Providing Social, Educational,
and Capacity Building Services.

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// Participant, Webinar on Program Collaboration and Service Integration

Staff Directory

Gisele Pemberton, DrPH, MPH, CHES


908.351.7727 [ Ext. 249 ]

Dr. Pemberton is a public health leader with two decades of experience in building responsive and sustainable public health programs that respond to the needs of countries and communities.   Dr. Pemberton has worked as a practitioner and administrator in the fields of HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, reproductive health and violence prevention, both domestically and internationally.  Her passion for public health and social justice, combined with her expertise in the areas of program management, organizational development, strategic partnerships, and leadership development, has helped to distinguish Dr. Pemberton as a leader in her field. 

Dr. Pemberton is currently employed at PROCEED Inc. as the Director of the National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance.  Prior to holding this position, she worked at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - FXB Center’s Global AIDS Program where she served as the Caribbean Program Manager, with special projects in Africa.   Dr. Pemberton earned her doctoral degree in Public Health- Health Administration and Management from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ.  She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.  

Brenda Cruz

Manager of Training and Distance Learning

908.351.7727 [ Ext. 287 ]

Brenda Cruz is a bilingual Human Services professional with nearly 20 years of experience working in the field of public health. Ms. Cruz has expertise in organizational development, strategic planning, training/meeting management, web-based training solutions and curriculum development. Ms. Cruz has proven experience interacting with nonprofit executives and HIV prevention, care and treatment direct service health providers throughout the US and in the Caribbean. She is trained as a Facilitator, and in most cases Master Trainer in 12 HIV prevention interventions including: ARTAS, Social Networks Strategies, Couples HIV Testing and Counseling, Healthy Relationships, Safety Counts, SISTA, Partner Counseling and Referral Services, Voices/Voces, Real AIDS Prevention Program (RAPP), Respect, Modelo de Intervencion Psicomedica (MIP) and Motivational Interviewing for HIV and STD Prevention.  Since 1999, Ms. Cruz has provided HIV prevention focused technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and culturally diverse groups throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

In Brenda’s current position as Manager of Training Services and Distance Learning within PROCEED NCTSTA she leads the successful execution of capacity building trainings, institutes, regional conferences, web-based trainings and special events for health and human service organizations nationwide. Ms. Cruz completed graduate coursework at Fordham University's Graduate School of Education and earned her Bachelor's of Art's in Psychology from Rutgers University. Brenda enjoys reading works by Isabel Allende and Paulo Coelho and also takes pleasure in traveling with her family.





Jeff Blanchard, MAS

Program Manager - Organizational Development and Management

908.351.7727 [ Ext. 276 ]

Jeff is an established Organization Development (OD) practitioner and has been actively consulting and leading OD projects in the public, private and nonprofit sectors since the early 1990’s.  Jeff received his B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University and a Master of Administrative Science Degree fromFairleigh Dickinson University.  Jeff’s background includes consulting on program development projects for the Maryland State Department of Juvenile Services where he worked in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Social Work to develop, implement and evaluate programming for youth in state run residential centers.  Prior to starting his career in Organization Development, Jeff was a professional athlete in the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) and was involved in the Athletes Against Drugs (AAD) program in the City of Baltimore.  Jeff is currently employed at PROCEED, Inc., National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance where he has worked with more than 200 organizations, managing and implementing multifaceted organizational change interventions.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys reading business publications and riding motorcycles.



Sarahjane Rath, MPH, CHES

Program Manager and Trainer

908.351.7727 [ Ext. 274 ]

Sarahjane has been in the field of public health since she arrived in the United States eighteen (18) years ago. She currently works as a Program Manager and Trainer at PROCEED, Inc.’s, National Center for Training, Support, and Technical Assistance.  Sarahjane has been with PROCEED for almost a decade. She is the lead trainer in the following Effective Behavioral Interventions: Social Networks Strategies (SNS), Testing Together, Choosing Life: Empowerment, Action Results! (CLEAR), Anti-Retroviral Treatment Access Services (ARTAS), HIV Navigation Strategies (HNS) and Sin Buscar Excusas.  She is also trained in Motivational Interviewing for STD and HIV Prevention and Linkage to Care.  She enjoys developing curricula, training staff and providing technical assistance to agencies around the country. Sarahjane is also passionate about sexual and reproductive health and empowering individuals to make healthy, informed sexual decisions.  In her spare time she likes outdoor running and tending to her vegetable garden. Sarahjane holds a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Urban and Environmental Health from Rutgers University (formerly the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey).


Miguel Taveras, MA

Program Manager - Organizational Development and Management

908-351-7727 [Ext. 242]

Miguel has worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade, and the field of higher education for an additional eight years.  Miguel is an expert in the areas of change management and staff development, which were the focus of his graduate studies.  A firm believer in using technology to maximize organizational effectiveness, he has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, small businesses, and startups in the areas of adaptability, change management, strategic planning, scalability, organizational image and succession planning. Miguel started his career working in the for-profit sector, but considers helping nonprofit organizations perform at their peak, his life calling. Miguel graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. In his spare time, Miguel enjoys photography, independent films, and traveling with his family.

Brett Williams

Multimedia Support Specialist

908-351-7727 [Ext. 213]

Brett Williams is the Multimedia Support Specialist for PROCEED, Inc.’s National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance. His duties includes social media management, web content, email marketing, and creating electronic resources among other responsibilities. Brett has over eight years of experience in the field of Communications and Journalism which he brings to the team. He is a seasoned Content Writer, Editor, Blogger, and Journalist with a background in various other fields that he applies to his current role. Brett holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kean University in Communications with a concentration on Journalism, Film, and Media. In his spare time he likes to write creatively for his own personal projects and build up his website.


Joanne Medina

Program Support Specialist

908-351-7727 [Ext. 348]

Joanne Medina has held a number of positions within PROCEED, Inc. over the last 15 years. Mrs. Medina currently serves as a Program Support Specialist within the National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance (NCTSTA), where she assists a team of trainers and organizational development experts in the provision of capacity-building assistance to organizations that provide HIV prevention, care and treatment services throughout the US, Puerto Rico and the USVI. Joanne is a key player in the management of NCTSTA’s trainings, institutes and meetings and develops communication products for many of the events. She also supports NCTSTA’s use of web-based technology to expand the reach and scope of its training and technical assistance offerings. Mrs. Medina has developed expertise in the areas of program administration, financial management, program monitoring, client relations and program reporting. Mrs. Medina earned her Associate’s Degree from Union County College and completed coursework in Psychology at Kean University in Union, NJ. Joanne looks forward to continuing her education in the near future. Joanne spends her free time with her family biking, bowling and traveling throughout the US and internationally.



Shayram Marinez

Student Intern


Shayram Marinez is a Student Intern at PROCEED Inc. National Center for Training, Support and Technical Assistance. Shayram's duties include organizing materials, processing health forms, creating promotional items, and assisting in the design of PowerPoint Presentations for trainings. She has done HIV/AIDS related research for social media postings and managed The Regional Consultant Development Project for Consultant Recruitment.  Shayram is currently a sophomore majoring in Biology with a Pre-Professional Concentration.