Senator Mayer Announces Staff Appointments for the 2023 Legislative Session

Shelley B. Mayer

March 09, 2023

(Westchester, NY) - State Senator Shelley B. Mayer (D-Westchester) announces staff appointments for the 2023 Legislative Session. 

Rachel Estroff enters her 11th year as Senator Mayer’s Chief of Staff. Since Senator Mayer was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, Estroff has been a dedicated and indispensable team member, and is actively involved in every aspect of the Senator’s work, both in the District and Albany. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the erosion of health and pension benefits for non-college educated workers. Among the many things she loves about the 37th Senate District, her favorites are the parks, including Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Saxon Woods Park, and the Marshlands Conservancy.

Maryanne Joyce steps into a new dual role as Deputy Chief of Staff and Associate Counsel, having served previously as Director of Constituent Services and Associate Counsel. Joyce brings a strong perspective to policy issues, having worked as a legal services attorney in the Bronx, and having set up a pro bono law practice focused on public benefits. She is also active as a volunteer in the community, focused on environmental and climate issues that impact Westchester County.

Mary Kate O’Sullivan continues her work as Director of Outreach, managing constituent correspondence and liaising with various constituencies across the district. A longtime resident of Yonkers, O’Sullivan enjoyed more than ten years as a stay-at-home mom. After participating in a Westchester Community College program for homemakers, she enrolled to pursue an Associate’s Degree, graduated with high honors, and subsequently earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from Columbia University in 2013. O’Sullivan has been with Senator Mayer’s office since 2018, is an avid gardener, and loves the many beautiful parks and public spaces across the 37th District.

Karen Reppy joined Senator Mayer’s team as Legislative Director in October 2022, after serving three-and-a-half years in former State Senator Alessandra Biaggi’s office, most recently as Legislative Director and Committee Director for the Senate Standing Committee on Ethics and Internal Governance. Reppy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Barnard College. She joins the Senator in Albany every session day. 

Perla Arellano, Senator Mayer’s Community Outreach Specialist, has been a member of the Senator’s staff for four years. Arellano is Mexican-American and is fluent in both English and Spanish, allowing her to play an integral role in communicating with and assisting the constituents of District 37. She is also the coordinator of the Senator’s Youth Advisory Council, dedicated to helping the young people in our community be civically involved. Raised in Port Chester where she still resides, Arellano is a proud graduate of Westchester Community College, where she earned an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice, and she received a Bachelor's degree from John Jay College in criminal justice with a focus in Law and Society. She also is raising a young son who loves to dance, sketch and play the cello.

Michael Cecil began as Senator Mayer’s Legislative Counsel in September, 2022. With prior experience as a public interest lawyer in Washington, D.C. and as a law clerk in the United States Senate, Cecil brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. He is responsible for advancing legislative matters and providing legal advice. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his LL.M. in Legal Theory from NYU School of Law. Cecil is proud to work for Senator Mayer as she advances the legislative goals of District 37. 

Sofia Berry takes on the role of Senator Mayer’s Director of Albany Operations, having previously been the Senator’s Legislative Assistant. Berry is responsible for the Senator’s schedule in Westchester and in Albany, ensuring the Senator is able to be fully present in the community. Berry also handles meeting preparation for the Senate’s Standing Committee on Education, of which Senator Mayer is Chair, and manages distribution of awards throughout District 37. A member of the Senator’s staff since February, 2019, Berry holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Russell Sage College, a background that equipped her well to manage the fast-moving world in Albany. 

Hannah Kirk joined Senator Mayer’s team in December, 2022 as Communications Director. Tasked with ensuring that constituents stay up to date with what happens in Albany and in the district, she manages the Senator’s social media and all interactions with the press. Kirk received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Marist College in 2020, where her research was published in several academic journals. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Kirk joins the team from former New York State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick’s office in Rockland County, where she served as Scheduler and Communications Coordinator. 

P.J. DeGenaro joined Senator Mayer’s staff in March, 2022 as Communications Associate. As part of the Communications team, she uses her extensive background in graphic design and freelance journalism for the Senator’s social media, as well as in outreach to the constituent community via the creation of proclamations, letters of congratulation, certificates of achievement, and journal advertisements. A longtime resident of White Plains, DeGenaro holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Hofstra University and an MFA in Writing from Manhattanville College. She is proud to play a small role in the daily work of democracy.

Jesse Malowitz was welcomed to the team in January as Director of Constituent Services. Having previously served in the same position in former Representative Mondaire Jones’ Rockland County office and previously for Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Malowitz brings a wealth of public service experience to the team, where he assists constituents seeking help from state government agencies. Malowitz received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University at Albany, SUNY, and looks forward to getting to know District 37. 

Jessica Lares serves as Senator Mayer’s Constituent Services Associate. A former intern for the Senator, Lares began working part-time in the District Office while studying for her LSAT. Originally from Yonkers, Lares moved to White Plains 15 years ago, where she lives with her husband and sons. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Purchase in 2020.