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The board of advisors/mentors is the heart of the WEALF program.  These women are expert businesswomen and consultants, and most importantly, they understand what it is to be a woman in business today.  Specific areas of knowledge include: finance, brand development, real estate, operations, public relations, law, fashion and small business development. Our mentors are an accessible team who are dedicated to creating a supportive environment in which our entrepreneurs can flourish. 

 

MARGARET BOOTH

Margaret Booth, (Margi) is chairman, of M Booth & Associates, a public relations and communications firm. Her firm runs on two words: Be Inspired. The firm is a culture-first communications agency that attracts the best people and the best brands to a workplace that’s alive with courage, ideas, respect and humanity. At M Booth, 150 employees share one title: Ideapreneurs. Her company has received numerous awards including, The Holmes Report 2016 Overall Agency of the Year and 2016 Consumer Agency of the Year; the 2016 PRWeek Midsize Agency of the Year; and the 2016 PRWeek Best Places to Work. The firm specializes in Corporate, Consumer, Travel, Lifestyle, Communications, Social media, Digital, Wine/Spirits, Travel, Luxury, Wellness, Consumer Tech, Beauty, Food, and Media Relations.  

SARAH FRANK

Sarah brings over thirty-five years of production, distribution, marketing and management experience in the US and international television industry to her current work as an executive producer who creates and oversees entertainment and educational projects.  She was formerly President & CEO of BBC Worldwide Americas, the BBC’s commercial subsidiary in North and South America, where she spearheaded the company’s aggressive growth from a small sales office into an $80M diversified media organization.

Sarah’s recent projects include HOOP SHOTS, a photography exhibition for NBA All-Star Weekend 2016 in Toronto and WHO SHOT SPORTS: A Photographic History from 1843 to the Present, a book and traveling museum exhibition which opened at Brooklyn Museum in July 2016.  She is a former Board Member of Vivendi in Paris; an honorary board member of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a voting member of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television), and a member of the New York Women’s Forum.  

FABIANNE GERSHON

Fabianne was director and creator of the Thypin Oltchick Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship for almost 10 years. The institute served 8,000 clients, who opened 1,000 businesses generating 2,500 jobs through mentorship, instruction and advocacy. She also is chair of Fabianne Gershon Associates, Inc. a global provider for international companies and stock exchanges to project their accomplishments, growth, acquisition and branding strategies to their shareholders, clients, partners and industry members. Clients included Lehman Brothers/American Express, Institutional Capital (Chicago), PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Norfolk Southern Company, Australian Stock Exchange, CoreStates Financial, Northwest Airlines, RxCentric Drug Marketing, international banks, oil companies, and their chief executive Officers. Fabianne worked with non-for-profits, branding philanthropies with missions, marrying donors and non-profits, messaging and partnerships. 

SUZANNE JAFFE

Suzi is president of S.D.J Associates, a pension fund consulting business. She has extensive experience in all aspects of financial management including serving as managing director of Hamilton & Company, a pension advisor to large institutions and managing director of Angelo Gordon & Co., a money management firm that specializes in arbitrage, bankruptcies and distressed real estate investments. 

She was formerly Deputy Comptroller of New York State and served as a trustee of the US Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. She currently serves on the board of Directors of the American Jewish Committee, UJA/Federation of New York, Urban Glass and Art Table. She is a former member of the Board of Olin Corporation, Axel-Johnson Inc., Research Corporation, the Burnham Funds and is past President of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Suzi is an avid collector of studio glass art. And, in her spare time, loves to travel. 

DENISE KELLEN

After two separate Wall Street careers…the first in stocks and the second as a financial futures pit trader and arbitrageur, Denise co-founded Biddington’s, an online art gallery.

More recently she has focused on philanthropic activities including serving as Chairperson of the Board of Concerned Home Managers for the Elderly (a non-profit home health care agency) for over ten years, the Board of the Melanoma Research Alliance, Dean’s Council of Weill-Cornell Medicine,  Wellesley College and is a member of Golden Seeds, a venture capital firm investing in women's businesses. She is especially passionate about highlighting and solving the roadblocks for women in the Sciences. 

EVELYN KENVIN

Evelyn spent 25 years at Citigroup, where she was a Senior Vice President and managed a number of its real estate workout teams.  She created Citigroup’s Community Development Investments program and served as its first National Director. She is currently a real estate consultant to financial institutions.

