The 2024 Nonprofit Trailblazers

Advocates, advisers and service providers improving New York.

City & State presents the 2024 Nonprofit Trailblazers.

City & State presents the 2024 Nonprofit Trailblazers. Annie E. Casey Foundation; North Star Fund; Jena Cumbo

The nonprofit sector plays an integral role in American society, providing care for the most vulnerable individuals and advocating for policy changes that improve people’s lives. The 2024 Nonprofit Trailblazers list recognizes a diverse group of visionary leaders who are carrying out this critical work at mission-driven nonprofit organizations across New York. The list, presented by City & State and its sister publication New York Nonprofit Media, features social services organization officials, executives of philanthropies and activists at grassroots organizations pushing for legislative change. These leaders will be honored in person at an evening celebration in Manhattan on Wednesday, May 22, with New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar and Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park as keynote speakers. (This list alternates with the Nonprofit Power 100, which will return in 2025.) We’re pleased to introduce this year’s Nonprofit Trailblazers.

T-Mobile for Government - Congratulations to all the City & State Nonprofit Trailblazer Honorees

Na’ilah Amaru

Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations, Women Creating Change
Na’ilah Amaru / Marcus Gilmore

Na’ilah Amaru has long been a woman creating change – and as of last year, she’s been in a key advocacy and government relations position at Women Creating Change. An advocate for grassroots governing power, Amaru worked for then-Rep. John Lewis, spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and ran the New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. The U.S. Army veteran is a doctoral student in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center with a focus on political participation, governing coalitions and agenda setting.

Diane Aquino

President and CEO, Saint Dominic’s Family Services
Diane Aquino / Provided

Diane Aquino brings 30 years of experience in human services to her position as president and CEO of St. Dominic’s Family Services, a nonprofit serving over 2,500 clients annually from the Bronx to Rockland and Orange counties. The organization, which was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt in 1878, has a staff of over 800 that provides services and programming for people with developmental disabilities, family foster care, education, adult mental health services and community-based services.

Claire Atalla

CEO, Catholic Charities of Staten Island
Claire Atalla / Steve White

With nearly three decades of experience in nonprofits, Claire Atalla leads Catholic Charities of Staten Island. During her 15 years with the organization, Atalla has served as director of programs and chief operating officer, and was named CEO in 2022. Atalla’s mission is to utilize her wealth of leadership experience to position the agency for the future while expanding community services to Staten Islanders. Recently she secured $1.5 million in federal funding to renovate a former dormitory building into a food pantry, as well as a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for a mobile food pantry program.

Rebecca Bailin

Executive Director, New Yorkers United for Child Care
Rebecca Bailin / JT Anderson @JTcanshoot

Rebecca Bailin leads New Yorkers United for Child Care, a grassroots organization dedicated to securing free universal 3-K, prekindergarten and child care for children under 5. Bailin is a seasoned campaign organizer, with over a decade of experience shaping complex policy goals into winnable organizing campaigns. Previously, Bailin worked at the Economic Security Project, where she helped expand tax credits for workers and families across the country. At the Riders Alliance, she managed grassroots organizing and strategy for campaigns, including New York City’s Fair Fares program.

Rich Baum

President and CEO, Educational Alliance
Rich Baum / Melanie Einzig Photography

Since taking the helm as president and CEO of Educational Alliance last year, Rich Baum has hit the ground running, drawing inspiration from the nonprofit’s origins as a settlement house to develop solutions to the most pressing challenges facing New York today. Baum has spearheaded efforts to connect migrants arriving to the city with resources and services, such as work authorization, English classes, clothing and cultural immersion events. Prior to this role, Baum spent 11 years as chief of staff to the president of New York University, serving under two NYU presidents.

Marnie Berk

Director of Pro Bono Programs, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Marnie Berk / Marielle Solan

Marnie Berk leads New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse, a national model that provides legal services and capacity building to New York’s nonprofits. The initiative helps provide legal services to over 1,000 nonprofits and community organizations each year. Before joining NYLPI, Berk was a corporate associate at Paul Weiss and Hogan Lovells. Prior to entering a career in law, Berk was a regional representative for then-Gov. Mario Cuomo and also did policy work on homelessness.

Susan Birnbaum

President and CEO, New York City Police Foundation
Susan Birnbaum / New York City Police Foundation

Susan Birnbaum has since 2011 led the New York City Police Foundation, which partners with the NYPD to make the city a safer place. Birnbaum drives fundraising for programs that provide resources for the NYPD to innovate and enhance the quality of its service and build bridges with the community, from local initiatives like Crime Stoppers to its antiterrorism International Liaison Program. Birnbaum previously ran the Columbia College Fund at Columbia University and held positions at UJA-Federation of New York.

Mark Brazier

Vice President and Manager of Contract Financing, TruFund
Mark Brazier / Provided

Mark Brazier is an economic development professional specializing in the strategic advancement and operational management of mission-driven organizations at TruFund. TruFund supports nonprofits and small businesses with loan capital to emerging businesses and nonprofit organizations that may find it difficult to seek capital from traditional lenders. Brazier brings a background in leadership, management consulting and leadership capacity-building in the private, public and nonprofit sectors nationwide, including support for minority- and women-owned businesses. He has led grant proposals for up to $100 million.

Kate Breslin

President and CEO, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
Kate Breslin / Amy Hershberg

Kate Breslin leads the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, an organization aiming to increase government accountability and inform public policy debates that impact New Yorkers while focusing on communities experiencing systemic inequalities and poverty. Breslin has spearheaded various coalitions, one of which resulted in New York state’s statutory commitment to cutting child poverty in half. She also works in a leadership role at the Medicaid Matters NY coalition and previously was director of policy at the Community Health Care Association of New York State.

Arturo Brito

President and CEO, Children’s Health Fund
Arturo Brito / Samantha Rayward, City Headshots

Since rejoining Children's Health Fund over two years ago, Dr. Arturo Brito has developed a strategic plan for the organization that draws attention to the growing physical and mental health needs of children and youth throughout the country and translating lessons learned on the ground into informed policy. Brito, a community pediatrician and former top health official in New Jersey, saw CHF’s growing national network provide care to more than 112,000 children in 2023, while its Healthy and Ready to Learn program expanded into the early childhood space.

