Board of Directors

 
 

Neill Coleman, President

Neill McG. Coleman has served on the board of Stonewall Community Foundation since 2014 and as President since 2016. As President he chairs the Board and supports Stonewall’s dynamic staff and grantees to accelerate change.

Neill is Principal of Mission Magnified, consulting with social purpose organization and companies to achieve their goals through philanthropy, partnerships and communications. Neill served as Vice President, Global Communications for The Rockefeller Foundation for five years where he led a multi-million dollar grant-making portfolio focused on leveraging the Foundation’s influence to build greater resilience and more inclusive economies.

Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Neill served as Chief External Affairs Officer at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he helped communicate the Obama Administration’s response to the housing crisis. Before assuming the leadership of HUD’s Office of Public Affairs in 2009, Neill served as Assistant Commissioner for Communications at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and as director of communications for the New York League of Conservation Voters. He also managed North American communications for the global architecture firm RMJM.

Neill is a native of Glasgow, Scotland and has a M.A. in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He and his husband live in Long Island City.

 

Dante Mastri, Vice President

Dante Mastri is a strategist and digital marketer in Global Advertising & Brand Management at American Express focused on evolving brand strategy and transforming go-to-market approaches to more effectively build awareness, increase loyalty and drive revenue growth.  Among his brand-building initiatives, he developed and expanded a consumer engagement program to better connect with multicultural consumers – work which earned the American Express Chairman’s Award for Innovation and a Multicultural Excellence Award from the Association of National Advertisers.  Dante currently serves as Board Vice President for Stonewall Community Foundation in New York City and holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, including an MBA from the Ross School of Business.  Dante has been with American Express since 2010, and his career has included roles with BMG Entertainment, Time Warner Inc., NYCEDC and Johnson & Johnson.

 

Mary Bognanno, Secretary

Mary Bognanno currently works at American Express as a Director in the Global Consumer Services Group. In this role, she is responsible for managing a broad range of activities including strategic planning, executive office communications, and employee engagement initiatives, to help drive the achievement of key business objectives. Mary is a member of the New York chapters for American Express’ PRIDE and WIN (Women’s Interest Network) employee networks.

Mary joined American Express in 2011 as a Senior Client Manager in the Global Merchant Services organization. Prior to Amex, Mary spent 7 years at Johnson & Johnson in various sales roles across the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sectors. Mary holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, and a Master of Business Administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.  

Mary is passionate about giving back to the community and has served on the board of directors for Stonewall Community Foundation since 2013. In addition to her role as Secretary, she is a member of the Outreach and Engagement Committee.

Mary lives in the Financial District with her husband Joe and cat Izzy, and enjoys live music, CrossFit, SoulCycle, and Netflix.

 

Sean Searby, Treasurer

Sean Searby is Vice President, Business Development at Amalgamated Bank. Sean manages the Product & Client Service team tasked with commercial product development and the day-to-day relationship management of the Business Development client portfolio. Business development, in line with Amalgamated’s core mission and commitment to the progressive movement, focuses on ‘helping good organizations do better’ through a slew of banking products and services. The team’s five core constituencies are Labor, Political, Not for Profit, Sustainable Energy and Community Development. Prior to joining Amalgamated, Sean worked in Global Transaction Banking at HSBC on the USD Clearing Product team providing foreign financial institutions and multinational corporations access to the USD market. Before joining HSBC, Sean was part of the Strategic Planning Group at Cathay Bank, which managed product development across the Retail and Commercial segments.

Sean is a native of Salinas, CA and a serious sci-fi movie enthusiast. He and his partner reside in Washington Heights in Manhattan. He lives for the sidewalk barbecues, flowing hydrants, and kids playing - a staple of NYC summers in Washington Heights.

 

Trish Chobrda

Trish Chobrda recently joined the team at New Era Cap, the leading headwear brand around the world. She took on the role of Key Account Manager for Lifestyle collections focusing on major national retailers. This is a big change after nearly 10 years at Haddad Brands, the largest Childrenswear Company in the world with the licenses for Nike, Jordan, Converse, Hurley and Levis kids apparel, accessories and hosiery globally. There she held several positions, beginning as a sales assistant, moving into Brand Management and Merchandising and, most recently, the Global VP of Baby and Hosiery.

As an ally of the LGBTQ community, Trish has served on the Board of Directors for Stonewall Community Foundation since 2013 and works with the Recruitment and Governance Committee to help cultivate new board and committee members. Trish is from the great state of New Jersey where she and her sister were adopted by amazing parents who always instilled service and kindness to others. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing. She moved to NYC to pursue her dream of writing and instead found the world of fashion. She lives on the Upper West Side, is an avid animal lover and self-proclaimed foodie.

