Meet Our Staff

Joann Passantino

Joann Passantino

Executive Director

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Joann received her Bachelor of Professional Studies from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York, where she proceeded to work in the fast paced, “glamorous” world of fashion.  But her passion for charitable work was always stronger than her interest in the garment industry, and ultimately would take her far away from Fashion Avenue.

In 1994, having left both the garment industry and New York City to raise a family at the Jersey Shore, Joann applied for a position at the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation (ECF) in Monmouth County.  Little did she know that answering that ad would lead her to the demanding, and unbelievably rewarding, job as ECF’s Eastern Regional Director, a role in which she found the outlet for her desire to help others.  In this position, she worked on behalf of area families struggling with pediatric cancer, running highly successful fundraising events, engaging the local media, being an ambassador for ECF, and leading many teams of active volunteers.

In 2015, Joann’s dedication to ECF and its families, her drive to grow the organization, and her contagious enthusiasm earned her the title of ECF’s Executive Director.  In addition to overseeing the operations of this statewide organization and its four regional centers, Joann works with the Board of Trustees on developing the strategic plan, fundraising and budgeting, guiding 23 staff members, and maintaining a growing budget.

In addition to her 23+ years of work in the non-profit sector, she has also been, and continues to be, an active volunteer in the community, loves to spend time outdoors with her family and riding horses.

P: (908) 322-4323 EXT. 16

 

Victoria Shestack Aronoff

Victoria Shestack Aronoff

Development & Communications Manager

Victoria Shestack Aronoff comes to ECF with nearly 20 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations raise money to support their missions. Though recently she spent a number of years at home raising her two children, she formerly worked as a Foundation Relations Manager for The Wilderness Society, a national conservation organization in Washington, D.C., and was responsible for grant writing and other development activities at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. Victoria has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and was born and raised in New York City. She now lives happily away from the city in Maplewood, NJ.

P: (908) 322-4323 EXT. 15

Gloria Pocchio

Gloria Pocchio

Office Manager

Gloria is ECF’s Office Manager, providing vital support to headquarters and the four Regional Centers for over a decade. She comes to ECF with rich experience after working for 21-years at Stat-A-Matrix in Edison, where she served in a variety of roles.

P: (908) 322-4323 EXT. 10

Barbara Kopel

Barbara Kopel

Senior Regional Director

Barbara has B.A. in Business Administration and Urban Planning from Montclair State and a Master’s degree in education. Prior to joining ECF in 2007, Barbara spent 20 years as the owner/operator of a meeting planning company where she worked extensively with the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. She has also spent time as an elementary school teacher.

P: (908) 322-4323 EXT. 17

Rosemarie Contreras

Rosemarie Contreras

Eastern Regional Director

Rose began her career in New York City in the field of customer service. Upon relocation to the Jersey Shore, she pursued a career in the service industry. Always having a strong passion for working with children led Rose to a position at Wall Township Public Schools and also to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation where she volunteered for 19 years. In July 2015 Rose joined the ECF staff as Eastern Regional Director, bringing with her a multitude of talents which directly benefit the Foundation and ECF families. Rose takes great pride in assisting and supporting the families in the Eastern region.

P: (732) 282-2324

Patricia Brussel

Patricia Brussel

Northern Regional Director

Patricia graduated from Siena College with a BS in Marketing/Management. At the start of her career, Patricia worked in both the financial and legal fields. She presently works at the Ridgewood Public Library helping her community with a variety of services. Her passion for community outreach, volunteering and helping families in need led her to ECF where she joined the staff in September 2015.

P: (201) 612-8118

Mary Ann Sullivan

Mary Ann Sullivan

Southern Regional Director

Mary Ann returns to a role with ECF that she held back in the 1990s.  At that time, she originated ECF’s southern Outreach Center and garnered much community support to fulfill the needs of the ECF families.  Mary Ann later worked as the Director of Volunteer and Guest Services at the local hospital.  During that time, she served for many years on the board, including as President, for the NJ Association of Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals.  She is also a member or a volunteer for several community organizations, both professionally and personally.  Mary Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Rowan University and her professional certification, as Certified Administrator of Volunteer Services, is through the American Hospital Association. When she is not focusing on ECF families, she is focusing on her own five young grandchildren.

P: (856) 853-4803

Melanie Giblin

Melanie Giblin

Social Media Manager

For many years, as a volunteer and participant at ECF events, Melanie witnessed firsthand the wonderful ways that ECF has assisted children and families. Prior to her position at ECF, Melanie was an active volunteer for a number of advocacy and assistance groups, including seven years on the PTA at her son’s elementary school. Melanie is grateful to be a part of the ECF team.

P: (732) 282-2324

 

Patricia A. Picone, C.P.A.

Patricia A. Picone, C.P.A.

Trish Piccone has worked closely with the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation for over 20 years, providing accounting services and support for grant proposals. Her public accounting experience has been a valuable asset to ECF. She holds a BS degree from Montclair State University and is a CPA.

P: (908) 322-4323 EXT. 12

Meet Some Of Our Kids

Meet Isyss

Meet Isyss When Isyss was going through chemotherapy and radiation to treat her Leukemia, she was very worried about losing her hair and concerned that it would never grow back. Though she did experience hair loss during her many years of treatment since her diagnosis...

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Meet Ryu

Meet Ryu Ryu, only 4 years old, recently started undergoing treatment for retinoblastoma, a cancer that develops within the eye. At the time of his diagnosis, his mother, the primary financial provider for his family, had recently lost her job. She was concerned how...

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Meet Diego

Meet Diego Diego is a typical 8 year old boy who loves Legos, batman, and playing with his friends. But unlike many other boys his age, he is excited to be in school every day, because last year he wasn’t able attend school at all because of he was being treated for...

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Follow Us

ECF has helped me tremendously with the support of my Caseworker, Eileen, as well as the volunteers with the holiday wish lists and in making sure Ty had a wonderful birthday every year. And when times were really hard, ECF helped out with meals and food. I don’t think I would have made it through without having to talk to someone who understood. Thank you ECF

Theresa Godfrey, Ty’s mom

Where to Find Us

Headquarters

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323

Joann Passantino
Executive Director

Central Regional Center

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323 x17

Barbara Kobel
Sr. Central Regional Director

Southern Regional Center

451 Beech Avenue
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
(856) 853-4803

Mary Ann Sullivan 
Southern Regional Director

Eastern Regional Center

10 Highway 71
Suite 2
Wall, NJ 07719
(732) 282-2324

Rosemarie Contreras
Eastern Regional Director

Northern Regional Center

174 Paterson Avenue
PO Box 212
Midland Park, NJ 07432
(201) 612-8118

Patricia Brussel
Northern Regional Director

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