Bios - Staff and Board
Laura Caruso, Executive Director
Laura, her husband, and two children have lived in Pelham since 2012. Laura has spent her career in the non-profit sector and education. She worked for ten years in a large, Manhattan-based non-profit serving homeless families and children, leaving as Vice President for Management and Budget. Laura also taught third grade in the Bronx, before joining Pelham PACT in 2016. Laura is active in the Pelham community as a current Board Member of the Pelham Education Foundation, a member of PTA Council, and former Site-Based Council Representative for Pelham Middle School. She has her Economics degree from Colgate University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Education from Lehman College. Laura’s commitment to Pelham Together stems from a deep belief that connection—across groups in the community, among young people, between young people and adults and between young people and their community—is the best way to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for our youth.
Danielle Marrero, Youth Advocate
Danielle grew up in Pelham and still lives here with her family. Danielle runs a childcare and tutoring business with her sister serving several Pelham families since 2006. Danielle joined Pelham Together in 2018 and has worked at Prospect Hill as a staff monitor and as a Teacher’s Aide at Hutchinson Elementary School. She has an Associate’s degree in Early Child Care and is a graduate of Pelham Memorial High School.
Eileen Miller, Development Manager
Eileen joined Pelham Together in 2018 as Development Manager. In addition to Pelham Together, Eileen has supported the development efforts of the Pelham Public Library and the Pelham Education Foundation, as well as participated on their Boards. Outside Pelham, Eileen has been a Board Member of Camp Beech Cliff in Mt. Desert, ME and worked on their Development Committee. Eileen has lived in Pelham with her husband and two children since 2012. Eileen enjoyed careers in hospitality and in consumer products marketing. She earned a BS in Hotel Management from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School.
Andrea Gottfried, President
Andrea Gottfried’s career in communications and development spans over twenty years and many organizations, including EMILY’s List, The Nature Conservancy, and The Carter Presidential Center. She’s currently principal of her own consulting firm focused on helping nonprofits and businesses communicate with their audiences, raise financial support, mobilize activists, and drive change. She graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a B.A. in English. Andrea first became involved with Pelham Together as a volunteer group leader for its middle and high school youth summits; she joined its board in 2016. Andrea and her husband have lived in Pelham since 2006. They have 3 sons in middle and elementary school and a rambunctious dog.
Tim Case, Board Member
Tim has been a long time Pelham resident with his wife and three boys. Very active in Pelham, he has served five years as a Town of Pelham Councilman and also as Town Clerk. He also gives his time to the Pelham Civics Association where he has led their annual golf outing, and also been a Little League and a hockey coach. Tim graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Accounting and went on to work for Kingdon Capital for over 15 years. He is currently a self-employed stock trader.
Todd Cross, Board Member
Todd and his wife, Estee, moved to Pelham in 2007. Their two children attend Pelham schools and are active in sports, scouts, and the arts. Todd is a self-employed digital marketer and content creator. A veteran of Madison Avenue advertising agencies, he led global accounts and award-winning campaigns for Hilton, Virgin Atlantic, The Global Fund (U.N.), GM, Unilever, PepsiCo, and Live On NY (nee NY Organ Donor Network). He serves as a Board Member of the Pelham Civic Association and Race Organizer of the Pelham Half Marathon & 10K.
Carolyn Cullen, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., Board Member
Carolyn is a psychotherapist in private practice in Pelham, working with adults, teens, and couples as they deal with issues of depression, anxiety, life transitions, trauma, and many other relationship issues. She also trains future clinicians as an assistant professor in the graduate mental health counseling program at Mercy College. Carolyn has three children and has lived in Pelham since 2002.
Anne Fredbeck, Board Member
Anne has lived in Pelham since 2007 with her husband and three active boys. After earning a Bachelor of Science at James Madison University, Anne worked in the fashion industry in Sales. She was the National Sales Manager for Emanuel Ungaro, as well as at Dana Buchman. She then went on to work at Women’s Wear Daily as a Marketing and Sales Director. Anne has been on the Board of PACT since 2013 and began her involvement with the organization as co-chair of the Youth Engagement Committee, planning the annual Summits for High School and Middle School students. More recently Anne also serves on the Board of Young Life Lower Westchester.