 

Lauren Espiritu-Philson

Lauren Espiritu-Philson is the Director of Digital Systems and Strategy for BFA, an event photography and content agency based in New York and Los Angeles that covers the pulse of culture throughout the global fashion and art industries. Lauren has been leading BFA through a multi-platform digital transformation project with a strong focus on data integrity, business intelligence and identifying trends through the ever-changing landscape of media consumption.

Previously, Lauren spearheaded enterprise digital asset management projects for The Rockefeller Foundation and Gilt.com. At The Rockefeller Foundation, she was a member of the team responsible for migrating much of the foundation’s working multimedia files and documents into a cloud environment – effectively opening Rockefeller for real-time collaboration with their worldwide grantees and partners. At Gilt.com, Lauren brokered technology projects in image management and creative operations as part of their business process management reengineering initiative.

In her spare time, Lauren is an active contributor with Henry Stewart Conferences, leading workshops and speaking on panels that address the challenges of digital media pipelines. She also is an artist, specializing in alternative photographic processes, and earned an M.F.A. in Media Arts from Long Island University. Lauren originally hails from the Pennsylvania rust belt and now resides in West Orange with her wife and two four-legged children.

 

Joan Fong

Joan Fong is Deputy General Counsel at International Rescue Committee, Inc. Joan manages and is involved in all legal aspects of IRC’s domestic and international programs and activities in humanitarian aid as it responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster.  Joan provides legal advice and guidance to IRC, its management and global staff on all matters affecting the IRC, including governance, policy formulation and compliance, compliance with applicable laws and regulations worldwide, litigation, human resources, development and communications.  

Prior to joining the IRC, Joan was a partner at Mandel Katz & Brosnan LLP, where she advised her clients such as Credit Suisse and Nomura on distressed assets, private equity and litigation finance products.  Joan also worked at Shearman & Sterling where she specialized in project finance, cross border bank and structured finance and securities transactions.  

Joan serves on the Board of Directors of the Stonewall Community Foundation which focuses on the needs of New York’s diverse LGBTQ community, where she has participated on its Finance Committee and Strategic Impact & Equity Grants Committee.

Joan was born in Hong Kong and grew up in San Francisco, before moving east to attend Harvard University and Fordham Law School.

 

Steve Houck

Steve Houck has sought to expand Stonewall's connection in the New York City LGBTQ community, serving for many years as Chair of the Development Committee. Reaching new groups and individuals with affinity for community involvement to strengthen resources and potential for LGBTQ organizations has been Steve’s motivating force. Steve served on the board of the cable television industry’s AIDS services organization, Cable Positive, and has worked on behalf of several state and national-level LGBTQ nonprofits in the last 25 years.

Steve has been in the cable television industry since its infancy, launching cable systems in Atlanta, expanding cable network distribution around the southeast, and affiliate ad sales and marketing roles in New York with MTV Networks. Currently Steve is Vice President of Affiliate Sales at NCC Media, the cable industry’s top television and online media sales organization. NCC represents each of its owners, Comcast, Charter and Cox Cable, and represents all other cable, telco and satellite video providers for geo-video ad executions both linear and digital. Steve is responsible for expanding NCC’s affiliate base as audiences find new ways to consume video, and helps insure exceptional ad revenue generation on behalf of his affiliate customers.

Steve and his partner, Fred Ohm are celebrating nearly 20 years together, and are proud uncles to kids of close friends and family in New York, Washington DC, Atlanta and the Poconos.

 

Jayson Jarushewsky

Jayson Jarushewsky first became involved with Stonewall in 1999, joining the Board of Directors shortly thereafter. He served on the Board until 2006 before beginning another tenure in 2012. 

With over 20 years' experience as a restructuring and lending lawyer, Jayson currently works as Associate General Counsel and Director at ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation. Prior to joining ACA, he was the Head of the Wholesale Bank Legal Department at Standard Chartered Bank, where he managed a legal team focused on identifying and managing SCB's legal risks in the Americas.

Jayson began his legal career working as an associate with Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy's Financial Restructuring Group, focusing on cross border, partnership and products liability-related bankruptcy proceedings and restructurings. He graduated from Cornell University in 1986 with a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations and received his J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1991.

