Board of Directors
The Move Forward Staten Island Board of Directors consists of volunteer advocates from across the borough.
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.
anuradha (ammu) kowolik
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.
Bianca Rajpersaud is a Government Relations Coordinator in the New York City office of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP (“DHC”). In this role, she provides assistance to the government relations group to support clients, and assist with legislative matters.
Prior to joining DHC, Bianca served as the Communications and Events Manager for the Association for a Better (ABNY), and she has served as the Director of Communications for the Office of New York State Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick (D—Staten Island). As the former Director of Communications in Assemblyman Cusick’s office, she worked directly with key community stakeholders to address pressing issues within the Assemblyman’s district, as well as serve as a direct contact between the Assemblyman’s office, the press, and government agencies.
Bianca believes in the power of communication to bring forth positive change in her community. As a member of the Move Forward Staten Island board, Bianca looks forward to promoting positive dialogue to shed light on issues affecting all Staten Island residents.
Bianca resides in the Graniteville section of Staten Island. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Kent State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University at Albany-SUNY.
Bianca currently serves as the 1st Vice President for the North Shore Democratic Club.
SECRETARY & 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.
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.
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.