"From the first day of training I knew that Imagine was a unique organization."
John M. Toriello is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Holland & Knight’s New York City office and co-chairs the firm’s Insurance Industry Team. Mr. Toriello has extensive experience in jury and nonjury trials, appeals to both federal and state appellate courts and international arbitrations of contract disputes. He represents clients in a wide range of insurance disputes, including prosecution of fiduciary duty claims, fraud claims, coverage claims and broker/intermediary errors-and- omissions claims. He acts in marine, aviation, CGL, satellite, environmental, reinsurance, business interruption and other litigations and arbitrations.
Mr. Toriello has led the representation of aircraft lessors, equipment lessors and other aviation clients in international repossession, bankruptcy, purchase, sale, redelivery and general contract disputes related to, among other things, nonpayment, aircraft and equipment condition, compliance with (FAR)s, escalation clauses and valuation.
Mr. Toriello has led the representation of financial institutions and obligors in connection with the enforcement of loan and other obligations, the pursuit of fraud and fraudulent conveyance claims, the defense of lender-liability claims, judgment enforcement and insurance-coverage disputes. In his general practice, he represents clients on contract and product liability matters involving heavy industrial equipment, manufacturing plants, aircraft, vessels and satellites, as well as counsels sellers and manufacturers of sporting equipment, appliances and food products. Mr. Toriello has also directed judgment-enforcement litigations and been appointed an arbitrator in ICC and private arbitrations. A substantial amount of his practice relates to international transactions.
In addition, Mr. Toriello has delivered papers at meetings for various professional organizations on topics including Asbestos Litigation, Piercing the Corporate Veil, Environmental Risks Faced by Lenders Under United States Law and Resolution of International Insurance Disputes. He has written several articles for the New York Law Journal and Reactions.
While in law school, he served as articles editor for the St. John’s Law Review.
Diana Miller is a CPA with over 18 years of experience in public accounting. Diana possesses significant not-for-profit and governmental auditing experience with associations, foundations, churches, healthcare entities, private schools, school districts, colleges and universities, municipalities and counties. In addition to performing financial audits, she has also performed numerous single audits and special consulting engagements.
As Partner- in- Charge of Wiss & Company’s Not-for-Profit Group, Diana has served a plethora of clients in not-for-profit, higher-education, government and commercial organizations, performing audits, reviews, compilations, tax and consulting services.
Diana is the chairperson of the Wiss Women’s Leadership Forum (WWLF) where she fosters leadership through professional activities, educational programs, networking and mentoring. Diana is also an internationally published co-author of the inspiring anthology book, RESULTS! Additionally, Diana has been named a Recipient of NJCPA's 2016 Women of Note; an honor given to those who display a unique combination of NJCPA participation, accounting profession involvement, and community service dedication.
When asked about her new role at Imagine, Diana said: “Growing up as a child I never went to funerals; in my culture it wasn’t customary to bring children. Then as an adult, the reality of death hit me like a brick. I met Imagine’s Executive Director Mary Robinson right around the time my mother passed away after suffering for years with cancer as well as other health issues. Mary inspired me with her story and I knew at that time I wanted to get more involved with Imagine. There are so many people that don’t have family and friends to turn to when they are coping with loss or have a family suffering with a terminal illness. Children especially – they are so resilient yet vulnerable. Life always seems too short, however we can live it right and make a positive impact on others so no person ever feels alone. I feel privileged to join the board of Imagine and will do my best to support the organization in all its endeavors. ”
Diana lives in New Providence with her husband Jon and two children, Jasmine and Jayden. When not in the office, Diana enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, participating in community and philanthropic events, and traveling.
Bob Koppel is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Reform Pension Board. He served as the RPB’s first Executive Director for 20 years beginning in March 1995.
Prior to his appointment as RPB Executive Director, Bob was the Chief Financial Officer of the Union for Reform Judaism for ten years. Bob represented the URJ on the Reform Pension Board, was a member of the Executive Committee, and chaired the RPB Management Committee during his ten years as a board member.
He represented the RPB as a member of the Church Alliance Steering Committee and was the Chairman of the Church Benefits Association Planning Committee, leading its annual conference in 2014.