Darcia Bryden-Currie

Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, VIP Community Services
Darcia Bryden-Currie / Olivia Nelson Photography

Darcia Bryden-Currie is an organizational leader, entrepreneur and health care professional dedicated to serving New York’s most vulnerable communities. As the senior vice president and chief clinical officer at VIP Community Services, Bryden-Currie oversees health and community behavioral health clinics while providing strategic leadership, clinical oversight and operational management and ensuring the delivery of integrated care to patients. With over 30 years of health care experience, Bryden-Currie has committed her career to caring for the medically underserved, including individuals facing homelessness, mental health challenges and substance use disorders.

Alexander K. Buchholz

Partner, PKF O’Connor Davies
Alexander K. Buchholz / PKF O’Connor Davies

Alexander K. Buchholz has been a leader in public accounting for over two decades, assisting skilled social service agencies, nursing facilities, diagnostic and treatment centers, home care service entities, adult homes and other long-term care facilities. He teaches courses in the City University of New York system, conducts internal training seminars, speaks to outside organizations and associations, and writes regularly on accounting and auditing matters. Buchholz is a member of the New York State Society of CPAs and the National Conference of CPA Practitioners.

David Caba

Senior Vice President, Good Shepherd Services
David Caba / Margarita Diaz

David Caba brings invaluable experience in the private and nonprofit sectors to Good Shepherd Services, which serves over 30,000 children, youth and families through nearly 100 programs. After working for various Fortune 500 companies in accounting, marketing and advertising, Caba spent over two decades in human and social services, specifically anti-violence, criminal justice and addiction. Since 2014, Caba has been senior vice president and anti-violence subject matter expert for Good Shepherd Services’ training department, its community based division and its Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence programs.

Jennifer Ching

Executive Director, North Star Fund
Jennifer Ching / North Star Fund

Under Jennifer Ching’s leadership since 2017, the North Star Fund has moved a record $55 million into social justice causes through community-led grantmaking led by volunteer grassroots organizers in New York City and the Hudson Valley. The foundation supports over 140 groups working across some of the most critical issues in the region, including migration, the affordable housing crisis and education. It recently received $7 million from Mackenzie Scott, a recognition of its role in making philanthropy more accountable to emerging social justice movements and the needs of underinvested communities.

Lucina Clarke

Executive Director, My Time Inc.
Lucina Clarke / Provided

Lucina Clarke is the executive director of My Time Inc., a Brooklyn support center for parents and caregivers of children with autism or developmental disabilities. Clarke is driven by her personal mission to serve families with compassion, love and understanding. She is a board member of Brooklyn Community Board 18, the 69th Precinct Community Council and Canarsie Community Development Inc., and is a member of Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club.

Tehra Coles

Executive Director, Center for Family Representation
Tehra Coles / Jayana Photos

In March, Tehra Coles returned to the Center for Family Representation in the top leadership post. The New York City-based nonprofit provides free legal representation, social work services and access to system-impacted parent advocates, primarily representing parents targeted by the family policing system. Coles, who started at CFR in 2011 as a staff attorney, left in 2021 for a two-year stint with the Civil Rights Corps before her return. She was recently appointed to the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law steering committee and served on the statewide Commission on Parental Legal Representation.

Capital One - Advancing socioeconomic opportunity inspired by our partners in impact. Congratulations, Stacey Cooper, Nonprofit Trailblazer

Stacey Cooper

Senior Adviser, Community Impact and Investment, Capital One
Stacey Cooper / Provided

Stacey Cooper is a senior adviser to Capital One’s Community Impact and Investment Department, which partners with local and national nonprofits to develop and implement programs that help underserved communities with housing, workforce, small business and financial well-being. The team emphasizes skills-based volunteerism and harnessing the power of Capital One’s associates to lend expertise across the communities where they live and work. Cooper joined Capital One through the 2006 acquisition of North Fork Bank, and she previously was a deputy superintendent for consumer services at what was then the state Banking Department.

Ronald Cope II

Deputy Director, Children’s Aid
Ronald Cope II / Angela Matua, Children's Aid MarCom

At Children’s Aid, Ronald Cope II engages with Bronx schools, city agencies, community organizations, teachers and families to create interactive and safe environments for children’s growth and education. Thanks in part to Cope’s efforts, the organization has established 10 food pantries serving four South Bronx schools and secured a $2.5 million federal Full-Service Community Schools Program grant in 2023. Cope has promoted a data-driven approach toward addressing gaps in services to the South Bronx community, transforming how Children’s Aid operates its community school network.

Kevin Cronin

President, Board of Directors, Grand Street Guild
Kevin Cronin / Provided

For over 50 years, Kevin Cronin has been improving the lives of families on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The board president of the Grand Street Guild is committed to serving those in need through volunteering, peer counseling and teaching. The affordable housing nonprofit provides housing and social services at a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-sponsored complex housing 1,500 residents in three 26-story towers. During the late 1980s, Cronin helped thwart hostile takeover attempts by those who sought to convert the property from affordable housing to luxury apartments.

Therese Daly

Interim Executive Director, New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals
Therese Daly / James Pater

Therese Daly is the interim leader of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, a statewide advocacy association with over 180 members from Buffalo to Montauk that advocates for workforce development dollars on a state and federal level. Daly, who took over as the interim leader of NYATEP in November, previously served as vice president at Mercury and as a state Senate staffer. She brings experience in the political, transportation and financial sectors, with a background in strategy development, business development, sales, communication, public relations and government relations.

Rob Davis

Founder and Chair Emeritus, Help For Children

Since it was founded a little over a quarter century ago by brokerage industry leader Rob Davis, Help For Children has certainly lived up to its name. The Manhattan-based fundraising organization has awarded over $61 million in grants to fight mistreatment of children all across the world, aiding more than 1.1 million individuals. Davis, who served as chair for a decade and remains chair emeritus of the organization, is managing director at McAlinden Research Partners.

Wayne Davis

Partner and Co-Chair, Investment Management Practice, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP
Wayne Davis / Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Wayne Davis regularly provides counsel to a number of nonprofit organizations on general operation, governance and investment-related matters. Davis, who co-chairs Tannenbaum Helpern’s investment management practice and is on the firm’s management committee, advises clients regarding the creation and operation of various private investment vehicles, asset manager acquisitions and dispositions, and the structuring and regulation of organizations. Davis recently spoke about the executive director and nonprofit board dynamic during this year’s Nonprofit BoardCon program hosted by NYN Media, a City & State sister publication.

