Leadership Team

Damyn Kelly speaking to LSSNY’s Leadership and Management.

Cecilia Aranzamendez, Antonnette Taylor and Rachel Kornfeld at LSSNY’s 2016 Staff Christmas Party.

President & Chief Executive Officer - Damyn Kelly, J.D.




Damyn Kelly, J.D. is the president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY), a leading social service agency serving more than 7,000 New Yorkers every day. Mr. Kelly oversees a $60 million annual budget and nearly 650 highly-qualified employees in the delivery of quality human services for the benefit of all New Yorkers, especially those most in need.

Mr. Kelly is a skilled strategic leader who has worked for more than 18 years as the chief executive of organizations serving many disenfranchised members of the community. His work has improved the lives of the formerly incarcerated; those living with mental illness, developmental and intellectual disabilities; and the homeless. He has leveraged his experience, industry knowledge and strong commitment to community advocacy, to bolster the business practices and financial success of several social service agencies. As CEO of Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Mr. Kelly had great success managing a multi-service agency serving more than 6,000 children and families in a variety of educational, vocational and behavioral treatment programs across 11 facilities.

Mr. Kelly has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Adelphi University and a Juris Doctor from the Antioch School of Law. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Newark Emergency Services for Families and Congregations Linked in Urban Strategy to Effect Renewal (CLUSTER, Inc.). He and his wife, Diann, an Associate Professor and Chair of the BSW Program at Adelphi University, have two children.


Chief Program Officer - Kerron Norman, LMSW

Ms. Kerron Norman is the Chief Program Officer and a critical member of the senior leadership team at Lutheran Social Services of New York. Since joining LSSNY in the spring of 2018, she helps articulate and implement the strategic vision and leadership of the agency.  Additionally, Ms. Norman oversees a portfolio of programs and related services that include early childhood education, educational services, foster care, housing services, immigration legal services and community services.

Prior to joining LSSNY, Ms. Norman was Vice President and Chief Program Officer for ANDRUS. Her former roles include Director of Child Welfare for the Westchester County Department of Social Services and Deputy Director of Field Operations for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.  She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Binghamton University. She is the proud recipient of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission’s Diversity Award, which honors individuals who work diligently to promote diversity and equality in systems.



Chief Financial Officer - Tamer Seoud, MBA, CCEP

tamer_hs_smallAs the Chief Financial Officer of LSSNY, Mr. Tamer Seoud has made steady enhancements to the agency’s financial position, improving internal controls, financial compliance and reporting. He continues to build the organization’s financial expertise by expanding staff capacity and fostering team collaboration. Prior to joining LSSNY, Mr. Seoud served as Chief Financial Officer and consultant for several nonprofit organizations over a ten-year period. During that time, he helped those organizations boost their funding rates, reduce debt and enhance their financial outcomes.

Mr. Seoud also worked in Management Information Systems and developed database applications that integrated data from several city and state systems. His business and venture capital background has allowed him to bring a unique business mentality and acumen to the nonprofit arena. He holds an MBA in Corporate Finance and is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CEEP). He is also a Microsoft-Certified Systems Engineer and a Certified Database Administrator.


General Counsel - Wanyong Austin, Esq.

wanyong-austinMs. Wanyong Austin has been LSSNY’s General Counsel since 2009. She is responsible for providing legal guidance on laws and regulations governing service provision within all programs, supervising legal work done by the agency, fostering sound corporate governance practices and overseeing the agency’s Human Resources Department.

Ms. Austin began her legal career as a corporate litigator with various New York law firms before becoming a staff attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation B. At Brooklyn Legal Services, she litigated family law individual and class action lawsuits on behalf of indigent clients for seven years. In 1993, she moved to Hong Kong with her family and worked with Pam Baker & Co. where she represented Vietnamese boat people held in detention in Hong Kong. Upon her return to the United States, she worked at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. Ms. Austin has worked at LSSNY since 2001, first as the Supervising Attorney of the Immigration Legal Services Program and later the Director of the Immigration and Refugee Services Program. She received her A.B. from Harvard Radcliffe College and her J.D. from NYU School of Law.


Vice President for Research & Quality Improvement - Isabel Masch

Executive Director for Children's Services - Antonnette Taylor

antonnette-taylorAs the Executive Director for Children’s Services, Antonnette Taylor is responsible for the development, operation and delivery of key programmatic services within the agency’s foster care program, LIFE Care Medical Center and Health Home Care Management services.