She used her financial experience to help create and served as the first Chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel Loan Fund Advisory Group, which overseas nine loan funds in Israel. Evelyn served on the first UJA Young Women’s Leadership Cabinet and the Board of UJA-Federation of New York. Her leadership positions at UJA/Federation have included, member, Executive Committee; Chair of its Commission on the Jewish People and Chair of the Business and Professional Women’s Division. She also serves on the Board of JFNA and serves on the International and Overseas Committee and is on the Board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. 

DANI TICKTIN KOPLIK

Dani, Founder and CEO of dtkResources, is a certified coach, consultant, speaker, writer and facilitator retained for her business acumen, strategic thinking and marketing sensibility…with an emphasis on pipeline development, leadership and strategic firm management. She is also known for equipping today’s multi-generational and increasingly diverse workforce with the professional, self-management and critical thinking skills essential for career and firm success. With a focus on consulting and coaching for entrepreneurial professional service firms, Dani uses a systemic lens in her work with the C-Suite and rising professionals, embedding herself in their culture to address strategic management and professional development.

Dani is a speaker at a variety of universities, conferences, companies and events across the country and frequently contributes to media outlets such as Forbes, The New York Times, Crain’s, Kiplinger’s, The Fiscal Times and the Harvard Business Review.

Dani has served clients from: JPMorganChase; ABRY Partners; Bank of America; Barclay’s; citigroup; Johnson & Johnson; Analytic Partners; Grey Advertising; BryanCave, LLP; Orrick; NeubergerBerman; Related Partners; Veterans on Wall Street; Women in the Boardroom; The National Venture Capital Association; The American Diabetes Association; Women For Hire; The Short List; Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle; Brown University; Rutgers University, NYU and Harvard Business School. Her pro bono coaching includes veterans organizations and groups advancing increased diversity in the conference room and boardroom.

ELLEN SILLS LEVY

Passionate, constantly curious, creative and practical, Ellen has 30 years of marketing research, strategy experience and business building across a wide range of sectors, product categories and types of companies globally. She is Founder & Chief Client Insights Officer, ESL Insights, LLC. Research areas include advertising testing, brand positioning, concept development and testing, media and technology adoption, customer attrition and loyalty, corporate reputation, shopper insights, financial services (millennials, women investors, affluent investors and financial advisors), consumer goods, healthcare, nonprofits and performing arts audience- building initiatives. 

Prior experience includes, SVP, Client Relationship Management and Business Development for Phoenix Marketing International.  She also founded and ran the Global Investment Market Research Services Sector at TNS Custom Research and was President, Simmons Market Research Bureau—Custom Studies Division.  As VP, Director of Communications, Ellen led the team which developed and introduced “The Citi Never Sleeps” campaign.   She started her career at BBDO International working in the U.S. and Germany.  Ellen is a member of the Market Research Council, Women’s Forum and the Financial Women’s Association.
 

JOAN C. LIPITZ

Joan C. Lipitz is the founder of Joan C. Lipitz, Esq., LLC, a legal services firm providing legal advice on a wide array of commercial matters, with a focus on technology-related transactions and agreements.  

Prior to this, she served as general counsel for Opera Solutions, a privately held "big data" analytics solutions and advisory firm of over 650 employees, with offices and Fortune 1000 clients across the U.S., Europe and Asia.   Ms. Lipitz previously served as an associate general counsel at Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology and digital transformation.  Ms. Lipitz also has worked as an associate group counsel at BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) and an associate at major New York law firms, Thacher Proffitt & Wood and Seward & Kissel LLP.   

Ms. Lipitz is a graduate of The Wharton School and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.  Ms. Lipitz enjoys travel (she is fluent in French), the live arts and tennis.  A lifetime New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her two children.  

A DAWN LESH

Dawn is a marketing consultant with over 30 years of executive global management experience in a variety of industries including financial services, telecommunications and packaged goods. She has led the development and execution of major initiatives in marketing, which have included: strategy development and implementation, product and services development, assessment, deployment, and business competitor analysis.

In additional to leading her consulting firm, A. Dawn Lesh International, since 1997, Dawn was with JP Morgan, a global investment bank as Managing Director responsible for identifying and analyzing markets for products and services worldwide. Other positions were, Vice President at the New York Stock Exchange serving as the head of Strategic Planning and Marketing Research and manager consumer, business-to-business and professional services market research within the global financial services businesses for Bank of America and Wells Fargo

She is co-author of many articles including an award-winning article, “How To Make Research Actionable.” She was active in the AMA, ARF and FWA. She is an Adjunct Professor for the Stern School of Business, New York University. She currently teaches Marketing Metrics and Decision Making.  

