VOTING NOW OPEN: 2018 Chapter Election

The New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the positions indicated that will become vacant as of June 30, 2018. The Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (CNLI) has certified that the slate meets all the requirements of the bylaws. We invite you to take time to learn about the candidates before casting your vote. 


How Do I Vote? 

Step 1) Click here to go to

Step 2) Log-in with your last name and the email associated with your NASW-NYS membership.

**Not sure of your email address? Simply call the NASW-NYS Chapter at 518-463-4741 or email us at

Step 3) Read the platform statements and bios of the candidates up for election.

Step 4) Vote on your preferred NASW-NYS leadership, and enjoy knowing that you contributed to the election of social work representatives of NYS!


Click Here to Cast Your Vote! 



Division membership data and official petition forms are available through the Chapter Office, and questions about the petition process may be addressed to Romel Wilson, Member Relations Specialist, at


Click the +/- to expand/collapse the biography and platform statement of each candidate. 


Board Positions

The NASW-NYS Chapter is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, comprised of members elected by the general membership. The Board of Directors shall exercise the powers of the Chapter, deciding on policy and priorities, program implementation, and the equitable allocation of financial resources under the broad policy and priority guidelines established by the membership of the Chapter.

Vice President

Randall Stetson

Randall Stetson is a native Central New Yorker and a bilingual clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience. Stetson has served on several community boards and held both direct practice and administrative positions in mental health and child welfare organizations. He has held full-time teaching positions in both the sociology and human development programs at SUNY Oswego. He is also an adjunct instructor in the School of Social Work at Syracuse University. Stetson earned his BA in Sociology from SUNY Oswego, an MSW degree from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from SUNY Albany.

Platform Statement:

The social work profession is continuously being reciprocally shaped by the micro and macro aspects of our society. It is imperative that we keep our mind and attention on the needs and activities in both realms, both as a profession and equally important, as individual social worker practitioners. As the Vice President, I will use my extensive education and practice background to help shape the policies and activities of the NASW-NYS Chapter as it contributes to, and supports the NASW national agenda. I believe that as a chapter, we need to:

  1. Focus on increasing our membership strength by engaging all social workers in NYS

  2. Activate and motivate our chapter members to respond collectively at the local, state and national levels to opportunities and threats

  3. Meet the educational and professional growth needs of individual practitioners in the field.

To achieve our goals, all social workers must stand together!

Billye Jones 

Billye Jones is currently a consultant and trainer. Before starting Billye Jones Consulting, Jones worked at Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in the Bronx. She was the Assistant Director of the Parent and Child Program, Director of the Child Sexual Abuse Treatment & Prevention Program, and the Assistant Executive Director of Clinical Programs.

Jones holds an MSW from NYU and an Advanced Certificate for the Management of children, families and the elderly, from New York Medical College/Fordham University. She has been an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) where she currently holds a local and a National position.

Platform Statement:

I have been an active member of the NASW for the past 18 years in multiple capacities. I am currently the Chair of the National Ethics Committee and the Co-Chair of the Whitney M. Young Multi-Cultural Affairs Committee and the Continuing Education Committee for the Westchester Division. In addition, I have served in other roles over the years.

Outside of a traditional leadership or committee positions, I have collaborated with the State Chapter over the past 2 years to raise awareness about Child Sexual Abuse and Trauma through in-person training and webinars. As a result of those efforts, we have trained approximately 400 Social Workers thought out the State!

Since I have had the privilege to serve NASW on a local, State and National level, I believe I am well positioned to represent the interests of Social Workers throughout the State. If I am elected I will do my very best to uphold the mission and values of our organization while working hard to help guide the organization transition.

2nd Vice President (Chair of Finance)

Brian Masciadrelli

Upon obtaining his M.S.W. from Simmons College in 1997, Brian Masciadrelli entered clinical practice working with seriously disturbed children, adolescents, and adults. After grounding himself in that field of practice, he went on to obtain a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While doing so, he also worked as Prevention Services Supervisor at the Mental Health Center of Champaign County helping support young, first-time parents at high risk for child maltreatment. Masciadrelli is currently an Associate Professor of Social Work at SUNY Fredonia and this is his eleventh year serving as social work program director there

Platform Statement:

Social work is the profession to which I have dedicated my professional life and I look forward to the opportunity to serve NASW-NYS in the capacity of 2nd Vice President (Chair of Finance). As social workers, we are committed to ensuring fiscal responsibility, especially in the challenging economic times of today. In this position, I will ensure that the resources of NASW-NYS are efficiently and effectively utilized to support its needs and growth. As social work program director at SUNY Fredonia, I am responsible for managing the annual program budget, as well as developing special budgets such as that needed for our program’s reaccreditation expenditures. I have also had experience with budget management and grant development as a departmental administrator in a large, county-wide mental health center. If elected to this position, I will utilize my skills to enrich and enhance NASW-NYS as a fiscally vibrant organization.

