Self proclaimed Promologist, Noel D'Allacco, founded Operation PROM, a nationally recognized 501 c 3 not for profit organization in 2005, when she worked as an event planner. She began collecting bridesmaid dresses from clients and donated them to students from her high school, Saunders HS, in Yonkers, New York.
Operation PROM was originally established to help low-income students attend their Proms by providing free Prom dresses and tuxedo rentals. It has since expanded to also help students with scholarships and school supplies. The organization primarily assists students who are sick, homeless or live in shelters and do not have family to assist them. To date, Operation PROM has helped thousands of students attend their prom at little or no cost. To request a free prom dress, students must be recommended by their guidance counselor and meet the requirements, such as a severe financial need, and the student should be passing all of their classes.
Noel and her team oversee all national chapters of Operation PROM.
Noel runs the organization while also working as a Business Professor at the College of Westchester in White Plains, New York.×
Katherine Hiraldo has been involved with Dominican Sunday, Inc.; a New York City based nonprofit organization. She coordinated Dominican Sunday’s Prom Dress Giveaway since 2009, and served as Director of Operation PROM’s New York City chapter from 2011-2014. She is currently serving as Director to the San Diego chapter of Operation PROM.
Katherine is an online business owner, and business mentor.×
As a member of the Zion Gospel Church since she was 9 years old, Candace always looked for ways to inspire the youth. Working as a real estate accountant, model, wife and mother she still finds time to assist the college bound seniors in the journey to higher learning.
Inspired by her late sister Shonda, who helped a family friend prepare for her Prom, Candace decided to volunteer at a 2010 Prom dress drive and began the Queens chapter of Operation PROM in 2011.
Jessica Heller is currently a high school senior at the Horace Mann School. Jessica joined Operation Prom in 2010 after having worked on a similar project that also helped to provide low-income students with Prom dresses.
Since joining Operation Prom, Jessica has been able to start an Operation Prom club at Horace Mann, where other high school students are able to volunteer their time and donate dresses. Jessica has also organized New York City prom dress giveaways for the last few seasons.
Jessica is active participant in her synagogue and also a member of UJA’s Executive Teen Council. She is a member of her school’s cross country and gymnastics teams and enjoys performing in school musicals. Jessica is always looking for ways to give back to the community.×
Owner of "Prom by Penelope", a Prom dress and tuxedo boutique, a division of "Petit Penelope", Nicole Capoccitti joined Operation PROM in 2011 to serve students of the Mid-Hudson Valley, including Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster Counties.
Nicole's eighteen year career includes years with bridal and entertainment giant, Martha Living Omnimedia, and wedding experts, The Knot.com. Nicole holds a business degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University.×
Born in Trinidad, West Indies, Keren affectionately calls New Orleans home. She and her family evacuated to Atlanta following Hurricane Katrina. Keren is the owner of Fashion Envy LLC, a dress rental service and personal styling company in Atlanta. It was founded because of her love for fashion and her desire to help women feel confident about their image. Keren is thrilled to be the Director of Operation PROM Atlanta.×
Jarrell was born and raised in Baconton, Georgia. For Jarrell, starting an Operation PROM chapter was in memory of her father, John Morman & Grandmother Josie Lewis. Jarrell learned from her father how to stretch a penny and to always help others in need. She also learned from her grandmother at an early age to help the community and to always help others. So, it was instilled in Jarrell to always help others and give back to the community. She is the proud Director of Operation PROM of Southwest Georgia.
Susie founded gr8 events, an event planning service for both private and corporate events. Whether it’s a wedding, milestone event or fundraiser, gr8 events mission is to create special memories for each event. In addition, she has 15 years of commercial advertising experience & has volunteered for a variety of philanthropic & charitable organizations. Susie is currently in the process of setting up Greater Than We, a non-profit that will empower other non-profits and individuals to raise funds for their respective causes.
She holds a degree in Architecture & Economics from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and resides in Westchester, NY with her husband, two children & two labrador retrievers.×
Career counseling professional and adjunct instructor working in higher education at The College of Westchester assisting students in all aspects of professional development from strategic placements at internship sites to the etiquette of a job search process. She empowers students to attain exceptional careers that fit their educational/professional goals. Lisa actively networks throughout the tristate area as a young professional ambassador in several area business councils to leverage partnerships with companies and organizations to support career placement and businesses recruitment needs.
