Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body for all of the West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc.


President and Director – Sheldon J. Fine

An educator by profession, Sheldon Fine has worked in various capacities as a teacher, principal, district administrator, curriculum developer and teacher-trainer for the New York City Board of Education, City College, private schools and education foundations for over 35 years, specializing in educational leadership, mathematics and science. Mr. Fine has been active in the community for as many years. He has been the Chair of the local Area Policy Board, the Neighborhood Advisory Board, and the Community School Board of District 3 and Vice Chair of the Citywide Community Action Board.  In addition he has been a member of Community Board #7 in which he has held various leadership positions, including two terms as Chair of the Board.  Mr. Fine has been a Director of WSFSSH since 1979, serving as Secretary from 1983 to 2000, when he assumed the role of President of WSFSSH, succeeding the late John Kowal.

Vice President and Director – The Reverend John Duffell

The Pastor of the Church of the Ascension in Manhattan Valley, Father Duffell has had considerable experience in services to the homeless in Westchester County where he was the founding member of a shelter for homeless families and on the board of a housing development corporation. He has been a WSFSSH Director since 1995.

Secretary and Director – Monsignor Robert O’Connor

The Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, Monsignor O’Connor is a founding member of WSFSSH and has served continuously as a Director.  He is also on the Board of Project FIND AID For the Aged, Inc. and operates a shelter for homeless men who are HIV+.

Director – The Reverend Alistair Drummond

The Pastor of the West End Presbyterian Church at West 105th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in the heart of Manhattan Valley, Reverend Drummond has long been active in clergy coalitions to assure the right to shelter for homeless single adults and families.   He joined the WSFSSH Board in 2003.

Director – Charles Gatewood

Consultant with special expertise in housing finance and in the area of federal new market tax credits. Mr. Gatewood has had more than 30 years of experience in real estate financing with various lending institutions in the New York City area.  He joined the WSFSSH Board in 2012.

Director – Jerilyn Perine

The Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council, Ms. Perine is an urban planner with nearly 30 years of experience in housing and community development in New York City’s neighborhoods. She served both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Ms. Perine joined the WSFSSH Board in 2009.

Director – Julie Sandorf

President of the Revson Foundation, Ms. Sandorf is an expert on national and international issues surrounding homelessness. She was the founder in 1991 of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a national intermediary organization which underwrites supportive housing programs, gives technical assistance to state and local governments, as well as providers, and provides grants and loans for the development of supportive housing.  Ms. Sandorf joined the WSFSSH Board in 2000.

Director – Lynn Wishart

Director of the Law Library and Professor of Legal Research at the Benjamin N,. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, Ms Wishart brings an array of professional and community skills to the Board. Ms. Wishart is an active leader at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. She has been a key to the success of the joint Fifth Avenue/WSFSSH “Steps Project”, an innovative program of outreach and services to assist men living on the streets to transition into permanent housing. Ms. Wishart joined the WSFSSH Board in 2015.

Other Officers

Executive Director and Assistant Secretary – Paul R. Freitag

 Paul R. Freitag joined the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) in 2015 as the Executive Director. He brought to WSFSSH over 20 years of experience in the affordable housing and social services sectors first at Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens and later at Jonathan Rose Companies as a Managing Director. At WSFSSH, Mr. Freitag oversees the implementation of all housing development, social services and asset management activities in the agency.  He is the primary liaison to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the well-being of WSFSSH tenants and staff. Mr. Freitag received a B.A. and a B.S.  from Brown University, a Masters of Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Urban Planning from City College of New York.

Treasurer – Laura Tavormina

Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Tavormina has oversight for property management, asset management, and information technology, and is also involved in the development of new projects. She has been with WSFSSH since 1990. Prior to joining WSFSSH, Ms. Tavormina worked for six years for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) a national community development financial intermediary which provides loans, grants, and other program supports to non-profit community development corporations throughout the country. Ms. Tavormina received an MBA in Finance and Non-Profit Management from Columbia University. Her undergraduate degree is in Economic Development from Michigan State University.