Board & Committee Members

Board Members

Tony Aceti, Chair

Tony has more than forty years of experience as a certified public accountant, serving clients with a focus in the Alternative Investment and Not-For-Profit areas. Tony previously served as president of the Hudson County Chapter of the NJSCPA and was a trustee of the NJSCPA. In addition, he was a trustee and officer to the United Way of North Essex, Chairman of the Board of Barnabas Hospice, and President of the Montville Educational Foundation. He retired from KPMG in 2016. Tony and his wife, Susan, have two children, Lauren and Brian, and recently became grandparents.

Kenneth Bostwick, Jr., Vice Chair

A native of New Jersey, Ken is a vice president at Lakeland Bank. He has over 35 years of banking and financial industry experience. Ken, his husband and two children reside in Lake Mohawk, NJ. In addition to his financial background, he has been associated with and been an officer of many not for profit/civic organizations, most recently, the Butler/TriBoro Rotary Club and The Riverdale Art Center. Ken and Lakeland Bank have been supporters of Push to Walk since 2007. He is proud to bring his experience and dedication to Push to Walk and looks forward to the continued expansion of such a unique and valuable organization.

Ellen K. Duffy, Treasurer

Ellen is currently the Senior Vice President for Debt Issuance and Finance at New York City Housing Development Corporation. She is responsible for structuring and executing the debt issuance, as well as overseeing the cash management and investment functions for the Corporation. Prior to joining the Corporation, Ms. Duffy was a principal of the housing finance group at Bank of America Securities. Ms. Duffy previously held positions in the housing groups of the public finance departments at CS First Boston, First Union Securities and Citicorp Investment Bank. Ms. Duffy holds a B.A. in Economics from Providence College. She is happy to be involved with Push to Walk.

Steve Jekogian, Trustee

Steve was Director of Global Market Research for Merck Consumer Care specializing in Upper respiratory brands, before he retired in 2016. Steve’s career has been in the consumer insight/market research area managing iconic, well established OTC drug, food, and beverage brands. Steve helped keep iconic brands such as, Claritin, Coppertone, Bayer Aspirin, Absolut vodka, and Lipton Soup, in key positions by providing needed consumer knowledge and insight to solve strategic issues, and to identify ways to enhance brand performance. Steve joined the Push to Walk board in February 2016, and hopes to use his experience to provide data and client knowledge to advance the organization. Steve lives in Morristown with his wife and is active in classic British car clubs. stevejekogian1@gmail.com

Helene Kennedy, Secretary

Helene, principal of Kennedy Communications, is a marketing communications consultant with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing communications strategies for financial services organizations, small businesses and nonprofits. This includes counseling senior executives, managing media and stakeholder relations, writing speeches and policy positions, and overseeing websites and the use of social media. She previously served as the Chief Communications Officer for the International Federation of Accountants and the Director of Communications for the American Institute of CPAs. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Helene holds an MA degree in English from the University of Maryland and a BA in English from Fairfield University. hkennedy@kennedycomm.com

Catherine Mazzola, MD, Trustee

Dr. Catherine Mazzola is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. She completed her Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 and did her neurosurgery residency at New Jersey Medical School. Her special interests include hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury and concussion, pediatric brain and spine tumors, craniofacial surgery, plagiocephaly, torticollis, Chiari malformation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spine deformity, epilepsy surgery and the management of movement disorders such as dystonia and spasticity. Dr. Mazzola is the founder of the Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, the Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumor Center (now called GNOP) and the Spasticity and Gait Disorder Center of Goryeb Children’s Hospital. She has been the Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurological Surgery since 2005. Dr. Catherine Mazzola has gone on neurosurgical missionary trips to Kenya and plans to go on future mission trips to other parts of the world for pediatric neurosurgery outreach. She is also involved in mentorship, training and education of pre-medical undergraduates, medical school students, and residents. Dr. Mazzola grew up in Queens, NY and currently lives with her husband and five children in northern New Jersey.

Kevin J. Moscatiello, Trustee

Kevin is currently the Operations Manager at Vernon Valley Teleport for US Electrodynamics in Vernon, NJ. He has been in the space/telecommunications industry since 1979 starting with his career in the US Air Force. Kevin is a team member for two patents for innovation in satellite command and control software. He has been involved in volunteer wok since 1986 with various sports leagues and the Knights of Columbus where he served two terms as Grand Knight. Kevin was first introduced to Push to Walk at Kessler where his youngest son was being treated for a spinal cord injury. His son attended Push to Walk for two years before returning to college. Kevin and his wife of 39 years have four children and live in Port Jervis, NY.