The heart of Lisa's work is her role as a mentor. Throughout the last 6 years she has volunteered with the Bereavement Center of Westchester facilitating grief support groups for teenagers who have experienced traumatic and sudden losses. The Treehouse program has been a safe place for group members and of tremendous personal fulfillment for Lisa. The emotional support she provides recently led to her role as a keynote speaker at Maria Regina's 2012 commencement, addressing today's young women entering the workforce and continuing on to college experiences.
Also a writer,contributor and blogger of inspirational and motivational pieces through "the little things" (Click Here) Lisa is working with small businesses and individuals to convey their stories in only a way she knows how. Thrilled and honored to join the Operation Prom team, Lisa looks forward to continued success for the organization and the ability to assist with future endeavors and expanded outreach.×
She is an experienced Professional Print Beauty Make-up Artist, Licensed Esthetician, and Owner of Gamine Productions, LLC and Gamine Beauty Bar. She has worked runway to retail; T.V. to print and all mediums in between. She has freelanced for designers, international skin care and make-up companies, and retailers throughout the U.S.
She gives back by writing and teaching courses in make-up and esthetics for both future and seasoned professionals. She currently is an instructor at COSMIX School of Makeup Artistry and an Adjunct at Palm Beach State College.
Since 2010, Maria has been a Contributing Writer for Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa Magazine-American Edition; an international trade magazine for spa and beauty professionals.×
Meryl Lefkowitz is an established professional in the world of corporate events and public relations. She has spent the last seven years with major retail corporations and has acquired a vast body of knowledge that has allowed her to become the communications expert she is today. Meryl has recently established her own company, MBoutique Group, specializes in events, public relations, marketing and branding. Meryl also makes sure to take time to give back to the Westchester community that she was born and raised in, by participating and supporting several amazing local organizations. Meryl lives with her husband and their beautiful daughter in Chappaqua, New York.×
Lisa joined State Farm Insurance in 1995, as an independent contractor agent. Her agency is located in Eastchester and now consists of over two thousand policyholders and employees five team members. She has been named as a Life Quality Leader and Bronze Tablet agent many times.
Besides being an active agent, Lisa owns and operates commercial real estate, and is active in her community.
Lisa serves as a Board Member for Operation Prom and runs an annual charity event for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Lisa and her husband John, have four children: Kayla, Adriana, Juliana and Joseph.×
Lauren J Pistone was a constant volunteer since the age of 12 starting with the Special Olympics as she grew older that passion never died as she continued to volunteer for programs like Autism Speaks, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Carmel Parks & Recreations, local charities and many other organizations. Her reputation for fundraising pulled her into the political world and she was asked to fundraise for a few elected officials. In one year she fundraised over a million dollars for one candidate this organization and extreme ability to fundraise promoted her to Campaign Manager and Finance Director.
After years of taking on the world of fundraising and politics she decided to start her own company. This has led her to guest spots on Fox News, a board member to the Patty Cass Foundation, Drug Crisis in Our Backyard and now Operation Prom. Lauren couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of something that truly is making a difference every single day.×
Meaghan Chambers, 21, is a senior at Saint Joseph's College in Long Island, NY. She found this organization by doing some Google searches on where she could donate her formal dresses from previous occasions.
When she realized there was not yet a Long Island chapter of Operation PROM, she decided to start her own to serve both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Meaghan is enthusiastic to begin this chapter, and looks forward to the happiness these dresses will bring.×
With 6 years of experience working in the Prom industry at Afterprom.com/The Prom Company and 4 years working with high school students, Shaniqua recognizes all the expenses that go with the prom experience. As a native Brooklynite, Shaniqua has always taken advantage of opportunities to give back to her community and help the local youth which is why she decided to join the Operation PROM team.
In addition to working and volunteering, Shaniqua is a new entrepreneur and full-time graduate student pursuing her master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth and Families. Shaniqua is very active in her local church Crown Heights: Church of God of Prophecy’s children, youth and college and career ministries.×
Kimberly Marie Johnson lives in Denver, Colorado. She was raised in Louisville, KY and has a degree in Criminal Justice and Business Management. She is the mother of three children, one son and two daughters, plus 2 grandkids. Her youngest daughter is a special needs student that just graduated from high school.
Kimberly has worked in the non-profit sector for 15 years. Five years ago she started a wedding/event planning business. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, but believes that her purpose on earth is to help others, "God has blessed me so much and I have to return the blessing", says Kimberly.×
Hailed as a "Brilliant Bra Guru" by BRAVO-TV, a “stylist extraordinaire” and “bra fit guru” by the New York Daily News, Jené Luciani is a nationally acclaimed fashion journalist, style expert, TV personality, spokesperson and bestselling author of The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding The Perfect Bra (BenBella Books, 2009).
