As a licensed clinical social worker and certified school administrator, Rachel has been providing quality mental health and education services in New York and Connecticut for over 20 years. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, a master’s degree in clinical social work from Columbia University, and second master’s degree in school building leadership from Mercy College. Rachel began her career as a social worker in the New York City foster care system. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient mental health and hospital settings before assisting with the start-up of The New LIFE School a non-public special education setting, part of Lutheran Social Services of New York. Rachel functioned as the Director of Clinical Services, Principal, and Executive Director.
Melissa comes to JFS with 18 years of experience as an accountant, private business owner and human resources manager. With a bachelor’s degree in accounting from SUNY Binghamton and an MBA from Pace University, Melissa takes multitasking to the next level.
After being a devoted stay at home mom to her two children, Melissa was drawn to JFS of Greenwich as a new challenge. Different from her work in the for profit world, she was looking for an opportunity which would bring depth of service to her community. Melissa enjoys being an advocate for those in need.
Her bubbly personality and ability to connect with those she encounters has brought great energy to the JFS office. Melissa is a phone call away to assist with almost anything that comes to mind!
Larry was born and raised in Stamford, CT. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in International Relations and Mediation, he worked in Washington D.C., Colorado and New York City. In 1998 Larry returned to his hometown of Stamford where he managed a staffing agency for 13 years. In 2010 Larry stopped working for several years to care for his son Harrison who had serious health issues in his early years.
Larry currently works part-time as the Director of Congregational Engagement at Temple Sinai in Stamford. In his role as DCE he has created programs that have fostered inclusivity, acceptance and engagement for the congregation. He has been instrumental in establishing meaningful connections amongst the congregants and a sense of belonging for the Temple Sinai community.
Larry’s time at home caring for Harrison sharpened his understanding of the importance of relationships. That, combined with his professional experience as a recruiter, connecting employees and employers, and as DCE at Temple Sinai makes him a natural fit to create “kehillah kedoshah – sacred community” at JFS.
Melanie Vollono, LAMFT, is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist from Fairfield, Connecticut. Melanie received a Bachelor’s Degree in English language and literature with a minor in creative writing from Sacred Heart University where she was a member of the national English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. She then went on to complete a Master’s Degree in marital and family therapy from Iona College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
During her clinical training, Melanie worked for a broad range of community based services, including the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center and Center for Discovery. Melanie also worked on campus at the Iona Family Therapy Clinic and has experience in treating individuals, couples, and families. She is experienced in many models of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and is formally trained in Family Based Therapy (Also known as the Maudsley Method.) Melanie is passionate about working with adolescents, young adults, couples, and families. She also has a specialized interest in the treatment of Eating Disorders, and has been working as a primary adolescent eating disorder therapist at Walden Behavioral Care for the past two years in their outpatient clinic.
Melanie uses a structural and systemic family therapy approach in her work. She also incorporates narrative therapy techniques to allow clients and families to “tell their story” while also looking towards positive change. Melanie utilizes a strengths based treatment approach and believes that the therapeutic process is collaborative. Areas of interest include: Anxiety, mood disorders, OCD, school/social anxiety, eating disorders, parenting skills, couples counseling, and family transitions.
Sarah Baden holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Hartford, where she graduated in the spring of 2020. Sarah is now in her second year of her Masters program and will graduate from the University of Connecticut School of Social work with an MSW in 2023. Sarah spent her years in college as a leader amongst her fellow students, serving as a Student Ambassador and peer leader where she conducted tours, participated on student panels, and helped new students adjust to the major life changes involved with college. She also served as Vice President of the Psi Chi honors society, a scholastic community that serves to support and guide psychology students while fostering their interests in the subject by connecting them with resources and opportunities in the field. Sarah co-founded and was President of Students Against Stigma, a student run organization that worked to create an inclusive campus environment that embraces mental health and mental health services.
Outside of school, Sarah gained extensive experience as a Safe House Intern and as a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Hartford, CT. Sarah also volunteered at the Silver Hill Psychiatric Hospital in the Adolescent In-Patient Unit. Sarah holds certifications in Youth Mental Health First Aid and as a Domestic Violence Counselor. Sarah’s passion for social work and community engagement remains a major part of her life after her undergraduate career. Sarah teaches 7th graders at the Temple Sholom Learning Center and is the Coordinator for their Social Action group where students learn Jewish and social values within the greater Greenwich community. Sarah brings with her a desire to improve the lives of and to increase the access and quality of resources to those in her community to the team at JFS as the Director of Supermarketing for Seniors.
Board of Directors
Lauren Gilbert Wels
Barbara D. Salop
Ariel S. Manacher