Heather de la Riva

Managing Director, Business Development and Client Experience, Nonprofit HR
Heather de la Riva / Kristin Rutherford

Heather de la Riva has spent over a year running the business development practice at Nonprofit HR, a human resources firm serving nonprofits, associations and other social impact organizations. De la Riva, who has been with Nonprofit HR for over a decade, has focused on performance management, workforce planning, talent management assessments and process improvement while forging effective partnerships with nonprofit leaders. A former congressional aide, de la Riva has also had stints at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and The Performance Institute.

Cathy Del Priore

Executive Director, The Grace Foundation of New York
Cathy Del Priore / PRcision Media

During her eight-year tenure with Grace Foundation of New York, Cathy Del Priore has utilized three decades of high-level marketing and public relations experience to advocate for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The Staten Island-based organization supports individuals and families impacted by the disorder through daily skill development, socialization, educational support and other community programming. Under her leadership, the organization initiated a capital campaign fund to establish a multiuse community kitchen and launched a web series offering insight into the daily lives of program participants and spotlighting community leaders.

Rachel DeMatteo

Director and New York City Market Leader, Your Part-Time Controller LLC
Rachel DeMatteo / Lynda Berry Photography

Rachel DeMatteo has been motivated in her career by her personal mission: to leverage her expertise in accounting to make a meaningful impact within the nonprofit sector. As a certified public accountant, DeMatteo is the New York City market leader for Your Part-Time Controller, a national professional services firm dedicated to helping nonprofits build stronger finance departments. Under her leadership, YPTC’s New York office supports nearly 300 local nonprofits. Rachel is also a member of the New York State Society of CPAs, and its Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee.

Katie Devine

Principal, Rockabill Consulting LLC
Katie Devine / David White Photography

Katie Devine is a consultant and adviser to the nonprofit housing community, helping clients increase the quality and supply of affordable, supportive and transitional housing for vulnerable New Yorkers. She has led the development and preservation of 4,500 units of affordable housing and shelter across several states, bringing an expertise in creative financing tools and strategies to develop housing and shelter projects, including hotel-to-housing conversions, historic tax credits and city-backed financing for the development of nonprofit-owned homeless shelters.

John Diaz

Community Impact Program Director, United Way of Long Island
John Diaz / Provided

For the past four years, John Diaz has served as the director of the community impact program at United Way of Long Island, where he plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of workforce development and sustainability initiatives. Drawing on his passion for driving positive social change as well as his experiences in the private sector, Diaz spearheaded the organization’s Power Up clean energy training initiative, recognizing the transformative potential of emerging technologies. Through this initiative, Diaz prepares individuals for careers in the burgeoning clean energy sector.

William Dionne

Executive Director, Carter Burden Network
William Dionne / Carter Burden Network

As the longtime executive director of the Carter Burden Network, which serves adults ages 60 and older, William Dionne shares his expertise, passion and advocacy for older adults and their well-being and contributes to the larger aging services community. Dionne, who previously ran the Park Slope Geriatric Day Center, serves on the New York City Department for the Aging’s Advisory Council, which advises the department and its commissioner on policies and programs. He also served on U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Task Force Aging Advisory Board.

Sharen Duke

Executive Director and CEO, Alliance for Positive Change
Sharen Duke / Titus Kana Photography

Since the founding of Alliance for Positive Change in 1990, Sharen Duke has overseen its expansion from its original iteration as an AIDS service agency to its current operation as a multiservice community organization. Duke runs the nonprofit’s Path to Jobs program, supporting community members with peer training and job placement as well as health care, housing, harm reduction and recovery services. The organization was recently awarded federal funding for its Accessing Options for Opioid Management program, which provides harm reduction and supportive services for low-income cisgender and transgender women.

Thelma Dye

President and CEO, Northside Center for Child Development
Thelma Dye / Olubade Shawn Brown, Bloom Media Photography

Thelma Dye is the president and CEO of Northside Center for Child Development, a nonprofit providing early childhood, behavioral health and education services to 4,000 low-income Black and Latino children and families annually. Dye has spearheaded recent growth of Northside’s operations, including a successful $15 million capital campaign, the expansion of four brick-and-mortar locations and the organization’s Clinic in Schools program, which is now in 16 schools across Harlem and the Bronx.

Sheila Duke

CEO, Roads to Success
Sheila Duke / Jonathan Ortiz, Creative Focused Designs Inc.

A passion for people and supporting their success is the driving force behind Sheila Duke’s career serving children and families. Last year, she became chief executive for Roads to Success, a New York City youth services provider with a $6.4 million budget and services including after-school, college prep and workforce development programs. Duke has held key roles at various nonprofit organizations, including as chief program officer at the Fresh Air Fund, associate executive director of early childhood and youth programs at Union Settlement, and deputy director at the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation.

John Eusanio

Partner and Not-for-Profit Practice Leader, Citrin Cooperman
John Eusanio / Citrin Cooperman

With over 20 years of experience in public accounting, John Eusanio serves as partner and not-for-profit practice leader of the accounting firm Citrin Cooperman. Throughout his career, Eusanio has provided auditing, accounting and regulatory compliance services to various nonprofit, education, health and other 501(c)(3) organizations. He continues to provide accounting and auditing advising as well, helping clients navigate complex uniform guidance audits, employee benefit plans, tax-exempt bond offerings and cost report certifications.

Denise Figueroa

Executive Director, Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley
Denise Figueroa / Provided

Denise Figueroa has been actively involved in the efforts to ensure support services for people with disabilities living independently in the community, particularly in the fight for fair wages for home care workers. Figueroa, who has been active in the disability rights movement for over a half century, has spent the past 37 years running the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, with offices in Troy and Hudson. Figueroa has also served on the board of the Capital District Transportation Authority and on the New York State Independent Living Council.

Jan Fisher

Executive Director, Nonprofit Westchester
Jan Fisher / Margaret Fox Photography

Jan Fisher leads Nonprofit Westchester, the county’s only nonprofit membership organization, which aims to strengthen the sector and its workforce and to empower and foster inclusivity within communities. Fisher is known for her advocacy within the nonprofit sector and her accomplishments in program development, fundraising and boosting equity and inclusion. Recently, in pursuit of advancing racial equity and community ties, the organization launched Peer to Peer, a networking affinity group for nonprofit personnel of color.

