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Staff

Somerset County, NJ School For Troubled Youth

 

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Paul D. Rieger, MSW
Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

 

With an undergraduate degree in psychology from College of the Holy Cross and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, Paul Rieger has 25 years of experience dedicated to working with youth and families.

Paul’s roots are firmly grounded in residential and behavioral health services for youth. Inspired by his experiences working as a college intern at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Child Behavioral Health Division, Paul began his career path at KidsPeace in Pennsylvania as a Child Care Counselor before moving up the ranks to Director of Community Residential Services and then onward  to Director positions at both Wordsworth at Shawnee and Northwestern Human Services. First as the Director of Behavioral Health and then as the Executive Director at CONCERN Professional Services for Children, Youth & Families, where Paul served for 16 years, he grew and advanced behavioral health services programming, expanding their continuum of care from placement services to community based mental health and reunification services. This expansion of their continuum not only resulted in greater financial flexibility for the organization, but also fostered increased positive outcomes for the clients served.

A native of northeastern Pennsylvania, Paul served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors at Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Families and is currently the President of the Board of Saint Joseph the Worker Athletic Organization.

 

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Lew Jarrett, MA
Chief Operating Officer

 

 

 

Lew Jarrett joined the staff of Bonnie Brae on August 4, 2004 as Chief Operating Officer.  His prior position as the Director of Therapeutic and Specialized Programs of a treatment organization in Pennsylvania included the overall purview of 300+ resident beds.  Jarrett also includes serving as the Chief Operating Officer of a 120 bed juvenile justice center in Minnesota among his relevant experience.

In his current role, Jarrett provides direction to the Clinical, Residential, Education, Human Resources, Health Services, and Operations Departments.  During his tenure at Bonnie Brae the total number of youth served on campus has doubled.  The expansion of the program has also included Bonnie Brae obtaining two homes, one in Bound Brook and the other in New Brunswick and converting them in to community based treatment facilities.  While Jarrett remains vigilant seeking additional opportunities for Bonnie Brae to serve more youth in need, he would also like to recolonize the many quality improvements that have been achieved during his tenure.  Among the more notable achievements would be the successful completion of treatment of over 80% of the young men leaving the program.  Also worth noting would be the introduction and adaptation of intervention and counseling systems which are still employed today.

In addition to his position at Bonnie Brae, Jarrett is currently an active Board member of the New Jersey Alliance for Children Youth and Families.  This organization is the largest of its kind in New Jersey.  The Alliance represents a variety of treatment facilities providing services for our most vulnerable populations throughout the state.

 

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Ann Wendlocher, MBA, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

 

 

Ann Wendlocher joined Bonnie Brae on August 7, 2006 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She is responsible for the direction of financial activities of the agency including coordination of budgets and operating results. She directs the organization’s financial planning, reporting, and controls as well as its relationship with banking institutions, the financial community and outside auditors.  Ann works directly with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Education to ensure contract compliance.

Ann is inspired by the mission of Bonnie Brae and the incredible staff who work with the children and families to deliver the mission.

 

Vanita Braver

 

 

Vanita Braver, MD
Psychiatric Medical Director

 

 

 

Dr. Vanita Braver is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist as well as the psychiatric medical director at Bonnie Brae. Psychiatric services include ongoing comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment and treatment from a developmental perspective.

Dr. Braver is also known as “Dr. Vanita,” the children’s picture book author of the series, “Teach Your Children Well.” The Child & Family Press of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is publishing the series. The first book in the series, Pinky Promise, (release date 11-01-04) is dedicated to Bonnie Brae.

Dr. Vanita is a frequent lecturer at hospitals, schools, libraries and community centers. Visit her website at DrVanitaBraver.com.

 

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Brooke Ellis, M.Ed
Principal

 

 

 

As Principal of our NJ Approved School for Students with Disabilities, Ms. Ellis oversees the staff of the education department and administers all aspects of the education program, including curriculum development, budget, quality assurance and physical plant. She works closely with Bonnie Brae’s residential and clinical departments on program integration and goals. Ms. Ellis joined Bonnie Brae as a teacher in September 2001, became Assistant Principal in December 2011 and Principal in April 2012.  What Brooke loves most about Bonnie Brae is being able to watch these boys just be kids, as many of them were never able to.