Board Member-at-Large

Lael Telfeyan

N. Lael Telfeyan’s career path has taken a journey from inpatient and outpatient clinical psychiatric settings in California to ACS in New York City to preventive services and substance abuse day treatment in the Bronx to full time clinical private practice in Manhattan and Long Island. She has taught graduate social work at NYU, Stony Brook, and Molloy College. She worked in the public sector for most of her career at the state, county and city levels. She has served families, communities, adolescents, and children from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. Telfeyan holds a Ph.D. from NYU and an MSW from USC. 

Platform Statement:

It has been a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors of the NYS Chapter, as Vice President and previously as Board Member-at-Large. I am honored to be offered this opportunity to provide continued leadership by furthering the momentum of our current strategic planning platform. My participation in the Board’s decision making regarding the Chapter’s structure, performance and operation; leadership roles and overall revitalization has been an important process in strengthening NASW. My career has been guided by an unwavering commitment to our profession as a spokesperson, manager, educator, and clinician.

My life-long goal has been to raise the status of the profession and to ensure that our remuneration matches our expertise. I have been an advocate throughout my career, fully committed to our values and ethics. I am an influential leader and I will stand behind our members as we contribute to the betterment of all our communities.

Marcy Lynne Abramsky

Marcy Abramsky, LCSW, holds NYS Certifications in School SW, SIFI, SDL, SBL, and is MST trained. She has been practicing Clinical Social Work for nearly 20 years. Abramsky has experience in journalism, politics, courts, preventive services, education, and “systems” work. These experiences, in tandem with certain injustices she has come across, have inspired her to start her own business. This business allows her to meet my higher expectations for standards of service and work environment. Abramsky is now the Owner of InspireAmindTM, a company offering private counseling, motivational speaking, consultation and solutions for schools and businesses, focused on wellness.

Platform Statement:

The National Association of Social Workers epitomizes what an organization, in social work should operate like. I would be honored to serve as a Board Member-at-Large, if elected, and continue to champion initiatives of the NASW. I have a strong desire to collaborate, design initiatives, and provide fresh ideas, for consideration. After nearly two decades of NASW membership, I’d like members to receive more attention for their work. Increasing public understanding of our field can advance funding, employment opportunities, and expand public awareness to demystify our role as social workers. I also believe in leveraging both internal and external networks to keep ideas flowing. With the ever-increasing concerns of violence in schools and the workplace, the need for mental health awareness and intervention is essential. I believe I can assist in cultivating a shift toward a growth mindset and, if elected, serve as an effective agent of positive change.

Laurice Whitfield

Laurice Whitfield, LCSW-R is a clinical social worker who continues to work in the community with clients. She received her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. She also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Fordham University. Whitfield has worked in both medical and behavioral health settings. She has experience in Federal, State and local program settings. Working in various positions from line social worker, supervisor, adjunct faculty, program director, teacher of social work interns has helped to mold her personally and professionally. Whitfield is currently involved in the Westchester Division Membership Committee

Platform Statement:

I have been volunteered and have agreed to run for the position of Board Member-At-Large.  I am honored and flattered that my colleagues think this much of me and what I have contributed to our local division to want to share me on the state level.  I am passionate about social work and what we do to make the lives of others better.  It disturbs me when I hear other disciplines express they can do what social workers do (side eye glance). I pride myself in knowing resources and being able to share them to make the lives of others better. This includes educating and motivating folks to write comments to government officials letting them know what is working and not working for the people. As a profession we face complex challenges on all levels, WE, have to promote and advocate Social Work, the same way we do for the people we serve.

MSW Representative

Alexander (Jack) McKillop

Jack McKillop is a BSW at Stony Brook University and has been an NASW member since 2016. This year, he served as the NASW-NYS BSW Student Representative. He attended monthly Suffolk Division meetings and quarterly NYS Chapter Board meetings. He also served as President of the Undergraduate Social Welfare Alliance at Stony Brook. Furthermore, he served as a member of the School of Social Welfare Advocacy Day planning team and Undergraduate Program Committee. Jack interns 14 hours/week at Hope House Ministries and works part-time at Pax Christi Hospitality Center, in the role of advocate for persons living with homelessness.

