TOUCH Announces Julian Palmer as New Executive Director: Thanks Robert Maher for Decades of Service

TOUCH – Together Our Unity Can Heal is pleased to announce Julian Palmer is as it’s new Executive Director. Mr. Palmer succeeds Rob Maher, who became TOUCH’s Executive Director in 2000 after serving as Board President. Mr. Maher led TOUCH in expanding its original mission of serving people living with HIV to include those with other chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and Hepatitis C.

One of Mr. Maher’s key initiatives was collaborating with Rockland Community Against Hunger (RCAH) to launch the Get Fresh Program.  Get Fresh advances individual and community health by distributing over 30,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods each month. The food is delivered by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY and the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and distributed to dozens of local food pantries and non-profit partner organizations in Rockland and Orange Counties.

Julian Palmer comes to TOUCH with over 25 years of experience in leadership positions in the non-profit community. He served as Executive Director of New York State Common Cause and Communications Director for the National Center for Children in Poverty, based at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to build on Rob’s legacy. Thanks to years of dedicated work by Rob and his team, TOUCH has made a lasting difference for thousands of people affected by chronic illness in our community.”

“We’re very excited to have Julian on board as our new director. I’m confident he can capitalize on Rob’s achievements and launch us into our next exciting chapter,”  added TOUCH Board President, Anita Dreichler.

Mr. Palmer has worked with several local organizations in Rockland County, including the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) and Keep Rockland Beautiful. He managed the Rockland Community Capacity Building Initiative in 2010 and was a member of the Leadership Rockland class of 2016. Julian is also a certified parent group facilitator with EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) and was a CYO youth basketball coach for eight seasons. His publications include “Living at The Edge: America’s Low-Income Children and Families.” He received his MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

About Touch

TOUCH has three decades of experience providing food and nutrition and case management services to individuals and families in the Hudson Valley living with HIV and AIDS. TOUCH also manages Federal Hunger Prevention & Nutrition Assistance Program grants; FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Programs and a Food Recovery Program to save healthful foods and feed those in need. TOUCH is the only AIDS Service Organization (ASO) headquartered in Rockland County.

For more information please contact TOUCH at 845-268-8023 or visit

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