Our Team of Passionate Leaders
We are proud to have strong leadership from all of the Long Island youth football leagues, as well as many public and private high schools and colleges. Over the years we have also partnered with the medical community and organizations like Northwell, Winthrop, and HSS to ensure that safety is paramount. We believe strongly in collaboration and bringing people together. It is this operating philosophy that pools resources and knowledge, and ultimately provides children with the best experience. Our overwhelming success is because we value people and relationships over everything else, even football.
Gerald FilardiCEO & Co-Founder
Gerald Filardi has ignited youth football on Long Island in a major way. He is the head coach of Hills West High School, Founder of the Long Island Spartans, co-founder of The Liberty Challenge and leads the charge to raise the level of football in the region. He is a frequent speaker at local and national events, and sits on the board of numerous football organizations. Filardi was one of Penn State's all-time leading tacklers, played in the NCAA National Championship, and later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His special "against the odds" story can be read on LIYFA: https://bit.ly/2uhe2Wv
Benjamin J. CareyPresident & Co-Founder
Benjamin Carey is the torchbearer for youth football in Long Island. You would be hard pressed to find a kids football activity on Long Island that he is not somehow connected to. His exhaustive efforts to raise the level of football in the region and increase opportunities for young players has created an exciting new movement. Carey's programs model all the right principles, organizational policies, and safety practices, and have received many awards. In 2013 Carey's NPYFC was chosen to film an NFL USA Football Television Commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. He is also the co-founder of The Liberty Challenge, President of LIYFA, LISpartans, YFBCA, and NPYFC.
Stella GenovaOperations Manager & Chairwoman, The Liberty Challenge
Stella Genova started out as a team mom on her son's local football team when he was 5 years old like many moms do, but somewhere along the way found herself deeply involved with a bunch of different teams and broad range of responsibilities. She holds a degree in Business Merchandising and worked in the fashion industry for over 18 years. As a Production Manager for Warnaco and Chaps Ralph Lauren she traveled overseas to negotiate multi-million dollar contracts, and she also ran Design & Operations for American Marketing Enterprises, Inc., a children's sleepwear company. Stella is an upbeat ambitiously driven volunteer, with a meticulous attention to detail. She has been a part of LIE495 since its inception, and helps oversee many different facets of the organization.
Kahmal RoyCoaching Coordinator
Kahmal Roy is the head coach at Holy Trinity high school. He is responsible for ensuring a high level coaching program at Long Island Elite. One that includes continuing education, and training clinics for all coaches. He is responsible for working with LIE leadership to ensure a coaching staff that is devoid of politics and nepotism, and includes equal coaching representation from both Suffolk and Nassau County. Roy is also the founder of Position Specific Sports Training PSTNYC, a sports training company that helps athletes excel on and off the field. He played football at Hofstra University on a full ride where he broke numerous school records and was named to multiple NCAA All-American teams. He had a brief professional career with stints at the N.Y. Jets, Saskatchewan Rough Riders and NY/NJ Xtreme rosters.
Christine RubinsteinGeneral Counsel
Christine Thea Rubinstein Esq. has helped Long Island Elite Football grow from a start-up to a multi-team non-profit organization with hundreds of players, coaches, volunteers, and families. She is a major advocate for football and a thorough expert in ensuring the integrity of the program. She is a specialist in Business Planning and Business Succession Planning. Christine has also been the lead counsel for an international commercial mortgage hedge fund called HPC. Christine had helped the hedge fund from initial startup all the way through the process of due-diligence asset acquisition, purchasing, and the selling of commercial mortgages. She is the host of a weekly radio show on AM radio 710 WOR with co-host Joe Bartlett.
Rocco DionisioOperations Manager
Rocco Dionisio is one of the original organizers of the LI Elite national teams and is involved in all aspects of the program. He is a dedicated volunteer who has committed many hours and resources for the benefits of the children. Rocco has been a board member of the prestigious Massapequa Mustangs organization for the past 28 years. The Mustangs are the oldest youth football organization on LI and referenced frequently as the gold standard of youth football programs.
Joe CappellinoOperations Manager
For more than 10 years Joe has been the friendly face supplying youth and adult sports teams across Long Island with equipment, uniforms, and apparel. Football, baseball, wrestling, cheerleading, community organizations; you name it he does every sport any project, and he does it well. Like all of the volunteers at LIE495 Joe is a great human being, a family man with uncompromising values, someone you can always rely on. He has a wealth of experience running some of the biggest sports leagues, and managing tournaments, events, and equipment. He is a Villanova graduate, forward thinking entrepreneur and a huge asset to the elite family.
Mark Menghi______Rockstar Elite______
Rockstar, unconditional volunteer, devoted dad, football fanatic. Mark Menghi is an award winning Art, Creative and Marketing Director with a great deal of expertise and experience. He holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Visual Communications with High Honors. He has worked with many celebrities and created a multitude of national campaigns. His work has been published in Guitar World, Guitar Player, Bass Player, People Magazine, and the New York Times, among other publications. He’s been quoted in Billboard, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Loudwire, and KNAC, and was a guest on AOL Build, the live series featuring big names in entertainment, tech and business. Our very own "Rockstar" Mark is a lifelong disciple of the four-string history made by Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, and the late Cliff Burton. He is the founder, songwriter, bassist, and “key master” of Metal Allegiance and plays around the world in places like England, Rio Di Ginaro. He is part of the marketing arm and one of the critical thinkers at LIE495.
Nick Raio, Medical Director
Chris Raio, Medical Director
Ray Nelson, Medical & Athletic Training Liaison
Suzanne Marino, Northport
Keith Maurino, Northport
Mark Menghi, Smithtown
Angie Taylor, Huntington
Cheryl Greene, Longwood
Jay Fiedler, Oceanside (NY Jets, Miami Dolphins)
Linda Koppelman, Hauppauge
Trevor Coston, Elwood (Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears)
Billy Cardello, Massapequa
Conte Cuttino, Uniondale (Stonybrook University)
Dominick Fraioli, Lindenhurst
Lou Bonnanzio, VP National Football Foundation
Joe Bouffard, National Recruiter
Todd Borke, Smithtown HS
Andrew Cohen, National Recruiter
Dominick Zappia, Long Island Lutheran HS
Chuck Menzer, Saint Anthony’s HS
Jason Horowitz, East Rockaway
Jose Torres, Under Armour Under the Lights
Will Thomas, Huntington
Matt Sherman, Merrick
Will Platt, William & Mary College
Jonathan Risbrook, Uniondale