Board of Directors
Barbara Brenner, Dr, PH, LMSW
Barbara Brenner is an Associate Professor of Preventive
Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She was, for 23 years, Director of
Community Relations for the Mount Sinai Medical Center and served as Mount
Sinai’s liaison to organizations and leaders in the Northern Manhattan
communities for East and Central Harlem. Currently, she is a co-investigator of
studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Centers for
Disease Control, testing interventions to prevent and control high rates of
diabetes and stroke, as well as a long-term study assessing the relationships
between environmental exposures (chemicals, diet, physical activity), obesity,
and early puberty in girls. She established the first Farmers Market at Mount
Sinai Medical Center and has been an advocate for the expansion of additional
markets in the Harlem communities.
Dr. Brenner holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from
Hunter College School of Social Work, and a Doctorate in Public Health form
Columbia University. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and serves
on the Board of Directors of several nonprofit community organizations.
Carolyn Zezima is the President of NYC Foodscape, a food
systems and urban agriculture consulting business. For the past nine years, Ms.
Zezima has led and worked with food and farming organizations in Chicago and
New York to promote urban agriculture and healthy food systems. In 2006, she
founded The Talking Farm, an urban farming and educational enterprise in
Evanston, Illinois. She served as Director of Food and Nutrition Initiatives
for Communities IMPACT Diabetes Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine,
addressing food and nutrition issues affecting diabetes disparities in
low-income communities, and overseeing food initiatives such as the Save Half
for Later portion control initiative and Food for Health Business Plan
Competition. Ms. Zezima is a participant in AFT’s Farmland Advisors program,
and serves on several food-related committees and boards, including Food
Systems Network NYC, Partnership for a Healthier Manhattan, and NYC Food and
Farm Bill Coalition. Ms. Zezima is a trained chef, having attended the
California Culinary Academy, and has worked in restaurants, catering, food
publishing, hunger organizations, and recipe development. She practiced law
after graduating from Duke University Law School, and is a member of the New
York, California, and Illinois Bar Associations.
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Tata Traore-Rogers has an extensive background in nonprofit
management and service delivery with a strong emphasis on women’s
self-determination. Fluent in five languages and a former resident of France,
Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Senegal, Ms. Traore-Rogers brings a unique
intercultural perspective to her work.
Ms. Traore-Rogers is currently the Executive Director of
Turning Point Brooklyn where she leads the organization in programmatic
excellence and financial sustainability.
Prior to joining Turning Point Brooklyn, Ms. Traore-Rogers served
as Deputy Executive Director at the Astraea Foundation for five years, an
organization dedicated to supporting groups working to secure human rights for LGBTQI
people, and advancing gender, racial, economic and social justice worldwide. In
partnership with Astraea’s Executive Director, Tata worked to develop and
direct the Foundation’s strategic and operational plans.
For eight years, Ms. Traore-Rogers served as a Director in
the Prevention Division of Harlem United Community AIDS Center. During her
tenure there, she designed and managed innovative HIV prevention programs,
including behavioral interventions focusing on risk-reduction and prevention
support for immigrant communities, women of color, and LGBTQI populations.
Additionally, she worked to improve service access for undocumented immigrant
women, increasing cultural competency and bridging gaps within the HIV service
landscape of New York City. Prior to Harlem United, Ms. Traore-Rogers worked at
Montefiore Hospital, Pathways to Housing, and Neighborhood Coalition for
Shelter, where she provided support and assistance for clients seeking mental
health, homelessness, and domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse
Ms. Traore-Rogers is an Adjunct Professor at CUNY School of
Public Health at Hunter College, where she focuses on Urban Public Health and
Community Health. She also serves on various boards as an advisor and/or member,
including Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, an advocacy organization that
works on women’s rights within the global women’s, human rights, and social
justice movements. She lives in Brooklyn with her two young daughters.
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Rhina Valentin “La Reina” is a Jane-of-all-trade in the arts and entertainment industry.
