Our board members are critical to the success of Melissa's Hope. We rely on them for so many important things and are deeply grateful for all the time, skills, connections, and resources they give.


claire centrella, Founder

The loss of an only child is devastating and in order for Claire to continue with her life, she had to keep her daughter Melissa's spirit alive. The foundation started small, offering scholarships to students in Kinnelon where Melissa lived and Nutley, where Melissa went to school. As time passed, the scholarships were offered to students in other school districts throughout New Jersey. In 2014, Claire suggested that the organization extend its help to families with special needs children and so the foundation expanded its mission.

Claire worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a Senior Vice President, General Manager, consultant and several other capacities.  She started the NJ Chapter for Dystonia in 1990 and played a major role in raising well over $1,000,000 for the cause. She also held the position of President of the national foundation for six years, and served on the National Organization for Rare Disorders and Student and Youth Travel Association Boards.  She is retired and now devotes her time to the Melissa's Hope Foundation.



gail Beyer, president

Gail is currently the President of the Melissa's Hope Foundation. She has been an active Board member for a number of years and has participated in many fundraising events. Gail is continuing to expand her expertise in pursuit of an MSN in Education. She has been a nurse for 36 years with a broad background in various Clinical and Leadership roles. Gail has served on numerous Advisory Boards, works as an Organization Staff Educator for a hospital system and HCCC as a Skills Instructor. She loves nursing and continues to teach with the hopes of having a positive impact on the lives of future nurses. Gail was Melissa's Home Care nurse since 1986 and developed a strong bond with her. Melissa would call Gail her "forever friend." Melissa and her family had become part of Gail's family. She continues to be part of the Centrella family and enjoys traveling with them and promulgating Melissa's message by helping others!

Jean Dominga

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Donec eget risus diam. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Phasellus sodales massa malesuada tellus fringilla, nec bibendum tellus blandit. Mauris egestas at nibh nec finibus.