The NASW-NYS Board consists of four officers, two members-at-large, five regional representatives, and two student members (one at the baccalaureate and one at the master’s level). Members are elected by the membership during the annual Chapter election.
Michael Cappiello, LCSW-R
Michael received his MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work in 2000, practiced as a psychiatric social worker in Westchester County at two university medical centers, is now a school social worker for the NYC Department of Education, and has a private practice. A member of NASW since 1998, Michael led the State’s Advocacy and Government Relations Committee and then was the Westchester Division Director. Michael holds a BA in Psychology from Hobart College and an AAS in Social Sciences from SUNY Cobleskill. He is also an active lay person in the Episcopal Church.
Nikita Banks, LCSW
Vice President and Chair of Diversity (2020-2022)
Fighting stigma and oppression to find my voice came after meeting my own culturally competent therapist, I wanted to give the same to others. Social work was the way. It allowed me to provide clinical interventions to my clients, help them remove barriers to necessary interventions, and help them navigate concrete services. In 2012 I was accepted to New York University, Silver School of Social Work, graduated in May 2013. Obtained my LMSW the same year and My Clinical license in 2016, the same year I started Private Practice. In 2018, I accepted an academic appointment as a field instructor at Columbia University's School of Social Work. And in 2019 I was awarded Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy Outstanding Individual in Business, for my advocacy work and the use of digital marketing to advance social work awareness to promote equal access to mental health interventions.
Kali Kontos, LCSW-R, CASAC, BCD
Second Vice President of Budget and Finance (2020-2022)
Kalli Kontos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R), a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), is Board Certified in Clinical Social Work (BCD) and a Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS-II). She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and a “Become a Love and Logic Parent” Independent Facilitator instructor. Kalli has over 25 years’ experience as a Therapist, Administrator, Trainer, Field Instructor, and Business owner/Consultant. She has treated clients with Depression, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), and Addictions. Kalli also specializes in Anger Management Treatment and conducts Impaired Driving Evaluations for NYS. Kalli has also worked in the capacity of a Human Resource Manager/Office Manager. She has a certificate in Human Resource Management and was a member of the Long Island Society of Human Resources Management. Kalli speaks fluent Greek. She understands the culture and is available to service the Greek-American Community of Long Island NY.
Christina Lesyk, LMSW
Christina Lesyk, LMSW is an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY)/Canton. She helps educate future counselors, psychologists, and of course, social workers! Previously, Christina was the Child and Family Services Director for the Community Action Agency of Franklin County, NY, leading an award-winning family violence program and training staff in crisis intervention and recording skills. She has held board positions for nonprofit organizations, including as Secretary for the St. Lawrence County (NY) Associated Colleges Diversity Consortium. Christina earned her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, specializing in Community Organization and Planning.
Stephen Oby, LCSW, PhD Candidate
Board Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State with nearly 15 years of experience in the helping professions, a PhD. Candidate at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare, and a private practitioner in my home community. I am currently a member of Schenectady City School’s Crisis Prevention Team, a program addressing unmet mental health needs in an urban educational environment. I have experience across treatment systems and practice types including mental health, addiction, and criminal justice; outpatient, residential, and school-based practice; and clinical work as well as advocacy and education. I have functioned as a clinician with large caseloads of children and families; a director of programs supporting vulnerable clients; and an adjunct instructor teaching advanced clinical courses. I am a national award winner for educational and advocacy work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Sharon Kollar, LMSW
Board Member-at-Large (2019-2021)
Sharon Kollar, LMSW, leads information-sharing networks, knowledge management and dissemination efforts for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. Sharon has monitored and evaluated child welfare programs and facilitated practice improvement efforts in public child welfare agencies. Before moving into a managerial role, Sharon provided direct services to adults, children, youth and families at nonprofit agencies in Alaska, Oregon and New York. Ms. Kollar has co-authored articles on workforce turnover, worker safety and peer networking. She is also a guest lecturer and field instructor at the University at Albany School of Social Welfare in the area of macro social work practice.
