Forestdale’s Board is a diverse and skilled group responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organization. The board oversees Forestdale’s work and helps to ensure we are making progress against our mission.
Robert "Bob" Whiteford Bob Whiteford is the Board Chairman of Forestdale. He is a veteran of nearly 40 years in the financial services industry. Bob is also a Trustee and former head of the Audit and Investment Committees as well as a member of the Executive Committee at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He is a former chairman of the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Sheryl Kurtis joined Wells Fargo in 2019 as head of Compliance Transformation and Regulatory Remediation. In this role, she is working as part of the Wells Fargo Compliance leadership team to make Wells Fargo a leader in compliance risk management. Her career began in Chicago as a programmer for O’Connor & Associates, a proprietary trading firm which eventually became UBS. In 2001, Sheryl was promoted to managing director, one of only a handful of women to hold this role in Technology. In 2013, Sheryl was recruited by the chief operating officer of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, Americas to reshape the division’s risk and control environment. Sheryl received her B.A. in Economics and MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Sheryl lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
Brandon Day joined the Forestdale Board because it brought him closer to helping out the New York City community. He brings to the Board work experience in business management, strategy and operations with over 16 years working at American International Group. His most recent role was Head of Strategy & Operations for a global line of business. His board experience includes the Advisory Board for the organization, Reach The World. He has BAs in Economics and Political Science at Syracuse University, an MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School, Tufts University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Chip Smith joined the Forestdale Board because he learned about the great work Forestdale does right in his Forest Hills community backyard and wanted to be a part of it. He brings to the Board work experience in general business and entrepreneurship from his experience founding and running Restoration Medical for 15 years before it's 2019 sale to Adapt Health. He studied pre-law and business and has a BA from Fordham and an MBA from the Stern School of Business (NYU). His Board and volunteer experience has included Executive Committee and Board service at The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills Men’s Club and volunteering with CityHarvest. He was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, PA prior to attending Fordham University where he met his wife Ivona. He has lived in Forest Hills for the past 20+ years and has two sons, Ian (17) and Christian (15).
Jared Averbuch is an Executive Director at Moelis & Company, a global independent financial advisory firm. He has over 10 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance across a range of industries. Prior to joining Moelis, he worked at Lazard and was a corporate attorney at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where his practice primarily focused on mergers and acquisitions, but also included leveraged finance transactions and corporate governance matters. Jared graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology and the University of Michigan Law School (magna cum laude). Jared, originally and proudly from Michigan, currently resides in New York City with his wife Ilana and two daughters.
Greg Babeendran is a Managing Director in Deloitte’s Banking and Capital Markets practice. He has over 20 years of consulting experience with Deloitte and has assisted Fortune 500 companies address strategy, operations, and technology challenges. Greg has an MBA from Columbia University and a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is passionate about supporting children through education, in addition to his board member role at Forestdale, he has started a youth mentoring program called Game Changers - aimed at helping high school and college students identify and develop ways to differentiate themselves.
Hilary Feshbach has been a Board member since 2015 and has been the co-chair for the annual Gala for the past two years. A graduate of Tulane University and with an MSW from Columbia, she is currently a managing partner for Algin Management Co. Llc. In addition to supporting Forestdale’s Scholars program, Hilary is on the board of the Public Theater.
Kim joined the Board of Forestdale in 2019. She is the global head of risk management and independence for Grant Thornton International Ltd and a partner with Grant Thornton LLP in the US. She is responsible for providing policy, guidance and training relating to independence matters and risk issues impacting the GTIL network. She also participates on the GTIL Board of Governors’ Enterprise Risk Management Committee and the GTIL Risk Management Committee. She is also a member of the global crisis management team. Kim is a member of the International Ethics Standards for Accountants Board (IESBA) and is a Certified Public Accountant. Kim lives in NYC with her children.
Brian Jaffe has been on Forestdale’s board since 2008 and has served on numerous board committees. Brian is a longtime resident of Forest Hills, and has an MBA from St. John’s University. Brian has worked extensively in the field of Information Technology, and held senior positions at several fortune 500 companies. He has published numerous articles, and is the co-author of several books, on IT.
Puja Khare joined the Forestdale Board because she values its mission of helping families in crisis. She brings to the Board work experience in healthcare from her years working as a healthcare attorney and advocate for both government and private organizations. She has also spent her free time tutoring and mentoring children and young adults. She has a BS in Statistics from Penn State and a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law. Her Board and volunteer experience has included various mentoring programs, a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania that assisted clients and families with intellectual disabilities, and Forestdale. She also participates in several programs around the city.
Heather Murray is the Managing Attorney of the Local Journalism Project at Cornell Law School's First Amendment Clinic. In addition to co-teaching the clinic, she represents local media organizations and individual journalists in litigation involving freedom of information, access to court proceedings, libel and other newsgathering and First Amendment matters. She previously was a litigation associate in the New York offices of two international law firms. While there, she co-founded a housing clinic aiming to keep low-income women from being evicted and represented pro bono clients seeking asylum. Prior to her legal career, she worked as a local journalist for newspapers in Westchester and New York City. She is a graduate of Cornell Law School and of Duke University. She joined the Forestdale Board in 2017 to make a long-term commitment to helping improve the prospects of disadvantaged children in New York City.
David A. Rock is President and CEO of CenterLight Health System. CenterLight Health System is a leading not-for-profit organization that has been caring for New Yorkers in need for nearly a century offering a wide range of high-quality community-based and long-term healthcare services. He has more than 30 years of extensive leadership and operational experience in the healthcare industry, both as a healthcare professional as well as in healthcare management and consulting. During his time in the industry, Mr. Rock has served as CEO, COO and CRO providing strong expertise and leadership in strategic planning, operations, process improvement, leadership development and financial management. He has an MHA from University of Detroit Mercy and a BS from the University of Michigan.
W. Gerow “Jerry” Schick is a retired teacher and an alumnus of Salisbury. He attended Swarthmore College and Columbia University and served in the Army in Korea. He currently serves at the historiographer for the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn and has been on the Board at Forestdale since 2012, serving as the Board Secretary, the Chair (and now Co-Chair) of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He also currently serves on the Compensation, Fundraising, & Capital Improvements Committees.
Jonathan Taylor is a Director and Attorney with Blackrock, covering the firm’s business lines in Latin America from a Legal and Compliance perspective. He has substantial experience managing international financial transactions and international development projects. He attended Harvard College, received his JD from Columbia, and a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins. He joined the Forestdale Board in 2019.
David Weber joined the Forestdale Board in 2019 to contribute to an organization he values for providing critically needed services to the community and beyond. As Vice President for Finance at Deutsche Bank he is focused on international tax matters and state compliance issues for the CFO. He brings over 30 years of Wall Street experience to the Board including 25 years at Goldman Sachs in various management roles pertaining to securities regulations and global operations risk management. He serves as a Chair for the US Financial Industry in specialized topics and volunteers by providing financial literacy education to high school students. David has a BS in Finance from the SUNY Albany School of Business, and an MBA in Accounting from St. Johns School of Business.
Danna Wei is the Director of Corporate Finance for Privia Health, a national physician practice management and population health technology company. Prior to joining Privia, she was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, covering healthcare clients in the investment banking division. Danna received her MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor of Science from NYU's Stern School of Business.