Who We Are


Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.


Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.


Russell Triolo Clubhouse - Union Club

1050 Jeanette Avenue, Union, NJ 07083

Phone: 908-687-2697

Elizabeth Club

513-515 Richmond Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

Phone: (908) 351-3344

Corporate Office

1050 Jeanette Avenue, Union, NJ 07083

Phone: 908-687-7976

Plainfield Clubs

145 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Phone: (908) 822-8672


Caring, well-trained staff, are the foundation for all we do in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. There is a strong bond of love, trust and friendship that has been forged between the kids and the staff who guide them.


Russell Triolo

Chief Executive Officer

Russell Triolo has 52 years executive level experience in the Boys & Girls Clubs Movement and is recognized throughout Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) movement as a visionary leader. Russ has been our Chief Executive Officer for the last 43 years. He was member of the National BGCA President’s Advisory Committee and was a prestigious member of the BGCA “GREAT FUTURES” National Commission that developed the worldwide direction of BGCA and it’s 4000+ local Clubs through 2025. In 2021 the Board of Directors re-named the Union Club the “Russell Triolo Clubhouse”.


Sal Dovi

Chief Operating Officer

Sal Dovi has worked in the non profit sector for over 45 years at the executive level. He has served as Chief Operating Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County (BGCUC) since 1992.

Carlos Calisto


Carlos Calisto’s non-profit career spans over 25 years, the last 20 with Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. Carlos started his Boys & Girls Club Career in 1996.


Peggy Woodward

Corporate Administrative Assistant

Peggy has been with the agency for 35 years. Her responsibilities include but not limited to: human resource administration, personal records administration, payroll, and financial systems management.
Joe DeMaio

Joseph DeMaio

Associate Club Director - Union Club

Joseph DeMaio began his career at Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County in 1990 when he became a camp counselor for our Camp Mohawk/Little Bear Day Camp Program. He now is the Associate Club Director at our Union Club and is responsible for overseeing the Union Club’s programs where he leads the assessment, planning, implementation, reporting and evaluation of programs not only for the Union Club, but for all our Clubs, which offer programs that will result in a successful major recruitment and retention
strategy. Joe guides the inclusion of the youth development strategy in all program activities and includes this strategy within all trainings for our staff.  He also assists within the Fund Development Department where he is responsible for the reporting on Federal Grants as well as directing staff within other departments within the organization.

Yefim Shoykhet

Aquatics Director

Yefim Shoykhet has been involved with swimming for more than 40 years now and has successfully worked with a variety of age groups, developing swimmers from novice to Olympics. Yefim has coached over 15 National Junior & Senior qualifiers from the former USSR. Working for more than 30 years at Boys & Girls Club of Union County, overseeing the aquatic program swim lesson, stroke development camp, fitness swim for youth. Many of them compete in different level include NJ STATE record holder Youth Olympic games, Youth World championship. Many swimmers participate an graduate top university Ivy league university to achieve high level of life career through participation of aquatic program for many years.
Lucero Cano 1

Lucero Cano

Assistant Aquatics Director

Lucero Cano has been a staff member at our Union Club for 23 years. Lucero has been an asset to our Aquatic programs and has been instrumental in the implementation of our swim lessons providing excellent instruction to our youth members and families in our community.
Gemma Samper

Gemma Samper

Union Community Center Director

Gemma Samper has been a Director of our Bingo operations for over 20 years.

Lita Thomas

Elizabeth Club Director

Lita is responsible for administration of the Elizabeth Club. Before she became our Elizabeth Club Director, Lita was employed as the Director of the AmeriCorp program for the International Youth Organization.
Candace Barnes-2

Candace Barnes

Elizabeth Club Education & Teen Services

Candace Barnes has been a part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County since 1998. Through the years, she has been an AmeriCorps volunteer and Youth Advisor for the Elizabeth Club. She is the Teen Services Director for the Elizabeth Club.

Lakeish Oates

Elizabeth Club
Youth Development Staff

For many years, Lakeish Oates has been a major component of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County. Lakeish has worked in the Elizabeth Club for a number of years as the Club’s key person for community outreach and advisor of the Dynasty KeystoneLeadership Club. Working at the Club is Lakeish’s passion, not her profession. The organization aligns with her strong belief that it takes a village to raise a child, Lakeish has contributed to the development and upbringing of numerous young people in and around Union County.
Plainfield Club Director

Craig Davila

Plainfield Club Director

James Hand

James Hand

Plainfield Youth Development Coordinator

Mr. James Hand joined The Boys & Girls Club of Union County-Plainfield Club as the Youth Development Coordinator in 2023.

