Our Team



Vivian D. Nixon

Executive Director


Les Hayden

Deputy Executive Director


Board of Directors

Peter Bakstansky

Retired, Federal Reserve


Irene Branche

Director of Development, The HOPE Program


Jacki Kelly

Executive Director, The Writing Revolution


Dawn Walker

Associate Vice President of Communications & Marketing, SUNY Downstate

Barbara Martinsons, Founder

Retired, AVJ Management


Barat Dickman

Division Vice President, ADP


Jane Pauls

Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase


Bridget Williams

Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Hearst

Onyekachi (Kachi) Akoma

Director of Planning, Harlem Hospital/NYC Health and Hospitals


Liza Eaton

Director of Talent Development &Recruitment, NBC


Rashida Richardson

Director of Policy Research, AI Now Institute NYU

Cynthia Alberts

Vice President, Macquarie Group


Yolanda Johnson-Peterkin

Chief of Housing Community Activities, NYCHA


Tony Smith

Retired, The Horticultural Society of New York