Our People

Meet Brian

Brian Fuss, Ph.D., has over twelve years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a manager, director, and coordinator. The bulk of this experience is running a mental health and substance abuse facility. Throughout his career, Brian has worked with vulnerable and disenfranchised individuals and communities trying to bring equity and equality. Brian holds an M.P.A. and Ph.D. For his dissertation, he conducted a qualitative study on the challenges faced by gay & lesbian seniors in Florida’s rural and suburban areas.



Meet Esmeralda

Esmeralda oversees the Health Care Access Program (HCAP) at CFR, and provides supervisory support for day-to-day activities while CFR’s board searches for a new executive director. She leads program development and evaluation, while coordinating all enrollment and assessment activities. She leads the HCAP team in providing the most efficient enrollment services to clients at enrollment sites across the New York metropolitan area. Prior to CFR, Esmeralda provided case management and benefits screenings for food pantry customers at West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Esmeralda holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Hunter College






Meet Nina

As the Operations Director, Nina handles fundraising and grant writing, finances, data management, and media for the organization. To support CFR’s programs, Nina manages CFR’s website and social media pages, and creates the monthly newsletter and e-blasts, and flyers. Nina previously interned at the TVLand Brand Creative Group, the Retail Action Project, and CFR, and holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

Meet Beena

Beena has over twenty years of retail experience, having worked at retailers including Caldor, Sears, Macy’s, and JCPenny. Prior to her employment, she was a long-time CFR member and volunteer. Beena runs CFR’s workforce development services, including hiring events and job search workshop, and coordinates with prospective retailer partners to participate in CFR’s hiring events. Beena is also a part of CFR’s development team, and assists with fundraising research, relationship building, and strategy.







Meet Lizbeth

Lizbeth upholds CFR’s services-to-organizing model by coordinating between the workforce development and health care access programs at CFR to ensure both programs are furthering organizational goals while providing direct services. Prior to CFR, she worked in a dental office, and is familiar with insurance from both the provider and consumer perspective. She also worked at Zara, and has first-hand experience with retail work and the many obstacles retail workers often face. Lizbeth holds a B.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.







Meet Debbra

As a Health Care Navigator for HCAP, Debbra facilitates health insurance enrollments and assist individuals in obtaining health insurance through the NY State of Health Marketplace. Prior to CFR, Debbra worked for Victoria’s Secret, where she and two coworkers led a campaign demanding higher wages and reasonable hours. Debbra holds a B.S. in Health Science with a concentration in Environmental Health and Safety.