Platform Statement:

I am running for the position of MSW Representative for NASW-NYS because I want to be able to continue the work begun this year, as I have served as BSW Representative. I have begun to forge professional relationships with the Board of Directors and Chapter staff. I hope to be able to continue to advocate for student concerns, as well as to champion student ideas. Students play a critical role in the NASW-NYS annual LEAD event, and we are the future social workers of tomorrow! As MSW Representative, I will continue to assist in oversight of the various division social media outlets. I will also take an active role in a chapter subcommittee and I will continue to attend the Suffolk Division meetings. As a student leader, it is my responsibility to encourage more students to get involved and to make NASW work for us as students!

Wendy Lepper

Wendy Lepper is pursuing her MSW at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service with a Concentration in Community Based Practice and Leadership. She is also a member of the Xi Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society.

Lepper’s enthusiasm and passion for the profession, stems from decades of involvement with children with special needs, and her work as a Certified Divorce Coach. Currently, at her field placement, Lepper works mostly with an older population with physical and cognitive impairments. She finds this work incredibly satisfying. For these reasons, she will be dedicated to serving as MSW student representative.

Platform Statement:

It would be an honor and my privilege to serve as MSW representative for those pursuing their MSW, both online and in the classroom. My passion for helping vulnerable populations and supporting those in need is why I am committed to the social work profession and NASW-NYS’s mission.

If elected, I will focus on recruiting new student members and increasing student participation. As students, we represent the future of social work. During these pivotal times, we must remain focused on our professional values, including human rights, social justice, dignity, and worth of the individual.

Another goal is to be a voice for our professional organization and to promote the social work profession. I intend to seek input from MSW students regarding their needs and interests relative to NASW-NYS and our profession. I will share this information at board meetings and I will also inform students about issues relevant to NASW-NYS.

BSW Representative

Jonathan Crandall

Jonathan Crandall is a Bachelor of Social Work Student at Keuka College. Since childhood, he has had a passion to help others. This passion has led him to serve in the United State Marine Corps, provide protective personal security for U.S. State Department personnel in austere environments, work as a corrections officer for the County of Onondaga, and presently assist the families of those affected by addiction. Upon graduating from Onondaga Community College with an associate degree in Alcohol and Substance Abuse counseling, he has worked at Prevention Network in Syracuse, N.Y. as a family support navigator.

Platform Statement:

As the BSW Student Representative, of the New York State (NYS) Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), my intentions are to empower the future social work professionals of NYS, by advocating for and ensuring the issues concerning this community are well represented and received by the appropriate sectors.

Region 1 Representative

Diane Bessel

Diane Bessel serves as Master of Social Work Program Director at Daemen College, where she is responsible for leading accreditation efforts, securing resources, and teaching research, policy, and practice courses. She also works as a non-profit consultant specializing in program design and evaluation, grant writing, board development, and strategic planning. Over the past two years, she has served as Treasurer/Second Vice President of NASW-NYS and participated in efforts to identify new leadership, support continuing education and advocacy efforts, and develop a new strategic plan for the chapter. Bessel would appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve the organization as Region 1 Representative.

Platform Statement:

In communities across New York State, social workers are encountering diverse and increasingly complex clients; rapidly changing organizational and practice standards; threats to critical social policies, programs, and systems; and shrinking budgets. As NASW New York State Chapter Region 1 Representative, I will seek input from members to better understand their concerns related to these challenges. I will then work with my colleagues to develop chapter programming to more adequately address member needs. This will include providing professional development opportunities for all social workers (including clinicians, program and organizational administrators, community organizers, and policy advocates) and increasing opportunities for members to engage in legislative education and marketing efforts to more effectively demonstrate the value of our chosen profession. Finally, I will stress the importance of member-driven decision-making to ensure the viability of NASW not only for those working in the field today but for the social work professionals of tomorrow.

