Diane Palmer, Board President
Diane Palmer joined the Women Aware Board of Directors in May 2006. She has held the offices of secretary and vice-president before becoming president in January 2014. Diane became involved over 20 years ago with Women Aware as a children’s program volunteer. She is employed by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as the fellowship program supervisor and Medical Grand Rounds’ coordinator for the Department of Medicine. Possessing a volunteer nature, Diane is the president of the Greater Brunswick Area Woman’s Club; ushers at the State Theatre; and serves on her church’s Mission Commission, which helps those less fortunate. Immediate family members include her husband Glenn of 45 years, a daughter Stephanie, a son Glenn, and her five grandchildren.
Jessica Oppenheim, Board Vice President
Jessica S. Oppenheim, Esq. is the Director of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Program of The Arc of NJ, a statewide program which provides advocacy for people with developmental disabilities who become involved in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining The Arc of NJ in 2010, she was an Assistant Prosecutor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice, Dept. of Law and Public Safety, from 1985 until 2010. In that capacity, she was Bureau Chief of the Prosecutor’s Supervision and Coordination Bureau, the unit which oversaw the 21 County Prosecutor’s Offices and 600 law enforcement agencies on behalf of the Attorney General. She also drafted and implemented the Attorney General’s Megan’s Law Guidelines, prosecuted Megan’s Law and domestic violence cases and provided training and policies and protocols for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors throughout the State on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, internal affairs policies, Megan’s Law and dealing with diverse populations. She has taught as an adjunct professor for the Paralegal Studies Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition to her Board membership for Women Aware, she is a board member for the NJ Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.
Patty Whitehouse, Secretary
Patty has been involved with Women Aware since 2010. Currently, she is an active member of the Women Aware, Inc. Board of Directors, serving as its Board Secretary. Patty, a retired Chubb and Son Vice President, is also a certified executive and life coach. Patty has been a community service volunteer for many years. Currently, Patty is the President of the Peapack-Gladstone Woman’s Club, Treasurer of the Highlands District Past Presidents Club and Treasurer of the GFWC/NJSFWC Past State Presidents Club. She served on the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ (GFWC) Board of Directors as its Communications and Public Relations Committee Chairman (2012-2014) and in her role as the President of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC (2010-2012). In 2012, Patty was named a Garden State Woman of the Year for Women’s Initiatives in the non-profit arena and received the GFWC Charlotte Emerson Brown Award for Excellence in State Leadership. Patty and Bill, a retired executive from Kraft/Nabisco Foods, have been happily married for almost 48 years.
Matthew Flannery, Treasurer
Matthew Flannery, New Brunswick NJ, was educated at Reed College, the University of Chicago, and Rutgers University in philosophy and urban and regional planning. He refines English translations of Chinese poems from 200-1200; collects recordings of western classical chamber and solo music in historical depth; edits scholarly papers; translates the occasional poem by Georg Trakl; collects Chinese calligraphy and seal stones.
Jayshree “Tina” Dave
Jayshree “Tina” Dave rejoined the Women Aware Board as of July 2014. Tina is a PMI certified project manager and currently works for S&P Global. Before that, she spent 10 years as a licensed correspondent banker and running her own mortgage banking business. She assisted her clients to purchase businesses and homes. Tina was Treasurer and Chairperson of the Finance Committee of Women Aware from 2006 to 2008. She was a charter member of the South Brunswick Domestic Violence Task Force. Tina enjoys travelling and spending time with her family.
Ellen joined Women Aware’s board in 2015. She has a 31-year career as an accomplished family law attorney and currently practices at Ramatowski, Spilka & Schwartz in East Brunswick. Ellen is known as a zealous advocate for her clients while maintaining an attitude of fairness with her adversaries and courtesy and professionalism in all circumstances. She received a BA degree in Political Science from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA and her JD degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark in 1985. In 2004 she joined with some colleagues and friends and founded the firm Ramatowski, Spilka, and Schwartz in East Brunswick, concentrating in all aspects of matrimonial law. Ellen and her husband Richard have been married for 33 years, and they have two children. In her spare time Ellen enjoys running and travel.
Joyce joined Women Aware’s board in 2017. She is an Executive Director with JP Morgan Chase in their Capital Markets Group, specifically in the residential mortgage-backed securities area. Prior to joining the bank in 2008, Joyce was a founder and member of Board of Directors of Hanover Capital Mortgage Holdings, Inc. a publicly-traded REIT specializing in subordinate mortgage-backed securities, and also served as the President of Hanover Capital Partners Ltd., a subsidiary which provided mortgage credit risk consulting and advisory services to the public and private sector. Prior to forming Hanover, Joyce was a residential mortgage trader at Citibank, N.A. following her position at Standard and Poor’s Inc. as a rating analyst in the mortgage securities group. Joyce has a BA from the University of Scranton and an MBA from Temple University.
Christine Clayton-Stroh joined the Board of Directors of Women Aware in 2017. She currently serves as the internal communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she also assists Foundation leadership with public speaking. Previously, she provided communications support to the Foundation’s grant programs in New Jersey, as well as to its national programs that work to bring about changes in public policy, community environments, and industry practices to ensure that all children across the nation have opportunities to achieve a healthy weight. Christine received her BA and MSW from Rutgers University and was a 2014 fellow of Lead New Jersey, which educates, empowers, and engages leaders to create systemic change around New Jersey’s most challenging issues. Prior to joining Women Aware, Christine spent more than 20 years as a volunteer with Womanspace, Inc., the agency that provides services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence in Mercer County, N.J. She and her husband currently reside in Highland Park.
W. Lois Kahagi
Lois Kahagi is matrimonial and family law attorney in New Jersey. Ms. Kahagi represents her clients in Family Court on Divorce, Custody and Post-divorce matters as well as non-dissolution family legal issues. Her work is focused on promoting swift resolution of family legal issues at the least financial and emotional cost. Prior to starting her practice in 2012, Ms. Kahagi completed a clerkship with the Honorable Lisa Vignuolo, of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Family Part. She regularly appears in family courts all over New Jersey representing her clients. Ms. Kahagi is 2018-2019 Secretary of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation, a Board Member of Women Aware, a domestic violence agency which provides safety and counseling services. She also serves as a board member of Families and Communities Together (FACT) of Union County, an organization dedicated to meeting needs of the families with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs.