Board of Directors
Mary K. Athridge
Director, Corporate Communications, Legg Mason
Mary Athridge is Managing Director, Corporate Communications for Legg Mason, Inc. In that role, she works with the senior leadership at Legg Mason and at its principal investment subsidiaries to develop and implement communications strategies to enhance brand value and drive business initiatives. She also has oversight responsibility for financial and transaction communications, crisis communications and investor communications support. Ms. Athridge joined Legg Mason from Citigroup Asset Management in the transaction to acquire that business from Citigroup in December, 2005. Previously, she was with Salomon Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers, and began her career in Washington in political positions in the White House and U.S. Small Business Administration. She has a B.A. from Georgetown University and a M.B.A. from George Washington University. She is also on the Board of the Angelica Patients Assistance Program. Ms. Athridge lives in New York City.
Amanda G. Baldwin
*Board Vice Chair
Ms. Baldwin is the President of the indie beauty company Supergoop!, the first prestige beauty brand dedicated to UV protection. Prior to joining Supergoop!, Amanda was a member of the operating team at L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused investment fund, collaborating with management teams across the portfolio and serving as the Chief Marketing Officer of StriVectin Operating Company. A veteran of the beauty industry, Ms. Baldwin led the retail development strategy of the Dior Beauty brand at LVMH, Inc. and held several positions at Clinique, a part of The Estee Lauder Companies. Her career began in finance as a member of the Consumer/Retail Group at Apax Partners and the Communications, Media and Entertainment team at Goldman, Sachs & Co. She earned an A.B. magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and an M.B.A. with honors from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Palmer Scholar. She is a graduate of the Aspen Seminar.
Vice President- Financial Markets Advisory, BlackRock
Christopher Berger, Vice President, is a member of BlackRock's Financial Markets Advisory (FMA) Group. The FMA team provides a wide range of advisory, valuation and innovative portfolio management solutions for its clients, which include banks, insurance companies, official institutions, and other financial intermediaries. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2015, Mr. Berger was a senior analyst with the Markets Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), where he led the coverage of corporate credit markets, providing senior policy makers with macroeconomic analysis on developments in high yield and leveraged finance markets. While at the bank, he also led the group's daily market monitoring efforts and assisted in preparing the group's cross-asset analyses ahead of FOMC meetings. Prior to working at the FRBNY, Mr. Berger was an associate at Orion Consultants, a fixed income consulting firm. Mr. Berger earned a BA degree, cum laude, in history from Princeton University in 2006 and a Masters degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University in 2011.
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Selma Bueno is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in Investment Banking based in New York. She is part of the Global IBD Management team, leading many key IBD initiatives. Selma joined the Firm in 2010 as a Vice President based in Sao Paulo. She has over 15 years of industry experience, advising financial institutions across North America and Latin America on strategic transactions, including advisory and financing. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, she spent almost 10 years in Merrill Lynch’s Financial Institutions Group in New York. Selma holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a law degree from the University of Sao Paulo and a business undergraduate degree from Fundacao Getulio Vargas.
Kay Du Fernandez
Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Konica Minolta
Kay Du Fernandez is the Vice President, Strategic Business Development for Konica Minolta, a leader in advanced document management technologies and IT services. Prior to joining Konica Minolta, Ms. Fernandez spent over twelve years at Toshiba America Business Solutions, holding positions in all aspects of product management, including Vice President of Marketing. Kay has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and a masters of business administration from Pepperdine University. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Orange County Ballet Theater (OCBT) and is a supporter of Oceana. She has also led the marketing efforts at St. Mary's School, a 501(c)(3) International Baccalaureate Day School in Aliso Viejo, California. Ms. Fernandez is passionate about reading and cultivating our future generation of business and technology leaders. She resides in Franklin Lakes, NJ with her husband, Frank, and three daughters.
