Staff & Board

Staff

 

Michael Billy

Chief Executive Officer

Michael BillyMichael Billy is the Colombian born adopted son of an Italian Catholic father and Austrian Jewish mother. Michael first moved to Jersey City in 2001 and since that time has been a successful businessman, advocate and community organizer. As a globally recognized broadcaster and communicator, Michael hosted the Emmy nominated series “In The Life” on PBS as well as been a cultural commentator on HLN and CNN recognized for his regular appearances on Showbiz Tonight.

As a small business owner Michael successfully created jobs and opportunities by forging relationships between private enterprise and government. Michael founded and developed numerous small businesses such as Humanity Pride Productions, JB Talent Management and Discovery Map Hudson and understands the needs of the entrepreneur as well as the hard work required to make it successful.

Using his skills as a communicator, Michael advanced the goals of the LGBTQ community by successfully bringing health and human services that had previously not been available. Michael is the Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Pride Connections Center and on the Jersey City Diversity and Inclusion board where he continues to serve the community. As a response to the current political climate, Michael founded the grass roots collective “Jersey City Stands” which organizes large scale rapid response rallies, vigils & events that aim to unify communities behind a collective cause. Michael also co-founded The Jersey City International Television and Film Festival and co-chairs the week long Jersey City Pride festival that brings 10,000 people to downtown every August.

During times of need, Michael lead and organized meetings and events which provided a voice for all of the City’s residents. He continues to work with leaders throughout the City’s neighborhoods and communities to be a voice for their concerns.

Michael@hudsonpride.org / 201-963-4779 ex 420

 

Elizabeth Schedl

Chief Operations Officer

Liz SchedlElizabeth Schedl is the Chief Operations Officer at Hudson Pride Center. She is a community activist who works for LGBTQ+ rights and equality by bringing awareness and education to the local community. She started her career with Hudson Pride in 2013. Over the years, she has worked to strengthen the Center’s services and cultural programs for both the youth and adult LGBTQ+ populations in Hudson County. In her time at Hudson Pride, she has worked to develop and maintain new and existing Center partnerships with outside agencies, businesses, community organizations and individuals to advance services to the LGBTQ+ populations.

Elizabeth supports the development and implementation of the Center’s strategic plans and policies, provides leadership and direction to the various outreach programs, and direct supervision to all the staff at Hudson Pride. Additionally, she is responsible for reviewing the quality of the Center’s programming and procedures, organizing programs and reporting program outcomes, and assisting with grant-writing and fund-raising efforts.

Elizabeth is currently the Chair of the Early Identification of Individuals with HIV/AIDS (EIIHA) Committee, and an active member for both the Executive and MAI Committees in Hudson County. She is also a committee member of both the Municipal Alliance to Combat Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in Jersey City and the NJ Prevention Coalition in Union City. Finally, Ms. Schedl sits on the Committee for the Hudson County Alliance to End Homelessness.

In college, Elizabeth co-founded and ran the first LGBTQ+ organization that focused on awareness and support through meetings and events at her University. Besides supporting LGBTQ+ persons on campus, this organization aimed to outreach to the campus community as a whole and develop support in the external community. After graduating with a Master’s degree in International Relations, Elizabeth held an internship in Washington, DC at an LGBTQ+ political organization, where she worked to get openly LGBTQ+ candidates elected to office. She is a proud lesbian activist who believes in equal rights and representation for all LGBTQ+ people.

