BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Scott Rechler, Co-Chairman

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR Realty LLC. Scott serves as Chairman of the Board of the Regional Plan Association. He previously served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and chaired the Port Authority's Capital Planning Committee, where he oversaw the Port's $30 billion capital budget. In May 2013, Scott was appointed to represent Governor Cuomo on the Board of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation. Scott serves on the Boards of The Long Island Children’s Museum, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Tribeca Film Institute where he serves as its co­-Chairman of the Board. 

 

Tonya Surman, Co-Chairman

CEO / Co­Founder of the Centre for Social Innovation. Tonya is a Global Ashoka Fellow, where she has been recognized for building shared spaces and networks for social innovators designed to foster cooperation. Tonya is the founding co­chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network and has been active within the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada. Previous to CSI, Tonya was the founding Partnership Director of the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment, a legislative framework to manage chemicals and the banning of BPA in baby bottles. 

 

 

Lyel Resner

Head of K­12 and Social Impact at Flatiron School. Lyel is also an Adjunct Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and a co­founder of Startup Box South Bronx, a unique campus offering K­12 & community education in technology, design, and entrepreneurship that links low­income communities to the startup ecosystem. 

 

 

 

Gary Goldring

Former co­-CEO of Spears, Leeds, and Kellogg, a stock trading clearinghouse purchased by Goldman Sachs in 2000 for $6.5 billion. Gary is an active philanthropist and operates a private family foundation. He is a long time board member of Earthwatch. He is also a part owner of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. 

 

 

 

Frank Raffaele aka “Turtle”

Founder/CEO of the social enterprise COFFEED. A social enterprise, COFFEED is a growing New York City-based café, specialty coffee, and catering company. COFFEED has become CSI NYC's go­to vendor for coffee and catering over the past year. COFFEED operates the concession at Long Island City Landing and recently opened their first Manhattan location at the Foundling Hospital headquarters, located at 6th Avenue and 17th Street. 

 

 

Bill Wise

CEO of Media Ocean, a global digital ad sales platform. Bill has spent the last decade at the forefront of the digital advertising revolution. Over his career, he is responsible for more than $3 billion in mergers, acquisitions, and public offerings. Bill's teenage son Connor is enrolled in the social innovation program at The Avenues School, with which CSI NYC has a partnership. 

 

 

Jay Corless

Senior Director for Innovation at the United Nations Foundation. In this position he seeks to identify, showcase, and scale social innovations that deliver impact on international development goals. His professional work spans two decades within the UN System and the private sector, including multiple roles at UNESCO. Jay has broad work experience in communication, online technologies, cultural diplomacy, design innovations, policy development and project management. 

 

 

Susan Davis

Susan Davis is an author, speaker, and thought leader in international development and civil society innovation.  Through 2015, she was the President and CEO of BRAC USA, an organization that she co-founded in 2006 to advance the global mission of BRAC, the world’s largest development organization dedicated to eradicating poverty.  In 2010, she co-authored the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know. She has appeared on CNN and ABC News discussing global poverty and health issues, and her work on microfinance and entrepreneurship creation in developing countries has appeared in Innovations, Harvard Business Review, and other publications. She was a founding board member and Chair Emeritus of the Grameen Foundation.  She is a senior advisor to New York University’s Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Susan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on several boards in addition to the Center for Social Innovation including the Segal Family Foundation, United Nations Fund for International Partnership, and Learn With All. She was educated at Georgetown, Harvard, and Oxford Universities.  She is the 2016 receipient of the Rotary Alumni Global Service to Humanity Award.

Hope Taitz

Managing Partner of ELY Capital, an advisory firm focused on analyzing and investing in the consumer and technology industries (including Flatiron School, ATTN: and LiquidTalent). Previously, she founded her own money management firm, Catalyst Partners. Hope is a member of the boards of Diamond Resorts International, Apollo Residential Mortgage, and Athene Holding Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Hope is a founding executive member of the Youth Renewal Fund, an executive board member of Pencils of Promise, and a board member of the Future Project and Fred Wilson's New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education. Hope also previously served on the board of Girls Who Code. 

