Leadership

Raul Russi, Chief Executive Officer

leader1Raul Russi is the Chief Executive Officer of Acacia Network, Inc. As such, he provides executive management of the day to day operations for the largest Puerto Rican-founded organization in New York. Raul Russi was born in Patillas, Puerto Rico and relocated to Buffalo New York with his family at an early age. In 1996, Mr. Russi was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, having served as Chairman of the NYS Parole Board since 1990, as well as the first Latino sheriff of the City of New York. In 1973, Mr. Russi created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the first full service agency headed by a Latino in Buffalo, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association. Mr. Russi also provided critical leadership by creating a task force that led to the formation of the first residential substance abuse treatment facility in Western New York known as Horizon Village, now operated by Horizon Human Services.

In his early Criminal Justice career, Mr. Russi became Buffalo’s first Hispanic police officer and ultimately awarded the department’s Purple Heart when he was shot in the line of duty. Thereafter, he was appointed to the State Commission of Correction’s Citizens Policy and Complaint Review Council and subsequently became Superintendent of the Erie County New York Correctional Facility.

Raul Russi has four children and lives in lower Manhattan with his wife Rody Reyes-Russi and his youngest son Joshua Russi.

Hon. Hector L. Diaz, President

The Honorable Hector L. Diaz was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Prior to his appointment as President of Acacia Network, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for BASICS/Promesa Systems, Inc. Mr. Diaz is a member of the Board of Trustees of Boricua College, The University of the State of New York Education Departments Local Government Records Advisory Council, and of the Board of Trustees for the Unified Court System Bronx County Law Library.

Mr. Diaz served as New York City Clerk and Clerk of the Council and as the Bronx County Clerk for over 14 years. As County Clerk, Mr. Diaz was designated Commissioner of Jurors and Clerk of the Supreme Court. He has the distinction of being the first Latino County Clerk in the State of New York. He represented Bronx County with distinction for seven consecutive terms as Member of the New York State Assembly, where he created the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.

Pamela Mattel, LCSW, Chief Operating Officer

Pamela Mattel is the Chief Operating Officer of Acacia Network, Inc. She received a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University in 1983 and has been working in the field of primary and behavioral health care for over 28 years. Ms. Mattel ensures that the organization delivers high quality, integrated primary and behavioral healthcare and housing services while supporting continuous performance improvement and innovation.

Ms. Mattel is actively involved in several member associations, as well as many federal, state and local initiatives. She has contributed to curriculum development for New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. She was the senior trainer for an intensive training program for over 900 clinical supervisors and worked closely with OASAS to provide technical assistance on clinical supervision as a best practice. Ms. Mattel has been very involved with The New York State Medicaid Redesign Team serving as a member of the Health Disparities Subcommittee, and the Health Home Workgroup, and has led Acacia’s effort to become a certified Health Home in collaboration with the Bronx Accountable Health Network.

Milton A. DeRienzo, Chief Financial Officer

Milton A. DeRienzo has joined the Executive Team of Acacia Network as the Chief Financial Officer and will oversee all aspects of Acacia’s financial operations. He brings more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational management to support the mission and values of Acacia Network.

He recently served for over 6 years as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services (formerly Episcopal Social Services) overseeing all financial and operational functions and guiding the organization’s revenue growth of this human service agency from $36 to $80 million.

Mr. DeRienzo’s experience includes serving as Executive Director for Business and Financial Management at New York City College of Technology, a component of the City University of New York (CUNY). During his thirteen-year tenure, he was responsible for formulating and implementing budgetary policy, as well as managing the business, operational and financial affairs of the college and its various affiliated entities.

Mr. DeRienzo has also held a senior finance role as the Chief Accountant and Director of Operations for the $6 billion NYC Fire Department Retirement System, where he served for 14 years.

Mr. DeRienzo is a Certified Public Accountant with a BS in Accounting and Information Systems as well as in Economics, and earned a Master of Science in Accounting from Queens College (CUNY). He is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation holder. Mr. DeRienzo was awarded the Leon Lowenstein Award for Administrative Accomplishments at FDNY, and a certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers’ Association. He maintains memberships in a number of professional organizations including the NYS Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA) and the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA).

David P. Glasel, Esq., Director of Legal Affairs and Chief Legal Officer

Mr. Glasel was appointed as The Acacia Network Director of Legal Affairs and Chief Legal Officer in July 2014. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Glasel was an integral part of the Acacia team in his role as lead outside counsel at the law firm of Hiscock & Barclay for more than twenty years, dating back to B.A.S.I.C.S. and Promesa. Mr. Glasel most recently served as Senior Partner at Hiscock & Barclay and as Chairman Emeritus of its Healthcare and Human Services Practice Area, which he established in 1999. He also served as partner in two other law firms over a nine year period after service as Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the New York State Department of Social Services, a position he held for 7 years.

Mr. Glasel has been lead counsel for regulatory and licensure matters with federal, state and New York City agencies. Mr. Glasel was named among the “Best Lawyers for Health Care” by Corporate Counsel magazine. He has served as a presenter at federal, state and City forums. Mr.Glasel authored a cover article on Risk Management and Compliance Strategy for Behavioral Healthcare, a national behavioral health magazine. Mr. Glasel earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Hofstra University and his juris doctorate from Cornell University School of Law.