Bob Alig

Bob is a Strategic Enrollment Consultant at Liaison International, supporting their launch of BusinessCAS. Formerly, he was the executive vice president, School Products Group, of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and vice president of the College Board’s middle states regional office, where he and his team promoted college and career readiness for all K-12 and higher education students. He also held numerous positions at his alma mater University of Pennsylvania, including Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at the Wharton School and Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations.

Brent Ashton

Brent joined EY as a staff member in 1994 upon graduation from Washington University in St. Louis. He has been a Partner in the Assurance Services practice since 2006. In this role, Brent has served both publicly-owned and privately-held companies with regional, national and global presence. His client base is comprised of companies from a variety of industries including but not limited to technology, diversified industrial products, manufacturing and distribution. He has also been involved in numerous acquisitions and divestitures, public and private debt and equity financing transactions.  He also ran the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program in New Jersey from 2011 to 2016.

In addition to his professional role as a CPA and partner at Ernst & Young, Brent is an active participant in a variety of non-profit organizations. Brent is a current member of Strategic Planning Committee for the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA). He also currently serves as a Board Member for Junior Achievement of Central New Jersey.

Jon Bernstein - Vice Chair

Jon Bernstein is the Managing Member of BlackBern Partners and a board member of investments Corfin Industries, Westfall Technik, and EOL Electronics. Prior to founding BlackBern, Mr. Bernstein worked for First Manhattan Consulting Group, Pershing Square Capital Management, and Founders Equity. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School.

Avi Fernandes

Avi is a Senior Vice President and Founding Member at ICONIQ Capital, a privately-held investment firm based in San Francisco, CA that serves some of the world’s most influential families and organizations. Avi is primarily responsible for advising ultra high-net-worth families on their investment strategy, trust & estate structuring and philanthropy planning. Avi also serves on the Leadership Committee for the Family Office and ICONIQ Impact, the firm’s collaborative philanthropy platform to dramatically scale ‘big bet’ giving for social change.

Avi began his career at Goldman Sachs in their Investment Management and Investment Banking Divisions. In Investment Management, Avi was part of the Investment Strategy Group in New York where he advised ultra high-net-worth families on their portfolio strategy and served as the product specialist for the West Coast Region. In Investment Banking, Avi worked in the Industrials and Natural Resources Group in San Francisco where he advised companies on their M&A and financing strategy. After business school, Avi worked in Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management Division before he and his team spun out to form ICONIQ Capital.

Avi earned his MBA at INSEAD and Bachelor of Arts in Economics-Philosophy at Columbia University.

Melanie Girton

Melanie Girton is a Partner at Odell Girton Siegel, LLC. As a founding partner, Ms. Girton advises growth and later stage companies on transactional matters relating to various aspects of commercial operations, including the review and negotiation of contracts, business structuring and privacy matters. She has advised clients ranging from individuals to the Fortune 100.

Ms. Girton began her career at Kramer Levin Naftalis and Frankel LLP as a corporate associate in 1997. Ms. Girton continued her career as in-house counsel for Warner Music, Inc., where she assisted with employment matters, privacy issues, digital music licensing and joint ventures. Ms. Girton is a graduate of the University of Southern California and a magna cum laude graduate of the New York Law School, where she was an officer of the Media Law Project and an articles editor of the Law Review. Ms. Girton is a member of the ABA and its sections on Sports and Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. She is admitted to practice in New York.

Ms. Girton is a former dedicated Minds Matter NYC volunteer who was involved for 7 years, first as a mentor and then building the program for seniors from its original informal arrangement to a more developed effort.

Leanne Huebner - Co-Chair

Leanne is an award-winning leader, a start-up consultant, and a seasoned social entrepreneur with over 15 years of board experience on various nonprofit boards. In 1991, Leanne Huebner co-founded Minds Matter of New York City, the pioneering organization in college access & success and Minds Matter's founding nonprofit. She also served as the Founding Board Vice President for Minds Matter of Los Angeles for its first three years and has since served on Minds Matter National's Board. As Founding Board Chair, Leanne led efforts to launch an early-start charter middle school in an underserved area of South Los Angeles in 2013. Previously, she led Central Business Development at Yahoo, Inc!, where she closed over $90 million in new revenue and oversaw a $500 million+ trading portfolio in her role as an Associate at Credit Suisse. Today, along with her work with Minds Matter, she serves on the boards of the University of Pennsylvania’s Southern California Regional Advisory Board and Trustee’s Council of Penn Women, and previously served on the board of Manhattan Beach Education Foundation. In recognition for life's work of service to others, Leanne was named 2014 “Woman of the Year” at the California State Assembly; 2017 L'Oreal "Women of Worth" Honoree, and 2013 “Woman of Distinction” by Soroptimist International and 66th Assembly District. A first generation college graduate herself, Leanne earned a B.S. in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.

