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Host Committee

Donna Maxon

Donald Simon, a Staten Island young man with autism and a “kickass” CrimsonRise speller is proud to introduce you to his mom, Donna Maxon.

In 1994 when Donald was diagnosed with autism, Donna, and her husband, along with seven other families, co-founded the New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI), a school for children with autism. Donna has been the parent supervisor of Donald’s Self-Direction program since2012.

Donna was in corporate training and entertainment, as an internationally known tribute artist. However, for the last ten years, Donna works primarily as a Self-Direction Broker, and has worked with over 100 people in this role, as well as mentoring many new brokers. She is also a Certified Housing Navigator, and she works with ArchCare, as Managing Agent for the independent housing projects that offer affordable housing to people with autism and the greater community.

Donna is past president for Staten Island Arts, and has served on the Committee for Disabilities at the Staten Island JCC. Shewas an active member in the South Shore Democratic Club and served as Parent Advocate for the Eden2 Human Rights Committee. Donna has received humanitarian and leadership awards from: Staten Island JCC, World of Women, Reali HeartFoundation, NY Child Learning Institute, Staten Island Business People.

Jozette Carter-Williams

Jozette Carter-Williams has over 20 years of service and experience in the nonprofit world. Born in Brooklyn, NY, of Puerto Rican, Taino descent, She is the founder of The Police Officer Gerard Carter Athletic Organization, a nonprofit organization named after her late husband, Police Officer Gerard Carter. The organization was founded in 2001 to help the children of the Stapleton Community, the same community that Officer Carter patrolled.

Jozette is also the owner and photographer of JoJo Cee Photography providing services for the American Cancer Society, Blue Lives Matter, and Autism Warriors. She is currently Chairwoman of United Activities Unlimited (UAU)’s board of directors, is a board member of the JCC of Staten Island and a member of the Brighton Kiwanis on Staten Island.

Her career began in banking, starting with Staten Island Savings Bank aka SI Bank & Trust, now known as Santander Bank, Empire State Bank, Northfield Bank, and presently Citibank.

Jozette attended The College of Staten Island majoring in Computer Science with a minor in accounting and left in 1992. She is currently enrolled in the Academy of Art University, pursuing a degree in Photography and the Arts. She attended Immaculate Conception school, Staten Island Tech for 3 years, transferred to, and graduated from New Dorp HS.

Jozette is married to Grady Williams and is a mother of 3 children: Louis, Selena, and Jason, and two bonus children, Grady IV and Jenese. In her 20 years of service, Jozette has sat on numerous boards and enjoys making a difference in a child’s life.

Meera Mathew

Born in Kerala, and immigrated to Staten Island at age three, Meera Mathew embarked on a journey marked by diversity and determination. Her educational path started from I.S.72 to Susan E. Wagner High School, onward to the College of Staten Island, and currently, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Meera is currently pursuing a degree in forensic psychology with a minor in homeland security. Alongside her studies, she is working in Healthcare IT at Northwell Health as a Product Service and Management Specialist. She also works as a Community Liaison in the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office. Her achievements include winning Miss India New York 2022, making the top 5 at Miss India USA, and becoming the first-ever South Asian Miss Staten Island in 2023.  Meera is passionate about dance, culinary arts, culture, and language, and highly values education. She embraces the mantra, “Be intentional in your actions, for they shape your destiny,” as it guides her journey to be purpose driven.

Narmada Tissera

Born and raised in Sri Lanka and emigrating to New York in her youth, Narmada Tissera holds the position of Vice President and Branch Leader at Flagstar Bank. With over 20 years of experience in banking where she started out as a teller, she has received immense praise and recognition as an inspiration to her team and peers. She had the privilege of receiving the Chairman’s Award in 2023 from Northfield Bank.

Narmada is an active member of her community. She belongs to the SI Chamber of Commerce Business Guild 2 and serves on the new membership committee. She has the honor of serving as a board member of the Out of the Storm Senior Housing nonprofit organization. She volunteers her time with many community groups and is a proud member of the Sri Lankan Catholic Community.