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Who We Are

History & Mission

In August of 1996, the New York Times published an article about the obstacles that mothers on public assistance faced when seeking work, including the lack of appropriate interview clothing and the lack of self-confidence to present themselves professionally in an unfamiliar interview setting.

Around the same time, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act – also known as The Welfare Reform Act – passed, radically transforming the nation’s welfare system by imposing a time limit on federal welfare benefits, further complicating women’s transition from public assistance into the workforce.

The founders of Bottomless Closet were watching, and they immediately identified a critical need and took action. Embodying the philosophy of women helping women, they set out to create a welcoming and uplifting place where women in need could receive the tools and resources they needed.

In 1999, Bottomless Closet became a reality.

Bottomless Closet’s mission is to be the connection that inspires and guides disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and achieve success. From our grassroots beginnings, we have grown into an organization that has served nearly 40,000 women in need, amassed nearly 200 dedicated volunteers and 150 referral partners, and has had over 1,000 workshop attendees just last year.

As we look to the future, our founding principles of helping and empowering women in need still guide our daily work.

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Staff

 

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Melissa S. Norden

Executive Director

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Melissa S. Norden

Executive Director

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.

Contact: mnorden@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Pam Kulnis

Program Director

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Pam Kulnis

Program Director

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.

Contact: pkulnis@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Yvonne Cassidy

Development Director

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Yvonne Cassidy

Development Director

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.

Contact: ycassidy@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Alison Zaccone

Communications Director

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Alison Zaccone

Communications Director

Alison Zaccone is a seasoned Public Relations and Communications Professional with more than 14 years of experience in the field. Before joining Bottomless Closet as Director of Communications in January 2017, Alison spent nearly 10 years at the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), where she handled public relations and media outreach for many of the ASPCA’s national programs as Director of Media & Communications. Alison also authors the bargain shopping and fashion blog NYC Recessionista in her spare time, as well as manages the blog’s corresponding social media channels. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post Style, Racked, and more. Alison is a graduate of Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y., where she graduated Cum Laude from the Pforzheimer Honors College with a B.A. in English & Communications in 2004. Alison has also worked as an adjunct professor of Public Relations and Event Planning at her alma mater, where she has taught courses in Writing for Public Relations Copy and Event Planning for PR to undergraduate students in the Media & Communication Arts major.

Contact: azaccone@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Carol Costello

Volunteer Manager

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Carol Costello

Volunteer Manager

Carol Costello joined Bottomless Closet in January 2017 as Volunteer Manager, overseeing all aspects of the volunteer program including recruitment, training, retention, programming, and supervision of volunteer functions. Drawn to Bottomless Closet by its mission of empowering women, Carol brings over 15 years of experience in volunteer management to her position. She was the Volunteer Director for 11 years at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Essex County, N.J., and prior to that, managed a volunteer-based writing program in her public school district. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois, and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. In her previous legal career, Carol worked as in-house attorney for a transit authority and as a judicial law clerk. Carol has volunteered for a number of organizations over the years, and currently volunteers as a cook for a soup kitchen in her community.

Contact: ccostello@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Carlos Calderon

Office Manager

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Carlos Calderon

Office Manager

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.

Contact: ccalderon@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Tiffini Gambrell

Database & Development Coordinator

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Tiffini Gambrell

Database & Development Coordinator

Tiffini Gambrell joined Bottomless Closet in April 2018 as Database & Development Coordinator. In this role, Tiffini serves as the lead administrator for Bottomless Closet’s Raiser’s Edge database, helping the organization preserve the integrity of its data, as well as supporting the organization’s fundraising goals. Tiffini is also responsible for processing and acknowledging all donations, generating mailing lists, coordinating donor correspondence, and other development administrative needs. Tiffini reports to and works closely with our Development Director Yvonne Cassidy. Before joining Bottomless Closet, Tiffini was the Development Data Coordinator for Cambridge in America, and the Development Operations Associate at The Juilliard School. A graduate of Longwood University in Virginia, Tiffini also has a background in music.

Contact: tgambrell@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Lakiesha Johnson

Program Coordinator

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Lakiesha Johnson

Program Coordinator

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.

