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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

Executive Vice President and Finance & Chief Growth Officer 


Robert is responsible for the management of the agency’s fiscal affairs. In his 23 years at GBCA he has been instrumental in establishing financial control systems that managed 580+ employees, growing the agency’s annual budget, and implementing the first successfully New Jersey chartered Federal Credit Union in over 20 years, 1st Bergen. He is a pivotal figure in orchestrating real estate deals for community service spaces and affordable housing, and creating new partnerships that evolve into revenue sources that serve income eligible households like CAP Solar. Robert is a financial wizard, using his financial superpowers to orchestrate the resources of GBCA in ways that empower and change lives.

Haymee Cancio-Medina

Chief Financial Officer

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Haymee is a seasoned financial expert with more than 30 years of experience, including 15 years in the private sector before making the switch to the nonprofit sector. As the Chief Financial Officer, she is responsible for troubleshooting all financial challenges, both externally and internally, while ascertaining the agency’s standing for operational function. Haymee’s role is vital as she maintains the agency’s ability to contribute to the community programs and employ 580 individuals. Her philosophy in life is to be kind and do the right thing even if no one is looking.

Lynne Algrant

Chief Resource & Development Officer 

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There is no typical day for Lynne. Her workload consists of reviewing data, understanding emerging community needs, researching funding opportunities, and assisting with marketing and communications strategy including thought leadership on how to create economic mobility for our most vulnerable neighbors. Having served as the CEO of two small nonprofit organizations before, Lynne looks to merge public, private, and nonprofit sectors with GBCA to help tackle the challenges that impact the most vulnerable in our communities. Lynne believes the American Dream should be for everyone regardless of who they are or where they live and that drives her passion for the work that she does every day.

Mya Martinez

Vice President of Human Capital and Culture


Mya develops strategic Human Resource plans and polices while collaborating with leadership to align the organization’s goals and objectives with employee recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Her extensive experience in employee relations has given her the tools to successfully develop a culture of trust and consistency within the organization. Mya has served as a foster parent for 18 years and was rewarded Therapeutic Foster Family of the Year for New Jersey, representing Bergen County. She is extremely proud of the contribution her family has made to over 60 vulnerable children in New Jersey by preparing them for a brighter future and family to call their own. Mya’s quote to live by is “one of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others”, by Lewis Carroll.

Mike Lamendola

Vice President of Community Development & Real Estate

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Mike is tasked with coordinating and implementing community development initiatives, collaborating with staff on agency objectives, and researching program development opportunities and new funding streams. Tenacious research and storytelling, active listening skills, and compassion for others - all skills he acquired while he was a journalist, became essential for the work he does now within the agency. Mike believes that when individuals know that someone cares, and is listening, it opens a pathway to get them out of that hardship in the most efficient way possible.

Mary Cudina

Vice President of Head Start and Early Head Start


Mary supervises and manages all operations of the program in Bergen County, and the cities of Paterson and Jersey City. Her past experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in maternal and child health field helps her to ensure that the program prioritizes children, families and staff’s relational health in all the comprehensive services we provide. Mary’s work within GBCA has taught her the value of flexibility and the importance of self-reflection when serving in a leadership role. One of her favorite children’s books is “Leo the Late Bloomer” by Robert Kraus.

Alison DuBois

Vice President of Community Services

Alison DuBois

Alison provides support and counseling, resolves challenging problems with actionable solutions, manages programs for at-risk individuals, and collaborates with staff in their respective programs to assist clients. With over 30 years of service at GBCA, Alison utilizes her skills as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor to conduct assessments, develop interventions and enhance clients’ social well-being and responsibility. Her philosophy in life is to live by deeds, not words.

Figen Tabakci

Vice President of Education & Immigrant Resource Center

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Figen supervises and leads the ETC team, ensures classes are running appropriately, student assessments are being conducted, and deadlines for grant applications and reporting are made. As an immigrant herself and over 20 years of work at GBCA under her belt, Figen understands the needs of the immigrant communities we serve such as learning English and gaining the life skills necessary to adapt to life in America. Figen lives by Gandhi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Andrea Borja

Director of Strategic 

Marketing and Communications

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Audra Tamayo

Director of

Food and Nutrition Services

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Roberta Utenwoldt

Associate Vice President of Training, Education & Ancillary Services

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