Senior Staff



David 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. @DavidNocenti
Maria 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.
Derrick Boone
Associate Executive Director of Adult Programs
Derrick joined Union Settlement in June 2018. For over two decades he has worked for nonprofit social service programs in direct care, professional consultation, and executive leadership. He has experience working with organizations that focus on mental health, employment, education, school based counseling, seniors, transitional living, trauma informed care, and homelessness.  He has Master’s and Doctorate degrees in psychology from Loma Linda University.
Hilda V. Cortés
Director of Adult Education
Hilda joined Union Settlement in May 2018 after most recently serving as the Program Coordinator of Adult Literacy Education at Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services in Brooklyn, and previously held educational and job development positions at the Hudson County Schools of Technology. Ms. Cortés holds a Bachelor degree in Spanish from SUNY-Buffalo, and a Master’s Degree in Education from the College of Mount St. Vincent.
Delores Mims
Director of Early Childhood Education
Delores joined Union Settlement as our Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education in early 2018. She has dedicated her career to early childhood, including serving as a Program Director at Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, and as an Education Director at both the Bedford Stuyvesant Early Child Development and at Bloomingdale Family Program.
Edwin NievesEdwin 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.
Oneida Perez
Director of Human Resources
Born and raised in Harlem, Oneida joined Union Settlement in August 2018 after most recently serving as the Director of Human Resources at Queens Community House. Her career portfolio includes the Boys’ Club, the YMCA of Greater New York, Building Educated Leaders for Life, and various NYC Universities where she has worked to build communities, strengthen human connections, and support employees with processes and tools to empower them to do their best work. Oneida holds an M.A. in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix, and is a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resources Management.  
Susan Puder
Director of Development and Communications
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.
Lissa Southerland
Associate Executive Director for Operations

Lissa came on board at Union Settlement in January 2019. Before that she served as the Senior Regional Director for Operations at Community Healthcare Network (CHN), which provides primary and behavioralhealthcare, dental, nutrition, wellness and needed support services to over 85,000 New Yorkers every year. While there, Lissa oversaw a wide variety of operational and administrative functions at CHN, and previously had served as the Regional Director for CHN’s Manhattan centers, and as the Director of their Helen B. Atkinson Health Center.
Carlos Toruño
Director of Facilities
Carlos has overseen all Union Settlement facilities and supervised the agency’s maintenance staff since 1995.
Sheila Wilson-Wells
Associate Executive Director of Early Childhood & Youth Programs

Sheila joined Union Settlement in June 2019. She has devoted her career to helping children & families for nearly two decades. Most recently she served as the Director of Elementary and Special Initiatives at New York Edge, which is one of the largest providers of youth programs in the NYC area. In her earlier career she worked for nonprofit social service programs in Head Start, Residential Treatment Facilities, Foster Care and Preventative Services.  She holds a Master of Science in Non-Profit Leadership from Fordham University.
Stacie Woodland
Director of Mental Health Services
Stacie joined Union Settlement in December 2017 as a Clinical Supervisor in the Mental Health Clinic.  She took on the position of Director of Mental Health Services in December of 2018. Stacie comes to Union Settlement with almost two decades of experience working in areas around mental health, homelessness, HIV and adolescent issues. She has expertise in trauma informed care. As an adjunct professor of psychology at Touro College since 2004, she created the curriculum and has taught advanced seminars on both Trauma and Eating Disorders. An avid animal lover, Stacie volunteers at a local animal shelter. She is also a Certified Grief Counselor and one of the few Certified Counselors in NYC for Pet Loss Grief Counseling (PGRS-C, Pet Loss and Grief Recovery Specialist).