Contact: ljohnson@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Mariell Meacham

Program Coordinator

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Mariell Meacham

Program Coordinator

Mariell Meacham joined Bottomless Closet in 2017 as a Program Coordinator. Mariell’s work focuses on writing and editing all of the resumes of our clients to best prepare them for their interviews, as well as working closely with our employment coaches to ensure that our clients’ skills and qualifications are best reflected. Mariell has extensive experience in the retail marketing and customer care industries. Mariell graduated Cum Laude from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), where she earned a B.F.A. in Interior Design with a minor in Art History.

Contact: mmeacham@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Alyssa Rose

Program Coordinator

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Alyssa Rose

Program Coordinator

Alyssa joined the Bottomless Closet team in 2017 as Program Coordinator, where she interfaces with Bottomless Closet’s referral partners. A recent graduate of Fordham University where she studied Anthropology and Latin Studies, Alyssa is passionate about work that responds to the needs of her community. Prior to joining Bottomless Closet, Alyssa co-founded and managed a business called Radiate Market. RM is an online marketplace that works with disadvantaged artisans in the Dominican Republic, India, and El Salvador to create a sustainable source of income while also alerting shoppers to the importance of using their purchasing power thoughtfully. Radiate is all about harnessing the power of the consumer system and using it to empower the people who produce the items we use every day. From this work, Alyssa brings a passion for community-based outreach and empowerment towards self-sufficiency to her position at Bottomless Closet. As she begins her career in human services, she is thrilled to join the staff and volunteers of Bottomless Closet in their mission to uplift disadvantaged New York women.

Contact: arose@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

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Sherley Reneus

Program Coordinator

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Sherley Reneus

Program Coordinator

Sherley joined the Bottomless Closet team in 2019 as Program Coordinator. In her role, Sherley arranges all client appointments and interfaces with Bottomless Closet’s referral partners. Before joining Bottomless Closet, Sherley was a Receptionist at Allied Universal, one of the largest private security services companies in North America, where she managed various administrative duties in addition to supporting the Human Resources department. Sherley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from South University in Florida. Originally from Haiti, Sherley also speaks fluent Haitian Creole/French.

Contact: sreneus@bottomlessclosetnyc.org

“It’s not just a place where you receive clothing. It is an environment where you can feel absolutely beautiful and confident in your capabilities. Most importantly, your experience at Bottomless Closet will change your perspective and attitude about your self-value.”

– Crystal

 

Board of Directors

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Anne Blackman

Chair

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Anne Blackman

Chair

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.

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Saumil Shukla

Vice President

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Saumil Shukla

Vice President

Saumil Shukla is currently Vice President of Supply Chain with responsibility for the procurement of materials, equipment and services for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., amounting to approximately $2 billion dollars annually. In addition, Saumil is responsible for the operations and management of the central warehouse distribution facility at fifteen regional facilities as well as a central storeroom.

Prior to her current position, Saumil was the vice president of Steam Operations from 2007 through 2014. In this role, Saumil was responsible for operating the largest district energy steam system in the world, including generation and delivery of energy to many of the most prestigious landmark buildings in Manhattan such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the United Nations, and the Museum of Natural History. During her 33-year career at Con Edison, Saumil has held several prominent positions in various operating organizations in Con Edison. Saumil leads several initiatives focused on increasing representation of women in non-traditional job within Con Edison. She was recognized in 1999 by Crain’s NY Business as a “40 under 40” business leader and in 2000 was honored by the YWCA-NY Academy of Women Achievers. Saumil holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from City College of New York and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Polytechnic University of New York.

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Diane Kenney

Secretary

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Diane Kenney

Secretary

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.

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Judy Hong

Treasurer

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Judy Hong

Treasurer

Judy is a Senior Analyst covering the Beverage and Tobacco sectors in the Consumer Products and Retail team within Global Investment Research (GIR). She has been ranked in industry surveys such as Institutional Investor, Starmine and The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street.” She also serves as co-head of the GIR Asian Professionals Network. Judy joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 and was named Managing Director in 2013. Prior to joining the firm, Judy worked at an asset management firm as a Buy-Side Analyst. Judy earned an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a B.S. in Communications from Cornell University. She resides in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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Christine Chang

