Meet our Board

The Associated Blind Foundation has a Board of Directors that has a long history of providing guidance and leadership to our non-profit organization. Our Board of Directors, which is composed of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets, is committed to fulfilling our mission of providing support to the blind and visually impaired community at Selis Manor.

Man smiling happily with a blue collared shirt, yellow tie with diagonal blue stripes and suit jacket. Joe Malewich, President of Associated Blind Foundation

Joseph Malewich

Associated Blind Foundation President

Joe Malewich’s services to the Associated Blind HDFC began in 1990 and is currently Vice President of the A.B.H.D.F.C and President of the Associated Blind Foundation. 

After graduating from St. Franchise College Joe began his career as a Systems Analyst which transitioned into a career in Criminal Investigations at NYC Department of Investigations. He focused on Anti Corruption investigations and implementation of Anti Corruption policy.

After graduating from the Police Academy, Joe’s focus turned to Special Investigations, Rackets and organized crime while retiring as a First Grade detective.

While assigned to D.A.O.K. / NYPD Detective Squad, Joe was honored by the US Department of Justice for his Law Enforcement contributions in addition to various awards for meritorious service.

Throughout his career he was active in the community.

Joe’s involvement with the Associated Blind Foundation centered on enhancing the lives of the visually impaired and disabled tenants at Selis Manor.

The foundation’s main focus is to empower the quality of life for these tenants. In 2019 he was honored to receive the Joe Falzone Award for Volunteerism, by the Epiphany School Foundation.

Joe focused on transitioning Selis Manor throughout the construction revitalization and rehabilitation project to conform with A.D.A. standards and the necessities of the visually impaired.

The A.B. Housing Board and the A.B. Foundation work collectively as a team to enhance the lives at Selis Manor. These commitments focus on the Board’s goals while maintaining serving the tenants of Selis Manor. 

Barbara Woods. Woman smiling at an angle toward the camera with mid-length blond hair and bangs. She is wearing a mock turtle neck black shirt with a long necklace.

Barbara Woods

Board Member

Barbara Woods is currently working with the City of New York Social Services Department planning events and activities for staff, heritage committees, employee resource groups, including disability awareness and all New Yorkers.  

Barbara previously worked with iNDemand Pay-Per-View and HBO in production of promotional materials for the networks and affiliates.
Other volunteer positions include the University of Geaorgia’s National Alumni Board, Executive Leadership positions in New York City’s  Alpha Omicron Pi Alumna groups.

Barbara enjoys lecturing and volunteering with her local church.  Past experience includes acting and producing theatre and film and looking forward to providing more experiences for the tenants of Selis Manor to be involved in these activities. 

Denise Leonard, white short blond hair, round pearl earrings, smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black blazer with a white blouse, gold necklace with a pearl pendant.

Denise Leonard


Denise Leonard has been a member of the Associated Blind Foundation since its formation and currently serves as the Secretary.

Denise brings with her forty years experience working for the New York City Department of Education.

She received her Professional Degree from the City University of New York and her MS from Brooklyn College.

Denise is active in her own community where she is a member of many organizations and believes strongly in the importance of volunteering. 

Donald Smith, Man looking straight into the camera wearing a white collared shirt, gray suit jacket, and red and gold patterned tie.

Donald Smith

Board Member

Donald Smith has served as a member of the Associated Blind HDFC Board of Directors for over 30 years.

Having attended Villanora University as an undergraduate and graduate student, Don received a masters degree in counseling and human resource management early in his career. Don was a teacher, and counselor in secondary education for ten years, also supporting the Middle Atlantic State School Accreditation Team and counseling / referral of organizations as a consultant.

Transitioning to corporate retail, Don has held management positions in finance, operations and risk management with the Gimbels Organization, Federated and Sterns Department Stores and Charming Shoppes Corporation.

As a strong advocate for non-profit organizations, Mr. Smith has worked closely with the Christian Appalachian Project, Ecumenical Council for Developmentally Impaired, Distributed Education Clubs of America and Mantua Development Project, conducting programs for under-privileged city children as well as coordinating support for the physically handicapped community for the same.

Don is committed to support the Associated Blind Foundation as a board member with the on-going goal to improve the lives of the visually impaired and wheelchair confined community of Selis Manor.

John LiCastro, Man smiling at the camera with a red sweatshirt with the word "McGill" across the chest and a blue collared shirt underneath.

John LiCastro

Board Member

John LiCastro served as Owner’s Representative on the Selis Manor Renovation where he oversaw construction on a daily basis. He worked closely with the residents, coordinating schedules and disruptions imposed by the renovation, as well as individual training on the newer furnishings.

Before that, John worked as a Facility Manager at Broadway Video where he supervised the renovation of video edit rooms as well as the construction of audio recording studios and a video duplication facility.

He later worked at the In Demand Network as Associate Director of Facilities at their newly constructed corporate headquarters in lower Manhattan.

Through daily interactions with the tenants of Selis Manor John has achieved a close awareness of the many individual needs, and hopes to use that knowledge for the continued improvement of the lifestyle offered here.

Kenneth, board member, smiling at camera from the side. Kennth has gray hair, black rectangle glasses and is wearing a blue button up shirt with white palm print.

Kenneth Sidlowski

Lifelong Manhattan NYC Resident

Over 20 years member of the Associated Blind Housing Board. Vice President, Associated Blind Foundation. Retired. Former Business Officer, Xavier High School, Manhattan NYC, 1988-2020. BS Manhattan College, MBA Fordham University.