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
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.
Marisol graduated from Instituto Superior de Estudios Comerciales in Mexico City with a degree in Business Administration, and received certificates in both Marketing from ITESM and in Finance from Universidad Anahuac, in Mexico City. She is also a certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional from FMA Institute in New York. Marisol worked for Merchants of America, Inc. in Cozumel, Mexico as General Manager of four Jewelry Stores, as well as in New York City as Regional Manager for Mexico, Turks and Caicos, and Belize. Marisol has been a valuable part of the JFS family since 2011 and enjoys knowing that her work is part of a greater purpose to help those in need.
Manny has been working at JFS since 2011 as the Building Supervisor and Driver for the Club Sequoia senior program. He is responsible for the all general maintenance and is always happy to help out — with a smile and a friendly conversation.
Maureen (Moe) grew up in Passaic and has worked within the community ever since. She worked at NJ Physicians, LLC for 17 years and then at St. Mary’s General Hospital 9 years. Moe has been working in the JFS front office since 2016 and greets each client when they arrive. Moe enjoys working at JFS and appreciates the family feel of the organization. She is gifted to be able to help others even in a small way; welcoming each client with a smile and wishing them a good day on their way out.
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.
Alice graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and joined the JFS team in 2016.
As the Director of Client Accounts, Alice is a highly efficient and accurate accountant and is motivated to increase collections, streamline processes, and automate tasks whenever possible. She is responsible for all insurance related tasks, and is an expert in Microsoft Suite, a spreadsheet wizard, and master of Valant and New Jersey Medicaid.
Prior to coming to JFS, Alice held positions as Financial Analyst, Senior Accountant, and Mental Health Insurance Claim Specialist.
Alice is a talented cellist and a member of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic. Her JFS colleagues are fortunate to hear Alice’s musical performances in and out of work.
Robyn received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and received her law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1985. While practicing law, she won numerous Summary Judgements helping her clients avoid costly trial litigation fees; judges commented from the bench that her legal briefs were among the best they had read, a commendation most attorneys will not receive in a lifetime of legal practice.
Mark earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from American University and worked in retail sales and then in management prior to joining JFS in 2008. Mark successfully moved the agency from the old “Y” in Clifton to our leased offices and then to our own building in Passaic, and is responsible for grant writing, budgeting, and payroll, among other varied tasks. While he never imagined early in his career that he would wind up working for an agency that does life-saving and life-changing work, he feels privileged to serve as the “right hand” person to our director and to support the clinical staff in their amazing work.
With a background in Corporate Communication and Graphic Design, Deena has years of experience designing print and web graphics. Deena has worked with many non-profit organizations to help them create a high-quality brand with their marketing materials. Deena designs invitations, logos, and advertisements for JFS’s fundraising events and support groups, as well as any internal graphic needs. She maintains the website, updates multiple social media platforms, and facilitates advertising with print publications and online groups. Deena strives to ensure that everything with the JFS logo on it has a recognizable and professional look.