The Dare to Run board consists of nonprofit professionals, campaign consultants, business leaders, activists, and local political leaders.
Founder and President
Rachelle received her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City in 2017. Prior to that, Ms. Suissa completed a Master of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in American Government from Brooklyn College in 2010. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Women’s and Gender Studies from Pace University in New York City in 2008. She was currently elected to her third year as President of the Board of Dare to Run, Inc. She also currently sits on the Junior Advisory Board for the Leopold Schepp Scholarship Foundation Event Planning Committee.
Rachelle has worked in the education, nonprofit, and government sector. She taught as a Professor of American Government and Global Politics for three years at CUNY Brooklyn College. She also worked as the Manager of the Quality of Life Innovations Program for Working in Support of Education, a research competition for NYC High School Students in which they select a quality of life issue, generate a research proposal and come up with an innovative solution to the proposed issue. The finalists in the competition received scholarships to attend college. In addition to her work in the education sector, Ms. Suissa has also worked with nonprofits such as the Henry Street Settlement and Project You, Inc in the capacity of program coordinator and outreach director to advance their mission of youth employment, education and adult literacy and training.
Rachelle is committed to the mission of building the pipeline of female leaders across the country and believes in the power of women to change their communities through public service. Prior to founding Dare to Run, Ms. Suissa served on the Board of the Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), both as President from 2006-2013 and as Vice President from 2005-2007. She attend State and National NOW Chapter meetings and served as a delegate for the organization on behalf of her chapter; she also coordinated events to promote community engagement and built up the chapter's presence significantly on social media. Ms. Suissa has also volunteered with organizations including NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the Young Women’s Leadership Network. In addition, Ms. Suissa oversees the activities of the board of Dare to Run, the recruitment of volunteer instructors for the training program, recruitment of participants to complete the training program, as well as monthly events, board meetings and social media campaigns and visibility for the organization.
Ms. Suissa currently resides in South Brooklyn where she has lived for the past 33 years.
Josephine is a passionate health care advocate with over 10 years of community experience in the field of tobacco control. She has worked with youth, train-the-trainer women infant and children programs, and low socio-economic populations in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. Prior to working in the nonprofit field, she utilized her marketing skills in various positions in corporate America such as The Economist and several large advertising agencies. Josephine actively participates in community service activities and is a member of several policy and leadership committees throughout New York City. Josephine is currently a candidate for a Masters degree in Human Services Leadership from St. Joseph's College. She enjoys taking on new challenges and learning sports, including bocce, and currently resides in Brooklyn with her family.
Aja Gaddie, of Pittsburgh, PA, is the Deputy National Director of Organizing for 1000 Women Strong, a national constituency that provides resources, recruits, trains, mobilizes, and organizes at the intersection of issues that impact Black Women and their extended communities. Gaddie’s experience with electoral politics dates back as far as 2006. Where she has held the title of field director for many state and federal elections. Most recently she held the title of finance assistant for the historical 2021 mayoral race in Pittsburgh, PA where the first Black mayor was elected.
Gaddie spent a few years in Los Angeles working with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation as their manager of Innovation and Technology. She was introduced to this organization through its chairman Mr. Emanuel Pleitez, where she volunteered on his campaign as he ran for Mayor of Los Angeles.
Throughout the years she has been an active volunteer in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. One of her assignments as a computer instructor to both senior citizens and youth with the local YMCA. She also stays active with numerous local organizations she has been a part of since adolescence.
Gaddie attended Tennessee State University where she majored in Computer Science / Communications and is currently taking continuing professional education classes in leadership, program management and quality assurance.
Ambassador to the Board
Nayma Silver-Matos is an older sister, a daughter of immigrants, and a first generation college graduate of Syracuse University. She brings with her 20 years of service in civics, education, and youth and community development in NYC. Nayma is co-founder of The Project Beauty Experience, a girls leadership program molding the next generation of Black & Brown leaders from Washington Heights, Inwood, and The Bronx.
Fun facts: She loves karaoke, dancing bachata, and dodgeball is her favorite sport! Nayma is grateful to be of service and looks forward to uplifting other women in politics through her new role as Board Member of Dare To Run, Inc.