Amanda Hirsh was the Executive Director of Books for Kids from 2012-2018. She came to Books for Kids from the Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey, working in Development, and before that as a Sales Representative for children’s books at HarperCollins Publishers. Amanda graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Comparative Literature, and the Trinity School in New York, where she serves as a Board Member of the Trinity Alumni and Alumnae Association. Amanda also serves as a Trustee of the Jewish Museum. Amanda lives in Aspen, CO with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Ronit Kalman, PH.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Certified Health Coach, Culinary Nutritionist
After receiving a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Rutgers University and dedicating more than 20 years to scientific research and academic teaching at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York University and New York Institute of Technology, Ronit Kalman decided to marry her deep understanding of human development with her passion for nutrition, health and wellness. She enrolled in certification programs at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, E-Cornell and Natural Gourmet Institute and paired this in-depth understanding of major dietary theories, healthy food preparation and the science of psychology to create smart and practical lifestyle coaching methods. Ronit's research has been published in Child Development, Journal of Child Language, Infancy, Developmental Psychology, the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, and other related publications.
Partner, Crestview Partners, LLC.
Adam Klein is a Principal at Crestview Partners, a value-oriented private equity firm. He works with the energy team and specializes in oil-field services and unconventional energy investments. Prior to Crestview, Adam worked as an analyst at Centennial Ventures where he evaluated, executed and monitored investments in early to mid-stage companies across multiple industries, as well as at Compass Partners and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Adam is currently a director of FBR & Co, Select Energy Services, Silver Creek Oil & Gas, Synergy Energy and Texoma Transportation and Crude Marketing. He is also a board observer at Samsom Resources. Adam received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Partner, Heritage Strategies LLC
Mr. Shapses began his insurance career in 2000. His first position at Further Lane Asset Management focused on raising high-net-worth capital for institutionally platform-approved hedge funds. Concurrently, he developed Further Lane’s insurance and estate planning business primarily serving family office clients. In 2005, Mr. Shapses began to work more deeply in the asset-backed world, aggregating life settlements for private equity and hedge fund investors utilizing his own insurance licensed company - A. Shapses and Company. Thereafter Mr. Shapses merged A. Shapses and Company to co-found Dearborn Capital Partners. In 2013, he was hired as a consultant to Institutional Life Services (Owned by Madison Dearborn Capital) to focus on portfolio and block trading with private equity, hedge fund, and institutional relationships. He then joined Heritage Strategies as a Partner in 2014 where he develops and manages life insurance portfolios and estate plans. Mr. Shapses obtained a BA in Finance and Organization Management from the Gouizeta Business School at Emory University. He also has a CFP from NYU.
Partner, Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Evangeline Shih is a partner at the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan LLP. She works with the life sciences practice group and specializes in Hatch-Waxman litigation on behalf of innovator pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Quinn Emanuel, Evangeline was a partner at the law firm of Jones Day. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer and Super Lawyer in New York since 2011. She has also been a member of the Advisory Board for the Fordham Law Neuroscience and Law Center since 2015. Evangeline received her A.B. from Princeton University and her J.D. from Fordham Law. Her interest in books stems from childhood summers spent at a county public library in Indiana where her father was the Library Director. She lives on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with her husband David Decima, who is a partner at a Houston-based energy fund, and their two young sons.
Graham S. Stephens
Managing Director, HFF
Graham Stephens is a Managing Director for HFF, one of the largest and most successful commercial real estate capital intermediaries in the country. He is primarily responsible for investment sale transactions throughout New York and the Tri-State area. Mr. Stephens’ main focus is on office and retail properties. Prior to joining HFF, he was a Managing Director on the capital markets team at Cushman & Wakefield (f/k/a Cassidy Turley & DTZ). Prior to that, he was with Eastdil Secured’s New York City institutional sales team. Mr. Stephens began his commercial real estate career at RBS Greenwich Capital's real estate finance group. He is a member of Urban Land Institute’s New York District Council Advisory Board. Mr. Stephens has a BA from Hamilton College and resides in New York City with his wife Lauren. They are active members in the NY Public Library Young Lions Program and a Patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Apollo Circle.
President of Sales Division, Sussman Education
Ron is the President of the Sales Division for Sussman Education, a leader in K-12 digital and print sales distribution that has served New York City schools for over 40 years. In 2011 he helped launch Lightswitch Learning, a national K-12 sales organization that has recently published several best-sellers in the parent engagement arena. Mr. Sussman graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and currently lives in New York City. Ron had a 60-23 career record for Binghamton University Tennis. Sussman Sales was recognized in 2011 as one of "Inc.com's Fastest Growing Companies."