The Minds Matter New York City Team
Minds Matter New York City is led by our Board of Directors, volunteer Executive Committee, and professional staff. Our leadership is comprised of individuals from various backgrounds, all of whom dedicate extensive effort into ensuring Minds Matter is one of the top-performing nonprofits in NYC and a transformative experience for our students.
Erika HalsteadExecutive Directorreadmore Erika Halstead
is the Executive Director at Minds Matter NYC. She has been involved with the organization since 2009, first as a Writing & Critical Thinking adviser and then as a member of the Board of Directors, serving as Vice Chair from 2013 to 2015, and became Executive Director in 2015. Erika has spent her entire career in education, as a bilingual teacher, university lecturer in multi-ethnic/multicultural literature, and most recently as the Senior Program Officer at Humanities New York where she directed education and community engagement programs, and created programming for Latinx and American Muslim communities used nationwide. She is also an expert facilitator and master trainer in facilitation, with experience training hundreds of people in best practice. She comes to Minds Matter with a wealth of experience in program development and evaluation and a deep knowledge of programming for underserved youth. She holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and a EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University. A proud Colombian-American, she was named a 40 Under 40 Rising Star by the Hispanic Coalition of New York in 2018.
Carly SmithAssociate Director of Volunteersreadmore Carly Smith
is the Associate Director of Volunteers at Minds Matter NYC. Prior to joining Minds Matter, she spent nearly five years managing volunteer delivered programs at Junior Achievement of New York. Carly started at JA as a volunteer for the NYC Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps program dedicated to building volunteer capacity across New York City. Carly later joined the organization in a full-time role where she oversaw a diverse portfolio of corporate, college and community volunteers. Throughout her college career she worked in pre-college and pre-professional summer enrichment programs for high school students. As a first-generation college student, she is committed to college access and readiness. She holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Baruch College Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and a BA from Smith College.
Colin P. DelaneyDirector of Developmentreadmore Colin P. Delaney
has over fifteen years of experience in fundraising, communications, and program design. He began his career in arts education, working at High 5 Tickets to the Arts, a small nonprofit that worked with under-served youth. As Director of Marketing & Communications, Colin shepherded the merger between High 5 and ArtsConnection, New York City's largest in-school arts education program. Most recently, Colin served as the development officer for the international peace and security think tank, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where he secured more than 3 million dollars in funding. He has also acted as a development consultant for the New School, Gay Men's Health Crisis and Waterwell.
inquire about staff position Eva FallPrograms Associatereadmore Eva Fall
is a Programs Associate at Minds Matter NYC. Eva is originally from Michigan and recently returned to the US, she has taught ESL in classrooms in Michigan, New York and abroad. Having worked in education, she is passionate about education's value and the importance of education access. Eva holds a BA from University of Michigan in Linguistics with minors in East Asian Studies and Germanic Languages and Cultures.
Julia LooninDirector of Programsreadmore Julia Loonin
is the Director of Programs at Minds Matter NYC. She joins Minds Matter with 10 years experience in student support and program management and is committed to equity and access for all students. Prior to joining Minds Matter, Julia worked as the Director of Summer Programs for Girls Leadership, directing a residential summer program for middle and high school girls and leading parent/daughter workshops on healthy communication and assertive self-expression. She holds a BA from Bowdoin College and a MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Prama VermaDevelopment Associatereadmore Prama Verma
is the Development Associate at Minds Matter NYC. She joins Minds Matter from the world of higher education, having previously served as the Administrative Coordinator of the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC, where she was responsible for executing its programming, marketing and communications strategies, and accounting. She has a passion for social justice and is very excited to be contributing to the Minds Matter mission in addition to various volunteer engagements outside of work. She graduated from Rutgers University, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics with a minor in South Asian Studies and a certificate in American Politics and Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Adam Davies is a partner in Deloitte’s Financial Services Audit and Enterprise Risk Services practice.readmore
is a partner in Deloitte’s Financial Services Audit and Enterprise Risk Services practice with more than fifteen years of experience in public accounting. He has served a number of Deloitte’s largest clients in New York and Connecticut within the financial services industry, including institutional securities, investment banking, and investment management firms.
Adam earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), and a Certified Public Accountant in New York and Connecticut.
Amit Bhandari is a Managing Director and the head of Consumer Bank Strategy at JP Morgan Chase.readmore
is a Managing Director and the head of Consumer Bank Strategy at JP Morgan Chase. Prior to joining the firm in 2019, Amit was a Partner in the Financial Services practice of Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm. Mr. Bhandari holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BS from the Stern School of Business at NYU.
