GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center
GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center
GlassRoots - Newark Glass Arts Center
Board Members

Board Members

The GlassRoots Board of Trustees has overseen the development of GlassRoots from its founding days when classes were held in a single room of the Boys and Girls Club, to its present location in the heart of Newark’s arts & culture district.  Working effectively, this board continually upholds its obligation to provide responsible oversight as well as strategic leadership.

An active, engaged group, the board works hand-in-hand with staff to attract a growing group of supportive funders from government & corporate sources, foundations & private individuals. The board also works to develop creative means for engagement to fulfill our mission.  If you are interested in serving on GlassRoots board or a board committee, please contact us.

LaToya A. Battle-Brown

LaToya A. Battle-Brown is the Assistant Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions at Rutgers University – Newark, where she oversees all on- and off-campus recruitment programs, student marketing and communications and admissions operations. She is a skilled senior leader with executive experience who is a high-performing, strategic-thinking professional with more than twenty years of experience in higher education. She’s highly skilled at relationship-building with community and across organizations and teams. LaToya is a proven leader with documented success in progressively dynamic and challenging positions, with working knowledge of the principles and techniques of effective supervision and training. She is highly reliable with strong commitment to student success and student-centered institutional interventions and support tied to academic, co-curricular and interpersonal learning outcomes. She is proactive with excellent interpersonal and communication skills and experienced in working with different personalities across cross-functional levels. LaToya is a proud double alumna of Rutgers University. She joined Rutgers in 1992 as an undergraduate student at Douglass College. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked for The Wight Foundation, Inc., Westtown School, and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity before accepting a position at Rutgers University-Newark.

Sherri-Ann P. Butterfield

Sherri-Ann P. Butterfield is Executive Vice Chancellor and Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University–Newark. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Yale University & Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Her scholarly interests are immigration, race & ethnic relations, sex & gender, identity development & culture, & urban education within the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Butterfield’s research specifically explores how race, ethnicity, class, & gender impact Afro-Caribbean immigrants & their children within the metropolitan contexts of New York/New Jersey & London. Her work has appeared in numerous journals & edited volumes that include the International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy & the Research in Urban Sociology Series. She has served in numerous academic & administrative capacities, including Visiting Academic Fellow in Nuffield College at Oxford University, Faculty Fellow in the Office of the Chancellor, American Council on Education Fellow at New York University, & former Chair of the Sociology & Anthropology Department.

Andrew Coombs

Andrew Coombs, a Certified Public Accountant, began his career in public accounting at a Big Four accounting firm with a focus on corporations & partnerships tax. After sharpening his skills in tax, Andrew decided to broaden his knowledge base by switching to preparation and audits. His experiences in the corporate world, along with the CPA credential, have given Andrew the confidence to fulfill his lifelong dream of building his own firm in Newark.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Loyola University of Chicago and his Master’s degree in Taxation from Bentley University. Andrew is currently pursuing his MBA at Columbia Business School. He is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), & the Urban League of Essex County. Andrew also sits on the Board of BAMS (Boston Arts and Music Soul) FEST as treasurer (

Michael Handler

Michael Handler has been a successful Senior Project Manager in the construction industry for the past 25 years.  Currently working for L & M Development in Newark on such important projects as the renovation of the iconic Hahne’s Building, Michael was project manager for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children & Alice Tully Hall & the Julliard School at Lincoln Center when he worked for Turner Construction. He was also project manager for the renovation of the Winter Garden & The World Financial Center after 9-11. Michael lives in Westchester County where he is actively involved with area non-profits as Board member of the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle & former Board Member of the New Rochelle Huguenot Children’s Library. He is an avid tennis player & horseback rider.

Karen Howell

Karen Howell (currently on leave) is a staff attorney in the Essex County Office of the Public Defender.  She began her career as a legal intern assisting with capital litigation appeals.  She became a full-time staff attorney in the Essex Adult Trial region in 2003.  After a brief stint as a Law Guardian, she moved to London, UK with her family in 2010 where she volunteered in various London Crown Courts as a Court Services Liaison for the Prisoners’ Family & Friends Service. Upon repatriation, Karen rejoined the Public Defenders’ Office & has held various positions throughout the agency.  For the past five years she has been the lead Drug Court attorney for Essex County Drug Court, a program which seeks alternatives to incarceration for substance-abusing & co-occurring adults. Karen has attended numerous GlassRoots events over the past four years & has been deeply impressed with GlassRoots work within the Newark community. Karen holds a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo & graduated from Rutgers Newark School of Law in 2001.  She lives in Maplewood with her husband, two middle-school aged children & their anxiety-ridden dog.

