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We are a collection of individuals who care

Our Staff

Our motivated staff is made up of a team of caring and hardworking professionals that put ETTA's goals into action.

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Dr. Michael Held
Executive Director

Dr. Michael held founded ETTA in 1993. As the visionary for ETTA’s wide range of programs, Dr. Held has led ETTA from a start-up to its current position as the largest agency of its type in the Los Angeles community.

Mae Bartolome
Controller

Mae Bartolome is a seasoned finance and accounting professional with extensive experience in treasury and accounting roles.  Before joining ETTA in February 2014, she has occupied senior finance positions with companies in the technology service, oil and gas, health services and manufacturing.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and earned her Master’s in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines.

Aaron Khodorkovsky
Director of Group Homes

Aaron Khodorkovsky is Group Home Operating Supervisor at Etta. He graduated from Touro College with BA in Psychology, and has been working for ETTA since 2009 starting with Summer Camp and now supervising the four group homes. Aaron enjoys working with our residents and insuring the quality of life.

Manijeh Nehorai
Director of Iranian-American Division

Manijeh Nehorai has been involved in the fields of social work and special education for over 40 years. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work and Marriage & Family Counseling.  In Iran, Mrs. Nehorai was the Executive Director of the Social Welfare Office of Queen Farah Pahlavi (Director of the Iranian Social Welfare Department for the Queen), a post she held for 18 years. Upon moving to the U.S., she worked for Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles and taught parenting at such venues as Nessah Israel Synagogue, Valley Beth Shalom, and Maimonides Academy, among others. Since 1995, she has been the Director of  ETTA´s Iranian-American Community Services Division.

Allen Remer
Director of Administration

Allen Remer grew up in Los Angeles and attend UCLA and New York University. He has a double degree in sociology and comparative literature with a minor in art history. Allen was Head of Finance at the law firm of Irell & Manella LLC for 22 years. He moved on to become the COO and Director of Human Resources at Remco Wholesale Hardware. Along with his wife Deborah, Allen is co-founder and owner of Perfectly Suited, a custom gift basket company. Throughout Allen’s professional career, he was a friend and supporter of ETTA and now is Director of Administration.

Leah Schachter
Director of Volunteer Services & Special Events

Leah Schachter was born and raised in Forest Hills, New York. She earned a B.A. in Psychology, and a Masters in family counseling. She was the original creator of the Leadership Program at ETTA in 2000, which focused on teaching high school kids how to volunteer and deal with teens and adults with special needs. Because ETTA is such an integral part of her life, she has co-chaired many fundraisers for ETTA’s Camp Avraham Moshe (now Summer@Etta). For many years, she has entertained the group homes and hosted Shabbatonim and ETTA parties. For the past five years she has been the Director of Summer@ETTA and Shabbatons, and most recently, she mentored the ETTA Youth Board (EYB).

Josh Taff
Director of Adult Day Program

Josh Taff, a graduate of Indiana University, has been working with the special needs community for 15 years, beginning as a counselor in Camp Ramah’s Tikvah program. Josh started his career at ETTA as an administrator of the ETTA group homes and as co-director of Summer@ETTA. Now the Director of Intake, he is also an integral part of programming that takes place throughout the year. Josh also plays a key role with planning and participating in the ETTA Shabbaton weekends. With strong ties to the local Jewish community and to the entire ETTA family, Josh is a strong advocate for our clients and families.

Claudia Wenger
Director of Program Operations

Claudia Wenger received her Bachelor of Science in Education and Masters of Science in Special Education, including general studies and special education credentials, from the University of Southern California. Mrs. Wenger joined ETTA in 2002 in the role of Inclusion Specialist, and since has held other positions including Director of Education for the Ner Shoshana Program, Director of Supported and Independent Living Skills. She established the Stevie T’s co-op style residential program in Los Angeles. She currently serves as the Director of Program Operations.

 

CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION

Suad Bisogno
Assistant Director of Program Operations & the Transition Program

Suad Bisogno is the Asst. Director of Program Operations at ETTA. She has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration. Suad has been managing quality services for adults with developmental disabilities since 2007. These services include Supported Living, Independent Living, Community Based Day Programs and Supported Employment.  While working with ETTA, Suad has developed, created and managed new and innovative services, such as their concierge service called Transitions. She looks forward to working with ETTA to meet the needs of the clients it serves.

Esther Frankel
Human Resources and Administrative Manager

Esther Frankel grew up in Los Angeles and spent many of her formative years volunteering for ETTA. She received her BA in Psychology from Touro College Los Angeles and holds an MA in Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Specialization from Baruch College in New York.