STEPHANIE NEVILLE

Stephanie brings a diverse background of knowledge to us through her professional life as an attorney as well as her extensive non-profit involvements. She was one of the first “part-timers” at a large Wall Street law firm — a role that allowed her to engage in charitable work, provide mentorship to young women lawyers, participate in pro bono representation, as well as raise a family in Brooklyn Heights.  Stephanie’s skills in solving complex legal and commercial matters as well as her consideration of people-related issues have resulted in her deep understanding of business concerns and in finding effective practical solutions.  She is a board member of the New York region of the American Jewish Committee, a founding member of the Lawyer’s Committee of the US Memorial Holocaust Museum and a former trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library. 

HELEN NITKIN

Helen is Chairman and Co-founder of the Greenwich-based HB Nitkin Group, a real estate investment, management and development company that she founded with her late husband, Bradley in 1984. The firm owns a portfolio of commercial and residential properties located throughout Connecticut and New York. In 2009 after his death she assumed the position of Chairman. Prior to forming The HB Nitkin Group, Helen worked for a NYC based real estate development company that was an early pioneer in the conversion of commercial properties to residential followed by positions as both a residential and commercial broker. 

Helen has held leadership positions as the President of The Association of Real Estate Women and a board member of Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association.  She has served on the board of The Bruce Museum chairing multiple committees and is a member of the Dean’s Council of the Yale School of Architecture. 

MELANIE RADLEY

Melanie Radley, managing director of mlr.com a communications management firm providing strategy planning and communications consulting for the service economy.  She is an award-wining public relations, public affairs executive with 22 years senior management experience in the corporate sector, public service and government.

She has served as a board member of civic, educational and not-for-profit organizations.  She was appointed by the Manhattan Borough President to Manhattan Community Board 7, where she served as co-chair of the Uniform Services Committee and was elected co-chair, and secretary of that Board, and has served as chair of the communications task force.  She has been a Board member the Ohio State University President's National Advisory Council on Public Affairs, and past president of the Women Executives in Public Relations Foundation. She is currently a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center and a member of the Women's Committee, the Lighthouse Guild. 

JODI SANDMAN

Jodi is a seasoned professional in the fashion industry and is herself an entrepreneur. She is founder and CEO of Crescala, a fashion development firm committed to the curation and development of emerging fashion brands. . The company scopes the globe for the best of the best in new design, within the designer, advanced contemporary, accessory and beauty genres. The company provides clients with merchandising, product development, sales and marketing support,  as well as with retail and strategic business management. Her client roster includes: NHA KHANH, JULIANNA BASS, SNIDER, ALALA, Ona Villier; Allison Mitchell, Wai Ming, RAW SPIRIT, Essie et Cie, The 9th Muse, and more. 


Jodi’s  career includes substantial positions at Ralph Lauren, TSE Cashmere, Theory/Tahari , ESCADA and Sachin and Babi, to name a few.   

JUDY WESALO TEMEL

Judy was a co-founder and Principal of Samson Capital Advisors LLC, where she was also the Director of Credit Research and a member of the Investment Committee.  Samson was a privately owned investment management firm that was founded in 2004 by senior investment professionals from OFFITBANK, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan.  Prior to its acquisition by Fiera Capital, Samson managed over $7 billion in assets in customized fixed income for affluent families and their foundations, endowments and corporations.  At Fiera Capital she has the same responsibilities for heading the credit approval and oversight process for the firm.  She oversees the development of credit policy, databases and other tools to manage the credit risk of clients' portfolios invested in municipal and corporate issuers.

Judy is the author of The Fundamentals of Municipal Bonds, 5th Edition, the most widely used book about the municipal bond business. Judy was a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co, where she was responsible for the credit analysis of state and local governmental and revenue bond issuers, higher education, health care and non-profit institutions, utilities and all other revenue bond issuers. Prior to joining Goldman, she worked at Lehman Brothers and the New York City Comptroller.

Judy is a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Inspector General Management Advisory Board and MSRB EMMA Development Advisory Group. She has also served as a Board Member of the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority. Judy served as Chair of Cornell Alumnae Council and as an Administrative Board Member of the Cornell University Council.  She is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, The Economic Club of New York and MAGNY. 

