Young Executive Board

The Young Executive Board (YEB) is a small group of diverse and talented professionals who volunteer their time, expertise, and leadership to help increase awareness of iMentor's mission and work. The YEB supports iMentor's fundraising activities, in addition to providing management and program support and helping the organization expand its network of supporters and mentors.

Benefits of Membership

  • Significant Impact in New York City and Nationwide: Your involvement will play a key role in supporting iMentor’s impact on young people living in low-income communities in New York City and across the country.
  • Leadership Opportunity: Members of the Young Executive Board are true thought partners with iMentor. Members will have the opportunity to use their talent, expertise, and experience as a mentor to help advance iMentor’s mission.
  • YEB-led Initiatives: Members of the Young Executive Board play a pivotal leadership role in iMentor initiatives such as the Spring Benefit, the Team iMentor Challenge, and the recent 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
  • Opportunity to get a Behind-the-Scenes Look: Gain unique insight into a high-impact nonprofit and special access to iMentor’s Senior Leadership Team.
  • Recognition and Visibility: Information about the Young Executive Board will be communicated to all 3,500 mentors, board members, and supporters. Young Executive Board members will be recognized on iMentor’s website, at events, and in communications materials.

For more information or to get involved, contact Celine Patel, Director of Corporate Engagement & Individual Giving, 646.797.4481 or cpatel@imentor.org.

Meet Our Current YEB Members

Bernier Lauredan

Bernier has been a mentor since the fall of 2010, joining the Young Executive Board in 2012, where he serves as co-chair. Bernier is an Education Pioneers analyst fellow, working for Newark Charter School Fund in Newark, New Jersey. In his role, he focuses on advocacy efforts to provide all children with high-quality public school options in Newark. Previously, he was a broker in the Financial Solutions Group at Willis Group, working with global banks and corporates on political risk and trade credit insurance programs. Bernier graduated from New York University with a B.S. in media and communications. While at NYU, he served a captain of the varsity track team. Bernier is also involved with KIPP, NY PACE, and the NY Road Runners Club West Side Y. His current mentee is a freshman at Seton Hall University.

Karen Gamarra

Karen has been with iMentor since 2010. In 2013, she joined the Young Executive Board, which she now co-chairs. Karen works in the Corporate Banking & Securities division at Deutsche Bank, delivering strategic change programs to meet business objectives. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Karen was a management consultant with the Gartland and Mellina group, where she drove various client initiatives, including business re-engineering, operational efficiency, systems integration, and regulatory change. In this role, she was recognized as one of the Women’s Bond Club's Rising Stars in 2013. Karen completed a three-year match with her first mentee, who is now attending Binghamton University. She is currently in the first year of a four-year match with her second mentee, who is a student at Manhattan Bridges High School. Karen holds a degree in communications and media from St. John’s University.

Jay Cofresi

Jay has been a mentor since 2008, joining the Young Executive Board in 2010. He works at Nomura Holding as the CAO of corporate technology services and risk capital technology. Prior to Nomura, Jay spent more than 12 years at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. He has worked in various positions in finance, including private client business and investment banking. Jay has a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from New York University. He has mentored with Student Sponsor Partners, where he was matched with a student from Mount Saint Michael high school in the Bronx, his alma mater. His current iMentor mentee, and third overall, attends Manhattan Bridges High School. The pair is in the second year of a four-year match. Jay is a proud father; his son, Jackson, is 1-year-old.

Kenny Eng

Kenny is a fourth-year member of the Young Executive Board and has served as a mentor since 2001. He began his mentoring career with the Pittsburgh-area Big Brothers Big Sisters while in college. Kenny received his degree in industrial management and economics from Carnegie Mellon University. His professional experience spans risk management, derivatives trading, and project management. Kenny was born in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Jessica Goodman

Jessica Goodman has been a mentor since 2012, joining the Young Executive Board in 2013. She is the general manager of Evoke Healthy Foods, a muesli company based in New York. Prior to Evoke, Jessica worked with other food and beverage startups, covering their finance, operations, and marketing functions. Jessica began her career as an investment banker at HSBC Securities, where she was a member of global teams representing market leaders in the food and beverage and agricultural sectors in capital transactions valued at more than $5 billion. She graduated with a degree in East Asian studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Renu Grover

Renu has been a mentor since 2012. She is in the third year of a four-year match. Her mentee, Priscilla, attends Lyons Community School in Brooklyn. Renu is the director of client solutions with Stovell Research, a quantitative market risk research firm. At Stovell Research, Renu works with asset management and hedge fund clients to make stronger decisions through the products offered by Stovell. Previously, Renu worked at a private research firm, Gerson Lehrman Group, where she managed client relationships within the hedge fund, private equity, and investment banking industries. Renu began her career in finance at Hoplite Capital Management. Outside of work, Renu is an avid runner and dancer. She is training for her first marathon in New York, running in support of iMentor. Renu graduated from George Washington University with a B.A. in classical humanities.

