Leah Wypych, MPA
Gillian Bush, PsyD
Margherita Mascolo, MD, CEDS
Lorraine Mari, Ph.D.
Nicole Paolucci, LMHC
Erica Waldron, MS, LMHC
Allison Walsh, JD
Judy Rifkin (She/Her) was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan. At the age of 16, she was recruited to move to New York City, where she began her career as a professional ballerina at The American Ballet Theater. When her professional ballet career came to end, she returned to the Midwest where she got married and raised two wonderful children, Josh and Rachel. While she raised her children in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Judy was thoroughly involved in community outreach and fundraising with the town’s synagogue, school system, and various parent-run organizations.
Judy became involved with The Alliance after her daughter, Rachel, confessed her struggles with an eating disorder in college. After meeting Johanna, connecting her daughter with proper treatment, and seeing the recovery process; she learned how much she related to her daughter’s struggles. Judy remained connected with The Alliance as Rachel maintained full recovery and interned with The Alliance. Judy now spends the majority of her time living in Jupiter, Florida with her husband, and continuing her passion with helping spread eating disorders awareness.
Frank Valente (He/Him) was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended Gettysburg College graduating with a B.S. Political Science. Initially a sports writer and editor of a local newspaper, he moved to Florida to become a sports talk host and talk show producer.
Frank left radio and joined a company that became a nationally recognized leader in direct marketing and data management. He served as Director of Operations for this company for eight years. Since 2001 Frank has held leadership roles in the animal welfare field serving as CEO of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast since 2007. During this time the organization has set records in all areas of animal care and consistently received the coveted four star rating from Charity Navigator for fiscal management and transparency.
Frank’s relationship with The Alliance began in 2014 when he started attending family group on Wednesday evening. After hearing the so many moving and receiving support as a group member Frank became more involved in supporting the Alliance. Frank is committed to working toward community education and positive change for people and families affected by eating disorders. Frank and his wife Julia live in Palm Beach Gardens.
Leah Wypych (She/Her) was born and raised in Palm Beach County, Florida. Upon receiving her undergraduate degree from Florida State University, she returned back home and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University.
Leah’s goal has always been to help the community, particularly children and their families. That’s the reason she chose to begin her career working in the child welfare system in 2001 helping children removed from their homes and placed in adoptive homes, foster homes, shelters, group homes and residential programs. Leah has worked for multiple non-profit agencies throughout her career, including Children’s Home Society of Florida, the Area Agency on Aging, and Child and Family Connections.
Leah began her career in the psychiatric arena as the marketing coordinator at psychiatric residential treatment center serving children and adolescents. She merged her career path with her passion for eating disorders in August of 2015 and is currently the Marketing Director at ViaMar Health, an eating disorder program in West Palm Beach, Florida. Leah is proud to have been a part of The Alliance family since 2011. Since joining the Alliance family, Leah has advocated for eating disorder legislation in Washington D.C. every year and diligently promoted eating disorder awareness through every avenue possible.
Artie Fox (He/Him) is a CPA with over forty years’ experience, servicing many wealthy individuals, small business, estates and trusts, as well as tax exempt foundations, through his business, Arthur Fox, CPA. He is a member of the AICPA and NYSCPA. Artie is married to Ellen and has two children, Justin and Brittany. Ellen is a Children’s Librarian. Justin is a CPA and attorney and works with him at Arthur Fox, CPA. Brittany, after suffering from an eating disorder for the past ten years, is on the road to recovery and hopes to become speech therapist and is enrolled in graduate school.
Artie has been extensively involved in dealing with his daughter’s treatment and has a very good understanding of Eating Disorders. Artie and Ellen have two homes, one in New York and one in Florida, where they divide their time. Artie is thrilled to be involved and a part of The Alliance.
Dr. Gillian Bush (She/Her) is a licensed Florida Psychologist and has a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens. Dr. Bush treats individuals, couples and families and specializes in work with anxiety and eating disorders.
Dr. Bush received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency at The Renfrew Center of Coconut Creek, a residential treatment facility for adult and adolescent women diagnosed with eating disorders.
Dr. Bush has been actively involved with The Alliance for years, co-leading one of their weekly gender inclusive support groups and volunteering at many of their events. Dr. Bush is passionate about community outreach and education, helping to increase education about eating disorders and mental health issues as well as demystifying the treatment process.
Dr. Lorraine Mari (She/Her) is a licensed Psychologist in New York State and Florida. She is a full time Florida resident residing in Palm Beach Gardens.