 

Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson is a residential real estate broker who has worked in the New York City real estate industry since 2008. As the head of the Jimmy Johnson Team at Compass, he works across a wide range of Manhattan and Brooklyn properties, helping buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants find their place in NYC. Jimmy began his connection to SCF in 2007 as a charter member of Stonewall Quarter Share, where he served on the Leadership Council for five years. During that time, Jimmy organized educational and volunteer events for SQS and helped the program to expand its membership. In 2016, Jimmy joined the Recruitment & Governance Committee for the foundation, working to bring new talent to the Stonewall Board.

Jimmy holds a bachelor of arts degree in Theater Studies from Yale University, where he was a member of the Duke’s Men of Yale and the Whiffenpoofs. In his free time, Jimmy enjoys singing with the Empire City Men’s Chorus, exploring his neighborhood in Brooklyn, and traveling with his closest friends.

 

Zak Karim

Zak Karim has recently joined Bank of America as Senior Vice President, Human Resources Executive, supporting the Consumer Products and Enterprise Payments divisions. Prior to Bank of America, Zak had been with Pfizer for 14 years in a number of positions. At the time of leaving, Zak was a Senior Director, Human Resources, Worldwide Research and Development (WRD). He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of British Columbia and has completed his Master’s in Business Administration from Sejong University in Seoul, S. Korea. Zak served as the Co-Chair of Pfizer’s LGBT Colleague Resource Group: Out Pfizer Employee Network (OPEN) for over 8 years. Currently, Zak serves on the Board of Directors for Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s  largest LGBTQ organization and in 2015, Zak was appointed to the Aga Kahn Council for USA – Northeast for a three-year term, serving as Member, Volunteer Resource Management, overseeing the Ismaili Volunteers in the northeast. In his free time, Zak enjoys to travel, ski, and spend time with family and friends.

 

Mark McDermott

Mark McDermott is a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, where he represents public and private businesses and their principal stakeholders in troubled company M&A, corporate restructuring, and financing transactions. He also counsels clients on the bankruptcy aspects of derivatives and similar products; advises global financial insti¬tutions on Dodd-Frank and related matters; and advises officers and directors on corporate governance and fiduciary duties. 

Mark’s experience spans several industries, including energy, entertainment, financial institutions, health care, home building, manufacturing, printing, real estate, tech¬nology, and transportation. He has worked on numerous matters that have received industry awards, has authored several articles on insolvency-related matters, and has been recognized in several publications for excellence in the restructuring industry. Mark has also been named to Best Lawyers in America.

Mark cofounded and serves on the board of Catholic Renewal, a Catholic charity, which, among other efforts, provides food to low-income and poor New Yorkers, regardless of creed.

 

Yvette Miley

Yvette M. Miley, a veteran journalist, is a Senior Vice President for MSNBC & NBC News. She is responsible for talent management and development of people both on and off camera. YVette is the executive in charge of weekend, overnights, and early morning programming. She also works closely with MSNBC President, Phil Griffin, and the editorial teams responsible for dayside programming, breaking news, and coverage of special events. In 2015, Yvette's role and responsibilities were expanded when she was named head of diversity and inclusion for both MSNBC and NBC News. In this role, Miley focuses on retention and recruiting of the best and brightest for the News Group. Yvette also served as executive-in-charge of the digital platform NBCOUT and Executive Editor of thegrio.com.

Yvette has worked at NBC Universal for 26 years. Before joining MSNBC and NBC News, she served as assistant news director for NBC 6/WTVJ. She also served as Vice President and News Director of the then-owned NBC station, WVTM-NBC 13 in Birmingham, Alabama. She was also Vice President and News Director of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale-based NBC-owned and operated television station NBC 6/WTVJ. 

In addition to multiple Emmy Awards, including an Emmy for NBC News and MSNBC’s coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, Yvette has received several Edward R. Murrow, Society of Professional Journalists, Dupont, Peabody, and Associated Press awards. She has also been recognized by the National Press Club, the Urban League of Palm Beach County, and the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce for her community service and commitment to mentoring others in the industry.

 

Christian Nwachukwu, Jr.

Christian Nwachukwu, Jr. works at Bloomberg Philanthropies to advance the foundation's Government Innovation program, a unique effort of sustained, diverse investments to strengthen city halls and improve how local governments work around the world.

Prior to joining Bloomberg Philanthropies, Christian served as Director of Speechwriting at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was the chief speechwriter for Secretary Julián Castro and Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti. It was the capstone of a seven-year speechwriting career, during which he served as director of speechwriting at the Corporation for National and Community Service, speechwriter for New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and senior speechwriter at the New York City Housing Authority.

