Melissa Norden joined Bottomless Closet as Executive Director in 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Melissa worked at the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for 13 years, where she was most recently Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and General Counsel in the Office of the President. She helped found NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean Livable and Safe Streets), a nonprofit dedicated to phasing out New York City carriage horses. Prior to joining the ASPCA, Melissa served as counsel to Madison Square Garden, where she collaborated with the management of the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty on the Madison Square Garden Cheering for Children Foundation, raising funds for after-school programs for at-risk urban youth. Melissa is a member of the Board of Directors of Life Vest Inside, a former member of the board and a current member of Tufts University’s Tufts Lawyers Association, the Tufts Nonprofit Group, the Tufts Women’s Group and the Nonprofit Committee of the American Corporate Counsel Association, as well as a former member of the Committee on Nonprofit Organizations of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Melissa received her B.A. from Tufts University, where she was named to the Dean’s List with a double major in American History and Spanish. She has also been an alumni interviewer for Tufts University for 20 years. She earned her Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, where she was on The Journal of Law and Policy and received numerous awards for academic achievement. Melissa was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000.
Pamela (Pam) Kulnis joined Bottomless Closet in 2017 as Program Director with more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Bottomless Closet, Pam was the Division Manager of Human Resources and Marketing for Popular Community Bank, where she was instrumental in delivering creative solutions to support not only the general business goals but also strategic initiatives such as mergers, acquisitions and organizational restructuring. She focused efforts on understanding the bank’s talent needs and creating the development path for staff, which provided not only a solid pipeline of talent but opportunities for professional and personal development for the employee population. Pam launched programs that addressed such needs as personal and financial wellness, mindfulness, yoga, understanding social media along with other core banking skills to insure a well rounded approach for staff. As a Board Member of the Popular Community Bank’s Foundation, Pam was responsible for driving the community-focused efforts of the bank, which is where she first became introduced to Bottomless Closet. Inspired by our mission, Pam organized a clothing drive and hosted a group of Bottomless Closet clients for a workshop on “Understanding Workplace Benefits.” In addition, Pam has volunteered with numerous NYC nonprofits focused on helping people become job-ready, among other efforts.
Pam is a graduate of Pace University with a degree in Business Administration.
Yvonne Cassidy joined Bottomless Closet in October 2017 as Bottomless Closet’s first ever Director of Development. With over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications and development, Yvonne has worked both in corporate and non-profit settings in Europe and the U.S., including running her own communications consultancy firm for six years, servicing many leading brands. Since moving to New York from her native Ireland in 2011, Yvonne has immersed herself fully in the non-profit world, which has been the most rewarding phase of her career to date. First, as Director of Development for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and most recently as Director of External Relations for Neighborhood Trust, Yvonne has used her skills to drive awareness and support for activities that empower disadvantaged New Yorkers in a range of different ways. Yvonne is very excited to join the dedicated staff and volunteers at Bottomless Closet, and to bring this experience to bear to help women take their first steps towards building new careers and futures. A graduate of University College Dublin, Yvonne is a published author with four novels published in Europe and the U.S. She also teaches creative writing for the Irish Arts Center and the JCC.
Carlos Calderon joined Bottomless Closet in January 2019 as Office Manager. With over 15 years of experience in business administration, supervision, bookkeeping and more, Carlos will be overseeing Bottomless Closet’s office administrative functions as well as the inventory of the Bottomless Closet boutique. Before joining Bottomless Closet, Carlos worked as Director of Retail Operations for Little Sisters of the Assumption, where he oversaw every aspect of their thrift store business from sales and merchandising to inventory, donation pickups (including from Bottomless Closet), and volunteer staffing. Prior to joining Little Sisters of the Assumption, Carlos worked in a similar capacity As Senior Store Manager for Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut. A graduate of the Autonomy National University of Honduras, Carlos currently lives in Connecticut.
Crismelly joined Bottomless Closet in August 2021 as a Program Coordinator. Prior to joining Bottomless Closet, Crismelly was working as a Paralegal at a Civil Rights/ Employment law firm in NYC. Currently she’s studying for her master’s degree in Global Development and Social Justice. Crismelly holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies.
Erica Esson joined Bottomless Closet in June 2021 as Bottomless Closet’s Development Database Manager with over 15 years’ experience in data management at organization such as The Seamen’s Church Institute, World Animal Protection, Spence-Chapin Services for Families & Children and NYU-Tandon School of Engineering, Polytechnic Institute. Erica has studied computer Science at New York City College of Technology.