Elizabeth@hudsonpride.org / 201-963-4779 ex. 110

 

David Rosen, DBH, LCSW

Clinical Director

David RosenAs the Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Rosen’s primary responsibilities include clinical oversight of HPCC programming, clinical supervision of HPCC staff and social work/counseling interns, crisis intervention counseling, HIV treatment adherence counseling, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) patient education, program development, grant writing, quality management and community and professional training. He also serves as a Part-Time Lecturer for the MSW Program at Rutgers University, where he teaches graduate courses on HIV/AIDS care, LGBTQ sensitivity, and Human Development across the Lifespan, and he delivers continuing education training in these areas to social workers and other health professionals throughout the country. Dr. Rosen’s professional interests include HIV treatment adherence, adolescent substance abuse counseling, LGBTQ social justice, and healthcare policy. He received his Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University (1996), his Doctorate in Behavioral Health from Arizona State University (2012) and has been a NJ-Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1998. He currently lives in Jersey City with his husband and two rather destructive (but lovable) cats. The irony of a trained Behavioral Health Provider being unable to keep two cats from continuously wreaking havoc on household furniture has not gone unnoticed by his husband – or the cats.

drosen@hudsonpride.org / 201-963-4779 ex. 119

 

Stephanie Mills

Client Service Manager

Stephanie MillsStephanie Mills is the Client Service Manager for Hudson Pride Connections Center. She provides leadership in the development, planning, and implementation of HPCC’s Outreach and Linkage to Care Program and the Center’s youth program, YouthConnect.

Stephanie oversees all of the weekly support groups and programs at Hudson Pride. She manages our team of Outreach Associates, which provides Hudson County residents with  information about HIV/AIDS, helps them get tested to determine their status, and — if found to be positive— works with them to get them linked to medical care, as well as with a variety of other care services that our Center supports.

YouthConnect is our youth program geared towards LGBTQA youth ages 13-24.  This group meets every Friday from 6 to 8pm. Stephanie manages this program and the staff, interns, and volunteers who work specifically with the youth. She also works regularly with existing or potential clients to determine their needs, works on a plan of action for obtaining their goals, and advocates on their behalf within the community. She has built strong partnerships with youth or youth-supporting organizations to create better opportunities, events, and relationships in our community. One of her main focuses is advocating for LGBTQA youth, outreaching to or working with other organizations and schools in the area.

Stephanie graduated from William Paterson University in 2010, earning her B.A. in English. She served as an Americorps member, mentoring and coordinating programs for high school students as well as serving as the Program Director for then Mayor Corey Booker’s “Brick City Serves” initiative, where she was an advocate for low income families. She worked closely with Newark Public Schools, various nonprofit organizations, and social services leaders to bridge community needs with effective resources.

Since joining the HPCC team in 2011, she has established a role on the Hudson County Alliance to End Homelessness committee and has contributed tremendous outreach efforts to eliminate homelessness in our community. Her overall goal is to empower clients to become engaged in creating positive change for themselves and ultimately their communities.

Stephanie@hudsonpride.org/ 201-963-4779 ex. 118

 

Kim Adams

Women’s Outreach Associate

Kim AdamsKim Adams is the Women’s Outreach Associate at Hudson Pride Connections Center, has been working in social services for over ten years. After leaving Horizon Health, where she worked as a health educator, HIV tester, and outreach coordinator, Kim joined Hudson Pride Connections in 2007. Kim continues to link people living with HIV into care. She is also a group facilitator for “Women of Pride,” a support group at the Center that focuses on women of color infected or affected by HIV. In addition, Kim is a domestic violence group facilitator for Woman Rising. Kim is a certified HIV tester and is attending school to get her CADC license to work with those struggling with substance use. She plans to specifically focus on women of color (WOC), as one of her passions is trying to help WOC in their struggle with this disease. Recently the NAACP awarded Kim the Maya Angelou Still I Stand Award for Women of Accomplishment. She is also a committee member of the Drug and Alcohol Alliance in Jersey City.

kim@hudsonpride.org / 201-963-4779 ex. 116

 