She appears regularly on a bevy of national media outlets including NBC’s TODAY SHOW, E! News, The Style Network, Bravo, Oxygen, Better TV, CNN Money, ABC News, Fox News Channel, The Nate Berkus Show, Access Hollywood, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Oz. Jené and her advice have been featured in nearly every major magazine and newspaper, including Glamour, US Weekly, Cosmo, OK!, SHAPE, FIRST for Women, Women’s World and the Chicago Tribune. She currently writes on everything from celebrities to relationships for SHAPE.COM, and lives in New York with her husband and their daughter.×
Dawn is the senior manager, marketing of Queens Center, the Elmhurst, New York based shopping center that welcomes over 27 million visitors a year and is among the nation’s leading malls in sales per square foot. Dawn plans and organizes mall events and positions the center as an environment that will attract people to a pleasurable shopping experience. With 20+ years experience in planning and coordinating multiple award winning programs, Dawn is very involved in driving community relations efforts for her beloved borough of Brooklyn and beyond.×
Mimi Neuhaus is the founder and broker of Neuhaus Realty. She founded Staten Island’s leading real estate agency in 1969. Ms. Neuhaus is a member of the Staten Island Board of Governors and Directors, and has been for many years. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Mimi is a graduate of New Dorp High School, and is dedicated to the community and helping others in need. She hopes to make Prom dreams come true for students in Staten Island.×
Laura Sanchez is a young professional who is no stranger to the spotlight and is known for always putting on a show. As a former professional dancer, she has applied all of the lessons learned in the dance studio to her career and everyday life. Her passion for hard work, determination and contagious energy has landed her many opportunities. Laura started her career as a licensed real estate agent while dancing professionally and attending college. Ever since graduating Pace University in 2009 with a B.A. in Communications, she has worked in government, politics and sports.
Laura was fortunate to attend the prom three times while in High School not only as a date, but also as a MC and host. She is thrilled to be a part of the Operation PROM board and can’t wait to help students look and feel their best.
Mario Mirabella is the founder and creative director of MSM DesignZ, Inc.; an award-winning, full service advertising and design firm. Founded in 1999, MSM DesignZ has two Westchester County, NY locations (Tarrytown and White Plains), and a satellite office based in the UK. MSM DesignZ specializes in design and development, social media branding and management, search engine optimization, mobile applications, ad campaigns and online marketing to name a few. For 14 years, MSM DesignZ has been providing businesses with a comprehensive solution to increase their online presence and overall brand awareness. Through creative designs and consulting, MSM has been effective with making their clients stand above their competitors with professional, fresh designs and increased exposure through social, SEO and mobile campaigns.
Company founder Mario Mirabella was honored in 2011 as a Rising Star by the Business Council of Westchester. He also is a member of their Marketing and Communications Committee. Mario also sits on the Advisory Council for the Digital Media Degree Program for the College of Westchester. In 2012, MSM DesignZ was recognized with 12 Big W Awards from the Advertising Club of Westchester for their Interactive Media category in their annual design competition. Most recently, MSM was awarded four 2013 AVA Digital Awards in their annual international creative competition hosted and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).×
As founder of Honor You, Kendra Porter’s method of bodycentric styling teaches women to embrace their shape no matter their size. Her fashion credits include brands like Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue, Oscar de la Renta and Rebecca Minkoff. She is a member of the Association of Image Consultants International and a Market Manager with Style for Hire, co-founded by Stacy London. She’s been featured by Yahoo!, SHAPE, eHow.com, Black Enterprise, WAG, Marie Claire, All On the Line with Joe Zee, PLUS Model Magazine, PLUS Model Radio, FIRST for Women and the bodyheart campaign.
Kendra currently serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Massachusetts Alumni Association and the Youth Institute of Science & Technology – Ghana. She holds a M.S. in Hospitality & Tourism Management and a B.S. in Promotional Marketing Management both conferred by the University of Massachusetts Amherst; is a graduate of New York University in Public Relations, and the Fashion Institute of Technology in Image Consulting.×
Jared is a partner with his father in the law firm of Rice and Rice Attorneys At Law. In this general law practice, Jared specializes in criminal defense, personal injury, and contract law. For the last year, Jared has served as the lead defense counsel in the Mount Vernon City Court Adolescent Diversion Program (ADP) which allows young people ages 16 and 17 who are charged with certain crimes to obtain a more treatment based Court experience.
