Our Wonderful Staff


Sabrina Houser
Chief Executive Officer

Sabrina has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1996 and initially became involved with the organization as a Big Sister. “I found the mission of the agency very compelling,” she says. That early volunteer experience led her to seek a job with Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has become a career. “Helping children succeed in school, at home and in their communities has such a profound impact on lives, and no mentoring organization does it better than Big Brothers Big Sisters".  Sabrina has a strong background in program management, grant development and reporting, not-for-profit management and fundraising. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from SUNY Geneseo, and currently resides in Saratoga Springs with her loving family. Sabrina can be reached at Sabrina@bbbscr.org or ext 101


Geraldine Gutierrez 
Program Director

Geraldine studied psychology as an undergraduate at the University at Albany. Her life experiences, mentors and educators afforded her a deep understanding of intersectionality and social justice issues which lead her to pursue a Master’s in Social Work at her alma mater. Geraldine has served as a social worker in schools and mental health programs. She has served families as a child support specialist and educator. She understands deeply that a collective effort and lots of love is necessary to create positive outcomes within the lives of youth. This lead her to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization and its dedicated volunteers envision success for every child, no matter what their background or circumstances. As Program Manager, she looks forward to being a positive contributor to the agency’s mission and the lives of the children we serve.  Geraldine can be reached at geraldinegutierrez@bbbscr.org or ext 102

Sarah Berry
Site-Based Program Manager

Sarah graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in psychology and went on to work for several different non-profit organizations. She also started a writing therapy business to help cancer survivors and women of all ages process the changes in their lives. Sarah came to BBBS 3 years ago and has worked in the role as Asst. to the Site Based Manager and Site Coordinator for Skidmore. "In my various roles at BBBS over the years, I've had the great pleasure of working closely with both Bigs and Littles. I've seen first hand the positive difference that a caring mentor can make in the life of a child. All of our employees are so dedicated to the mission and this is by far my favorite organization I've ever worked for." Sarah lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and two young children. Sarah can be reached at sarahberry@bbbscr.org or ext 103

Jennifer Tabankin
Community-Based Program Manager

Jennifer is from Westchester, NY and moved to the Capital Region five years ago. After spending many years practicing law, she transitioned to non profit management, which felt more meaningful for her as a way to give back and serve the community. She has a diverse background in litigation, human services and grant writing. Jennifer has served both individuals and families in legal settings as well as in family support settings. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Iona College and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School. Jennifer and her family live in Saratoga County. Jennifer can be reached at jennifer@bbbscr.org or ext 107


Christine McLear
Development Associate

Before beginning her role as Development Associate, Christine was the BBBSCR Site-Based Program Manager. In that role, she coordinated the mentoring programs at five local colleges. With a background in community education and youth development, Christine has seen the transformative impact that a mentor can have in a young person's life. Christine studied sociology at Ithaca College, where she first became involved with non-profit agencies. Christine can be reached at christinemclear@bbbscr.org or ext 105


Elena Kyprianou
Event Coordinator 

Elena holds a degree in Leisure and Tourism Management. Originally from Cyprus, she moved to the United States to achieve her goals and to bring her unique experiences and skill set to the Capital Region.Her previous experiences include owning and managing her own restaurant as well as working in the community to create a passion and buzz for Mediterranean food and culture. Big Brothers and Big Sisters came into Elena's life when she was looking for a way to give back and share her adventure and event personality with others. Working with this organization allows her to accomplish not only those goals within her career but also within her desire to help others. Elena can be reached at elena@bbbscr.org or ext 104


Patience Pechette
Administrative Office Manager

Patience has a degree in Secondary Education and History. She spent 6 years teaching high school Social Studies.  As the Rensselaer County Coordinator of the Reality Check program, she worked with youth to education the community on corporate tobacco's marketing strategies.  Currently she works here at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office as our office manager and human resources specialist.   Patience was a former little and attributes her motivation to go to college to the relationship she developed with her Big Sister. Patience can be reached at patience@bbbscr.org or ext 100

The Direct Services Team

Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on paid, trained staff to carefully match caring volunteers with children who face adversity in long-term one-to-one mentoring relationships and provide ongoing support to our Bigs, Littles and their families. This is what differentiates us from other organizations that provide various other forms of mentoring. Our long-term mentoring programs are proven by independent research to help kids who face adversity succeed in and out of school.

Andrea BonacciAndreabonacci@bbbscr.org

Child Enrollment Specialist

Michelle DoweMichelledowe@bbbscr.org

Enrollment and Match Specialist

Alfonso Rodriguezalfonso@bbbscr.org

Enrollment and Matching Specialist

Makisha Brownmakisha@bbbscr.org

Match Support Specialist

Nevillene WhiteNevillene@bbbscr.org
Match Support Coordinator, SUNY Albany
Kayla Wunsch, kayla@bbbscr.org
Match Support Coordinator, SUNY Albany
Match Support Coordinator, Union
Lisa DiTroia, lisa@bbbscr.org
Match Support Coordinator, Union
Sheyla Escotosheylaescoto@bbbscr.org
Spanish Bilingual Match Support Coordinator - College of Saint Rose
Chassidy Ryalschassidy@bbbscr.org
Match Support Coordinator, RPI
Danielle Benassuttidaniellebenassutti@bbbscr.org
Community-Based Program Assistant
Alison Tayloralisontaylor@bbbscr.org
Site-Based Program Assistant and Site Coordinator - Skidmore College
BBBS-193 smaller

Amy Thomson, CFO for Hire

Nicole Drizos Russell, Pinnace Human Relations