BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Your Pink Aid Support Community (With the Help of Many Others)
Deb Placey has been a member of the Pink Aid Board since 2012. A Co-Chair of Pink Aid’s annual luncheon in 2012 she often serves as the event’s on-stage presenter and auction host. Born in St. Louis, MO, Deb started her sports broadcasting career as a Production Associate for ESPN’s Sports Center in 1988. After anchoring sports in four local TV markets, she returned to ESPN as an on air announcer for two years, before ultimately moving to MSG Network in NYC. Over the course of 23 years she hosted game broadcasts for the NY Yankees, NY Mets, NY Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers, Islanders, & Devils, among others. She currently hosts a podcast for the NHL called “Executive Suite”. An active equestrian, she is also on the Board of Governors at The Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport and has served on the Finance Committee & Membership Committee since 2015. A graduate of the University of Arizona, Deb lives in Southport, CT with her husband Ed, and daughters Madeline and Caroline.
Jean Lepore is Social Media & Communications chair of Pink Aid and has served as the High School & Community Liaison and on the nominating committee. Ms. Lepore, a former Vice President of Pink Aid, graduated with a BS in Nursing from Salem State University and an MS in Oncology Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Following a Fellowship with the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), she was a Nurse Clinician at MSKCC’s Evelyn Lauder Breast Center where she worked with women with Stage IV Breast Cancer. Ms. Lepore is married with two children and lives in Weston, Connecticut.
Rosemary Connors is Co-President of the Long Island Chapter of Pink Aid and served as Co-Chair of the 2017 Annual October Luncheon. Prior to that, Rosemary served as Auction Co-Chair for two years and on the Grant Committee for three years. In addition to Pink Aid, Rosemary has spent the last 15 years volunteering in local schools as President of West Side School PTG, President of Cold Spring Harbor Central Parents Council and President of Our Lady of Mercy Academy Parent Guild. She also served on the Board of The Winter Club. Rosemary graduated from Boston College School of Management. She went on to work in buying and then as Vice President of Sales, Merchandising and Design for a clothing manufacturer. She is currently the buyer/manager of a boutique in Cold Spring Harbor where she lives with her husband, son and daughter.
Lauryn Koke is the Chair of Pink Aid Long Island’s Grant Committee and has served on the committee since 2014. Lauryn co-chaired the Auction Committee for the 2017 Annual Luncheon, and the Gift Bag Committee for the prior two years. Lauryn attended Northeastern University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. During her 16 year career as a Physical Therapist, Lauryn also managed multiple outpatient offices and more recently has focused on pediatric patients. She currently also works as a real estate agent in Cold Spring Harbor. Lauryn resides in Lloyd Harbor with her husband and three children.
Co-Founder, Chairman and Founding Past President
Amy Katz is a co-founder, Founding Past President of Pink Aid and chairs Pink Aid’s Pink Purse. After eight years in the commercial real estate industry in Manhattan, Ms. Katz began her own corporate gift service and later created the special events arm for Dale and Thomas Popcorn. A long time supporter of philanthropic organizations including State of Israel Bonds, DOROT and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is a former board member of the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and has also served on the board of UJA/Federation and its allocations committee. Since her breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, she launched initiatives for Norwalk Hospital’s Community Mammogram Program for underinsured women and the Breast Health Initiative at Emek Hospital in Israel. Ms. Katz is a graduate of Syracuse University and resides in Westport, CT.
Immediate Past President
Tammy Zelkowitz has served as Pink Aid's President for two years (Co-President 2017 & President 2018), as Pink Aid's Secretary (2015), co-chaired Pink Aid's third annual luncheon event (2013), and has also been a chairperson of several different event and standing committees. In 2010, she conceived and initiated Staples High School “Get Your Pink On” campaign; an ongoing annual fall fundraiser involving all athletic teams, chaired Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center Benefit Walk for two years and was lead coordinator for six years prior. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY; Tammy is a former retail buyer with a B.S. in Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology. She is currently a realtor for William Pitt Sotheby's in Westport, CT and resides in Westport with her husband and family.
Vice President Global Marketing & Immediate Past President (LI)
Ali Mitchell is Vice President of Pink Aid’s Board of Directors, and Immediate Past-President of the Long Island Chapter of Pink Aid. Ali led the launch of Pink Aid Long Island in 2014, and co-chaired Long Island’s first two annual Luncheons at Mitchells in Huntington. She has served on the chapter’s Grant Committee for four years. Prior to launching Pink Aid Long Island, Ali worked in advertising and marketing in New York City and Los Angeles, for agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Grey Advertising, focusing on new product development for clients such as Kraft and Colgate-Palmolive. She also worked in the retail industry, managing the jewelry department of Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan. Ali has served on the Boards of St. Johnland Nursing Center and Huntington Country Club, and has been a member of the Huntington Hospital Gala Committee since 2012. Ali was named one of Long Island Business News’ “Top 50 Women in Business” in 2016. Ali graduated from Dartmouth College, where she met her husband Chris. She currently resides in Lloyd Harbor, raising their two children.
Past President & Founding Treasurer
Susan Byer is a Past President (2016 and 2017) and Founding Treasurer (2011- 2016) of Pink Aid. Susan’s current responsibilities as Past President are focused on strategic development, donor relationships and oversight of the financial management of Pink Aid. Ms. Byer graduated with a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant. She had an extensive career at Arthur Andersen LLP, primarily in Litigation and Financial Economic Consulting. Ms. Byer has served on many Boards of Directors including the Jewish Community Center of St. Louis, the JCC Health Club Board, where she also served as President, and the Ladue Education Foundation Board. Ms. Byer currently resides in Weston, CT.
Co-Founder, Board Member
Andrew Mitchell-Namdar is a co-founder, Past President of Pink Aid. Mr. Mitchell-Namdar graduated with a BA in Sociology and English Literature from Hamilton College. He is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services for Mitchells Family of Stores as well as a co-owner. Mr. Mitchel-Namdar currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Breast Cancer Alliance, has worked extensively with Near Far Aid Organization for over 10 years, is an National Leadership Council Member of Lambda Legal and is Co-Chair of their Connecticut Cares Event. Mr. Mitchell-Namdar currently resides in Stamford, CT.
Co-Founder, Board Member
Renée Mandis is a board member and co-founder of Pink Aid and served as founding chair of Pink Aid’s Grants Committee. Ms. Mandis is a co-owner and principal of wsaa, inc., a branding and advertising firm in Westport, Connecticut, where she serves as co-president and her responsibilities include creative direction, copywriting, account management and photo and video shoot production. Ms. Mandis is a graduate of Binghamton University, from which she holds B.A.’s in English Literature and Spanish Literature. Ms. Mandis has two sons and currently resides in Weston, Connecticut.
Amy Falk Gross
Amy Gross is a co-founder of Pink Aid, is responsible for all design and graphics for Pink Aid and currently serves on its Board of Directors, Pink School Fundraising Committee and Pink Aid’s Pink Purse. Ms. Gross has served on the Board of Directors of The Samara Jan Turkel Foundation/Variety Children’s Charity, Weston PTA, and founded Athletes Against Aids, a NYC non-profit organization that raised funds through individual sponsorships of athletes for GMHC. She is the co-president/creative director of WSAA, a branding agency in CT. Amy is married with three children and lives in Weston, CT.
Vice President, Grants
Jill Gerla chairs Pink Aid’s Grants Committee and has served on Grants since 2013. Ms. Gerla attended Binghamton University and St. John's School of Law and practiced commercial real estate law in NYC for ten years. She currently works part-time as an event planner. Ms. Gerla is a past member of the Board of the Conservative Synagogue where she co-chaired the education committee and is a past member of the Board of UJA of Westport, Weston and Wilton where she served on the allocations committee and as co-chair of its annual fundraising gala for five years. Ms. Gerla lives in Norwalk, CT and has 3 children.
Michele Corenman is the liaison to the Luncheon & Fashion Show. Previously she served as the co-chair of the 7th annual event, auction committee co-chair, volunteers’ committee chair and in numerous other leadership roles. She is on the Pink Purse and Grants committees. Ms. Corenman is a trustee of Temple Israel of Westport. Since 1995 she has served on multiple clergy and professional staff search committees and chaired or held diverse positions on various other Temple committees. She co-founded the religious school’s PTA and was its first co-president. Ms. Corenman was PTA co-president of PS 158 and Temple Israel Nursery School in Manhattan, chaired, created and volunteered on multiple committees over 16 years of dedicated involvement in schools, and was on Syracuse University’s Parents’ Board for 4 years. Upon graduating from Long Island University with a BA in English, Ms. Corenman was an English teacher and a product management officer at Chemical Bank. Currently she has her own personal organizing business. Michele has one son and lives in Westport, CT.