In addition to his law practice, Jared is also a member of the New Rochelle City Council where he has served the residents of District 3 since 2011. This position has allowed him to follow his passion of helping people.
Jared holds a B.A. in political science from Delaware State University and a Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law. He is married to his two time prom date and high school sweetheart Jasmine. Together, they have a 4 year old daughter (Jocelyn) and a one year old son (Jayden).×
Neisha E. Louhar began a prom drive in 2013 to help low-income students at her internship site, receiving over 400 pieces. In 2014, she plans to donate to schools, hospitals, and shelters throughout the tri-state.
When Neisha is not volunteering, she is an advocate, community outreach educator, and counselor working with domestic violence victims and survivors. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social and behavioral science and is a doctoral student with a focus in counselor education. Neisha also has experience working with family court and child protection.
One of Neisha’s many interests is community mobilization, the process of building community and peaceful change.
"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."
- William Arthur Ward
Mikyla Smith is a transfer student at Temple University majoring in tourism and hospitality with a concentration in event leadership. As a student at The College of Westchester she was an active volunteer for Operation PROM. After leaving CW and moving to Philadelphia she noticed something was missing, Operation PROM. That is when she got the idea to start a chapter of Operation PROM on Temple University’s campus.
Starting this chapter took a few months of paperwork and a lot of networking. Operation Prom Temple University was founded in November 2013 by Mikyla Smith and has a total of 35 student volunteers.
As a dedicated and hard-working person Mikyla puts her all into everything she does. She is excited to be the Director of Operation Prom Temple University and has already formed connections with multiple organizations and businesses in the greater Philadelphia area.×
Lennika Bynum is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She is a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is pursuing her master’s in Supply Chain Management and Analytics. Prior to attending VCU, Lennika worked in the fashion industry in New York City for five years. She graduated from Howard University in 2011 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. During this time, Lennika fell in love with helping students achieve their best academically. She has volunteered countless hours to tutoring students in Michigan, New York, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. In 2015, Lennika volunteered for Operation Prom NYC and fell in love with helping students look and feel their best for prom. Currently, she dedicates her free time to working with students in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding communities.×
Shamiya Tolbert is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She has a passion to inspire, uplift, and motivate young girls. From this passion birthed Bronzed2Gold, a Christian organization registered with the state of Michigan that empowers and mentor’s young girls. Shamiya serves as a student advisor to both the University of Michigan’s Vice President and Director of Housing. She is a student director over the Student Ambassador’s program, and a Diversity Peer Educator for one of the residential buildings.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, event planning, and watching movies.×
Skyler Jackson is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Her end goal is to become a Physician Assistant (PA). Skyler works part-time as a caregiver to a disabled student on campus.
She is also the vice president of the Operation PROM chapter at the University of Michigan, and a finance chair for the Bronze Elegance fashion show on campus, one of the universities biggest fashion shows. In her free time, she likes to relax by watching Netflix and meeting up with friends.×
LaKaylia Kea (Kay) is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Sociology on the Law, Justice and Social Change sub-plan. Kay desires to help people in any way that I she can. She is very active in Operation PROM, while also serving in the startup of a Christian mentoring program (Bronzed2Gold) which is an active student organization on campus and registered with the state of Michigan.
Kay is also a student ambassador for the University of Michigan in which she aids in recruitment. In her free time, she enjoys catching up on her favorite shows and hanging out with my friends.×
Associate Research Scientist, Anesthesiology
Clinical Psychologist, Anesthesiology
Afton Hassett is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan.
She is a graduate of Colorado State University and received her doctorate from Alliant International University in San Diego, CA in 2000. From 2002-2005, she was a Continuing Education student in Neuroscience at Princeton University – an opportunity afforded her by a K08 award from the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a professor at the University of Michigan and teaches Freshman seminars.×
Leatrice Bradford has been teaching for 32 years both at the elementary and high school level. She is energetic, fun, and passionate about making others feel loved and cared for. Leatrice believes that children have immeasurable amounts of compassion that drive them to do great things. Currently, besides teaching Health and Fitness, she is the director of Marist Youth at Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Texas.
The mission of Marist Youth is to help all members of our community to recognize their call as Marists: to make Jesus known and loved and to reach out in solidarity to our neighbors, especially the least favored. Events are set up to include all Saint Joseph Academy students who wish to participate. Events in the fall include Marist Day of Service and World Hunger Day collection. Spring projects include a fun-run to raise awareness for local and global issues. Marist Youth’s biggest event is Operation Prom.
