Vicki Craver, Chair
Eric Cochran, Vice-Chair
Mark A. Steffensen, Treasurer
Ned Mandel, Secretary
Mary R. Brock
Amy Chan Downer
Melissa K. Hughes
Leslie B. Littlejohn
Lyn F. McNaught
Jon Michael Reese
Nicholas S. Thacher
J. Ronald Totaro
Ricky Van Veen
William D. Young, III
Vicki Craver is currently Co-Founder and Co-President of Impact Fairfield County. She also serves as a trustee on the board of the Greenwich Country Day School where she chairs the Finance Committee. Vicki has worked extensively with non-profits, serving most recently as Chair of the boards of the UNC College of Arts and Sciences Foundation and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Previously, she was a Vice-President on the corporate bond trading desk at Goldman Sachs in New York City. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Vicki lives in Riverside, Connecticut with her husband David and their three daughters.
Eric Cochran is a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom, LLP in the Mergers & Acquisitions department. He is an enthusiastic supporter of schools and several charitable organizations, including A Better Chance. He has served as a board member and treasurer of Little Red Elisabeth Irwin, the progressive K-12 independent school in Greenwich Village; as a member of the finance committee of Friends Seminary, the oldest continuously co-educational school in New York City; and as a trustee of Williams College. Mr. Cochran is currently a trustee of the Clark Art Institute.
Mark is the Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel at HSBC North America Holdings, where he manages a team of over 150 attorneys and para-professionals supporting HSBC’s four global business lines in the US, as well as managing the corporate secretary and governmental relations functions in the US. He also acts as the principal legal advisor to the US public company board of directors, and provides long-range planning and strategic guidance to the US CEO and senior leadership team. Mark has a long history of involvement with HSBC, and has held several senior roles within both the Investment and Commercial Banking divisions. Prior to HSBC, he held leadership positions at Morgan Stanley and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and was previously associated with the law firms Vedder Price in Chicago and Davis Polk in New York. Mark received his JD from the University of Iowa (UI) College of Law, and his MBA from the UI College of Business Administration. He also serves as a Director on the board of each of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and The Clearing House Association, two trade organizations of the financial services industry.
Ned Mandel has served on the Horizons National board since 2009. He is the former owner of AKJ Educational Services and former development director and board member of Septima Clark Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Mr. Mandel also served as vice chair of the board of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington, DC. He is currently the board chair of The Literacy Lab, a Washington, DC based non-profit organization.
Mary Brock has served on the Boards of Directors of Emory University Winship Cancer Institute and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Mary also serves on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College. She and her husband, John, have funded faculty chairs in biomedical engineering at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and she has endowed a scholarship for the Georgia Tech women's basketball team. Ms. Brock delivered the commencement address at Georgia Tech in 2016, when she and her husband received honorary doctorates. Mary owned the WNBA Atlanta for a decade, with the focus on the benefits of mentoring young women with professional athletes. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where she also received an M.S. in Education Curriculum Development.
Gary Cohen is currently CEO of Qualitor, Inc., a leading diversified supplier of aftermarket safety and wear parts for the automotive industry. He is formerly President and CEO of Timex Group. A seasoned executive in global consumer products, he was the Global General Manager of Playtex Products and part of a turnaround team that sold the business to Energizer Holdings. He built his career with Procter & Gamble/Gillette as a marketing executive working on Gillette's core product categories in oral care, blades and razors, and deodorants. Gary and his family reside in Westport, Connecticut.
Amy Chan Downer is a graduate of Horizons at New Canaan Country School and a past board chair of Horizons National. She is a former Chair of the board of Horizons at the New Canaan Country School and a former member of the board of New Canaan Country School and the Stamford Health Systems. Additionally, Ms. Downer, former Co-Chair of the Fund for Women and Girls, serves on the Executive Committee for the Fairfield County's Community Foundation, and on its Audit Committee, and chairs its Governance Committee.
Rick Frazier, COO/President at Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Executive Vice Chairman at Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited, is an agile, high-impact leader with deep experience in operational excellence and organizational transformation. He currently oversees bottling and distribution of 600 beverage products, with revenue of $650M. A member of multiple non-profit organizations and a frequent speaker and panelist, Mr. Frazier’s prior business background includes 17 years at the Coca-Cola Company and five years at the Quaker Oats Beverage Company. He earned his BS degree in Business Administration and Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Lindsay Galin, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of Talent at global entertainment public relations firm Rogers & Cowan, was acquired by the agency in 2011 after launching her own talent publicity firm, Lantern PR, in 2009. In addition to her work with iconic actors, including Liam Neeson and Richard Gere, she spearheaded recent campaign wins for Academy Award-winning "Best Actress" Brie Larson and Emmy Award-winning "Lead Actor" Riz Ahmed. Best known for her strategic and creative publicity campaigns, her work has helped advance the careers of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” star John Boyega; Academy Award-nominee Felicity Jones; "Get Out" star Allison Williams, and more. She began her career in the publicity department at Hearst Magazines, working on brands including Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire. Within that role, she helped launch national charity organization DonateMyDress under the Hearst Teen umbrella.
