Board of Directors and Leadership
Founder and Chairman
Bert E. Brodsky
Bert E. Brodsky is founder and board chairman of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). He is also chairman of Sandata Technologies, a leading provider of workforce and operational management solutions and services that help optimize the delivery of home care services. Brodsky founded AFA in 2002, after caring for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease.
“It took years for me to realize the scope of what was happening and how to deal with it,” he said. “There was nowhere to turn with questions, no resources for support and very little regard for how the disease affects not just the individual, but his or her family as well.”
Mr. Brodsky graduated City College of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in finance, economics. He is the third CCNY alumnus to receive that institution’s prestigious Finley Award.
Gerald Angowitz, Esq., Barry E. Berg, CPA, Luisa Echevarria, Edward D. Miller, Steve Israel
Congressman Steve Israel is Chairman of the Long Island University Global Institute and a university Writer-In-Residence. He was a Member of Congress for sixteen years and served as House Democrats chief political strategist for four. President Bill Clinton called him “one of the most thoughtful Members of Congress.” He also published a critically acclaimed satire of Washington entitled “The Global War on Morris”. His second novel, Big Guns, is expected to be published in 2018 by Simon & Schuster.
Israel is a political commentator on CNN. His insights appear regularly in “The New York Times,” “Washington Post,” “Foreign Affairs,” “6O minutes,” “Jon Oliver,” FoxNews, MSNBC and elsewhere.
Israel graduated from George Washington University with a BA in Political Science. He has two daughters – one works as a farmer, the other in Pharma. His home is in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Congressman Israel was instrumental in securing passage of funding for the Defense Department to research Alzheimer’s and potential links to bring injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Barry Berg, C.P.A., is treasurer of AFA’s Board of Trustees and managing partner, Nussbaum Yates Berg Klein & Wolpow, L.L.C. He has established himself as one of the New York tristate area’s leading advisors to entrepreneurs and their businesses.
AFA’s Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grants, awarded twice per year, are named for Berg’s parents, both of whom passed away in 2009. Berg’s mother, Phyllis, had Alzheimer’s disease and his father, Milton, lovingly cared for her during her nine-year illness.
Berg earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree from Hofstra University.
Edward D. Miller is chairman of the board of American Express Centurion Bank and a director of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He is also a trustee of the New York City Police Foundation and Phoenix House, and a member of the AFA Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Miller is chairman of the Partnership for New York City’s Security and Risk Management Task Force.
Mr. Miller is the former president and chief executive officer of AXA Financial, Inc., and served as a member of the supervisory board and senior advisor to the chief executive of AXA Group from June 2001 to April 2003. He majored in finance at Pace University and completed management programs at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Pace University, Long Island University and Lehman College. Mr. Miller also served in the United States Marine Corps.
Gerald Angowitz brings to AFA many years’ experience counseling companies on executive matters, general business management and human resources. Currently, he serves as managing director at Lloyd Staffing.
Angowitz has served on AFA’s board for a number of years. He was drawn to the post, in part, because of his personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’ve served on a number of boards and am terribly impressed with the quality of commitment of AFA’s board members and staff,” he said. “It’s not a business; it’s an occupation of passion and love and it radiates throughout the organization.”
Luisa Echevarria is the former director, community empowerment at Univision Communications Inc. in Chicago, where she earned several Emmy awards for her campaigns and news productions. She has been a member of the board of directors of Chicago’s El Valor organization for over 20 years. She joined the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s board of directors in 2012, inspired by her memories of her mother and grandmother, both of whom lived with Alzheimer’s disease. She volunteers her time with several Latino serving organizations in the Chicago area including Association House, Casa Central, Mujeres Latinas en Accion and Arden Shore. She currently serves on the Mather Lifeway Institute’s Positive Aging for Latinos Study.
Luisa was born in Cuba and moved to the Chicago suburb of La Grange in 1961 where she graduated from Nazareth Academy. She attended Triton Community College and Loyola University. She has been a board member of El Valor since 1994, and recently joined the board of Mujeres Latinas en Accion. Luisa also volunteers her time to countless committees such as the Healthcare Alternative Systems Advisory Committee and the Latino Conference on the Media Committee. Luisa and her husband have lived in Chicago’s Lakeview community for the past 26 years.
