On September 14, 2021, we held an informative virtual discussion with the winners of the 9th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards.

Objective: Learn from a contingent of highly regarded non-profit leaders that are successfully moving the sector forward. Let their experience guide you to think differently and effectively advance your non-profit to the next level.

This discussion was moderated by Kenneth Cerini, CPA, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates and Founder of the Long Island Imagine Awards, an event designed to recognize Long Island non-profits for their innovation, impact, and leadership.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors:


Heather is a mission driven development professional who is passionate about generating philanthropic support to advance the mission of the organization that she serves. She is the Executive Director for Allied Foundation, a for-impact, 501C3 organization committed to improve the health and well-being of people in the community. Her career in development spans 18 years and she has held leadership positions in healthcare, higher education and social service agencies. Heather also spent 7 years building brands for national products including Post Kids cereals, Avon, US West and Tri-State Cadillac. She is happily married to Kevin and mom to Jack, Katie and Linda.

Mr. Elkowitz has been with the Long Island Housing Partnership since 1989. Mr. Elkowitz is responsible for the overall operation of Long Island Housing Partnership and its Affiliates. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Policy Analysis and Public Management. In June 2002, Mr. Elkowitz completed the Senior Executives Program in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also received the Harry Weiner Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the Governor’s award for Excellence in Housing in 1994. He is a member of the 2007 Class of The Energeia Partnership – The Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College. Currently, he serves on the board of New York Housing Conference, Inc. Mr. Elkowitz served as Chair to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Advisory Council and was a former member of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. Mr. Elkowitz now serves on the Board for The National Community Land Trust Network dba Grounded Solutions Network and on the Board of Empire Justice Center. Mr. Elkowitz was honored as top CFO and 2016 was honored as top CEO by the Long Island Business News.

John D. Kemp, Esq. is President & CEO of The Viscardi Center. A renowned, global speaker and a person with a disability, he inspires others to achieve the impossible through knowledge, experience, vision, and persistence.

He graduated from Georgetown University in 1971 and Washburn University School of Law in 1974. He has received two honorary degrees, the first a Doctorate of Law from his alma mater, Washburn, and the second a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Connecticut. In 1995, Mr. Kemp co-founded the American Association of People with Disabilities with Paul G. Hearne. In 2001, he became a partner in the Washington, DC Law Firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, P.C. He co-authored Reflections From A Different Journey in 2004 with Dr. Stanley Klein, and the “Career and Workforce Development in the Arts for Youth with Disabilities” chapter of Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education Policy, Research, and Practices in 2018.

In March 2006, Mr. Kemp received the Henry B. Betts Award, widely regarded as America’s highest honor for disability leadership and service. In December 2014, he received the Dole Leadership Prize and joined a prestigious group of international recipients including Nelson Mandela and two former U.S. Presidents.

He also chairs Viscardi’s Project Accessible Oral Health, a global public-private partnership in pursuit of improved overall health and access for the disability community, as well as the e-Advisory Board of the Center’s new National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship dedicated to empowering innovative self-starters to self-employment success.

Mr. Kemp, and his wife Sameta (“Sam”), reside on Long Island.

Stephen Long has served as President of the Children’s Museum of the East End since June 2008. Under his direction, the Children’s Museum has doubled its attendance, developed partnerships with an array of social service organizations in the community, and diversified and increased its income streams. Prior to joining the Children’s Museum, Mr. Long spent fourteen years working at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, most recently as the Vice President of Collections and Education. Mr. Long has consulted for dozens of museums around the country, written articles about museums and community engagement, and served as an adjunct professor at New York University and the City College of New York. Before becoming a museum professional, Mr. Long was an award-winning radio producer. He has a Master of Arts in History from New York University and received his Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College.


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