Passionate about what we do,
we think like the businesses we serve
To stay ahead of the game, you need a workforce development company infused with hands-on know-how, staffed with individuals who are plugged in to what is happening now and who have their pulse on tomorrow.
Grant Associates’ team of accomplished professionals bring a diverse set of skills and experience, and thought leadership to the table, backed by the best talent in the industry.
Dale Grant founded Grant Associates with Diane Edelson and Paula Bailey in1997. Ms. Grant has been advising businesses on workforce strategies for more than 25 years and has implemented more than 100 public/private partnerships. Previously, Ms. Grant was Vice Chair of The Segal Company, the nation's ninth largest human resources consulting firm. A graduate of New York University, Ms. Grant is a leading authority on business-driven workforce development strategies.
Doug Cotter has been a thought leader in the field of workforce development for nearly two decades. Previously, he was President of 4Evolution Staffing, a boutique employment agency. He has been responsible for leading Grant Associates’ program design and launch of new contracts, and has had oversight of national WIA operations, providing leadership and accountability for programs in multiple states. Mr. Cotter is a nationally recognized expert in sector work, and has presented on the issues that affect workforce development for many organizations, including the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), and the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP).
Executive Vice President
Diane Edelson has more than 20 years of experience in recruiting, job placement and personnel services. She is responsible for managing the company's business relationships and business services in all Grant Associates offices. Ms. Edelson also manages all of the company's administrative and operational activities. Prior to Grant Associates, Ms. Edelson held leadership positions at America Works, Forum Personnel and the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Queens College and a master’s in education from New York University.
Executive Vice President
Paula Bailey is responsible for managing the company's numerous workforce programs, including the Queens Workforce1 Career Center, one of the busiest One-Stop Centers in the country, the Industrial and Transportation Career Center in Queens, the Workforce Tulsa One-Stop system in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Employment Works, a program for the justice involved located in Brooklyn. Previously, Ms. Bailey served as the Director of Employment at the Partnership for New York City and as a Senior Corporate Representative at America Works New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Ms. Bailey is a member of the board ofthe New York City Education and Training Coalition (NYCETC).
Vice President, Corporate Training
Chris Bernhardt joined Grant Associates in 2008 in the NYC Workforce1 Transportation Career Center. As the program's Trainer and later Career Advisor Manager, Mr. Bernhardt was responsible for introducing many innovative sector services that have become models for other centers. In 2011, Mr. Bernhardt moved to Madison Strategies Group, the non-profit started by Grant Associates leadership to manage its newly awarded transportation sector center in Tulsa. After two years in Tulsa, he rejoined Grant Associates in 2013 to direct training and development initiatives for both staff and job-seeking customers.
Vice President, Special Populations
Patricia Brooks, Vice President, Special Populations, oversees and coordinates all of Grant Associates’ services for individuals with criminal justice issues, who are on public assistance, and who are included in other traditionally hard-to-serve special populations. She manages Employment Works, a program aimed at reducing recidivism by connecting individuals on probation with employment, training, mentorship, and other supports. In addition, she oversees the Grant Associates-operated Jobs-Plus placement assistance program in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Previously, Ms. Brooks was Director of Student Services for Career Blazers Learning Center, assisting resident substance abuse program participants. After Career Blazers, she was Director of Incube, Inc., a city mental health program that helps individuals with mental disabilities become entrepreneurs. In 2014, she joined New York City’s Legal Action Advisory Group as an advocate for those with domestic violence and criminal justice issues. Ms. Brooks has earned numerous awards for her outstanding service, commitment and dedication from such organizations as the College of New Rochelle, Esther House Prison Ministry, Sledge Group Mentorship, Career Blazers Learning Center and Incube, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the School of New Resources at the College of New Rochelle.
Rick J. Filippelli
Chief Financial Officer
Rick J. Filippelli, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), has more than 14 years of C-Level experience. Prior to joining Grant Associates, Mr. Filippelli was CFO of HCMC Legal, Inc., a temporary provider of legal staffing services, and CFO of Loving Care Agency, Inc. (Loving Care), a home healthcare provider. Prior to his tenure at Loving Care, Mr. Filippelli served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TeamStaff, Inc., a publicly traded outsourcing services and staffing company. During that time, he was a member of TeamStaff’s board of directors, and for a period served as the company’s CFO. Earlier positions included two years as CFO of Rediff, Inc., a publicly traded global information services company, and six years as a public accountant, including three years with Big Four firm Ernst & Young. Mr. Filippelli holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brooklyn College and is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Vice President, Corporate Quality
Diana Todhunter brings diverse knowledge and experience to workforce development. In her early career with Grant Associates, Ms. Todhunter was responsible for opening the company’s Atlanta office and she continues to take a role in all of the company's new program launches. Most recently, Ms. Todhunter has been leading Grant Associates' corporate quality assurance efforts to maintain the highest standards and deliver outstanding service in all of its programs. She holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.
Vice President, Workforce1 Career Center, Queens, NY
Pintso Topgay directs and manages all activities at the Grant Associates-operated Queens Workforce1 Career Center in Jamaica, Queens, and its two expansion centers, which together serve more than 30,000 customers per year. Previously, Mr. Topgay managed Grant's Business Solutions Centers in Jamaica and the Bronx. He holds a master's degree in public administration from the Baruch Graduate School of Public Affairs. During his studies, he was chosen as the first Kauffman Fellow at the top-performing New York State North Brooklyn Empire Zone, administered by the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation (EWVIDCO).