Region 4 Representative

Stephanie Richers

Upon graduation from Fordham University with her Master’s in Social Work, Stephanie Richers began doing full-time clinical work with the Institute for Family Health. Within her employment, at The Institute she has held various positions such as mental health clinician, social work intern coordinator, supervisor, and the current position as Behavioral Science Faculty for our Family Medicine Residency Program. She is an active member of our LGBTQ Health Task Force and an authorized Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk trainer. Most recently, she was appointed a position as an adjunct professor at Marist College in the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Platform Statement:

Now, more than ever, social workers must unite and assume leadership in advocating for imperative social policy reform as well as basic human rights. I continuously exhibit a strong commitment to social work values and ethics, as well as having the experience and expertise to implement the Chapter’s goals and objectives. I am currently an active member of our Hudson Valley Steering Committee and intend to continue to support the work on my local chapter. I have a great interest in learning about statewide and regional needs and problem solving solutions to address identified needs. I possess strong organizational skills and am committed to working with all NASW members to ensure that the responsibilities of Region 4 Representative are completed with efficiency, practicality, and professionalism. I am highly motivated and dedicated to serve in this position and walk beside my fellow social workers.

David Peters

David Peters, LMSW, has more than 25 years of experience in executive and organizational leadership in child welfare, education, and mental health systems developing, carrying out, and designing unique structures which seek to develop, strengthen, energize and empower people and institutions. Peters is a core trainer with the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond and a passionate community organizer. He is also a master training consultant for NAFI, a national organization dedicated to improving relationships between the police and youth who live in the communities they serve and an adjunct faculty at New York University School of Social Work.

Platform Statement:

I am a social worker in who is committed to improving the lives of children and families through accountable social work practice. I believe that social workers are the lifeblood of institutions and that a supported and strong social worker means exceptional social work practice! I am committed to the growth and development of NASW-NYS as the governing body of social work regionally and nationally to ensure that social workers are recognized and valued for what they bring to communities each and every day. Racial, economic, cultural and social equity are at the foundation of my vision for NASW and through my role with the NASW-NYS board of directors, Mr. Peters commits to ensuring the voices of social workers throughout the region are heard! Mr. Peters believes in the principals of accountable leadership and plans to work to ensure these values are ingrained at the state level.

Division Chair Positions

The NASW-NYS Chapter has 10 regional divisions across the state, led by a Division Chair. The Division Chair serves the two-fold purpose of implementing programs locally and reporting to the Regional Representative and Chapter’s board.

Central Division Chair

Ashley Dailey

Ashley Dailey currently attends Fordham University as a student in their social work master’s program. Serving in several capacities, she has worked in the social services field for the last 8 years with various populations that include individuals with severe mental health diagnoses, families of low socioeconomic positions, and most recently, addiction. Her career in social work began following the completion of her associate’s degree in Human Services at Onondaga Community College; where she began working full time in the field of social services. While working full time she completed her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in Human Services. Presently, she holds certifications in Recovery Coach, Recovery Peer Advocate, and Clinical Trauma Professional.

Platform Statement:

As the Central Division chair with NASW-NYS, I intend to strengthen the communication and collaboration amongst practicing social workers in the Central New York region. I will accomplish this through networking, training, and volunteer opportunities that parallel the needs of the communities we serve. Through the engagement with social workers employed within social service agencies, along with my past and present collective projects and programming, I can ensure successful outcomes serving in the capacity as the Central Division chair. Lastly, my intentions are to expand our network as a means of support for the growing demands and challenges faced by social workers, and to streamline collaborative efforts across agency services.

Elyssa Saltzman

Elyssa Saltzman, LMSW has been a Team Social Worker with Hospice of Central New York for the last three years working with patients and families during end of life processes. Elyssa graduated with her Master’s from Syracuse University in 2011. Elyssa then worked at Huntington Family Centers in a home-based program that worked to address student issues in school. Elyssa is also the current Division Chair for Central Division under NASW NYS and worked on the NASW NYS CNLI Committee for Central Division prior to that. Elyssa has been an active member with NASW NYS since 2012.

Platform Statement:

I believe in what NASW stands for and represents which is why I am an active member. My goal if elected as Central Division Chair is to continue to improve the engagement of Central Division members. During my time as Chair over the past year and a half I worked with the steering committee to coordinate events that allowed our community opportunities for professional growth. Over the past year, this division provided its own continuing education program worth 7 CEU credits for $70, had several meet and greets for informal networking, provided some local community service, and had education in procedures that could be performed to help save people’s lives after the trainings were completed. I find that by working together as members we can make our communities stronger, including our own.

Southern Tier Chair

Sarah King

Sarah King, LCSW-R’s professional background started with her graduation from Keuka College with her BSW, and then with an MSW from Syracuse University the following year. Her experience ranges from residential treatment and outpatient treatment to inpatient and detox services. She has primarily worked in the field of Substance Use Disorders treatment with specialized experience in Co-Occurring Disorders and Medication Assisted treatments for Opioid Use Disorders.