Malik Yoba

As an actor, writer, director, producer, musician, activist, educator, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, author and branded entertainment strategist, Malik tackles his quest to live a purpose filled life and not only entertain but also educate young people in communities across the world on the value of accountability, integrity and leadership. 

 

 

 

David Seabrooke

David left the corporate Banking and Construction Industry in 1992 to focus his attention on making a difference by assisting others that are the forgotten of society.  This allowed him to work with different groups and faiths around the world including Boca Raton, Haiti Katmandu, Nepal and a Cancer Clinic for children In Kharkov Ukraine.  Since 2009 David started Canoe Studios in New York.  Originally started to handle photo and video shoots for the fashion industry and top photographers it has since expanded to be involved in producing and managing business meetings and product launches as well as full events.  Canoe Studios has allowed him the privilege to assist many non-profits and charities needing space for fundraising  

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson 

Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson is currently an Associate Producer and co-producer for the legendary CBS newsmagazine, 60 Minutes. Her work has covered everything from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the first exclusive interview French President Nicolas Sarkozy granted to an American news program. Before joining 60 Minutes, Mrs. Laguerre-Wilkinson was a producer for the NBC News program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.  Mrs. Laguerre-Wilkinson has lived in Haiti, France and the U.S.  She holds a B.A. in English from Marist College, earned her International Baccalaureate from the United Nations International School, and attended the Lycée Français de New York as well as l’Ecole des Roches in Normandy, France.

 

Frank Cohen

Frank Cohen is a Senior Managing Director with the Blackstone Group based in New York. He is the Global Head of Core+ Real Estate and a member of the firm’s real estate investment committee. Since joining Blackstone in 1996, Frank has been involved in over $100 billion of real estate transactions. He has been involved with many of the firm’s notable investments, including Equity Office, CarrAmerica Realty, Trizec and IndCor Properties. Frank received a BA from Northwestern University, where he graduated from the Honors Program in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, with a double major in political science. He serves as a director for Hudson Pacific Properties, as well as for several Blackstone portfolio companies, including Equity Office. He is also a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and on the WCAS Board of Visitors at Northwestern University. 

 

Shruti Ganguly

Shruti Ganguly is a filmmaker and the co-founder and a partner at Fictionless. Previously, Shruti has run video departments and developed the video strategy at various media companies from MTV, to Conde Nast/Vogue, to being the VP of TV & Video at NYLON. Shruti has produced several movies with talent such as James Franco, Jessica Chastain, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, Olivia Wilde, Whoopi Goldberg, and Chloe Sevigny, that have gone to Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, and AFI, etc. She is currently producing the feature Green Dolphin, with Keanu Reeves and director Chris Kenneally, and her VR project, Through You, will be having its premiere at Sundance this weekend. Shruti continues to develop several other scripted films and TV shows and she will be directing her first feature, Eternal Buzz, this summer.

Shruti received her Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and was the first graduate of NYU's dual MFA (in Film) at Tisch and MBA at the Stern School of Business, where she had the Kenshin Oshima Scholarship and a Wayfare Fellowship. Shruti has also been a TED India (INK) Fellow and was a Global Economic Symposium Young Fellow. Shruti is a member of Obama and the DNC's ECCO committee, comprised of 25 entertainment industry leaders, and runs its Asian Caucus. She is also on the Creative Council for Emily's List. Shruti hails from India by way of Oman.

Dave Gise

Dave Gise co-founded CSI in 2013 and served as its Executive Director until 2017. For the first 18 years of his career, Dave connected people to healthy lifestyles as a personal trainer and managing partner in a health club. He then turned his attention to the tech world, where he connected new ideas to help solve new (and old) problems, launching four successful technology start-ups. From there, he connected his biggest dots yet – the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto with his hometown of New York City. He serves on the board of Drive Change.

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