Associate Board Members
Arthur Laitman, Esq., Judi Marcus, Matthew F. Didora, Esq.
Arthur S. Laitman, Esq. is a partner with the law firm of Rosenberg, Fortuna & Laitman, LLP in Garden City, NY, where he practices commercial, corporate and real estate litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he served in the Hofstra Criminal Justice Clinic.
Mr. Laitman is a member of the North Shore LIJ Health System Commerce and Industry Council, the American Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Hofstra University School of Law Alumni Association. He was also recently named to the Legal Affairs Counsel to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Matthew F. Didora is a Partner of the law firm of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP. As Director of the firm’s Commercial Litigation department, he has represented clients from individuals to local businesses and Fortune 500 companies on matters such as business torts, commercial real estate, intellectual property and trademarking. Mr. Didora, a graduate of Fordham University and St. John’s School of Law, has also lectured on a variety of topics involving commercial law and authored several articles which have appeared in the New York Law Journal, Newsday, and Nassau Lawyer.
The fight against Alzheimer’s disease is a cause which is very personal to Mr. Didora. His maternal grandmother had Alzheimer’s in the 1990s, and he witnessed how the disease impacted her and the other members of his family. Those experiences inspired him to give back and help other families who are going through the same fight.
“I am thankful for the privilege of working with such a talented group of individuals dedicated to helping families cope with this terrible disease,” said Mr. Didora.
Judi Marcus is the Studio Manager for Fred Marcus Photography. She previously worked as a social worker for United Cerebral Palsy. Ms. Marcus has also served as a board member of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, NY, the Roslyn Public School Coordinating Council of Parents Association, and was a member of the Parent’s Committee at Emory University.
In addition, Ms. Marcus served on the North Shore University Hospital AIDS Awareness Committee, on the board of the Long Island Jewish Hospital’s Partners in Women’s Health, and was a past president of the Roslyn Chapter of the Children’s Medical Fund of Schneider’s Children’s Hospital (now the Cohen Children’s Hospital). She was also one of the founding members of the Sid Jacobson JCC.
Ms. Marcus was also the primary caregiver for both her mother and mother-in-law who had dementia.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.
Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) since 2014.
Under Fuschillo’s leadership, AFA has seen tremendous growth in its programs, services and presence across the country. AFA has grown to over 2,600 member organizations, and now has at least one member organization in every one of the 50 states. AFA has also expanded its national-toll free helpline hours to provide additional services, assistance and support to families in need throughout the United States.
A firm believer in empowering others through education, Fuschillo led AFA to launch a national, multi-year “Educating America Tour,” which brings “Concepts in Care” educational conferences to communities across the country. Each conference enables individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease, their families, caregivers and the general public to access Alzheimer’s-related information and learn about topics such as caregiver strategies and supports, research and clinical trials and safeguarding individuals with dementia from harm.
Fuschillo spearheaded the creation of AFA’s Education & Resource Center, which enabled AFA to greatly increase the number of professional training seminars and community/educational/therapeutic programs it is able to provide. He also guided AFA’s efforts to create a first-in-the-nation Respite Care Relief Park, a dementia-friendly place where individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers can go to enjoy the outdoors, socialize and learn about services available to help them. The park, located at Babylon Town Hall in Long Island, New York, will serve as AFA’s model for future sites across the country.
Serving and helping others has been a focus for Fuschillo throughout his life. Before joining AFA, Fuschillo served as a member of the New York State Senate for nearly 16 years, where he authored more than 200 state laws and served as Chairman of the Transportation and Consumer Protection Committees. Prior to that, he was the Chief Operating Officer of a nonprofit family service agency that served Long Island and New York City.
In recognition of his work at AFA and lifetime of community service, Fuschillo has been recognized with numerous honors, including The Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award from Long Island Cares, Inc.; the Pendl Badge of Courage Award; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Grand Lodge Foundation; and the Man of the Year award from the Merrick Chamber of Commerce. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Farmingdale State College.