Our Mentors

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    Area(s) of Expertise: Strategic Planning

    Aalap Shah
    Aalap Shah

    Aalap Shah is a mission-driven product innovator, who is passionate about human centered design and has successfully led strategy, product, growth, and M&A for startups and Fortune 500 companies. Before his current role leading product for Customer Hardship at Capital One, Aalap was Head of Product for Paribus, launched fintech mobile apps, and had a previous life working in social innovation and international development. He went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and got his MBA at the University of Texas. He also is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at OutRight Action International, an LGBTIQ human rights organization. Aalap lives in New York City with his partner Gregg.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Fundraising/Resource Mobilization, Governance and Board Development, Marketing

    Alejandra Naranjo
    Alejandra Naranjo

    Alejandra joined Tecnológico de Monterrey Foundation in 2021, a non-profit organization supporting three Mexico-based Institutions: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad Tecmilenio, and Tec Salud. As the Vice President of Administration and Development Director, she is responsible for building the organization, establishing policies and procedures, administration, and operations. Still, most of her time is devoted to fundraising. Alejandra has been able to close one eight-figure gift within her first two years.

    Alejandra is also a Mentor for the Leadership Fellows New York, an organization established by The New York Community Trust in association with the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and its Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management. Leadership Fellows New York is the premier professional development opportunity for mid-career nonprofit practitioners in the metropolitan New York City region.

    Before joining Tec, she was Vice President of Development for The New York Women’s Foundation. The Foundation allocates resources to more than 100 small foundations in New York City. In that role, she was responsible for operations, fundraising events, planned gifts (legacies), corporate sponsorships, and individual donations, generating unrestricted donations of over $10 million annually. She previously served as Director of Institutional Development at The American School Foundation (ASF), based in Mexico City, where she managed to introduce and consolidate the concept of philanthropy among students from preschool to high school. He has extensive experience in international fundraising. In early 2000, she incorporated and managed, as Executive Vice President, Visión México, the fundraising arm of Vamos México and Centro Fox, working directly with former President Vicente Fox and closing 8-figure gifts. Vamos Mexico supports women, children, and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is an Economist from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College at The City University of New York. He has two diplomas in Advanced Econometrics from ITAM, where he taught this subject at the graduate level. He won both the XVII National Prize of Economy Tlacaélel and the National Prize of the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives in 1996 for her research on the Mexican stock market. Alejandra is a board member of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY), Downtown United Soccer Club, and Royal Family Productions. She is also a volunteer for CASE and was recently recognized as a CASE Laureates Senior Volunteer.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Financial Management, Fundraising/Resource Mobilization

    Alexandros Hatzakis
    Alexandros Hatzakis
    The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

    Alexandros Hatzakis is the Chief Operating Officer at FPWA. As COO, he is responsible for driving and oversight of the day-to-day internal operations and organizational leadership, partnering with the Chief Executive and the leadership team toward effective sustainable growth and increasing impact and the successful achievement of strategic objectives.

    Prior to working at FPWA, Alexandros was the Director of Income at United Way of New York City where he oversaw and managed a $6 million portfolio of program and policy initiatives aimed at assisting families in meeting their basic needs, tackling household insecurity, and working towards economic stability.

    He formerly served as the Development and Information Systems Manager at The Financial Clinic, overseeing the implementation and integration of fundraising, operational and client data systems. He has also conducted research and policy analysis for the State of Delaware’s Division of Corporations and U.K. Companies House.

    Alexandros received his Bachelor’s degree from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch and his Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is a SHRM – Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP). He serves as Chair and member of New York City’s Procurement Policy Board.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Data and Impact Measurement Tools, Equity and Inclusion, Strategic Planning

    Amada Santiago
    Amada Santiago

    Amada is currently the Associate Director of Advising and Student Services at NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology where she is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Amada is also a professor for the Latin American and Latinx Studies Department at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At John Jay, she teaches courses on the history of Latinxs in the United States with attention to the establishment and development of the diverse Latinx communities through migration, colonization, racialization, and integration.

    Amada is a social innovator with a wide range of experience leading and developing programs for underserved populations. Before joining NYU, Amada worked for a private education consulting firm as Director of Training and Program, focusing on programming support and training opportunities to propel underrepresented educators and entrepreneurs to excel across sectors using an asset-based lens. In addition, Amada provides consulting services in research, planning, and support on various projects that close the achievement gap and provide greater access to all vulnerable young adults in education and the workforce. Amada has worked closely with the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics under the Obama Administration through her consulting services. Through this work, Amada led the organizing of powerful convenings between the nation’s top scholars, policymakers, and practitioners intending to impact policy and address the deficit in college enrollment and completion for Latinx students.

    Before working in the private sector, Amada served as a Youth & Family Director for the YMCA of Greater New York. She was responsible for successfully implementing program development and evaluation of youth programs in this role.

    A native of the Dominican Republic, Amada has a passion for supporting recently arrived young adults to achieve academically and professionally. She has led various start-up initiatives, including a small nonprofit that provided support services to New York City high schools and communities with a high immigrant population, becoming one of the city’s first immigrant peer-to-peer mentoring model at the time.

