Senior Staff

Maria AlejandroMaria Alejandro
Director of Senior Services
Maria joined Union Settlement Association in 2002. Her previous experiences include serving as the Director of Sunnyside Senior Center, Inwood Senior Center and Corsi Senior Center. She has a Master’s Degree from City University of New York’s Program in Adult & Community Education and has attended the Institute of Not-For-Profit Management at Columbia’s School of Management. An acknowledged expert on the Hispanic elderly, Ms. Alejandro often speaks on the subject at conferences and workshops.
Linda Embry LCSW
Director of Mental Health Services
Linda joined Union Settlement in 2011. Ms. Embry has brought innovative programming and effective clinical practice to her clinical work and to directing mental health, child welfare and juvenile justice programs in New York and California. She received her MSW from University of Southern California and her BS for UCLA. She is an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work, where she teaches clinical practice.
Charles FosterCharles Foster, CPA, CPMG, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Charles joined in 2014. Most recently, he was CFO at Abyssinian Baptist Church and previously served as CFO at Abyssinian Development Corporation. In addition he has worked at KPMG, Goldman Sachs, Watson Rice and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. He brings diverse experience managing financial operations and nurturing human capital, including more than seven years of auditing experience. He is a graduate of Baruch College and received his MBA from St. John’s University.
Laura JohnsonLaura Johnson
Associate Executive Director
Laura has been with Union Settlement for more than 30 years. She was promoted to Associate Executive Director in 2001. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of Operations and Finance and as the Director of Finance. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York.
Oilda Martinez
Director of Adult Education
Oilda holds a B.A. in Spanish and M.A. in Spanish/Latin American Literature from Hunter College. Before starting at Union Settlement, she served as the Director of Adult and Continuing Education for the City College of New York (CUNY), where she oversaw the workforce development, adult literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages and community services activities. She also served as Regional Director of Adult and Continuing Education for Barry University in Miami, FL. She began her career over 30 years ago as a Spanish language instructor and continues to teach Spanish as an adjunct instructor. Ms. Martinez joined Union Settlement in August 2015.
Edwin Nieves
Edwin Nieves
Senior Director of the Business Development Center
Edwin joined Union Settlement in July 2014 with over 30 years banking experience. Mr. Nieves has been dedicated to providing bilingual curricula for entrepreneurial training, loan programs, computer training and technical assistance to East Harlem residents for more than a decade. He has a B.A. in Business Administration from Marymount Manhattan College.
Executive-Director-David-NocentiDavid Nocenti
Executive Director
David became the Executive Director of Union Settlement in January 2009. He has served as a top advisor to three Governors, including as Counsel to Governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer from January 2007 through June 2008, as well as Assistant Counsel and First Assistant Counsel to Governor Mario Cuomo from 1990 to 1994. He also served as Counsel to the New York Attorney General and the Queens Borough President and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn. He received his law degree from Columbia University Law School and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.
Michelle PaigeMichelle Paige
Director of Early Childhood Education
Michelle holds an MSED in Childhood Education from CUNY Queens College and a BSED from St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. After working as a classroom teacher at NYC PS 117Q for seven years, she joined The Children’s Aid Society in 2001 as the Center Director for the Drew Hamilton Learning Center, and subsequently became the Deputy Director of Early Childhood for The Children’s Aid Society. Ms. Paige joined Union Settlement Association in January of 2013.
Joy Pittman
Director of Human Resources
Joy joined Union Settlement in 2016, and brings over a decade of progressive human resources experience and expertise with a clear understanding of the ever-changing needs of nonprofit organizations. Her background includes strategic human resources management, policy implementation, and talent acquisition and development. Joy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the City College of New York, a Master’s Certificate in Strategic HR Management from Cornell University and certifications as a Senior Human Resource Professional (SPHR and SHRM-SCP).  She also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Long Island Business Institute.
Steven PorterickerSteven Portericker
Director of Youth Services
Steven joined Union Settlement in 2002 and brings a MS in Human Services Leadership from St. Joseph’s College, a BS in Multidisciplinary Studies (Biology, Sociology and Women’s Studies) from SUNY-Stonybrook as well as a background in case management and dropout prevention. He served as Assistant Director of Youth Services before his promotion to Director in May of 2007. In 2009, Mr. Portericker was recognized by the Partnership for After School Education as among “the best and brightest of New York City’s youth development professionals.”
Susan Pudersusanpuder
Director of Development and Communication
Susan joined the staff of Union Settlement in June 2016 as Director of Development and Communications.  Previously, Susan worked at Sanctuary for Families, where she served as Director of Individual Giving & Special Events.  Previously, she served on the Sanctuary Board of Directors as a Vice President and Co-Chair of the Development Committee, and was also Director of Development for Gilda’s Club Westchester.  Before entering the field of development, Susan worked as a litigator at a number of law firms including Davis Polk & Wardwell and taught as an adjunct law school professor.  Susan holds a BA from New York University and a JD from New York Law School.
Carlos TorunoCarlos Toruño
Director of Facilities
Carlos has overseen all Union Settlement facilities and supervised the agency’s maintenance staff since 1995.