Erick Hong is Co-Head of Investor Relations and Business Development at The Voleon Group, a leader in the application of cutting-edge machine-learning research to financial markets. Previously, Erick spent nearly a decade at the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, was a member of the Private Equity practice at Bain & Company, and a management consultant at Oliver Wyman. Mr. Hong has also worked with a wide range of nonprofit organizations including Kiva.org and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Hong earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School..
Melissa Hughes is a strategic global brand marketer and digital enthusiast with a background in consumer-packaged goods. She is an unconventional thinker and bold decision-maker with in-depth integrated marketing and sales planning expertise. She has successfully driven business turnarounds for generation z and millennial brands with digitally-led omnichannel strategies. Melissa is passionate about crafting brands with purpose to improve consumers' lives. As a Global Marketing Director, Melissa leads SoftSheen-Carson Operational Marketing and 2020 Innovation. Melissa earned a marketing degree from Howard University School of Business Executive Leadership Honors Program. She is also a Harvard Summer Venture Management Program and Unilever Future Leaders Program alumnus. In 2019, Brand Innovators New York Region honored her with a “40 Under 40” achievement award. Her true passion for diversity and inclusion lies in helping organizations to better understand not only their consumers but also their own employees. She believes that we each have a role to play and is looking forward to seeing what strides we make together in the future!
Gita Iyer is an executive and leadership coach who works with senior and mid-level corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders to help them be more effective and fulfilled in their professional and personal lives. Prior to this, she worked in technology consulting with Accenture for over 25 years. Gita was the founding Board Chair of Horizons at Dedham Country Day School and served in that role for 12 years. She is Board President of the newly formed Horizons Greater Boston, and continues to serve Horizons at Dedham Country Day School as Board Secretary. A former trustee for the Noble and Greenough School and Dedham Country Day School, she received her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, a premier management institute in India, and an MS from Boston University. Gita has 3 children (her youngest volunteered for several years at Horizons at DCD) and lives in Westwood, MA with her husband Vijay.
Noelle King serves on the board of Horizons at St. Richard’s and has volunteered in the program as a STEM education consultant and science teacher for the past five years. She is a 20-year science educator who has worked extensively in urban public, parochial, and independent private schools focused on creative integration of rigorous science education into broader education goals of literacy, design thinking, and empathy. Before becoming a teacher, Noelle worked in analytical chemistry, manufacturing, and medical research. Currently teaching third and fourth grade science, Noelle is Science Curriculum Coordinator at St. Richard’s. She graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Chemistry, and earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University. Noelle resides in Indianapolis, IN with her husband, Bruce, and two teenage sons.
Leslie Littlejohn joined the Horizons National Board in 2008. She has served on the Board of New Canaan Country School, the YMCA, and was a founding Board member and Chair of Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. A former board member of the Taft School, where she co-chaired its development committee, she previously worked as a fashion editor with Glamour Magazine and Harper's Bazaar.
Lyn McNaught has been connected with Horizons since 1976 as the founder of Horizons National and its first Executive Director. She is the former Executive Director of Horizons at New Canaan Country School, a position she held for 27 years, during which she saw more than 2,000 students go through the program. Early in her career, Ms. McNaught taught elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in New York City. She currently works with other educational non-profits on Cape Cod.
Rebecca Owen is President of CEI Realty, Inc., and serves as Chief Legal Officer of its parent company, Clark Enterprises, Inc., focused on real estate and private equity investments and charitable giving. Before Clark, she was a real estate and corporate attorney in Washington, DC and Burlington, VT. In addition to corporate board experience, Rebecca has served on several non-profit boards, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the Suburban Hospital Foundation. She graduated from Hamilton College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with honors in economics, and from the University of Chicago Law School. She resides in Palm Beach, FL, and has two grown children.
Jon Michael Reese is a Vice President at General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, where he focuses on investments in the firm's healthcare sector. Prior to joining General Atlantic, Jon Michael held roles with GTCR, where he also concentrated on healthcare investments, and with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in their Leveraged Finance Group. Jon Michael served as the Chairman of the Chicago Foundation for Education Associate Board and as a member of the NorthShore Health System Associate Board, both in Chicago. Jon Michael earned his MBA with honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University. Jon Michael lives in New York with his wife, Katie.
