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Elaine Katz of Kessler Foundation Appointed to EmpoweredNYC Advisory Board

elaine katz wearing a blue shirt

The advisory board oversees direction of new citywide initiative to advance financial empowerment of people with disabilities

East Hanover, NJ – May 3, 2018 – Elaine Katz, MS, CCC-SP, senior vice president of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation, has been appointed to the EmpoweredNYC Advisory Board. Board members meet biannually to provide insights to improve strategies and services for the new citywide initiative EmpoweredNYC, a major public/private initiative to expand financial empowerment and economic inclusion for New Yorkers with disabilities and their families.

EmpoweredNYC will employ a consultative, three-tier approach to advance financial capability and counseling for people with disabilities and their families. The three-tier approach includes broad engagement and education about financial empowerment, tailored one-on-one financial counseling via flexible platforms, and specialized benefits advisement.  Spearheaded by Citi Community Development, this is the first local program of Empowered Cities, a multi-year national initiative to develop training, tools, curricula, technology, and research to advance the financial empowerment of people with disabilities.

“By increasing access and tailoring financial education and counseling, people with disabilities and their families will be able to attain greater independence and quality of life,” remarked Katz. “I am honored to serve on the EmpoweredNYC Advisory Board, and hope that in time, EmpoweredNYC will serve as a national model for public/private partnerships aimed at improving employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities.”

The advisory board is composed of commissioners from a variety of NYC agencies and senior leaders in government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and the private sector. In addition to consulting, members will serve as initiative ambassadors, promoting the program within their spheres of influence and activating contacts to engage in new trainings, financial counseling services, and materials.

EmpoweredNYC is co-developed by Citi Community Development with the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), NYC Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment (DCA OFE), National Disability Institute (NDI), Poses Family Foundation, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

About Elaine Katz

Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, is senior vice president of grants and communications at Kessler Foundation. Elaine Katz oversees Kessler Foundation’s comprehensive grant making program and its communications department. During her tenure, the Foundation has awarded more than $41.5 million in grant support for national and community-based employment programs. For more than 25 years, Katz has worked with non-profit organizations in the areas of board development, fundraising, marketing, and business development. Katz often speaks about innovative practices for employing people with disabilities, and is the author/co-author of articles and papers on related topics. She currently serves on the board of directors of JESPY HouseNew Jersey Association of People Supporting Employment First (NJAPSE), Essex/Newark Disabilities Issues Committee, and on the program committee of the Council of NJ Grantmakers. Katz served as a member of the Human and Children Services Transition Advisory Committee for Governor-elect Phil Murphy. She is also an appointed member of Empower NYC Advisory Board and the NJ Veterans and Community Collaborative Network (VCCN). She is the 2016 recipient of the Jackson Drysdale Civilian of the Year Award from the GI Go Fund and the 2015 Betty Pendler Award for improving the lives of persons with disabilities from Community Options, Inc.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. Learn more by visiting


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