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Meet Our Leadership

Board of Directors

  • Robert Gaydos - Board President

    Robert J. Gaydos is president of the MHA Board of directors and has been a member since 2011. A graduate of Adelphi College, he retired after a 40-plus year career in journalism, working as a reporter and editor in Binghamton, NY, Annapolis, Md. and Middletown, NY. Bob was an editor for 29 years at The Times Herald-Record in Middletown, including 23 years as editorial page editor. He received numerous awards for his editorials in New York State and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1992. He also wrote a column on addiction and recovery for The Record for more than a dozen years. Bob lives in Burlingham and continues to write columns online.

  • Eben Rockwell Hill - Former President
  • Elizabeth Franqui - Vice PresidentElizabeth Franqui, Esq., is vice president of the MHA Board of Directors and has been a member since 2017. She is an attorney with 27 years’ experience in the corporate world and is currently Associate General Counsel of The Conference Board, Inc., a non-profit global think-tank based in New York City. Elizabeth lives in Middletown, N.Y., with her younger sister, three dogs, and a variety of tropical fish.

  • Neil Meyer - TreasurerNeil J. Meyer, CPA, is treasurer of the board. He is a graduate of Pace University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. He has 25-plus years of accounting and finance experience working for public accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies and is currently working as a financial and business consultant. He also serves as a councilman for the Town of Wallkill.

  • Patricia Quinn - Secretary

    Patricia Quinn is an artist and art therapist who worked in New York state in the field of addiction and prevention for 23 years. She is board secretary and is a past president. Pat worked in both in- and outpatient treatment with individuals, children and families impacted by substance use disorders. She has taught graduate and undergraduate students in art therapy since 1994 and has recently published “Art Therapy in the Treatment of Addiction and Trauma.” She has served on the committees and boards of several mental health agencies in Orange County. She also served as the Chair of the Historical Archives & Memorial Committee for the American Art Therapy Association and as National Delegate and Governmental Affairs Chair of the NY Art Therapy Association.

  • Manouska Archer

    Manouska Archer brings with her a wealth of education and experience. She holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Adelphi University School of Social Work, a Bachelor's degree in Human Service from Mount St. Mary College, and an Associate's degree in Science Human Service from Rockland Community College. Her commitment to professional development is evident through her various internships and work experiences.

    Manouska's professional journey continued as she joined Prevent Child Abuse New York as a Training and Staff Development Specialist. In this role, she provided training, quality assurance, and technical assistance to Healthy Families New York sites. Her responsibilities included presenting core and advanced training, conducting on-site visits, and contributing to curriculum development and research.

    Prior to her current position, Manouska served at Access Supports for Living as a Supervisor, Family Assessment Worker, and Community Outreach member. She played a crucial role in connecting clients with community resources, implementing quality assurance measures, and promoting healthy families. Her extensive experience with the Healthy Families New York model and involvement with the Youth Bureau in Newburgh showcases her dedication to empowering individuals and families.

    Throughout her career, Manouska has demonstrated exceptional skills and qualifications, including her certification as a Trainer from Healthy Families America, expertise in cultural diversity training, and certification in First Aid/CPR. Her comprehensive knowledge of parenting, childhood concerns, and health issues further enhances her ability to make a positive impact.

  • Ohiro Oni-Eseleh

    Dr. Ohiro Oni-Eseleh is the Assistant Dean for Program Development and Community Engagement at Adelphi University School of Social Work and the director of the school’s campuses in the Hudson Valley. He is a member of the university's Academic Diversity Implementation Team, co-chair of the School of Social Work's Anti-Racism Task Force and the co-chair of the committee developing the university's Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program. Prior to entering academia, he held several positions in healthcare organizations. He maintains an active private clinical practice and is the author of multiple books, including “In Pursuit of Dreams: The Truth about Immigration,” “Stress Kills” and “When Loving Brings Pain: How to deal with hurtful feelings in your relationship.” He lives in Orange County and is active in volunteer efforts in Orange and Dutchess counties.