    Amada holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a BA from CUNY Bernard Baruch College. Amada also served as an Education Pioneer Fellow in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Advocacy and Organizing, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships

    Amanda Huang
    Amanda Huang

    Amanda Huang is a real estate development professional working in affordable housing at IMPACCT Brooklyn, a non profit community based organization focused on providing accessible, affordable housing and resources to the central Brooklyn area. IMPACCT Brooklyn also provides social and supportive services, affordable housing marketing, and tenant and community organizing in addition to real estate development. She currently works on the financing, design, construction, asset management and project delivery of several affordable housing projects.

    She has a background in architecture, design, urban planning and academia. She was previously based in Paris, London, and Nairobi working on large scale urban projects as a design practitioner, project manager, and researcher. Her interests include public and private partnerships in the built environment, community/public informed development, and economic development. Prior experience include Oualalou + Choi, KPF, UN-Habitat, and Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Urban Planning from Cornell University and a Master in Urban Design and Real Estate Finance from Harvard University.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Communications, Management, Organizational Change

    Amy Plotch
    Amy Plotch

    Amy Sutnick Plotch is a leadership coach who helps people who want to use their professional lives to make a difference. A creative strategist and entrepreneurial thinker, Amy helps people clarify their goals, map their paths to success, overcome hurdles, and move forward with confidence.

    Coaching involves a series of transformational conversations to align your career with your values, challenge the beliefs that hold you back, and guide you to step outside your comfort zone. Amy uses her strategic communication skills and experience in nonprofit management to combine coaching with actionable advice to help clients tell their stories, craft their brands, and strengthen their networks.

    Prior to founding Amy Plotch Coaching, Amy led Sutnick Plotch Communications, a social good communications consulting firm. Her clients included North Star Fund, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Touro University, Public Agenda, and The Opportunity Network. Amy was a senior executive at national and local organizations where she excelled at designing social change initiatives that were also development opportunities. She also taught strategic communications at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and served as a judge for the Nonprofit New York’s Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Health and Wellness, Youth Development

    Anita Appel
    Anita Appel

    Anita Appel has over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health. Beginning in 2006, Ms. Appel served as Director of the NYC Field Office at the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). She began her career at OMH in the Field Office in 1983. Ms. Appel was named the Director of Children’s Services in 1989, and became Deputy Director in 1995.

    During her time at OMH, Ms. Appel was instrumental in the expansion of the availability of services for children and adolescents with mental health disorders, including school based services, family support, case management, home and community-based waivers, and home based crisis intervention.

    Ms. Appel received her Social Work degree from Yeshiva University, Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Fundraising/Resource Mobilization

    Anita Nager
    Anita Nager

    Anita Nager serves as an advisor to foundations and individual donors with a special emphasis on environmental giving. She was the last Executive Director of the Beldon Fund, an intentional spend-out foundation, dedicated to building and sustaining a national consensus to achieve and sustain a healthy planet. For seven years, she also served as its Director of Programs. The Beldon Fund, founded and chaired by John Hunting—a Steelcase heir—invested its entire principal and earnings over a ten-year period.  Anita guided the final spend out, communication of lessons learned, and the conclusion of operations. When the Beldon Fund closed its doors in May 2009, it had allocated more than $120 million in grants and foundation directed projects.

    Prior to joining Beldon, Ms. Nager was a Senior Program Officer for Community Development and the Environment at The New York Community Trust, where she designed a grantmaking strategy for a $100 million fund focused on national environmental issues.

    A former Board Chair of the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers, Ms. Nager is also a past board member of the Neighborhood Funders Group and the Environmental Grantmakers Association.  She was a founding board member of Cause Effective, which provides management and resource development assistance to nonprofit organizations, and a founder of the AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York. Ms. Nager is a trustee of the Hudson River Foundation and chairs its New York City Environment Fund, providing environmental stewardship grants to grassroots organizations.  She is a founder and past co-chair of the Health and Environmental Funders Network, and serves as a trustee of the Jenifer Altman Foundation.

    In 2008, Anita was recognized at the Breast Cancer Fund Heroes Tribute for her “philanthropic leadership and nurturance of the environmental health movement” and by West Harlem Environmental Action in 2009 with its We Act for Environmental Justice 20th Anniversary Award.

    Area(s) of Expertise: Data and Impact Measurement Tools, Organizational Change, Strategic Planning

    Anjie Rosga
    Anjie Rosga

    AnnJanette Rosga is a Director at Informing Change, a strategy, research and evaluation firm in Berkeley, CA. She is an internationally recognized expert in human rights and rule of law indicators and has more than twenty years of experience in training and research capacity building. At Informing Change, she directs strategic learning and complex systems change projects as well as equity, formative, developmental, advocacy and network/coalition evaluation studies. She is particularly interested in designing tools to assess hard-to-measure social change efforts, and in facilitating community-driven, participatory research processes.

    Anjie has consulted for a wide array of nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental and intergovernmental organizations in the U.S. and abroad. From 2008-2010, she served as the United Nations Office Director for an international women’s peace organization in New York City. Earlier, she was an assistant professor of anthropology, sociology and the cultural studies of law, crime and justice at Knox College and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

    Anjie holds a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness (interdisciplinary social sciences) from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in Gender and Knowledge Studies from Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research in New York City.