Lakiesha joined Bottomless Closet as an Administrative Associate in 2009, and is currently Program Coordinator. As a former Bottomless Closet client, Lakiesha has progressed from being a public assistance recipient to a nonprofit professional. Along the way she earned her GED, Associates Degree, and finally a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. In her current role, Lakiesha ensures that each client who walks through our doors receives the highest quality of service. She excels at drawing out the personalities and personal stories of each of our clients.
Holly Prenzone joined Bottomless Closet in March 2022 as a Senior Program Coordinator. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a degree in Business Administration. Previously Holly worked for New York City’s largest volunteer network, New York Cares, helping nonprofits and volunteers work together to meet the city’s needs. She looks forward to working closely with Bottomless Closet’s fantastic volunteers to help women re-enter the workforce with confidence.
Lisa Primeggia is Vice President, Manhattan Electric Operations, for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., one of the world’s largest investor-owned utilities, providing electric, gas and steam service to customers in New York City and Westchester County. In this role, Ms. Primeggia leads an organization of over 450 employees and a budget of $235M that is responsible for the safe and reliable operation, maintenance and construction of all Company electric distribution facilities serving Manhattan. Throughout her career at Con Edison she has held various roles of increasing responsibility in electric power generation, transmission and distribution. Prior to her current role, Lisa was the Vice President of Facilities and Field Services, providing logistic support services to all operating groups within the Con Edison and Orange and Rockland service territories. Ms. Primeggia was also an attorney in Con Edison’s Commercial Transactions Group, focusing on contract negotiation and commercial real estate transactions. She has a broad operational background, with an unwavering commitment to safety and continuous improvement while engaging people at all levels. Ms. Primeggia acts as both a formal and informal mentor to many current and future leaders of Con Edison and has participated in initiatives to increase the representation of women in non-traditional jobs. In her prior role, as General Manager of Manhattan Electric, Ms. Primeggia oversaw the maintenance and construction of the Manhattan electric distribution system. Her leadership resulted in improved productivity, teamwork and cultural transformation. Ms. Primeggia holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering) and a Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law. She was recognized by PA Consulting for her outstanding personal achievement related to utility reliability and was selected by the Women in Communications and Energy to share her experiences as a woman in a non-traditional role at their Spring 2018 Conference.
Amanda H. Nussbaum is a partner at Proskauer in the Tax Department and also is a member of the Private Investment Funds Group. Her practice concentrates on planning for and the structuring of domestic and international private investment funds, including venture capital, buyout, real estate and hedge funds, as well as advising those funds on investment activities and operational issues. She also represents many types of investors, including tax-exempt and non-U.S. investors, with their investments in private investment funds. Amanda has significant experience structuring taxable and tax-free mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and stock and debt offerings. She also counsels both sports teams and sports leagues with a broad range of tax issues. In addition, Amanda advises nonprofit clients on matters such as applying for and maintaining exemption from federal income tax, minimizing unrelated business taxable income, structuring joint ventures and partnerships with taxable entities and using exempt and for-profit subsidiaries. Amanda has co-authored with Howard Lefkowitz and Steven Devaney the New York Limited Liability Company Forms and Practice Manual, which is published by Data Trace Publishing Co. A member of Proskauer’s Hiring and Evaluations Committees, she has long played an integral role in the recruitment, mentoring, retention and promotion of women at the firm. She is also involved in the community in a number of capacities, including her work in a wide range of pro bono activities, for which she has received several Empire State Counsel awards and Proskauer’s Golden Gavel Award. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Tax Institute, Yeshiva University’s General Counsel’s Council, Stern College for Women’s Board of Overseers, the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy National Committee, the American Jewish Committee Legal Committee, the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Center and the Board of Directors of Manhattan Day School.
Nancy is a Co-Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer of AMERRA Capital Management responsible for key business areas that create stakeholder value derived from 30 years of agribusiness investing, finance and banking. Nancy manages global operations and has served as a member of the firm’s board, executive and investment committees since co-founding the firm in 2009. One of a handful of senior women executives in agribusiness investing, Nancy’s presence as part of the core management team makes AMERRA attractive to other talented women and all prospective future staff. She inspires by supporting and reinforcing AMERRA’s organizational purpose of protecting and growing client assets via best-in-class agribusiness investment practices while contributing a positive and measurable impact on the companies, geographies and sectors in which AMERRA invests. Prior to AMERRA, Nancy worked for Société Générale, Standard Chartered Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Nancy has been an active and enthusiastic volunteer for Dartmouth College for many years including roles as Dartmouth College Fund Committee Member, Class Co-head Agent, Centennial Circle and ‘89 Cares Committee Member, and Mentor for first generation college students. Nancy holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is fluent in Spanish and sits on various company boards.