Deborah McGinn - Secretary/Treasurer

Deborah McGinn recently retired from the William T. Grant Foundation where she held the position of vice president for finance and administration and assistant treasurer. She was formerly the vice president of finance and administration for The After-School Corporation (TASC), now ExpandED Schools. Ms. McGinn has a strong track record in nonprofit finance and administration. Prior to her tenure at TASC, she held senior-level positions at the Fund for Public Schools, EDF, and E+Co. The first 25 years of her career were spent at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where she started her career as an accountant and rose through the organization to hold the position of deputy treasurer at the time of her departure.  Deborah was a first generation college student who earned her BA in Economics from Douglass College of Rutgers University.

Connie Miller

Board Member Emeritus

Ms. Miller retired in 2012 as the Managing Director and Head of Global Human Resources. She was responsible for a staff of 17 HR professionals handling all functions relating to the management of people including but not limited to recruiting, compensation, benefits, and employee relations. Ms. Miller moved to PineBridge Investments, a company that was carved out of AIG and sold in 2010 to the Pacific Century Group located in Hong Kong. She joined the firm as part of AIG Investments in 1996 with 20 years of experience in human resources management in diversified financial services companies. At its peak AIG Investments had a population of 3000 people around the globe and $750 Billion in assets under management. Ms. Miller was a founding member of AIG Investments.

In addition, she held Human Resources Managerial positions with Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, and ITT Financial Services all in San Francisco. Ms. Miller holds a BS in English/Education from Western Connecticut University and an MA in English from George Washington University. Prior to her human resources career she taught high school English.

Shari Noonan

Shari is currently the CEO of Rialto Trading, which she co-founded in 2016.  Rialto is focused on delivering electronic trading solutions to the corporate bond market.  Prior to that role she held the posts of COO of Global Equity Trading, COO of Global Equity Derivatives, and COO of Global Electronic Trading in Equities. Shari came to Deutsche Bank in 2010 from Goldman Sachs, where she served in a variety of roles including equity swaps sales trading, trading management, and product development. Prior to Goldman, Shari was at Instinet as the head of new product development and at KPMG as a consultant. She holds a degree in Accounting from Marquette University and a MBA from Columbia University. In addition to working with Minds Matter, Shari is a Fellow for The Sutton Trust and on the Dean’s Council of Excellence for Marquette University. Shari lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Michael Recht

Mr. Recht has been actively involved with Minds Matter since 2005, when he began the process of co-founding the Chicago Chapter. Over the last 12 years, he co-founded the Chicago Chapter, served as its Director of Mentees and sat on both the Chicago and National Governance Boards.

Professionally, Mr. Recht is a Managing Director at TowerBrook Capital Partners. Previously, Mr. Recht was a Senior Associate with the Retail & Consumer team at Apax Partners. Before joining Apax he worked for Thoma Cressey Bravo, focusing on investments in the consumer products and services sector. Prior to Thoma Cressey, Mr. Recht was a member of the Technology & Defense teams at CIBC World Markets. Mr. Recht earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his B.A. from Williams College.

Elvis Rodriguez

Elvis Rodriguez, Research Associate, is a member of Adelante’s research team. Mr. Rodriguez joined the firm in December 2015. He began his career at Morgan Stanley, where he interned while completing his undergraduate studies. Mr. Rodriguez has worked in market data sales roles at Bloomberg, Interactive Data, and Tradeweb, as well as trading roles at Goldman Sachs Asset Management as a High Yield Trader and Barclays Capital in Electronic Trading.

Mr. Rodriguez attended Columbia University and received his B.S. in Engineering. He earned his M.B.A. in Finance from the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia. Mr. Rodriguez has been an active Minds Matter alumnus and Advisory Board member, having served as a mentor and active donor. Mr. Rodriguez has also been an active Darden alumnus and Alumni Board member. He is an alumnus of the Minds Matter NYC program.

