Year-Round Staff


Bernie Tessler: CEO

A teacher and psychologist turned entrepreneur and executive, Bernie Tessler has over 25 years of leadership experience with companies that provide services to children and families. Prior to joining Oasis, Bernie was a founding partner of Epic Partners, a consulting/banking firm that focuses exclusively on helping companies in the education and training industry. He served as the acting CEO of Saint Eustatius School of Medicine, a fully accredited medical school. He joined Epic after serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Liberty Travel, the largest travel agency in the country with more than 200 locations nationwide. Bernie's accomplishments include the creation of two successful educational product and service companies that became publicly traded, Enchanted Village and Children's Creative Workshop. He also completed a $150 million leverage buyout of Kidsmart where he subsequently served as Chairman and Chief Executive of this retail chain with over 375 locations. Bernie is also a former Director of K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations), a national foundation made up of leading executives from the education and children's services industry. He holds a BS in Education and an MS in Psychology from Long Island University.

Cristina Junquera: Director of Operations

Cristina began her career with Oasis in 2003, taking a 3-year hiatus in 2010 to work for a charter school. A St. Louis University graduate, Cristina's diverse professional experiences include: the Puerto Rico Tourism Company; an after-school and summer program for middle school students in San Francisco; a boutique PR firm in Manhattan; charter schools; and after-school programs and summer camps in Brooklyn. Her love for operations started during the summer of 2003 while working as the Director of Operations at Oasis in Brownsville -- 10 years later she continues to enjoy working in this field. An avid supporter of biking, Cristina bikes to work every day, and in her spare time, she can be found spending quality time with her friends, wife, toddler and two dogs, or trying out a new restaurant in Brooklyn.

Greg Bacak: Accounting Manager

Greg joined Oasis in 2013 after coming from the wealth management and executive benefits industries, in which he was an account executive. Greg's love for camp and the countless positive childhood memories brought back by attending sports and sleep away camps, made it clear that the opportunity to be part of Oasis was one that he could not pass up. Greg received his BA in Business and Economics from Ursinus College. In his free time, he can be found traveling, checking out live music shows, biking, or cheering on his Philadelphia sports team.

Jeffrey Horne: CFO / Executive Vice President

Jeff began his career with Oasis in May 2005. Before joining Oasis, he served as the Financial Controller at David Zwirner, an international contemporary art gallery based in Manhattan, and as Executive Director of Spring Theatreworks, a non-profit theater production company based in Brooklyn. Jeff grew up outside Philadelphia, PA and then Dallas, TX. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He moved to NYC upon graduation and has lived here ever since. He returns to Dallas often to visit family. In his free time he can probably be found traveling the world, attending theatre, roaming museums and galleries, or competing at bar trivia nights!

John Balliet: Operations and Systems Manager

John started working at Oasis in May, 2013 as the Operations and Systems Manager. His previous experience includes working for Berlitz Languages for nearly ten years in many different roles, ultimately including Acting Director of their Lower Manhattan location. Having grown up on a farm in rural, historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he moved to the big city (New York!) to attend NYU, where he majored in Medieval and Renaissance Studies with a concentration in languages. John is currently pursuing certification to teach Latin and Social Studies at the high school level. When not keeping the office organized or driving to a camp location, John spends much of his time running a housing cooperative, which also includes renovating a land-marked house from 1854. He collects records, 8-tracks, vintage electronics, and mid-century modern furniture. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, cooking and taking weekend trips out of the city. He is a member of several cooperative organizations.

Michael Schlank: Organizational Development / Executive Vice President

Michael joined Oasis in 2005 after spending the early part of his professional career working on a wide range of local, national, and international public policy issues. His past work experience includes time spent as a spokesperson, political aide, and fundraiser for several political campaigns. His professional background also includes work as a Strategic Planning and Communications Consultant. With over 15 years of experience in residential camping, Michael became a teacher and a Camp Director for Oasis in 2005. Michael served as an Oasis Camp Director for three summers before being named Long Island Regional Director. Michael holds a BA from SUNY Albany and graduate degrees from LIU, Hofstra University, and Stony Brook University. Michael's work in Technology in Education and Curriculum Design has been recognized by several professional organizations, and he led his faculty committee in drafting a successful United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School application. Michael is active in his community as a youth sports coach and serves on the Executive Committee of Midway Jewish Center. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing basketball, and spending time with his wife and two wonderful children.

