Susan is a former media and marketing professional with long term experience on the advertising agency side as well as the corporate marketing end of business. Susan has worked on a diverse mix of brands and products throughout her career, from package goods such as Kraft Cheese and Just for Men hair coloring to the US Army and Paramount Pictures. Susan has also been involved in the not for profit world working with Save the Children through their media and marketing efforts. She is a graduate of George Washington University. Susan recently became Co-Chair of NCJW NY’s Wednesday Community Kitchen and is sits on the Back 2 School Store Committee. Susan was on the Board of her local Synagogue in New Rochelle, where she, and her husband Jon, an attorney, raised their two sons. Susan and Jon now live in Manhattan as do their two sons and daughters-in-law.
Brooke spent her career in the hospitality industry, including event planning, meeting planning and catering sales for hotels and private catering companies in New York, New Orleans and Boston.
Brooke and her husband moved to New York City four and a half years ago from Boston. She stumbled upon NCJW NY while walking her dog about a year ago. She saw a sign outside that said there was a Food Pantry on Mondays, so she wandered in to inquire about volunteering. Brooke began volunteering on Mondays at the food pantry and on Wednesdays at the Community Kitchen, where she got to know current NCJW NY Board President Susan Siegel. Here in New York City she has served on the board of The Piatigorsky Foundation, which is dedicated to making live classical music an integral part of everyday life for communities throughout the United States. While living in Boston she was on the Leadership Committee for The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. She was also on the Board of Visitors for the School of Education at Syracuse University. Brooke also volunteered at The Second Step, a transitional housing program for women and their children who have left abusive relationships. Brooke graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Boston University.
Lisa R. Dell
Lisa worked in the Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Office for 35 years and retired in July 2019 from her position as Bureau Chief of the New York City Litigation Bureau. She held that position for seven years and prior to her appointment as Bureau Chief, she held high-level managerial positions within the Bureau. The Bureau is comprised of approximately 120 individuals (attorneys and paraprofessionals), and represents state officials, state agencies, public boards and authorities in a wide range of federal and state litigation. Lisa is an experienced litigator, having prevailed in all her federal trials, and is an effective and forceful advocate. She also served as a mentor to many junior attorneys, was a frequent lecturer and until her retirement, and served as the Attorney General’s representative on the Federal-State Judicial Council. Prior to her government service, she worked in private practice at a corporate law firm. Lisa has a B.A. from Washington University (Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. from Cardozo Law School (Law Review).
Karol W. Todrys
Karol served as a Co-President from 2010 – 2013 and President from 2014 – 2015. She graduated from Cornell University with an AB with Distinction and pursued Ph.D. studies in linguistics at the University of Chicago. As a Learning Leader volunteer at P.S. 151 in Manhattan, she tutored elementary school children and chaired the committee of tutors at the school for eleven years. Karol has also helped run volunteer programs at the Horace Mann School and has been involved in fundraising for the Legal Aid Society and the Yale Parents Annual Fund. She has been a member of NCJW NY since 2005, when she began tutoring in its Children’s Literacy Program. Karol is on the Jackson-Stricks Scholarship Commitee.
Meredith Barnett is a content and brand expert with broad experience creating and cultivating brand identities and brand positioning for clients in industries such as fashion, beauty, real estate, and interior design. Her clients have ranged from individual executives to startups to established brands, and have included eBay, Matouk, The Laundress, Tory Burch, Draper James, Cover FX, and others. She also regularly partners with major branding and public relations agencies on client projects. She is a strategic communicator, a strong public speaker, and a skilled writer with a keen sense for using brand storytelling to further customer engagement. She has her MBA from Harvard Business School and her B.A. from Brown University. She is a volunteer counselor for NCJWNY’s Pregnancy Loss Support Program and a member of the Board of the Christ Church Day School in New York, where she also served as President of the Parents’ Association. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three young children
Kimberly Chirls recently retired from a long career with Thomson Reuters as a Lead Project Manager for large, global technology projects. After years of nonprofit Board service and engagement in philanthropy, Kim started her own consulting practice to bring her project management and Board training to nonprofit organizations seeking guidance in Board development and governance best practices.
