Our Team

Kelley Williams

Executive Director

Kelley helped lead the effort to organize The DOME Project/Strycker’s Bay partnership and co-authored the The Commons Concept Paper. Her experience in the youth development field grew from her work as a community and tenant organizer and as a parent in need of affordable quality afterschool programming. Kelley is an alumnus of The DOME Project’s 1978-79 Drop-Out Prevention Program, which offered her the opportunity to be paid for the volunteer work she was already doing at Strycker’s Bay, and obtained her GED before the program ended. She continued to work with Strycker’s Bay after graduating from the program and became the Executive Director in 1987 at age 25. Kelley went on to found Strycker’s Bay’s after-school program and other youth serving programs now operating at The Commons as part of its portfolio of programs. She also co-founded The Community Action School (middle school) located in the Joan of Arc School Complex on West 93rd Street. She has a strong background in program development and operations and believes in developing strong long-term relationships with community residents, including children, to ensure they have a safe space to learn, play and discover the world around them. Because of her bi-racial background and life-long connection to the Latino community on the Upper West Side, she is able to communicate with diverse audiences and creates a personal connection with the people and groups she works with. Kelley attended BMCC and studied philosophy, anthropology and sociology.

Janice Bethea

Director of Family Services

Janice specializes in Eviction Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Entitlements & Benefits. With nearly 18 years of experience in the eviction prevention and social service field, Janice has worked with a diverse group of adults, with participants’ ages ranging from 21 to 95. She provides case management services to clients who are at risk of losing their homes, benefits and services through advocacy, information and referrals. Janice is passionate about her work at the Commons. She’s empowered by the organization’s mission and the positive impact on the lives of so many individuals in need of our support. Janice prides herself on exhausting all possible solutions to help families.

Erica Bynum

Family Services Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator

Erica’s experience working with nonprofits began at age 14 when she became a participant in NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program and filled an Assistant Group Leader position in our summer day camp. She has been with the organization ever since.  She has extensive experience working with children and families. Now a mother herself, she has a passion for parent engagement and advocacy in public schools. Erica is a graduate of York Preparatory School and attended MaryMount Manhattan College.

Janis Jasper Gray

Finance Manager

Rebecca Schmidt Castka

Grants and Institutional Giving

Rebecca manages our grant writing and institutional giving. She has a MFA and 16 years of experience in grants and program development, fundraising, research, and strategy services to nonprofit organizations. She first worked with The West Side Commons in 2003 as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer. During her VISTA service, she facilitated our certification as a federal Housing Counseling agency under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and secured our first federal grant with HUD.  Rebecca has worked with various other organizations over the years and has a successful track record of securing private and public funds totaling more than $35 million.

Viondra Herring

HR and Operations

Jessica Colridge

Digitization and Communications