Jim Martin, Executive Director
After graduating from SUNY New Paltz in upstate New York with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology, Jim worked with MICA (mentally ill, chemically-addicted) adults for Transitional Services of New York in Long Island, where he was ultimately promoted to Senior Case Manager. He then moved on to manage a group home for eight developmentally disabled youths at Pederson Krag of Long Island for three years.
Jim started working at ACE as a Job Developer for Project Comeback, where he was extremely successful and well loved. In early 2005, he was offered the position of Program Director, and, in 2007, Jim was named Executive Director.
Elizabeth McNierney, Programs Director
Elizabeth was raised in northern New Jersey and graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology. While in college, she worked as an HIV/STD pre- and post-testing counselor, raised money for reproductive health clinics, and implemented an after school ‘healthy living’ program for urban youth. Her past experiences have also included providing daycare and support services for job seekers at family shelters in New Jersey and interning at a rights advocacy group for homeless New Yorkers.
Elizabeth was hired at ACE in 2008 as the coordinator of its aftercare program, Project Stay. She became the program director in late 2011 and is enthusiastic about continuing to work with ACE, helping homeless New Yorkers reclaim their lives.
John Ellert, Coordinator of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
John Ellert was born in Far Rockaway and raised on the south shore of Long Island. After serving in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969, John worked for 27 years in transportation for the U.S. Postal Service. It was during his tenure as a postal employee that John became interested in working with individuals with disabilities. John began this avocation by mentoring and advocating fellow veterans’ disability rights. These relationships soon expanded to include mentoring non-veteran fellow workers with disabilities.
John graduated from Richmond College (CUNY) with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. John then received his Masters Degree in Education for Rehabilitation Counseling from Hunter College and became certified as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). John’s focus in graduate school was to address the functioning of individuals with disabilities. During this period John facilitated substance abuse groups at Beth Israel Hospital and volunteering at Fountain House (a model for club houses for individuals with mental illnesses) and The Epilepsy Institute.
John completed his Practicum as a rehabilitation counselor at ICL (International Center for Disabilities). He interned at ACE and as been our Project Comeback Intake and Case Management Coordinator since in 2006.
Michele Schuster, Director of Development
Michele was born and raised in Connecticut. She moved to New York City following her graduation from St. Lawrence University where she studied French and Fine Arts. She has a background in sales, having worked in men’s fashion in showroom sales and as Director of Customer Service. Michele then moved to the printing industry where she managed high-end social stationery clients. She started her non-profit career at ACE in 2011 as a Membership Manager and was named Director of Development in 2013. Michele is thrilled to be representing ACE in their fundraising objectives.
Eugene Torres, Director of Finance and Human Resources
New Jersey native Eugene has a Bachelors in Science in Economics from SUNY Plattsburgh and in 2005, he received the Brian D. Scanlon Award for Excellence in Economics. Eugene began at ACE in the summer of 2011 after working as a legal writer for Binder & Binder and Operations Manager for eco-friendly jewelry company Ruff & Cut. His responsibilities include accounting, insurance, payroll and all HR duties. Eugene is thrilled to be working in an environment where he can help people in a direct and meaningful way.
Henry Buhl, Founder
Henry Buhl, philanthropist, community activist and art collector, was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After attending Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, he worked as a stock analyst and institutional salesman on Wall Street for ten years. In 1961, he moved to Geneva to manage mutual funds for Investor’s Overseas Services, eventually becoming the IOS Executive Director. He returned to the United States in 1972 and continued his career in investment banking until 1980, when he began pursuing photography and art collection, developing The Buhl Collection.
In 1992, Henry encountered a neighborhood homeless man who inspired him to create The SoHo Partnership, a non-profit organization to help other homeless and recovering homeless men and women secure full-time jobs and permanent housing. Later the TriBeCa and NoHo/Bowery Partnerships were established under the umbrella of the ACE (Association of Community Employment) Programs for the Homeless, now known simply as ACE.