Kim served as Finance Chair and Board Chair for the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund. She also is on the Executive Committee of WellMet Philanthropy, a grant making network that provides catalyst grants to emerging nonprofits in NYC, and the President’s Leadership Council for Search for Common Ground, the largest NGO dedicated to peace building in areas of conflict around the globe. She is a member of the NationSwell Council, a community of service-minded leaders who convene to share and accelerate innovation, and to provide strategic guidance to innovators and community leaders. She is actively involved in Citizens’ Committee for Children of NY, including as a Class of 2021 graduate of their Community Leadership Course, as a member of their Advocacy Council and as a co-host on their 2021 Gala committee. Kim is also actively engaged in political fundraising as part of The New York Buddy Group, raising awareness and funds for Congressional and Senate candidates in swing districts.
Kim grew up in Kentucky and South Carolina and is an alumna of the University of South Carolina. She and her husband, Richard, live on the upper west side and in Cold Spring, NY, and have been long standing members of Congregation Rodeph Sholom. She has two children: a daughter graduating college in May 2021 and a son a few years older who lives and works in NYC.
Lisa Denby is the co-founder of Managed Solutions, a 100% woman-owned firm that provides strategic leadership and tactical support for national brands, corporations, retailers, and agencies. Lisa’s focus is on helping clients evolve new and emerging brands from concept to final tactical execution. Lisa recently led the Managed Solutions team in the development of the culture, brand and operational workflows for a new group of specialty food stores.
A graduate of Vassar College, Lisa has served on the Board of the Alumnae/i Association as a member of the Nominating Committee and Chair of the Communications Advisory Committee. She has also served as the President of her co-op Board for 20 plus years and served as Vice President for East End Temple in New York City. Lisa has actively supported Hudson Valley political organizing for local candidates. Lisa lives in NYC and in Cold Spring, NY with her husband, Ron, and has two grown daughters.
Wendy Harrison Hashmall
Wendy Harrison Hashmall is a lawyer, a writer, and an editor. She worked most of her career at Random House, where she was Vice President and Associate Publishing Director of the Children’s Publishing Group and Director of Business Affairs after working for five years as an Associate General Counsel in the Law Department.
At Random House, Ms. Hashmall primarily served as a deal maker, troubleshooter, and problem solver, and hired, trained, and managed the subsidiary rights team and its budget which brought in over a third of the division’s profit each year. She was instrumental in acquiring major licensing and literary properties and was an active member of the Group Publishing Board and Steering Committees which “brainstormed” with the President and CEO of Random House about creating new business opportunities. Ms. Hashmall has vast experience editing everything from essays to screenplays.
Ms. Hashmall has also been an active volunteer her entire adult life. Her volunteer experience includes many years of service on the board of Pentacle, a non-profit company that serves contemporary dance and performing artists, Musical Theater Works, a non-profit company that fostered the creation of new musicals, The Flea Theater in Tribeca where she served on the board as Co-Chair of Development and Secretary, the board of the Ethical-Fieldston Fund of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Schools for which her duties were primarily fund-raising , co-chair of her law school class 2017 Reunion Committee at New York University School of Law, the By-Laws Committee of the Children’s Book Council, the Copyright Committee of the City Bar of New York, and as a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA. She has also served as both president and secretary of the board of her building. She is presently serving as Secretary on the board of The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY.
Ms. Hashmall holds both a J.D. and LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University School of Law and graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. cum laude in American Studies
Gail is President of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., where she has worked since 1983. She is the President of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (the AAR), the one professional organization of literary and theatrical agents in the U.S., and you can always find her with her nose in a book (or a manuscript). In 2006, she was awarded NCJW NY’s Jane Strauss Award for her dedication to bringing authors to speak at various Council programs. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her son Jacob is a graduate of Pomona College and lives in Paris, France; her daughter Elena is a graduate of Carleton. Gail is the daughter of long-time Board member Estelle Hochman.
