Executive Team

President and CEO

Dr. Fox joined WIHD as President and CEO in 2016. She previously served as Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). In this role she managed the organization’s UCEDD and State Core grants, handled human resources and personnel matters, and led strategic planning and implementation of the IOD’s strategic plan. Dr. Fox has been successful in bridging relationships between aging and disability which resulted in the founding of the Center on Aging and Community Living at the University of New Hampshire where she served as Director.

Dr. Fox served as the state director for developmental disabilities services in New Hampshire for five years. Some of her most significant accomplishments in that role were the development of an In-Home Support waiver for children with significant developmental and medical needs; the implementation of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Buy-In program for working adults; and the development of New Hampshire’s first Olmstead Plan. She also has experience in a broad range of community settings providing supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired brain disorders, physical disabilities, mental health, and who are aging.  Her lifelong work has been dedicated to assuring that individuals with disabilities and their families are able to realize their dreams and live full and meaningful lives in their communities.

Dr. Fox has a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership focusing on Special Education Administration from Lesley University and a second Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire, with an emphasis on aging and caregiving.

Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Marianne Ventrice was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Westchester Institute for Human Development (“WIHD”) upon the organization’s spin off from the Westchester County Health Care Corp. in 2005. Ms. Ventrice has led WIHD through the initial phases of an independent organization and continues at the helm as WIHD continues to grow and develop both existing and new program initiatives. During her tenure the organization’s annual operating budget has more than doubled in size. In her current role as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Ms. Ventrice has responsibility both the financial stewardship of the organization as well as operational areas which include facilities and information technology. She has amassed over 30 years of experience in the accounting and finance field and obtained her Certified Public Accountancy license in 1991. Prior to her tenure with WIHD, Ms. Ventrice was the Manager of Fiscal Operations for Westchester County Health Care Corp, Controller for the Home Care Division of the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens, and an Audit and Assurance Manager at the Big 4 accounting firm KPMG LLP. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Manhattan College School of Business.

Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Tricia Patrick was appointed Chief Academic Officer and Co-UCEDD Director of WIHD in 2020; she previously served as WIHD’s Director of Research since 2014. Dr. Patrick is an epidemiologist by training, having completed her MPH and DrPH at New York Medical College in 2003 and 2010, respectively. In her current and past professional positions, Dr. Patrick collaborates with faculty and staff from a variety of clinical and program areas in designing and implementing research projects as well as in writing abstracts, manuscripts and grants. In addition to identifying and guiding the organization’s research agenda, Dr. Patrick supports student engagement at WIHD and facilitates relationships with affiliated universities and colleges. As Co-UCEDD Director, her duties include developing, implementing and reporting on activities conducted under our UCEDD grant.

Chief Clinical Officer

Izel Obermeyer was appointed Chief Clinical Officer at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), in 2020. She previously served WIHD as the director of the assistive technology program since 2006. She is an occupational therapist (OT) who graduated from the University of Pretoria, Vona duToit OT school in 1987.  She was a LEND fellow at WIHD in 2006/2007.  She completed her post professional Master’s degree in 2008, and started working on her PhD in 2017.  She has worked in South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, Kenya and the USA.  In her current role, she oversees and manages the adult health services, the behavioral health program, the dental program,  the speech and hearing center, the early intervention program  and assistive technology and occupational therapy services for WIHD. She coordinates all graduate level assistive technology courses, which are being taught for masters programs in special education, for a number of colleges in the area.  She is involved in the development of smart technology initiatives within WIHD and is an active advocate for assistive technology inclusion in schools. Izel is the project leader for the Multimedia Technology Center at WIHD and has been working on developing and using multimedia for person-centered work as well as instruction for the past number of years.  She often presents papers at conferences, colleges and schools.  She recently co-authored a chapter on cognition and executive function in children, for the 3rd edition of the book “Cognition across the life span”.  She was always actively involved in the professional associations for OT in all the countries she worked and lived in. She is the Past-President of the Namibian OT Association as well as the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA), and the 2006 NYSOTA conference at the United Nations was her brain-child. She is also a past Chairperson of state association presidents at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Izel was awarded her Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2017.  She is currently involved in three research projects:  Executive Function for middle school students, fine motor enrichment in Kindergarten and First Grade as well as the development and evaluation of multimedia technology for individuals with cognitive impairment to promote person centered practice.