Andrew Jacobi is the Vice President of Operations and Services for Taim.readmore
is the Vice President of Operations and Services for Taim, a fast casual restaurant concept with locations in New York City and Washington, DC. Previously, Andrew was the Founder of Managing Partner of Untamed Sandwiches, a restaurant group based in New York. Andrew was also an Investment Analyst at private equity and mezzanine finance firm DLJ Investment Partners, and prior to that, he worked for JPMorgan as an Investment Banker, covering the media industry. Andrew has been a volunteer with Minds Matter for ten years, as a Mentor, Team Leader, Co-Director of the Sophomore Program, and now Board member. Andrew holds an MBA from Columbia University and a B.A. from Middlebury College.
Christina Lopez is the Dean of Admissions at Barnard College.readmore
is currently the Dean of Admissions at Barnard College, where she has served for five years. Prior to her time at Barnard, she was the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at New York University where she managed the undergraduate admissions process for Tisch School of the Arts. During her 13 year career in admissions, she has served on the Executive Boards of New York State Association of College Admissions Counseling (NYSACAC), Go to College NYC, and as Co-Chair of the Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools (ABAFAOILSS). In addition, she is currently being nominated for an advisory position on the National Counseling and Admission Assembly Council for The College Board to advise on programmatic initiatives. Christina was a mentor for Minds Matter from 2009-2012 and has conducted the annual College Essay Writing workshop for mentees and writing mentors for the past three years. She has a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a MA in Higher Education Administration from NYU Steinhardt.
David Brisske is a Principal at Permira Advisers LLC.readmore
is a Principal at Permira Advisers LLC, where he focuses on private equity transactions in the consumer sector. Prior to joining Permira in 2014, David spent four years at Irving Place Capital, a middle market private equity firm based in New York where he was a Vice President. Before that, David was an Associate at Thoma Bravo, and he started his career at Goldman Sachs in the firm’s Investment Banking Division.
David earned Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Economics and Public Policy from Duke University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He resides with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
Deborah BeckmannVice Chair
Deborah Beckmann is a partner in the Human Capital Management Division at Goldman Sachs.readmore
is a partner in the Human Capital Management Division at Goldman Sachs with oversight for Reward , technology and metrics. She is also head of Human Capital Management for the Americas. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Deborah was an executive with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company managing Global Executive and Healthcare Compensation. Deborah serves on the Board of the Tuxedo Park School and the Deloitte Global Employer Executive Advisory Board. Deborah earned a JD from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, and a BA in Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She lives in Tuxedo with her husband, Brian, and their two daughters.
Diana Lee is a Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets.readmore
is a Managing Director in Corporate Banking at RBC Capital Markets. In this role, she is responsible for corporate lending and coverage of healthcare banking clients, including the origination and execution of debt financings, cross-sell of treasury products, and loan portfolio management. Prior to joining RBC in 2011, Diana held roles in corporate restructuring and turnarounds, leveraged loan investing, and leveraged lending at other firms.
At RBC, Diana is actively involved in talent recruitment, diversity initiatives, mentoring and giving back to the community. She has served as NYU Recruiting Team Captain, RBC Race for the Kids Co-Captain, and Women’s Advisory Program Senior Leader. Diana is also a member of the RBC Foundation U.S. Capital Markets Donations Committee.
Diana received her B.S. in Finance and Accounting from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Jeff VogelVice Chair
Jeff Vogel is a Partner at Court Square Capital.readmore
is a Partner at Court Square Capital, a middle market private equity investment firm. Prior to joining Court Square in 2004, Jeff was an analyst at Morgan Stanley in their Technology Investment Banking Group. Jeff has been involved with Minds Matter since 2004 and has served in a variety of roles including Co-Director of Mentees in the Senior Program, Team Leader and Mentor in the Junior and Senior Programs. Jeff received his B.S.E. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering, a Certificate in Finance, and a Certificate in Engineering Management Systems from Princeton University. Jeff also serves on the boards of AFS Technologies, ANCILE Solutions, Inc., Encompass Digital Media, , Rocket Software, and Strategic Products & Services. He previously served on the board of Auto Europe Group, CompuCom Systems, Newmarket International and as a board observer of NTELOS Holdings Corp.
Laura McCane is a Consultant with Heidrick Consulting.readmore
is a Consultant with Heidrick Consulting. Laura advises clients on leadership, team and organizational effectiveness. Prior to Hedrick, Laura was the Head of Recruiting at Moelis & Company. She began her career in attorney recruiting at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Laura has a B.A. in Art History from Sewanee: The University of the South and a M.A. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University Teachers College. Originally from South Carolina, Laura now lives in NYC with her husband, Bryan. Laura has been a Minds Matter board member since 2016.
Leeanne Su is an investment professional.readmore
is an investment professional. She was previously a public equity investor at Marshall Wace, where she covered the consumer, business services, and Internet sectors. Prior to that, Leeanne was an Associate at Ziff Brothers Investments and an Associate Director at UBS. She received a MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the board, Leeanne spent two years as a mentor with Minds Matter NYC and one year as VP of Finance for Minds Matter of San Francisco.