Gene Murphy, Trustee

Gene currently serves as CEO/President of Promedia-New Era. Gene, a lifelong resident of Bergen County, has been in the technology business, designing and implementing IT networks, for close to thirty years, twenty-two of those as the owner of Promedia-New Era. Gene was diagnosed with a spinal tumor in 1995 and has been an active client of Push to Walk for more than three years. He received a B.S. Degree with a Minor in Business Administration from William Paterson University in New Jersey. Gene has been married for twenty-five years and has two children.

Debby Perelmuter, Trustee

Debby is from Montclair NJ, was a senior vice president with nearly 30 years of experience at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (currently on leave). Her primary areas of expertise were in monetary policy and financial market analysis, operations and strategy. Debby was on the Bank’s Diversity Advisory Council and provided executive leadership to the Bank’s FedAbility resource network — a formal network within the institution focusing on disability issues and has worked closely with the Wall Street Warfighters, an organization that prepares newly-returning disabled veterans for careers in finance. She holds a B.S. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business, New York University. She currently sits on the Business School Advisory Board at Montclair State University, provides economics and finance expertise and mentoring at Montclair High School for the Fed Challenge program, has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities and business organizations and has served as an officer or trustee on a number of local non-profit organizations over the past two decades. Debby has multiple sclerosis, is a client of Push to Walk, and hopes to use her talents to help propel the organization further. perelmuterda@aol.com

We thank these board members for their dedication to founding Push to Walk and for their ongoing service and support.

Founding Board Members

Joseph Ragno Board Member 2007-2010

Joseph concentrates in municipal government law, public service labor matters, civil litigation, personal injury and land use law. He joined the firm of Struble and Appelt in 1984 with an extensive background in corporate finance. He is currently the managing partner of the firm Struble, Ragno in Riverdale, NJ. Joseph was instrumental in helping Push to Walk form and open its doors by providing the legal work necessary to be recognized as a non-profit organization.
jragno@ragnolaw.com

Howard Bielski Board Member 2007-2013

Howard is a licensed CPA since 1981. As a Partner in accounting firms for more than 26 years, his duties include auditing, general accounting, business and personal tax preparation, and tax planning. His concentration is in the following industries: Food and Beverage, Transportation, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Health Services, Contractors, Professional Services and Non-Profit Entities. His office is in West Orange, NJ. howard@bielski.com

Ralph Rathyen Board Member 2007-2013

Ralph has a BA and MA in History and a Masters of Education in Educational Administration from William Paterson University. He retired after 35 years as a public school teacher, coach and educational supervisor in the Butler Public Schools in Butler, NJ. He has also been a licensed professional realtor for five years with a background in residential and commercial real estate. lural@optonline.net

Medical Advisory Committee

Anthony J Aceti – Push to Walk Board Chair

Tony has more than forty years of experience as a certified public accountant, serving clients with a focus in the Alternative Investment, health care and Not-For-Profit areas. Tony previously served as president of the Hudson County Chapter of the New Jersey CPA society and was a trustee of the State NJCPA. In addition, he was a trustee and officer to the United Way of North Essex, Chairman of the Board of Barnabas Hospice, and President of the Montville Educational Foundation. He retired from KPMG in 2016. Tony and his wife, Susan, have two children, Lauren and Brian, and two grandchildren.

Elizabeth Dominick, PT, DPT, NCS

Dr. Elizabeth Dominick is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist with over 17 years of experience as a physical therapist working with adults post status neurological/spinal cord injuries in both in-patient and out-patient settings. As a program director for a rehabilitation hospital, Liz also has experience in program development, implementation and budgeting. She would like to assist Push to Walk in supporting the growth of individuals after neurologic injury outside of the formal rehabilitation setting. She looks forward to providing expertise and knowledge from the medical point of view to the Medical Advisory Committee. She hopes that her extensive clinical experience, research, publications, teaching experience, professional mentoring, volunteer commitments, presentations, awards, affiliations and continuing education pursuits will combine to assist Push to Walk in achieving their mission.

Stephen Kanter, PT, DPT, ATC

Dr. Stephen Kanter is a licensed physical therapist in New York and New Jersey. He is the Director of Rehabilitation Services at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice (IMSMP). He is a nationally recognized expert in rehabilitation for people with MS and has worked to develop the AthCare MS Rehabilitation Professionals Network to promote education and clinical collaboration to improve the care provided to people with MS and their families. In 2015, Dr. Kanter was inducted into the National MS Society Healthcare Professionals Volunteer Hall of Fame. As a homecare clinician and accessible design specialist, Dr. Kanter works primarily with patients with balance, gait, and endurance impairments as well as providing accessible design consultation services for individual homes, offices and commercial spaces.  Along with his clinical work, Dr. Kanter is a professor of Biomedical Ethics at Seton Hall University. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University at Albany, SUNY, and his Masters of Science and Doctorate Degrees in Physical Therapy at Rutgers University – School of Health Professions (formerly UMDNJ). Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Kanter worked on the sports medicine staffs of several professional sports teams including time with the New York Football Giants (NFL). Dr. Kanter is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Professionals.