Shari Elias is a partner in the CPA firm of Beers, Hamerman, Cohen & Burger, PC. She is a client service professional concentrating in taxation. She boasts over 25 years of experience and has been with BHCB since 2000. Her expertise spans several industries and areas of tax, such as corporate, partnership, limited liability companies and individuals. Shari is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA). She graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in both Accounting and Management Information Systems. Shari has served on the boards and committees of many local civic and charitable organizations and has been an active leader in the Disaster Services section of the American Red Cross. Currently Shari sits on the Town of Trumbull golf commission and is a co-founding member of the Women Working With Women networking group.
Wendy Schaefer, has been an active supporter of Pink Aid since inception. Wendy has volunteered and been a member on the Boards of numerous organizations. She is a member of the Board of Directors, and has been an active volunteer at The Conservative Synagogue in Westport for the past 20 years, including Sisterhood President and Judaica Boutique Chair, and is also on the Board of the Westport Chapter of Hadassah. Ms. Schaefer is a Certified Public Accountant, and has worked in the Audit and Tax Departments at Deloitte Haskins & Sells, as well as Manager and Acting Partner at Sanford E. Moore & Co., P.C., and has run her own tax practice for the past 30 years. Ms. Schaefer has been a College Consultant since 2009, helping students gain admission to top colleges. She has two children, and lives with her husband in Weston, Connecticut.
Nicole Bonn has served on the Warrior Connection committee and Pink Purse as a reviewer for incoming applications. She most recently co-chaired Gift Bags as well as assisted in launching Pink Posse. Nicole was involved with the Junior League of San Francisco where she resided with her young family before relocating to Westport, CT where she served as Board Member of the Conservative Synagogue Pre-School Committee, as well as being involved in the re-building of the Compo Beach Playground. Mrs. Bonn has also been active with A Better Chance of Westport, serving as Co-Chair of the Dream Event for two years. Nicole graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Spanish. She’s worked for multiple advertising agencies in Media Buying, as well as selling for Latin American Publications. Nicole resides in Westport, CT with her husband and three children.
Megan spent a majority of her early corporate career as a senior buying and merchandising executive for top retailers, Gap Inc. and Macy’s. Additionally, she has also held executive positions in the non-profit sector as Manager Distinguished Events for the American Cancer Society, Chief Operating Officer for Adam’s House, and Regional Marketing Executive at Ella Health. Currently, she is the Managing Director at Westport Pilates handling their daily business operations. She is actively involved in Weston's Public Schools, having served as President of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for five years as well as Vice President, Philanthropy Grade Chair and Sponsorship Chair. Megan lives in Weston with her husband Bill and three children Will, Matthew and Kellie.
Jennifer Freedman chairs Pink Aid’s nominating and serves on Pink Aid’s grants and Pink Purse committees. Ms. Freedman chaired Pink Aid’s auction for the annual event for its first 5 years. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Psychology and has an MS and MA from Columbia University. She is trained psychotherapist in the state of NY where she worked inpatient psychiatry providing individual, couples, family and group therapy. Jennifer is married with two children and lives in Westport, CT.
Cari Kaplan has served for 2 years for Pink Purse as a reviewer for incoming applications. She also is a board member of the “B” Foundation. This is a private family foundation which help feed, care and educate people in Connecticut. Last year the “B” Foundation donated $3,000 to Pink Purse. Cari and her husband Keith raised $25,000 through their Pink Purse fundraising page in honor of their 50th birthdays. She served on the UJA board for 3 years and continues to help and support them. She graduated from Boston University with a BS in Communications. Mrs. Kaplan worked in advertising in New York City before moving to Westport to raise her family. Cari is married with three children and lives in Westport, CT.
