Our Keynote Speaker-
Colonel (R) Donna Brazil, Ph.D.
Donna Brazil retired from the United States Army as a Colonel with over 31 years of leadership experience. A native of the Bronx, Donna graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1983 and earned an MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina during her Army career. She served in leadership assignments both in the U.S. and abroad, to include Operations Officer for a 1300 person Logistics unit, Commander of a 210 person transportation unit and director of both the Leadership Course and Psychology Program at the United States Military Academy. She also served with the Office of Military Cooperation – Afghanistan as part of a team of advisors assisting the Afghan Ministry of Defense in establishing the Afghan Military Academy. In her final year of active duty, she served as the Deputy Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy.
Donna’s research interests center on leadership and leader development in varied settings. She is an experienced teacher and lecturer, having taught courses on Leadership in Organizations, Leader Theory, Cross Cultural Leadership, Social Psychology, Positive Psychology and Group Development at the graduate and undergraduate level. Additionally, she has lectured on Leadership in In-Extremis Conditions, Leader Development, Resilience and Organizational Change.
Ms. Kathleen Stoppiello – Kathleen is a senior at Jefferson Township High School and was nominated by her AP U.S. Government & Politics teacher, Mr. Papa. In 8th grade, Kathleen, motivated by empathy for millions of victims and a passion to make a difference, foundedPROJECT STAY GOLD, a non-profit organization dedicated to awareness of modern day slavery. PROJECT STAY GOLD aims to use education as a tool for prevention with the goal of installing chapters of the organization in schools throughout New Jersey and eventually the country. This awareness campaign has grown in size and influence. On July 23, 2013, U.S. Senator, Jeffrey Chiesa, spoke about Kathleen’s effort on the floor on the United States Senate. Kathleen is a dedicated and determined young woman who is driven to positively impact her community. In the fall, Kathleen will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a political science major. She is the National Honor Society President and a member of the French Honor society. Ms. Stoppiello has participated in building homes alongside Habitat for Humanity and educated her peers as a leader in TADA (Teens Against Dating Abuse). Kathleen also volunteered on Candidate Mark Dunec’s Congressional campaign.
Ms. Judy Martinez – Judy is a truly committed and passionate volunteer in the Morris County community. Judy has served as a volunteer with the Cornerstone Family Programs’ Friends of the Blind program for the past 8 years. She visits and assists with her client regularly and helps with day to day functions, such as grocery shopping, doctor appointments, bill paying and organization. Judy has also served on the Cornerstone Spring Ball committee for the past 5 years, where she demonstrates enthusiasm and dedication.
Judy is currently serving on the School Committee of the PreSchool Advantage program based in Morristown, New Jersey. This extremely important committee is responsible for quality assurance of all approved pre-schools for qualified children. This requires numerous site visits and meetings with school directors. Site reports are required after each visit. Judy is also responsible for adding new potential schools to the approved list.
Judy is passionate about education and has been active in many volunteer leadership roles in the Morris School District. She has been the Home & School President at Morristown High School and held many other committee leadership roles from Normandy Park School to Frelinghuysen Middle School and the High School. Judy has been a substitute teacher and tennis coach, and has tutored students in Language Arts at Frelinghuysen Middle School for 3 years. She has also been an ICAN Mentor for the United Way in their program at Frelinghuysen. Judy has been a tireless fundraiser for the Avon Foundation in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer since 2005 and has, to date, raised over $50,000 for this important cause.
Judy lives in Morristown with her husband, Hector, and has 2 children, Jessie and Myles.
Debra King – Debra has spent 30 years dedicating herself to insuring those who have unmet needs are cared for. She spent numerous years as a volunteer and Board member of the North Jersey affiliate of the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. She chaired various events dedicated to education and awareness about this disease.
Deb has also used her unique talents on the New Jersey Board of Court Appointed Special Advocacy for Children ensuring that many abused and neglected children are paired with community advocates to maintain their rights.
Deb has taken on many community initiatives in Morristown, New Jersey, since moving there in 2003. She co-chaired the Historic House Tour which raised funds to restore the Kellogg Club mansion. She is a charter member of the Morristown Community Emergency Response Team and spent many hours after Hurricane Sandy fielding calls from the public to assist in the massive cleanup with no power and internet. This year, Deb became a member of the Impact 100 Garden State, an organization that believes “the power of one woman multiplied by many equals an impact that can change lives.” Deb continues to invest in the Morristown community. She is a charter member of the Morristown Women in Business and is currently responsible for Public Relations. This group ensures organic growth of women owned businesses through monthly networking, educational and development events for its 50 plus members. In 2014, she founded the Morris County Discovery Map franchise. This venture is dedicated to putting the history, culture and incredible business capacity directly in the hands of the thousands of people who walk around Morristown each month. Through a colorful and simple map (with an electronic application), people can literally navigate the landscape of the town, discovering all the hidden treasures.
Debra is a registered architect and after 25 years, transitioned from Project Architect to Director of Trade Customer Support at Sanofi Pharmaceuticals. She is currently the Associate Director, Reverse Logistics for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. Deb holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Technology from New York Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration in Pharmaceutical Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Deb resides in Morristown with her husband, Peter Gordon and is a proud mother of Stephanie, 25, of Arlington, Virginia and step-mom to Joseph, 21, of Laguna Beach. In her spare time, Deb enjoys entertaining – “the happiest days in my home are those filled with family and friends.” Very special memories include hosting small fundraisers for non-profit organizations.
Deb understands the value of Cornerstone Family Programs adds to the community and believes in the famous quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” She was a single mom of Stephanie for 12 years and is eternally grateful for the “village” that impacted their lives.