Above: New York VOAD July 2017 Board Meeting, Foodlink, Rochester, NY. Pictured from left to right: Peter B. Gudaitis, NYVOAD Chair; Nathan Boor, NYVOAD Vice-Chair; Deb Palumbos, NYVOAD Treasurer; Rev. Joe Auslander, NYVOAD Board Member at Large; Nicholas Croce, NYVOAD Staff; Jamie Marcella, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES).
Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div.
Mr. Gudaitis was elected Chair of New York VOAD in May 2017. Mr. Gudaitis has over 30 years of expertise in disaster chaplaincy/spiritual care, emergency medical services, interfaith coalition building, long-term recovery, and religious literacy and competency in crisis settings. Currently, he serves as Executive Director and CEO of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) and President of the National Disaster Interfaith Network (NDIN). Mr. Gudaitis is a member of the Faith-based Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers; Guest Lecturer and Advisory Board member for the Metropolitan College of New York, Emergency and Disaster Management Program; Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California; and Adjunct Professor at Hartford Seminary. Mr. Gudaitis resides in New York City.
In 2012, he was appointed to the New York State Respond Commission by Governor Andrew Cuomo. And, in 2015 he was appointed to the New York City Charitable Organization & House of Worship Recovery Task Force by New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito. He is the Co-Chair of the NYC Faith Sector Community Preparedness Program Advisory Board of the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and on the Board of Directors of New York City VOAD.
Mr. Boor has served as Vice-Chair of New York VOAD since October 2016. He holds a degree in Fire Protection Technology and is a graduate of Onondaga Community College. Mr. Boor has significant experience in emergency preparedness, both as a firefighter and a EMT. Mr. Boor performed his internship with C&S Companies working with Fire Protection Engineers to develop fire alarm systems and emergency response plans. Additionally, he has participated in many disaster planning exercises; the most recent being Gotham Shield in NYC. In his current role, Mr. Boor works as the Safety and Facility Supervisor and manages emergency preparedness for Foodlink – the regional Foodbank for the Western-Finger Lakes region of NY, part of the Feeding America Network. He lives in Manchester, NY.
Deborah S. Palumbos
Deb Palumbos has served as Treasurer of New York VOAD since July of 2014. Currently, Deb is the Program Director for RSVP at Lifespan of Greater Rochester. Her involvement in emergency preparedness began in 2004, when she entered National Service in AmeriCorps and VISTA. Deb has maintained an active presence in VOADs, volunteer management and community preparedness ever since. She founded the Rochester Regional VOAD (RRVOAD) in 2006 and is also a core member of Western Region Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition. She lives in Rochester, NY.
Board Member at Large
Rev. Joseph Auslander
Rev. Joseph H. Auslander was appointed a Board Member at Large of New York VOAD in July 2017. He serves as the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator for the Upper New York Annual conference of the United Methodist Church (UMCOR). Rev. Auslander has served as a pastor for about twenty years, and is currently at Averill Park UMC, east of Albany. Rev. Auslander is trained as a volunteer firefighter and EMT now retired. He lives in West Sand Lake, NY outside of Albany. In his spare time he likes to fish.