Board of Directors

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Paul Bolles-Beaven
Secretary

Paul is the former Chief People Officer of Union Square Hospitality Group, which comprises such iconic restaurants as Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and The Modern. In this capacity, he was responsible for recruiting, training, and motivating a renowned hospitality team, numbering 1,500 people. One of the very first employees of Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe, Paul worked his way up through the ranks of the restaurant industry, from waiter to manager to managing partner. He shares his knowledge of the hospitality industry with students at the French Culinary Institute, where he teaches classes in managing service staff and human resources for restaurants.

Glynna Christian
Chair

Glynna is Co-Head Global Technology Transactions and Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. She advises FTSE 100, Fortune 100 and other public and private companies on international corporate and commercial transactions, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and financial arrangements with an emphasis on technology, media and telecommunications.

Prior to joining Orrick, Glynna served as an original member of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Joint Commission on Technology and Science of the Virginia General Assembly. She also served as Senior Counsel and Chief Investigator to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and as Counsel-Special Investigation to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs during its campaign finance investigation.

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Amy Comer

Amy is a corporate partner in Crowell & Moring, who splits her time between London and New York. An internationally recognized practitioner, Amy represents global and U.S. clients in multiple industries, including pharmaceuticals and life sciences, TMT, insurance and financial services, and oil & gas, oilfield services, and renewables. Amy advises clients on cross-border and U.S. domestic investment and financial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships, restructurings, corporate and project finance transactions, and general corporate and commercial matters. 

Amy is a Committee Member of the Marie Curie London Brain Games, an annual black tie fundraising event in the city of London, which raises funds to support Marie Curie UK, a charity that provides nursing care and support to people living with any terminal illness and their families, helping them to stay at home until the end of their lives and providing local independent hospices and services.

Martin Cowart, CPA

Conscripted out of a successful and varied business career, Martin is uniquely qualified for his role as Special Needs Financial Planner, Financial Services Representative, and Investment Adviser Representative with Fortis Lux Financial, a member of the MassMutual Financial Group. He has served with MetLife Financial Group of New York and has been a tax advisor in a CPA firm, a corporate finance manager, mortgage banker, and entrepreneur/chef and restaurant owner. The position he is most proud of is serving the workers at Ground Zero as Food Captain in Saint Paul’s Chapel following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Martin volunteers his time extensively with such organizations as HRC Greater New York, The ManKind Project, and the Global Community Foundation. He lives with his Life Partner in West Orange, NJ.

Tess Frazier

Tess is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Operations at Full Measure Education, an education technology company in Washington, DC providing innovative mobile communications tools designed to help colleges and universities enable student success by increasing enrollment, retention and completion. After acquiring her interest in education technology with roles at PeopleSoft and SAP, Tess joined then fledgling startup Blackboard, Inc. in 1999, where she was responsible for building and managing the contracting function in an aggressively sales driven environment that saw revenues increase to over $600M annually prior to her departure in 2016. She also is Managing Director of Frazier Consulting Group, which provides strategic guidance to education technology companies.

Tess received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Loyola University in Baltimore. Tess is an avid kayaker and lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC with her son Michael, a member of DeMatha Catholic High School’s Class of 2022.

Maryanna McConnell Johnson

Maryanna works with the Blue Rider Group in Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management. Her clients are primarily collectors, artists and art-related institutions.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Maryanna was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where she worked with public and private institutions, guiding them through operational and strategic challenges. Maryanna started her career at Christie’s Auction House, providing appraisals and collection advice to collectors of decorative arts.

Maryanna earned her BA from Williams College and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, where she was co-President of MIT Sloan Women in Management. She is a member of the Clark Museum Contemporaries and of Friends of the MIT List Center.

LaVon Kellner

LaVon Kellner is co-founder and President of Ethis Communications, Inc., the premier medical communications company in eyecare. Before starting Ethis with her husband David in 1998, LaVon had had a stellar career in relationship selling at Hallmark Cards, Starbucks, and Random House. At Hallmark, she was the first woman in the company’s 75 years to be allowed to sell in New York City.

LaVon is passionate about art and holds frequent salons at her home where artists, museum movers and shakers, gallerists, and collectors mingle to talk about their common interests. She  and David are members of the National Arts Club, where LaVon serves on the Art and Technology Committee and the Roundtable Committee.

LaVon is also a member of Aperture. For the last two years, she has served as host of the Spring artist talk and dinner for Paul Strand donors.

In addition, LaVon serves on the Contemporary Art Committee of Friends Seminary School Auction Committee.

Michael Kesssler

Michael is a Counsel in the Capital Markets group of Clifford Chance's New York office.  He focuses on domestic and international capital markets offerings for private equity firms, hedge fund managers, clean energy companies, real estate businesses and casinos.  Michael's experience includes a secondment to the Singapore office of Clifford Chance where he worked on a number of significant matters for the firm's India practice.

Michael received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Michael has a passion for public service and he has made considerable pro bono service contributions in each of the last few years.  He has served on a committee of the board of Keigwin + Company, a modern dance company. Michael also serves on the board of directors of Oliver Scholars Program, Inc., a nonprofit that identifies low-income, high-achieving students and helps place them in independent high schools.

Michael lives in the West Village neighborhood of New York City with his wife, Katherine, and their two young sons, Daniel and James. 

Alexander Kopelman
Co-founder, President & CEO

 

 

Tara Mia Paone

Treasurer

Tara is Chief Financial/Operations Officer at Geller & Company, a premier strategic financial advisory firm whose clients include businesses and high net worth individuals and families. Prior to joining Geller & Company, Tara was the Chief Financial Officer of New Visions for Public Schools and is responsible for the organization's overall financial functions, including accounting, grants, and budgeting. She has also served as Chief Financial Officer with The Fund for Public Schools, the DOE’s fundraising arm for its education reform initiatives. In that role, she was responsible for the agency’s $20M budget, 50 individual grant programs and served as fiscal agent for over 200 public schools. Prior to The Fund, Tara served in leadership positions at StoryCorps and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in NYC. She brings over 20 years of financial management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

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Ashley Stewart

Ashley is Director of Sales at Salon 94, a contemporary art gallery with locations in Manhattan's Lower East Side and Upper East Side neighborhoods.

Prior to joining Salon 94, Ashley worked with the sales and exhibitions teams at David Zwirner gallery, most closely with a number of artists' estates, including Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Fred Sandback, and Al Taylor.

Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History at Marymount Manhattan College and went on to receive her Master's in Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York.

She currently serves on the Artadia Benefit Committee and Public Art Fund's 40th Anniversary Benefit Committee.

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Amy Weiss-Meyer

Amy is an editor at The Atlantic, where she works on both the monthly print magazine and online features. Her book reviews and other articles have appeared in The Atlantic and The New Republic. She graduated from Harvard University, where she took courses in studio art and art history and majored in History and Literature. Her senior thesis covered the founding of New York magazine and its relationship to the city of New York between 1968 and 1977. A native New Yorker, Amy currently lives in Washington, DC. In her free time she enjoys cooking and eating, traveling, reading, and visiting museums.


Jim Gaines

Co-founder and Emeritus Board Member

Jim has enjoyed a distinguished twenty-five-year career in education, starting with ten years in the classroom, after receiving his BA Degree from Vassar College and California Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential. His last twelve years in education were in school leadership roles, including heading the Resurrection Episcopal Day School (REDS) in New York City, the Terra Linda Montessori School in Marin Country, and serving as Lower School Division Head and Admissions Director at a variety of schools. Jim currently serves as Director of Outreach at Garden School in New York City.