He assumes a strategic role in the overall development of educational programing and related activities, including character and leadership success.

He is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, Basketball and Life Coach, with over 20 years of working with underprivileged youth and adolescents. He believes in cultivating positive social relationships with the inclusion of health and wellness while promoting a holistic approach to childhood education; prioritizing the importance of play-based learning, building self-esteem and resilience, and assisting in the development of social and emotional intelligence. All within a safe space and enriching environment that cultivates growth.

His favorite quote is that from Maya Angelou’s “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”


Patricia De Castro

Union Office Manager

Patricia’s journey with the Boys & Girls Club of Union County began in 2011, marking the start of a deeply meaningful chapter in her life. Starting out at the Union Club’s front desk as a receptionist, she is now our Office Manager, she embraced her role with passion and dedication, pouring her heart into every interaction with club members and families who walked through the doors. At the front desk, Patricia is a beacon of warmth and support, working to ensure that every member feels valued and welcomed. Her focus on membership retention reflects her genuine care for the community she serves, forging bonds that transcended mere transactions.

Patricia’s impact extends far beyond the front desk. She works closely with all
departments, collaborating seamlessly to ensure the smooth operation of the club and the delivery of exceptional programs and services. Her ability to connect with colleagues across departments has made her an asset, fostering a sense of unity and teamwork that permeates every corner of the organization.

In addition to her work at the Union Club, Patricia also plays a vital role in the Boys & Girls Club community, lending her expertise and support to our other two clubs. Whether she’s sharing best practices, providing guidance, or simply lending a listening ear, Patricia’s presence is felt far and wide, enriching the lives of staff and members.


Samad Gordon

Union Club Director of Programs


Kimberly Casey-Bailey

Union Club Youth Development Coordinator

Kimberly Casey-Bailey has vast experience in special education and working with youth. She holds an associates degree from Middlesex College and a bachelor’s degree from Kean University in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. Kimberly’s career at the Boys & Girls Club of Union County began as an after-school program counselor. Recently, she was the lead case manager for prevention programs and now serves as a Youth Development Coordinator. She is also a published author of a children’s book.

Board of Directors

The guidance and commitment of our Board of Directors is truly the lifeblood of our organization. Comprised of local business and civic leaders, these volunteers lend their substantial expertise, commitment and support in leading Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County.

Brian Phillips

Brian Phillips

Board Chair

Citigroup, Inc.
Brenda Williams-Butts

Brenda Williams - Butts

Chair Emeritus

Wendy Cama

Wendy Cama

Vice Chair Financial Services

Crowe LLP
Anthony Osbourne

Anthony Osbourne

Vice Chair Resource Development

Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.

Frank Purdue

Francis J. Purdue

Vice Chair Support Services

True & Associates

Ed Palmieri

Vice Chair Operations

Economic Planning Group
Sharanda Bennett

Sharanda Bennett

Board Member

County of Essex

Christopher Bono

Board Member

Unity Bank

Susan Cannilla

Board Secretary

Cannilla Consulting

Antonio Dei Medici

Board Member

ConnectOne Bank
Karolina Dehnhard

Karolina Dehnhard

Board Member

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.
Demond T. Hargrove

Demond Hargrove

Board Member

Union College

Gene Jannotti

Board Member

Frank Lawrence

Frank Lawrence

Board Member

James R. Guerra,
Architects & Planners

Tenisha Malcolm-Wint

Board Member

Kean University
Marcy Metz

Marcy Metz

Board Member

B.J. & M. Auto
Asisco Auto, Inc.
Scott Myers

Scott Myers

Board Member

Claudia Schiavone

Claudia Schiavone

Board Member

Northfield Bank
Stephanie Schwartz, FACHE

Stephanie Schwartz, FACHE

Board Member

President, Overlook Medical Center
Christine Senft

Christine Senft

Board Member

Union County Savings Bank
Joi Stanley

Joi Stanley

Board Member

Progressive Achievers

Erica Stasio

Board Member

Northeastern University

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader"
- John Quincy Adams

Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County appreciates everything our staff and volunteers have done, are doing, and will do to ensure that we continue to make a difference around our community and in the lives of young people.