The St. Joseph Academy students were more than willing to donate to Operation Prom in an attempt to help those in our community enjoy the simple pleasures of being a teenager and attending their prom.×
Kim is a native of New York City who now resides in North Carolina with her family. Being apart of Operation PROM was important to Kim because she can help girls in rural NC towns who live a long way from the malls. Kim has a passion and desire to show the love of God and help whomever she can. Kim works in the financial industry as well as serves as a Executive Director of a Non Profit that provides free wigs and makeovers to cancer patients.×
Professor Karen Schlusberg currently is the Interim Curriculum Chair of the Fashion Merchandising department at Westchester Community College, where she has been teaching for 6 years.
Karen’s extensive background in fashion and entrepreneurship has been an excellent basis for her teaching career. Karen has owned the Maizie Consignment Boutique for the last 13 years winning the “Best of Westchester” 2 years in a row.
Her teaching career began at Marist College, where she created “Fashionology”, a fashion student run store. The store secured over $6,000 a semester for the Fashion program and added valuable experience for the students.
Before her teaching career, Karen worked for a variety of major corporations including Liz Claiborne where she led a design team of 6 people increasing profits each year and continuously developing new categories and opportunities for the company.×
Alex Rodriguez has always had a passion for helping others and believes whole hardily in the need to give back to his community and to others. Alex is married with three wonderful children. He is a native of Puerto Rico and a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with almost 30 years of Governmental experience. Currently he is also the President of the Board of Directors for Guakia Inc., an Art School in Hartford Connecticut that focuses in a cultural and artistic context from a Puerto Rican and Hispanic point of view. He has always had an interest for fashion in any capacity, judging and or consulting.×
Mel Bennett is an educator in the Fayetteville, NC area. He is also a DJ on WZFX Foxy 99 9DJ Ruckus. He is excited to join the Operation PROM family, and to specifically spearhead our only tuxedo based chapter.×
Matthew Koppe is a Store Supervisor for Brooks Brothers and an active supporter of the Operation Prom Men's Tailored Clothing and Prom Hero Programs. Matthew and Noel were responsible for obtaining a $3,000 charitable donation by the Golden Fleece Foundation, a Brooks Brothers Charity. The grant supported the annual Montifore Children's Hospital Prom in the Bronx. NY. Matthew has also worked to secure several clothing donations from Brooks Brothers that have made the Men's Tailored Clothing Program a success. He is delighted to serve on the board and help grow and develop these programs.×
Lauren Macri is an enthusiastic Event Operations Manager with a passion to help others. Since graduating with her degree in Marketing and Communications from SUNY New Paltz, she's worked in Media and Publishing on Working Mother magazine and for Diversity Best Practices.
Lauren has experience across all areas of event production, including logistics, marketing, and sponsorship development. She has a knack for financial analysis, mainly budgeting and forecasting, but her greatest strength is cultivating strong client and vendor relationships.
Lauren has been a bridesmaid eight times, and after donating her (only worn once) dresses to the organization a few years ago, she decided to volunteer at a prom dress giveaway and has done so every year since.
Lauren is eager to help the team hit their fundraising goals and assist with the planning efforts of these exciting events for young ladies and gentlemen. She believes the ultimate goal is for every young adult to be 100% comfortable in their skin, love the way they look, and radiate confidence from head to toe!×
Deborah Catalano-Sansone is a recently retired Retail and Cosmetic Industry Sales and Operations Executive who’s 30 + year career spans from Cosmetics Divisional Merchandise Manager at Bloomingdales where she also held several Cosmetic, Treatment, Fragrance and Accessories Buying positions. Cosmetic Accessories Buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue. She held a 12-year position at MAC Cosmetics as the Executive Director of Retail Events in North America where she coached, mentored and led a team of Field Event execution managers. Deborah is now devoting more time to serving several Westchester County Community Not for Profit organizations, serving the Performing Arts community in addition to consulting for startup Cosmetic and Gift companies. As she loves and has a never ending passion for all things fashion and trendy when approached to volunteer for the Operation Prom dress giveaway she instantly said “YES, of course, put me to work - every girl deserves to have her Diva dream dress!!” After 3 years of volunteering and seeing the need to supply dresses to high school teens in underserved communities she is dedicated to supporting the Operation Prom Organization. On a personal note, she is a lifelong Westchester County, NY resident who shares her life with her wonderfully charming husband Robert, two insanely busy daughters Madelaine and Gabrielle, 2 big dogs Romeo and Tucker, and her daughters - 3 horses, 2 of which are off the track Thoroughbred Mare rescues: Ava, Ms. T, and a Gelding Beau.×