Meet the Life's WORC Leadership Team

Our leadership team is made up of a group of accomplished professionals who are all focused on one thing: the people we support.

Executive Leadership

Janet Koch, CEO
Janet Koch, Life’s WORC Chief Executive Officer, has dedicated her entire career in support of people with developmental disabilities. A self-proclaimed “numbers person,” Janet spent decades in accounting and financial roles at nonprofit organizations, rather than joining a large corporation; a conscious decision she made right after college.

Janet joined Life’s WORC in 2009 as Chief Financial Officer, and was later chosen to become its Chief Executive Officer in 2014. With 25 – plus years of industry experience with proven commitment to quality services for people with special needs, she was the perfect fit for the role. During her tenure as CEO, Life’s WORC budget grew from $43 million to over $60 million and Janet facilitated $12 million in debt restructuring to purchase the Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism, opened in 2015, which is now a $3 million non-OPWDD program. In addition, she advanced the Life’s WORC Trust Services program, supporting more than 300 people with $8 million in assets.

Outside of her role at Life’s WORC, Janet serves as Director on the following boards: Long Island Alliance, Advance Care Alliance and Interagency Council.

Jenny Antony, CFO
Jenny Antony, Chief Financial Officer, CPA, has a unique combination of public accounting experience and working with nonprofit organizations, making her the perfect person to lead the finance team at Life’s WORC.

Jenny joined Life’s WORC in 2018 as Senior Director of Finance, and was later chosen to become its Chief Financial Officer in 2021. She brings her 15-plus years’ experience to the organization, with 10 years in public accounting, as well as expertise in audit and consulting services for nonprofit organizations, rate reimbursement and cost allocation methodologies.

In addition to her time spent at Life’s WORC, Jenny is committed to continuing education, attending and participating in provider association finance committees, obtaining CPE credits and maintaining her CPA licensure

John Pfeifer, Assistant Executive Director
John Pfeifer, Assistant Executive Director of Residential Services, has been a member of the Life’s WORC team for over 20 years, but has been making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families his entire career.

John joined Life’s WORC in 2001 as Director of Clinical Services, and when the Family Center for Autism opened in 2015 he became Director of Autism Services.  He was promoted to Senior Director of Community Services in 2016, and then Assistant Executive Director in 2019 as his role within the organization continued to grow. John brings 30-plus years of industry experience working with the IDD and autism community to the agency, and oversees all residential, nursing, clinical and admission functions for the agency.

Lynette Garcia, Senior Director of Quality Management
Lynette Garcia, Senior Director of Quality Management, has the ideal skill set to oversee safety and risk management for Life’s WORC. After working in the medical field early in her career, she made the switch to the non-profit world and fell in love. Over the next 12 years Lynette excelled at compliance and quality control.

Lynette joined the Life’s WORC executive team in 2019, overseeing Quality, Compliance and Training. Since then, she has come to oversee the Facilities Maintenance and IT departments as well. Lynette holds advanced degrees in Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Risk, as well as Certifications in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) trainer certification, Labor Relations Alternatives (LRA) incident investigator certification.

In addition to her commitment to Life’s WORC, Lynette serves on several Inter Agency Council committees for Quality, Training and IT; and she is an active member of the University of Delaware’s Leadership Institute community, which provides access to thousands of leaders in the IDD field across the United States and internationally.

Nicky Faranda, Senior Director of Community Services
Nicky Headshot.jpgNicky Faranda, Senior Director of Community Services at Life’s WORC, knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career that allowed her to help people achieve their best possible lives. She began her career working at nonprofit organizations working with people with developmental disabilities and her passion turned into over two decades of dedication to the field.

Nicky joined Life’s WORC in 2017 as the Senior Director of Community Services, and since then has also come to oversee the Respite and Community Habilitation programs, and most recently the Family Center for Autism. Under Nicky’s leadership, the Day Habilitation and Employment programs have greatly expanded their services, operations have been streamlined, and the departments boast a skilled, cohesive team equipped to support people of all abilities.

Outside of her work within the organization, Nicky also participates in the Inter Agency Council’s Adult Day Services and Individualized Community Supports committees. She has previously served on committees within the New York Alliance for Community and Inclusion as well as the New York Integrated Network for Persons with Disabilities.

Emilee Samtani, Human Resources Director
Emilee Samtani, Human Resources Director, has extensive experience working in HR, and her personal connections to the nonprofit world led her to seek out a position in a mission-focused organization – a position she found at Life’s WORC.

Emilee joined Life’s WORC in 2020 and successfully managed HR operations through the challenges posed by the global pandemic. She brings over 15 years’ expertise overseeing human resources operations for large companies and organizations, including prior experience in a lead role in merger and acquisitions with Monster.com.

In addition, Emilee holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree through Life’s WORC and Stony Brook University cohort.

 

Matt Zebatto, Development & Fundraising
Matthew Zebatto has spent over 25 years leading the resource-development efforts of Life’s WORC, helping to grow the agency’s private support base through special events, corporate and foundation appeals, major gift solicitation, digital appeals and direct mail.

Matthew joined Life’s WORC in 1997, and since that time the agency has enjoyed a successful development program that has grown from year to year. Highlights include the Million Lights Gala in 2017, which raised $750,000; participation with Geraldo Rivera on Celebrity Apprentice in 2015, which raised $725,000; the agency’s first virtual event in 2020, Life’s WORC Together, which was an online fundraiser during the Covid Pandemic that raised $300,000; and the development of third-party events that raise nearly $300,000 annually.

Outside of his time at Life’s WORC, Matthew enjoys spending time in Florida with his family and friends.

Board Of Directors

CHAIR BOARD MEMBER
Lynne Koufakis Donald Barrick
Dawn Del Mastro Chruma
VICE CHAIR
David Feldman
Michael Billia Ben Filingeri
Renee Daniel Flagler
SECRETARY Tariq Khan
John Lee Peter Klein, CFA
John Murn
TREASURER Edmond O’Donnell
Ron Aghassi, CPA Gregory J. Pond, Esq.
Justin Resnick
EXECUTIVE AT-LARGE
Vanessa Rogan
E. Christopher Murray, Esq. Anthony Taormina, Jr.
Richard Ritacco
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS
Victoria Schneps-Yunis, Founder
Rick Del Mastro (1945-2020)

 

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