Board of Directors

Authority to make decisions concerning the Harlem Independent Living Center’s programs and services rests with the Board of Directors. The official role of the Board is limited and specific: determining the policies by which the Center is governed. The Board of Directors represents the community and provides general oversight of the work of the agency. Implementation of Center policies and daily operational control is the responsibility of the Executive Director, who reports to the Board. The members of the Board have no formal organizational ties to the Center or its staff. With the exception of unusual instances, the Board does not become involved in the day-to-day operations of the agency.

Because the membership of the Board is composed largely of people with disabilities, and is required by law to maintain a 51% majority of disabled representatives, the relationship between the Board and the agency mirrors the relationship of the Board and the community.

The Board shall:

  • Enforce anti-discrimination policies;
  • Ensure the Center is an equal opportunity employer;
  • Implement compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) including but not limited to reasonable accommodations to all Board members, Center staff, consumers, volunteers, applicants, and visitors.

The Board itself may benefit from the programs and services the Center maintains. As area residents, Board members are likely to perceive the needs of the community for services the Center might develop and provide. The Board’s primary focus lies in the overall management of Center performance, growth and progress by establishing policies that ensure Center operations are effective, legal and fair.

Each Center Board Member is required to be well informed on the issues and rights of persons with disabilities. Board Members are strong advocates of the Independent Living Movement and represent the Center to public and private entities as such.

  • By-Laws:
    Rules that govern the management of the activity of the Board of Directors are necessary and mandated and must be supported by each Center Board Member.
  • Long-Range Planning and Development
    Long-range goals extend more than a two-year period in the Center’s future and are usually used to provide direction to Center operations. Members assess future community needs and assist in panning fiscal budgets, grant research, fundraising efforts and other financial aspects of the Center.
  • Management of Center Funds
    It is Board responsibility to ensure Center funds are allocated and spent efficiently and effectively in delivering services. Board Members must support any fundraising efforts of the Center.


  • Mr. Keith Taylor – Act. President
  • Ms. Patricia Williams** – Act. Vice President
  • Ms. Lisa Haileselassie*- Secretary
  • Susan Xenarios* – Treasurer
  • Ms. Sandy Navas * – Member
  • Dr. Herbert Thornhill – Member Emeritus

*Denotes person with physical disability
+Denotes person with sensory disability