Tay Walker, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Walker has been a public health leader and a women’s health advocate for over 24 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public health, and she is working on her doctorate degree in psychology. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the National Society for Public Health Education, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Walker has previously worked as a President/CEO at a federally funded health center that provided access to critical reproductive health care services in Ocean County. In addition, she held positions as an Executive Director at a licensed adoption agency in Camden County, as a Deputy State Registrar for the New Jersey Department of Health, and as an Early Childhood & Health Services Administrator at Camden County Head Start in Camden City.
Throughout her career, Ms. Walker has successfully maneuvered the delicate balance between the dedication to mission, the need for bold entrepreneurial initiatives, and the application of sound business management.
Ms. Walker has experience managing the day-to-day operations of multi-site, multi-million-dollar programs with various funding streams. She has significant experience working as an integrated member of senior leadership teams for several federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in multi-cultural neighborhoods that were plagued by high-rates of infant mortality, teen fertility, unintended pregnancies, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, substance abuse, and chronic health conditions. She has experience working with communities of color, LGBTQ communities, ethnic and religious communities, people with multiple disabilities, and immigrant communities.
In bringing her experience and commitment to the YWCA Princeton, Ms. Walker is aiming to raise the organization’s profile, and to re-energizing the Princeton community around the YW’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and ensuring the wellbeing of children and youth in Mercer County. Ms. Walker is committed to working with the dynamic members of the Board of Directors, and her team of dedicated professionals to strengthen and build new strategic community alliances. Ms. Walker is committed to racial justice, and women’s rights.
Julie Sullivan-Crowley, Chief Operating officer
Julie Sullivan-Crowley has an extensive career in building process-based, comprehensive database systems for both higher education and non-profit administration. From the self-insured office of human resources to the faculty administration at Harvard University, Julie has developed and implemented systems ranging from claims processing to workload measurements. During her time with the Arts Council of Princeton, Julie designed and implement registration and donor management systems, as well as oversaw facilities management and space rentals.
After coming to YWCA Princeton in 2017, Julie immediately assessed the IT in place; recommended a plan for replacement, maintenance, and training; and successfully launched five new administrative systems. Julie now serves on the YWCA Facilities Committee on the renovation of our Program Building and the planning for new space to replace our Bramwell House, as well as on the Mission Committee overseeing our advocacy work.
Julie lives in Princeton with her wife and two daughters.
Michelle Ruggeri has over fifteen years of creating and implementing financial systems and infrastructures in non-profits. As the Chief Financial Officer at an AIDS nonprofit Michelle has been instrumental in working for organizations that serve the underserved. At SJAA Michelle was responsible for the implementation of a financial system that was organization-wide; this system allowed for the expansion to multiple counties.
Michelle has worked for and consulted with organizations in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and areas of New Jersey on how to improve their financial systems. Michelle has focused on helping organizations achieve federal grant compliance as well. At the Health Federation of Philadelphia, Michelle helped the organization through a federal audit, removing compliance infractions by making changes in the invoicing system of sub-recipients enabling the organizations to be compliant. Michelle has also consulted on financial compliant grant systems in nonprofits across the country.
Michelle has most recently worked on the Operational Excellence Team at Habitat for Humanity International. In that position, Michelle was responsible for analysis of financial and operational efficiency for 1200 Habitat affiliates in the United States. When needed, Michelle would teach the affiliates how to create policy, process and systems to support those policies. She created a financial scenario planner that allowed Habitat to determine the fiscal viability of an affiliate and the affiliate to determine the fiscal viability of a program prior to starting the program. It included budget creation for the affiliate as well.
Michelle graduated from Stockton University, with a degree in Business and a minor in Women’s Studies. The mission of the YWCA has been a passion of Michelle’s for many years, and she is thrilled to bring her skills to an organization that shares her passion. Michelle is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Michelle and her husband reside in South Jersey.
Jenn has over 10 years of experience in nonprofits across the country. She began her career at a small organization in Boston focused on empowering teen girls through media; there, she found a deep passion for philanthropy, community mobilization, and social change. In addition to Beantown, Jenn has worked with and advised organizations in San Francisco, Portland, Philadelphia, and more on fundraising, event, public relations, and volunteer activities. Most recently, Jenn headed the communications and development department at Arm In Arm, creating pathways to stability and self-sufficiency for vulnerable communities across Mercer County through food, housing, and job support.
Jenn is personally passionate about the YW’s mission work and feels grateful to be part of a global movement to create a better world for those most marginalized and least heard. She believes we are more powerful together, and that collective impact can make real, systemic change.
Jenn is originally from New Jersey and relocated back to the area in 2018 with her partner and cat, Mark and Sir Raymond, respectively.
Tara O’Shea, Director of Child Care & Programs
As the Director of Child Care & Programs for the YWCA Princeton Tara O’Shea is responsible for the daily operations of The Burke Foundation Early Childhood Center at YWCA Princeton and youth programs. This includes but is not limited to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for infants and school-aged children. She manages a staff of over 20, which includes the TBFECC, After School Program, Dance, Aquatics and Robotics and Summer enrichment. Tara’s responsibility, vast experience, and strong communication skills are just a few of the essential traits Tara possesses in this role.
Since January 2007, Tara O’Shea has served as the YWCA Princeton Director of Youth Programs and has been responsible for managing the youth activities, which include gymnastics and martial arts, summer camps and winter/spring breaks, Princeton University reunion camps, and after school programs sponsored by the YWCA. In this capacity, she facilitates the development of new programs, oversees the program offerings, and supervises staff across the departments to ensure these programs embody the YWCA’s mission and serve the needs of the community. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. She presently serves on the Princeton Early Childhood Advisory Council (PECAC). This council includes parents, community members and early childhood educators of Princeton, brought together for the purpose of collaboration and advisory to support young children and their families. She is a member of the National After School Alliance (NAA). She works closely with the NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities for quality improvements in the after school program focusing on SEL ( Social Emotional Learning) and inclusion. A grant funds from the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development.
Tara has been an active member of the YWCA since she joined the organization in 1996. She saw the importance of bringing her then 2 young children to the YW for swimming lessons, and learned the importance of feeling comfortable & safe in and around the water, whether it be a pool, lake or ocean.
In 1998 in conjunction with the Aquatic Director, she planned and implemented the YWCA Princeton Aquatic Outreach Program at the West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School. She remains involved in the program as an instructor.
Tara’s educational/recreational experience includes over 25 years of working with youths, from infants to school-age children, teaching land & water exercises from young adults to seasoned adults, teaching learn to Swim lessons that includes Parent/Toddler classes to learn to swim Levels 1-6 & Lifeguard Training & Water Safety Instructor.
This array of experiences has allowed Tara to stay focused on utilizing the most developmentally appropriate practices in cognitive development, exploratory play, and physical and motor development for children. Furthermore, the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women shapes both Tara’s child care program as well as her leadership style. She values inclusivity and diversity in her classrooms—from students to staff, and works to ensure anti-bullying and tolerance are practiced in each classroom.
Tara received a BA in Early Childhood Education Masters in Reading from Brooklyn College. She also holds certifications as an American Red Cross Instructor Trainer for Lifeguard Training & Water Safety Instructor.
Andrea Costas, Executive Assistant
Andrea has over 10 years of municipal program management and over 20 years of supervisory experience. Prior to joining our team, she worked at the Borough of Highland Park as a Recreation/Arts Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management – Wildlife and Forestry and held many certifications such as NJ Board of Recreation Examiners; Playground Safety Inspector; CPR/AED/First Aid for adult and pediatric and a member of Middlesex County and New Jersey State Animal Response Team.