The FamilyKind Non Profit team of attorneys, mental health experts, mediators, and parent coordinators are licensed professionals with decades of experience.
Lesley Ann Friedland
Co-Directors of the Children’s Program
Ellen Herskowitz and Barbara Sirota
Director of Mediation & Parent Coordination
Director of Development
Faculty, Mediators & Parent Coordinators
Board of Directors
Lesley Ann Friedland
Lesley Ann Friedland
Lesley Ann Friedland is a family law attorney and mediator dedicated to public service. For more than two decades, Lesley served as a court attorney and referee for the NYC Family Court presiding over custody, visitation and child protective matters in all five boroughs. Recently Lesley served as the liaison between the Court and the Custody and Visitation Mediation Department in Kings County Family Court. She also facilitated the NYS Parent Education & Awareness Program and led the team that developed the children’s portion of the program.
In March 2012, Lesley and a group of like-minded attorneys, mental health experts, and other seasoned professionals founded FamilyKind, a not-for-profit organization providing information and support services to families experiencing separation and divorce.
Lesley serves on the Family Court Custody and Visitation Advisory Committee and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York Women’s Bar Association (NYWBA), New York State Council of Divorce Mediators (NYSCDM), and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Lesley is also a member of the Advisory Committee for Friends of Roosevelt Park and is on the School Leadership Teams of two NYC public schools. She graduated with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a JD from Antioch School of Law.
Helene Bernstein is an experienced family law and matrimonial attorney as well as a mediator in New York and New Jersey. Prior to establishing her private practice, she worked as a prosecutor for the Administration for Children’s Services. Helene is regularly appointed by the judiciary to represent children in contested custody matters. She is a consultant mediator for the NYC Family Court Mediation Program and is Co-Chair of the Public Awareness Committee for the New York State Divorce Mediation Council. As a member of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and the Law, Helene continues to strive toward improving outcomes for families who are experiencing separation and divorce. She earned a BA from State University of New York at Binghamton and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Katie Cole is a mediator and collaborative attorney practicing in New York City in the area of family and divorce law. Katie specializes in working with families and couples within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to resolve their conflicts through understanding and dialogue. Katie is also currently Mediation Coordinator for Special Education, Early Intervention and Custody/Visitation at the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) in Staten Island. She serves on the board of the Family Divorce & Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMC), and is a member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM), the LGBT Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal), the LGBTQ Collaborative Professionals of NYC, and the New York State Bar Association. Katie attended City University of New York School of Law, graduating in 2000.
Bill Drewes is the Director of Development for FamilyKind. He previously served as Manager of Planned Giving for the NYU Medical Center, Capital Campaign Manager for the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, and Development Advisor to Legal Services NYC. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Long Island University, the Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University, and Brooklyn Law School. Bill completed the Philanthropic and Fund Raising Administration Program of New York University and conducted workshops in establishing and raising funds for nonprofit organizations at Baruch College (CUNY).
Sandy Fischman has over 20 years experience in corporate technology and human resources. She was Vice President at Citigroup in multiple departments managing large budgets, and a consultant to JPMorgan Chase. Recently she has focused on the not-for-profit sector, working in organization development training, database management, and fundraising. Sandy also maintains a successful career management consultancy in Manhattan. Sandy’s educational credentials include a BA in Mathematics from State University of New York at Binghamton and an MBA from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.
Barry Gillman has over 35 years experience in the financial services industry. He is Principal at Longevity Financial Consulting LLC, a New Jersey consulting firm. Before founding Longevity Financial Consulting, Barry was a Director at Brandes Investment Partners LP, an independent investment manager. At Brandes, he served as the firm’s Director of Portfolio Strategies, and developed and led the Brandes Institute, where he is currently Research Director of the Advisory Board. Previously, Barry was CEO of Prudential Capital Management International, a global investment management unit of Prudential Financial, and before that had marketing and international portfolio management roles at Citibank. Barry is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in the UK, and an Associate of the Society of Actuaries. He holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Cambridge.
James Grimaldi is currently completing his doctoral training in child psychology at Pace University. His experience includes assisting in the design, coordination and assessment of the Children’s PACT Program at the Kings County Family Court. James is a member of the American and New York State Psychological Associations. He holds a Master’s degree from the New School for Social Research, where he was an assessment coordinator at The Center for Attachment Research at the New School with Miriam and Howard Steele.
