The Rose House Board of Trustees


Edward Abelew - President

Mr. Abelew is a parent, businessman, and community leader. He founded IMPAC, a marketing consulting firm, in 1984 and has served recognizable clients including Ciby Geigy, Lucent Technologies, Nabisco Foods, Kraft Foods North America and Celgene, a leading bio tech pharmaceutical, as well as small B2B companies. He also is Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee of Hanover Township and has held previous Board positions in the Hanover Wind Symphony, Chatham Community Band and Temple Adath Shalom. He has also been a member of numerous corporate steering committees. He is an active participant as Committee Chair for several Rose House organizational and functional initiatives. His business and marketing acumen has proved invaluable to the Board of Trustees and to The Rose House organization.


Andrew Botwin - Trustee


Maryann Ford - Secretary / Trustee


Tracy A. Higgins - Trustee

Tracy A. Higgins is an EMDR trained Licensed Professional Counselor and Behavior Analyst specializing in sexual trauma and abuse prevention with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Ms. Higgins has worked as a therapist at Morris CARES for the past 9 years and is responsible for the development of specialized services for survivors of sexual violence and at risk adolescents and adults with ID/DD. Ms. Higgins is also in private practice in Morristown, NJ. She serves as a consultant to agencies, organizations and schools, providing workshops and training on sexual violence, behavior management, positive communication, relationship and social skills development.


Mark Kramer - Trustee

Mark is the founder, along with his wife Pearl, of The Rose House, and served as its Executive Director from 1999 through 2014.


Elizabeth Lehmann - Trustee

Ms. Lehmann served as Director of Social Services for Morris County, where she was responsible for the administration of all state, federal, and local public assistance and social service programs as well as the administration of a 429-bed nursing home and two adult day care centers.  She has also served as Northern Regional Supervisor for the NJ Department of Human Services, and has had significant experience in the development of creative solutions and helping contentious factions reach consensus. In addition, she was Executive Director of The New Philharmonic of New Jersey, a professional symphony orchestra.

Ms. Lehmann holds a Master of Public Administration degree, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was honored with the Rutgers Graduate Student Government Award for Academic Excellence.  She has served as a member of the Boards of Directors for The Morris County Urban League, The Dover Community Clinic, Creative Heartwork, North Jersey Counseling Centers, DAWN Center for Independent Living, Child and Family Resources, and The United Way of Morris County.


Dr. Edward Yaw - Trustee


Tom Mitchell - Executive Director*

Tom Mitchell started with The Rose House in 2014, bringing 22 years experience in the social services/healthcare field and has both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in health care administration.  Tom’s experience encompasses residential, day and educational services as well as the care of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Tom is married to his wife Robyn of 14 years and proud parents of their three sons, Aiden, Austin, and Ashton. He is very active in his community, coaching baseball, football, wrestling and basketball and is a member of the High Point Midget Football Board. 

* Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Board of Trustees.


Board of Advisors

  • Senator Anthony Bucco
  • Allen Bloom
  • Bill Byrne
  • Rev. Jack Korbman
  • Kem Mackey
  • Nathan Reich
  • Aaron Singer
  • Jonas Singer
  • Rosemary Wall
  • Dr. Stephen Winters

History of The Rose House

The Rose House was founded in September of 1999 by Mark Kramer, the parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome.

Mark recruited other parents of children with developmental disabilities, local business people and community leaders to join him in pursuing the mission of The Rose House.

Each person serving on the Board of Trustees and Advisory Board have a fervent desire to create an organization which sets client and family concerns as its highest priority.

Our first program was The Rose House Café, the predecessor to our very successful vocational program which

  • Trains and employs developmentally disabled adults for competitive employment in the food services industry, where they make good wages and enjoy a positive work environment;
  • Provides job sampling programming - one-on-one coaching to high school students as they "check out" real-life job opportunities;
  • Provides catering for private functions to corporations, non-profits, Scouts and other youth organizations to demonstrate the abilities of our clients;
  • Offers Field Trips and Private Parties to Special Needs Groups in order to expose the students to real-life opportunities available to them;
  • Offers breakfast, lunch and catering to the general public, demonstrating the abilities of our clients to potential employers and neighbors.

Our first Group Home was opened in November of 2003. Located in Mount Olive Township, this lovely four-bedroom ranch is home to four adult women. It was funded through a capital grant from the State of New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities and private contributions.

Our second residence, the Diane Bloom Group Home was opened in June of 2009.  Also in Mount Olive, this four-bedroom colonial is home to four adult women. It was funded through a capital grant from Morris County, New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, and a generous contribution from the Bloom family and other private donors.

Our third residence was opened in June of 2011 in Hanover Township. This home has a twelve bed capacity, including four beds in the traditional group home model, and eight beds dedicated to apartments living where residents live independently, with a minimal level of supports. Capital funding was provided by New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Hanover Township, United Way of Morris County, Federal Home Loan Banks, private foundations and donations by friends of The Rose House.

Our four residence was opened in August of 2014 in Parsippany Township.  This home is a four bed traditional group home, funded by New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency and Parsippany Township.

The Rose House offers an extensive range of recreational choices for our residential clients, employees and students in our Vocational Programs, and other adults with disabilities who live in the area. We make use of existing programs such as MCARP, D.A.W.N., and Special Olympics New Jersey, as well as local community resources such as the YWCA.


Our Clients

The Rose House serves adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs).   IDDs can result from a number of different conditions, including (but not limited to) Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Our Vision

The Rose House envisions a world where people with developmental disabilities live as productive, contributing and accepted members of their communities.

We work toward a society where people accept one another for who they are; help one another to identify and enhance their natural skills and abilities; and provide one another with opportunities to grow and prosper.


Our Mission

The Mission of The Rose House is to enhance the lives of the special needs individuals we serve by offering them the opportunity to live, work, and socialize in the community to their fullest ability.

We create individualized programs that will enable consumers to achieve their greatest potential while allowing them to direct their own lives to the maximum extent possible.


Our Goals

  • Developing an environment which values and promotes individual choice based on one's goals, abilities, and desire
  • Offering programs which help develop skills and knowledge our clients need to participate in all of life's opportunities, including employment, education and recreation
  • Creating a variety of residential living options which promote personal choices and growth and provide a wide variety of choices for community involvement and socialization
  • Involving families and neighbors in a rich fabric of community interaction

The Rose House • PO Box 544 • Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927

Phone 973.984.0006 • Fax 973.998.0002 • email:

Copyright © 2017 The Rose House. All Rights Reserved.
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