Board Members

Darwin Roman – Treasurer

Darwin is a financial services professional that serves the New York Metro area.  Raised in Roselle Park NJ, he is the son of Ecuadorian immigrants and served in the United States Marine Corps.  His  military experience has been the foundation of how he lives his life both professionally and personally.  Always striving to achieve greatness, Darwin believes that “servant leadership” is the most effective method to success.   He currently serves as the President of the Union County Latino-American Chamber of Commerce and as a board member for various organizations.

Blake Width

Blake C. Width, Esq., is a creditors’ rights attorney with the firm of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.  Blake has a broad civil litigation background in insurance defense, community associations, public safety, municipal, construction, and general commercial litigation, having litigated cases at every level of the New Jersey judiciary ranging from municipal court to the New Jersey Supreme Court, as well as before the Supreme Court of the United States.  Not having previously served on a non-profit board, Blake is particularly enjoying learning about the non-profit sector through his work with the Mini Socialites Foundation.

Blake was raised in Tewksbury, NJ, where he currently resides with his wife Nicole, who volunteers social media services for the Mini Socialites Foundation.  In addition to being a member of a variety of professional associations related to his law practice, Blake is a member of the Rotary Club of Westfield, NJ.

John W. Mount

John, former Rutgers University Board of Governors and Board of Trustees Representative, presently serves on the Rutgers New Brunswick University College Alumni Association Board of Trustees and  University College Dean’s Advisory Council. He is the recipient of the 2009 Edward J. Bloustein Award for his humanitarian services. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter recognized him as one of New Jersey’s leading community and civic leaders.  Former President of New Jersey Astronomical Association, President  of Heritage Trail Association, an historic organization with it’s office located in The historic Van Horn House in Bridgewater, NJ and President of The Watchung Nature Club. John served on public and private School Boards,  as Vice President of a Municipal Zoning Board, President of High Bridge, NJ Borough Council and served as Acting Mayor for the Borough. He presently serves as A Deputy Coordinator for (OEM) Office of Emergency Management and serves on the Board of the Westfield Senior Citizens Housing Corporation. John was President of John W. Mount Associates, a multifaceted government and public affairs consulting firm, he served organizations such as The ARC, Easter Seals, and the Cerebral Palsy Society, as well as groups concerned with environmental and ethical issues. He managed a Presidential Election in the country of Guyana.

Stephanie Hayes

Stephanie has worked for non-profits in higher education and advocacy for over 20 years serving various roles within annual fundraising, advancement services, donor relations, campaign operations and planned giving.  She currently hold the position of Executive Director, Campaign and Development Operations for Lafayette College in charge of the advancement services and campaign reporting and strategy functions for Lafayette’s current $400 million Live Connected, Lead Change Campaign.  Stephanie lives in Somerville, New Jersey with her husband Marc Gallagher and their two children.  When Stephanie and Marc are not coaching their children sports teams they have also worked to raise awareness and funds locally for children’s causes.

Susan Gibbons – Committee Member at Large

Susan is a New Jersey native and Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in adolescents and families. Her primary experience as a counselor is with youth suffering from mental health and addictions issues. She has substantial
experience in the mental health and welfare systems and has volunteered onmultiple child-serving non-profit boards. She is author to the children’s book, Love Grows. She enjoys spending her spare time with her husband, Dave Gibbons, and three children.

Valerie Panayoti Raymonds – Secretary

Valerie brings to the Mini Socialites Foundation, Inc. Board more than 18 years of volunteering and fundraising experience.

As a former parent and member of the Parents’ Association at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School of Edison, N.J., Valerie held four positions: Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the organization. She and her family have been lead donors for capital campaigns which benefitted the children of the small private school as well as the community. For the past six years her son has been a student at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, N.J. and she is an active member of the GSB school community.

For many years, Valerie and her husband were involved in a family owned business which manufactured rigid plastic packaging for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. After the sale of their company she joined her husband and is currently an associate of Raymonds Capital LLC which is a family held venture capital company. One of the many investments is a partnership with a film and television production company, Bron Studios and Bron Animation, based in Vancouver, BC.

On the philanthropic side Valerie has a passion for children and has been a Partner in Hope for ALSAC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for over two decades. She has enjoyed fundraising for St. Jude through their Somerset County N.J. Chapter as well.

Over the past 17 years Valerie has attended many Tony Robbins seminars and has completed Mastery University. One of her personal favorite quotes is, “It’s not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute…that gives meaning to our lives.” – Tony Robbins

Valerie currently resides in Warren, N.J. with her husband John and their two sons, Joseph and Matthew.

Patricia McDermott Ouellette

Patricia brings a unique insight into the whole child that is rooted in her 40 year career working with children. Patricia is a retired school counselor and coach who served the children of the Middletown Township Public School District for 35 years. A noted school and community leader, Patricia was recognized as the New Jersey Governor’s “Teacher of the Year” and the “New Jersey State Coach of the Year” to name a few. The New Jersey Department of Education recognized Patricia for exemplary practices in inclusive education for her work in founding the “Friendship Club” and sharing its mission with other schools in New Jersey. In her retirement, Patricia founded and directs a non-profit 501 (c) (3) that bring tennis education to the children of her community. Her child centered approach to teaching and her emphasis on early success has been a major draw for all parents but especially for parents of special needs children who required a patient, nurturing approach to the world of sport and basic athletic development.