Board of Directors

The Move Forward Staten Island Board of Directors consists of volunteer advocates from across the borough.

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Julienne Verdi

Chair and founder

Julienne Verdi, a lifelong Staten Islander, is the Owner and Principal Attorney at J. Verdi Law, LLC where she provides legal services, as well as, strategic planning, management and operations consulting to small business, non-profit and political organizations.

Julienne is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School where she was an associate managing editor of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Chair of Brooklyn Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and recipient of the Platinum Public Service Award and Evelyn Reid Memorial Prize. Julienne received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Special Honors from CUNY Hunter College, where she graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. Julienne is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

In addition to her work life, Julienne has dedicated countless hours in service to the Staten Island community. Julienne has served on the board of several non-profit organizations, including Community Health Action of Staten Island and Fearless Females.

Most recently, following the 2016 elections, Julienne founded Move Forward Staten Island, and currently serves as the organization's Chair. Under Julienne's leadership, Move Forward Staten Island has emerged as a leading progressive voice on Staten Island through grassroots organizing, legislative actions and educational programming. As Chair, Julienne received the Terence H. Benbow Environmental Award in recognition of her work as a lead organizer for the Staten Island People’s Climate March in April 2017, one of the largest demonstrations Staten Island had ever seen. She was also named one of ten “Up & Comers” on Staten Island by City & State magazine.

Julienne is the proud wife of Kevin Lawrie, and mother of Jude and Sloane.


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anuradha (ammu) kowolik

co-chair

Anuradha (Ammu) Kowolik is a lifelong Staten Islander whose interests focus on social and racial justice, as she strives for a more equitable society with community at its core. Ammu is a graduate of New York City public schools, and received a master’s degree in social work from CUNY Hunter College and her executive master’s degree in public administration from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Ammu is currently the Chief of Staff at the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Prior to joining the McSilver Institute, Ammu worked with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in the New York City Chapter. She currently resides in the Travis neighborhood of Staten Island with her husband Lukasz, and their pup Troy.


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Rosanne Mottola

Treasurer & COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR

Rosanne Mottola is a lifelong Staten Islander who is a passionate healthcare advocate and champion of progressive causes. With more than a decade of experience in public relations, Rosanne has served in a variety of roles in the communications industry. Currently, she manages marketing, public relations and internal communications at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. Throughout her professional career, Rosanne has served in healthcare and nonprofit organizations, directing public relations, social media and integrated marketing communications. An avid writer, Rosanne has been published in various industry blogs and websites.

Rosanne was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006, and has advocated for healthcare causes since then. She’s an active volunteer with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, where she has planned fundraising walks and lead patient support groups.

Rosanne lives in Westerleigh with her husband, Thomas, and their two children, Ryan and Abigail.


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Jose Ramirez-Garafolo

Environmental issues CHAIR

José Ramírez-Garofalo is a Staten Island native and current graduate student at the City University of New York. He is interested in the effects of climate change on declining, threatened, and endangered species, as well as their conservation. 


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Tysen Fingado

Tysen Fingado spent his adolescence in Stapleton and returned to Staten Island in 2015. He began his fight for equality, in earnest, at the Justice for All march on Washington in 2014, a march sparked by the death of Eric Garner and the revelation that his murderer would not be indicted. Since then he's lobbied for speedy trial laws in New York, co-moderated a panel discussion on the current state of the criminal justice system, and publicly called for his local member of Congress to demand the reunification of families separated by the Trump administration's barbaric immigration policies.


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Servete Kolar

Servete Kolar is a life-long Staten Islander who is a special education teacher and union member. She is the sister of three, including two brothers with ASD and proud daughter of Albanian immigrants. Servete considers herself to be very lucky in a lot of ways, as she has had opportunities that not everyone has. Servete explains, "The last few years have really brought into contrast the different levels of privilege that exist in Staten Island. It is disheartening to learn how equality and justice remains alien to many of our neighbors. Every day is a fight for our rights, and knowledge and understanding are just the first part of the battle. I am looking forward to working with my fellow board members to help organize a community that is accepting and proactive in fighting for a better future for all of us Staten Islanders."


 

Advisory Council

Move Forward Staten Island’s Advisory Council consists of volunteer thought leaders who provide strategic advice and counsel to the Board of Directors.

Amoy Barnes

Natalie de vito

John mcbeth