Bob is a former president of Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, New Jersey, where he and his wife Barbara continue as active members. Bob and Barbara’s daughter, Rabbi Elisa Koppel, is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Beth Emeth, Wilmington, Delaware.
Ron is the founder of the ReSource Group, a sales organization based out of Millburn, NJ. The ReSource Group, founded in 2006, is a multi-faceted sales and marketing firm that covers the northeast states for some of the top brands in the business products industry. Ron works with many of the top resellers across various channels of business, including many leading Ecommerce companies. He has been in the Business Products Industry for over 18 years.
Ron has helped various brands launch in the United States and consulted for various Diversity owned organizations over the years. Ron is passionate about his work and his family. He loves sharing what he has learned over his career and helping others become better sales and business people.
Ron is former Co-President of the Mountainside Education Foundation (MEF) and his family is very active in various local charities and other community organizations. He worked for the Pressley Ridge Organization providing in-home family crisis intervention early in his career.
With regard to his new role at Imagine, Ron says: “After my parents divorced when I was four years old, I was always fascinated by the effects loss and separation had on children. When my mom died of lung cancer in 2001, my eyes were opened to the dearth of support networks available to those grieving loss. Joining the Imagine organization is an incredible opportunity to help families coping with loss who are in real need of peer interaction.”
Ron lives in Mountainside with his wife Natalie and two children, Julia and Luke.
Stu Arnold was Executive Director of the DiversityInc Foundation which primarily funds scholarships for financially disadvantaged students. In his ten years at DiversityInc, he also served as head of sales and COO.
Prior to joining DiversityInc, Stu had a 30 year career in the publishing business in New York. He was Publisher of American Banker, Managing Director – The Americas of the Financial Times and Publisher of FORTUNE magazine.
He also served on the national board of Directors for Junior Achievement and on the New York chapter of the MS Foundation.
Stuart Arnold and Wendy Lauer have three children, Ben Arnold (deceased), Ingrid Arnold MD and Gordon Arnold. The Arnold family lost Ben in an accident in August of 1992. At that time, there was minimal support for children and families in the area. The family was devastated and struggled for many years. Stu joined the Imagine Board to help make sure that no family in our area would ever struggle alone after a tragic loss.
Claude had a 36 year career at Ernst & Young LLP including 25 years as a partner serving in various roles around the globe including an International Tax Client Service Partner, Director of Tax for Ernst & Young International, Global Chair of Expatriate Tax Services, and New Jersey Managing Partner.
Claude was married to Kathryn Blanton Fusco for 32 years until she lost her battle with Lung cancer in 2006. They had three beautiful children Diana, Claude III (who passed away in 2012), and Emily.
Claude has been active in many organizations in Westfield including as Board Chair and Treasurer of the Westfield chapter of American Red Cross, Board member and Treasurer of United Way of Westfield, and Board Member, Treasurer, and President of Echo Lake Country Club. He also served on the Board of Westfield Baseball League.
Claude initiated and inspired the formation of The Caregivers Center at Overlook Hospital and served as Fundraising Chair to raise the funds necessary to bring The Caregiver Center to fruition and currently chairs the Caregiver Center Advisory Board. He was also recently active in St. Helen’s Parish Capital Campaign.
It was in the formation of the Caregiver Center that Claude met Gerry Glasser. Gerry, knowing that Claude and his family were no strangers to what it was like for a family to grieve over the loss of a loved one, introduced him to Mary Robinson and the concept of Imagine. He immediately became a supporter and Circle of Hope member. Both Claude and his daughter Emily participated in Evenings of Support.
Claude currently resides in Amelia Island Florida but is often found visiting his children and grandchildren who live in the house in Westfield where they were raised.
Mary Claire Givelber
Director of Community Engagement, Caring Contact
Mary Claire Givelber is currently a project manager at Ironwood Lane, LLC a local residential real estate management company. Before taking a 14 year hiatus to raise her 3 children, Ms. Givelber was a healthcare consultant at Gold Health Strategies, a New York based healthcare firm specializing in managed care negotiations on behalf of physician groups and hospitals.
