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Deirdre J Holland

CEO

Deirdre’s journey to becoming the CEO of the First Step Directory began with a single mid-morning “idea” that has now grown into a major Mental Health and Wellness facility in New York known as First Step Therapy & Wellness Group. Deirdre built a successful business from the ground up and has been hands on every Step Of The Way. Her work ethic is indisputable and she is completely invested in creating a cohesive work environment adhering to values such as mutual respect and equality.

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Deirdre had achieved “The American Dream” and established herself as a formidable businesswoman in a competitive world. She was evolving both personally and professionally and was now entering the second chapter of her life where she began to question the world around her and the imprint she wishes to leave behind on a life that was rich with opportunity and gratitude. Deirdre realized that it was time to give back to a community she loved and to a people that had welcomed and embraced her into their lives by sharing both their most painful and joyful inner feelings, thoughts, and experiences. It has been an Honor.

Adversity and determination would become the impetus to her chosen profession in the Mental Health and Wellness sector. Her life choices would be profoundly impacted by a generational and familial legacy rooted in mental illness compounded by a fractured legal system whereby her impressionable grandmother along with her younger siblings would be torn from their loving and devoted mother’s arms and forcibly placed in abusive and violent facilities overseen by vestals. A single Italian immigrant woman, abandoned by her abusive husband, who was independently providing for her six children was considered a “SIN” and punishable by a severely corrupt and profitable legal system.

As Deirdre’s life continued to unfold her family would bare witness to false allegations along with a predatory, financially exploitive, and abusive Guardianship propagated by “interlopers” and a “rigged system.” These traumatic events would shape her consciousness and fuel her rage resulting in an impassioned and fierce desire to advocate for the erroneously convicted and vulnerable populations exploited by wolves robed in sheep’s clothing.

The question was; how does one balance and resolve their profound love and respect for the therapeutic process with these heart-wrenching tribulations to create something that would be charitable, notable, and valuable to the community?

The answer was triangularly conceptualized focusing on three key objectives that would help transform the soul and spirit of the Community:

  1. Clients: Clients seeking services can search our National Directory and connect with professionals, businesses, and companies offering a variety of goods and services.
  2. Professionals: Providing professionals, businesses, and companies with a platform that offers them the opportunity to showcase their resume, network with each other, and connect with clients nationwide.
  3. Charity: First Step Directory contributes to Social Justice Causes that we are impassioned about and a portion of the membership fee will be donated to the Innocence Project to help Reform our Justice system, exonerate the innocent, and protect our vulnerable populations.

This would be the ultimate Trifecta and a Win-Win for all!!!

So, Let Your Thumbs Do The Walking and Join Now!

Matthew T. Walton, CTO

Cape Town, South Africa

Mr. Matthew Walton is an industry leader and a dominate force in the world of technology and engineering. Mr. Walton oversees the First Step Directory technological demands along with research and development strategies to enhance the user/member experience. Mr. Walton analyzes the organizations short-and long-term objectives to ensure that the Company attains it’s intended goals. Matt has implemented, built, and safeguarded the First Step Directory infrastructure with consummate precision.

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Mr. Walton is a prolific genius and a savant in his chosen profession.  As a six-year-old boy Matt’s father would bring home old and discarded computers for him to tinker with. Matt would fall in love and find his passion in rebuilding the mechanics of these devices. His father’s influence, in the field of electronics, would have a direct impact on his career choices and success’ both personally and professionally.

 

What render’s Matt as an outlier is his unique ability to communicate effectively with all levels of the Executive Branch and manage the cyber security information systems. He meticulously evaluates avant-garde technologies and when appropriate he will incorporate them to improve the functionality so that we can provide optimum services to our clients.

 

Upon meeting Matt, it was clear that he shared and identified with the First Step philosophy and Social Justice mission on a deeply personal level. He embraces diversity and respects the basic and fundamental human rights from a universal initiative. Matt and Deirdre’s desire and wish was to bring the US based First Step Directory and share it on a global platform. So, to brake ground and begin our international journey with Matt’s beloved homeland of South Africa is both surreal and humbling. He believes that his country should have the same opportunities to learn and be part of the Innocence Project objectives to exonerate the innocent and give voice to marginalized populations along with connecting Clients with qualified professional services that will enrich and compliment the South African community.

 

Mr. Walton is a devoted son, brother, fiercely loyal friend, and trusted confidant. When he enters a room, his presence shines like a beacon on the bay, but it is his heart that can take one’s breath away. It was like the universe specifically handpicked Matt and dropped him in our lap knowing he was the key piece needed to complete the First Step circle of visionaries.

Tracey N. Gecewicz

Director of Operations

Tracey brings to the table a wealth of knowledge, creativity, and education to her clients and colleagues alike. Here at First Step Directory (FSD), Tracey is a strategic Director of Operations where she manages the daily operations from the conceptual stages of development to launching.  She is in charge of designing, creating, and managing a variety of multimedia platforms including, but not limited to, social media, video, radio ads, posters, and brochures. Tracey oversees personnel to insure web based services and full optimization of the FSD while developing platform-based content strategies to maximize referrals and client assignation.

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Tracey purposefully restructures the internal operations of FSD by utilizing current avant-garde technologies to augment fiscal efficiency, maximize online exposure, audience growth, and retention. She manages web-based services and functionality and communicates with all levels of the Executive Branch to keep the team current on new developments and the progress of the FSD.

In addition to her professional role her at FSD Tracey maintains a Private Practice where she provides therapeutic services to adult individuals, couples, and families dealing with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, divorce and marital discord. Tracey is EMDR trained and employs psychotherapy, CBT, and Behavioral Modification when indicated.

Tracey has two decades of experience in child welfare throughout Long Island, New York City and Westchester County. She was the Director for both an Innovative Foster Care Program for Hard to Place Teens and a prominent Mental Health Clinic in NYC.

Tracey is a civic-minded woman who is highly regarded within the community and maintains the utmost respect of her colleagues and clients. Tracey supports charitable organizations such as the Innocence Project, Bide A Wee, Wounded Warriors, Marty Lyons Foundation, and the National Down Syndrome Society. It is an honor and a privilege to have Tracey as part of our Five-Star organization here at FSD.