Who We Are
Kamelia Kameli

Kamelia Kameli, MA, LNHA
Founder

Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director

Kamelia offers a unique blend of professional and personal experience relative to this venture. Kamelia has been involved in the healthcare industry for more than fifteen years. She has led the business development projects of programs for children with disabilities, specialty nursing home units, medical adult day care, partial hospital programs and foreign nursing placements. She has extensive experience in developing fundraising campaigns, grant writing as well as community and political outreach.

Kamelia holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology, and a master's degree in Counseling. She is also a Certified Assisted Living Administrator and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Additionally, she is a Certified PCT Trainer (Personal Control and Defensive Techniques.) Kamelia also has an adult son with Autism.

"What makes our services a success is our well-trained and dedicated staff and our commitment to quality care. I wouldn't ask for anything less for my own son, Cyrus. After all, every client becomes a family member and a Friend of Cyrus."

Daren Singhani

Daren Singhani, MBA
Founder

Chief Executive Officer

Daren Singhani has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience in finance, human resources and management. Daren is the CEO of International Medical Resources.

Daren attended Columbia University, where he earned an MBA in Finance. He is also a member - CEO circle: American College of Healthcare Executives.


Barbara

Barbara Darlington, RN, BSN, MS, ANP, LNHA

Chief Clinical Officer

Barbara Darlington is a master's prepared registered nurse with over 40 years experience in the nursing field. She is also a licensed nursing home administrator with 25 years experience. She has been the vice president for professional servies for a national nursing home company with responibility for the policies and procedures for all departments as well as the quality assurance program for the company. She has been an adjunct professor in the nursing department at Bookdale Community College. She is also a certified adult nurse practitioner with ten years experience.

Mark Hersh

Mark Hersh

Director of Residential Services

Mark has been working in the social services field for over 15 years developing programs, providing community-based counseling, behavioral and residential supportive services for individuals and families. His concentrations in behavioral and community integration practices have created a solid foundation upon which he built the principals of his person centered focus. Mark remains dedicated to improving the quality of life, while creating enriching community-based opportunities for the individuals with developmental disabilities under his care.

Mark maintains required standards and compliance, provides training and supervision to our team of Direct Support Professionals, Behaviorists and Supervisors, and participates as a member of the agency's Management Team.

Mark holds a Master's of Science degree in Psychology; a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology and is a Certified Elementary Education Teacher. Additionally, he is a Certified PCT Trainer (Personal Control and Defensive Techniques.)

Jeff Schaetzle, M. Ed

Jeff Schaetzle, M. Ed, BCBA

Director of Residential Services

For nearly a decade Jeff has had the opportunity to work at some of the leading providers in the country. To date, he's opened three residential programs, worked in a special education school and pioneered a day program for adults with developmental disabilities at Bancroft; where he managed the program supporting over 70 individuals. Jeff has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities in nearly every setting, while proactively researching strategies to decrease problem behavior and increase independence

Jeff graduated from St. Joseph’s University in 2007 and started his career working at the Princeton Child Development Institute in New Jersey, with a primary focus of applying ABA based interventions for adolescents and adults in workplace and residential settings. In 2012, he worked in classroom settings at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland. He then received a Master’s Degree in School Psychology in 2014 with a focus in behavior analysis.

Jeff comes from a very large and close family where he learned the importance of fostering and developing the foundations of positive relationships that he applies to all aspects of both his personal and professional life. Always aspiring to do more for the people he serves, Jeff has joined the FOC team to apply his diversified knowledge base as one of FOC’s Residential Directors, in hopes of creating and ensuring the highest quality of programs, standards and service delivery for the individuals we serve.

Liz

Liz Haws, MA, Ed. S.

Director of Adult Day Program

Liz Haws is a school psychologist and a certified teacher of the handicapped. Liz thoroughly enjoys working with individuals with developmental disabilities as well as with their families and personnel responsible for providing day services and programming.

Liz's responsibilities include but are not limited to scheduling community-based activities for day program participants, training and supervising staff; monitoring the building, grounds, transportation to ensure compliance; maintaining all participant records; developing relationships with community groups, businesses and agencies for identification of proper educational or recreational activities; maintaining communication with the families, assuring the development and maintenance of the individual plan of care while at the program.

