Board of Directors

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Dorina Link

LMSW/ President
Managing Director for DSL Associates in NYC, she performs independent consultant work for social work programs with an emphasis on children, homelessness, health, legislative advocacy, program development and business planning. She is an LMSW and MBA Professional with extensive public sector and nonprofit experience, having obtained her B.S. in Biology and Economics from Carnegie-Mellon University, her MBA from University of Pittsburgh, and her Master of Social Work from Columbia University. Following a career in the private and public sector, she turned her focus to child welfare through her work as Brooklyn Advocate Supervisor at Court Appointed Special Advocates and policy/advocacy work.  Dorina has previously served as a board member of New Yorkers For Children (NYFC), a nonprofit which works in partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to improve the lives of youth in foster care. She additionally served as a board member for the Joyce Theater Foundation, the Legal Aid Society, and the United Way of Greenwich, and as Board President of Gateway School in Greenwich, CT.

Lizbeth Adams

Vice President
Lizbeth Adams received her Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Boston College. She began her career as a psychologist but early on segued into the securities industry where she held positions in Human Resources and Sales. Lizbeth served as Board President of Our House Foundation which provides housing and employment placement of developmentally disabled adults. She additionally served on the Board of Youth Communication, an organization that provides powerful, teen-written stories and professional development to help educators and youth workers engage struggling youth. Lizbeth currently serves on the Board of the Foundation for Justice through Education, which has funded unique educational programs at universities in the United States and England.

Jonathan Savitt

Co-Treasurer
Jon brings his current and prior financial experience working with grants and non-profits to our Board. Jon is currently a Senior Budget Analyst with the Center for Court Innovation, a New York non-profit focused on criminal justice reform. He oversees, prepares and maintains annual budgets and forecasts for 97 active government and foundation projects for a total annual budget of $18,870,000. Jon previously worked with Northwell Health as a Finance Specialist for the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He oversaw 63 research and service projects with an annual award total of $16,860,000. Jon has his B.S. in Accounting from SUNY Geneseo and is passionate about helping non-profits and helping us achieve our mission.

Kelsey Kovas

Secretary
Kelsey Kovas is an Events Coordinator and Community Outreach specialist at First Republic Bank. She received her bachelors of arts in Business with a focus in media and arts management from Marymount Manhattan College. Having worked closely with public schools teaching financial literacy and in childcare for many years, Kelsey has had ample opportunities to work with the youth of New York.

Reia Balchan

Board Member
Reia Balchan is currently Director of Strategic Planning at BNP Paribas, where she has been managing a variety of special projects, digital initiatives, and other operational and financial support for the Americas legal team since 2016.  Before joining BNPP, Reia led a team that supported debt and derivatives transactions for the treasury legal department at GE Capital.  She previously served as Vice President at JP Morgan Chase / Bear Stearns, where she drafted and negotiated ISDA master agreements and other credit support documentation.  Reia is passionate about working with children in foster care and previously volunteered with CASA-NYC. She is excited to bring her skills and passion to working with these youth as they begin life on their own.

Rinku Bhattacharya

CMA/ Board Member
Currently CFO at WestCOP in Ossining NY, Rinku has served in a variety of financial leadership roles in the non-profit space throughout her career.  She was formerly the Director of Finance at JASA, Vice President/CFO at Birch Family Services, Director of Finance at Andrus Children’s Center and CFO at Westhab, Inc. Rinku is also an adjunct professor of Accounting at Manhattanville College. Rinku holds an MS in Public Administration from New School University and MBA in Finance from the University of Bridgeport and attended an Executive Level Program at Columbia University. Rinku is a member of IMA’s Global Board of Directors and also a current Board Member and Treasurer at CLUSTER, Inc. and former Board Chair of Literacy Volunteers of Westchester and Rockland.

Susan Bush

Board Member
A procurement professional with more than 25 years’ experience in both for profit and nonprofit organizations. She holds Masters Degrees in sociology and religious studies from Florida International University and an MBA from Western Carolina University. As an adjunct professor, Susan has provided instruction in sociology and college skills courses at Florida International University, Miami-Dade Community College, Brevard Community College, and North Carolina University-Asheville While living in North Carolina, she was a member of the Rotary Club and served as board member for SAFE, a domestic abuse shelter. Susan is currently the Director of Contracting and Procurement at JASA, a large nonprofit organization providing a continuum of services for aging New Yorkers.

Samantha A. Fried

LCSW/ Board Member
Samantha began her career as a foster care case planner at New Alternatives For Children and then spent four years as a Forensic Social Worker at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice. She then transitioned to the Center for Court Innovation and oversaw a $2.5 million dollar federal grant to create a package of interactive educational materials to facilitate the provision of effective, developmentally appropriate court support to empower children involved in criminal and civil/family court cases. Samantha is currently the Director of Program Planning at JCCA, where she works on agency-wide best practice initiatives to advance, support and improve the delivery of child welfare and mental health services to children and families throughout NYC. Samantha has presented at conferences around the country about best practice work in preparing children for court, and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work as well as the Fordham University School of Law and Graduate School of Social Service. Samantha holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Science in Social Work with a Minor in Law from Columbia University.