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Christine Chang

Christine C. Chang serves as Chief Executive Officer of 6th Avenue Capital, LLC, an alternative financing company which provides rapid, secure and equitable access to working capital for small to mid-sized businesses. With over 20 years of experience in institutional and family office asset management, Christine oversees all strategic and regulatory aspects of 6th Avenue Capital’s business and investment management. Previously, at Alternative Investment Management, LLC, an independent, privately-held investment management firm focused on hedge funds and private equity, Christine served as Chief Compliance Officer. At New York Private Bank & Trust, the wealth management division of Emigrant Bank, she served as Chief Operating Officer and built the infrastructure to support ultra-high net worth clients. At MPI Professionals, LLC, a subsidiary of CGI Group, Inc., which provided consulting to financial services firms, she was Business Manager and advised on business development. At Credit Suisse in New York and London, Christine served as: European Product Manager of Fixed Income Emerging Markets; Financial Analyst for the Global Head of Fixed Income; and Compensation Analyst in Human Resources. Christine began her career at Charles River Consultants, Inc. as a Project Manager in financial services technology consulting.

Christine also serves as an advisory board member of Blueprint Capital Advisors, LLC, an alternative investment platform aligning interests of pension and endowments with emerging alternative managers.

Christine has served as Board Chair and in other roles on the Board of Bottomless Closet. In addition, she is a member of High Water Women and the Professional Advisors Committee of SUNY College of Optometry Foundation. Christine is a mentor in Columbia Business School’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, as well as a mentor in Cornell’s Alumni-Student Mentoring Program and a member of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network. She earned her B.A. from Cornell University.

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Katherine Davisson

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Katherine Davisson

Katherine spent more than 20 years in the financial services industry globally, where her roles spanned a variety of areas including investment banking, institutional equities sales, and hedge fund marketing, at institutions including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Eton Park Capital Management. Most recently, Katherine was an executive recruiter with Russell Reynolds Associates, where she focused on the financial services industry. Katherine is also an executive coach. Katherine is passionate about helping individuals from diverse and underserved backgrounds prepare for the workforce, which is the common theme among her volunteer activities and prior board experience. She currently volunteers at American Corporate Partners, where she mentors veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq as they transition into the civilian world. She also volunteers at the English Speaking Union, where she provides job skills training to non-English speaking adults. In the past, she worked with abused women to develop similar skill sets. Katherine’s prior board experience at Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide also focused on job preparation skills and financial literacy. Katherine held a variety of roles at JA, where she was the Treasurer and served on the Board’s Executive Committee. Katherine received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and also holds a B.S. from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. After receiving her M.B.A., Katherine earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Harvard Business School. She also earned a Certificate in Executive Coaching from New York University. Katherine is fluent in German.

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Aileen Dresner

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Aileen Dresner

Aileen joined the Board in 2017 and is currently chair of the Program Committee. Aileen is a fashion industry consultant with 25 years of experience in merchandising, brand building, strategic planning and talent development. Prior to forming her own consultancy, Aileen held senior executive positions at Lafayette 148 New York, Tommy Hilfiger and Liz Claiborne, Inc. Aileen is currently an advisor to Dressometry, a fashion/tech start-up developing better data and search tools for fashion ecommerce. Aileen is also a certified business and personal coach, serving the fashion and creative communities. Aileen is a volunteer with Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that raises service dogs for wounded veterans. She has been a mentor with Year Up, which provides urban youth with the skills and support to place them on a path toward economic self-sufficiency. She has also served on the benefit committee of Promise Project, which helps underserved children with learning disabilities get the support they need to learn. Aileen attended Ithaca College and received her CPC from IPEC coach training institute. Aileen lives in Manhattan with her husband and their black lab.

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Karen Heath-Wade

An African-American woman with long reddish brown hair..

Karen Heath-Wade

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.

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Carolyn Huggins

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Carolyn Huggins

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.

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Pam Kaufman

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Pam Kaufman

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.

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Amanda H. Nussbaum

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Amanda H. Nussbaum

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.