Ms. Givelber serves as a tutor for the Westfield Neighborhood Council and has been a volunteer at CASA of Union County. Additionally, she has volunteered her time serving on her children’s PTO board, as a producer of the Washington School Show and with Habitat for Humanity.
Mary Claire earned a BS in Humanities from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.
Ms. Givelber and her husband Josh have three boys -- Jacob, Gabriel
and Jonathan. Mary Claire has watched friends and family struggle with loss and wished that she could offer them a source of support. “So often those around us don’t know what to say or do when someone has died, making an already difficult situation more so for those families. In Imagine I see a special community to help them heal. I look forward to being part of that community."
Suzanne has been Director of Development at Far Brook School, in Short Hills, NJ, since 2011. Prior to that she served as the Donor Relations Officer at NJ SEEDS, from 2008-2011. From 1986-1994 she was a professional events planner and fund-raising consultant for George Trescher Associates in New York City, a firm specializing in New York City-based non-profits. She has served on the boards of the Summit Child Care Center, the Overlook Hospital Foundation, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Far Brook School, which her two children attended for 10 years each before attending and graduating from Newark Academy. Suzanne graduated from George Washington University in 1984 with a degree in English.
“I am honored to be serving on the Board of Imagine,” said Glatt. “Over the years, living in Summit and working in a school, I have seen over and over again the need to provide appropriate grief support to children and their families. Imagine does this in the most nurturing, loving, and non-judgmental way.
Suzanne is passionate about cooking and entertaining, loves to walk, and enjoys country music.
A Director in the Corporate Practice Group at Gibbons P.C., based in Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Goldman counsels middle market and smaller public company clients on a broad array of corporate and transactional matters. He is a frequent speaker nationally on corporate matters, with a focus on the organization and operation of businesses as limited liability companies or other alternative entities. Mr. Goldman has held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, and chairs his law firm’s Legal Opinion Committee. He received his LL.M. from New York University School of Law, his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and his A.B. from Colgate University.
Mr. Goldman served on the Westfield Town Council for nine years and was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Westfield Foundation.
Steve Guberer is a Director at CBRE Capital Advisors, Inc., the real estate investment banking business of CBRE Group. Mr. Guberer has successfully executed over 40 capital raising and M&A advisory transactions that represents $20+ billion of total capital for clients within the real estate, gaming, lodging and leisure sectors. He has extensive experience in corporate finance, capital markets, strategy, financial statement consolidation and accounting gained through his career with a top-tier global financial institution and Big Four accounting firm.
Steve advises on mergers and acquisitions, institutional capital raising and “Secondary” real estate opportunities. He is focused on building and maintaining relationships with the Real Estate Consultants to provide better access to capital for our clients.
Prior to joining CBRE Capital Advisors, Steve spent seven years at Deutsche Bank Securities where he was a Vice President in the Real Estate, Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Investment Banking Group. During his tenure at Deutsche Bank, Steve was involved in many prominent transactions such as the restructuring and subsequent re-IPO of General Growth Properties out of bankruptcy, Equity Residential and AvalonBay’s joint acquisition of Archstone and Retail Properties of America’s IPO (formerly Inland Western Retail REIT).
Prior to his work in corporate finance and investment banking, Steve worked in the Assurance and Advisory Practice of Deloitte and Touche’s Real Estate practice.
Steve earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Steve holds a CPA, Series 7 & 63 license.
Upon joining the Imagine Board Steve said "The help and support Imagine provided to our family has been amazing, and I wanted to play a bigger part in helping to build the next stage of Imagine's life cycle. As a new Board member, I look forward to learning from the distinguished current Board Members and to bringing my professional and personal experiences to bear for such an amazing program."
Steve lives with his wife, Lauren and their four boys, Samuel, Jacob, Benjamin and Levi.
Elisa Jacobson is the Chief Compliance Officer at Cooperative Counseling Services (CCS) in Mountainside, N.J. CCS is a Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health organization with a unique emphasis on families impacted by complex and developmental trauma. She initially joined CCS three years ago as their Managing Director of Clinical Services overseeing services for children and families in their Outpatient, In-Home Therapy, and Supervised Visitation Programs. Prior to joining CCS, Elisa was employed at Trinitas Regional Medical Center’s Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Department serving in numerous clinical and management positions, including Director of Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County. Elisa was an Adjunct Faculty Member at Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work and worked in private practice with children and adults in the Princeton area. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University. Elisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2000.