Her current role is as the Service Director for Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare Binghamton Evaluation Center. She has been a resident of the Southern Tier for 15 years and committed to the enhancement of the Social Work profession as well as treatment services across the region.

Platform Statement:

If elected to the position of Southern Tier Division Chair, my goals would include:

1. Creating a community of networking, empowerment, and support for Social Workers in the Southern Tier Region

2. Assisting with advocacy and informing members of opportunities for training and career enhancement

3. Increasing membership in the Southern Tier for shared expertise with the use of in-person meetings and committees as well as using technology for those at a distance to remain connected to the activities, advocacy and the community of NASW-NYS

Westchester Division Chair

Hawa Jalloh

Hawa Jalloh is currently the Chair for the Westchester Division. Hawa is a graduate level social worker from Fordham University and also holds a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) certification from the New York State OASAS. Jalloh is currently the Director of Operations and Inpatient Admission at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, Behavioral Health Services Department in Yonkers, New York, working with individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders. Jalloh was recognized as “Student Achiever” at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work in 2014 and was also awarded the “Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award for Social Action and Change” in 2013. In 2011, Jalloh became an NASW member and have been involved in several committees (Universal Health Care, Awards Dinner, and the Nominating Committees) and continues to be an active member within the NASW Westchester Division and was nominated to be a NASW Delegate Assembly Member in 2012. Jalloh serves as leadership on numerous boards in the Westchester area.

Platform Statement:

As the Westchester Division Chair, my goal will be to continue bridging the gap between our profession and the community. I will continue to provide active engagement with the Westchester Division members, community providers and all social work schools in the county by providing opportunities to members and non-members for networking, continuing education workshops, engagement in the Steering Committee, other Sub-Committees, and updates relating to information about NASW, locally and nationally, as well as updates within our profession.

CNLI Positions

The Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (CNLI) participates in developing a slate of candidates for chapter elections that reflect the Chapter’s Diversity Plan, inform all candidates and appointees of the duties and responsibilities of office, and assure a sound nomination process.

Region 5 (Nassau & Suffolk Divisions)

Adriana Silva

For Adriana Silva, LMSW, the field of social work has granted her an amazing gift: the ability to serve in various capacities offering help and support to those with which she works. Taking on positions in the forensic social work field, mental health clinics, higher education settings, and not-for-profits, she has worked with the most oppressed and marginalized groups. This love for her field of work is what fuels her to be an ethical and competent social worker.

Platform Statement:

I intend to serve with integrity and dedication in carrying my responsibilities in this role. Following order and structure is essential to ensuring that an organization remains intact, and in this position, I can assist in ensuring that new leadership is engaged.

Delegate Assembly

The Delegate Assembly is the representative, decision-making body – comprised of 200 elected delegates- through which NASW members set broad organizational policy, establish program priorities, and develop a collective stance on public and professional issues.

Delegate Assembly Member


Denise Foulkes

Denise D. Foulkes, LCSW-R, MBA has an extensive background as a clinical social worker who has practiced in hospital, homecare, education, corporate and private practice settings. In addition, Foulkes believes that her former career in marketing, advertising, and public relations serve as a tremendous benefit that provides me tools to best promote our social work profession. If elected as a delegate, Foulkes intends to use her background to advocate for policies that promote the merits and needs of our profession, while also detailing how social workers can play a key role in the delivery of healthcare solutions and community advocacy to Americans. As a NASW Delegate, she will collaborate with fellow delegates in helping clarify the NASW-NYS Chapter’s goals as well as support and communicate innovative policies that will benefit both our members in the NYS Chapter as well as the national organization.

Platform Statement:

There is no time like the present to assert to our political, corporate and municipal leaders how the social work profession makes a difference in improving the lives of people and communities! Policy makers continue to propose legislation for school safety that ignores mental health and instead allows teachers to carry guns. They continue to want to radically change the ACA that includes dropping essential health benefits such as mental health, substance abuse treatment, and pre-natal care. These and several other policy decisions concerning the well-being of our communities are being made without input from key stake-holders. As social workers, we have an obligation to use our profession to advocate for social and economic well-being.

Robert Basil

Robert Basil, LMSW is a graduate of Adelphi University and an active member of NASW-NYS. He currently works for Cornerstone Family Healthcare as a CDOP Clinical Supervisor.

Platform Statement:

I intend to serve the Delegate Assembly Member position with integrity and dedication and all the responsibilities that are carried in this position. My goal is to ensure that the organization remains supportive of the members we serve. I am thrilled to be nominated for this position.


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