Diane began her association with Bottomless Closet in 2002 as an evening volunteer, working with clients and conducting Workplace Skills workshops. In 2004, she joined the Board and began working as a daytime volunteer coinciding with her “retirement” from the corporate world. In addition, she has been Co-Chair of the Program and Evaluation Committee, Vice President, President and Chair and has sat on numerous committees. Diane’s corporate career began in Human Resources beginning with the Consulting firm of Booz Allen, then Gulf & Western/Paramount Communications where she rose to the top Human Resources position. She joined Time Warner’s Warner Music Group as Senior Vice President of Human Resources where she had responsibility for over 12,000 employees in 65 countries and traveled extensively. Subsequently, she was in a similar role at Random House Publishing Group. Diane also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Professional Children’s School, an educational institution dedicated to students in the performing arts, sports and entertainment. Diane received her B.A. from St. John’s University and Masters in Human Resource Management and Development from the New School in New York. In addition, she has attended numerous Executive Leadership and Development programs at Harvard and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Anne became involved with Bottomless Closet when she was introduced to the organization and was encouraged to lead a workshop. In 2009, Anne became a regular weekly volunteer, recognizing the opportunity to call upon her previous professional experience in Human Resources at Time Warner Inc. to coach clients to be better prepared for their interviews. She heads Bottomless Closet’s Program and Evaluation Committee and is a member of the Volunteer Committee, and regularly conducts ongoing training sessions and new volunteer orientation. Anne is a leader of Job Club, a multi-session intensive training and mentoring program for clients. Anne’s over 20 year career with Time Warner Inc. included human resources management roles at Time Inc., the Warner Music Group and Corporate Global Benefits. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College, attended graduate school at New York University and several Human Resources, Management and Leadership certificate programs. Anne has been inspired by her clients at Bottomless Closet and is happy to be able to apply her professional experience to work with clients to be better prepared for their interviews and the workplace environment.
Katherine joined the Bottomless Closet Board in 2016 and served as Chair of the Governance Committee from 2016-2020. She brings over three decades of international finance and non-profit leadership experience to the organization. Katherine spent the bulk of her career in the financial services industry in roles spanning Mergers & Acquisitions, Institutional Securities Sales, and Capital Raising/Investor Relations at institutions including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Eton Park Capital Management. After a successful career on Wall Street, where she gained significant international business experience, Katherine moved to the World Economic Forum, a Swiss-based non-profit, where she built and led the Cities, Infrastructure and Urban Services Platform. Katherine is passionate about helping individuals from diverse and underserved backgrounds prepare for the workforce, which has been a common theme among her volunteer activities and Board service. Katherine is one of the longest-standing mentors at American Corporate Partners (ACP), a national non-profit that helps Veterans transition to new careers in the civilian world through customized mentorships. She has also helped non-native English speakers gain meaningful employment in the US by providing job skills training at the English-Speaking Union. In addition to her volunteer work, Katherine served on the Board of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, a national non-profit that focuses on job preparation skills and financial literacy, where she was the Treasurer, Member of the Board’s Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Education Committee, in addition to serving on the Corporate Governance, Audit and CEO Search Committees. Katherine received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Finance from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Karen is currently Senior Vice President and Global Head of Client Strategy and Service at American Century Investments. In her current role, Karen is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective partnership and execution internally, as well as evolving client engagement strategy to enable client and business development outcomes. Before joining American Century Investments in 2018, Karen was Director, Head of U.S. Sales for Allianz. Previously, she was Vice President of Mutual Fund Sales, Head of Distribution for Nationwide Financial Services. Karen has worked in the investment industry since 1993. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College, a master’s in business administration from Loyola University, has earned her CIMA designation and is a Certified Business Coach.
Carolyn is a founder of Bottomless Closet and has been a standing member of the Development Committee. Carolyn concentrated her career in the nonprofit sector, having served as staff member and consultant to a number of human service and education organizations, including The Court Employment Project, the Vera Institute of Justice, Reality House, Girls Inc., The Family and The Cooperative Program for Educational Opportunity. She served as Director of Development for the New York City Mission Society and as a Senior Development Officer at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center Fund. She joined Jeanne Sigler & Associates in 1995, and served as Vice President and senior consultant on a variety of projects. She is a founder, selection committee member and administrator of a college scholarship fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College. She also studied at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and completed graduate coursework in Human Resources Administration at the University of Utah.
