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An Agency Rich in History; A Company Built for the Future 

An Agency Rich in History;

A Company Built for the Future 

  • the poor

  • the homeless

  • the underbanked

  • those in recovery from addictions

  • infants

  • preschoolers

  • at-risk youth

  • senior citizens

  • the unemployed and underemployed

  • the foreign born and other disenfranchised groups

  • other organizations that serve those in need

  • tenant/landlord advocacy

  • Financial Assistance, Residential and Energy Services (credit counseling, landlord-tenant disputes, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to reduce heating bills, homelessness prevention/assistance, transitional housing for youth ages 16-21 (PHASES), transitional sober living program (LADDER), weatherization to seal windows/doors and replace boilers)

  • Real Estate Development and Management Services (transitional/permanent housing units and case management, home repair/construction, SANDY related repairs, community/economic development, master developer of Garfield)

  • Education and Training (the State licensed vocational training center offers national credentials in green technology, customer and food service, citizenship prep, and English as a Second Language classes)

  • Early Childhood Development Programs (Early Head Start/Head Start)

  • The Finance and Grants Administration Division provides organizational oversight of agency financial resources, financial and budgeting services, accounts payable and receivables processing, as well as grant reporting, audit preparation and grant administration

  • Planning and Development provides grant writing, data tracking/reporting, evaluation, and planning for program/resource development

  • Support Services provides oversight of GBCA’s technology systems, transportation, security, purchasing, compliance, and maintenance  

  • The Human Resources Department has primary responsibility for all personnel, compliance, employee relations, labor relations, staff development, affirmative action and equal employment opportunities functions; Oversees and implements all payroll activities

GBCA serves 50,000 low-income persons yearly in Bergen County, Paterson, and Jersey City.  GBCA programs draw upon federal, state, and local government, as well as corporate and private sector support.  GBCA conducts annual community needs assessments and client surveys.  Client database and service outcomes are examined regularly to ensure goals are met. Community partners include: faith-based groups, social services, businesses, medical clinics, schools, government (municipal, county, state, federal), etc.


Greater Bergen Community Action Inc. (GBCA) is a progressive not-for-profit company working throughout New Jersey to build more sustainable families, community institutions, and neighborhoods. It does this through strategic investments in community and household finance, education, healthcare, housing, workforce development, energy, and neighborhood revitalization.

GBCA partners with a multitude of federal, state, and local government agencies along with private capital investors and lenders.

GBCA’s subsidiaries include a Federal Credit Union, a HUD-certified Community Housing Development Organization, a solar power company, a construction company, and a number of redevelopment entities. GBCA deploys the human capital of almost 600 dedicated staff in a wide range of professional disciplines, engaging the community at every level.

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Greater Bergen Community Action

I have  been privileged to serve as CEO since the mid-eighties. Unlike most not-for-profit community based-organizations, Greater Bergen Community Action does not focus on only one particular problem. We are over 600 staff members strong and growing, creatively operating in 35 facilities in Bergen, Passaic, and Hudson Counties, addressing the changing face of poverty in North Jersey. By creative, I don’t just mean in the intellectual sense. We are actually building things: new schools, affordable housing, and new offices. We completed our new credit union branch. We built a new health center, began construction on a new apartment building in Hackensack, and continue to create more solar installation.

We are actively aware there exists a huge gap between who the government says is poor (a family of four earning less than $24,000 per year) and the huge cohort of people who are effectively living in poverty at even double that income. In North Jersey, a family of four earning $60,000 is still not earning a living wage. Thus, opportunity solutions require expanded thinking, expanded resources, and expanded relationships.

Across the spectrum at GBCA, our clients speak 56 different languages and dialects. We may very well live in the most multi-cultural part of the world. As an organization, we will be striving in new ways to be culturally competent- to be the bridge between immigration and integration. We view it as a tremendous privilege to be able to engage with such a diverse community.


While GBCA is very heavily engaged in education, we are every bit as much a learning organization as we are a teaching organization. We know that we will not be relevant if we don’t first understand what economic and cultural distress looks like in 21st century New Jersey, and second, if we don’t learn from those who are innovating new approaches to dealing with these realities.


We do not pretend to know all that needs to be done to address the persistent condition of poverty, but we are sincerely committed to evolve and to innovate, to learn from those who can help us better understand, and to be as relevant and impactful as our talents and resources will permit.


We invite all who are interested in our work to step up and join with us, as together, we endeavor to change lives for the better.


GBCA - An Agency Rich in History and a Company Built For The Future.


The following staff members are a part of GBCA's Leadership Team.

They participate in the Strategic Planning and overall administrative management of the agency.

Xiomara Guevara

Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer

Xiomara provides leadership and guidance to the functional areas of external affairs, policy development and planning and provides agency-wide direction to Division heads. She is also responsible for the general management and supervision of all agency components. As Chief Legal Advisor, she is additionally responsible for advising in all legal matters that Greater Bergen is involved in and needs.

Robert Moore

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Finance

The Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Finance is responsible for the overall management of the agency’s fiscal affairs. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the 1st Bergen Federal Credit Union.

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Haymee Cancio-Medina

Deputy Chief Financial Officer

The Deputy CFO is responsible for the day to day management of agency fiscal affairs, including all accounting and purchasing personnel.

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Lynne Algrant

Vice President of Planning, Development and Communications

The Vice President of Planning, Development & Communications supervises and manages all operations of this division, including but not limited to: research and program development; grant writing and applications; data coordination; communication; outreach to collaborative agencies, funders, and the larger community; and providing leadership to all planning activities.

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Mike Lamendola

Vice President of Community Engagement

The Vice President of Community Engagement is responsible for providing leadership to Greater Bergen's community planning and downtown improvement, business and rental assistance program. He is also head of Greater Bergen's LIHEAP, Home Weatherization and Homelessness Prevention programs.

Mary Cudina

Executive Director of Head Start and Early Head Start

The Director of Head Start and Early Head Start (agency-wide) supervises and manages all operations of this program and provides direction to all components of the Head Start and Early Head Start Program in three counties (Bergen, Hudson, Passaic).

Alison DuBois
Alison DuBois

Vice President of Crisis Intervention Services

The Vice President of Crisis Intervention Services is responsible for the day-to-day operations and administrative management functions within the Financial Assistance, Residential, & Energy Services Division, and provides leadership to all Home Energy Programs.

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Figen Tabakci

Vice President of Education and Training

The Vice President of Education and Training provides the administrative management, leadership and overall evaluation of all programs related to education, job training and development, immigration and citizenship services. The following programs are included: English as Second Language, Out of School Youth Programs, Work First New Jersey Training Programs, New Americans, and Citizenship Instruction.

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Loretta Anderson

Area Director 

Paterson Head Start

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Andrea Borja

Director of Strategic 

Marketing and Communications

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Kirsy Mejia

Area Director 

Bergen Head Start

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Lisa Spellman

Area Director 

Jersey City Head Start

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Audra Tamayo

Director of

Food and Nutrition Services

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Roberta Utenwoldt

Associate Director 

GBCA Head Start

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