ACLD Board of Trustees

Joseph Ortego, Esq. is the President of the Board of Trustees. Previously he served as the 1st Vice President for six years and has devoted nearly fifteen years of service to the Board. While Vice President, he was Chair of the Trustee and Leadership Development Committee of the Board and was integral in the formalization of guidelines for Board participation and evaluation. Joe is currently a Partner at Nixon Peabody, LLP.

Richard Breuninger is the 1st Vice President and served as the 2nd Vice President of the Board of Trustees for six years prior.  He has nearly 20 years of service on the Board. He is Chair of the Family Association Council, represents the Board on the Agency-wide Incident Review Committee and participates on both the Joint Conference Committee and Chairs the Trustee and Leadership Development Committee. Rich has been responsible for the strength and vibrancy of the Family Association and is ACLD’s families’ connection to the Board of Trustees. A retired NYFD Chief Dispatcher, Rich currently works for National Response Corporation.

John J. Genova is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and has served on the Board since 2003. John currently a member of the Executive Committee, he serves on the Trustee & Leadership Committee and was Chair of the Development Committee for several years. John has actively assisted ACLD in improving it’s visibility throughout the community, and improving internal and external communications while also working on special projects to improve the financial performance and operations of the Agency. John has more than 25 years of business consulting and management experience as a former senior executive and corporate officer at global, professional services consulting firms. Currently, he is the Director of Territory Marketing, Northeast and Atlantic Coasts for Grant Thornton, LLP, the 5th largest accounting firm in the world.

Megan Gardner is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and was elected to the Board in December 2009. As a mother and advocate of children with special needs, she is a driving force in her community for support of ACLD's services especially the Kramer Learning Center. Prior to her nomination to the Board of Trustees, Megan served as a member of the Joint Conference Committee and is currently the Chair of the Development Committee. Megan was appointed to the position of Secretary in February 2014.

Ellen Alexander has served on the Board of Trustees of ACLD since 1973 and has held several offices. She is on the Joint Conference Committee. During her time with ACLD, Ellen has been a constant advocate for individuals with autism and the structured programs required to adequately serve this population. As a result of Ellen’s devotion to the development of employment options for people with disabilities, ACLD is a well-known example for other organizations. Ellen is a retired special education teacher and college instructor, but remains active and informed about developments in the fields of special education, autism and related matters.

Sharon Cimino was elected to the Board in December 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television and has worked for American Movie Classics and the WE Network for the past 14 years. She and her husband Lawrence have two children, Lindsey and Emily, one of whom utilizes ACLD services. Impressed with their services, Sharon wanted to be part of the solution for parents who experienced similar hurdles while looking for the appropriate place for their child.

Richard Dibble, Ph.D.  served as the President of the Board of Trustees from 1998 through 2000. He is Chair of the Human Resources Committee and has been instrumental in bringing new talent to the Committee, as well as the Board. His work on the Human Resources Committee has improved the overall policies and procedures for managing our workforce. Dr. Dibble also serves on the Trustee and Leadership Committee and has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive Board evaluation process.  He is retired from his position as Director of The Center for Labor and Industrial Relations at New York Institute of Technology.

Anne Emmerson, Ed.D.
has served on the Board of Trustees for nearly fifteen years. She is currently the Chair of the Joint Conference Committee and was instrumental in formulating its mission and activities. Prior, Anne was Co-Chair of the Family Association Council and served as a conduit of information between the Board and ACLD’s families. Anne is retired fro her position as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Nassau Community College.

Ernest Gonzalez has served on the Board of Trustees for twenty years. His connections to the business community have helped ACLD secure honorees for our important fundraising events. Ernie is on the Board of The Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he served as president and is currently on the Board at Southside Hospital. He is the CEO of Captree PureTech Solutions.

Meryl Jackelow was elected to the Board in December 2009. Prior to her joining the Board, she served on the Admissions and Discharge Committee. Meryl's participation in our Board is groundbreaking. She is the first individual who receives to be elected to the board of Trustees. Meryl is a teacher Assistant at UCP.

Rebecca Kooper is one of the newest members to join the Board of Trustees.  Rebecca has been an ACLD Community Trust Trustee since 2012.  She is an educational audiologist who has worked with a wide range of institutions including Mercy College, The Center for Hearing and Communication and the Lexington School for the Deaf. She is certified by American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and previously served as Coordinator for Audiological Services for Nassu BOCES.

Donald Mitzner has served on ACLD’s Board of Trustees for almost 40 years and has served as both the President and the Vice President. Don has been involved in the significant growth of ACLD, as well as ALCD’s introduction to Quality Management. Don’s background includes engineering and he was a technical participant in the design of the Grumman lunar lander. He was a pioneer in the early development of cable-based telecommunications. Don recently retired from his position as the President of CBS Cable.

Edward Murphy joined the Board of Trustees in March of 2015 and has served on the ACLD Development Committee since 2013.  Edward was recently appointed as an ACLD Community Trust Trustee and is a Senior Financial Advisor with the Advanced Advisors Group of Ameriprise Financial Services in Garden City. 

Doris Shaw has served on the Board of Trustees for twelve years. Her fundraising efforts have significantly enhanced the success of our endeavors. Doris is a true ambassador for ACLD and spreads the word about our mission to friends and the community. Doris also served on the Board of New Horizons Resources in Poughkeepsie where she served as President.

Ellen Spiegel has served on the Board of Trustees for twenty-eight years. She served as The President from 1991 through 1997. Ellen currently serves on the Trustee and Leadership Development Committee, the Human Resources Committee and is Chair of the Celebrations sub-committee for ACLD’s 50th Anniversary. She is a retired math teacher and continues her teaching as an adjunct college math professor.

Caryn Pincus  is the newest members to join the Board of Trustees. Caryn is the CEO and owner of Pincus Law Group, PLLC in Uniondale, a full-service law firm focusing on representing corporate clients in real estate closings, commercial litigation, foreclosures and related practice areas, and has served on the ACLD Quality of Services Committee  since 2016. Caryn has a sister with a developmental disability and believes in the mission of ACLD.


To Contact a Board Member, please call Board Liaison, Terri Strull at 516-822-0028, extension 229 or via e-mail at



 An affiliate of

An affiliate of

Adults & Children with Learning
& developmental disabilities, Inc.

807 South Oyster Bay Road, Bethpage, NY 11714

Phone: 516.822.0028 | Fax: 516.822.0470 |


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