Yasmin joined the Bottomless Closet Board in 2020, bringing with her over 15 years of international finance, strategy and entrepreneurship experience. She started her career in banking in the Middle East and went on to lead strategy teams at Booz Allen Hamilton and American Express in the U.S, focusing on the financial services sector. In addition to her corporate strategy experience, she is an entrepreneur – founding and operating her own restaurant business in NYC for five years. It is during that time that she developed an intimate understanding of the challenges of employment in underserved communities, particularly for women. She advocated, as a small business owner, for minimum wage policy enhancements. Yasmin is passionate about female professional advancement, mentoring many women as they navigate their careers. She also uses her entrepreneurial and strategy experience to advise startups. As the daughter of Egyptian diplomats, she has lived in a number of different countries and is fluent in Arabic. Yasmin received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and also holds a B.A. from the American University in Cairo.
Pam is the Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. Kaufman is a strong global-branding executive who provides the company with high-level vision, strategy and execution across its media platforms, marketing efforts and consumer products businesses. Kaufman oversees all global consumer marketing efforts across television, digital, events, music, retail and consumer products, advancing Nickelodeon’s standing as the world’s leading kids’ entertainment brand. She also leads Integrated Marketing efforts, working with blue-chip advertisers like General Mills and Toyota, and spearheads all strategic marketing plans for new content. She helmed the launch strategies for the groundbreaking iCarly, the successful return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the launches of the Emmy Award-winning Nick App and Nick Radio; and live events like the annual Kids’ Choice Awards. As President of Consumer Products, Kaufman oversees domestically Nickelodeon’s billion-dollar global consumer products business, which encompasses merchandising and licensing for some of the world’s most popular and iconic intellectual properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Peter Rabbit. She spearheads Nick’s major licensing programs with industry-leading partners like Mattel, Fisher-Price and Playmates and retail partnerships with Walmart, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us among others. Kaufman holds a B.A. in Public Communications from American University.
Beth Lawlor has always thrived in a team-based environment. A natural communicator and connector, Beth creates a strong sense of culture by embracing people as individuals. She firmly believes that each person brings a unique talent that contributes to the greater good of an organization, and she embraces these talents at a very human level. She credits her liberal arts background for her ability to communicate well in various situations, to lead from the heart, and to inspire others to follow. Along with her enthusiasm for leading professionals at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, Beth is exceedingly client focused, and is passionate about finding unique and creative ways to deliver U.S. Bank’s value to prospects and clients. Beth joined U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management as President of the organization in May 2020. She sets the strategic direction and oversees all aspects of U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, leading teams of advisors and specialists across the U.S. She is based in U.S. Bank’s New York office. A veteran in the Wealth Management industry, Beth brings with her more than 25 years of industry experience. Most recently, she worked at UBS, where she served as Managing Director, Head of National Field Engagement and Sales, Wealth Management Banking and Lending. Prior to that role, she held leadership positions at several major firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Advisors. Beth graduated with honors from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology. Giving back to others is important to Beth. She serves as the admissions engagement ambassador for the Boston College Alumni Association and as a 15 year dedicated volunteer for CAPIC Animal Rescue. On a personal level, Beth adores spending time with her family – her husband of more than 25 years and their two children – both of whom have carried on the family tradition of attending Boston College. She is a native of New Jersey and enjoys spending time at their family’s beach house on Long Beach Island at the Jersey Shore.
Andrea Lowenthal has 25+ years of senior corporate experience, as counsel and as a banker, through numerous market cycles, in strategic transactions, financial product development, U.S. bank board governance and regulatory relations, and risk management. Throughout her career, Andrea has contributed technical knowledge, critical judgment, and cross-functional leadership to the team. Andrea is adept at listening, learning and engaging others to spur new ways of thinking about strategic challenges. Her broad strategic planning, execution, and governance experience informs her client-focused, people-based, and regulatory-aware approach. As Head of Legal, America, Andrea supports ANZ’s U.S. and global business by collaborating with business colleagues in all aspects of U.S. law and regulations concerning capital markets and derivatives, financial product development, and cross-border requirements. U.S. litigation exposure, including several class-actions, are under her remit. Andrea also advises with respect to ANZ’s business in non-presence countries throughout north and south America. Andrea is a member of the U.S. Leadership Team (leading U.S. business and culture); the 401k Retirement Planning Committee; the Situation Management Team (addressing business disruption and response); and she chairs the Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee (U.S. charitable priorities and team-building initiatives). Andrea participates in the Risk Management Committee, and is Corporate Secretary to the Board of the U.S. broker/dealer, a FINRA entity. Andrea also sponsors the ANZ NY Women in Leadership Initiative, which developed to facilitate career development and the essential skills. Andrea represents ANZ at the U.S. Institute for International Bankers. At Citizens Financial Group (then a subsidiary of RBS) Andrea was SVP and Senior Counsel, and Corporate Secretary to the three Boards and its committees. Andrea advised CFG’s Finance and Treasury in debt capital markets, and major regulatory Dodd-Frank initiatives. During her tenure, Board challenges included cyber crime, Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the Eastern seaboard, a Board member’s reputational crisis, and even the Boston Marathon bombing. Andrea’s external board experience included the Brooklyn Law School Board of Trustees, Women’s Lunch Place (a large community day shelter in Boston; Board governance committee), and the Catskill Community Center (contributed to finance, development, governance and other initiatives critical to rebuilding the CCC). Andrea has a B.S. summa cum laude from the Boston University School of Management, and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society, and a J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, where she was also Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and a published author, Deans List for four years, and member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team.
