Board, Councils & Staff
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Board of Directors


David is Dean of the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness. He has centered his academic work on the nexus of communication, media, and information technology in politics, government and nonprofit administration. An expert on political debating and widely published on communication theory and practice, David is a regular guest commentator on debates and other aspects of political communication for television and print media. His work has been supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the IBM Endowment for the Study of Business and Government, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the JPMorganChase Foundation, the United Way of New York City, the Markle Foundation, and other funders. David is President of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and serves on NASPAA’s Executive Council. He chairs the boards of Governance Matters and of the New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center. He is a member of the board of the New York Council of Nonprofits. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. David received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in Public Communication from the University of Maryland.

Marc is the Director of Business Development for the Not-for-Profit Client Practice of Clifton Larson Allen. He is a seasoned sales and marketing executive with over two decades of experience in branding, strategic sales development, and merchandising operations for the world’s most successful global retailers, agencies, and consumer products companies. His expertise includes strategic business, market, and sales planning, strategic sales force and workforce development, and account development and portfolio management. Marc’s previous experience included working as Managing Partner at Maktub LLC, and National Sales Manager for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. He began his career working in increasingly senior positions at Procter & Gamble, including Account Executive, Operations Manager, Analyst, Customer Marketing Financial Analysis, and Senior Account Executive. Marc earned an MBA and BS in Accounting from Florida A&M University.

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker is President/CEO of Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Clotilde has been with the organization since 2005. Clotilde has extensive nonprofit leadership experience, centered on community-wide efforts to solve the most critical problems facing communities. Clotilde is a nationally recognized spokesperson on a range of issues including philanthropy, board governance and volunteer management. She serves on the Board of Foundation Strategy Group, The Foundation Center, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, CFLeads and Say Yes to Education. Clotilde earned her B.A. from Canisius College and Ed.M. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Prior to his current work as CFO & Director of Portfolio Operations for Argand Partners LP, Joe Del Toro was the Chief Financial Officer of Novitex, where he oversaw Novitex’s accounting and finance functions. Joe has over 20 years of finance, general management, operations, private equity, and M&A experience and joined Novitex from Undertone, a digital advertising and technology company. Prior to Undertone, Joe served as the CFO of the The Topps Company, a manufacturer of consumer products that includes baseball cards and confectionery. Prior to Topps, Joe served as General Manager of the Fortune|Money Group, a multi-media network comprising the business and finance titles of Time, Inc. Joe was previously Director of Finance and Acquisitions at the Time Warner corporate entity. Earlier in his career, he worked in private equity at Lazard Freres and HIG Capital Management as well as in Morgan Stanley’s Mergers & Acquisitions department. Joe received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and received a BA in Mathematics from Columbia University.

Peter Dunn has more than 20 years of experience in the community foundation field working in support of the growth of the philanthropic sector. In 2008, Peter became the third President and CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation in Syracuse, NY. Previously, Peter was Vice President, Philanthropic Services with the California Community Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Peter joined the California Community Foundation as Gift Planning Officer in 1996, became Director of Gift Planning in 1998 and the foundation’s chief development officer in 2006. From 1994 to 1996, Peter was Program Coordinator for Community Foundation Services at the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC. Peter received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1987 and a Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 1990. He was admitted to practice law in New York State in January 1991 and practiced with a focus on civil litigation in Buffalo until 1993.

Janet T. Farrell has worked in banking her whole career and with educational and not-for-profit organizations on their banking needs since 1991. Ms. Farrell’s not-for-profit banking experience is bolstered by her past or present service on the boards of Goucher College (prior Trustee), the Hispanic College Fund (current Trustee and co-founder of the Manuel Candamo Memorial Scholarship Fund), GALA Hispanic Theatre (prior Board member and Board Chair), Latino Economic Development Corporation (prior Board Chair and Treasurer), the Cultural Development Corporation of the District of Columbia (co-founder and past Treasurer) and the Washington Performing Arts Society (prior Trustee and Vice-Chair Finance). Ms. Farrell holds an MBA in Finance from Loyola College and a BA in Spanish with high honors from Goucher College, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Flax is the Vice President of Engineering for CapTap, a division of Capital Access Network. He is responsible for digital product development and technology initiatives, providing small businesses access to much needed capital. Most recently, Mr. Flax was Chief Information Officer of TheStreet, Inc. As CIO, Mr. Flax led the development of products, hosting services and other technology services to the company. Prior to TheStreet, Mr. Flax was the Chief Information Officer for Cowen Group, where he was responsible for the delivery of technology services to all areas of the bank, including research, investment banking, and trading. Prior to Cowen, Mr. Flax was a Managing Director for the New York Stock Exchange, where he was responsible for Trading Technology and the NYSE’s transition to a Hybrid Market. He also previously worked for Reuters and OptiMark. Mr. Flax holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and was an Undergraduate Research Fellow in High Energy Astrophysics at CalTech in a joint program with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA.

