The Maya Gold Foundation is governed by a nine member Board of Directors. Each Board member brings a sincere commitment to our work and unique skills and qualities which we value deeply.


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.

Elise Gold, Maya’s mom and Board Treasurer is a psychotherapist at Wellness Embodied Counseling Center in New Paltz. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, a Certified Psychodramatist and is now in training in Somatic Experiencing. Before her work as a therapist, Elise worked as the Executive Director at Jewish Family Service of Orange County and was an Adjunct at SUNY New Paltz. She brings over 40 years of experience in human services and nonprofit work to our organization. Elise has been active in areas of social justice and human rights for many years and is the co-founder of the Maya Gold Foundation.

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.

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.

Mala Hoffman joined the Board in 2023 after initially serving on the Community Programs Committee. She is an educator with nearly two decades of experience who has worked with children and teens in several capacities over her career. She has a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College and holds certifications in Elementary Education and Gifted Education. A former journalist, she has written extensively on educational issues in both journals and newspapers and serves as a member of the New Paltz Board of Education’s Legislative Action Committee. She is also a published poet.

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.

Marni Pasch returned to her northern roots in January of 2023, settling in West Hurley with her husband and two daughters. Soon after moving in, she joined the Mental Health Committee of the Maya Gold Foundation, and joined the Board in June of 2023. Marni has a masters degree in counselor education, and has worked as an academic coach, helping students in middle and high school navigate their academic challenges with confidence while helping parents and children rebuild connections strained due to academic stress. Marni is working on the Applied Compassion Training through Stanford University, and plans to bring those skills to the work she does with the Maya Gold Foundation. In her spare time, Marni loves traveling with her family and attending concerts.

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.

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.

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.