After spending six years on the East Coast, Esther and her husband Yitzy moved back to Los Angeles in 2016 when she joined the ETTA team as the Human Resources and Administrative Manager.

Samvel Jayatyan
Accountant

Sam was born in Novosibirsk, Russia.  He moved back with his family to Armenia in 1997 at age of eight.  They then moved to the United States in 2005 and have been living in Los Angeles County ever since. He has practiced Martial Arts for 12 years and currently hold 2nd degree black belt, earning the title of “champion” for several local and international tournaments. In 2013 he graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.

His work experience includes both public and corporate accounting. Being in the field for over 5 years, he has held positions as assistant accountant, full charge bookkeeper and staff accountant. He holds IRS certification for volunteer income tax preparation through the VITA program.

Jeff Remer
Fundraiser 

Michelle Ruggier
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director

Prior to joining ETTA, Michelle worked in the legal services industry for over 18 years. She studied business communications and business management at California State University, Northridge.

Michelle is active in the community, volunteering for multiple charities, including 2nd Byte Foundation, which donates computers to economically disadvantaged communities and tutors children in those communities. She also volunteered for Hopes Voice in NYC, helping the organization with everything from fundraising to servicing their travel needs.

Dalia Saour
Executive Assistant to the Director of Iranian-American Community Services

Dalia has exceptional experience helping individuals with disabilities, and has brought her vast knowledge and work ethic to ETTA for over 20 years. She serves the Iranian-American Division by working directly with our Iranian families, Regional Center, Beth Tzedek, and performs translation services when needed. In addition, she organizes parenting classes, helps obtain conservatorships, and assists in all events for the Iranian-American Division. Dalia is very well known in the Iranian community as a representative of ETTA.

Eric Yellin
IT & Facilities Manager

Eric holds a B.S. in Business Management and Finance from Brooklyn College. He has an extensive background in advertising and financial services, with a proven track record of successful origination, strategic planning, and sales customization. Eric is a winner of numerous company awards. He is also an expert in various computer and online technologies. At ETTA, Eric handles IT, special projects, and logistics.

 

PROGRAM MANAGERS

Mireya Alonso
Program Manager, SLS

Randi Balavram
Program Manager, Group Homes

Randi Balavram grew up in New York and received her B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College in 2010. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating college and became very involved in the Pico Jewish Community. Randi has a background in childcare, which provided her with the opportunity to work with children with developmental disabilities.  She became interested in working with older individuals and their families and therefore joined ETTA as a Life Skills Coach in April 2014. Randi now serves as Program Manager, providing services that enable adults with special needs to live fully enriched and independent lives as active members of the Los Angeles Jewish Community.

Elana Cohen
Program Manager, Employment Services

Elana Cohen grew up in the Los Angeles area and has always been part of the ETTA family. Elana volunteered at summer at ETTA all throughout high school and became interested in pursuing a career in the field. Following college, Elana joined ETTA as a Direct Service Professional in November of 2015. Elana then became a Program Manager of Tailored Services, which helps clients with finding employment and living a more integrated and independent life.

Jason Druyan
Program Manager, Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program

Jason Druyan grew up in the San Fernando Valley and has been involved in the Judaic community of Los Angeles his entire life, through his local synagogue, youth groups, and trips to Israel to visit family. After graduating from the University of California Davis, Jason returned to Los Angeles to begin a career in the field of Special Education.

He has worked for ETTA since 2014, starting as a Direct Support Professional, before transitioning to the Day Program and eventually to the position of Day Program Assistant Program Manager, working to support the city program and establish the Valley day program which will soon grow to three groups!

Jason now serves as the Program Manager, Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program, and in this role he continues to work to provide meaningful and empowering opportunities for our clients.

Ilan Kalsky
Program Manager, SLS

Ilan Kalsky grew up in the Los Angeles area and received his B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State in 2009. Ilan has a background working as a behavioral instructor, in which he worked on behavioral modification and skill-building with children with developmental disabilities.  He became interested in working with older individuals and their families and therefore joined ETTA as a Senior Direct Service Professional in June 2015. Ilan then became a Program Manager of Supported Living Services, which helped clients that required 24/7 assistance. Ilan now serves as a Program Manager in the field of Independent Living, which provides services that enable adults with special needs to live fully enriched and independent lives as active members of the Los Angeles Jewish Community.

Heidi Schofield
Program Manager, Group Homes

Heidi Schofield is originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She has worked with children and adults who have disabilities for over 20 years in Pennsylvania, Washington State, the UK and now California. She is also a certified Phlebotomist.

Hannah Seubert
Program Manager, SLS

 

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