Mark Shpizner is a Director at BlackRock.readmore
is a Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company. Mark is a member of BlackRock’s Financial Markets Advisory team, which supports financial-institution and public-sector clients across a range of advisory services. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2014, Mark worked in the Global Client Management division of BNY Mellon, where he was responsible for developing mutual, strategic partnerships with a subset of the company’s most complex, global financial institution clients. Mark earned a BA degree in American Studies and English, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mark lives in New York City, where he was born and raised. Mark has been involved with Minds Matter since 2010, first as a Writing & Critical Thinking adviser and then co-head of the Senior W&CT program before joining the Board of Directors.
Martin Spit is a Partner at EY-Parthenon.readmore
is a Partner at EY-Parthenon, the strategy consulting boutique within Ernst & Young. Martin leads EY's transaction advisory services for EY's insurance clients. He advises clients and investors in the insurance sector on enterprise strategy and commercial due diligence. Prior to EY-Parthenon, Martin advised clients at the Boston Consulting Group, Accenture Strategy and the Mitchell Madison Group. He holds a MSc in Computer Science from Twente University in The Netherlands and an MBA from INSEAD. He lives with his wife, Leili, and daughter, Nora.
Minhaj Patel is a Senior Portfolio Manager for LFG.readmore
is Senior Portfolio Manager for LFG, the investment business of the Lowy Family Group, where he is focused on investing in publicly listed equities. Prior to LFG, Minhaj was a Director at Citi Principal Strategies, a hedge fund affiliate of Citigroup, and has also served in Senior Investment Analyst roles at Magnetar Capital and Highline Capital Management. He started his career at Wasserstein Perella Merchant Banking where he focused on private equity and venture capital investments. Minhaj graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a double major in Economics and Psychology and a minor in Applied Mathematics. He spent 3 years as a mentor with Minds Matter, prior to joining the Board. He is also actively involved with the Association for Development of Pakistan, a US-based non-profit focused on engaged philanthropy in Pakistan. Minhaj is originally from Karachi, Pakistan.
Moran Shekel is Owner and Director of AVA Trade.readmore
Namrita Puri is a management consultant.readmore
has over a decade of management consulting experience in which she has advised clients on growth initiatives, operational improvement and digital solution implementation. She began her consulting career in Silicon Valley with Trianz Inc. and subsequently held a global advisory role with PriceWaterhoouse Coopers (PwC). Most recently, Namrita was a member of PwC's Management and Technology Consulting Leadership program, where she was responsible for driving the sustainable growth of PwC's Salesforce and Customer Impact practices - working to define strategy, execute on enabling priorities, and bring consistency and innovation to every day business functions.Namrita earned a Bachelors degree in Business from the University of Delhi and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Namrita lives in NYC with her husband and two children.
Ravi Chopra is the CIO and Founder of Azora Capital.readmore
is the CIO and Founder of Azora Capital, a financial services focused hedge fund. Prior to founding Azora Capital, Ravi was Sector Head of U.S. Financial Services at Samlyn Capital from its inception in 2007 to 2016. Previous to that he was a Financial Services Analyst at Sigma Capital from 2003 to 2006 and an Investment Banking Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs from 2001 to 2003. Ravi graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College in 2001 and is a CFA Charterholder. Ravi spent three years as a mentor with Minds Matter, prior to joining the Board in 2016. Ravi is also a trustee of his alma mater
, the Morristown-Beard School, in Morristown, NJ.
Robert Dusel is a Director at KKR.readmore
joined KKR focusing on Real Estate in 2015. Prior to KKR, he spent three years at Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds arranging debt for the North American real estate fund. Rob also worked previously in a capital markets capacity for Pyramid Management Group and in real estate acquisitions for Vico Capital, an Irish family office. He earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and an M.Phil. in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge where he was a Cambridge Overseas Trust scholar.
Sagar Ravi is a federal criminal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.readmore
is a federal criminal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which encompasses the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, along with Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester counties. Prior to serving as a prosecutor, Sagar worked in the Litigation Department of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he focused on general commercial litigation and criminal and regulatory matters and investigations. He has also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kiyo A. Matsumoto in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Originally from a small town in Central Illinois, Sagar earned his B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from Columbia Law School. Sagar learned about Minds Matter five years ago through one of his close friends in college who had become involved with the Chicago chapter, and he hasn’t looked back since. Prior to serving on the Board of Directors, Sagar has been a volunteer with Minds Matter in a number of roles, including as a Mentor, Team Leader, Co-Director of the Sophomore Program and Co-Director of Volunteers.
inquire about board position Sanjeev Parlikar
Sanjeev Parlikar is a Managing Director at Accordion.readmore
is a Managing Director with Accordion, a financial consulting firm focused on working with private equity-backed companies. Prior to joining Accordion, Sanjeev was an Executive Director in Investment Banking at UBS. He started his career at Wasserstein Perella, an M&A advisory boutique. Sanjeev graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a double major in Engineering Sciences and Economics. Sanjeev spent three years as a mentor with Minds Matter, prior to joining the Board in 2016. Sanjeev grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and is an avid traveler who enjoys exploring global cuisines.