Chief Compliance and Quality Improvement Officer


Kataliya (Liya) Caiazzo, PT, MPT, MBA was appointed the Chief Compliance & Quality Improvement Officer in 2020 and was previously the Regulatory Compliance & Quality Improvement Officer at WIHD since August 2012. Her primary responsibilities include oversight of Compliance, Quality Improvement, Regulatory, Health Information Management, and HIPAA. Mrs. Caiazzo has over 20 years of experience in health care beginning her career as a Physical Therapist. As a clinician she has real life insight into clinical aspect of health care while combining her business knowledge through her MBA to help support and collaborate with all programs at WIHD. She has a wide range of clinical, quality, compliance, and leadership experience in specialty hospital care, trauma centers, hospital networks, and outpatient clinics. Mrs. Caiazzo is an author, educator, mentor, and non-profit advisory council member. She obtained her bachelors in Health Care and Masters in Physical Therapy at Quinnipiac University and MBA in Health Care Administration at Baruch College.

Chief Child Welfare Officer

Danielle Weisberg, LCSW has served as WIHD’s Chief Child Welfare Officer since January 2011 and has responsibility for program development, budgeting, policy formation and staff development. Ms. Weisberg has over 25 years of experience working in the child welfare field, including leadership positions at the Legal Aid Society and the Administration for Children’s Services in New York City. Ms. Weisberg also previously served on the board of the New York State Children’s Alliance, the New York State Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance representing the Hudson Valley region. Ms. Weisberg obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire and her Master’s Degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work.

Director of LEND Program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities)
Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator

Dr. Castillo is the director of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) Program. She is Assistant Professor of Practice in the Center on Disability and Health in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College (NYMC) and is the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at WIHD. Until recently, she was Assistant Director of WIHD’s Child Welfare Program. Dr. Castillo has been a LEND faculty member and child psychologist at WIHD since completing her post-doctoral fellowship and LEND traineeship in psychology at WIHD in 2003.

Throughout her career, Dr. Castillo has collaborated at the national level on activities and projects related to leadership development, diversity, inclusion and cultural competence.  As a post-doctoral LEND fellow she served as a national trainee representative on the Diversity Workgroup of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. In 2016, she was selected as a member of the national cohort for the Cultural and Linguistic Competency Leadership Academy of the National Center for Cultural Competency of Georgetown University.  She was named WIHD’s first Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator in 2016.  In 2018, NYMC chose her as the first recipient of its Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Director of the Community Support Network (CSN) and Policy

Naomi Brickel, M.S.Ed., is the Director of the Community Support Network and Policy at WIHD. In these roles she oversees WIHD’s Self-Advocacy programs, Self-Direction Services, the implementation of state grants and contracts related to education and technical assistance for families and professionals navigating disability services across the lifespan, provides professional development and assists school districts in program development and implementation, and oversees policy initiatives for the organization. Her areas of expertise and research interests include student and family engagement, student post-secondary transition and self-determination (including student-driven IEPs, school-to-work, and inclusive post-secondary education, and educational and adult systems policy. She has played an active role in state policy development in all of these areas and is appointed to NYSED’s Commissioner’s Advisory Panel. Naomi co-authored a NYSED Training curriculum and has developed online resources to assist families and students with disabilities to be more engaged in IEP development, including the Student “Draft IEP” Tool. Naomi oversaw establishment of two Project SEARCH programs, a regional SEARCH Consortium, and has provided consultation in the development of several inclusive post-secondary programs, She presents frequently at conferences and other events, which have included the National State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Annual Conference, the U.S. OSEP National Leadership Conference, NYSED, state and national conferences of the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and others.

Naomi earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Special Education and Transition from the University of Kansas. She and her husband reside in New Rochelle, NY where her six children have or still attend public schools, and she served formerly on the Board of Education. She was also an active Parent Member, participating in hundreds of CSE and CPSE meetings over years. She is the recipient of the 2015 New Rochelle Special Education PTA Bridges Award, in recognition of her work to promote the meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities within school and the community, and the 2018 NYCASE Friend of Special Education Award, recognizing her career devoted to “advocating for children and families and improving opportunities and outcomes for all.”