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.×
Matthew works for the Westchester County Department of Social Services overseeing special projects as well as developing public private partnership. Before Matthew worked for the county he was an independent consultant in the private sector.
Matthew serves as a Board Member for Operation Prom. He has an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Hartford and a Bachelors Degree in Political Sciences and Legal Studies from Mercy College. Matthew lives in White Plains, New York.×
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.×
Lisa is a passionate Sales Account Manager in Memphis, Tennessee. She believes it is important in life to make others fell valued and appreciated. Lisa is excited to be part of Operation PROM and can’t wait to embrace, motivate and encourage others in her community. "Learning, growing and changing are part of life, I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem," says Lisa. Her goal is to make Prom dreams come true for as many girls as possible in the Memphis area.×
Armand Perez is a freelance still photographer and videographer based in Seymour, Connecticut area. His photographs have been featured in various publications, magazines, newspapers and journals both nationally and locally.
Armand's expert services include a wide range of multimedia solutions, from audio and photo slideshows, still photography and motion pictures. His style of cinematography and photography can capture your most memorable moments with extreme precision and of superior quality. All of his still photos and videos can be considered as works of art that no one in the business can duplicate. This is made possible by his more than 20 years of experience in the business.
Armand is an alumnus of Academia Adventista in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico University. With more than 20 years of experience, Armand Perez is considered an expert and among the best in the industry.
A satisfied father of four children, Gabriella, Jose Raul, Armand Jr. and Stephanie, he makes his home with his wife Patricia and two children in Seymour, Connecticut where he is a resident for a long time.×
Alaina Berner is a senior in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Michigan, but is originally from Arlington, VA. She decided to join Operation Prom because of the great experience she had at her own prom and her hopes that others can have an equally great experience without the concern over price tags.
After living in a house full of girls, she knows how many dresses sit in closets and never get used again, so why not pass them on to those who would actually put them to use? Alaina is proud to be apart of an organization that gives such a great opportunity to students in her area.×
Caroline Kivell is currently a high school senior at Horace Mann School in the Bronx. Caroline became a member of Operation PROM in 2011 after being exposed to the organization through Horace Mann. She has reached out to stores and members of her community to collect dresses for the dress giveaways each season.
Caroline also enjoys singing and is President of her all female a cappella group at school. She also tutors reading to middle school children at a charter school in Harlem and used her association with this school to introduce their high school students to Operation PROM. Caroline loves being able to give back to the community in a fun and rewarding way.×
Jovan C. Richards is a long time resident of New Rochelle and a product of its public school system. Westchester residents may also know Jovan as “The Prince of Westchester” from the radio. Jovan is the Sales Promotion Director and Intern Coordinator at Whitney Radio, the parent company of WVOX-AM and WVIP-FM, where he also serves as a reporter and on-air personality.
Jovan is currently a Stage Manager and Assistant Director at The Westchester Sandbox Theatre in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He is also the creator and producer for Sandbox’s in-house improv troupe “The Drop Your Jaw Improv Group”.
Jovan also spends a lot of time working with amazing non-for-profits, including Little Radical Theatrics, and The Hope for Change Foundation. Finally, when Jovan has spare time, he spends it preparing for his television and political career he hopes to one day have.
Some of Jovan’s favorite recent stage performing credits include: The Prince of Westchester (The Drop Your Jaw Improv Group); Benny (RENT!); Captain Hook (Peter Pan); Newt (Parade); Booker T. Washington (Ragtime); Zeke (High School Musical); Armand (Once On This Island). Some of Jovan’s favorite recent televised or filmed credits include: Burp (The Dr. Pepper Commercial); Day Labor Employer (Unfit to Print); Abusive Boyfriend (Educational Films); Patron (COX Internet & Cable Commercial).×
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.×
Born and raised in Westchester, Linda is a true New Yorker at heart. She attended The College of New Rochelle with a focus in math and science, and later pursued a career in finance with two small regional banks, as well as JP Morgan Chase. She is a mother of three "kids" Jessica, 35: author, Patrick, 25: teacher, and Matthew, 21: student, whom she raised with her husband Steve.
After several years exercising her left brain, she sought out opportunities to exercise her right brain and began volunteering with The Bedford Central School District and other local organizations.
She became involved with Operation Prom with Noel in 2011, and has found fulfillment and inspiration in being a part of such a unique and heartfelt organization. "Operation Prom opens doors and puts smiles on the faces of so many young people that might not have the opportunity to attend their prom. I am very honored to partake in an organization that helps facilitate this important right of passage for young women."×
Altagracia Hiraldo is the Founder of Dominican Sunday, Inc; a not-for-profit organization located in the Manhattan Valley area of New York City. Dominican Sunday offers services to the residents of New York, with an added focus on the Hispanic and immigrant populations. She has been involved with Operation Prom since 2009, with Dominican Sunday as a site for the Upper Manhattan prom dress giveaways.
Altagracia is a community activist and leader in the Hispanic community.×
Sydney Katz is currently a junior at the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, New York. Sydney became active in Operation Prom in 2014 and has continued to help the organization grow. She has devoted a great deal of of time to ensure Operation Prom can meet the demand of the ever increasing number of students who rely on the organization to make their prom night a rite of passage. Sydney has successfully connected with companies such as J.Crew, 9 West and Prom Girl. As a result, they have donated a tremendous amount of prom dresses and accessories. At school, she is involved in numerous other noteworthy organizations such as Anti-Bullying, Junior Editor of several school publications, Health Peer Leader, and acts as a School Ambassador for prospective families. Outside of school, her true passion is tennis. Sydney is excited to be director this year and part of this very worthwhile organization. Sydney truly enjoys giving back to the community.×
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.×
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