MELISSA S. NORDEN
Prior to her appointment as Executive Director at Bottomless Closet, Melissa worked at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) for 13 years, where she was most recently Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and General Counsel in the Office of the President. She helped found New Yorkers for Clean Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), a nonprofit dedicated to phasing out New York City carriage horses. Prior to joining the ASPCA, Ms. Norden served as counsel to Madison Square Garden, where she collaborated with the management of the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty on the Madison Square Garden Cheering for Children Foundation, raising funds for after-school programs for at-risk urban youth. Melissa is a member of the board of directors of Life Vest Inside, a former member of the board and a current member of the Tufts Lawyers Association (TLA), the Tufts Non-Profit Group, the Tufts Women’s Group and the Non-Profit Committee of the American Corporate Counsel Association, as well as a former member of the Committee on Non-Profit Organizations of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University, where she was named to the Dean’s List with a double major in American History and Spanish. She has been an alumni interviewer for Tufts University for 20 years. She earned her Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School where she was on The Journal of Law and Policy and received numerous awards for academic achievement. Melissa was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000. Contact
Looking to combine her interests in both fashion and social services, Emily Carter joined Bottomless Closet in 2013 as a Tuesday evening volunteer. As a volunteer, she co-chaired the Emerging Leaders, helping to cultivate a new generation of young professionals and planning fundraisers and community outreach events to spread the word about Bottomless Closet’s mission and programming. She joined the staff as Program Coordinator in September. Emily schedules all client appointments and maintains relationships with referral partners. Emily is currently studying to obtain her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University, and she also interns with SCO Family of Services in Brooklyn. Contact
Yvonne Cassidy joined Bottomless Closet in October 2017 as Bottomless Closet’s first ever Director of Development. With over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications and development, Yvonne has worked both in corporate and non-profit settings in Europe and the U.S., including running her own communications consultancy firm for six years, servicing many leading brands.
Since moving to New York from her native Ireland in 2011, Yvonne has immersed herself fully in the non-profit world, which has been the most rewarding phase of her career to date. First, as Director of Development for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and most recently as Director of External Relations for Neighborhood Trust, Yvonne has used her skills to drive awareness and support for activities that empower disadvantaged New Yorkers in a range of different ways. Yvonne is very excited to join the dedicated staff and volunteers at Bottomless Closet, and to bring this experience to bear to help women take their first steps towards building new careers and futures.
A graduate of University College Dublin, Yvonne is a published author with four novels published in Europe and the U.S. She also teaches creative writing for the Irish Arts Center and the JCC.
Carol Costello joined Bottomless Closet in January 2017 as the Volunteer Manager, overseeing all aspects of the volunteer program, including recruitment, training, retention, programing, and supervision of volunteer functions. Drawn to Bottomless Closet by its mission of empowering women, Carol brings over 15 years of experience in volunteer management to her position. She was the Volunteer Director for 11 years at CASA* for Children of Essex County NJ (*Court Appointed Special Advocates), and prior to that, managed a volunteer based writing program in her public school district. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Illinois, and a JD from Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law. In her previous legal career, Carol worked as in house attorney for a transit authority and as a judicial law clerk. Carol has volunteered for a number of organizations over the years and currently volunteers as a cook for a soup kitchen in her community. She lives with her family in Montclair, NJ. Contact
After a stint as an administrative intern, Gineyda Diaz joined the staff of Bottomless Closet in 2007. Gineyda is in charge of both inner space and cyberspace: she manages Bottomless Closet’s office space, vendors and donors as well as our online space and guarantees that all Bottomless Closet communications are consistent with brand. Gineyda makes sure that our website and other social networking sites with a Bottomless Closet presence are up-to-the-minute and provide an accurate view of the organization. Gineyda has grown with the organization and looks forward to bolstering the Bottomless Closet brand for years to come. Gineyda holds a Bachelor in Science from Syracuse University. Contact
Laurel Gromatsky joined Bottomless Closet as Office Coordinator in July 2017, where she assists with a variety of operations tasks including liaising with vendors, billing and finance, development and more.