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Jane Blair Oberle

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Jane Blair Oberle

Jane Blair Oberle is a fashion merchandising veteran with over 10 years of experience in overseeing margins, pricing, inventory management and product investment for several well known brands including J.Crew, Oscar de la Renta, and Tory Burch. She was most recently the Vice President of Merchandising at Elizabeth and James. Jane began volunteering at Bottomless Closet in 2016, seeking an opportunity where she could work one on one with clients. At Bottomless Closet she saw first hand the value that interview techniques, a strong resume and work-appropriate clothing provides to clients. Jane joined the Board of Directors in 2017 after serving as a member of the Luncheon Committee. Jane received her M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University. She lives in New York with her husband and their two children.

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Robyn Polansky Morrison

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Robyn Polansky Morrison

Robyn Polansky Morrison is a Vice President and Private Client Associate with U.S. Trust in New York. Robyn works closely with individuals, families, and institutions to develop customized financial strategies that align with their goals and values. She offers the acumen and knowledge she has gained from extensive experience in capital markets research and portfolio design. As the leader of a client’s U.S. Trust® team, Robyn is a central resource for a range of needs. She collaborates with in‐house specialists to devise and implement integrated initiatives in investment management, including socially innovative investments; trust and estate planning services; philanthropy; and credit and lending through Bank of America, N.A. Robyn grounds her approach in client education, fostering engaged and informed decision‐making. Prior to joining U.S. Trust in 2014, Robyn spent twelve years with Bessemer Trust in New York, where she held increasing responsibilities in investment manager research, selection, and monitoring. She ultimately served as Vice President and Manager Research Analyst for External Manager Solutions. Robyn began her financial services career in 2000 at Thompson Financial Corporation in Venture Economics. Robyn earned her B.A. in Economics from Union College, where she was a four‐year member of the varsity crew team. Robyn serves on the Board of Directors of Strength to Strength, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting worldwide victims of terrorism. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents. Robyn has also led initiatives to help women impacted by the September 11th terrorist attacks and has raised funds for cancer patients by completing the New York City Marathon.

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Mehrnaz Vahid

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Mehrnaz Vahid

Naz Vahid is a Managing Director and Head of the Law Firm Group for Citi Private Bank. In this role she is responsible for the 14 offices in the United States and UK that serve Law Firms, their Partners and Associates. The group’s 200 professionals provide financial advice and services to more than 40,000 attorneys across 650 law firms, as of 2015 year end. Naz serves as the Head of the Citi Private Bank Diversity Program, working with the committee and ICG Diversity to increase awareness across many areas and previously was head of the Private Bank’s Mentorship Program for two years. Prior to leading the Law Firm Group, she was the Global Market Manager for the East Coast and London responsible for six Law Firm Group offices. Before this, she was a Senior Private Banker for more than 15 years, handling some of the largest client relationships in the Private Bank. Naz is formally credit-trained, and prior to her role as a Private Banker, worked as a Private Bank Credit Officer and also as an analyst. Naz holds a graduate degree in International Relations and Finance from Columbia University School of International Affairs and undergraduate degrees in Economics and Sociology from Hobart and Williams Smith College. Naz is married and lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and their daughter.

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Melissa Worth

blonde woman with black top

Melissa Worth

Melissa Worth is the Senior Vice President, North America at New Balance. Prior to joining New Balance, Melissa was President of Perry Ellis at Perry Ellis International. Prior to joining Perry Ellis, Worth held positions at Puma and TJX, which included an executive training program. Melissa discovered her inherent passion for retail when she held positions as Store Manager at Esprit and Filene’s post-college.

Melissa Worth holds a B.A. from The University of Miami and sits on the University’s President’s Council. She is also on the board of ALIMA (Alliance for International Medical Action), a nonprofit that provides quality medical care to people in need and carries out cutting-edge research to improve humanitarian medicine. Furthermore, Worth is a sponsor for the New York Fashion Tech Lab, that connects women-led fashion focused technology companies with leading Fashion Retailers and Brands. She is also a mentor for WOMEN Unlimited, INC, as well as a judge for the YMA, Fashion Scholarship Fund.

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Katie Watkin

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Katie Watkin

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.

Chair Emeriti

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Reva Wurtzburger

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Reva Wurtzburger

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

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Sheila Lambert

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Sheila Lambert

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.

“I am going to be a family worker there, so basically a social worker. The school goes from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade. I’ll be able to help the kids with lots of things – family needs, issues, questions – all of that.”

– Stephanie