Aditi Gupta

Aditi has been a mentor since 2010, joining the Young Executive Board in 2012. She is currently paired with her third mentee, Cindy, who is a college freshman. Aditi works at Lord Abbett as an associate portfolio manager. Previously, she worked at Morgan Stanley. Aditi received her A.B. in economics with a certificate in Spanish language and culture from Princeton University.

Ashley Gushue

Ashley has been with iMentor since 2010, participating as a mentor and member of the Young Executive Board. She is a product operations manager at Google and has recruited her fellow employees to either volunteer during iMentor's annual Mentor Extravaganza or become a mentor. In 2012, Ashley pitched Google's community affairs board and won a $15K grant for iMentor. In addition to fundraising and volunteering with iMentor, she serves as Google's New York office lead for GoogleServe, a global week-long celebration of volunteering. Since 2004, Ashley has also worked with THON, the world's largest student-run philanthropy, to help raise money for pediatric cancer research. She holds a B.S. in advertising from Pennsylvania State University, where she developed her passionate for philanthropy and service.

Patrick Hart

Patrick has been with iMentor since 2009, joining the Young Executive Board in 2013. He completed three one-year matches at the International High School at Prospect Heights and is currently in a multi-year match with his mentee, Michael. Patrick works in asset finance at Credit Suisse. Previously, he held positions at First Republic Investment Management, Barclays Capital, and Lehman Brothers. Patrick holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a CFA Charterholder.

Anthony Keizner

Anthony has been with iMentor since 2006 and joined the Young Executive Board in 2010. He helps manage the Hedge Fund Practice at Glocap Search, the leading financial recruitment firm. Previously, he managed hedge fund accounts at a research company, Gerson Lehrman Group, and was an emerging markets analyst at Citibank. Anthony first worked with young people as a teacher in a high-school in China, and also volunteers through New York Cares. In NY, he enjoys spending time playing squash, watching English soccer and tied the knot with Elizabeth (also an I-mentor!) in late 2011. He holds a BA in Asian Studies from Oxford University, and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Nick Kleinhenz

Nick has been with iMentor since 2012, joining the Young Executive Board in 2014. He is in year one of his second match at Bronx Leadership Academy and also completed a two-year match at the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports. Nick is a vice president and regional manager at PIMCO, where he works on the Internal Sales Desk. Before PIMCO, he was an internal advisor consultant at Allianz Global Investors. In addition to iMentor, Nick is an active participant in the PIMCO Foundation. He graduated from John Carroll University with a B.A. in economics.

Doug Leder

Doug has been a mentor with iMentor since 2006, joining the Young Executive Board in 2011. He works at Aéropostale as its IT security manager, responsible for IT security, governance, risk, and compliance. Prior to joining Aéropostale, Doug was a manager in the Global Internal Audit group at Avon Products, Inc. for two years, where he focused on information technology and supply chain management. Doug started his career at Deloitte in its Risk Management Advisory practice, where he focused on serving clients in the retail and manufacturing industries for more than six years. Doug holds a B.S. in business management, with a concentration in finance and management information systems, from Binghamton University. His mentee is student at Manhattan Bridges High School.

Bart Marchant

Bart has been a mentor since 2013 and has a deep connection with the program. He is in the second year of a four-year match with his mentee, who attends Manhattan Bridges School. Currently, Bart works in institutional business development for WisdomTree Asset Management, a publicly traded investment manager focused on the ETF space. Prior to WisdomTree, Bart began his career with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where he managed client relationships within the Fundamental Equity group. Outside of work, Bart is an avid golfer, sports fan, fitness enthusiast, and reader. He graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in international business and management.

Gordon McKemie

Gordon became a mentor in 2007, joining iMentor's Young Executive Board in 2008 and serving as its co-chair from 2009 to 2011. He is a vice president at GSO Capital Partners, the credit-oriented investment arm of The Blackstone Group, where he is involved in the evaluation and monitoring of primary and secondary fixed income investments across multiple industries, as well as assisting with the management of the publicly traded funds. Before joining GSO, Gordon was an associate in Leveraged Finance at Citigroup and an assistant vice president in high yield research at Barclays Capital. He began his career at Lehman Brothers. Gordon received a B.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Emory University's Goizueta Business School, where he played varsity basketball and served as president of the student government. He is a CFA Charterholder.

Anna Neverova

Anna has been a mentor since 2011 and joined the Young Executive Board in 2013. Anna currently works at Amur Capital focusing on investment activities and portfolio management.  Prior to joining Amur, Anna worked at the Corporate Lending group at UBS for 3 1/2 years.  Before joining UBS, she worked at Global Association of Risk Professionals, McKinsey & Company and Octavian Advisors in various research and investment related roles.  Anna received a B.A. in Economics from Bard College, where she was a Distinguished Scientist Scholar and a Jerome Levy Scholar. In addition to iMentor’s Young Executive Board, Anna is a  member of Bard Board of Governors and a co-chair of the Bard Music Festival’s Junior Committee. Anna’s current mentee Bukky graduated from Bronx Preparatory Charter School and is now attending Binghamton University.