Diana Martin

Diana Martin Ed.M, BCBA

Behaviorist

Diana holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from The University of Scranton and a Master’s of Education in Learning, Cognition, and Development from Rutgers University. She completed her BCBA coursework at Florida Institute of Technology and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2015. She worked at Princeton Child Development Institute as an ABA therapist and in-home supervisor for children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism for five years before joining Friends of Cyrus as a BCBA in 2016. She sits on a Human Rights Committee and is a professional member of ABA international. Her dedication to children and adults with developmental disabilities drives her passion to help individuals develop to their fullest potential. Using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, she works closely with families and staff to foster a positive environment while teaching a variety of social, academic, self-help, and community living skills to improve individuals’ quality of life and independence.

Kassi Metz

Kassi Metz, MS Ed/ SpEd, BCBA

Behaviorist

Kassi is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been providing Applied Behavior Analytic services to children and families diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum since 2007. Kassi attended Florida Institute of Technology where she completed her course work in Applied Behavior Analysis. She received a dual Masters in Education and Special Education from Wager College and a Bachelors in Speech Pathology and Audiology from The Richard Stockton College of NJ. In addition, Kassi holds Teaching Certifications in both New York and New Jersey. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analyst.

Kevin Keenan

Kevin Keenan, M.A., BCBA

Behaviorist

Kevin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas Edison State College and a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. Prior to joining Friends of Cyrus, he was a special educator with a large public school in Monmouth County, NJ, an ABA in-home therapist, and a football coach at various NJ and PA high schools. Kevin has a passion for working with individuals with ASD, learning disabilities, and behavioral challenges alongside their caregivers and teachers.

Kevin lives with his wife and two sons, ages 4 and 2, in Ocean County, NJ.

Dr. Erika Updegrove

Dr. Erika Updegrove, PsyD, MEd, BCBA

Behaviorist

Dr. Erika Updegrove has worked as a Behavior Analyst since 2008, providing services for both children and adults with developmental disabilities and Traumatic Brain Injury. She has held a variety of appointments including Educational Consultant and served as the Director for programs serving adults and children with developmental disabilities.

Dr. Updegrove earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from William James College and has completed training at both Harvard Medical School and University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill Medical School affiliated teaching hospitals. Dr. Updegrove earned her Master’s in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received supervisory training in Applied Behavior Analysis from the late Dr. Stephen C. Luce.

Dr. Updegrove is committed to ensuring that each individual she works with reaches their full potential.

Avanti Ghodiwala

Avanti Ghodiwala, BA

Adult Inhome Supervisor- Northern Region

Avanti holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from William Paterson University. Early into motherhood, Avanti realized the importance of individualized treatment and support when her two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Idiopathic Juvenile Arthritis.

Avanti is an avid advocate of integrating individuals with disabilities into their respective communities in order to improve their quality of their life and their self-esteem. She works closely with adult individuals who receive services at home, and provides direct supervision of assigned staff and program services.

She communicates with participants and their families, collaborates with all departments involved with in-home service operations, participates in program evaluation procedures and quality management activities.

Angela Carter

Angela Carter, BA

Adult Inhome Supervisor- Southern Region

Angela started her career working with underprivileged youth in Jersey City, NJ providing them with mentoring and inhome supports. She then was introduced to working with adolescents with mental health and behavioral challenges in a residential settings as a case manager. She learned early on that case management is never about meeting the needs of one client, but it's the entire family that needs support.

Angela served 8 years at St. Mary's Hospital residential program, working with individuals on implementing behavior modification programs where she focused on identifying their strengths and abilities rather than their limitations.

Her enthusiasm for improving the quality of like of individuals with developmental disabilities is what makes her an important part of the FOC team.

Malay Shah

Malay Shah

Finance Manager

Malay received a degree in Accounting and Finance from Richard Stockton College. He has extensive experience in accounting, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Malay shah is a highly motivated and results driven finance manager who is also responsible for preparing annual budgets, monitoring key accounts and credit control.

Pritya Singh

Pritya Singh

Human Resource Coordinator

Pritya is the administrative assistant in our human resources department. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently working towards her graduate degree.

Pritya has over five years experience working in human services field. In her previous jobs, she worked as a supervisor, a tutor and a peer counselor which helped her gain many HR related skills including organization, effective communication and multi-tasking. She is also a Certified Emergency Medical Technician. Additionally, Pritya volunteers at the rescue squad. Currently, she is attending school part-time and working towards her graduate degree.