In addition, Ms. Taylor oversees the Kinship and Family Treatment Rehabilitation Preventive programs and is responsible for the Discrete Medicaid Program at LSSNY, which was created to enhance medical, mental, developmental and substance abuse health services to appropriately meet the special needs of the children and adolescents served.

With LSSNY since 1995, Ms. Taylor has a comprehensive knowledge of the needs of the families we serve, and she works       diligently—and with a tremendous amount of expertise—to connect children with loving homes. She has a B.A. and J.D. from CUNY Law School at Queens College.


Executive Director for Community Services - Cecilia Aranzamendez, LMSW, Esq.

cecilia-aranzamendez-v2Cecilia Aranzamendez, the Executive Director of Community Services, oversees the agency’s immigration legal program, disaster case management and hunger prevention programs. She brings considerable experience as both an attorney and a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) to the division. Ms. Aranzamendez has over 16 years of experience working with immigrants, both in a legal and case management context. Among the programs she oversees at LSSNY is the Safe Haven for Children program, which provides residential, educational, vocational and legal services to unaccompanied children.

Ms. Aranzamendez has a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law and an MSW from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.


Executive Director for Early LIFE Services - Khamele McLeod-Cato

khamele-mcleod-catoKhamele McLeod-Cato is the Executive Director for LSSNY’s Early LIFE program and is responsible for overall program management of 10 early childhood education centers and the Family Child Care Network of home-based providers. She has more than 15 years of experience in early childhood education. Prior to joining LSSNY, she was an administrator with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services Division of Early Care and Education.

Ms. McLeod-Cato has a Master of Science in Education/Special Education in Early Childhood Education from Touro College (NYC) and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy in Early Childhood Education program at Northcentral University (AZ).


Executive Director for Education Services - Rachel Kornfeld, LCSW, SBL

rachel-kornfeld-v2Rachel Kornfeld is the Principal and Executive Director for Education Services at The New LIFE School, a school that serves students in grades 3-12. Opened in 2006, the school strives to help students with special needs achieve success academically and socially through a program that combines a supportive, structured environment, with an emphasis on individual academic and behavioral planning. Ms. Kornfeld joined The New LIFE School as a Social Worker soon after it opened, and worked as the Director of Clinical Services before becoming Principal and Executive Director. Ms. Kornfeld believes The New LIFE School can change the trajectory of young lives and says it does this by “making the school fit the student, not the student to the school.” She is committed to ensuring that all students at The New LIFE School receive a quality, individualized education.

Ms. Kornfeld received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts. She earned a second Master’s degree in School Building Leadership from Mercy College (NY).

718-665-2760 Ext 2000

Executive Director for Information Technology - Thomas Dewar

thomas-dewar-preferred-v2Thomas Dewar is the Executive Director of Information Technology for LSSNY. Since joining the agency in late 2015, Mr. Dewar quickly worked to make enhancements to the organization’s IT infrastructure. Mr. Thomas has more than 30 years of experience designing and programming applications, and he has a deep knowledge of public, private and government systems. He has successfully worked to automate and streamline operations, using a mixture of homegrown, custom-developed and off-the-shelf business applications and is extremely skilled at custom reporting and billing.

Prior to joining LSSNY, Mr. Dewar was the Senior Director of Applications & Healthcare Systems at The New York Foundling; he has also served as the Chief Information Officer at Leake and Watts Services, Inc. He is co-chair of the Council on Families and Child Care Agencies (COFCCA) Information Technology Committee and is on the Mount Sinai Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) IT and Stakeholders Committees.


Executive Director for Residential Services - John Ray Gonzalez, Esq.

ray-gonzalez-v2Mr. Ray Gonzalez is the Executive Director for Residential Services. He has extensive experience as a community and housing activist. Since 2000, he has helped LSSNY develop a wide range of housing development projects for formerly homeless individuals and families that not only bring stable housing to residents, but also offer integrated health and mental health services, and increased access to community resources and support systems. Mr. Gonzalez supervises the development and operation of more than 475 units of supportive housing in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

He received a Bachelor of Science from Long Island University and a J.D. from Seton Hall Law School.