I recently graduated from Stony Brook University with my BSW, and I am about to complete my MSW at Columbia University. During my time at Stony Brook University, I was an active member of several clubs, including the Muslim Student’s Association and Alternative Spring Break Outreach (ASBO). I became the chair of the community service committee for MSA and a member of Stony Brook School of Social Welfare’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee. In the past year, I had also interned at Suffolk County Legislator Hahn’s office where I did a lot of community outreach. I carried out these responsibilities whilst being a BSW representative and the chair of the Communications committee. I have a lot of experience working as a leader and team member. I hope to apply my skills and experience as your next MSW representative.
Evelyn Lopez Rodriguez
BSW Representative (2020-2021)
I am a BSW junior at Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. I have been president of LIISA (Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates) at Stony Brook University for two years. I am currently Co-Director of a grassroots group called WP Still Dreaming, dedicated to helping the undocumented community in White Plains. I am also a member of the USWA, the Undergrad Social Work Alliance at Stony Brook University. I have previously interned at Make the Road Westchester as a community organizer intern. I have always had a passion for immigrant justice and started being an activist in high school. I have over six years of experience working with grassroots organizations and activist work.
Randall Stetson, Ph.D., LCSW-R
Region 2 Representative, Southern Tier and Central Divisions (2019-2021)
Randall Stetson, is a native Central New Yorker and a bilingual clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience. He has served on several community boards and have held both direct practice and administrative positions in mental health and child welfare organizations. Randall 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. Randall earned a BA in Sociology from SUNY Oswego, an MSW degree from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from SUNY Albany.
Natalie Turner, LMSW
Northeast Division Representative (2020-2022)
I am currently a licensed social worker at the Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease at Albany Med and a senior research aide on the New York State Senate sponsored evaluation of the PFC Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Program. I received my MSW from the University at Albany School of Social Welfare and was part of the Hartford Practicum Partnership in Aging Education Program. I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner as of October 2019. I volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Cancer Society facilitating support groups. I have been a member of NASW NYS since 2017.
Laura Eastman Follis, LCSW
Hudson Valley Division Director (2020-2022)
I received my MSW from Syracuse University and I have been a social worker for over 25 years. I am currently a behavior specialist/Licensed Clinical Social Worker working for individuals with intellectual and developmental delays (IDD) primarily diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have worked with individuals diagnosed with IDD and their families for over 15 years. Within NASW-NYS I have held many positions including Hudson Valley Division Director, Board Member At Large, and was most recently appointed Region Representative for the 2019-2020 Program Year.
Kat Procknal, LMSW
Western Division Director (2020-2021) Previous Division Chair (2019-2020)
Over the past five years I’ve practiced various aspects of professional social work in Buffalo, N.Y. and Philadelphia, PA. I’ve taken on roles in crisis prevention and intervention at Crisis Services of Buffalo and NYSTART, which provides assistance to individuals and families with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. I have experience in both micro- and macro- social work as a dialectical behavioral therapist in a residential treatment facility, a residential treatment facilities specialist through the N.Y. State Office of Mental Health and, currently, as a therapist within an outpatient clinic serving adolescents and families.
Emily Murphy, LMSW
Westchester Division Director (2020-2022)
Bio coming soon!
Board of Director Positions and Term
President: 3-Year Term (1-Year Term as President-Elect, 2-Year Term as President)
Vice President: 2-Year Term
2nd Vice President (Chair of Finance): 2-Year Term
Board Member-at-Large: 2-Year Term
MSW Student Representative: 1-Year Term
BSW Student Representative: 1-Year Term
Region 1 Representative to the Board [Western & Genesee Valley Divisions]: 2-Year Term
Region 2 Representative to the Board [Southern Tier & Central Divisions]: 2-Year Term
Region 3 Representative to the Board [Mohawk Valley & Northeast Divisions]: 2-Year Term
Region 4 Representative to the Board [Hudson Valley & Westchester Divisions]: 2-Year Term
Region 5 Representative to the Board [Nassau & Suffolk Divisions]: 2-Year Term