Teddy Johnson, Board Member
Teddy came to Pelham in 2004 and lives here with his wife and two children. After graduating from Dartmouth, Teddy pursued veterinary medicine. His career as a Veterinarian has allowed him to work locally at the Pelham Animal Hospital, and this is only one of the many ways Teddy supports the Pelham community. He is also a coach of many sports for many years, most recently lacrosse. Teddy also writes articles about issues of marijuana use and screen addiction for local news outlets. His motivation for joining the PACT Board comes from his own struggles with anxiety and depression and he is committed to helping local youth navigate the complicated years of adolescence and early adulthood, in particular as it relates to healthy choices, relationships, stress and anxiety.
Colleen Maiberger, Board Member
Colleen joined the Board of Pelham Together in 2015 because she felt strongly about the organization’s mission of empowering youth to make healthy and safe life choices. She brings over 20 years of HR experience currently serving as Second Vice President, Human Resource Business Partner at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. She earned her B.A. International Relations from Connecticut College. Since moving to Pelham, NY in 2007, Colleen has been involved with several community organizations including the Junior League of Pelham and the Cultural Arts Committee for the Hutchinson Elementary School PTA. She resides in the Chester Park neighborhood with her husband and three children.
Valerie Micciche, Treasurer
Valerie brings over 20 years of finance experience with a large investment bank and currently manages IT Service Transformation efforts at Credit Suisse. Since moving to Pelham in 2006 with her husband and two children, she has served on the board and chaired various committees with the Junior League of Pelham as well as served on steering committees relating to disability awareness. Valerie is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Melissa Ronan, Board Member
Melissa has lived in Pelham since 2000 with her husband Chris and their three children. After working as an attorney for 20 years, Melissa went back to school and secured her master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University, and currently works as a social worker at Compassionate Care Hospice in the Bronx. She has worked and/or volunteered as a social worker at several organizations in the area including Montefiore Medical Center Oncology Clinic, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and the Bereavement Center of Westchester. Most recently, Melissa is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Community Care Center (CCC). Melissa previously volunteered with The Manor Club’s Philanthropy section, as a CCD teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, and with the Siwanoy and Pelham Middle School PTAs.
Jen Silvester, Board Member
Jen, her husband, and her two children have lived in Pelham since 2010. With a background in teaching and fundraising, Jen has held a variety of positions in schools and summer camps, as well as the ALS Association and the American Cancer Society. Jen’s passion for working with youth drew her to lead the Circus Arts Department at a residential summer camp, where she was also a mentor and trainer of all bunk counselors. Her fundraising work includes managing many large-scale events such as leading volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events in Brooklyn.
Leah Tahbaz, Board Member
Leah has been an involved Pelham parent since 2003. Serving on several local Boards, including the Junior League, the Pelham Children’s Center, the Pelham Education Foundation, the Community Care Center and as President of the PTA Council, she has kept a close eye on all of Pelham’s youth, while also raising four of her own. Prior to her life in Pelham, Leah worked in the Estates and Appraisals department at Christie’s auction house, as an attorney in private practice, and in the Law Department at the New York State Supreme Court where she drafted opinions and helped settle discovery disputes.
Nancy Tsang, Secretary
Nancy has been living in Pelham since 2007 and her three children have all attended Pelham schools. After completing her undergraduate degree at Yale, Nancy followed up with a Masters in Public Policy from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then Nancy has enjoyed a career in Finance, with vast experience in budgeting and forecasting, organizational development, financial systems and controls. She is currently the VP of Finance at ContraFect Corporation. Nancy’s interest in PACT stems from the belief that providing healthy choices for our youth is a community responsibility.
Anne Van Praagh, Board Member
Anne, her husband, and two daughters have been residents of Pelham since 2009. Currently, Anne is global head of Credit Strategy & Research at Moody’s Investors Service and has been at Moody’s for 15 years. Anne has also worked for Morgan Stanley and for the federal government, both at the US Office of Management and Budget and Department of Defense. Anne has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.