Todd W. Fliedner

Executive Director, Bay Ridge Center
Todd W. Fliedner / Johnson Sarkissian Photography

Todd W. Fliedner’s Bay Ridge Center recently opened a 21,000-square-foot age-friendly older adult center, replacing the church basement the agency operated out of for decades. The organization provides home-delivered meals to more than 600 individuals daily and care management for an affordable senior housing apartment complex. Fliedner previously served as development director for Brooklyn Community Pride Center and Tribeca Performing Arts Center and has held senior development and marketing positions at Broadway and off-Broadway theaters. He also founded, launched and operated NYC Navigators, OUTboundNY Inc. and POV NYC.

Felipe Franco

Senior Fellow, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Felipe Franco / Annie E. Casey Foundation

As the senior fellow for young adult practice with the Center for System Innovation at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Felipe Franco supports national efforts to aid in young adult development into adulthood. Through grants to federal bodies, states and localities, the foundation has supported millions of youths since 1948. Franco also serves on the New York City Board of Correction, which has oversight responsibility over New York City jails. While in the de Blasio administration, Franco advocated for Raise the Age legislation, which moved most 16- and 17-year-olds out of the adult criminal justice system.

Tonya Gayle

Executive Director, Green City Force
Tonya Gayle / Green City Force

Tonya Gale has spent a decade at Green City Force – which teaches young adults how to transition to a green and inclusive economy through service – and more than three years as executive director. Previously, Gayle worked at the New York City Housing Authority and at nonprofit organizations focused on economic justice for young people of color. She serves on the board of The Corps Network and is a supporter of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ innovative Green Economy Action Plan that City Hall announced earlier this year.

Rachael Gazdick

CEO, New York Edge
Rachael Gazdick / New York Edge

Under Rachael Gazdick’s leadership, New York Edge programs – chess, fencing, STEM, step club, college and career preparation and more – bridge the opportunity gap for thousands of students. Gazdick has led her team in launching innovative programs that further learning among more than 28,000 students beyond the school day. Gazdick helped secure funding to expand the Excellence Project, which builds skills and positive attitudes for underrepresented gifted and talented students. Last summer, the organization operated 75 of New York City’s Summer Rising programs, serving 9,000 students.

Kimberly George

President and CEO, Project Guardianship
Kimberly George / New York Headshots

With over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, Kimberly George is an expert in building partnerships, strategic planning, board development and fiscal management. Last year, George and the Project Guardianship team established the Guardianship Prevention and Support Helpline, a first-of-its-kind free resource for New Yorkers to get assistance, advice and referrals related to guardianship alternatives and navigating the guardianship system. George has led the nonprofit, which serves older adults and people with disabilities, since 2020, with previous stops at the Vera Institute of Justice and CAMBA.

DeNora Getachew

CEO, DoSomething
DeNora Getachew / Jena Cumbo

DeNora Getachew in 2021 took the reins of, which is devoted to young people and spurring social change. The organization, which recently marked its 30th anniversary, has reached over 8 million young people in its mission to encourage them to change the world by taking action on pressing issues. Getachew, a self-described “democracy ninja,” has worked at the city, state and federal levels and chaired Higher Heights for America, a nonprofit supporting Black women in politics. She served on the state Public Campaign Financing Commission and the state Civic Readiness Task Force.

Ira Goldstein

Executive Director, The Black Car Fund
Ira Goldstein / Damora Regala

The Black Car Fund is in its 25th year of providing workers’ compensation benefits to a population of drivers who would not otherwise have these benefits. During the course of his tenure as the nonprofit organization’s executive director, Ira Goldstein has expanded the benefits offered to drivers to include nonwork accident disability insurance, personal accident insurance, a critical illness benefit, vision coverage, comprehensive dental insurance, 24/7 telemedicine coverage and more. This suite of benefits has transformed The Black Car Fund into a national model for providing portable benefits to independent contractors.

Tina Goodrich

Vice President, Supportive Housing and Services, HELP USA
Tina Goodrich / HELP USA

Tina Goodrich oversees the permanent supportive housing portfolio at HELP USA, a national nonprofit based in New York City that is battling homelessness. In her role as vice president for supportive housing and services, Goodrich oversees a portfolio of hundreds of units citywide with dozens of staff in six different teams providing critical supportive services for formerly homeless adults and children. She is currently managing the leasing of an additional 300 supportive housing units in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The nonprofit has helped over 500,000 people facing homelessness and poverty.

Michelle Henry

East Region Executive, Community Engagement, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Michelle Henry / JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In a key corporate responsibility role at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Michelle Henry leads her team in its efforts to foster relationships with key stakeholders and furthering the financial institution’s community-centered partnerships and engagement goals. Henry was recognized at the The Bronx Defenders’ Annual Gala for the successes of JPMorgan’s Second Chance program, which increases formerly incarcerated individuals’ access to economic and career opportunities. Throughout her work, Henry draws upon her previous experience in the philanthropic world, where she engaged with nonprofits who support underserved communities.

Lucas Hunt

President, Hunt Auctioneers
Lucas Hunt / Victor Giganti

Lucas Hunt is a man of many talents. Known in literary circles as a poet – among his published poetry collections are “Iowa,” “Hamptons” and “New York” – he brings a different voice to the philanthropy and nonprofit sector. He is the president of Hunt Auctioneers, which has carved out a niche as a fundraiser for such organizations as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In the role, Hunt has helped increase donor engagement and drive contributions through live auctions and appeals.

Michelle Jackson

Executive Director, Human Services Council of New York
Michelle Jackson / Shuhan Lei

Michelle Jackson heads up the Human Services Council of New York, an organization advocating on behalf of nonprofit organizations that provide human services for New Yorkers of all ages, as well as people experiencing homelessness or living with disabilities. She’s also an advisory board member for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services, and leads the #JustPay Campaign, which seeks equitable pay for human services workers. On Jackson’s watch, both the HSC and #JustPay secured over $2 billion in investments from New York City and New York state.

Tracy Jenkins

Co-Executive Director, The Center for Fair Futures
Tracy Jenkins / Provided

Tracy Jenkins has spent a little over a year at the Center for Fair Futures, a foster care advocacy coalition of over 100 organizations. Its youth-led campaign has secured tens of millions of dollars in the New York City budget to support those in foster care. Its model, which provides one-on-one coaching, academic and career and housing and life skills for young people from sixth grade to age 26, has been implemented across 25 city foster care agencies and serves nearly 4,000 individuals. Jenkins was previously a vice president at JCCA.

