Staff

Gadi Ben-Menachem

CEO

Gadi Ben-Menachem is a former Wall Street executive who has spent more than 15 years volunteering for various non-profits in his community and on a national level.   Most recently he served as Co-Chair of the Nationwide Leadership Council for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.   He also served as Board Chair for his local chapter, Big Brother Big Sisters of Northern NJ, Board Chair for Clothes for Kids Sake of NJ, Board Chair of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and was a board member of the Parks Alliance of Morris County.

Gadi received the Morris Alumni Achievement Award in 2014 which recognized him for distinguished community  leadership in helping to improve the lives of citizens in Morris County.  In 2013 he was the recipient of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Board Member of the Year Award and in 2005 served as the Honoree for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Jersey’s Annual Gala.

Gadi was a Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co. where he spent the last 26 years of his Wall Street career.  He began his tenure in the Institutional Equity Sales Department and then moved on to launch and manage their Institutional Middle Market Division, run their Latin American Institutional Equity Division, manage one of their New York City Wealth Management offices and finally, open and manage three Wealth Management offices in Northern NJ.     Prior to Oppenheimer, Gadi was a Vice President at Cowen & Co.’s Institutional Sales-Trading Division.   In 2012 he was named one of 100 Leading Managers by New York Life’s Nationwide Survey.

He graduated from Boston University with a BS in Business Administration & Finance and also served in the Israeli Defense Force as a First Class Company Sergeant and Tank Commander.

Gadi lives in Short Hills, NJ with his wife Suzanne and 2 daughters, Amanda and Rachel.

 

Jade Keena

Director of Operations

Jade Keena brings years of experience in operations management to Minds Matter National Inc. Her post-collegiate career exposed her to a tremendous breadth of knowledge in day-to-day and big-picture administration, and she is ready to direct her skills and enthusiasm towards her true passion: the non-profit sector. Jade is a proud Summa Cum Laude graduate of Hofstra University, where she obtained dual Bachelor degrees in Public Relations and Creative Writing. While studying at Hofstra, Jade worked as a Public Relations intern at the Nassau County Coalition against Domestic Violence and as part of the V-Day Campaign. As the first person in her family to graduate from college, Jade believes strongly in the importance of higher-education and is excited to help others achieve the same success. In her spare time, Jade enjoys writing poetry, and is an Academy of American Poets University and College Poetry Prize recipient.

Shelly Zhou

Program & Development Associate

Shelly has been involved with Minds Matter since 2008. As a Minds Matter of NYC mentee, she was able to transform her dream of attending college into a reality, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Biology from the University at Albany, Shelly’s passion to assist low-income families steered her back to Minds Matter. As a Minds Matter alum, she witnessed first-hand the positive impact of Minds Matter on the lives of ambitious young adults from low socio-economic backgrounds. Shelly hopes to help transform students’ lives as the organization did for her. Shelly honed her skills while researching at academic institutions such as New York University and Columbia University, and she looks forward to using her knowledge and passion to manage National programs and support chapters at Minds Matter. In her free time, Shelly can be found planning her next big excursion abroad or zip lining across a tropical rain forest.