“For over 25 years, I have had the tremendous fortune of working with the most remarkable and resilient children and families who have suffered from trauma and loss. I personally experienced several deaths in my family and upon learning about Imagine and their amazing mission, joining the Board and serving such an incredible organization seemed quite natural. I believe that by lending my passion for trauma-informed care and devoting my time for such a worthy cause was “a calling” I could not pass up. As the newest Board member, I am so grateful for the opportunity to help Imagine advance their meaningful work by serving alongside such a talented Board and team of staff and volunteers.”
Elisa spent most of her life in Union County, New Jersey, residing in Clark, Cranford and Westfield. She currently lives in Edison and enjoys golfing, kayaking and fostering shelter dogs.
Bob Kelly, CFA is a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Short Hills, New Jersey. In this role, Bob advises affluent families, corporate executives, financial leaders and entrepreneurs on all critical aspects of their balance sheet, including borrowing, investing, banking, planning, and philanthropic giving.
Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 2019, Bob advised high net worth investors at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Before J.P. Morgan, Bob was a Portfolio Manager and Senior Equity Analyst with Grisanti Capital Management. Previously, Bob spent nearly a decade as a sell-side equity analyst, where he was recognized by the Wall Street Journal in its annual “Best on the Street” survey in 2008. Bob began his career as a research analyst for a $3 billion equity fund at Victory Capital Management.
A graduate of Boston College, Bob lives in Cranford, New Jersey with his wife Jessica and three children. He enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball and volunteering as a youth sports coach.
“I am extremely grateful to Mary Robinson and Imagine for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees. Loss is something with which everyone can identify, and Imagine’s mission of providing support and hope to grieving children is one that resonated strongly with me as a father. The staff and volunteers at Imagine offer an important and necessary service to families in need, and do so with a tremendous amount of care and enthusiasm. I am excited to be part of the Imagine community, and look forward to helping the organization to grow in the coming years.”
Barbara Neal is the former Chief Program Officer of the BRICK Education Network and Executive Director of the South Ward Children’s Alliance (SWCA). As Executive Director of SWCA, and overseer of the $30M U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Grant awarded to SWCA, Barbara worked to ensure an integrated continuum of high-quality schools and strong systems of family and community support to help the South Ward's children attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.
Barbara began her career in Newark, New Jersey as a Teach for America corps member and went on to become an educational leader at KIPP New Jersey: Team Academy. She has more than a decade of experience in traditional public and charter schools in both teaching and leadership positions, and has also worked as a clinician using holistic approaches to working with children and families. Barbara has an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University, and a B.A. in Political Science and Classical Civilizations from Howard University.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on Imagine's Board of Trustees," said Barbara, "as I believe deeply in its mission and use of a family model to support grieving children and adults. I am always inspired by Imagine's commitment to playing a lead role in creating trauma-informed support in communities, schools, and workplaces. I look forward to growing with the organization in the years to come."
Jeffrey Peris has extensive Board experience, having held prominent leadership roles following a distinguished management career with leading pharmaceutical/healthcare companies. He currently acts as an executive advisor, enhancing both individual and organization performance in his work with clients. Prior to consulting, Mr. Peris served as Chief Learning Officer for the Wyeth Corporate Learning Center, Vice President of Human Resources & Communications for Abbott Laboratories, and Vice President of Human Resources for Merck & Company.
Mr. Peris has an Sc.D., in Biostatistics/Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.Sc. in Hygiene, Biostatistics/Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.B.A. from Rutgers University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Allied Healthcare International, and on the Boards of Overlook Hospital and several non-profit organizations. He is married with 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 grand puppies.
"I feel fortunate to be able to give back to Imagine," said Mr. Peris, "a vital community organization that supports so many individuals and families at a time of intense grief and loss, and to work closely with other committed leaders to ensure its long term presence."