Ellen Herskowitz is an experienced licensed clinical social worker in New York and Florida. Ellen has served as a psychotherapist focusing on trauma/abuse, family conflict, addiction and neglect. As a member of the 18-B Panel of licensed social workers in Supreme and Family Court, Ellen is a recognized expert clinician dedicated to the well-being of children and families and works to bring positive resolution in areas of family concerns. During the past four years Ellen has worked as a parent educator. She also helped initiate, establish, and facilitate the first Children’s PACT Program in New York City, where she works with groups of children to help them understand and deal with their experiences during the difficult times of family change and conflict. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Miami, an MSW in Clinical Social Work from Barry University, and post-Masters certificates in specialized areas of social work practice.
Diane Hessemann is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years experience working with families. She held administrative positions in both the foster care and domestic violence systems prior to becoming a City University of New York Adjunct Professor of Human Services. Diane maintains a 17-year private practice in Park Slope, where she serves families and children who are struggling with divorce and separation issues, provides therapeutic supervised visitation services, and conducts forensic evaluations and adoption home studies. She had been an active member of the PACT program as both a presenter and facilitator of parent education. Diane is also a member of NASW and the NYS Supervised Visitation Network. She holds an MSW degree from Adelphi University and has additional training in the areas of addiction and domestic violence.
Eileen Montrose has been in private practice for the past 14 years as a licensed clinical social worker and is appointed by the Supreme Court and Family Court in all five boroughs to conduct custody and visitation evaluations, therapeutic supervised visitations, and parent coordination. Her background includes conducting clinical evaluations of all Family Court petitions for South Beach Psychiatric Center, Staten Island, NY. Eileen has been a participant and presenter in the PEACE and PACT programs, educating parents about the emotional impact of divorce and separation on children and adults. Eileen trained in the Divorce Mediation Program at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and in the Parent Coordination program sponsored by the AFCC and the University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC). Eileen holds an MSW in Clinical Social Work from New York University and an MS in Education/Guidance and Counseling from Long Island University.
Beth Ornstein is an attorney and mediator, forensic social worker and psychotherapist with more than 10 years of private practice in the State of New York. She was the Director of Mediation and a mediation trainer at the Community Dispute Resolution Center in Staten Island. Beth has presented the New York State Parent Education and Awareness Program, which is designed to educate divorcing or separating parents about the impact of their breakup on their children. In addition, she has experience as a child protection investigator, a foster care caseworker, school social worker and social services staff trainer. Currently, she facilitates supervised and therapeutic supervised visitation and provides consultation to attorneys representing parents and children in child protective matters in New York State Family and Supreme Courts. Beth is a graduate of the City University of New York Law School and earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was trained in divorce mediation at the Ackerman Institute in New York.
Linda Paul is a Stepfamily Foundation Certified Coach dedicated to helping couples navigate the complicated family dynamic of step. She is both a stepchild and a stepmother and approaches her work using this dual perspective. Linda is the organizer of the Stepfamily Solutions of NYC Meetup Group, has a stepparenting column on Examiner.com and presents stepfamily workshops at various community organizations around NYC. Linda also has over 20 years of experience as a human resources professional in various industries. In 2000, she received the Women of Achievement Award from the office of Mayor Giuliani for the work she did in successfully providing more than 50 women on welfare the opportunity to turn their lives around with jobs at Morgan Stanley. In addition to her work with stepfamilies, Linda is currently providing HR consulting services to startups and other small companies. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program with a BS degree in Human Resources.
Tziporah Pronman is a mediator and experienced organizational leader and administrator. She is a strong advocate for the social welfare of children and dedicated to empowering individuals with a sense hope. For six years Tziporah worked as the Mediation Manager for the New York State Unified Court System, first in Brooklyn, then in Manhattan Family Court. In addition to her experience as a New York State Certified Mediator, Tziporah has over fifteen years of professional leadership experience in community development, training, parenting and youth-focused initiatives. She worked at Community Mediation Services, Inc. as Program Director for the Parents Count Program that assisted non-custodial parents in establishing stable relationships with their children, along with supervised visitation. She also served as the Program Director for the Jamaica Homebase Homeless Prevention Services for children and family. Tziporah is on the Custody and Visitation Panel of the New York State Unified Court System, Family Courts, as a Consultant Mediator. She also serves as a board member for the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM) and volunteers with several organizations including American Red Cross and Bikur Cholim. Tziporah earned her B.A. from the University of Maryland. She received a certificate of completion from John Hopkins University Fellows Program in Organizational and Community Systems. She later attended Fordham University in the Master’s Program of Social Work.