 

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Phil Errico, BA
Director of Residential Programs

 

 

As Director of Residential Programs, Phil Errico supervises Bonnie Brae’s team of program coordinators, childcare supervisors, intermediate supervisors, the recreation coordinator and the administrative assistant. He ensures that all quality improvement requirements, as well as standards of all licensing bodies governing childcare practices, are met.

In addition, Errico works with an internal administrative team to create policies, assist in the admissions and discharge process, acts as a resource to the children’s treatment teams and a serves as a liaison to community agencies.

 

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Kathy Lewis, PsyD.
Director of Quality Assurance and Improvement

 

 

 

Dr. Lewis is responsible for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of Bonnie Brae’s data-driven comprehensive performance improvement system. In addition, she ensures agency compliance with regulatory and accrediting bodies, serves as the agency’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Officer, and oversees the effective implementation of Bonnie Brae’s electronic records systems.

 

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James P. Rau, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Director

 

 

 

James Rau brings over 17 years of clinical, administrative and teaching experience to Bonnie Brae. He is responsible for all treatment team functions, including treatment planning, discharge planning and clinical services for the residential and community based group homes. Rau provides clinical supervision for a staff of  master level clinicians. He has provided clinical internship opportunities for graduate students from Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, Kean University, New York University, Fordham and Montclair State University. Rau recently was a member of a state wide task force on “Helping Youths Thrive In Placement”. This task force’s recommendation for changes in the mental health system have been forwarded to Governor Christie for consideration.

 

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David R. Fox, PhD
Director of Development

 

 

 

In David’s first year as Director of Development at Bonnie Brae, private giving rose over 300%. Before coming to Bonnie Brae, during his years as Vice President of Development at Covenant House International, David raised over $3 million and oversaw dramatic increases in revenue, donors, events, and staff.  At both of these organizations, he has been instrumental in recruiting new board members, donors, and volunteers, in opening new streams of income, and in establishing and reinvigorating relationships with corporations and foundations. As a Rector and as an Assistant Pastor, he has led three successful capital campaigns.

In addition to his roles as a fundraiser, David has served a diversity of adolescent youth in a variety of ways for his entire professional career: as an adjunct professor at Montclair, Farleigh Dickinson and Seton Hall Universities; as the director of education departments, coordinator of retreats and study abroad trips for faith communities in New York and New Jersey; and as Coordinator of Street Outreach, Pastoral Ministries and Volunteers Departments at Covenant House New Jersey, where he worked in collaborative case-planning with social workers, physicians, psychologists, and attorneys.

In terms of his work at Bonnie Brae, perhaps most formative for David were the years spent serving homeless youth in the streets of Newark, NJ, when he experienced personally the plight of adolescent youth in crisis.

He appreciates the ‘strengths-based’ philosophy of care and amazing breadth of residential, educational and clinical services offered by Bonnie Brae, and Bonnie Brae’s commitment to serve the entire family.

A graduate of Wake Forest and Drew Universities, Princeton and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminaries, and the Rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Randolph, NJ, David brings to Bonnie Brae a passion for and expertise in bringing together various communities to transform lives of at-risk youth and their families.

 

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Adam Kane, BA, BSN, RN
Director of Nursing

 

 

 

As Director of Nursing, Adam Kane supervises the Health Office which consists of the nurses, dietitians, medical assistant, and drivers that work to provide healthcare services for all Bonnie Brae youth. Adam has undergraduate degrees in Sociology from William Paterson University and a Nursing Degree from DeSales University as well as over 18 years of field experience as an Emergency Medical Technician. Adam Joined Bonnie Brae on December 2, 2014 as a Staff Nurse and was promoted to his current position in July 2015. What Adam enjoys most about Bonnie Brae is being able to see the change in our boys from admission to discharge and how much this program can help to change their lives.

 

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John Szydlowski, BS
Director of Human Resources

 

 

 
John joined Bonnie Brae in September of 2016, bringing with him two decades of experience in Human Resources. John holds a BS in Labor and Industrial Relations/Employee Relations from Penn State University, and since 1995 he has held various Human Resources positions in: Benefits; HR Management; Recruitment; and Retirement Services. He has worked in both the for profit and non-profit sectors, most recently with Letica Corporation. John is excited to be back in the Human Services field, where he hopes to make a difference in people’s lives through his work.