Board of Directors
Sue Atkins (Chair)
Sue Atkins is a Managing Director at JPMorgan, specializing in Corporate Restructuring. She has a degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota. In addition to serving on LitWorld's Executive Board, she volunteers for the Big Brother Big Sister program and the Parents Advisory Committee at Kenyon College. Sue lives with her husband, Eben Shapiro, and her two children in New York City.
Chernor Bah is a youth advocate and former refugee from Sierra Leone. Following years of civil war in his country, he founded and led the Children’s Forum Network, Sierra Leone’s children parliament. In that role, Chernor presented a report on the experience of Sierra Leonean children to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2002, Chernor served as Junior Executive Producer of a UN Children/youth radio project, designed to involve young people in Sierra Leone’s post conflict discourse. Since then Chernor has worked with youth in Liberia, Lebanon, Haiti, Uganda and other emergency settings, leading efforts to strengthen youth voices in development and policy processes. A former UNFPA Special Youth Fellow, Chernor co-wrote a report titled "Will You Listen-Young Voices from Conflict Zones" and co-led the Youth Zones initiative. Chernor holds an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelors degree from the University of Sierra Leone.
Mabel Bejarano is the Director of Round Star Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to soccer training and practice and extending the many benefits soccer provides to any individual. Mabel has worked in the field of education, youth development and social services for the past 10 years. Before joining Round Star, Mabel worked as the Education Senior Program Manager at United Way of New York City, the Summer Activities Coordinator and Spanish Teacher at a community based organization called Little Sisters of the Assumption, and as an English Teacher with children and youth in South Korea. She also worked as a counselor at CESIP, a center that provides social services to low income communities in Cali-Colombia. Mabel holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Javeriana University in Colombia and a Master's degree in Nonprofit Management from Milano, The Newschool for Management and Urban Policy. Mabel has a special interest in the arts and was one of the founder members of a nonprofit organization created to promote contemporary dance in Colombia. Mabel has volunteered with different nonprofit organizations in the USA and in Colombia including Canto por la Vida (a Music School in Colombia) and Bushwick Impact in NYC. Her professional career goal is to improve the quality of life of children and youth from underserved communities around the world.
Sophie Belisha (Treasurer)
Sophie Belisha, CPA, has been auditing and advising Fortune 500 investment banks and other financial institutions since 2004. Prior to her professional career with Ernst & Young, Sophie was a literacy teacher in a Sunday School program and in Westchester, New York. Sophie is a former lieutenant in the Education Division of the Israeli Defense Forces where she taught underprivileged minorities and immigrant soldiers providing them with a second opportunity to access education. Sophie holds a B.Sc. in accounting (Cum Laude) from Lander College, New York. Sophie currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Sabrina Conyers is an associate at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, specializing in corporate transactions, real estate finance and tax law. Sabrina has an LLM in Taxation from NYU Law School (2010). She received her JD from Columbia Law School (2004) and her BA from Morgan State University (1999). In the nonprofit sector, Sabrina assists clients with the formation of nonprofit corporations and securing exemption from federal income taxation. She also provides general corporate counseling to nonprofit organizations advising them on a broad range of operating issues including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, structuring subsidiaries, grants management, program related investments and other tax issues. Sabrina also serves as a frequent lecturer on the legal issues facing nonprofit organizations. Sabrina lives with her husband, Justin Conyers and their two children in New Jersey.
Jeff DaPuzzo is a former advertising executive turned educator. Jeff currently divides his time as a 6th grade math teacher at Girls Prep Middle School, parent homemaker, freelance photographer and private investor. He was accepted into the NYC Teaching Fellows program in 2003 after an 18-year corporate career in marketing and advertising. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Denver, and a MS in Education from Mercy College. He has been a Big Brother mentor, served as a volunteer teacher with the New York Civil Rights Coalition, and created a Books For Children project, which generated over 700 books for the St. Aloysius School in Harlem in 1999. He currently serves on the Vestry of his church and is chairman of his family’s private charitable foundation. Jeff lives in New York City with his partner Rob and daughter Hadly.
Ellen Fredericks, MCC, is a Managing Partner for Leading Initiatives Worldwide and is on the staff at the University of Texas at Dallas for the Executive Coaching Program. Her clients include executives and leaders from start-up firms, professional practice firms and Fortune 500 companies including Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Chanel, Cisco, Harcourt, and Prudential, among several others. She is one of several hundred coaches worldwide awarded the designation of Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Ellen holds a certificate in coaching, a B.S in Computer Science and an M.S. in Management. She attended Executive Management Training Programs at Duke University and Arizona State University. Ellen is a contributing author to the ASTD published book, “Coaching for Extraordinary Results”, the co-author of “Executive Think Time – Thinking That Gets Results”, “Executive Foundation – 5 Essential Skills for Senior Leaders”, and “From Cross Purposes to Cooperation – The 10 Factors That Unify a Cross Functional Team.”
Nicole Nakashian is the Managing Director of Client Services at Agio Technology. She has been leading technology teams within the finance industry for over 10 years. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from SUNY Albany, a MBA from Long Island University, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and holds Series 7 and 63 licenses. Nicole lives with her partner in New York City and is the proud mother of twin girls, Madeline and Avery.