Meet our staff!
At our organization, our staff is the backbone of our community. Our dedicated and passionate staff members work tirelessly to ensure that our programs and services run smoothly and effectively. From our friendly front desk team to our experienced instructors and counselors, our staff is committed to providing the best possible experience for everyone we serve. With their expertise and genuine care, our staff plays a pivotal role in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. At every step of the way, our staff is here to support you and help make your experience at our organization a truly memorable one.
Sandra Feeney-Charles – Executive Director
Sandra, our executive director, is a native of County Galway. She has worked in the non profit sector with international humanitarian relief organization Concern Worldwide for several years. She is a volunteer yoga teacher and has been happily living in New York for over 20 years.
Paola Kennedy – Officer Manager
Paola hails from Co. Westmeath, Ireland and works as the Office Manager at Aisling center. Paola is the main contact for any questions regarding the Aisling Center building or room rentals. Paola is also a confirmed killer of desktop plants, sarcasm connoisseur and enjoys talks to oneself! Paola is also an extreme lover of all creatures great and small and her favorite saying “You’re just jealous because the voices are talking to me.”
Theresa C. Reilly – Community Outreach Coordinator
Theresa was born and raised in Yonkers NY. She received a bachelor’s of social work from Concordia and is currently enrolled in a masters of school counseling at Lehman College. She worked as a supervisor at an assisted living home for residents 70 – 110. At this she gained hands on experiences creating daily schedules for patients, teaching technology and independent living skills, and conducting daily wellness checks. These skills are put to good use every day with the seniors at the Aisling Center and she creates socially robust schedules and activities for our seniors.
Ailísh Conneely – Cultural Development Officer
Ailísh Conneely was born in New York but grew up in Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny. She is a musician and multi-instrumentalist, specialising mostly in piano accordion, piano, flute and tin whistle. She is also a fluent Irish speaker. When she was growing up, she competed in the Fleadh Cheoil at provincial and All-Ireland level, winning the Leinster Fleadh U18 and O18 Piano Accordion and receiving 2nd place in Leinster U18 Tin Whistle. She also has a Diploma from the London College of Music (Dip LCM) in traditional flute performance and a Grade 6 in classical piano with the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). She studied Music and Irish in University College Cork (UCC) until 2018, and completed a Professional Masters in Education (PME) with Hibernia College Dublin in 2020, qualifying as a secondary school teacher. She then taught Irish in a school in Waterford for 2 years, while also being involved with two local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branches (CCÉ).
Naomi Hanson – Social Media and Development Officer
Naomi works as our Social Media and Development Officer. She has her bachelors degree in history with a focus on the Atlantic world. Naomi spent several years as a Career Counselor and run the Career Series program at the Aisling Center. In addition to holding previous nonprofit positions as Executive Director and operations Manager, she spent many years and first mate and captain for a boating company.
Lauren McCormack – Social Worker
From Kilkenny, Ireland. Lauren studied for five years at University College Cork where she obtained her Bachelor of Social Science and Masters in Social Work. Lauren is a registered Social Worker with CORU, Health and Social Care Professionals Council and is a member of the Irish Association of Social Workers and National Association of Social Workers. Lauren is experienced in working with individuals with mental health diagnosis, experiencing homelessness, addiction issues, individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families, ethnic minority groups and disadvantaged populations. Lauren has a keen interest in child protection and welfare guided by her previous role as a Child Protection and Welfare Social Worker with TUSLA Child and Family Agency in Kilkenny, Ireland. Lauren is experienced in responding directly to reports of child abuse and/or neglect and partnering with families and community resources to ensure the safety and well-being of children.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS