about us


Lauren Brand, Chair

 Ms. Brand is the Director of the Stony Brook WIC Program.  She opened the first WIC office for Stony Brook Medicine in Suffolk County on Long Island in 2004.  Lauren initially became involved with the NYS WIC Association in 2014 as part of the Nutrition & Breastfeeding and Legislative Committees.  She has formally sat on the NYS WIC Association’s Board of Directors since 2015 and is currently serving in her second term as Chairperson.  


Melissa Sacco, Vice Chair

 Melissa is from the Capital Region and is the WIC Program Manager at the Commission on Economic Opportunity. She has worked for WIC for 13 years and is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Melissa also serves on the Finance Committee and is Co-Chair of the Conference Committee. She decided to become a board member to become more active in the WIC community and to broaden her professional development.  


Rudy Sicari, Treasurer

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Helene Rosenhouse-Romeo, Secretary

 Helene has been promoting good nutrition and wellness for more than 20 years having worked as a nutritionist in community, clinical, corporate and retail environments. Helene joined the WIC community eight years ago, first as a high-risk nutritionist and then as WIC Director in New York City. Three years ago, Helene joined the WIC Association of NYS’s Board, and now serves as both a Provider for the MARO region and Secretary on the Executive Committee.  When not working, Helene enjoys long hikes and practicing yoga. 


Penny Bashford, Provider

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Andrea Byrne, Provider

 Andrea has been working in the WIC Program for 8 years as a Coordinator for Delaware Opportunities Inc.  She lives in a rural area of Delaware County with her husband and two children.  In December 2016, she was elected to serve as a Provider for the Capital Region and became the Chair of the Finance Committee in January 2018. Andrea is also a member of the Legislative Committee.  As a Board member of the Association, she has been able to advocate for local agencies, and have seen positive changes in the program as a result.   

About Us


Lisa Cogswell, Provider


Ms. Cogswell has been a WIC Program Director for 24 years and a WIC Nutritionist for 32 years!

Lisa has been a WIC Association Board Member for 15+ years and serves on our Nutrition and Breastfeeding and Consumer/Vendor Committees. She loves the WIC Program and all that it has to offer families and being a part of all the changes we have seen in the past 30 years! 


Brian Coleman, Provider



Judette Dahleiden, Provider

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Michelle Downer, Provider

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Lisa Fermin, Provider

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Megan Fulton, Provider

Megan has been serving WIC families for nearly seven years as both a Nutritionist and Site Manager in Northern New York as part of the Central Region. Since 2015, she has been attending many state-wide meetings and training's in anticipation of the NYWIC Rollout. Since then, she has served as the local agency expert, helping to train and support her staff in NYWIC. Megan enjoys being able to represent the Central Region as a WIC Association Provider since December of 2016; and has been a member in both the Nutrition and Breastfeeding, and Marketing and Membership committees. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Consumer/Vendor committee. Megan continues to expand her professional development and passion in order to lead her WIC team in successfully supporting and serving our families. 

About Us


Melissa Goldstein, Provider

  Melissa is a Provider from the Capital Region.  She has been a Board Member for 2 years, serving on the Nutrition and Breastfeeding Committee, Marketing and Membership Committee, and the Consumer Vendor Committee.  She has worked for WIC for 5 years and I am very passionate about the program and our participants.  I feel the best way to serve our participants is by advocating for them when there are changes being considered to the program that would affect the services we provide.


Holly Green, Advocate

 My name is Holly Green. I have been on the NYS WIC Association Board of Directors since August 2016. I serve on three committees, Nutrition and Breast feeding, Marketing and Membership, and Consumer/Vendor. Living in the Western Region and working the last 19+ years as a Head Start Family Advocate I have seen firsthand the benefits of the WIC program. I was a participant when my children were young and I now help to educate young moms of the importance of good nutrition for themselves and their children, and how WIC can help them with that. I have been grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board and to advocate for the WIC program. 


Vijaya Jain, Director Emerita

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Sue Kowaleski, Advocate

 Ms. Kowaleski's service on the WIC Association Board began as a consumer representative.  When our two boys aged out of WIC, I was asked to remain on the Board as an Advocate. This current role focuses on educating legislators about the wonderful WIC program and encouraging lawmakers to understand and support WIC’s women, infants and children who benefit so much from the array of services provided beyond their food packages. Outside of WIC, I work for a childcare resource and referral organization supporting the field of early education. I live on a farm where we grow vegetables and fruits like those allowed in WIC food packages and at Farmers’ Markets. 


Mary Krypel, Provider

 I am Mary Krypel, I am a WIC Coordinator for Catholic Charities of Buffalo WIC in Western NY. I have been a part of the WIC Association Board for one year and serve on the Nutrition and Breastfeeding Committee, the Marketing and Membership Committee, the Conference Committee, and the Consumer and Vendor Committee. I have my bachelor’s degree in dietetics and my master’s degree in community health and became aware of WIC through my studies. Throughout my years working at WIC in different capacities I became very passionate about the program and everything it does for moms and their children. I was excited at the opportunity to join the board and affect change for the WIC program across New York State. 


Misha Marvel, Statewide Advocate

 Misha has been an anti-hunger advocate for over two decades working with communities in NJ and NYS to expand their capacity to provide their members access to affordable and nutritious food through USDA nutrition assistance programs. She joined Hunger Solutions New York in 2003 and has conducted outreach, policy analysis and advocacy for SNAP, SFSP, CACFP, and since 2018, WIC. Misha joined the Board in 2019, and serves on the Legislative and Marketing & Membership Committees. She lives in the capital region with her husband and two terrific teenagers. 


Tommi-Grace Melito, Advocate

Tommi-Grace Melito has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors for over a decade. She is currently the Regional Economic Resiliency Programs Manager at the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island where she works closely with WIC and other human service providers create innovative solutions to complex social issues. She joined the Board of Directors in January 2020 and is absolutely thrilled to continue to work closely to elevate the WIC Program in New York.  

About Us


Agnes Molnar, Advocate

  Ms. Molnar has been a WIC Association Board member for over 30 years, representing MARO in the Advocate position. Employed as a Child Nutrition Advocate at Community Food Resource Center in NYC for 23 years. Co-founder of Community Food Advocates in 2010, currently working to expand and improve all Child Nutrition Programs in New York City. Agnes serves on our Legislative and Board Development Committees.  


Loriann Spatola-Davis

  I am Loriann Spatola-Davis and have been with WIC for 30 years. I started with Tioga Opportunities, Inc. WIC Program as a clerk in 1990 and after graduating from SUNY Binghamton with a Bachelor in Science, I moved into the WIC Coordinator position in 2001. Lori is a returning Board Member and serves on the Marketing/Membership and Legislative committees. The best part of my job is that I can help families reach their health and nutrition goals. If I can just help one mom or family move from crisis to self-sufficiency, it makes everything we do worthwhile.   


Cindy Walsh, Advocate

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Sherry Wilson, Statewide Advocate

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