BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Your Pink Aid Support Community (With the Help of Many Others)
Deb has been a member of the Pink Aid Board since 2020. She began her involvement with Pink Aid in 2018 as a Warrior, and was the 2019 CT Luncheon Co-Chair. In 2020, Deb served as the Auction 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 worked at Athleta from 2017 to 2019. Over the years, she has volunteered her time with Westport Young Women's League (2006-2008),Hadassah (2006-2010), and A Better Chance of Westport (2017-2019). She currently volunteers with her daughter via the National Charity League (NCL) of Westport. Debbie and her husband reside in Westport, CT with their two children.
Michele Corenam is Co-President of Pink Aid. Subsequent to joining Pink Aid in 2014 Ms. Corenman served as Secretary, Vice President-Event Liaison, co-chair of the 7th and 10th annual events, auction co-chair, volunteers’ committee chair and in numerous other leadership roles. She also served on Pink Purse and the Grants committees. Ms Corenman is a board trustee of Temple Israel of Westport. As an active volunteer since joining in 1995, she has served on several clergy and professional staff search committees, co-chaired the temple’s 70th Anniversary celebration event, and chaired or held diverse positions on numerous other temple committees and events. For many years Michele was involved with Westport organizations Project Return where she co-chaired their BIrdhouse Stroll and dinner committees for their annual event, and New Neighbors where she chaired various committees. Ms Corenman was PTA co-president of PS 158 and Temple Israel Nursery School in Manhattan. She 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, dental office manager, and a product management officer at Chemical Bank. Currently she has her own personal organizing business. Michele has one son and resides in Westport, CT.
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, Chairman, and Founding Past President of Pink Aid. Amy chairs the Nominating Committee and Pink Aid’s Pink Purse program, which provides direct emergency assistance to individuals in financial crisis during treatment. Since a 2008 breast cancer diagnosis, Amy has devoted her efforts to helping women through their breast cancer journey. She established Norwalk Hospital’s Community Mammogram Program for underinsured women and launched the Breast Health Initiative at Emek Hospital enhancing outreach and support staff in their underserved region of Israel. Amy has served on the boards of the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and UJA/Federation as well as its allocations committee. She currently serves on The Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai Hospital. She and her husband are long time supporters of philanthropic organizations including State of Israel Bonds, DOROT, MorseLife Health System, The Meeting House and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Amy began her professional career in the commercial real estate industry in Manhattan, before starting her own corporate gift service and later creating the special events arm for Dale and Thomas Popcorn. Amy is a graduate of Syracuse University, residing in Westport, CT and lives by Pink Aid’s motto, “compassion until there’s a cure.”
Immediate Past President (CT)
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.
Immediate Past President (CT)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Co-Founder, Board Member
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. After attending the University of Michigan, Ms Gross received her BFA from the New School/Parsons School of Design. Ms Gross has served on the Board of Directors of The Samara Jan Turkel Foundation/Variety Children’s Charity, Weston PTO, 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 New York, NY and has 3 children.
CIndy Saul has served in various positions of Pink Aid since it was founded in 2011. She was Co-Chairman of Public Relations, Foundations, the Pink Aid Journal and the Pink Purse Review Committee. She is presently the Secretary of Pink AId and is on the Nominating Committee. She graduated from George Washington University with a BBA in Marketing. Ms Saul worked in marketing and special events in New York CIty before moving to Westport to raise her family. She has been involved with AIDS fundraising and the PTO of Weston. She is currently a realtor for Coldwell Banker in Westport, CT. Cindy is married with three children and lives in Weston, 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, is Co-President of the Westport Chapter of Hadassah, as well as on the benefit committee of the Fairfield-Westchester Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. 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.
Robyn’s life took an unexpected turn when diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at age 43. Being part of the Pink AId family has made her passion of creating good from her cancer experience a reality. With over 12 years of investment management experience in client-facing roles, Robyn brings a unique skillset in building and fostering corporate partnerships. Robyn has worked in Institutional Sales at AllianceBernstein Investment Management and Research focusing on investment-only defined contribution plans. She started her career at CIBC Oppenheimer serving as Director of commingled fund origination. She earned her B.A. from Binghamton University. Robyn resides in Weston, CT with her husband and 2 children.
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.
Jen began her involvement with Pink AId working on the Pink Purse review committee and the 2019 luncheon auction. This past year she co-chaired the online auction for the 10 Year Anniversary Celebration. As a survivor, Jen believes passionately in Pink Aid’s mission and the great need to support women in treatment. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and after an early career in consulting and marketing decided to switch gears and obtained a master’s degree in Information & Library Science. Until the pandemic Jen worked for many years as a librarian at Fairfield Public Library. She has also been involved in a variety of philanthropic organizations including PTA board member and Treasurer of the Junior League. Jen is married with two children and lives in Fairfield, 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.
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
Courtney Prussin was diagnosed with extensive DCIS at her 40-year-old mammogram. Inspired by the outpouring of support within her community, she met Pink Aid donating her recliner, used during recovery from surgery, to a local breast cancer patient in need. Courtney’s compassion set the framework for Pink Posse. She also led Pink AId’s first social media campaign in 2020, Pucker Up for Pink Aid, in tandem with Pink Aid’s national expansion. Courtney is an active member of Chabad of Westport where she has co-chaired the Purim Party and was honored at their annual Gala with the Young Leadership Award along with her husband, Jarret. She graduated from the University of Florida and then attended Boston University where she received a Master in Mass Communication. Mrs. Prussin worked in advertising in New York City before moving with her husband and daughter, Camryn to Westport, CT.
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 Director of Client Growth 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.