Dr. Mari focused her professional career of over 30 years in schools on Long Island. She was the chief psychologist in the Kings Park School District, where she was responsible for psychological services at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels. In-service training of professional staff, parent education groups, and chairing committees for providing special educational services to school age and pre-school age children were among her responsibilities. She also maintained a private clinical practice working with children, adults and families.
Dr. Mari received her doctoral degree from Hofstra University. She has two sons, Andrew Schles and Jeffrey Schles.
Dr. Mari has been volunteering with The Alliance since December of 2010, co-leading weekly support groups, assisting with educational presentations, grant writing and fund raising.
Cherie Monarch (She/Her) graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Florida. Cherie has been married for 31 years with two daughters. She has chaired/hosted many silent auctions and fundraising events, including five eating disorder walks and a national eating disorder awareness campaign. Cherie sits on the board for the National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness) and is the Chair of the Alliance’s Family Action Committee for Eating Disorders: Instilling Truths (FACEIT). She is very active in the eating disorder community and has been involved in many national advocacy events (most recently overseeing the delivery of more than 1,000 medical education packets to healthcare providers across the U.S. and Canada). Cherie was recently awarded the National Mom Making a Difference Award for 2017 for her work with eating disorders. She works diligently to support families on this journey with their loved ones.
Nicole Paolucci, LMHC (She/Her) is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and co-occurring disorders. Nicole has extensive experience in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, ARFID, OSFED, and Binge Eating Disorders. Nicole received her Master’s degree in counseling education from Nova Southeastern University in 2007. During her undergraduate studies, Nicole worked as a life skills facilitator and drug/alcohol counselor in the public and private school sector, focusing on drug and alcohol prevention and early intervention. She completed her practicum and internship training at the Hanley Center and continued on to work in long term residential treatment for patients with addictions and complex trauma. She advanced her career as eating disorder program director at an intensive outpatient center for women struggling with eating disorders and addictions. Additionally, Nicole served as clinical director for a partial hospitalization and transitional living eating disorder program for individuals experiencing eating disorders and addictive disorders.
Nicole has been an active volunteer and group facilitator at The Alliance and is a member of several other professional organizations. She has presented on eating disorders, body image and substance abuse. Nicole is also a Qualified Supervisor for mental health interns.
Native Floridian Rebecca Seelig (She/Her) is owner of Palm Beach Public Relations (PBPR), a public relations firm located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. PBPR works with local and national companies in promoting their businesses and products to national and international media.
Ms. Seelig spent over nine years at The PGA of America in their communications department managing the promotion of PGA Professionals and communication of their major Championships which included the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup. Ms. Seelig is a 20-year sports industry veteran, who in addition to working with The PGA of America, worked with the Florida Marlins Baseball Club, Orange Bowl Committee and University of Florida Athletic Association.
Erica Waldron (She/Her) received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. During her four years, she was a member of the Div. I Field Hockey Team where she was recognized with multiple honors throughout that time. She completed her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. While completing her degree, she counseled undergraduate students at the University’s Counseling Center and was trained and worked at an IOP with women dually diagnosed with Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse. After graduation, Erica became a Primary Therapist and Group Facilitator working with men and women who had Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders. Over the last year, Erica has been building her private practice working with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders, as well as, facilitating support groups and psychotherapy groups.
Allison Walsh, JD, (She/Her) is a seasoned executive, philanthropist, speaker, professional coach, and consultant, and Miss Florida 2006. A two-time CEO for national coaching firms and certified positive psychology coach, Allison has over 15 years of organizational leadership, mentorship, and coaching experience, and has shared her story with over 100,000 live audience members. She serves as Vice President of Business Development and Branding for Advanced Recovery Systems, a national provider and industry leader in behavioral healthcare. In addition to managing their national business development team since its inception in 2013, she’s been instrumental in the development of their mental wellness app, Nobu. As host of the She Believed She Could and Dear Mind, You Matter podcasts, and the creator of impactful coaching programs, Allison focuses on helping women develop confidence and leverage their personal brands personally and professionally to scale their businesses, careers, and influence while making an impact.
Named in the Orlando Business Journal’s 2021 Top 40 Under 40 and Women Who Mean Business, Allison is a proud member of Forbes Business Development Council, Entrepreneur’s Leadership Network, and Orlando Business Journal’s Leadership Trust. Allison raised more than $2 million for eating disorder education and treatment through her 501(c)(3)
nonprofit Helping Other People Eat (H.O.P.E.), and her philanthropic efforts have been featured in international news. She served as a Board Member for NEDA and currently serves on the boards of the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, Forevers Foundation, and Project Opioid.