callahan-staff-portraitJean Callahan, Esq., MSW

Jean Callahan became Director of Brookdale in 2010. Prior to joining Brookdale, Jean spent a decade working for the Vera Institute of Justice. At Vera, she was the founding director of two successful demonstration projects – the Guardianship Project, a nonprofit provider of guardianship services for elderly New Yorkers who cannot care for themselves, and Adolescent Portable Therapy, a program which serves adolescents in the juvenile justice system.

In 1998-99 Jean served as a White House Fellow with Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala. Earlier in her career as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Jean represented elderly and homebound New Yorkers in areas such as housing, health care, consumer law, financial exploitation and entitlements.

A graduate of New York University, Jean received her law degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.


Jerry AntonatosJerry Antonatos, MPA
Director of Finance and Administration

Jerry Antonatos has been a CUNY staff member since 1988. Prior to joining Brookdale in 2006, Jerry was Director of Finance for the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and before that, held various finance positions within the Research Foundation of CUNY. His longstanding contacts within CUNY and deep knowledge of the University’s systems make him a valuable member of the Brookdale team.

Jerry is an active member of the Army National Guard unit 4th Financial Management (Fighting Finance). He was called to serve in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 and again in 2014. He was the Deputy Disbursing Officer of Jalalabad in the East, and Disbursing Agent of Kandahar in the South and controlled all financial activities in those regions of Afghanistan.

Jerry received his Bachelor’s Degree from Hunter College in Accounting and has a Master’s in Public Administration with a specialty in fiscal policy analysis and oversight from John Jay College.


DSC_0123Vicki Lynn Bryan, MEd
Project Manager & Trainer

Vicki Lynn Bryan has been in the field of workplace learning and performance since 1984. The focus of her work is on designing and delivering professional development programs to social service personnel in classroom settings and online.  Vicki combines organizational development theory and her experience as a manager in both the private and public sectors to present workshops on topics such as management/supervisory skills, stress management, time management, team building, diversity, conflict management, communication skills, change management, train-the-trainer and presentation skills.

A graduate of Upsala College, Vicki received a Master of Education from Seton Hall University.


Leah DeVriesLeah deVries
Project Coordinator

Since May 2006 Leah deVries has supported two of Brookdale’s largest training initiatives –Local District Support Training and the Management Development Institute. Leah assists in the planning and preparation of trainings and conferences and serves as a liaison between project managers and county staff to ensure successful training programs.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Leah worked as an After Care Case Planner for a large foster care agency in New York City where she helped to facilitate the family reunification process.

Leah has a Bachelor of Human Ecology with a specialty in Child and Family Studies from Oneonta State College. Leah has a Bachelor of Human Ecology with a specialty in Child and Family Studies from Oneonta State College.

Paul G. Fleishmann
Logistics Coordinator

Paul Fleishmann joined Brookdale in 1993.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of communications, media, print and electronic publishing, website design and management, and special events and conference planning logistics. Prior to joining Brookdale, Paul spent nearly a decade in the radio, television, video and advertising industries where his work included writing, producing and directing commercial and public service announcements, video editing, producing multi-media productions and managing the distribution of syndicated network television programs.

Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in Television and Radio Broadcasting from SUNY College at Buffalo and an Associate in Applied Science and Broadcast Telecommunications from Suffolk County Community College.


Angela Ghesquiere, PHD, MSW
Research Program Manager

Angela Ghesquiere has been on staff at Brookdale since June 2014. She helps develop and oversee research and evaluation projects and works closely with project staff. Prior to joining Brookdale, Dr. Ghesquiere was a fellow in geriatric mental health services research at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Ghesquiere has also worked on several federally-funded intervention studies in the fields of grief, loss, trauma, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at both Columbia University and the University of Washington. Dr. Ghesquiere’s current research seeks to increase the access and quality of care for older adults experiencing mental health disorders after bereavement.

Angela received her PhD in Social Work from Columbia University, and has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Smith College and a Master’s of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.


Sheryl GrantSheryl Grant
Finance Administrator

Sheryl Grant joined Brookdale in 1988. Sheryl handles a wide array of key tasks, from providing information to all new employees, to overseeing timesheets, to facilitating the timely payment of all invoices. Her knowledge of and long-standing relationships with key personnel at Hunter College and the CUNY Research Foundation are invaluable.

Sheryl attended York College and majored in Accounting.


Edith A. Henry

Edith Henry joined Brookdale in 1994. She is the first person most visitors encounter when they come to Brookdale, and it’s her voice people typically hear when they call the Center’s main number. In addition to staffing the reception desk, Edith is responsible for maintaining day to day office operations.



Randy Lin
Executive Assistant

Randy Lin has been on staff at Brookdale since May 2014. Along with assisting Jean Callahan, Randy also helps administer Brookdale’s certificate program and oversees the website management. Currently, he is redesigning the Brookdale’s website and expanding its web presence. Prior to joining Brookdale, Randy was a studio assistant and web manager at MV Lab.

A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Randy received his M.A in Economic & Social History in 2012.


Geoffrey L. RogersGeoffrey L. Rogers
Director of Learning and Development

Geoff Rogers has more than two decades of professional experience helping individuals and organizations learn, manage, change and seize new opportunities. Prior to joining Brookdale in 2007 as Director of Learning and Development, Geoff was Director of Operations for the New York City Home Energy Assistance Program. He has also worked in advertising, publishing and marketing and served as a Director of Special Projects, Director of Training and Director of Operations for New York City Adult Protective Services.

Geoff’s unusual background spanning creative industries, public administration and management consulting informs his work at Brookdale to develop learning opportunities that engage a diverse array of human services professionals.

Geoff has a Bachelor of European History and English from Colby College.


Raquel Malina RomanickRaquel Malina Romanick, JD
Staff Attorney, Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy

Raquel Romanick joined Brookdale in 2005. She oversees Brookdale’s Certificate Programs; monitors changes in relevant laws, policies and benefits; and regularly makes presentations on a wide range of topics, including: elder abuse, health care decision making, caregiving, Medicare and Medicaid, and daily money management. In addition to her work at Brookdale, Raquel is an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Raquel served as Senior Policy Analyst for Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields where she worked on budget and policy issues related to the welfare of elderly New Yorkers.

A graduate of C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Raquel received her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law.


Debra Sacks, LPN, JDDebra Sacks, LPN, JD
Senior Staff Attorney, Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy

Debra Sacks has been a staff member of Brookdale’s Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy since 1988. She is a nationally recognized expert and trainer in adult protective services, elder abuse, guardianship, and daily money management and currently provides legal training to staff throughout New York State who provide protective services to vulnerable adults. Debra’s most recent accomplishment is serving as Principal Investigator in Brookdale’s 2009 study, The Value of Daily Money Management: An Analysis of Outcomes and Costs. This groundbreaking research is informing national policies on aging.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, Debra received her law degree from Pace University, an LPN from Phelps Memorial School of Nursing and a Certificate in Aging Studies from the University of Iowa.


DSC_0167Carolina Villanueva, MPH
Research Associate

Carolina Villanueva has been on staff at Brookdale since 2012. Carolina assists with the development and implementation of research and evaluation studies. In addition, she acts as a liaison between the research team and academic investigators, community-based organizations and other local partners. Prior to joining Brookdale, she worked on a community outreach campaign “Save Half for Later” in Harlem-based restaurants. Carolina has also worked on several other research projects including examining the relationship between physical activity and the experience of menopause, as well as health disparities in cardiac outcomes.

Carolina has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University and recently received a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.