LESLIE TOEPFER

Retired from Morrill Associates (MA) after a twenty-year career in the executive search, Leslie brings expertise in sales, marketing and human resource issues to WEALF. At MA, her focus was recruiting investment bankers who specialized in a wide variety of industry silos including consumer/retail, financial institutions, health care, media & telecom and real estate.

After Wellesley College, Leslie returned to NYC where she became a registered financial representative selling securities.  Then having received her MBA in finance from NYU, she worked in real estate related sales and marketing before switching to search.

Her current volunteer activities, in addition to WEALF, include sixteen years as a Co-Chair of The New York Public Library's Financial Services Leadership Forum (FSLF) and a lifetime as the Leadership Gifts Chair for her Wellesley College class. 

SUSAN ULIN

Susan Ulin has more than forty years of experience as a fundraising professional.  Susan was the founder and former chairman of Susan Ulin Associates Ltd. (SUA).The firm enjoyed more than two decades of service providing professional fund raising strategy and management to a wide range of not-for-profit agencies; taking responsibility for all event activities and managing hundreds of events including tribute dinners, charity balls, movie premieres, theater benefits and auctions. SUA successfully guided organizations of all sizes through events ranging from small first-time efforts to large corporate dinners. Prior to her own firm Susan served as Director of Development at The Trinity School in New York and then as Centennial Campaign Director at the New York Botanical Garden. She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Projects Plus Inc.

In addition, Susan has served as a member and Vice President of The Trinity Episcopal School Corporation and is a former member of the international board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has served the Association's Greater New York Chapter as a board member, chapter president and chairman of Fund Raising Day in New York, the largest one-day conference on not-for-profit fundraising in the world. The chapter recognized her achievements at National Philanthropy Day and In November of 2012 she received The Ralph Chamberlain Award of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of Women in Development as Vice President for Programs and Acting President 2015-2016. 

SYBIL WAILAND

Sybil is founding partner of Consumer Dynamics, a global marketing consultancy. Working with a diverse group of companies, from start-ups to leading corporations, Sybil has been creating, positioning, innovating and growing some of the most successful brands on the market today. She uniquely combines her experience, creativity, strategic thinking and passion to come up with major new initiatives for her clients. Sybil brings the same brand positioning and creative strategies to WEALF participants as she does to the firm’s well-known clients such as Colgate Palmolive, L'Oreal, Abbott, Keurig, iRobot and Pernod Ricard.

Sybil began her career in Account Management at Dancer Fitzgerald and Sample (now Saatchi & Saatchi), followed by marketing at Clairol. Bringing together her experience and interests in business strategy and creativity, she founded Consumer Dynamics. 

MARY WANG

Mary Wang is a graduate of Tufts University and has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Mary started her career at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, where she was a buyer and divisional Vice President of Women’s Contemporary Sportswear. Mary is currently the EVP for Merchandising and Supply Chain for the Alexander Wang Company.  Prior to this, she has been the Brand President of DKNY, overseeing production, development and global sales for Women’s Ready to Wear, Shoes and Accessories. Previous positions in the industry include: President of Coach Domestic Wholesale Division, President at Tommy Hilfiger and President at GFT Emmanuel Ungaro.  

VICKI WEINER

Vicki is the founder of the Women’s Enterprise Action Loan Fund.  Prior to WEALF, she was President of VMW, Inc an investor and corporate communications firm. In that capacity she counseled public and private companies and non-profit organizations on increasing visibility with their constituencies in the financial community and the press.

Vicki was the co-chair of i3: A Summit for Women for the UJA/Federation of New York attended by over 300 women.  This day-long symposium was designed to educate, inspire and motivate women to become involved in philanthropic endeavors. Vicki has been involved in mentoring young people throughout her career, and has taught a class on entrepreneurship at the New School for Social Research. 

JEAN WEISS

Jean is a seasoned professional in the fashion industry; responsible for line building, global pricing, sourcing, merchandising, and marketing for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Her specialties are handbags, jewelry, contemporary clothes, and loungewear.  Her former credits include, Senior Fashion Executive of AMC/Federated Department Stores; President and CEO, Pappagallo Accessories Division, US ShoeCorp.; and Principal, Vanessa Handbags.  Jean is an active member of the Lighthouse Guild Women’s Committee, assisting them with the Posh Sales Events and other fund raisers for the Guild’s Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School.  



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