Executive Management Group

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Gwen O'Shea

President & CEO

Gwen O’Shea is the President and CEO of CDCLI.  She joined the organization in March 2017 after serving on its Board of Directors since 2013.  She oversees the organization’s annual budget of $85 million, assets of $30 million, and a workforce of more than 85 employees. She is instrumental to its growth and expansion, and advocates for policies and programs that advance the corporation’s mission and vision.

Prior to her appointment at CDCLI, Ms. O’Shea served as the President/CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI). She was appointed CEO in 2007, was the fifth executive in the organization’s history, and its first female executive.  In her role, Ms. O’Shea was responsible for the organization’s four focus areas: regional planning, access to health care, nutritional security, and economic stability. This  included the development of collaborative planning among hundreds of health and human service providers and spearheading the organization’s research and advocacy on public policy and legislative issues as they pertain to Long Island’s at-risk populations.

This collaborative planning was most critical under the economic stability component.  HWCLI facilitates the Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) which has actively prepared, planned for, and responded to disasters since 9/11.  Through the LIVOAD, HWCLI established the Long Island Long Term Recovery Group, a collaboration of over 150 non-profit voluntary agencies committed to helping those most vulnerable as they navigate the complex and daunting recovery process. Collectively, over $10 million in private funds were raised to assist those most vulnerable with their recovery.

Ms. O’Shea has served as an adjunct professor at LIU Post in the Health Care and Public Administration and Social Work graduate departments.  She is an Advisory Board Member of the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College and a Board Member of the Long Island Federally Qualified Health Clinics.

Ms. O’Shea is a graduate of the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College, as well as a graduate of the Columbia Institute for Nonprofit Management programs.  She received her MS from The New School’s Robert J. Milano Graduate School for Nonprofit Management and Urban Policy, and a BS in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Jill Rosen-Nikoloff, Esq.

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Rosen-Nikoloff joined CDCLI as Chief Operating Officer in 2015, and has more than 30 years experience in both law and government.

Prior to joining CDCLI, Ms. Rosen-Nikoloff was the Director of Real Estate for Suffolk County, and was responsible for the Divisions of Real Property Acquisition and Management, Affordable Housing, and Community Development. She also had a significant role in the County’s disaster response to Superstorm Sandy, organizing the emergency housing plan and assisting residents with shelter needs. During her tenure with the County, Ms. Rosen-Nikoloff was an accomplished developer of affordable housing, working closely with both public and private sources in connection with the funding, creation, and monitoring of approximately 2,000 affordable units in an effort to revitalize Suffolk County with mixed use developments. In addition, she assisted in formulating and implementing a new Suffolk County law, Housing Our Homeless Heroes, which calls for Suffolk County to partner with non-profit agencies to rehabilitate designated tax defaulted properties for our veterans.

Previous to her position with Suffolk County, Ms. Rosen-Nikoloff had a successful 15-year career in the private sector as a partner in two of Long Island’s premier law firms, where she engaged in a broad based corporate/commercial practice with emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, lending and finance, and real estate transactions. She has served as a Board Member of the Suffolk County Land Bank, and was recently awarded the Key of Excellence Award by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless for her efforts in creating affordable and stable housing, advocating for housing for veterans, and her commitment to improving the lives of those in need. Ms. Rosen-Nikoloff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies from Adelphi University and a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

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Alan C. Heitner, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Heitner joined CDCLI in 2014 with 20 years of experience in leading, advising, and auditing the financial operations of diverse organizations. After 7 years of public accounting experience at a Big 4 firm, he has devoted most of his career to leading mission-based not-for-profit organizations that serve Long Island communities. Mr. Heitner holds a BA in Economics from SUNY Albany and an MBA from Hofstra University.

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Paul Fink

Vice President Marketing & Development

Mr. Fink joined CDCLI in 2014, and is responsible for marketing and development. With over 35 years of experience in the housing and community development industry, he has coordinated the development of more than 600 units of affordable housing and 90 units of special needs housing. Mr. Fink worked with investment bankers in the issuance of $55 million in tax exempt bonds for public and non-profit projects involving housing production and educational institutions. He previously served as president of Islip’s Housing Development Fund Company, president of the Long Island Community Development Organization, Vice President of the New York State Association of Renewal and Housing Officials, and was a board member of the National Community Development Association. Mr. Fink has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Michigan.