  • Thomas Farrell

    Thomas G. Farrell, Esq., is a distinguished legal professional and community leader who serves as an invaluable member of the volunteer Board of Directors at the Mental Health Association in Orange County. With a career spanning over five decades, Thomas has been a self-employed attorney since 1974, earning admission to the New York State Bar in 1969. His commitment to public service is evident through his roles as Acting Court Justice at Middletown City Court and Corporate Counsel for the City of Middletown. Beyond the courtroom, Thomas has made lasting contributions to various community organizations, including presidencies at the Rotary Club of Middletown and the Middletown YMCA. As President of the Orange County Legal Aid Society in 1982, he championed access to legal representation, furthering his dedication to advocacy. Thomas's community engagement extends to environmental preservation, where he serves as the Chief Trail Maintainer for the Basha Kill Long Path, SRT Trail. With a rich history of leadership and service, Thomas G. Farrell, Esq., brings a wealth of experience to the Mental Health Association, ensuring a compassionate and impactful approach to supporting individuals in crisis and advocating for mental health and developmental disability awareness.

  • Jenna Key

    Jenna Key began as a child in foster care, deciding early on that she wanted to use her lived experience with foster care as well as homelessness to assist other youth navigating the same systems. She has been a mentor with Bravehearts MOVE NY for more than five years and worked as a mental health worker in an adolescent unit in a psychiatric facility. She recently became a registered behavior technician for ABS Kids in North Carolina, and plans to study for her masters to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

  • Clarice Needham

    Clarice Needham, President of HJM Management Services. Her company is full-service tax and accounting firm that focuses on providing one-on-one services to clients that struggle finding the attentiveness that larger firms typically struggle to offer. As a dedicated and detail-orientated accounting professional, she has persistently met the needs of both individuals and local businesses in the Hudson Valley area for twenty-three years and counting.

    With a BA in Business Administration and Management from Pace University and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Clarice has developed a strong sense of devotion to giving back to the community. While being punctilious in providing her clients solutions to all their needs, she also believes in educating clients and working diligently to help individuals develop achievable goals, understand their financial choices and portfolios, and implement strategies that assist them in attaining their personal plans. Outside of HJM Management Services, Clarice has actively reached out to high schools in the 845 area and hosted classes that are built to equip children with the basic education around personal finances to help them get a head start on life outside of school.

    When Clarice is not busy with handling personal and business tax returns, presenting financial reports, or teaching financial literacy classes, she is most likely putting smiles on children’s faces through her Children with Dreams Foundation. This foundation focuses on the hearts of young children from the age groups of 1-12 years old by making it an obligation to ensure that they are provided with the accessibility to things most of us take for granted. December 20th, 2022 marked the foundation’s third annual toy drive, an event that Clarice holds close to her heart. Although her group serves a shelter in the Bronx, she was able to make an emotional impact for the children within the Middletown, NY area and Garnett Medical Center.

    Before HJM Management Services was brought to life, Clarice was held accountable for a multitude of responsibilities throughout her career. From an accountant and payroll manager with Sumner Rider & Snyder for twelve years to auditing accounts as a senior accountant with Pearson Education, she has prospered into being a proud, successful independent accountant. Her track record speaks for itself as she was an representative at American Express, accounts receivable manager. Even dabbed into Commercial Insurance at Capacity Coverage as Account Receivable Manager, and accounts receivable analyst at The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. Clarice prides herself as being apart of the 8.5% of black accountants within the United States.

  • Ernest Miller

    Ernest Miller was born in Ulster County, raised in the Hudson Valley and has been living in the immediate area since 1980. He started a Hospital Diploma Nursing Program in 1971 and spent most of his professional life in health care with a sole focus on psychiatry and addictions since 1990. He retired as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in 2015. He lives in Mamakating.

  • Lydia Richards
  • Tabitha Walker

Executive Team

Agency Directors

Administrative Team

Program Leadership

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