The Maya Gold Foundation is governed by a ten member Board of Directors. Each Board member brings a sincere commitment to our work and unique skills and qualities which we value deeply.
Amy Weisz joined the Board in 2018 after travelling to Nepal with the Maya Gold Foundation. She has a BS in Biology and Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz and an MS in Information Science. Amy is the School Library Media Specialist and girls’ modified track coach at the Onteora Middle/High School in Boiceville, NY. Amy has worked in education for over 25 years as an elementary school teacher, school librarian, and summer camp director. She also serves on the Ulster BOCES School Library Systems Council. In her free time she enjoys being with her family, hiking with her dogs, and riding her bike on the roads of Ulster County.
Dayna Thomas joined the board in 2020 after she traveled to Nepal in 2018 and 2019 as a Youth Ambassador and served on the Youth Action Team throughout high school. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz in December of 2022 with a degree in graphic design and communications. She is passionate about helping others and giving back to her community. Outside of school she loves to travel, explore the outdoors and bake.
Elise Gold, Maya’s mom and the Board Treasurer, retired in 2019 as the Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Orange County and serves as the Treasurer of the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation. Elise is an Adjunct Professor at SUNY New Paltz and a therapist with Wellness Embodied in New Paltz. She holds a Masters of Social Work, is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Psychodramatist, and brings over 30 years of experience in human services to our organization. She has been active in the areas of social justice and human rights for many years, and is a co-founder of the Maya Gold Foundation.
Jacqueline Murray joined the Board in 2022. She was a co-founder and Board President of FEARLESS! (Orange County Safe Homes), a former board member of the Mental Health Association of Orange County, and a past President of the Orange County Youth Bureau. She was also a founder and advisor for the Cornwall Youth Group. She holds a BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from SUNY Fredonia, and an MS in Special Education and an MPS in Humanistic Education from SUNY New Paltz. Jacqueline taught children with special needs at Orange/Ulster BOCES for 30 years and is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Special Education Department at SUNY New Paltz. She also teaches in China through a partnership with the Chongqing University of Education. Jacqueline loves to travel and learn about other cultures.
Jesse Sarubbi joined the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation in 2018 and is an active member on a number of Foundation committees. She has a long history working in health and human services, and significant experience serving youth and adolescents. Jesse is currently Chief Program Officer at Family Services, Inc., where she is a part of efforts to build stronger and safer communities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Jesse is a Licensed Master of Social Work and also has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy. In her free time, she enjoys running and hiking in the mountains with loved ones, and animal rescue.
Mathew Swerdloff, Maya’s dad and the Board President, has served as an educator in New York State’s public schools for over thirty years. He has held positions as a classroom teacher in grades 3 through 8, Director of Technology, Director of Library Media Services, Executive Director of Educational Support Services, and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York in New Paltz. Mathew earned his Master’s Degree in Education and his New York School District Administrator Certification from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and his Doctorate from Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT. Mathew is the co-founder of the Maya Gold Foundation and passionate about the work of supporting teens in the Hudson Valley and in Nepal.
Nicolas Swerdloff, Vice President, is a Managing Partner of the New York office of the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He started with the firm in 1983, and is admitted to the bars of the States of New York and Florida as well as to the bars of multiple federal courts, including the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. His practice focuses on complex litigation and arbitration, both international and domestic, involving financial services, securities, professional liability and foreign sovereign disputes.
Paul Alexander is the owner of Paul Alexander Construction Company, in Woodstock, NY, where his business focuses on renovations and custom additions to older homes. Paul brings a passion for social change to the Board, and experience working in a variety of settings in bringing about healing and transformation for individuals and communities. He facilitates men’s healing groups in Woodstock and is a former board member at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, NY. He is a life-long resident of Ulster County with strong community ties and relationships in New Paltz and Woodstock. Paul took part in the 2017 exploratory trip to Nepal, and was a co-leader on the 2020 Adult Trip to Nepal.
Sara Espinosa joined us in 2022 after serving on the Fundraising Committee for several months. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the LCU Fund for Women’s Education, a private, nonprofit foundation in New York City committed to clearing the path for low-income women to complete college. She is an accomplished nonprofit executive with over 25 years of wide-ranging experience in foundations, community-based organizations, and government. Prior to joining the LCU Fund in 2009, Espinosa served as Executive Director of Afterschool Works New York, a statewide membership organization that promotes quality services to children and families through credentialing, training and evaluation of school-age care providers and youth development professionals. Previously, she established and led the Department of Children, Youth and Family Services for the City of Newburgh, New York where she successfully increased the scope and quality of city services for children, youth, families, and seniors.
Terry Murray joined the Board in 2022. He is an educator, a scholar, a visual artist, and a Buddhist practitioner. Terry has a Bachelor’s degree in art education and Master’s degree in Humanistic Education from SUNY New Paltz and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Albany. Terry taught part-time and full-time in the Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program at SUNY New Paltz for over 35 year. With his wife, Jacqueline, he has travelled extensively and taught courses in Chongqing, China and elsewhere. As a practicing artist, his work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the Mid-Hudson Region. He is also an active member of the Budding Flower Sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hahn. For Terry, teaching, helping, creating, and spirituality are intertwined, and he has applied this integrated approach in rich, meaningful work with a wide range of organizations and institutions.