Our Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Star Fish, Inc. are all volunteers who work at the Food Pantry and/or assist with our many projects. The Board meets as needed to establish policy and procedures for the Pantry. Each member is a director or officer of the corporation.

Star Fish Inc. is a 501(c)(3). Contributions (click here) are taxexempt pursuant to IRS code.

Patricia (Patty) Bixel, Executive Director

  • Volunteer for Star Fish since 2013, 3 years as executive director.

  • Volunteered at St. Mary's Soup Kitchen

  • Part time executive assistant to Assoc. for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, 40 years

  • Serves on the Finance Committee and Chair of the Monsignor Behl Endowment Committee of St. Francis Cathedral, Metuchen.

  • Serves as Eucharistic Minister of St. Francis Cathedral, Metuchen.

  • Retired as Director of Student Counseling Services of Mount St. Mary Academy, Watchung, NJ.

Michael Townley, Secretary

  • Star Fish volunteer since early 1970's, assists with food purchasing and pickups, website and publicity

  • United Family and Children's Society board member since 1978 and secretary for past twenty years

  • Member of the Rotary Club of the Plainfields since 1984; served in numerous committee chair and officer positions; currently secretary/treasurer. 

  • Treasurer for Rotary D7475 Service Foundation, Inc., a non-profit benefitting Rotary clubs in Central and North Jersey.

  • Volunteered at St. Mary's Soup Kitchen

  • Retired after 33 years in municipal government

Kathleen Nitzsche, Treasurer

  • Lifetime member of Star Fish Inc., Kathleen’s mother, Eileen Cunniff, was a founding member of Star Fish Inc. and the food pantry operated out of their family home. Kathleen has served as the Board Treasurer since 2017.

  • Active member of the Board of Trustees with United Family and Children’s Society in Plainfield.

  • Volunteered at St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen

  • After a corporate career in Health & Welfare Benefit Planning, Kathleen changed careers to be a pre-school and elementary school teacher and raise her family.

Jerry Zukowski, Director of Procurement

  • Twenty five years as a financial economist.

  • Sixteen years running a small company (subscription agency). 

  • Volunteered at St Mary’s soup kitchen

  • Volunteer coach in the Plainfield Soccer Club

  • Head of the Plainfield Soccer Club..

  • Married, three children.

Sarah Mazzarese, Director - Statistics

  • Star Fish Board member since 2018.

  • Active member of the Board of Trustees with United Family and Children's Society, currently serving as Board President.

  • 24 years working at Syneos Health overseeing an IT Help Desk providing hardware deployment services and support in the Pharmaceutical industry.

  • Married and mom to two wonderful kids.

Catherine Renga, Holiday Meals Director

  • Catherine has been involved with Star Fish since its inception over 50 years ago.  She is Director of the Holiday Food Project and a weekly volunteer.

  • She retired from 33 years of teaching in New Jersey. She presently is an active parishioner in St. Helen’s Church in Westfield.

  • Catherine was involved in the organization of the Sunday Dinner Program at St. Mary’s Church which started over 30 years ago in Plainfield.

  • She has been a member of First Friends and for 12 years has visited detainees in the Elizabeth Detention Center.

  • She has been a CASA for the Union County Foster Program and presently volunteers for RAP (Refugee Assistance Program) as a tutor.