Mary C. Jaffa


Mary C. Jaffa, Treasurer  holds the position of Vice President of Finance at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). She is responsible for the overall administration of the Finance Department which includes financial reporting, analysis/forecasting, general management of payroll and administration. She collaborates with senior executives to develop and manage NJPAC’s annual operating budget. Prior to joining NJPAC in 2000, she was Director of Budget and Financial Reporting at the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national headquarters in New York City. While there, she was selected to travel to Israel on a mission with other professionals and was awarded ADL’s professional leadership award. Early in her career, she held a finance position at the Brooklyn Museum. Mary graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Finance. Early in her children’s school years, she held various volunteer-driven fundraising efforts. Mary and her husband, Brian, live in Randolph, NJ, with two sons attending college.

Galen Johnson

Currently the Director of External Affairs for the New Jersey Children’s Foundation, Galen Johnson’s professional experience has always centered around promoting the success of children. Galen has worked in foster care, coached high school and college cross country & track & field, & taught middle & high school physical education in the East Orange School District. Most recently, Galen was the Director of Youth Leadership Development at The North Ward Center, where he led numerous programs & activities for youth including a Little League Baseball program, & largest youth basketball league in Newark. A graduate of The College of New Jersey & St. Mary’s College of California, Galen resides in Maplewood with his partner Mikaela & their two children.

Dena Lowenbach

Lifetime Trustee

Dena Lowenbach, Lifetime Trustee, began her relationship with Newark in 1964, when she worked as the Librarian for the N.J. Commission for the Blind.  Changing course, she spent 12 years as a residential realtor in suburban Essex County, where she was a member of the Million Dollar Club.  But Newark called her back! In 1991, she was the first volunteer of “NJPAC project”, where she headed up the volunteer department as director for six years.  Since 1996, Dena has been a trustee of the Women’s Association, chairing such events as the Annual Luncheon, Valentine Dinner, Volunteer Dinner, plus chairing the Cultural Legacy Committee. In fact, the  annual volunteer of the year award is named in her honor. In 2001, Dena co-founded GlassRoots, & has since served as our President, Secretary, member of the Executive Board, & Chair of the Development & Governance Committees.

Filomena G. Machleder


Filomena G. Machleder, Secretary, is the Senior Program Officer at The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the charitable giving arm of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Prior to The Horizon Foundation, Filomena was the Director of Institutional Partnerships at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in New York. She holds Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees in English Literature & Journalism from Rutgers University.

Diane Moss

Diane Moss is counsel at Lowenstein Sandler and focuses on commercial transactions and Artificial Intelligence policies and regulations. She has significant experience in representing clients across various industries, including technology, digital advertising, media, entertainment, and health care. Diane counsels on complex legal and contractual matters and regularly drafts, negotiates, and advises on technology licensing agreements, terms of use, master service agreements, developer agreements, enterprise and e-commerce agreements. She brings more than a decade of deal management experience to her practice and applies her broad perspective to meet client’s needs.

Ken Press

Vice President

Ken Press is a Strategic Chief Product and Marketing Executive who is passionate about transformative, customer-focused experiences that deliver profitable business results and delight customers. He currently advises fintech start-ups and consults with established financial services companies on wealth management and insurance business strategy. Ken was Chief Product Owner for the customer journey for Prudential’s individual life annuities businesses. In that role, Ken led teams who built intuitive, simple customer experiences that differentiated Prudential in the marketplace and increased sustainable profitability, turning their customers into lifelong advocates of Prudential. Ken joined Prudential from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he held positions within Sales Management, Retirement Marketing and Local Marketing and was a key member of the team that launched Merrill Edge. Prior to that, Ken was Vice President of Wealth Management Marketing for UBS and preceded that experience by serving as Vice President of Retirement Marketing Strategy for Merrill Lynch. Ken’s areas of expertise include retirement, financial planning, wealth management and digital campaigns. A proud graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Ken holds his FINRA Series 7, 63 and 66 licenses and is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor. Ken was recently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Financial Clinic, a national nonprofit whose mission is to help build financial security for the working poor.

William Simpson

William Simpson is a Senior Strategist at Equal Justice USA. Prior to joining EJ-USA, Will worked with My Brother’s Keeper Newark Initiative, where he served as Director of Collaborative Action. William attended Morehouse College where he majored in Political Science. He is a Leadership Newark Fellow, Victoria Emerging Leader, & was selected as a Congressional Black Caucus Emerging Leader. William has also consulted for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Political Boot Camp helping participants from around the country learn the dynamics of running & winning a political campaign. Born & raised in the City of Newark, William has a passion for creating & supporting the development of public policy & programs which focus on advancing life outcomes for minority & underserved populations. Will currently resides in Newark.

Roger C. Tucker III


Roger C. Tucker III, President, is the director of Tucker Contemporary Art. TCA is a fine arts advisory firm that positions exceptional emerging & underrepresented artists in the national and global contemporary art world. TCA works with collectors & institutions interested in acquiring & exhibiting emerging African American & other underrepresented artists—academically trained or outside the mainstream. A recognized influencer in social media with extensive experience in art, business & education, Tucker advocates for a more inclusive art community that embraces the unique perspectives of diverse artists. Tucker received his BFA from Cooper Union, MS from Pratt Institute and Professional Certificate in Art Business from New York University.​