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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. Prior to joining ETTA in 2014, Mae held senior finance positions with companies in the technology, oil and gas, health services and manufacturing sectors.  She holds a B.A. in accounting and an M.B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines.

Aaron Khodorkovsky 
Director of Group Homes

Aaron Khodorkovsky supervises ETTA’s four group homes.  He joined the organization in 2009 as a counselor for the Summer@ETTA program and progressed to his current responsibilities.  He holds a B.A. in psychology from Touro College.

Manijeh Nehorai
Director of Iranian-American Division

Manijeh Nehorai joined ETTA in 1995 as the Director of ETTA´s Iranian-American Community Services Division.  She has been an innovator in the fields of social work and special education for over 40 years. 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 United States, and prior to joining ETTA, she worked for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and taught parenting at Nessah Israel Synagogue, Valley Beth Shalom and Maimonides Academy, among other venues. Mrs. Nehorai holds an M.A. in Social Work and Marriage & Family Counseling.

Allen Remer
Director of Administration

A long-time friend and supporter of ETTA, Allen joined the organization in 2014.  Prior to joining ETTA, he served as Head of Finance at the law firm of Irell & Manella LLC for 22 years.  He then joined Remco Wholesale Hardware as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Human Resources.  He attended UCLA and New York University with a double degree in sociology and comparative literature with a minor in art history.

Leah Schachter
Director of Volunteer Services & Special Events

Upon joining ETTA in 2000, Leah created its Leadership Program.  This program focused on helping high school students strengthen their volunteering skills as well as interacting with teens and adults with special needs. She serves as the Director of Summer@ETTA, a unique social and life-skills summer program.  She also directs ETTA’s Shabbaton weekends and mentors the ETTA Youth Board.  She holds a B.A. in psychology, and an M.A. degree in Family Counseling.

Josh Taff
Director Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program

Josh has been involved with the special needs community for 15 years, beginning as a counselor in Camp Ramah’s Tikvah program.  He then joined ETTA as an Administrator of the ETTA Group Homes and as Co-Director of Summer@ETTA.  Josh also plays a key role planning and participating in the ETTA Shabbaton weekends. He is a graduate of Indiana University.

Claudia Wenger
Director of Program Operations

Claudia joined ETTA in 2002 in the role of Inclusion Specialist.  Before assuming her current role of Director of Program Operations, she held multiple positions including Director of Education for the Ner Shoshana Program, Director of Supported and Independent Living Skills as well as establishing the Stevie T’s co-op style residential program. Claudia received her B.S. in Education and M.S. in Special Education.  She also holds general studies and special education credentials from the University of Southern California.

 

CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION

Suad Bisogno
Assistant Director of Program Operations & the Transition Program

Suad has been involved in creating and managing quality services for adults with developmental disabilities since 2007. These services include Supported Living, Independent Living, Community Based Day Programs and Supported Employment.  She continues to be involved in these services at ETTA and launched Transitions, an innovative program that provides education and support to parents when a family member transitions into adulthood.  She has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration.

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 joined ETTA in 2016 in her current role.  Esther received her B.A. in Psychology from Touro College Los Angeles and holds an M.A. in Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Specialization from Baruch College in New York.

Samvel Jayatyan
Accountant

A native of Novosibirsk, Russia, Sam moved to the United States in 2005.  His work experience includes both public and corporate accounting and 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.  He holds a B.S. in Finance from California State University, Northridge

Jeff Remer
Fundraiser

Jeff joined ETTA in 2016 in the fundraising department after 25 years in sales.  An avid basketball coach and mentor, Jeff holds a B.A. from Yeshiva University and a law degree from Temple University.

Michelle Ruggier
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director

Michelle joined ETTA in 2016 as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director.  Prior to joining ETTA, she worked in the legal services industry for over 18 years.  Michelle studied Business Communications and Business Management at California State University, Northridge.

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

With more than 20 years of experience helping individuals with special needs, Dalia serves the Iranian-American Division in a variety of capacities.  She works directly with Iranian families, Regional Center, performs translation services, organizes parenting classes, helps obtain conservatorships, and assists in all special events for the Iranian-American Division.

Eric Yellin
IT & Facilities Manager

Eric has an extensive background in advertising and financial services, strategic planning and sales customization.  His expertise spans various computer and online technologies. At ETTA, Eric handles IT, special projects, and logistics. He holds a B.S. in Business Management and Finance from Brooklyn College

 

PROGRAM MANAGERS

Mireya Alonso
Program Manager, SLS (Supported Living Services)

A Los Angeles native, Mireya has worked in the special needs field for more than ten years.  Her experience spans Case Management, Supported Living/Independent Living Services and she also hold certification as a Group Home Administrator. She is currently attending school to complete her A.A in Child Development Special Education, and will continue to pursue her B.S in Social Services.  Mireya is also a certified CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention) instructor and is one of ETTA’s CPI instructors.

Randi Balavram
Program Manager, Group Homes

Randi joined ETTA in 2014 as Life Skills Coach after an extensive background working with individuals with special needs.  She currently works with ETTA adult clients as a Program Manager, Group Homes.  A native of New York, Randi received her B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College.

Marc Caputo
Program Manager, SLS (Supported Living Services)

Marc recently joined ETTA as program manager, SLS.  He has five years experience working in special education, most notably with the NYC Department of Education.  He holds a B.A. in Special Education from the University of Tampa.

Elana Cohen
Program Manager, Employment Services

Elana Cohen first became involved with ETTA as a volunteer counselor for Summer@ETTA.  Her interest in working with ETTA clients prompted her to pursue a career in the field.  After college, she joined ETTA in 2015 as a Direct Service Professional, progressing to Program Manager of Tailored Services and to her current role of Program Manager, Employment Services.

Jason Druyan
Program Manager, Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program

Jason joined ETTA in 2014 as a Direct Support Professional, before transitioning to the position of Program Manager, Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program.  He earned his degree at U.C. Davis after which he returned to Los Angeles to begin a career in the field of special education.

Heidi Schofield
Program Manager, Group Homes

Heidi has a 20-year track record working with children and adults with disabilities.  She has held positions in Pennsylvania, Washington State and the United Kingdom before settling in Los Angeles.

Hannah Ortiz
Program Manager, SLS (Supported Living Services)

Hannah joined ETTA as a Direct Service Professional in the Transitions Program and was soon promoted to Program Manager of SLS.  She received her B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

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