Sarah Tanner is a Vice President at NBC News.readmore
is the Vice President of Strategy and Media in the Marketing group at NBC News. In her role, Sarah is responsible for the planning and execution of media plans for all NBC News properties. She is also responsible for managing all promotional media inventory. Sarah collaborates closely with agencies, internal and external research partners as well as key stakeholders to develop effective cross-platform campaigns that connect with news viewers.
Prior to joining NBC Universal, Sarah had been with ESPN for 12 years working across the domestic Marketing and international divisions of the company.
Sarah received her Bachelor's degree in Economics from Colgate University. She is an active alumna and participates in fundraising, mentoring and networking efforts. Sarah is also an active volunteer with the Junior League of the City of New York having previously served on their Board of Directors and as Treasurer. She resides in New York City.
Stephen Pang is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors.readmore
is currently a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors, a firm which specializes in investments that serve essential needs in the economy and society. Prior to joining Tortoise in 2014, Stephen held roles at Credit Suisse and Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division, where he focused on equity underwriting and corporate finance in the energy sector.
Stephen has served in various volunteer roles at Minds Matter including Co-Director of the Junior Program, Team Leader and Mentor in the Junior and Senior Programs. Stephen currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tortoise Acquisition Corp (NYSE: SHLL.U), a special purpose acquisition company focused on the energy sector in North America.
Stephen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Richmond. He is a CFA® charterholder. Stephen lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three-year-old son.
Ajit BopalkarCorporate Partnerships
Alex GoldCorporate Partnerships, Co-Chair
Andrew GullaCorporate Partnerships, Co-Chair
Andrew PiersonCorporate Partnerships
Arabella WattersPR & Marketing
Charles WilsonPR & Marketing
Doreen XuVolunteer Engagement
Edison DingPR & Marketing
Hannah AdelsbergEvents, Chair
Jeannie WongVolunteer Engagement
John ReisingVolunteer Engagement
Jon DuttonCorporate Partnerships
Kristina LogvinenkoCorporate Partnerships
Maggie MrozcekVolunteer Engagement, Chair
Mair HascoVolunteer Engagement
Max RooseveltCorporate Partnerships
Michael JanesCorporate Partnerships
Nelson ChikusaCorporate Partnerships
Ryan WardCorporate Partnerships
Ryan WeathersVolunteer Engagement
Sanjana KumbhaniVolunteer Engagement
Sanjana ShankarPR & Marketing
Sean SpatzCorporate Partnerships
inquire about associate board position
Stephanie KenaryCorporate Partnerships
Syed HaqCorporate Partnerships
Will HartungVolunteer Engagement
Alexander TaheriCo-Director of Sophomore Test Prep
Andrew HedlundCo-Director of Senior Writing & Critical Thinking
April DaleyCo-Director of College Advising
Ashley HarmsCo-Director of Sophomore Test Prep
Bill MinerCo-Director of Student Recruitment
Caroline BatesCo-Director of Student Recruitment
Christine QuinlanCo-Director of Alumni Program
Colin ThibadeauCo-Director of College Advising
Emmy PorterCo-Director of Junior Writing & Critical Thinking
Gabriel MotolaCo-Director of Sophomore Test Prep
Hannah FreedmanCo-Director of Junior Writing & Critical Thinking
Jasmin CastilloCo-Director of Junior Program
Jeff BignerCo-Director of Junior Program
Jennifer HwangCo-Director Sophomore Program
Jennifer KimCo-Director of Sophomore Writing & Critical Thinking
Jeremy CarrineCo-Director of Senior Program
Johanna PorcelloCo-Director of Sophomore Writing & Critical Thinking
John FanCo-Director of Sophomore Test Prep
Julianne LewisCo-Director of Senior Writing & Critical Thinking
Karan VaziraniCo-Director of Junior Program
Katrina ButtCo-Director of College Advising
Mara WeinraubCo-Director of Sophomore Writing & Critical Thinking
Melissa SepeCo-Director of Alumni Program
Paul TygerCo-Director Sophomore Program
Rebecca LindeCo-Director of Senior Writing & Critical Thinking
Richard ThayerCo-Director of Sophomore Writing & Critical Thinking
Sarah SoulenCo-Director of Junior Writing & Critical Thinking
inquire about executive committee position
Scott MillerCo-Director of Summer Programs
Srinidhi RajputCo-Director of Junior Writing & Critical Thinking
Tyler KimbleCo-Director of Junior Program