Alexander Herzog, LCSWExecutive Director
Marisol AlvarezDirector of Finance
Manny EspinozaBuilding Maintenance Supervisor
Maureen GaccioneAdministrative Officer
Craig JohnsonSenior Grants Writer
Alice KayzermanDirector of Client Accounts
Robyn ReikenPractice Manager
Mark RicklisDirector of Operations
Rachel SchorDirector of Public Relations
Deena SchwersenskiDirector of Marketing and Communications
Alexander Herzog, LCSW
Before coming to JFS Clifton-Passaic, Alexander “Ozer” Herzog was the Chief of Social Work Service for the Veterans Administration Health Care System New Jersey. In that position, he oversaw 160 employees comprised of social workers, psychologists, nurses, and administrative staff located across two medical centers and 10 community-based clinics, working in a range of programs from the emergency room, med-surg and primary care to acute, residential and outpatient mental health programs.
As a senior leader in the VA, Mr. Herzog regularly wrote and implemented medical center policies and procedures, as well as responded to Congressional and White House inquiries. He worked closely with HR, compliance and risk management and utilized metrics such as SAIL, RVUs and other productivity measures.
After earning a BA in Psychology from Emory University, Mr. Herzog lived in Israel for six years where he completed an intensive 2-year study of Gestalt Therapy. He then returned to America to attend Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Mr. Herzog began at the Veterans Administration in a homeless services program in NJ and was the lead clinician on a large SAMHSA grant. He received extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Drs. Aaron and Judy Beck in Philadelphia and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) from Dr. Marsha Linehan. Mr. Herzog also received in-depth instruction of Motivational Interviewing to become a trainer. When working as a Senior Social Worker at the Bronx VA’s Intensive Outpatient and Opiate Treatment Program, he was part of the rotation to train psychiatry residents and fellows in Motivation Enhancement. In that role, he also coordinated interdisciplinary teams of psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists and vocational rehab specialists.
Mr. Herzog left the Bronx VA to lead the Post-9/11 Returning Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Caregiver Support Programs back in VA New Jersey. He was recognized for his leadership and high scores on annual employee surveys and became a regular instructor at New Supervisor’s Orientation.
Mr. Herzog was asked a few years later to take on managing 45 employees in various mental health programs along with his aforementioned duties. His ability to juggle competing demands while maintaining a level-head earned him respect and attention from senior management. Thus, when the Chief of Social Work Service position became vacant, he was appointed Acting Chief which became official a few months later.
Mr. Herzog served as President of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Passaic and continues to assist with coordination of its evening learning program. Joining JFS is a natural culmination of his passions for clinical work and service to community.
With 22 years of experience, Craig Johnson is a seasoned veteran in grant writing, program design and senior-level project management. He joins JFS from South Florida, where he served as Executive Director for ArtServe, one of the nation’s original arts incubators; Craig was responsible for the organization’s rebranding and current vision wherein the arts are used as a vehicle for social change. Prior to his work with ArtServe, Craig was the CEO of the Center for Contemporary Dance, a nonprofit community dance organization he co-founded and spearheaded for 17 years. He earned national recognition for the organization with multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and awards for statewide contributions to arts education, social change and innovation in the arts. Additionally, Craig was a consultant for numerous arts organizations throughout the state, working to improve companies in all phases of their evolution. Craig brings to JFS specialization in vision crafting, entrepreneurial thought leadership, fund development, strategic planning and community building. With the goal of empowering nonprofit employees to be agents of change, Craig is a staunch proponent of diversity, inclusion and equitable access to resources that improve our quality of life.
Rachel is pursuing her master’s degree in mental health counseling at Bellevue University. She joins JFS with experience in marketing and business, and has a passion for helping others and advocating for those struggling with mental health issues. Rachel has worked with seniors as a healthcare professional, and volunteered at The Girlz of Lakewood, to provide a safe space for teens at risk to relax and have fun. Rachel brings to JFS a combination of professional qualities, which will help bring awareness of its services and expand its reach to the entire community.