Kelechi Okeri

Kelechi works as a regional sales director at the global science, technical, and medical information company Elsevier Inc. He joined iMentor as a volunteer mentor in 2011 and completed his first three-year match in spring 2014. He is the producer and host of the YouTube web series The Palm Print, which promotes readership of African literature and the exploration of issues facing African authors through discussions. He is also an amateur photographer. Kelechi holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in English, with a concentration in creative writing, both from Rutgers University. He is a contributor to One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words they Love or Loathe, edited by Molly McQuade. Kelechi was born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He lives in New Jersey.

Olga Ovodenko

Olga has been a mentor since 2008 and joined the Young Executive Board in 2011.  Olga is a marketer/business developer at Lombard Odier where she markets the firm’s hedge fund strategies to institutional investors. Olga began her career after graduating the New York University Stern School of Business where she majored in Finance, Marketing, and International Business. Olga has mentored students since high school, and also enjoys spending time cooking, travelling, and enjoying the performing arts.

Leah Shisha

Leah has been a mentor since 2011, joining the Young Executive Board in 2012. She is currently pursuing an MBA at New York University. Before heading to business school, Leah was an analyst at Yeshiva University's Investment Office, where she was a member of the team responsible for managing the university’s endowment. Prior to joining Yeshiva in 2010, Leah worked in sales and marketing for the luxury lifestyle division of Forbes Media. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in marketing.

Carolyn Tallents

Carolyn has been a mentor since 2009 and a member of the Young Executive Board since 2012. She has completed a one-year match and a four-year match and will be entering into another four-year match this year. Carolyn works for YP, the new Yellow Pages, where she focuses on brand strategy and marketing. Originally from the Boston area, she graduated from Boston College (BC) in 2008 with a degree in marketing. She continues to volunteer with the BC Fund to support fundraising efforts for the school.

Ben Tannenbaum

Ben has been a mentor since 2012, joining the Young Executive Board in 2013. He just started the third year of a three-year match with his mentee, who attends New York City College of Technology. Ben is corporate engagement manager at NPower, a nonprofit that mobilizes the tech community and provides individuals, nonprofits, and schools opportunities to build tech skills. Previously, he initiated digital technology and innovation programs and MasterCard and NBCUniversal. Ben serves on the board for the Animation Project, a nonprofit that uses digital art technology as a therapeutic medium and a workforce development tool for at-risk youth. He graduated with a B.A. in history and political science from the University of Delaware.

Sarah Tomolonius

Sarah has been a mentor since 2010, joining the Young Executive Board in 2012. She has had the pleasure of being matched with two mentees, both of whom are in college. Sarah leads marketing and investor relations at Arlon Group. She received her B.A. in English from Vassar College and her M.P.A. in international finance and policy from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. In addition to her work with iMentor, she serves as president of the board of HeARTs Speak, a nonprofit that seeks to increase animal adoptions through art. She is also a member of the executive council of the Alumni Council at SIPA and the management committee of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable. Sarah also mentors with the Columbia Women’s Business Society and the SIPA Alumni Mentoring Program.

Kate Vanek

Kate is the senior vice president of investor relations at Nielsen Holdings N.V., a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Prior to this, she served as vice president of investor and government relations for Stanley Black & Decker, a global diversified industrial company. Institutional Investor magazine named Kate one of its best investor relations professionals in both 2011 and 2012. Prior to working at Stanley, Kate was a vice president at Bear Stearns in the credit products sales team. Before joining Bear Stearns, she spent four years at Thomson Financial and was a manager in the capital markets intelligence group. Kate has an MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated phi beta kappa and magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, with majors in Spanish and international studies.

Christine Willey

Christine has been a mentor since the fall of 2012 and has been paired with two mentees in Brooklyn. Her current mentee is a high school sophomore at Lyons Community School, while her previous mentee is now attending Kingsborough Community College. Christine recently returned to UBS Securities LLC as a director in international portfolio sales trading. Prior to that she worked at Barclays Capital after spending five years at UBS on international cash and portfolio products. Christine holds a B.S. in mathematics from Villanova University and an MBA from Northeastern University,with specializations in finance and international management. She is an avid runner and has completed four marathons and countless half marathons.

Michelle Yang

Michelle has been a mentor since 2013 and joined the Young Executive Board in 2014. She is in year two of a three-year match at Hyde Leadership Academy in the Bronx. Michelle is a manager at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, focusing on global sales strategy and specifically customer experience. Prior to Starwood, Michelle was a consultant in Deloitte consulting’s strategy & operations group, working primarily in the retail and consumer products space. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a B.A. in economics and political science. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys cooking, swimming, and traveling.

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