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Staff and Employment Opportunities
Clemens Pietzner - Executive Director
Mark Birdsall - Director of Youth Programs
Lisa Faranda, PhD - Grants Manager
Holly Slater - NYC Coordinator
Michele Gerace - CPA, Bookkeeper
Caroline Black - Administrative Assistant
Laura Birdsall - Side by Side PA Director
Lekha Rao - Analyst: Grants Research, Grants Pursuit Data Base and Websites
Mahesh Vayu- Programmer: Websites Software Maintenanc
Clemens Pietzner, Executive Director: In 2002, Clemens Pietzner, with a group of colleagues and board members, created the Triskeles Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which is dedicated to youth, philanthropic services and community building.Mr. Pietzner has more than 27 years experience serving in a executive role within organizations that serve and support local communities. Since starting Triskeles in 2002, as president, Mr. Pietzner is responsible for Triskeles' growth, fundraising, strategic, organizational and program development as well as Triskeles' socially responsible and sustainable investments, grant making and financial stewardship. Under his leadership, Triskeles has served over 3000 youth and has made grants in excess of $3 million.
Prior to establishing the Triskeles Foundation, Clemens was the executive director of the Camphill Foundation (from 1984 to 2002) ~ a public foundation focused on serving communities caring for and supporting children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities. Clemens served in the state governments of New York and Ohio. Clemens has a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from Earlham College and other training in not-for-profit management, finance and development.
Mark Birdsall, Director of Youth Programs: Mr. Birdsall has 25 years of teaching experience in public, inner city to rural, and independent elementary and middle schools in addition to his experience as an administrator of a K-12 school. He has also been an organic gardener for 30 years, and Director of Triskeles' Youth Programs for 7 years. Mark trained numerous teachers, established a university certified training program, rewrote and adapted curricula for the minority children, and created a series of programs for parent volunteer activities. From 1992 to 1993, Mark was centrally involved in the East/West Education Initiative, a cross-cultural teacher training program with Russia after the communist regime ended there. Mark has anMEd. from Adelphi University and an MA in Russian Studies from Vermont College of Norwich University. He served as a Navy helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war.
Lisa Faranda. PhD, Grants Manager: Dr. Faranda has 30 years teaching, curriculum development, special education assessment, and educational administration experience. She has taught Literature, Writing and Reading at University of Iowa and Hunter College, and after 20 years at Penn State University, Berks Lehigh Valley College as Associate Professor of English, she served as the School Administrator, High School Administrator and Director of Educational Support Services at an independent private school. She is a board certified educational advocate and continues to help parents with educational planning for their children. Her writing life focused on publishing literary criticism and poetry, and in each of her professional roles, she was responsible for writing and managing grants to support her own research as well as projects sponsored by her institutions.
Holly Slater, NYC Coordinator: Holly Slater's most recent employment was at the British International School of New York. As the head of the music department, Holly was responsible for writing the music curriculum for this IB school, and she successfully built the department from the school's inception through to the school's fourth year. Prior to that, Holly was the director of public relations and marketing at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She has taught music at a number of community music schools, foster child programs, and private and public schools in the five NYC boroughs. Holly is a saxophone player who won the prestigious "Young Jazz Musician of the Year" award in England. She has performed at jazz venues worldwide and continues to perform and record. In 2009, she launched her own community music school in Maplewood, New Jersey called "Big House Music." Holly has a degree in Performing Arts from Middlesex University in England and has achieved various teaching levels of certification from American and international teaching conferences and workshops.
Michele Gerace, CPA, Bookkeeper: Michele's experience in the manufacturing, financial and non-profit industries includes: general bookkeeping, preparation of financial statements, internal audit(s) and business lead for departmental system projects. While raising her children, she keeps her CPA license active and continues to work as an independent contractor providing accounting services (bookkeeping, financial statements, annual 990 tax returns, etc.) to a limited client base consisting of a few local not-for-profits and directing boards. Michele holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education from Shippensburg University with an added major in Accounting from Ursinus College.
Caroline Black, Administrative Assistant: Caroline clerically supports the executive director, director of youth programs and the board of directors at Triskeles. She also helps organize and facilitate special events and fundraisers and is responsible for managing and recording gifts to Triskeles. Prior to joining Triskeles, Caroline worked as Document Control Associate at Diosynth Biotechnologies and had previously interned with the marketing and communications departments at the North Carolina Museum of Art and the North Carolina Arts Council. She graduated from Peace College with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Laura Birdsall, Side by Side PA Director: Laura uses her 35 years of teaching experience to create magical seasonal workshops and summer sessions for our Side by Side youth.
Lekha Rao - Analyst: Grants Research, Grants Pursuit Data Base and Websites: Lekha has 30 years experience in the information technology arena with State of Michigan, General Motors and Electronic Data Systems / HP. Roles have included leadership, architecture, systems development and integration in the service of clients in multiple industry segments. As an enterprise architect, identified market needs to develop customer facing services and software solutions focused on the integration of the client's business processes, legacy systems, web applications and technology infrastructure, so that clients could take action aligned with their corporate objectives. Worked with various technology product partners (example: IBM, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, CISCO) to develop solutions in response to customer RFPs. Served as member on GartnerGroup user advisory panels and product development boards for technology suppliers. Lekha holds a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Physics.
Mahesh Vayu - Programmer: Website Software Maintenance
We usually hire several temporary staff for our summer programs: college graduates or mature undergraduates with 1-5 years of experience and a strong interest in organic gardening, cooking—and an ability to work with youth from diverse backgrounds. Send us your resume and a cover letter if you'd like; we'll read it. Click request information at the top right of any page!