Jackelyn Garcia

CFRE/ Board Member
Jackelyn Garcia is Deputy Executive Director of Development and External Relations at Hudson Guild, a Settlement House based in Chelsea, NY. With nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and marketing/communications, she is responsible for the general management of the organization, along with strategic oversight of all development and external relations functions for the organization. In her work, she oversees all areas of fundraising including grant writing, individual giving, volunteer management, and board development. Previously, she was Director of Development & Communications with Madison Square Boys & Girls Club where she led fundraising efforts that resulted in nearly $5 million of annual revenue. Jackelyn holds a B.A. from Allegheny College and a Certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.

Geraldine Hansell

Board Member
Principal at Apollo Global Management, a leading global alternative asset manager, where she focuses on business strategy and operational excellence for Apollo’s Private Equity business. Prior to that, Geraldine was the Chief of Staff to Apollo’s Co-Presidents and also held positions within Apollo’s Business Planning & Analysis team focusing on its Credit, Private Equity and Real Assets businesses. Previously, she held an analyst position at the global macro hedge fund Tudor Investment Corporation and also worked on the Institutional and Retail strategy teams at TD Ameritrade. Geraldine has extensive experience in financial analysis, investment management and strategic planning. Geraldine obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

Christina Holdrege

LMSW/ Board Member
Christina serves as Special Initiatives Manager at the Women & Justice Project. She oversees a variety of initiatives, including the organization’s efforts to engage in partner work in ways that are transformative and healing. Christina serves as a key advisor on WJP’s strategic growth, and spearheads the organization’s efforts to collect and disseminate data related to women’s incarceration and leadership. Prior to joining WJP, Christina was a nonprofit consultant and served as adjunct lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work and Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. Christina also worked at the Incarcerated Mothers Program of Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families where she supervised frontline staff and oversaw all aspects of service provision, and served as the Brooklyn Borough Coordinator at Court Appointed Special Advocates NYC. She is a longtime member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners, co-chairing its Incarcerated Mothers Committee for five years. Christina holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare from SUNY Albany.

Nicole Johnson

Board Member
Nicole Johnson is currently the Acting Legal Director at Safe Passage Project, an organization that provides free legal services to immigrant youth facing deportation. Prior to joining to Safe Passage Project in 2018, she was a Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigration Intervention Project of Sanctuary for Families at the Bronx Family Justice Center, representing victims of gender-based violence in a variety of immigration matters. Before joining Sanctuary for Families, she was an Associate attorney at Salmen Navarro Law. Nicole received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Mills College in Oakland, California and then joined the Peace Corps where she was a Youth Development Volunteer in Peru for 2 years. She returned from Peru with a dedication to international human rights and received her J.D from Rutgers School of Law-Newark while continuing her public interest work. Nicole was a Kinoy-Stavis Public Interest Fellow, helping to lead the Rutgers Newark Community in Public Interest. She was also a Deborah T. Portiz Public Interest Law Fellow at Legal Services of New Jersey. Nicole additionally worked in the Constitutional Litigation Clinic and assisted in the organization of the then newly formed Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Rutgers-Newark.

Charell Star

Board Member
Charell Star is a journalist and online media personality, contributor and featured lifestyle expert for on-air, on-camera and online video shows and segments. She has contributed to broadcast and digital media outlets such as Marie Claire, Fox 5 – Good Day New York, NBC 4 New York Live and Second Look TV. She is also the founder, publisher, and writer of “Not Just a Girl in a Dress”, a highly popular lifestyle blog which shares inspiring stories and trending news that help women readers define their own versions of success. In 2015, she was awarded Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Follow-Worthy Blogger of the Year, named to Quirky Brown Love’s list of “Most Amazing Bloggers,” and featured as “Hot Topic Blogger Host of the Day” on the Wendy Williams Show. Charell is also a former foster care youth, and knows first hand the challenges facing the foster care population. She has been passionate about partnering with organizations, advocates, and brands that provide foster youth needed services, support and encouragement over the years.

Matthew Weitzman

Board Member
Matthew is the Co-Founder and owner of Swarm Digital, LLC, a full service digital marketing company, where he is the resident tech guru. Prior to this, Matthew provided his expertise as a marketing professional, focusing on social media and website development, at several other companies and start-up ventures building their growth and outreach. Matthew’s interest in serving youth led him to work closely with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island where he helped develop innovative technologies and marketing strategies for the organization. Matthew received his BA from Queens College at CUNY.