charitySTRONG Board, Councils & Staff
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Board of Directors

Victoria B. Bjorklund, Esq. is Retired Partner and Founder, Exempt Organizations Group at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Victoria has been with the firm since 1982. Victoria also is a Lecturer-in-Law, “The Law of Nonprofits” for Harvard Law School; a position she has held since 2009. Victoria serves on the Board of American Friends of the Louvre Museum, Doctors Without Borders USA, Friends of Fondation de France, Institute for Advanced Study, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Louvre Endowment Fund, Princeton University and Robin Hood Foundation. Victoria earned her BA degree from Princeton University; an MA, MPhil, PhD degrees from Yale University and JD from Columbia University Law School.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carol Kellermann is President of the Citizens Budget Commission. Carol has over 25 years’ experience in leadership positions in non-profit, philanthropic, and government settings. She has served as Interim Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and PENCIL, Inc., and as a consultant to City University of New York, where she initiated a pilot program to improve graduation rates and job outcomes at CUNY’s six community colleges. As Executive Director and CEO of the September 11 Fund she oversaw the $500+ million charitable fund, which provided grants and assistance for the short and long term needs of victims of the September 11th attacks. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of Learning Leaders, the oldest and largest volunteer program in the New York City public schools. Carol has been chief of staff to then Congressman Charles E. Schumer and held various executive positions in New York City government, including Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Finance. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

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.

Gena Lovett is the Founder and Managing Member of Little Wolf Capital, LLC (“LWC”), a New York-based Emerging Multi-strategy Hedge Fund which invests and focuses on women, minorities, and other emerging managers. With more than 20 years of financial services experience, Gena has significant expertise managing front, middle, and back office operations. For 14 years she was Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Alexandra Investment Management hedge fund. She previously worked in supervisory and management positions at NatWest Capital Markets, BT Securities Corporation, and PaineWebber. Gena currently serves as President of the New York Women’s Agenda; Board of Directors, Audit and Investment Committees and Former Treasurer of Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation; Board of Directors of nanoScience Engineering Corporation; Advisory Board Member of MPGlobal Connect Inc.; and Chair of the Ethics Committee from 2014-2016 for the New York Junior League. Gena holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Philander Smith College and Diploma in Financial Management from NY SCPS.

Lee H. Perlman is President of GNYHA Ventures, Inc., a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). Lee has been with the organization since 1983. Lee is also GNYHA’s Executive Vice President of Administration and is the Chief Financial Officer. Lee serves on the Board of the Actor’s Fund, Rosie’s Theatre Kids, Ronald McDonald House of New York, Berkshire Theatre Group, and New York Organ Donor Network. Lee earned his BA from Binghamton University and M.B.A. degree from Cornell University.

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.

Linda Zango-Haley is an expert in strategic marketing, communications and brand positioning with over 30-years of experience in the corporate, non-profit and private sectors. Linda is a Special Event and Strategic Outreach Manager at Baruch College. Linda previously had a 15-year career as Vice President Cosmetic Marketing International, Coty Inc. where she had global marketing responsibility for the $200-million-dollar Sally Hansen Cosmetic business in over 64 countries. Linda has earned a reputation as an accomplished results-driven senior marketing and communications expert with a successful track record building market share, brand recognition and revenue growth internationally. Linda is a graduate of Long Island University and attended Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York Graduate School of Business.

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



Allie Schlapp 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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