Joseph Zapata

Client Services Counselor

Joseph ZapataJoseph Zapata is a Client Services Counselor at Hudson Pride Connections Center. He first joined Hudson Pride Connections in 2015 as an intern for Hudson Pride’s youth program, YouthConnect. Upon completion of his internship, Joseph was hired as an Outreach Associate, where he focuses on community education about HIV, links people to HIV/STI testing, links people living with HIV into needed healthcare services, and links people who are HIV-negative to HIV prevention services such as PrEP counseling. After earning his Associate’s degree in Human Services from Hudson County Community College in May 2016, Joseph’s work responsibilities increased and he now delivers PrEP Counseling, as part of an HIV Prevention program to help young gay/bisexual men and transgender women remain HIV-negative by linking them to medical providers who can prescribe PrEP, a daily medication that can help prevent HIV transmission and then providing adherence counseling to help them to keep taking the medication every day. In the past, Joseph has served as an Outreach Intern for Act Now Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Resource Center of NJ, within the Center’s Memory Screening Program, where he assisted seniors during the difficult first steps of identifying and understanding the memory problems they were experiencing. Joseph currently lives in Jersey City and is a “sneakerologist” outside of Hudson Pride.

Joseph@hudsonpride.org/ 201-963-4779 x113 or x122

 

Max Laffend, MSW

Client Services Counselor

Max LaffendMax Laffend, one of Hudson Pride’s two Client Services Counselors, started out as a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) intern here at Hudson Pride in 2015.  He initially worked within the YouthConnect program and assisted with both outreach and grant writing activities and upon completion of his BSW from Seton Hall University in 2016, he became a staff member, joining our new PrEP Connections program.  While a member of the HPCC staff Max also worked toward and completed his MSW (Master of  Social Work) as the first class of MSWs from Seton Hall University in 2017.

As a PrEP counselor, he works with individuals who may be at risk of HIV infection and helps them to remain negative by linking them to PrEP, a daily medication regimen that works to prevent HIV infection, and by providing them with on-going counseling aimed at promoting adherence to the medication.  Max also works within Hudson County’s HIV continuum of care by providing administrative support for the Hudson County HIV/AIDS Planning Council through his position as Assistant to the Planning Council’s Director.  Among his many responsibilities, he primarily maintains and edits the Hudson TGA website and the Hudson Cares Resource Directory in order to help streamline the HIV care process across the continuum’s member agencies.

max@hudsonpride.org 201-963-4779 x 121

 


Board Members

Paul Hyman

Paul HymanResiding in Jersey City since 2013, Paul Hyman’s background is in business and social work. Currently operating a psychotherapy practice in NYC, Paul has worked in hospital and elder services settings, HIV prevention and care, philanthropy and LGBTQ advocacy.

Having held leadership roles with organizations in NYC and South Florida, Paul was the Executive Director of the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors, greater Fort Lauderdale’s LGBT community center, from 2005-2012. During this time the center grew its programs and financial base, while successfully leveraging its real estate assets and expanding its donor base and the board. Paul also served on the board of CenterLink, the national association of LGBT community centers.

“I am especially drawn to the diversity of Jersey City and Hudson County, as well as the rich history, complexity and natural beauty of the area. I believe that Hudson Pride Connections Center is poised to deepen and broaden its service to the community, with needed support from a strong and inclusive board.”

 

Obsette Korme

Obsette KormeA first generation Ethiopian American and Native Marylander, Obsetee Korme has been a proud Jersey City resident for the last 9 years. She is a huge supporter of local businesses, thriving art and culture communities as well as passionate about her monthly ground maintenance volunteer work at the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Veterans Cemetery.

While currently a Brand and Packaging Specialist in Home Fashions, Obsetee has had a broad range of experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit world, ranging from community organizing to grant writing and reporting; most recently for the grassroots organization Mothers In Charge in Philadelphia, PA, a non-profit violence prevention, education and intervention based organization that supports communities and families that have lost loved ones to gun violence. She has also spent the last two years consulting as a life coach and mentor and hopes to continue to pursue this quiet passion.

Obsetee joined the Board of Hudson Pride Connections Center in 2017 and now holds the title of Board Secretary. She is looking forward to contributing her perspective, skills and time to advocating for all LGBTQ issues facing Jersey City, Hudson County and the entire state of New Jersey.

Her mantra has always been to live your best life while helping others.

 

Back to top