Andrew Propper has served in the New York City Police Department’s Medical Division for over 20 years, supervising psychologists and assisting the Director administer the Psychological Evaluation Section. Andrew also maintains a private practice in Manhattan, where he performs child custody evaluations for the Court and provides psychotherapy services. He is a long-time member of the American and New York State Psychological Associations. Andrew graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University.
Jayne Roberman is a licensed master social worker in private practice since 1993 as a parenting coach and facilitator providing non-adversarial child-centered co-parenting counseling. She also facilitates supervised and therapeutic supervised visitation, conducts forensic visitation evaluations, prepares adoption home study reports, and provides consultation to attorneys representing parents and children in child protective matters in Family and Supreme Courts. Prior to that, Jayne worked with the Juvenile Rights Division of The Legal Aid Society, assisting attorneys in representing abused and neglected children in Family Court. For many years, Jayne was a member of the advisory committee and lecturer and facilitator of the PEACE and PACT programs. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University.
Jennifer Rockwood has worked in non-profit arts management for more than 20 years. She served as Managing Director of The Drama League from 1994 to 1996. In 1996 she joined The Actors Center where she served as Managing Director for many years before taking the position of Administrative Director in 2008. Jennifer also assists the British American Drama Academy with admissions for their summer programs; provides bookkeeping, management, and audit preparation services to non-profit organizations; and presents seminars on personal budgeting. Jennifer graduated from Wittenberg University, Springfield OH, with a degree in theater and history.
Jennifer Safian is a family and divorce mediator and has been in private practice in New York City since 2003. Jennifer has volunteered over 250 hours in the area of custody and visitation at the Westchester Mediation Center of Cluster in Yonkers. She is also on the Custody and Visitation Panel of the Family Courts of the five boroughs of NYC as well as a divorce mediator of the Westchester County Supreme Court’s Matrimonial Mediation Program. Jennifer is an Accredited Mediator Member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM), an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and a former Member of the Board and Membership Chair of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York. Jennifer was raised in Paris, France, is fluent and can mediate in French, Spanish and English. She received her BA and her Master’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Sorbonne, Paris.
Barbara Sirota is a licensed clinical social worker, who primarily handles Family Court cases that involve children who are experiencing separation and loss in troubled families. Previously, Barbara worked as Supervisor with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). During the past two years, she assisted in the establishment and operation of the Children’s PACT program where, through group teaching and mutual aid, children are helped to understand the problems and loss they are experiencing within families in the throes of separation. Barbara holds an MSW and a post-Master’s certificate in Clinical Social Work from Hunter College and a PhD from Columbia University Department of Family and Community Education and Counseling.
David Sirota has been engaged in behavioral research and its applications within organizations for over 40 years. Since founding Sirota Consulting in 1972 (now Sirota Survey Intelligence), he has established a national reputation for improving the performance of executives and managers and the teams and organizations they lead. From 1959 through 1972, David was Director of Behavioral Science Research and Application for IBM. Subsequently, Sirota Survey Intelligence clients included American Airlines, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Citigroup, Dow Jones, Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz, The New York Times, Time Warner, The Washington Post, the World Bank, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Labor, Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Defense, and the cities of Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. Clients in the nonprofit sector have included the Mayo Clinic and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Manhattan. David has also held a number of academic positions at institutions including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and MIT.
Nancy Adler is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at City University of New York, where she also serves as child psychotherapist and researcher conducting psychotherapy outcomes at The Psychological Center. Nancy graduated from Emory University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.
Constantine Kalogiannis is a 2012 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, where he focused his studies on Family Law courses. While he was a law student, he earned a certificate in divorce mediation as part of an intensive, interactive course. Constantine interned at Queens County Family Court, where he provided assistance to individuals seeking to modify child support orders or file for paternity. He also observed court proceedings in the areas of child support, neglect, abuse, and orders of protection. Constantine graduated from Stony Brook University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
Joey Propper is an 8th grader at The Computer School, Middle School 245, where he was named scholar athlete of the baseball team in 2012.