Rashiem O'Connor: Director of Funded Programs

Rashiem began his career with Oasis as a seasonal employee in June of 2010 at the Brooklyn/TWU camp site where he managed the site's daily camp operations. In September of 2010 Rashiem was brought on full time to focus on the overall operations of Oasis' Funded Programs. Rashiem has been part of the Youth Development field his entire professional career. Beginning at St. Luke's Day Camp in the Bronx, Rashiem worked as a group leader for 3 years before joining the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo where he served for 6 years as a manager of several of its after school and summer programs. Rashiem attended The State University of New York College at Buffalo where he majored in Individualized Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education and Athletic Coaching. Outside of Oasis, you can find Rashiem at church directing one of the church choirs, spending time with family and friends, enjoying a good movie or a good meal.

Human Resources

Genna Koral: Director of Staffing

Genna joined the Oasis team in October 2013. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education from the University of Miami in 2010 and her M.S.Ed in School Psychology from Brooklyn College in 2012. Genna is a lifetime camp person, having attended ten years of both day camp and sleep away camp, and has worked in camps every summer since high school. In her free time, Genna enjoys watching movies, managing her fantasy football team, traveling, and trying new restaurants. Genna is excited to be getting married this coming Fall 2015!!

Max Claman: Director of Organizational Development

Max joined Oasis in 2013, having been a part of the camping industry on a seasonal basis for the previous six years. Max received his Bachelor's in Education, as well as a Master's in Sport Management, both from The Ohio State University. Max has additional work experience in after-school programming, coaching, and intercollegiate athletics, and is excited to "go back to camp" on a full-time basis.

Sandy Persaud: Director of Funded Programs / Director of Staffing

Sandy has worked with Oasis since 2005, serving as the Operations Director of the Oasis at Cantiague Park and Oasis in Bayside day camps. A true camper at heart, Sandy previously attended and worked at a community-based camp for over ten years before joining the Oasis team as a full-time Operations Manager in 2008. In 2009, she joined the Human Resources team as a Director of Staffing, later becoming the Director of Funded Programs. Sandy received her BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Law from Binghamton University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College. In her free time, Sandy is a crossword puzzle enthusiast, enjoys a good play or musical, attends sporting events, and watches old movies.


Cary Suarez: Director of Family Relations/ Director of Operations at Oasis in Central Park

Cary has worked with Oasis as a seasonal employee since 2008, serving as the Operations Director of the Oasis in Bayside day camp in Summer 2010 and Human Resources Assistant in Summer 2011. As of Fall 2011, she joined the Oasis team as the Marketing and Family Relations Manager. Cary received both her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, and her Master's Degree in Human Resources Management from SUNY Stony Brook. In her spare time, Cary enjoys traveling, reading, crocheting, working out and playing board games with friends and family.

Teresa Porcaro: Assistant Family Relations Manager

Teresa has been a part of the Oasis family since 2009 as a seasonal employee. A fresh high school grad, she began as an Office Assistant at Oasis day camp in Dobbs Ferry, until 2013 when she became Operations Director for the site. At the beginning of 2014, she joined the Oasis team as the Family Relations Representative and as of Fall, has come on full time as the Assistant Family Relations Manager. Teresa is an English major with a writing minor, and had attended school in Fredonia, NY before returning home to the Bronx to complete her degree. She LOVES to talk camp, but when she's not attending parent information sessions or camp fairs, she loves listening to music, cooking, watching reruns of "The X-Files" and looking for puppies to adopt.

Taylor Breen: Director of Early Start Imagination Camp/ Lower Camp Director of Oasis in Central Park Day Camp

Taylor joined Oasis seasonally in the summer of 2008. At Oasis, Taylor has grown from Group Leader to Instructor to Division Leader and has now joined the full time team! She received her B.A. in Visual Arts Education from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2012 and her M.S.E.D in Special Education from Hunter College in 2015. Taylor LOVES camp! She was a camper at both day camp and sleep away camp for 14 consecutive summers, and has worked at Oasis ever since she stopped being a camper! Camp has made such an impact on her life and Taylor is thrilled to now be a part of camp year round! In her free time, Taylor loves to bake, travel, take pictures, and snowboard. Taylor is excited to be getting married in March 2016! 

20 Jay Street, Suite 802 | Brooklyn, NY 11201. Phone: 800-317-1392, Fax: 718-855-2435. E-mail:

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