Founder and CEO of La Reina Del Barrio, Inc. Rhina is a New York City born
Latina of Puerto Rican descent sprinkled w with African, Indigenous and German
Diaspora. She is a Mother, Television Personality, Comedienne, Writer, Dancer,
Producer, Director, & Choreographer.
She studied Liberal Arts at Manhattan Community College and is a
graduate of The William Esper Studio Conservatory master’s program.
As a multiple award winning performance artist, Rhina has
captured audiences with her humorous style, while tapping into realistic topics
of Life. She has been featured on HBO
in “Betty la Flaca” and in nationally syndicated commercials such as Bally’s
& 1800-Flowers. For the past 8 years she has been the popular hostess as
the infamous Cafe Con Leche Television personality for the award-winning talk
show OPEN Friday on BronxNet TV. She
also has a web-series named: “Rhina Gets Lean” currently in its third year that
follows her steps exploring different methods to design a healthy lifestyle for
her, her daughter and the Latino community.
Ms. Valentin has performed in some of New York’s most
prestigious venues such as The World Famous Apollo, Lincoln Center Outdoors;
the world famous Nuyorican Poets Café, the Comedy Store in LA and 100′s of
off-Broadway venues throughout our beloved NYC.
She has toured nationally to Universities throughout the United States.
Ms. Valentin is also a published author of “Breaking
Grounds/Abriendo Caminos”; An Anthology of Puerto Rican Women writers. She currently serves as the beauty, brains
and the bronze behind her rapidly growing media entertainment company La Reina
Del Barrio, Inc.
With a love for her community, and the hope of providing the
space of opportunity for individuals with an urban upbringing to be heard she
hopes to make a difference in our society and the World!
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Jennise N. Hall
Jennise N. Hall currently serves as the Interim CFO at Inwood House, where she provides financial leadership in the areas of cash and grants management. Previously, she was the Director of Finance at Turning Point, where she oversaw budget plans and worked closely with the executive management team to navigate a leadership transition that led to the stability of the organization. Ms. Hall is an expert in non-profit financial management and in helping organizations to develop sustainable budget plans and practices. She has over 10 years of experience in the industry helping non-profits build their fiscal infrastructure.
Ms. Hall graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. with a BS in Accounting/Business and recently passed the NYS Certified Public Accountant examination.
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Maria Douvas Orme
Maria Douvas Orme is a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley’s Legal & Compliance Division. She runs the legal group that covers Morgan Stanley’s Fixed Income Division, which is the firm’s global institutional sales and trading business that is comprised of interest rates (US treasuries, agencies, sovereign bonds, interest rate swaps, TBAs, and structured notes), credit (investment grade, high yield, distressed, and credit default swaps), foreign exchange, emerging markets, financing (repossessions and reverse repossessions), and securitized products. She represents Morgan Stanley on a number of industry committees, including at ISDA (the International Swap Dealers Association) and on the Financial Markets Lawyers Group, which is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and sets best practices in the fixed income market with special emphasis on foreign exchange. She has been with Morgan Stanley since 2004. Prior to that, she was an Assistant General Counsel of AIG Trading Group Inc., a swap dealing subsidiary of American International Group Inc., and an associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. She graduated with honors from Duke University with a BA in Economics (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a JD from Duke University School of Law.
Ryan Rugg-Shaprio is currently an Executive
Director at Morgan Stanley in New York. She is responsible
for covering institutional municipal accounts with multibillion assets under
management; providing them with research, strategic ideas and various trading
also the Co-Head of the Sophomore Diversity Program within FID, which is aimed
at increasing the female talent pool within the trading floor
environment. To help achieve these goals she has created a series
of educational programs in response to her own experiences and the feedback
from women across the division. Ryan has done extensive fundraising
within the philanthropic community. She was a member of the Project for
Ghana at JP Morgan Chase which provided educational and healthcare
opportunities for the children of Ghana and their parents. She has also been
involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Multiple
Sclerosis Society and Save the children to name a few. Ryan has
been on the Committee Co-Host for Harvest Home’s Savor the Season annual
fundraiser since 2013.
a graduate of George Washington University with a BBA in Finance and Management