Paige Ross is the Global Head of Human Resources at Blackstone. In this role she oversees human resource management globally for the firm. Ms. Ross brings more than 25 years of experience in talent development and strategic planning across a multitude of industries and geographies. Prior to joining Blackstone, Ms. Ross served as the Managing Director of Talent Management at Centerbridge Partners, with a focus on leading Talent Management across the portfolio companies. She has also held senior human resources leadership positions at Pfizer, Avon and PepsiCo. Ms. Ross earned her BA at Stony Brook University and PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University.
Debra is a Community Outreach Relationship Manager for First Republic Bank. She has over 25 years of banking and leadership experience in the tri-state area. She is a member of the National Black MBA Association and holds a master’s in business administration from Metropolitan College of New York. She also studied at the Regents College of Business in London and the University of Paris. As a lifelong learner she has completed Leadership & Professional Development Programs at Harvard and Wharton. Debra is a champion of financial literacy and serving underserved communities traditionally been left out of homeownership.
Katie has been a regular daytime volunteer at Bottomless Closet since 2005, and joined the Board of Directors in 2008. She was previously chair of the Program and Volunteer Committees, and part of the development team that created and led a workshop focusing on strategies parents can use to read with their children. Prior to her volunteer work, Katie was a learning specialist at the Country School in Weston, Massachusetts and The Chapin School in New York. Her career as a teacher showed Katie that children best succeed when their parents are strong and confident. Bottomless Closet helps women gain the self-confidence needed to succeed. Katie received her B.A. with honors from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master’s of Education in Special Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Reva has a lifetime of volunteer involvement. She is experienced in fundraising, in creating and sustaining effective organizational structures, and in supporting and nurturing staff at all levels. Reva and a small group of women initiated the idea for Bottomless Closet in November 1996 and she became its subsequent President when the organization opened its doors in January 1999. Reva previously served on the Board of Lighthouse for the Blind in the 1970’s, and was one of the architects of the “Posh Sale,” which now brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. As one of the very early members of the New York Philharmonic’s Volunteer Council, Reva served as its President. She has also served on the Board of the Learning Leaders, formerly known as the New York City School Volunteers. In addition, Reva has sat on the Boards of the Rehearsal Club and The Chelsea Theater Club. Today, Reva is proud to be the Chair Emerita of the Board of Directors of Bottomless Closet. She believes that one’s life is immeasurably enriched when given the opportunity and the privilege of helping another person – especially one-on-one. Reva is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.z
Sheila is a founding member of Bottomless Closet and served as its first, volunteer Executive Director at its opening in January 1999. She has served in numerous leadership positions including President and Chair as well as chair of several committees. A retired corporate executive with extensive experience in human resources and general management, Sheila has applied these skills to her volunteer career. Sheila was with The Dun and Bradstreet Corporation for twenty years. Her responsibilities as Vice President, Human Resources, included all recruitment, compensation and employee relations. Subsequent to that, Sheila served as Senior Vice President and Publisher at Moody’s Investors Service where she managed production, sales and marketing operations for all of Moody’s published products. Other current volunteer commitments focus on education, Jewish continuity and education, women’s issues and the economically disadvantaged. Sheila has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Town School, is former board chair and current executive committee member of Project Kesher, a women’s advocacy group in the Former Soviet Union, former Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College, President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. She is also a founder and past Board Chair of Breakthrough, an enrichment program for disadvantaged students to help them gain access to more educationally challenging high schools and is a member of the advisory board for the school of communications of Northwestern University. Sheila is passionate about the issue of women’s empowerment and believes wholeheartedly that Bottomless Closet makes a real difference in the success of its clients.