Roderick Jones

President, Goddard Riverside and the Isaacs Center
Roderick Jones / Nicolas Manassi

Since Roderick Jones took the helm of Goddard Riverside in 2017, he has expanded the reach of the Manhattan-based nonprofit’s programs by 25% to serve nearly 28,000 individuals and boosted its budget to approximately $100 million, up from $32 million when he came on. In 2021, Goddard announced a strategic partnership that placed him at the head of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center and expanded the reach of his efforts. He previously led the Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jeremy Kaplan

Executive Director, Encore Community Services
Jeremy Kaplan / Liv Behre

Jeremy Kaplan in 2018 took the reins at Encore Community Services, a nonprofit organization serving midtown Manhattan’s older adult community. Kaplan spearheaded the creation of the Encore for Life strategic plan, significantly expanding public and private partnerships while deepening relationships with local unions, theater owners and corporate partners. Encore anticipates serving 750,000 meals in 2025 through its Home Delivered Meals Program and other programs.

Bharati Kemraj

Senior Associate, Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates
Bharati Kemraj / Ivelisse Arroyo

Born in Guyana before migrating to the Bronx, Bharati Kemraj has extensive experience in media, nonprofits and government. Combining a knack for communications with a passion for community engagement, she has dedicated her life to service, following in the footsteps of her late father, Pandit Vishnu Sukul, the first Guyanese Hindu priest to have a New York City street co-named in his honor. In 2014, she founded The Bharati Foundation, a charity organization. She is also a lobbyist at Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates.

Mel King

Vice President of Operations, Equality Federation
Mel King / Bill Brymer

Mel King has dedicated his career to supporting the LGBTQ+ community. King plays a key operational role at Equality Federation, a national advocacy accelerator rooted in social justice that empowers a network of state-based LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations. King leads a newly formed operations team, which keeps the day-to-day running smoothly with a deep focus on equity. Over his tenure, King has worked in communications, development and operations – always with an eye on improving workflows to ease the administrative burdens on his colleagues.

Kate Koraia

Senior Vice President of Consulting Technology, Kiwi Partners
Kate Koraia / Provided

Kate Koraia operates at the intersection of finance and nonprofit work. The Georgia native has spent over a decade partnering with nonprofit organizations and using technology to streamline financial systems in order to boost their impact. Since joining Kiwi Partners in 2015, Koraia has dedicated herself to streamlining financial ecosystems for various nonprofit organizations. She is an experienced project manager with expertise that extends to ERP system reviews, selections, and implementations, along with staff training. Her work includes re-engineering financial systems, improving accounting processes, and implementing cutting-edge technology to enhance efficiency and reporting.

Tegan Lecheler

National Program Manager, The Bridge Project
Tegan Lecheler / Natalie Korthas

Tegan Lecheler handles operations for The Bridge Project, New York’s first direct cash transfer program for babies in low-income families. She also runs the Mother Infant Cash Coalition, a nationwide working group of practitioners, advocates and researchers aiming to improve programmatic practices and increase permanent maternal and infant cash support. With a passion for supporting working class communities, she has dedicated her professional and academic career to understanding and implementing effective poverty interventions. Lecheler previously worked for a cash program for unhoused individuals and was managing director of Gen-Z for Change.

Amelia LoDolce

Executive Director, Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments
Amelia LoDolce / VINES

Amelia LoDolce became the first executive director of Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments in 2016, after serving as a VINES volunteer since 2007. The Binghamton-area organization aims to create a sustainable and just community food system, serving over 3,000 people annually through 22 community gardens, a youth employment program and other initiatives. LoDolce has been overseeing the construction of new headquarters, a net-zero energy facility built with straw bale construction and the first commercial straw bale building in the Northeast, set to be completed this summer.

Luisa Lopez

President, Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund
Luisa Lopez / Tania Vargas

As the leader of the Latino Social Work Coalition and Scholarship Fund, Luisa Lopez brings an extensive background in government relations, with career stops at the Manhattan borough president’s office, the New York City Council and the Washington, D.C., office of then-Rep. José E. Serrano. At the Latino Social Work Coalition, she focuses on supporting culturally and linguistically competent social workers. She also co-chairs the Licensing Committee for Social Workers for Justice, a movement to build political power for social workers in New York.

Kelsey Louie

CEO, The Door and Broome Street Academy
Kelsey Louie / The Door

Kelsey Louie is the leader of The Door, a youth development services organization, and its public charter high school, Broome Street Academy. Louie, who previously served as CEO of GMHC, brings deep expertise in youth, mental health, addiction and homelessness services, as well as HIV and AIDS care and LGBTQ+ issues. Recently, Louie has focused on addressing the youth mental health crisis in New York, applying for an Article 31 mental health clinic at The Door, which is set to open in late spring.

Rickke Mananzala

President, New York Foundation
Rickke Mananzala / Tiph Browne

Rickke Mananzala serves as president of the New York Foundation, a charitable foundation supporting grassroots advocacy by distributing grants to New York City organizations. As a former community organizer and grantee of the New York Foundation, Mananzala for over two decades has remained active in grassroots campaigns and social justice philanthropy in service of racial, economic and gender justice movements. He serves on the boards of Philanthropy New York, Public Welfare Foundation and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Elizabeth McPartland

President and CEO, Child and Family Services of Erie County
Elizabeth McPartland / Provided

Elizabeth McPartland has spent a quarter century at Child and Family Services of Erie County, and the past four years leading the Erie County nonprofit. Since moving up to the top post just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she has provided essential residential, mental health, special education and domestic violence help services for children and families across Western New York. McPartland also volunteers for other nonprofit organizations in the Buffalo-Niagara region and holds board positions at the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies and the state Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health.

Mark Meridy

Executive Director, DOROT
Mark Meridy / DOROT

For more than 15 years, Mark Meridy has led DOROT, a New York City-based nonprofit whose mission is to address social isolation among older adults. On Meridy’s watch, DOROT’s impact on enhancing the lives of older adults, activating thousands of volunteers and bringing older adults and teens together has been recognized by community partners and government agencies. Meridy has forged collaborative partnerships and expanded the reach of its life-enhancing programs, from the West Side of Manhattan to the East Side, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester, New Jersey and now Queens.