Heidi Lurensky is a longtime preschool teacher at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, and also serves as an administrator in the Gift of Literacy and Gift of Math program, helping to bring one-on-one tutoring to hundreds of underperforming and at-risk students across Manhattan. Heidi sits on the Board of Directors at the JCC as well as UJA-Federation of New York, and is vice chair of the board of the Hebrew Educational Society in Canarsie. Among other committee and leadership roles at UJA, Heidi is the Leadership Development Chair of the UJA Women’s executive committee, where she has successfully founded UJA Women: Taking The Lead, which develops young women leaders to succeed at UJA committee and board tables as well as in their own professional life. At the JCC, Heidi developed Women of the J, a discussion group that has spun off to include a series for professional women, and a giving circle for women across age and interest groups.
Heidi has three children and lives with her husband and family on the Upper West Side
Elaine currently serves as the General Counsel at Interactive Brokers. Prior to that, Elaine was General Counsel of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement of the Citi Institutional Clients Group. Her group was responsible for all litigation, internal investigations and regulatory inquiries and related investigations, sweeps and enforcement proceedings for Citi’s institutional businesses, including investment banking, sales and trading, capital markets origination and private banking.
Prior to starting at Citigroup in 1997, Ms. Mandelbaum was a litigation attorney at the New York office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, and previously at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She is a member of the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Executive Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of the Legal Action Center and the American Friends of Hebrew University. She is a frequent speaker on topics relating to complex securities litigation, as well as internal and regulatory investigations. Ms. Mandelbaum is a graduate of Yale College and of Harvard Law School.
Suzanne Reisman has over 20 years of experience in the fields of community and economic development, social services, social justice, and affordable housing. Aiming to be part of solutions to eliminate the economic, social, and racial inequality that characterizes American society, Suzanne’s experience includes working with a wide range of organizations and supporting partnerships between various sectors. Adaptable and analytical, she worked for several local and national organizations including Enterprise Community Partners, Low Income Investment Fund, and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, as well as consulted for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Supportive Housing Network of New York. Suzanne brings her wicked sense of humor to all of her work. In the last few years, she has focused on writing novels for adults and children. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The New School.
Susan serves as Managing Director of Real Estate at the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is a non-profit organization that fights poverty in New York City by applying investment principals to charitable giving and supporting the strongest, most effective programs helping the city’s poor build better lives for themselves and their families. At Robin Hood, Susan is responsible for the foundation’s Capital Grant Initiative, a program which provides technical assistance and funding to help grantee organizations with real estate and facilities issues. In addition, she manages Robin Hood’s Library Initiative, which builds libraries in public elementary schools across New York City. Prior to joining Robin Hood, Susan was a Vice President in the Merchant Banking division at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she was responsible for financing real estate for the Whitehall funds (Goldman Sachs’ proprietary real estate fund). Before Goldman Sachs, she spent six years as an associate in the real estate department at Sullivan & Cromwell. Susan earned a BA from Wellesley College in 1989 and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. She has served on the board of NCJW NY since 1999.
Leah Greenman Zisfein
Leah has been an active member of NCJW NY’s Advocacy Leadership Committee since 2017, focusing on the areas of Reproductive Justice and Sex-Trafficking. Leah spent 15 years as a litigator in New York at Bower & Gardner, and Law Secretary to Hon. Karla Moskowitz. After moving to Connecticut with her husband and daughter, she was admitted to the Connecticut state bar and resumed work as a litigator at Willinger, Willinger, Tower and Bucci. Her specialties included appellate work, product liability, and nursing home risk management and defense. Leah has served on the Board of her synagogue, The Conservative Synagogue (TCS) is Westport, CT, and held several other leadership positions including Co-President of Sisterhood. Most recently, Leah worked in New York at the law firm of Ledy-Gurren Bass and Siff, PC, retiring in 2017. Leah holds a BA from the State University of New York at Albany and a JD from St. John’s University School of Law.
Chairperson of the Committee Chairs Coordinating Council
Past Presidents of NCJW NY
Jean S. Krosner
Paula A. Moss
Roberta K. Pincus
Nancy B. Rubinger