ACA, NY and NJ Staff
Susie Lupert is the Executive Director of the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. Susie attended resident camp for 12 years as both a camper and staff member. She attended the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and New York University where she received a Masters in Public Policy and Non Profit Administration. Prior to joining ACA, NY and NJ, Susie spent close to a decade at Housing Works, one of the nation’s largest AIDS service providers. She worked to create small for profit businesses which funneled money back to the nonprofit. Susie lives in Brooklyn with her partner Beth and their son Nathan, who will someday be a camper!
Director, Camper Placement
Renee Flax is the Director of Camper Placement for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. She has been assisting area families find the right camp experience for their children since 1998. Renee has an extensive knowledge of camp programs and philosophies. Each summer, Renee travels to dozens of ACA accredited camps. She knows the camp directors and senior staff personally and has a keen understanding of each camp's philosophy, program and facilities. She is recognized as an authority on camping and has been featured in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The New York Post, Newsday, The Journal News, Parent Guide and New York Family. Renee graduated Syracuse University (1971) with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Renee attended summer camp for 15 years as a camper, counselor, and group leader. She is the mother of two daughters who were also long time campers and grandmother to four grandchildren.
Regional Legislative and Membership Director
Prior to her current position, Mary Ellen served as the Executive Director of the American Camp Association, New Jersey, for five years. She has been featured discussing camp on local television and radio including News 12 New Jersey, and NJ 101.5 and in articles in the Star Ledger, Christian Science Monitor, The Jewish Standard, andNJ Family Magazine. Since 2006, Mary Ellen has worked closely with the NJ Government Affairs Program, which has gained many critical accomplishments for the ACA member camps. For eight summers, Mary Ellen worked as a camp counselor while teaching elementary and special education during the school year. She also has six years experience working in the training departments of two Fortune 500 companies. For 17 years , Mary Ellen has been a community volunteer for Fresh Air Fund Friendly Town Program, NYC. Mary Ellen graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in Elementary Education and SUNY Binghamton with a Masters in Special Education. Mary Ellen and her husband Dave live in New Jersey and are the parents of two enthusiastic campers, Lauren (18) and David Jr. (17).
Director of Training
Prior to becoming a full-time camp professional with the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, Quinton spent several summers as a Site Director with the YMCA and as a coordinator with the Boys and Girls Clubs before moving onto a career in teaching. He has created numerous camp staff orientations, consults with camps around the region and led workshops across the northeast. His high quality, high content, high-energy programs and innovative ideas are well regarded within the youth recreation industry. In Quinton’s position as the Community Outreach Organizer, he speaks with the community, parents, and other camp professionals about the benefits and importance of the ACA and plans and provides trainings throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. During the summer, he switches gears and serves as a residential camp director in Upstate New York.
Director of Operations/Comptroller
Beth has been working at the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey since 2006. Prior to joining ACA, NY and NJ, Beth worked as the Director of Operations at the Advance Group, a political consulting firm. Beth enjoyed four years as a lifeguard at a day camp on Long Island. She is has a BA in History from the University of Scranton. Beth lives in New York City and enjoys ancient languages and fencing.
Director of Communications
Prior to joining the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, Jess Michaels was the Associate Director of Publicity for the publishing company Penguin Young Readers Group, where she executed national and regional publicity campaigns for bestselling and celebrity children’s book authors. In this role, she also managed a team of six publicists and coordinated various press and book events. Before working at Penguin Young Readers Group, Jess worked on national publicity for Thirteen/WNET, the flagship PBS station in New York. At Thirteen/WNET, she pitched and secured national media for television documentaries and series, worked with celebrities and television producers and coordinated press conferences and screenings. Jess is a lifetime camper. Beginning at age five, she attended day camp on Long Island for three years. By age eight, she was off to resident camp for eight weeks each summer and loved every minute of it. Jess was a camper at resident camp for nine years and a counselor and girls’ athletic staff member for three years. She is thrilled to be able to combine her publicity skills with her love of camp. Jess lives in New York City with her husband. When not publicizing camp, Jess enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, traveling, running in Central Park, and skiing.
Director of Professional Development
Samara has joined the American Camp Association of NY and NJ after working for 7 ½ years at the Institute of International Research, a corporate conference company, as part of the Operations team. She rose the ranks and held the position of Senior Meeting Planner for the past 3 years in which she honed her operations expertise and expanded her skill set into all aspects of the conference and tradeshow industry. Samara is a passionate former camper and spent 4 summers at day camp and 9 incredible summers at a sleep away camp in the Poconos where she was a camper and CIT. She then worked at a day camp for 2 more summers. Samara LOVES camp and as an only child credits it with preparing her for a lot of what life had to offer in the future. Samara attended Binghamton University (where she used to spend her days off from camp) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Rhetoric. Samara recently moved to the 'burbs with her husband and dog and outside of works loves cooking, decorating her new house, entertaining and traveling!
Rachel Beloff has been with the American Camp Association, New York since August of 2009. As part of the Professional Development team, Rachel plans our fall conferences and the Tri State CAMP Conference. Rachel spent seven summers as a day camper before moving on to overnight camp, where she spent 12 years as a camper, CIT, bunk counselor and Head of Swimming. She is a two-time Cornerstone Fellow through the Foundation for Jewish Camping and worked as a preschool teacher before coming to ACA, NY and NJ. Rachel graduated from George Washington University with a degree in Communication. Aside from camp, Rachel’s greatest passion is making and eating great food.
Membership and Training Associate
Prior to joining the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, Allison was a preschool teacher in White Plains, New York. Having spent a lifetime of summers at camp, Allison is passionate about the benefits of the camp experience. After attending day camp for eight years, she went on to experience a resident camp in the Adirondacks for three years. Allison then returned to her day camp where she held several positions including Group Leader, Division Head and Administrative Assistant. During her twelve years as a staff member, she coordinated the staff recreation program, ran special events and assisted with staff training. Allison graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. She is excited to be working with fellow camp professionals and welcoming new members into the ACA. Outside of work, Allison enjoys photography and spending time with friends and family.