As Director, Data Science at Mastercard, Melinda Rolfs manages a team focused on applying artificial intelligence to data to improve operational efficiencies and enhance revenue growth. Previously, as Senior Director at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, she launched a product concept that leverages data and analytics to better understand individual charitable giving trends, and managed new partnerships with top academic institutions, leading think tanks, and non-profit organizations to build and support the use of data and analytics for social good. Prior to joining Mastercard, Melinda was a senior equity research analyst with CastleRock Management. A Certified Public Accountant, she holds a BS in Marketing from Juniata College, and has been a guest speaker at Urban Institute, Gates Foundation, Stanford University, and various finance classes at Manhattanville College. She has two daughters and enjoys running, spinning, skiing, and reading in her spare time.
Roland Smart has led the marketing function at three startups and served as a change agent within Oracle corporate marketing. With a product-oriented mindset and a track record of establishing high-performance cross-functional teams, he has led successful efforts in branding, demand generation, business development, content/inbound marketing, AR/PR, and community programs. Passionate about martech and innovation methods, he is an early evangelist in the Agile marketing movement. The author of The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage (Wiley 2016), Mr. Smart earned his B.A. degree in Art History at Tufts University and his B.F.A. in Design/Studio at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He lives in northern California with his wife and son.
Nick Thacher recently retired after 12 years as Head of Dedham Country Day School, which launched an affiliate Horizons program during his tenure there. For 21 years he led New Canaan Country School, where he was an active Board member of the first Horizons Student Enrichment Program. A former Board President of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, the Elementary School Heads Association, and the Dublin (NH) School, he also served for many years on the Executive Council of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls as well as on the Blue Ribbon Schools National Review Panel of the U.S. Department of Education.
Ron Totaro is CEO of Tassat, leading fintech company providing blockchain and digital asset solutions to banks. Recognized by industry leaders for creating scalable, sustainable, and rapid P&L growth and shareholder value, Ron consistently achieves market-beating results for both public and private-equity backed companies. Prior, as CEO of Partsearch Technologies, he repositioned company strategy and grew Partstore.com into a leading B2C ecommerce platform. Before that, he served as CEO at ACI Worldwide, the leader in payments software and SaaS solutions for financial institutions, and as General Manager of Global Scoring Solutions at Fair Isaac, the leader in data & analytic risk management solutions. He previously served in leadership roles at American Express, GE Capital, Accenture, and America Online. Ron holds an M.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from SUNY Albany.
Ricky Van Veen is the Head of Global Creative Strategy at Facebook, where he helps develop the company’s approach to content and works with media partners to develop and create programming for the platform. Prior to joining Facebook, Ricky co-founded leading comedy brand CollegeHumor and the video sharing site Vimeo. He helped grow CollegeHumor into the largest comedy property on the web and the most viewed comedy channel on YouTube, with over ten million subscribers. CollegeHumor and Vimeo were acquired by IAC in 2006, where Ricky spent the next ten years overseeing the TV, film, print, and digital content efforts of Electus Digital (which comprises CollegeHumor, fan culture site Dorkly, and hip hop property WatchLoud). Electus Digital’s TV successes include series such as “Adam Ruins Everything” on TruTV and “Chopped” on the Food Network. Ricky has presented at conferences including SXSW, TEDx, and Recode, and has been featured on Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Vanity Fair’s New Establishment lists.
Dennis Williams is Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for WarnerMedia, responsible for the company’s philanthropic strategies, community & external partnerships, volunteer engagement, governance, board placement, and managing key WarnerMedia CSR initiatives. Prior to WarnerMedia, Williams was head of CSR at HBO. He joined the company in 1997 in Human Resources and later worked in Affiliate Sales and Marketing. Williams is an advocate for equality in education and LGBT rights and serves on the board for The Fund for Public Schools, Horizons National, and NYC’s LGBTQ Community Center. A native of Kansas City, Williams holds a B.A. in English from Hamline University.
Currently Vice President of Research & Development, Engineering, & Quality at Pylon Manufacturing in Florida, Will Young has over twenty years experience in corporate automotive engineering with a core focus in Product Design, Product Development, Program Management, Quality Management & manufacturing process improvement. Will is listed as Inventor/co-inventor on 10 + US Patents and 2 International Patents relating to automotive products released in the automotive retail & original equipment markets. He has served as Board President of the Winans Academy of Performing Arts, a Public Charter School Academy in Detroit, MI, and volunteered in the Detroit Public Schools for many years, teaching engineering labs for students in grades 3-5. Will is also active in community outreach and youth ministry in his local church in Florida.
Horizons National Advisory Board
Joseph F. Chan
Dr. Margaret Honey
Marie Dalbey Tabah
Horizons National Founders' Council
Jane Stoddard Williams