Before joining Bottomless Closet, Laurel was an Office Assistant at Tough Mudder, where she planned staff events, managed vendor relationships, and oversaw the office management budget and various office services. Laurel has also worked in Human Resources functions for a variety of companies.
Laurel is a graduate of both the University of Central Florida, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and Marist College, where she received a Certificate in Human Resources Management. Contact
Lakiesha became the Administrative Associate in 2009. As a former client, she went from being a public assistance recipient to a non-profit professional. Along the way she earned her GED, Associates Degree and finally a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Lakiesha now serves as the Client Services Coordinator ensuring that each client who walks through our doors receives the highest quality of service. She excels at drawing out the personalities and personal stories of each of our clients. Contact
Pamela (Pam) Kulnis has more than 25 years of experience within the financial services industry. Prior to being named Program Director at Bottomless Closet, Pam was the Division Manager of Human Resources and Marketing for Popular Community Bank where she was instrumental in delivering creative solutions to support not only the general business goals but also strategic initiatives such as mergers, acquisitions and organizational re-structuring. She focused efforts on understanding the bank’s talent needs and creating the development path for staff which provided not only a solid pipeline of talent but opportunities for professional and personal development for the employee population. Pam launched programs that addressed such needs as personal and financial wellness, mindfulness, yoga, understanding social media along with other core banking skills to insure a well rounded approach for staff. As a Board Member of the Popular Community Bank’s Foundation, Pam was responsible for driving the community focused efforts of the bank which is where she first became introduced to Bottomless Closet. Inspired by our mission, Pam organized a clothing drive and hosted a group of Bottomless Closet clients for a workshop on “Understanding Workplace Benefits”. In addition, Pam has volunteered with numerous not for profits in NYC focused on helping people become job ready among other efforts.
Pam is a graduate of Pace University in NYC with a degree in Business Administration. She is thrilled to be joining Bottomless Closet and is excited to be joining such a wonderful group of passionate staff and volunteers. Contact
Valentine Louis came to Bottomless Closet in the Fall of 2014 as a temporary receptionist. She was impressed by the client stories and the camaraderie between staff and volunteers and left each night feeling inspired and energized. In the Spring of 2015, Valentine returned to take on a new temporary
assignment as Program Coordinator acting as a liaison between referral partners and clients and coordinating all client appointment scheduling.
Valentine then was named Office Coordinator. She was the first point of contact for callers and clothing donors and oversaw the general office space. Now, as the Volunteer Coordinator, valentine ensures that volunteers are scheduled accordingly. Contact
Mariell Meacham joined Bottomless Closet as a Program Coordinator in September 2017.
Mariell’s work focuses on writing and editing all of the resumes of our clients to best prepare them for their interviews, as well as working closely with our employment coaches to ensure that our clients’ skills and qualifications are best reflected. Mariell has extensive experience in the retail marketing and customer care industries.
Mariell graduated Cum Laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where she earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design with a minor in Art History. Contact
Alison M. Zaccone is a seasoned Public Relations and Communications Professional with more than 12 years of experience in the field. Before joining Bottomless Closet as Director of Communications in January 2017, Alison spent nearly 10 years at the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) where she handled public relations and media outreach for many of the ASPCA’s national programs as Director of Media & Communications.
Alison also authors the bargain shopping and fashion blog NYC Recessionista in her spare time, as well as manages the blog’s corresponding social media channels. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post Style, Racked, and more.
Alison is a graduate of Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y., where she graduated Cum Laude from the Pforzheimer Honors College with a B.A. in English & Communications in 2004. Alison has also worked as an adjunct professor of Public Relations and Event Planning at her alma mater, where she has taught courses in Writing for Public Relations Copy and Event Planning for PR to undergraduate students in the Media & Communication Arts major.
A life-long resident of New York, Alison currently lives in Long Island City, Queens. Contact