Vivian Kiggins – Push to Walk Executive Director

Vivian joined Push to Walk in April 2018 and brings experience both as an Executive Director as well as a grant writer/development associate for a number of organizations. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and numerous years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Vivian works closely with the other members of the management team in the daily operations of Push to Walk. Her responsibilities encompass a range of administrative and development duties, as well as strengthening and cultivating relationships with past, present, and future clients and their families. She will continue to promote the mission and vision of Push to Walk in Bergen County, as well as throughout the state.

Michael Kowalski, DPM – Chair of Medical Advisory Committee

Dr. Michael F. Kowalski is a foot and ankle surgeon in Wayne, NJ with over 32 years of experience. He graduated from New York College of Podiatric Medicine in 1987. He is licensed to practice by the state board in New Jersey. His specialties include podiatric surgery and wound care. His connection with the Templeton Family started long before Push to Walk was ever formed, meeting the family through the local ski racing team and association in New Jersey. After Darren’s injury, Mike took both a personal and professional interest in assisting the organization and is very excited to Chair the Medical Advisory Committee. He hopes his medical expertise can assist Push to Walk and grow the network of medical professionals who want to partner with the organization.

Laura Kucsan Lubkin, MS, OTR/L – Pediatric Occupational Therapist II

Laura was introduced to Push to Walk by the Templeton Family while still a student, and hoped that she could be involved with the organization in the future. With 10 years’ experience in the clinical setting, she is now excited to be a part of the Medical Advisory Committee. Her training and areas of expertise are in the activities of daily living (grooming, dressing, feeding and bathing) and instrumental activities (driving and community mobility, home establishment and management, care of others/pet, and meal preparation). She hopes to bring her ability to address these specific areas will help Push to Walk’s clients regain and maintain their independence. Laura has been involved as a volunteer with Stomp the Monster and Miles for Music events.

Catherine Mazzola, MD – Push to Walk Board Member

Dr. Catherine Mazzola is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. She completed her Pediatric Neurosurgical Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 and did her neurosurgery residency at New Jersey Medical School. Her special interests include hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury and concussion, pediatric brain and spine tumors, craniofacial surgery, plagiocephaly, torticollis, Chiari malformation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spine deformity, epilepsy surgery and the management of movement disorders such as dystonia and spasticity. Dr. Mazzola is the founder of the Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, the Pediatric Brain and Spine Tumor Center (now called GNOP) and the Spasticity and Gait Disorder Center of Goryeb Children’s Hospital. She has been the Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurological Surgery since 2005. Dr. Catherine Mazzola has gone on neurosurgical missionary trips to Kenya and plans to go on future mission trips to other parts of the world for pediatric neurosurgery outreach. She is also involved in mentorship, training and education of pre-medical undergraduates, medical school students, and residents. Dr. Mazzola grew up in Queens, NY and currently lives with her husband and five children in northern New Jersey.

Paul Sutor

Paul is a former Board Chair of Push to Walk and board member for 6+ years. He continues to stay involved with the organization and is pleased to work with this Committee. He recently retired from Plymouth Rock Assurance, after a long career in the personal lines property and casualty insurance industry. Paul is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), has an undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University, and an MBA degree from Monmouth University. He spent many years coaching youth sports, has participated in the Seton Hall Career Center mentoring program, and enjoys almost any kind of outdoor activity.

Tommy Sutor – PhD Candidate in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Florida; Former Exercise Trainer and Program Director at Push to Walk

Tommy’s experience as a trainer and Program Director and continued interest in assisting Push to Walk now includes participation in the Medical Advisory Committee. He believes that providing intensive exercise to those with paralysis is the best way currently available for people to improve their health, function and overall quality of life. He hopes to advise the committee and staff on best methods, assist with interpreting research, and explain how to apply techniques and principles explored in scientific research into the clients’ workouts. Tommy is a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Spinal Cord Injury Fitness and Wellness Task Force and is a Student Member of the Society for Neuroscience.

Cynthia Templeton – Push to Walk Founder & Community Partnerships Coordinator

Cynthia, an experienced entrepreneur and administrator, founded Push to Walk in January 2007 with her son Darren, who sustained a C5 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in July 2004. Since the opening until her recent retirement from the daily operation of Push to Walk, including finances, development, and marketing, she continues to stay involved and maintain regular contact with clients and family members, assist with building collaborative partnerships and work on special projects to build the Push to Walk brand in the community. In addition to her involvement in the Committee, Cynthia is working on forming a new Association of specialized gyms around the US and Canada, and is also part of Dr. Wise Young’s Clinical Trials Core Committee in SCI research.