The Maya Gold Foundation is governed by an eight 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 traveling to Nepal in 2018 and 2019 as a Youth Ambassador and serving on the Youth Action Team. She is currently working towards a degree in graphic design and public relations at SUNY New Paltz. 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 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.

Jesse Sarubbi joined the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation in 2018 and is Chair of the Community Programs Committee. Jesse has worked in health and human services for over 25 years, with many of those dedicated to serving youth and adolescents. She is currently Vice President of Practice Transformation and Care Management at Cornerstone Family Healthcare, where she is able to advance healthcare improvement, impact the social determinants of health and decrease health disparity in a community healthcare setting. Jesse is a Licensed Master of Social Work and also has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy with a focus on Health Promotion. In her free time, Jesse most 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 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.

Phoebe Lain brings her experience in non-profits and education, as well as her passion for supporting youth, to the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation. She has Bachelors of Communication from Empire State College and is committed to the work of the Foundation. Phoebe joined the Board of the Maya Gold Foundation in 2017, and has loved serving on the Community Programs Committee. In her free time, Phoebe can be found spending time in the beautiful nature of the Hudson Valley.