Executive Officers

Maria Cristalli

Maria Cristalli

President and Chief Executive Officer

Maria has held a variety of leadership positions since joining the agency in 1991. She is responsible for the overall leadership and administration of a team of nearly 2,000 individuals working for youth and families in New York and Maryland. Hillside is one of the largest family and children’s services agencies, and the most diversely funded and geographically diverse agency of its kind, in New York State.

Maria Cristalli

Calista Amering

Chief Advancement Officer

Calista owns executive-level oversight of the Hillside Foundation, as well as the agency’s Program Development and Communications & Marketing teams. Her leadership ensures that philanthropy and community engagement remain vital contributors to Hillside’s ability to reinvent our services and change lives.

Maria Cristalli

Elizabeth Nolan

Chief Operating Officer

Elizabeth provides leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that Hillside has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and systems in place to insure growth, financial strength and operational efficiency.

Maria Cristalli

Christopher Peterson

Chief Financial Officer

Chris’ responsibilities include providing comprehensive fiscal analysis and oversight for Hillside. As a member of the Chief Executive Team, he plays a lead role in charting the organization’s future and fiscal wellbeing.

Maria Cristalli

Darlene Ryan

Chief Performance Officer

Darlene’s responsibilities focus on the models, practices, supporting tools and processes that drive positive outcomes for youth and families served by Hillside. She also leads Hillside’s Practice and Performance Excellence Group, which includes the Research, Business Intelligence, Quality, Risk Management and Data Integration teams.

Maria Cristalli

Mazie Tai

Chief Human Resources Officer

As a member of the Chief Executive Team, Mazie leads Hillside’s coordinated Human Resources and Organizational Development efforts, spanning the critical areas of recruitment and retention; employee relations; compensation and benefits; and our evolving work related to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Our Boards

Our Board members provide essential governance and input, informed by years of experience in leadership and community advocacy. We deeply appreciate their dedicated service.



Jill Knittel

James C. Haefner
Vice Chair

Christopher B. Eckert

Monica L. Monte

Richard J. Gangemi, MD
Past Chair

Maria E. Cristalli
President & CEO


Virginia Biesiada O’Neill

H. Todd Bullard

Nancy L. Castro, EdD

Caroline A. Critchlow, EdD

Richard Feldman, PhD

Melissa N. Gardner

Portia Y. James

Anne L. Komanecky

Ann Montgomery

Christopher J. Richardson, DO, FACOS

Efrain Rivera

Michael F. Stapleton, Jr

Marlowe V.N. Washington, DMin, EdD

Edward White


Roger B. Friedlander

Robert B. Stiles



Monica Monte
Chair and Treasurer

Jill Knittel
Vice Chair

Maria Cristalli

Regional Advisory Councils

With Hillside’s broad geographic reach, community-based perspectives are essential. Our Advisory Council members help us remain responsive to the diverse needs of the communities we serve.


Kirk Blackman
Franklin Chambers, Ph. D
Verlinda Darden
Henry Davis
Ayana Douglas
Howard Stone, Jr
Kym Taylor.


Maddie DiGristina
Tim McDevitt
Pamela Odom
Virginia Biesiada O’Neill
Jonathan Stadin
Denise Valdes

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