MCOHA is here to help.
We are proud to have on our side a group of amazing people who care about their community. We are committed to providing the best service to our clients, which is why we work in a compassionate, friendly way to help them get the services and support they need to achieve their goal of becoming a self-sufficient individual.
**Our team members are reachable by phone or email. Although our physical locations are closed, we continue to work remotely.
Xiomara Guevara, Esq
Xiomara Guevara currently holds the position of Executive Director for MCOHA. Since she started her tenure the organization has undergone a change of image and program structure. This new revitalization has improved MCOHA’s prominence and visibility in the community as well as its funding sources.
Previously, she served as Center Director for La Casa de Don Pedro Preschool programs. At La Casa de Don Pedro she was successful in the opening, organizing and making both centers she managed into model centers for the city of Newark. Her passion for education stems from her tenure in the Newark Public Schools and Discovery Charter School where she taught fifth and sixth grade. Education continued to be a vehicle for helping the Latino community through an adjunct professor position she held from 2004 to 2008 at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
She received her B.A. from Drew University where she double majored in Political Science and Spanish and Minored in Latin American and Jewish Studies. She completed her Masters in Public Administration from New York University, the Robert Wagner School for Public Service, and her Juris Doctorate at Rutgers Law School-Newark.
She has been awarded by the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development the Alumni of the Year 2007 award for being part of the Latino Leaders in Public Service Internship program and an Achievement Award by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. In August 2010, she was chosen to participate in the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s ALL IN Fellowship program in partnership with Georgetown University. She dedicates time to her community by serving on different Board of Directors such as Zufall Health Center, Saint Clare’s Health, Morris Arts Council, Homeless Solutions CHODA and Family Development Center-Project 2015. She was appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders in Morris County to serve on the Human Services Advisory Council.
Marlena H. Moersdorf, Esq
CCLI Supervising Attorney
Marlena is the Director for the organization’s legal immigration center, Center for Citizenship and Legal Immigration. She is licensed to practice law in the state of New Jersey and maintains membership with the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Marlena attended law school at George Washington University. During her final year at the law school, she served as a student attorney in the school’s Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinic for immigration.
Before joining MCOHA, Marlena was an of counsel associate at Arrufat Gracia PLLC where she directed the firm’s immigration practice. She handled business and family visa matters as well as removal matters.
Prior to her work with Arrufat Gracia, PLLC, Marlena owned and operated a solo law practice in Rutherford, NJ where her practice focused on family visas and removal matters. Her previous work experience also includes providing support at other law firms for business and family visas.
Weatherization and Home Energy Programs Manager
Rosa Soto is the longest-tenured staff person at MCOHA, having joined the organization in 1987. During her nearly 30 years of dedicated service, Rosa has worked in just about every department and is knowledgeable regarding all aspects of agency operations. From 2004 to 2005, Rosa served as MCOHA’s interim Executive Director. Currently, she holds the position of Manager of the Weatherization and Home Energy Departments which have regularly been recognized in the State of New Jersey for their high degree of professionalism and achievement.
Rosa is a graduate of Dover High School, is a licensed certified social worker in the State of New Jersey and a United Way Certified Mentor. Most recently, in 2012/2013, Rosa attended Fairleigh Dickenson University and earned the Certificate in Executive Nonprofit Leadership.
Chief Fiscal Officer
As Chief Fiscal Officer, Silvina Abbate is in charge of all financial, accounting and controller functions. Her unique skillset and experience of more than 25 years are dedicated to ensuring the present and future financial health of MCOHA.
Silvina has worked with companies of all sizes, from global organizations such as Johnson & Johnson to local start-ups. Besides not-for-profit organizations, she has vast experience in many other industries, from food manufacturing to medical devices, healthcare, professional services, and e-commerce. Prior to joining MCOHA, she held positions as a financial controller, managing accountant, and marketing controller among others. She also volunteers at local non-profit entities as a treasurer, bookkeeper, and financial advisor.
Born and raised in Argentina, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, a Certified Public Accountant designation also in Argentina and a Graduate Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University.
Client Advocacy and Outreach Manager
Lina Monsalve currently holds the position of Manager of the Outreach Department for MCOHA. In this position, she oversees a wide range of services including programs for senior citizens. She provides case management, advocacy information and referrals to individuals and families with special needs in need of social services as well as TANF and post-TANF clients. Lina networks and coordinates activities and conferences with community organizations and special programs to assist clients with other agencies, and provides translation and interpretation services and advocacy for clients.
Lina holds a degree from Antonio Narino University, Colombia, in International Business and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fairleigh Dickenson University, 2007.
Janice Perez-Rojas, Esq
CCLI Immigration Attorney
Janice, our collaborating bilingual immigration attorney, received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Sociology, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey. In 2011, she used her knowledge and experience to collaborate with the Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico doing legal research and analysis on proposed legislations. In 2013, she graduated from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Magna Cum Laude, and is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Since receiving her license she co-owned a law firm in Puerto Rico where she practiced Family Law, Litigation, and Civil Law for two years. In 2015, she sought other opportunities within the U.S. to expand upon her knowledge of the law and worked for the Law Offices of Liliana Quiroz as an of-counsel working mainly in Immigration Removal Proceedings.
Since then, she has gained more experience in Immigration matters and has developed a serious commitment towards helping the ever-growing immigrant community have a voice within our legal system. Her hopes for the future is to be able to create a social impact beyond the matters of immigration.
Lisette Gudino, LSW
Director of Justice For All
Lisette Gudino is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) currently serving as the Program Director for Justice For All, under the Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA) – Center for Citizenship & Legal Immigration (CCLI).
She has a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Hispanic Language and Literature from Boston University (2014), Master of Social Work from Rutgers University (2018) with a concentration in Global Social Work & Latino(a) Initiative for Service Training and Assessment [LISTA], and a Certificate in Human Services Management. Her past experiences include working as a paralegal at a center for immigration law and 40-HR Domestic Violence Training through Jersey Battered Women’s Services (JBWS).
Other Key Team Members