The primary role of the YWCA Bergen County Board is to provide mission-based visionary leadership and strategic governance to enhance the organization’s programs and services throughout the county. The Board is comprised of a diverse group of women of influence to ensure that it reflects the communities we serve and has the professional skill set to meet our fiduciary responsibility to the YWCA.
Serving on the YWCA Bergen County Board is an extraordinary opportunity for strategic and future focused leaders who are passionate about the YWCA’s mission and vision. If you are interested in volunteering or in recommending an outstanding candidate, please contact Sonya Collins at [email protected]
Helen Archontou was named Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Bergen County in July 2011, and her focus has been on guiding the organization towards living its name and its mission. Helen brings with her nearly 20 years of executive management experience in the not-for-profit sector, which included heading up programs for St. Clare’s Hospital for the Protection of Children in Denville; founding and leading Wynona’s House, a treatment center of child abuse in Newark; and serving as executive director of the Bergen County Literacy Volunteers of America chapter.
Under Helen’s leadership, YWCA Bergen County has expanded program offerings, deepening the YW’s commitment to its mission: eliminating racism, empowering women, standing up for social justice, and helping families and strengthening communities.
To meet these profoundly important goals, Helen had developed a strategic plan that includes programming in five targeted areas: Economic Empowerment, Racial Justice, Women’s Health, Youth Development, and Ending Sexual Violence.
In 2016, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observance Committee of Bergen County awarded the YWCA Bergen County the Lee Reid Award for the organization’s profoundly important work in promoting racial and social justice–a tribute to Helen’s leadership and diligence.
Helen’s professionalism has drawn several high-level accolades. In 2016, state leaders appointed Helen to serve on the State Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault. The Bergen County Commission on the Status of Women honored Helen at their Women’s History Month event Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government. In 2017, Helen was honored with a Women Empowering Women award by Key HR Consulting.
Helen is often sought after by the media for her expertise in several areas. During 2016, Helen made several television appearances. She focused on gender pay equity for women of color here in New Jersey in an interview on FOX 5 NY. She was interviewed by NJTV News on improving communications surrounding the reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses. Helen’s op-ed about campus sexual violence was published in The Record / NorthJersey.com.
Helen has been an adjunct professor in the Master’s Degree program for the Center for Child Advocacy at Montclair State University since 2005. She is also a Board Member of the Bergen Community College Women’s Institute since 2012.
She holds a Masters of Social Work from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Montclair State University. She is also a graduate of the New Jersey Child Abuse Institute and also successfully completed the Finding Words NJ program, a child-friendly forensic interviewing protocol for professionals involved in investigating and prosecuting child abuse.
When not working, Helen enjoys her family. She is married to a professional musician in the Blues genre, and is the mother of twins, Steven and Julia, and Chihuahua, Brutus.
Hanna Salvatore is a finance professional at Bergen County’s United Way and Chief Administrator of Women United in Philanthropy, a women’s giving circle that pools philanthropy to make a large impact on the lives of women. Hanna is also a former Wall Street operations executive. Hanna brings her passion for efficiency and the YWCA’s mission as well as her finance and operations experience to the YWCA Bergen County Board of Directors, which she joined in January 2016. LinkedIn
Christine Ordway, 2nd Vice President
Hayley Shulman, CPA is a Tax Supervisor in the Morristown office of WithumSmith+Brown, PC, a full-service tax, audit, and advisory public accounting firm where her focus is consulting and compliance services for healthcare and not-for-profit organizations. Hayley is a member of Withum’s Women’s Leadership Development Initiative, and is also actively involved in mentorship and training. Hayley brings her not-for-profit tax expertise and insight into the minds of the Millennial Generation to the YWCA Bergen County Board of Directors, which she joined in January 2016. LinkedIn
YWCA Bergen County Board Committees are typically chaired by a Board member and consist of Board members, staff, and interested volunteers from the community. These committees are accountable to the Board and help to research and develop policy and recommend major policies/initiatives to the Board for approval as appropriate. Current committees include Board Development, Finance, Fund Development, Communications and Mission Based Programs. Committees meet monthly or quarterly depending on their agendas.
Interested in volunteering to serve on a YWCA Board Committee? Contact Helen Archontou at [email protected] for more information.