Reg Foster is the former President and CEO of United Way of New York State, retiring in August 2017. Before that, he was the Global Coordinator for Corporate Responsibility for the IBM Corporation, leading IBM’s internal working group on corporate responsibility and relations with outside organizations. Reg also worked at United Way of New York City and held human service policy roles in New York State and City government. Reg has also worked as an analyst in several nonprofits, including the Vera Institute of Justice. His fields of work included low-income housing, mental health and adult education. Reg holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, and a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

Yulitza Franklin is the Urban Analyst for the Community Development Unit of the Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division of the New York State Department of Financial Services. Her duties include coordinating the community affairs response to applications from banking institutions for expansion; preparation of CRA evaluations of branch closings and community impact statements and any special research projects assessing the direct and indirect impact of financial trends to consumers. In addition, Ms. Franklin provides lead support in the management and administration of the state’s Banking Development District Program (“BDD”). In this capacity, she provides technical assistance to banking institutions and community leaders interested banking unbanked/underbanked communities across the state, among other critical duties. Ms. Franklin has also coordinated the department’s community outreach efforts. In that capacity, she oversaw the Department’s Speakers Bureau, which is comprised of experts in finance and banking, and sought opportunities for the Department to collaborate with community organizations and other agencies to promote financial education and consumer awareness. Ms. Franklin has proudly served the Board of Directors of the New York Council of Nonprofits since 2012. Prior to joining the Banking Department, Ms. Franklin worked at the former Governor’s Office for Small Cities administering Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Projects throughout the State. She holds a BA in Political Science from University at Albany and an MBA in General Management from Metropolitan College of New York.

Irfan directs The New York Community Trust’s Healthy Lives grantmaking program and has responsibility for health, behavioral health, and biomedical grants. Following September 11, 2001, Irfan was instrumental in developing The Trust's September 11th Fund’s $51.1 million emergency health and mental health response grantmaking program. Before joining The Trust, he spent eight years at Greater Boston Rehabilitation Services, developing and overseeing programs to help people with disabilities, chronic diseases, and other barriers to employment return to work. Irfan is a member of Grantmakers in Health’s Behavioral Health Funders Network, Philanthropy New York’s Health Policy Working Group, and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He served as a Mayoral appointee to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Community Service Board from 2009-2015; is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Disability Funders Network, serving as chairman from 2007 to 2011; a former co-chair of the United States Student Selection Committee for the United World Colleges; and served as a member of the planning committee and/or a session presenter at Council on Foundations, Grantmakers in Health, National Council for Behavioral Health, and American Planning Association conferences. Irfan earned a B.A. in sociology from Northeastern University and a Masters in Public Administration from at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Hsing Hsing Li is a business leader in the areas of investment management, technology, and business transformation. Currently Hsing Hsing is a CFO Advisory Director at KPMG, which consists of more than 170,000 employees world-wide. Financial management solutions she has overseen include cost management change plans, driving strategic insight from the use of capital, controls on filings and board governance materials, and strategy for an advanced modeling digital ecosystem. Hsing Hsing has been dedicated to finance and technology for many years having studied corporate finance and engineering and beginning her career in trading and venture capital. Her executive experience includes advanced technology program management, c-level meeting facilitation, and innovation strategy creation and execution. She also serves as the treasurer on the board and executive committee of Gibney Dance, one of the most influential arts organizations in NYC, where she leads the finance and marketing technology initiative.

Jason Lilien is a Partner at Loeb & Loeb, a law firm. His practice focuses on advising clients throughout the nonprofit sector on corporate governance and compliance matters. A former Bureau Chief of the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Jason oversaw New York’s more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations and developed legislation and regulatory initiatives that serve as national models. Jason serves on the Board of Visitors, Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs. Jason earned his BA from Binghamton University and JD from Albany Law School.

Jane B. O’Connell is President of the Altman Foundation, a $250 million foundation established in 1913 under the will of Benjamin Altman. Ms. O’Connell was Director of Development and Administrative Services at an independent girls’ school from 1976 to 1998. She began her professional career teaching English in a New York City public high school. Currently, she is a trustee of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, the Partnership for Inner-City Education and the Commonweal Foundation. She is board member and vice president of Philanthropy New York. She serves on the board of Morgan Stanley GIFT, a donor advised fund. She is trustee and treasurer of the Museum of the City of New York and a member of the board of NYCON and is vice president of its subsidiary, Governance Matters. Previous board work includes the national board of Grantmakers for Children Youth and Families, Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York Chapter, City Harvest and Early Steps. She has served on the Advisory Board for the Fundraising Management Master of Science Program, a division of the Continuing Education Program at Columbia University. From 1998 to 2016 Ms. O’Connell also consulted for non-profit organizations in the areas of fund raising, strategic planning and board development. From 2000 to 2012, she worked as a senior consultant with Washburn Carmichael, a full service consulting firm dedicated to nonprofit agencies in addition to maintaining a small client base of her own. A graduate of Manhattanville College, she received her M.A. in Secondary Education from New York University (Steinhardt) School of Education.