Director, Back to Work, New York
Richard Acosta is Director of the Back to Work program at Grant Associates' 1250 Broadway location in New York City. Mr. Acosta was formerly Director for the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation's three One-Stop centers and two satellite centers. He joined Grant Associates in 2009 as a trainer for the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Center and was on the New York team that relocated to Detroit in 2012 to launch operations. Mr. Acosta was promoted to Strategic Operations Manager and was instrumental in developing the DESC's service delivery model, standardizing services and customizing Salesforce to enhance communication and improve business metrics management.
Director, External Partnerships
As Grant Associates’ Director of External Partnerships, Jessica Cracchiolo develops relationships with employer partners, collaborates with industry associations, and manages the highly applauded Scholars at Work program for the NYC Department of Education and Small Business Services. Ms. Cracchiolo transitioned into the role in June 2015 after successfully leading the Industrial and Transportation Career Center as its Director. Because of her deep involvement in the transportation industry, in 2012 she was asked to join the Board of the Society of Fleet Supervisors. Ms. Cracchiolo holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and has more than eight years of experience in recruitment and business development, starting her career as a recruiter with NYU Medical Center.
Director, Corporate IT
Rakesh Dhingra is responsible for all IT-related functions, including the daily operations of infrastructure, telecommunications and applications. In his role, Mr. Dhingra is also responsible for implementing innovative technology to suit the needs of the organization. He has more than 15 years of global and diverse technology experience, working for mid- and large-size companies. Prior to joining Grant Associates, Mr. Dhingra held the position of Regional IT Director for Berlitz Languages, Inc. He holds an MBA with dean’s list honors in technology management from Stevens Institute of technology. Mr. Dhingra holds numerous IT and other certifications such as PMP and ITIL.
Director, Strategic Operations
Peter Kondratowicz has been with Grant Associates since early 2006, focusing his efforts primarily on coordinating strategic operations across the company's workforce services programs. In his current position, Mr. Kondratowicz manages the Performance Analytics & Validation Unit (PAVU) and leads the company’s centralized independent policy compliance assurance effort for program performance outcomes. He is also responsible for supporting program management through design, coordination and integration of business processes, reviewing them for strategic performance analysis and continuous improvement purposes. Prior to joining Grant, Mr. Kondratowicz lived and worked abroad, focused on supporting free-market transformation of the Central European emerging economies. He holds a master's degree from the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland.
Director, TANF, Washington, D.C.
Jeremy Lares manages all operations, including business development, work readiness training, job placement and retention of customers referred by the DC Department of Human Services. Prior, Mr. Lares had been the Case Manager Supervisor and later Career Services Manager, overseeing a team tasked with monitoring eligibility compliance for public benefits. As a Case Manager, Mr. Lares played an instrumental role in developing the Case Management role and promoting contractual goals that aided in the expansion of the DC-TANF contract in 2013. Prior to joining Grant Associates, Mr. Lares worked for a renowned private, non-profit organization and United Way agency that provides comprehensive services to more than 4,000 individuals and 1,800 families in seven locations around South Texas. He holds a bachelor's degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.
Director, Back to Work, New York
Vanessa Preston oversees business development, work readiness training, job placement and retention of Back to Work customers who are receiving public assistance. Ms. Preston joined Grant Associates in 2009 as part of the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Center’s Career Services department. She launched and led Grant’s Washington, D.C. operations from 2012 to 2014. Previously, she held training and development positions in a national restaurant chain. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from Queens College.
DIRECTOR, WORKFORCE1 CAREER CENTER, BROOKLYN, NY
Abby Raji is Director of the Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Center and its satellites—the Sandy Recovery Workforce1 Career Center in Coney Island and a Career Center in East New York set to open in Spring 2016. Previously, Ms. Raji was Program Director for the Grant-operated Jobs-Plus Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Ms. Raji joined Grant Associates in 2013 as a Program Manager and launched the Newark JobsConnect program the company operated in Newark, N.J. Before joining Grant, she held management roles in human resources and recruitment within the education and non-profit sectors. Ms. Raji holds a master’s degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations from the New York Institute of Technology.
Justo A. E. Scott
Director, Brownsville Jobs-Plus, Brooklyn
Justo A. E. Scott is Director of the Grant Associates-operated Jobs-Plus program in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Previously, Mr. Scott was Deputy Director of the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center in Jamaica, Queens, and an Account Manager Trainer on the company’s Corporate Training team. Mr. Scott joined Grant Associates in 2011 as an Account Manager and helped to launch the Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Center’s Brooklyn Central Library and Sunset Park Expansion Centers. For the first 10 years of his career, Mr. Scott held positions in human resources, recruitment and management within the healthcare, legal staffing and telecommunications industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College in Business Administration in Human Resource Management.
Director, TANF, Atlanta
Ernell Thacker manages daily operations and is responsible for program development and reporting in the metropolitan Atlanta area. She has successfully managed Welfare-to-Work programs for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the company in 2004, Ms. Thacker held positions at the Fulton County Office of Workforce Development and the City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Spelman College and a master's degree in counseling from Atlanta University.