Christian is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of Morehouse College, where he studied biology and edited The Maroon Tiger newspaper. His greatest regret is that he did not take the opportunity to also study ballet at Morehouse's sister, Spelman College.

 

Daniel Padnos

Daniel Padnos is a businessman and an advocate for social causes. Growing up in Michigan during the 1960's, he was active in youth protests against the Vietnam War. Moving to Israel shortly before Jimmy Carter's Camp David Accords, he became a leader in the peace movement there, serving as the executive director of an organization called "Partnership". Returning to the United States in the 1990's he began a second career in business, importing and distributing audio and video technology products. Later, he and his husband Dex Phillip founded a cosmetics company, DEX New York, now a global brand. He is also part owner of his family's four-generation metal, paper and plastics recycling firm in Michigan and Indiana.

Daniel's board service includes several decades on the Boards of Padnos Iron and Metal, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland (Michigan), and the Satellite Collective, a multi-disciplinary arts organization based in both Michigan and New York City. Following 10 years of involvement with the Stonewall Foundation, he now serves on its Board and is a member of the Development Committee, where he dreams and schemes of strengthening Stonewall's human and financial resources.

Daniel is a graduate of Haifa University and did post-graduate work in City and Regional Planning at the Technion Institute in Israel. He has two children and six grandchildren. He speaks five languages, and is now learning Chinese.

 

Michael Hamill Remaley

Michael Hamill Remaley is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Communications at Philanthropy New York, where he directs all communications and research work; develops and executes public policy strategies and activities; monitors legislative and regulatory activity to inform members and other external audiences of pending issues that may impact philanthropy and nonprofits; and serves as a key organizational and sector voice in informing and educating public policymakers about the scope and impact of foundation and corporate giving in New York. In this role, Michael is also creator and Executive Editor of the New York PhilanthroPost.

Prior to joining PNY, Michael had his own consulting practice, HRbc. In addition to the firm’s work with nonprofit and foundation clients, he was the Co-Founder and Director of Public Policy Communicators NYC and was a regular contributor to The Communications Network blog, Philanthropy News Digest, Transparency Talk, and other media focused on philanthropy and communications.

Before founding HRbc in 2009, Michael was the Communications Director for the Russell Sage Foundation and before that was Vice President and Director of Communications for Public Agenda. Prior to Public Agenda, he managed the national initiative The New Patriotism Project of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. Earlier, Michael was an associate in the Planning and Evaluation Department of The Pew Charitable Trusts. He also played a leading role in evaluation projects for TCC Group.

Michael has a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University, with the primary focus of his graduate work on planning and evaluation. He has a B.A. in Journalism, concentrating in Public Relations. Michael also serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

 

Chris Villarreal

Chris Villarreal is the Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications for Marcus by Goldman Sachs, an online platform offering unsecured personal loans to consumers. He is responsible for brand strategy, advertising, public relations and social media.

Previously he held various roles at American Express, most recently as the Director of Branding and Marketing for Plenti, the first national coalition rewards program. In that capacity he was part of the core team that built and launched the brand, resulting in over 28MM members in just four months.  He was also part of a cross-country disruptive innovation team reporting to the President of International Consumer & Small Business.

Prior to American Express he cut his teeth at Equinox leading member marketing and on the agency side working for Ogilvy & Mather and the Ad Council.

Chris received his BBA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

Ben Wyskida

Ben Wyskida is CEO of Fenton, a social change communications agency that uses the power of stories, media, and technology to make the world a better place, working with nonprofits, foundations and companies pioneering true sustainability.

Prior to taking the helm at Fenton, Ben was an Executive Vice President at BerlinRosen Public Affairs. He led their growing Philanthropy & Cultural Activism Practice, where he drove communications strategy and media relations for clients including the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. Ben also led the firm’s work developing impact campaigns for social justice film and television projects, and managed communications for major national advocacy organizations.

Previously, Ben was a Communications Executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies, where he managed crisis communications and supported national advocacy grantees fighting to save Medicare, health care reform and social security. Prior to Atlantic, he spent four years as Publicity Director for The Nation, and was the Communications Director at Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Ben has developed communications strategies for some of the most effective and high-profile criminal justice reform, green economic development and viral electoral campaigns of the last decade. He also served on the Advisory Board for the Sex Workers Project. 

Ben is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and lives on New York City's Lower East Side with his partner, composer Nico Muhly, and their Boston Terrier Oskar.