Ashish Shah - Co-Chair

Ashish Shah will be joining Goldman Sachs this summer as a partner to lead Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Global Corporate Credit Group.  Mr. Shah is the former Chief Investment Officer of Global Credit and Head of Fixed Income for asset manager Alliance Bernstein.  As CIO of Global Credit, Shah oversaw all of AB’s credit-related strategies, including all global and regional investment-grade and high-yield strategies. In this capacity, he led AB’s internal Credit Research Review Committee, the primary investment policy and decision-making committee for all credit-related portfolios managed by AB. As Head of Fixed Income, Shah was responsible for the management and strategic growth of the overall business.  Shah joined AB in 2010 as the firm’s head of Global Credit. Prior to that, he was a managing director and head of Global Credit Strategy at Barclays Capital (2008–2010), where he was responsible for the High Grade, High Yield, Structured Credit and Municipal Strategy groups and the Special Situations Research team. From 2003 to 2008, Shah was the head of Credit Strategy at Lehman Brothers, leading the Structured Credit/CDO and Credit Strategy groups and covering the cash bond, credit derivatives and CDO product areas for global credit investors. He holds a BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Francisco Paret

Francisco currently leads the global executive search and leadership consulting firm Egon Zehnder’s Financial Services Practice in the Americas. A former investment banker, Francisco was also a founding partner and board member of Social Venture Partners of the Bay Area, a San Francisco-based venture philanthropy organization focused on youth and educational issues, and was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.  Francisco holds a MBA from the Wharton School of Business and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

Sean Stalfort

Mr. Stalfort is the President of PBM Capital where he sources and structures new investment opportunities, oversees many of the portfolio companies and serves on the Board of Directors for Dova Pharmaceuticals, Verrica Pharmaceuticals, Xalud Therapeutics, and Quantapore, Inc. Prior to joining PBM Capital, Sean was the Executive Vice President for New Business Development / M&A for PBM Products where he sourced and managed new growth opportunities internationally as well as various capital market activities through the sale of the company to Perrigo for over $800 million. Sean is also a founding partner of Octagon Partners and Octagon Finance, historic tax credit real estate companies. Previously, Sean was a founding Principal and Senior Vice President of Capital Markets with Enterprise Mortgage, a specialty finance company which provided over $1.5 billion in senior cash flow debt financing to small and mid-sized companies and properties and a Vice President in Greenwich Capital’s Asset-Backed Finance Group where he structured over $2 billion in various securitized transactions. Sean started his career as an investment banking associate at CS First Boston in New York where he was involved on the founding team of Minds Matter. Sean graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Business Economics and Political Science.

Philip Taylor

Mr. Taylor currently is the Chief Analytics Officer at FinMason. In his role, Taylor leads the firm’s elite analytics team in expanding the firm’s fixed-income and equity analytics offering from roughly 700 different analytics to more than 1400, and deliver sophisticated analyses on multi-asset, multi-currency portfolios to our swiftly-expanding global client base.

Taylor brings over 20 years of senior-level institutional investment experience, having run $1b+ portfolios at several prominent financial institutions across all asset-classes. Prior to joining FinMason, Taylor led the Capital Markets desk at Lazard. Before that, he worked for two decades as an arbitrage portfolio manager for prominent banks and hedge funds. He also recently served as Chair of the Board for the CFA Society New York. Taylor holds an M.A. and B.A. in Mathematics and Management from the University of Cambridge.

Kathy Herman

Kathy is an attorney in the Corporate, Securities and M&A Department of Blank Rome, LLP, where her practice focuses on providing strategic advice and counsel to companies, management, and entrepreneurs on a wide array of corporate, commercial, and securities issues. She is the former General Counsel of Nobel Learning Communities, an owner and operator of nonsectarian private schools nationwide, and of IBAH, a contract research organization helping pharmaceutical companies bring new drugs to the market. Active in her community, Kathy was elected Judge of Elections in Ward 5, Division 25 of the City of Philadelphia in 2017. She is also a member of The Circle of Aunts and Uncles, a multi-generational project that provides low-interest loans and social capital to under-resourced entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Peter W. Agnes III

Peter is a Consultant in the Boston office of the global Leadership Consulting firm Egon Zehnder where he advises clients on talent and leadership in the firm’s Financial Services, Private Equity and Sports practices.  Prior to Egon Zehnder, Peter was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Caxton Associates, a global macro hedge fund headquartered in New York City.  Before joining Caxton, Peter was a Managing Director at Barclays Capital where he was the Global Head of the Credit Opportunities Group, a proprietary investing unit.  Earlier in his career Peter worked at the UBS Investment Bank in Stamford, CT and Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, NC.  He is a CFA charter holder. Peter earned his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA from Dartmouth College where he also played varsity football.