Nadjete Natchaba

Chief Program Officer, Behavioral Health Treatment Services, Homeless Services & Veterans Services, Services for the Underserved
Nadjete Natchaba / Cantata Health

Nadjete Natchaba has supported people living with mental illness, substance use disorders and homelessness for over two decades as a clinician, administrator and executive in human services. In her current role, she leads a team of clinicians and administrators managing community treatment teams, behavioral health clinics, home and community-based services and shelters for single adults and families. She teaches at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and recently published a chapter on supporting nonclinical staff in the book “The Changing Landscape of the Workplace and Workforce.”

Carolina Oleas

Workforce Development Coordinator, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
Carolina Oleas / Luis Yibirin

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York’s mission is to meet the needs of “the poor, troubled, frail and oppressed of all religions” – including immigrants and refugees making a home in the downstate region. As an immigrant, Carolina Oleas is well suited to serving other newcomers. Her work focuses on day labor programs in Yonkers and the Bronx. A graduate of the University of Loja in Ecuador and LaGuardia Community College in Queens, Oleas is driven to understand the needs of her community and to inspire others to pursue their dreams.

Yvonne Patrick

Senior ​​​​Regional Director of Programs and Services, YAI
Yvonne Patrick / Provided

Yvonne Patrick is a tireless advocate and a key leader at YAI, which provides supports and services to more than 20,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities annually. Patrick brings over 36 years of experience providing quality, person-centered services, from her initial position as a direct support professional to overseeing a wide range of programs today, including residences, day habilitation, socialization programs and more throughout the Bronx and Hudson Valley. She also served as a co-chair of the Bronx’s Disabilities Council Residential Committee.

Ramon Peguero

President and CEO, Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
Ramon Peguero / Box of Dreams, Jefferson Moran-Morales

Ramon Peguero is dedicated to supporting New York’s underserved communities. Peguero oversees the New York City-based Committee for Hispanic Children and Families’ advocacy efforts and various youth development, family child care support and community empowerment programs. Over three decades – including over five years at the helm of CHCF – Peguero has targeted issues that many low-income New Yorkers contend with, from HIV and AIDS to substance use, while also providing support for child development, housing and senior health.

Joshua Peskay

3CPO, RoundTable Technology
Joshua Peskay / Ed Lefkowicz

Joshua Peskay may not be not the droid you’re looking for, but the self-described “3CPO” is fluent in many different technologies that aid nonprofit organizations. Peskay’s title is based on his three-part role – chief information officer, chief information security officer and chief product officer – at RoundTable Technology, which brings enterprise-level technology to nonprofit organizations in New York and elsewhere. He has worked with organizations focused on human rights, civil rights and climate change, helping them with everything from information technology and cybersecurity to artificial intelligence.

Wesner Pierre

CEO, Partnership with Children
Wesner Pierre / Provided

Wesner Pierre is a dynamic changemaker at the helm of Partnership with Children, an organization serving over 25,000 children and families through 48 schools across New York City. The South Jamaica, Queens, native served as a Beacon Community Center director and a vice president at CAMBA, where he expanded youth programs to reach over 13,500 youth and families annually. Pierre, who also had stints at Harlem Children’s Zone and as an adjunct professor and author, is a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council.

Sabeen Pirani

Chief Learning Officer, Workforce Professionals Training Institute
Sabeen Pirani / Justin Collins, Sabeen Pirani

Since its founding two decades ago, the Workforce Professionals Training Institute has emerged as an invaluable adviser and guide for workforce development organizations in New York City. That success can be attributed to key staffers like Sabeen Pirani, who joined WPTI in 2016 and serves as the organization’s chief learning officer. Pirani brings plenty of relevant experience to her work, thanks to past stints overseeing daily operations of a Bronx youth center for The Door and managing a learning to work program in a New York City high school.

Stephen Powers

Co-Founder, Open Impact Real Estate
Stephen Powers / Open Impact Real Estate

Stephen Powers has helped a number of major nonprofit organizations find new headquarters office space, including Goodwill, Children’s Aid, Rising Ground, West Side Campaign Against Hunger and Catholic Guardian Services. Powers’ firm, Open Impact Real Estate, offers a full range of commercial real estate brokerage and advisory services that help align a nonprofit’s real estate strategy with its mission, including tenant advising, leasing, investment sales and strategic planning. Powers has more than two decades of commercial real estate experience on behalf of nonprofits.

Kevin Quist

Co-Founder and Managing Director, BTQ Financial
Kevin Quist / BTQ Financial

At BTQ Financial, Kevin Quist has a passion for helping to create healthier and more opportunity rich communities. In 2001, he and fellow BTQ co-founder David Terrio transitioned a facility development and program planning consulting practice, Burchman, Terrio & Quist Urban Consultants, into a mission-driven finance and accounting firm. With a focus on critical safety net agencies, BTQ is laser focused on providing nonprofit leaders higher quality and timely financial information and accounting services at lowest possible cost. Today BTQ employs over 200 individuals who manage over $1 billion in nonprofit financial activity annually.

Ronald Richter

Ronald Richter / JCCA

Ronald Richter has seen all sides of child and family services. Prior to heading up JCCA, he has served as a New York City Family Court judge, New York City Administration for Children’s Services commissioner and a Legal Aid Society attorney. Throughout, he has sought to create a more just child and family services system by focusing on the well-being of each child and family. At JCCA, he has expanded academic enrichment services and positioned the organization as a leading provider of support services for children with complex trauma, chronic illness or severe emotional disturbance.

Walter Roberts

Executive Director, Hope Community
Walter Roberts / Ashley Naomi Photography

Walter Roberts runs Hope Community, a community-based affordable housing organization, which he joined in 2010 after serving as a consultant and as a director of operations with The Doe Fund’s real estate group. In a career spanning 35 years, he has worked at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development as assistant commissioner for planning services and as director of the Neighborhood Redevelopment Program, where he redeveloped 2,000 units of affordable housing. Hope Community aims to improve East Harlem by creating high-quality affordable housing.

Rosita Romero

Executive Director, Dominican Women’s Development Center
Rosita Romero / Eduardo Hoperman

Rosita Romero is a social justice leader and serves as the executive director and co-founder of the Dominican Women’s Development Center, a 30-year-old nonprofit organization that helps Dominican women and other Latinas in the Manhattan neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood. Romero was born in the Dominican Republic into a working-class family, which migrated to Puerto Rico and then to the United States. In her career, she has experience in community organizing, advocacy and coalition building, with a focus on housing, women’s issues, immigration and family matters.