David M. Rottkamp, CPA, is Partner-in-Charge of the New York City Office and the Not-for-Profit Practice Leader at Grassi & Co. David has more than 27 years of experience providing audit and advisory services to the not-for-profit industry. David focuses on not-for-profit organizations serving individuals with special needs, religious organizations, educational institutions, membership associations, social service providers, healthcare providers, foundations, and the arts and culture world. David’s technical knowledge allows him to provide specific services, including OMB A-133 compliance audits and retirement plan audits.

Michael S. Sirkin is co-head of Proskauer Rose’s Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation Practice Center and former Chair of the Tax Department. He practices primarily in the areas of executive compensation and employee benefits, and frequently represents companies, compensation committees, and senior executives in connection with executive employment, severance, equity and other compensation arrangements. Michael advises tax-exempt organizations, insurance companies, consultants, and executives on compensation and benefits issues, including those applying to Section 403(b) plans and Section 457 arrangements. He also has a prominent practice representing compensation committees, chief executive officers and other senior corporate executives in the negotiation and structuring of executive employment and severance agreements. In addition, Michael has served as a director and officer of the New York Chapter of WEB: A Network of Professionals Working in Employee Benefits. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at New York University School of Law for several years.

Tai Chang Terry retired from Time Warner Inc. in 2015, where she had been an Assistant General Counsel. She graduated from Yale College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an Editor of The University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Ms. Terry currently serves on the Boards of The Parent-Child Home Program; Penn Law Asian-American Network; The University of Pennsylvania Law Alumni Society; and her Yale College Class Council. She has served in the past on the Boards of the Penn Alumni Association, Prep for Prep, The Spence School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School Board of Overseers.

Robert Thompson is currently the Director of the Center for Community Engagement at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. The Center offers nonprofit leadership development training courses and nonprofit continuing education opportunities in the greater Rochester community. Thompson’s career spans 40 years and covers a broad spectrum of healthcare administration including managed care, professional and trade associations for physicians and hospitals, and community health. Among other leadership positions, Thompson was Vice President for Community Health Engagement at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Executive Director of Univera Community Health and President & CEO of the Monroe Plan for Medical Care.


Western New York Advisory Council


Molly Anderson
Executive Director, Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, University at Buffalo School of Management

Adam Bartoszek
 - Director of VolunteerWNY, The Service Collaborative of WNY

Karen Christie
Chief Community Services Officer, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Katie Coyle - Assistant Vice President, M&T Bank

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker
President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

 

Carolyn Human - Public Relations & Media Relations

Althea E. Luehrsen
CEO, Leadership Buffalo

Jennifer Pauly - President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce


Daphne Ross - Communications Director, Say Yes Buffalo

Karen Lee Spaulding  - 
Vice President of Philanthropic Support, The John R. Oishei Foundation

 

Ezra Staley - Executive Director of Social Innovation, University at Buffalo

 

Jen Swan - Interim Executive Director, Arts Services Initiative of Western New York

Tasha Villani - Vice President of Development, Catapult

Michael Weiner
President & CEO, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Liz Zulawski - President & CEO, Leadership Niagara


Downstate Advisory Council


Nicole Gallant - Senior Vice President & Chief Program Officer, United Way of New York City

 

Paula Gavin - Chief Service Officer, NYC Service, Office of the Mayor

Jeanette Gisbert - Deputy Executive Director, Volunteer New York!

Irfan Hasan Program Director, Healthy Lives | Health & Behavioral Health, The New York Community Trust


Luana Lewis - Senior Vice President, Programs & Services, BBB Foundation of Metro New York

Kelly Mathews - Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Financial Management Group, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

 

David Okorn - Executive Director, Long Island Community Foundation

Diana O'Neill Executive Director, Long Island Volunteer Center

 

Lisa Perry Interim President & CEO, The Community Health Care Association of New York State


Claire Rosenzweig - President & CEO, BBB Foundation of Metro New York

Laura Rossi - Executive Director, Westchester Community Foundation

Sharon Stapel - President, Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York 

Patricia Swann - Senior Program Officer, Thriving Communities Community Development & Technical Assistance, The New York Community Trust

Ann Marie Thigpen - Director, Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Adelphi University School of Social Work

 

Laura Jean Watters Program Officer, The Staten Island Foundation

 

Staff


Allie Barona joined charitySTRONG as Program Manager in March 2016. She was previously the Community Manager for the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, a community-based nonprofit organization serving preterm and sick infants. Prior to that, Allie worked as an Associate Account Executive at Rubenstein, a publicity and media relations company. Allie graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in sociology.

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