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 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.
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 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. Leanne is the President of the Reach Higher Foundation, a new foundation primarily focused on educational opportunities for under-resourced youth. In 1991, Leanne Huebner co-founded Minds Matter of New York City, the pioneering organization in college access & success and Minds Matter's first chapter. 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 Advisory Board. As Founding Board Chair, Leanne led efforts to launch an early-start charter 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 work of service to others, Leanne was named 2014 “Woman of the Year” at the California State Assembly; was recognized on a national basis as 2017 L'oreal "Women of Worth" Honoree, and awarded 2013 “Woman of Distinction” by Soroptimist International and 66th Assembly District. A first generation college graduate herself, Leanne earned an 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 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.
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 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.
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, 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 is Chief Investment Officer of Global Credit and Head of Fixed Income for asset manager Alliance Bernstein (AB.) He is also a Partner of the firm. As CIO of Global Credit, Shah oversees all of AB’s credit-related strategies, including all global and regional investment-grade and high-yield strategies. In this capacity, he leads 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 is 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.
Michele Michaelis Slifka
Michele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Music in Violin performance from Indiana University (Bloomington), a Doctorate from the City University of New York, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Michele is the Founder and CEO of IvySage Education, a high-end, real-time, synchronous and completely online academic tutoring, test-prep tutoring, and admissions advisory service. She also runs the IvySage Foundation, which seeks to bring best-in-class tutoring and admissions advisory to economically challenged students demonstrating great academic promise and commitment.
Prior to founding IvySage, Michele spent nearly a decade on the music faculty of Hunter College (NY), while actively performing with companies at Lincoln Center and on Broadway.
She subsequently completed an MBA, and became a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in NY. While with BCG, her casework was in practice areas including finance, personnel optimization and talent management, strategic planning, and business practice optimization. She worked primarily with financial and pharmaceutical companies, but has supported organizations across a broad span of industries.
Michele has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale since 2012. During this time she chaired the Jewish Life and Education Committee, and worked closely with the staff and leadership at the Center to help improve operational and organizational components of Yale Hillel. She has also been a member of the Board of Governors of Hillel International since 2013 and currently serves on the Executive Committee.