Eric Rosenbaum

President and CEO, Project Renewal
Eric Rosenbaum / Joshua Bright

Eric Rosenbaum is committed to building housing for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. As the leader of Project Renewal, one of New York City’s largest social services agencies, Rosenbaum has prioritized an aggressive real estate development plan that has over 500 new units of housing coming onto the market over the next three years – which will help move people out of shelter and into permanent homes. He manages a staff of nearly 1,000 at over 20 locations for Project Renewal, which serves more than 13,000 individuals annually who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Jody Rudin

President and CEO, Institute for Community Living
Jody Rudin / ICL

In two years leading the Institute for Community Living, Jody Rudin has boosted its budget by 20% to more than $200 million with a strategic vision to advance its mission to meet the needs of New Yorkers who are experiencing serious mental health challenges. Rudin is a former New York City official and the first woman to head ICL, which has launched innovative pilot programs, including a step-down program that supports participants successfully served by intensive mobile treatment programs who are ready for less intensive services, saving the city and state millions of dollars.

Davon Russell

President, WHEDco
Davon Russell / Lawrence M. Miner, Jr., Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation

The tagline for the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corp. is “Building a greater Bronx.” That’s what Davon Russell has done at the nonprofit since becoming president in 2017. Under Russell’s leadership, WHEDco in 2021 completed the leasing of Bronx Commons, a $165 million, 426,000 square-foot facility on half of a city block dedicated to affordable housing, education, culture, health care and small-business support. Russell, who maintains a focus on supporting young people, was born in the country of Jamaica and ran track at the University of Oregon before joining WHEDco as a part-time, after-school teacher.

Brian Sackstein

Partner, Armanino

Brian Sackstein is an expert in the nonprofit and health care sectors as an audit partner at Armanino, a top 25 accounting and consulting firm with clients across the globe. Sackstein, who has been with Armanino for two years, advises a wide range of organizations in managing their operations and achieving strategic and financial goals, assisting with government funding, internal controls and preparing financial statements. He has served on the not-for-profit committee of the New York State Society of CPAs.

Sharon Sewell-Fairman

President and CEO, Women Creating Change
Sharon Sewell-Fairman / Women Creating Change

The latest stop on Sharon Sewell-Fairman’s three-decade career spanning the nonprofit and for-profit sectors is at Women Creating Change, where she empowers women, advances gender equity and advocates for policy changes. A trailblazer in the workforce development field, she was the first leader of color at the National Association of Workforce Boards and the Workforce Professional Training Institute, shattering barriers and paving the way for inclusivity and diversity in leadership roles. As CEO of the Workforce Professionals Training Institute, she transformed the organization from a fledgling project to a robust, independent nonprofit.

Al Sharpton

Founder and President, National Action Network
Al Sharpton / Michael Frost

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and New York City Mayor Eric Adams are the kinds of big-name Democrats that regularly show up at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conventions and events, exemplifying his stature as the leading civil rights leader in the country. In recent months, the former U.S. Senate candidate and current MSNBC host has called for more government contracts for minority-owned businesses, criticized attacks on former Harvard President Claudine Gay and decried the subway killing of Jordan Neely. He is also a commissioner of the U.S. Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.

Rachel Sherrow

Chief Operating Officer, Citymeals on Wheels
Rachel Sherrow / Konrad Brattke

A licensed clinical social worker with over a quarter century of experience in aging services, Rachel Sherrow helps steer Citymeals on Wheels as the nonprofit’s chief operating officer. While strengthening the lifeline of meal deliveries to homebound older adults, Sherrow has established Citymeals’ distribution center in the Bronx, a mobile food pantry and the Fresh Produce program. Under her leadership, Citymeals’ volunteer operations foster a community of support through meal deliveries, check-ins and social calls via its impressive network of 14,000 volunteers.

Aaron Shiffman

Executive Director, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Aaron Shiffman / Brian William Waddell, NYHEADSHOTS

Aaron Shiffman is the executive director of Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a nonprofit workforce development organization that connects hundreds of New Yorkers each year to meaningful, lasting careers. His commitment to fighting poverty shows up in his work every day, and he has helped the organization serve 12,000 New Yorkers over a quarter century. He developed an innovative partnership with the New York City Housing Authority that has connected 3,200 public housing residents with municipal jobs. He serves on the executive committee of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition.

Jodi M. Sturgeon

President and CEO, PHI
Jodi M. Sturgeon / Kristen Blush Photography

Under Jodi M. Sturgeon, PHI has improved care for older adults and people with disabilities by creating quality jobs for direct care workers and partnering with long-term care providers to maximize job quality. Sturgeon previously served as vice president and chief operating and financial officer at PHI, roles in which she bolstered the organization’s infrastructure and programs. Sturgeon, who was also a vice president of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, an early community development financial institution, is also the board vice chair of VIP Community Services, a Bronx-based federally qualified health care center.

Ramon Tallaj

Board Chair, Somos Community Care
Ramon Tallaj / Somos Community Care

Dr. Ramon Tallaj founded Somos Community Care, a physician-led nonprofit network of 2,600 health care providers serving over a million Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries in New York City’s immigrant communities. Tallaj, who founded Somos in 2015, has been a proponent of a shift to pay-for-performance in New York as a way to better serve patients by investing in preventive and chronic care. In 2022, Tallaj was appointed co-chair of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force.

Aisha Tator

Executive Director, Donate Life New York State
Aisha Tator / Donate Life New York State

Under Aisha Tator’s leadership, Donate Life New York State has increased registration rates in New York by raising awareness about organ and tissue donation and making it easier for New Yorkers to register. Over the past decade, the number of New Yorkers enrolled as donors has more than tripled – from roughly 2 million to more than 7 million – reversing past trends and increasing by 98% the opportunity to save and heal lives through organ and tissue transplantation. Tator has led the organization since 2012, after doing advocacy work at the March of Dimes.