Deb Katz is a Pink Aid board member. She began her involvement with Pink Aid in 2018 as a Warrior, and was the 2019 CT Luncheon Co-Chair. She is currently on the Grants committee. Deb graduated from Rutgers University/Douglass College, and started her professional career in advertising, where she worked for a variety of advertising agencies on primarily direct-to-consumer accounts for pharmaceutical and telecommunications clients. In 2011, she co-founded JoyRide Cycling Studio with two other women and left the business in 2015. She currently works as a sales associate at Athleta on Main Street. Over the years, she has volunteered her time with Westport Young Women's League (2006-2008) and Hadassah (2006-2010). She currently serves on the board of A Better Chance of Westport, and volunteers with her daughter via the National Charity League (NCL) of Westport. Debbie and her husband reside in Westport, CT with their two children.
Christine devoted herself to the Pink Aid cause immediately after attending her first meeting, where she was so deeply inspired by the incredible survivors and their stories, she knew she had found a mission she believed in whole-heartedly. In her first year, Christine served proudly as the Design Liaison Co-Chair for Pink Aid’s 8th Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show. This past year, she Co-Chaired the Auction Committee for Love Potion #9. Christine works presently as a realtor for Coldwell Banker in Westport. Before moving to Connecticut, Christine worked as a wardrobe stylist, dressing celebrities and private clients. She also dabbled in interior design for Marriott Boutique Hotels around the world. She and her husband Terrence have three beautiful children: Sadie (6), Jaxon (6) and Gunar (4), and their beloved pets. Volunteering for Pink Aid is a cause near and dear to Christine’s heart, as she sadly lost a dear friend to breast cancer and dedicates her work to Elissa’s memory.
Trish Paliotta is a passionate advocate for breast cancer survivors. She has been involved and instrumental in Pink Aid since inception, Co-chaired the Pink Aid luncheon in 2012 and served on the Board of Directors in 2013. She has also served on the Grants Committee, Pink Purse since its initial launch and has helpedorganize the Warrior Fashion Show. Trish is in her 9th term on the Dubin Breast Center Advisory Board at Mt Sinai Hospital. Trish served on the Board of Directors for the American Classical Orchestra and The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Westport, CT. Ms. Paliotta has been involved with numerous local fundraisers, including the Discovery Museum and Planetarium, in Bridgeport CT, Greens Farms Academy and Choate Rosemary Hall. She began her career as an Institutional Account Manager at Syntex Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Paliotta is a graduate of Manhattan College, with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and Marketing. She is married with four children and lives in Westport, CT
Cindy Saul has served in various positions of Pink Aid since it was founded in 2011. She was co-chairman of public relations and co-chariman of the Pink Aid Journal. She graduated from George Washington University with a BBA in Marketing. Ms. Saul worked in marketing in New York City before moving to Westport to raise her family. She is currently a realtor for Coldwell Banker in Westport, CT Cindy is married with three children and lives in Weston, CT.
Traci Saxon is a member of the Pink Aid Board of Directors. She co-chaired Pink Aid’s 7th annual event and presently serves on the Grants Committee. Traci attended McGill University and received a Juris Doctorate from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She spent the first half of her career as a family law attorney and mediator in New York and Connecticut. Traci is currently a financial advisor at Paradigm Financial Partners in Westport – her practice focuses on female professionals and women in transition. Traci is married with two children and lives in Westport.
Lori Sochol is Warrior Connections Co-Chair and was co-chair of Auction for the 6th Pink Aid annual event. She also co-chaired Pink Aid's 6th annual event and was the Auction chair for last year's event. Lori was honored to be a Warrior at the 5th annual event. She is on the board of JIB Productions, Inc. Lori has served on numerous non-profit boards in Westport, chairing the Westport Young Woman's League Minute Man Race and the Ways & Means Committee, President of the Neighbors & Newcomers of Westport, Chair of Staples Tuitions Grants Student Committee and Vice President of Fundraising and Special Projects for A Better Chance of Westport and co-chaired their annual fundraising events. She moved to Westport from Owings Mills, MD in 2004 and previously lived in Pittsburgh, PA where she served on numerous non-profit boards in both communities. Lori is currently the Finance and Operations Manager at TVP NYC, an e-commerce agency. Lori is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she received her B.S. in Management Science. Lori is married with three children and lives in Westport, CT.