Matthew Okebiyi, Founder & CEO
Matthew Okebiyi is the Founder and currently serves as the CEO of the African American Planning Commission, a New York City-based 501(C)(3), not-for-profit organization committed to addressing homelessness and the related issues of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, shortage of affordable housing, and unemployment in the communities in which we live and serve.
Finance & Human Resource Officers
Raymond Okebiyi, BSc, M.B.A., Fiscal Officer
Ray is an experienced Fiscal Officer with over eighteen years of diversified accounting and finance experience spanning both for-profit and non-profit environments.
Before joining AAPC, Ray worked with Volunteers of America–Greater NY, Inc., (VOA-GNY), Comvision.com and PC Learning Center, Inc., YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities (NIPD), Manhattan Valley Golden Age Senior Citizens Center, Inc. and with the 163rd Street Improvement Council, Inc. Ray’s experience spans the accounting/finance field ranging from credit and collections to auditing and consulting, including maintaining financial statements, preparing, conducting and reviewing audits (both internal and external), supervising personnel, payroll and fringes and preparing business financial plan forecasts.
Serenity House Family Residence
Gladys B. Pipkins, MSW, Assistant Program Director
Gladys B. Pipkins currently serves as the Assistant Program Director at Serenity House Family Residence (SHFR), a transitional Tier II residence for survivors of domestic violence.
Gladys oversees the Supervisor of Family Services; Supervisor of Family Safety, and the Coordinator of Child Care & Recreational Services. Gladys focuses on staff development by ensuring that all staff are properly equipped to perform their responsibilities. This is accomplished by facilitating monthly trainings.
Gladys brings over 25 years of experience working with victims of domestic violence. She began working with survivors of domestic violence in 1981. She has worked in several domestic violence shelters and was the Director of Hotlines, which included the domestic violence hotline operated by Safe Horizons (formerly known as Victim Services). Gladys has also served as a Board Member for a domestic violence shelter.
Before coming to SHFR, Gladys was a Team Supervisor for the Day Care Council of NYC. There she supervised five MSW students who provided services to parents, children and teachers at 15 day care centers. Services included crisis intervention counseling, parenting groups, individual counseling (consisting of the provision of services to many parents who were victims of domestic violence), as well as the provision of technical support and professional training to the teachers In 1986 and again in 1994, Gladys was honored and received a Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contributions in her work with victims of domestic violence.
Gladys graduated from the College of New Rochelle, receiving a B.A. with Honors in Psychology and Education. She continued her education and graduated from Hunter College School of Social Work, where she received her MSW on a full tuition scholarship through the NYC Department of Mental Health. Gladys also holds a SIFI certification which affords her the opportunity to supervise MSW students in New York City.
Gladys was an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College School of Social Work. Her focus was on preparing MSW students for academia and providing them with tools to help them coordinate busy work schedules and field placements in order to receive MSW degrees. Gladys enjoys laughter which she considers medicine for the soul, southern home cooking, especially collard greens and fried chicken. Grits and fish for breakfast are always a special treat. Gladys collects African American dolls (she has over 100), enjoys traveling, reading, stimulating and intellectual debates on social issues.
What I enjoy most about working at Serenity House Family Residence: touching the lives of residents, holding their babies and looking for opportunities to assist my staff hone their skills. “SHFR is Home and it’s where I belong”.
Monica S. Lee, B.S., Supervisor of Family Services
Monica currently serves AAPC and the residents of Serenity House Family Residence as the Supervisor of Family Services. Monica has over 20 years experience in public service. Her experiences are diverse and yet share a common goal — to assist those in need.
Along with her calling to public service, Monica brings a strong business background to AAPCI. Monica has twenty years experience working in a corporate environment. She began her career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Greater New York (EBCBS) and worked there for nearly 15 years in various positions each with increasing and diverse responsibility. She held the positions of Supervisor, Business Analyst, Trainer and Manager.
After taking an early retirement from EBCBS, Monica applied her experiences and started her own desktop publishing company called Computer Designs. She offered a variety of services including P.C. training; resume production and general desktop publishing services. However, after a few years she missed the business environment and joined AmeriChoice, Inc, a Medicaid managed care service provider. It was at AmeriChoice that Monica began her work with the underserved populations in NYC, and she developed a greater desire to serve others. She remained with AmeriChoice for four years, when she left it was to spend more time with her family.
When Monica returned to work she joined another Medicaid managed care service provider as a Marketing Manager. She worked extensively and directly with the public and various government and private agencies.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Monica was presented with the opportunity to provide a service to her country. Monica joined Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS) as a Trainer. AIS was contracted by the Department of Homeland Security to train the techniques and principles of security to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees.
In 2003, Monica experienced a life altering event with the loss of her father. Monica decided to return to college, and dedicated her work to the memory of her father. Monica worked full-time, while she attended St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn as a full-time student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health and Human Services. She maintained a GPA of 3.92 or better and was on the Dean’s List during her academic career. She earned certificates in Counseling, Leadership and Supervision, and Information Technologies. She was inducted into the Delta Gamma Sigma Honor Society for academic achievement, and service to the community and the college; and for commencement she was given the honor of being the class Valedictorian.
Monica has formal training and professional experience in: Health Care Delivery Systems, Community Health and Human Services, Principles of Counseling, Family Counseling, Counseling Techniques, Emotional/Behavioral Disturbances in Children and Youth, Mental Health and Crisis Intervention, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving. Her future plans include earning her graduate degree.
Monica is a member of the Shinnecock Nation, a Native American tribe located on Long Island. She enjoys spending time with friends and family at the family’s home on the Reservation. Monica is a child at heart and loves to spend her free time playing. She enjoys making people laugh and loves to tell stories.