Michael Thatcher

President and CEO, Charity Navigator
Michael Thatcher / Sandra Braverman

Michael Thatcher has spent nearly a decade as president and CEO of Charity Navigator, which provides independent evaluations of thousands of charities that allow donors to make informed decisions about their contributions and the impact of their giving. On Thatcher’s watch, ratings coverage increased to 229,995 nonprofits, up from 8,000. Thatcher has previously spent more than 15 years with Microsoft, including a decade as the tech giant’s public sector chief technology officer responsible for technology policy initiatives and engagements with governments and academics in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Sibi B. Thomas

Managing Director, CBIZ Marks Paneth
Sibi B. Thomas / Provided

Sibi B. Thomas is a managing director at CBIZ Marks Paneth, a national financial and employee business services firm, and a shareholder at its affiliated CPA firm, Mayer Hoffman McCann. Thomas, who has spent nearly two decades working at the firm in New York, has extensive accounting, auditing and consulting experience in the nonprofit sector. He was a member of AICPA’s Not-for-Profit Entities Expert Panel for over three years and has also served as an adjunct faculty of not-for-profit accounting at New York University for several years.

Jacqueline Tiso

Founder and CEO, JMT Consulting
Jacqueline Tiso / Roger Castonguay

Since she founded JMT Consulting in 1991, Jacqueline Tiso has supported over 2,000 nonprofit organizations with individualized management, software and financial solutions. Providing grant management, financial reporting, systems integration and workflow improvement, Tiso has been a long-term supporter of New York’s nonprofit ecosystem. Recently, JMT has partnered with the American Nonprofit Academy to expand its combined educational content deliverables in order to equip nonprofit leaders with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of the field’s landscape.

Saskia Traill

President and CEO, ExpandED Schools
Saskia Traill / Michael Priest Photography

Saskia Traill’s ExpandED Schools is a nonprofit delivering full-scale learning and development opportunities to young people and educators in New York City. Traill is driving ExpandED Schools’ school-community partnerships to inform policies in STEM, literacy and social-emotional learning, as well as the rapid expansion of work-based learning. Recognizing the need for academic intervention following the COVID-19 disruption to in-person learning, ExpandED partnered with New York City to pioneer a comprehensive, citywide system of high-impact tutoring that complements existing school curricula.

Catherine Trapani

Assistant Vice President of Public Policy, Volunteers of America-Greater New York
Catherine Trapani / Volunteers of America-Greater New York

Catherine Trapani is a leader at Volunteers of America-Greater New York, an anti-poverty organization aiming to end homelessness in the New York City area by 2050. The experienced housing and homeless services expert is expanding the organization’s Street to Home pilot, which allows chronically homeless individuals to move into permanent housing first while waiting to complete paperwork. Her work has inspired a New York City Council bill to require first responder training on domestic violence, and she also has been part of the #JustPay campaign for higher pay for human services workers.

Christopher D. Turner

Principal and Managing Director of Transaction Services, Denham Wolf Real Estate Services
Christopher D. Turner / Denham Wolf

Christopher D. Turner’s innovative approach to nonprofit real estate, developed through years of working with community organizations, foundations, health care providers, religious groups and educational institutions, has allowed him to provide a unique service to nonprofits and revolutionize the transaction services offerings at Denham Wolf Real Estate Services. Turner and his collaborative team have helped hundreds of nonprofits, including AHRC New York City, Community Healthcare Network and Opera America, while expanding services in Manhattan, Queens and the South Bronx. Turner’s team focuses on planning, structuring, and negotiating of real estate transactions for New York City nonprofits.

Carlos Velazquez

Executive Director, The Police Athletic League
Carlos Velazquez / Provided

Carlos Velazquez is an innovative leader forging significant community partnerships and standing side by side with New York City youth who are growing up in some of its toughest neighborhoods. Born and raised in East Harlem, Velazquez became The Police Athletic League’s executive director in 2022. In his 20-year career in public service, he has been dedicated to addressing the needs of underserved youth and cultivating strategic relationships with community partners and government agencies. Prior to joining PAL, he was the chief program officer for the Boys’ Club of New York.

Jane Veron

Co-Founder and CEO, The Acceleration Project
Jane Veron / The Acceleration Project

Jane Veron knows how to accelerate a career, whether it’s in business, government or nonprofits. She runs EJA Industries, a holding company for middle market private equity investments, worked at Bain & Company and American Express, and was mayor of Scarsdale until March 2023. In the nonprofit sector, she launched The Acceleration Project in 2012 with an aim to create a more equitable and inclusive economy by providing advisory services to thousands of underresourced small-business owners across the country. She’s also a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Investment Capital Advisory Committee.

Cindy Voelker

President and CEO, Spectrum Health & Human Services
Cindy Voelker / Buffalo Business First

When Cindy Voelker joined Spectrum Health in 1985 as a senior mental health clinician at one of its urban counseling centers, she was drawn to its commitment to serving some of the most vulnerable individuals and communities in need. She was soon promoted to a director role and began developing community-based programs and launching initiatives that helped individuals in need across Western New York. She became chief operating officer in 2007, associate CEO in 2017 and then president and CEO in 2022. She serves on the boards of the Value Network and Heritage Christian Services.

Jodi Warren

Partner, Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld
Jodi Warren / Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld

As a partner in Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld’s Not-for-Profit and Religious Organizations and Real Estate practice groups, Jodi Warren keeps each nonprofit’s mission in mind as she assists on real estate and development, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. Among the services she provides are leasing, property sales, joint ventures and development projects, while also assisting in the statutory approval process for the sale and disposition of real property assets. Warren is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Real Property Law Committee and Nonprofit New York’s Government Relations Council.

Darlene Williams

President and CEO, Union Settlement
Darlene Williams / Lionel Petion

A year ago, Darlene Williams took the reins of Union Settlement, a nonprofit organization providing education, health and community-building programs in East Harlem. Williams, a veteran nonprofit leader who has also been a consultant and educator, is driven to empower underresourced communities and ensure social justice. This year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams named her as a co-chair of the first New York City Nonprofit Advisory Council. She also chairs the East Harlem Community Alliance, a coalition of over 200 local businesses, nonprofits, religious groups and governmental bodies.

Alan Yu

Executive Director, New Yorkers For Children
Alan Yu / Brooke Alexander

Since Alan Yu joined New Yorkers for Children in February 2023, he has spearheaded the long-range vision planning for the organization. Previously, he worked for over a decade at local nonprofits focused on affordable housing and education, most recently as the chief development officer at the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families. He also serves on the advisory committee of Episcopal Charities of New York, the Congregational Council of Trinity Church Wall Street, Manhattan Community Board 5 and the Young Patrons Council Steering Committee of the Museum of Modern Art.