.