Founder & President
Vera is a Native New Yorker and an unapologetic beach lover who is always ready to play hooky to bask in the sun!
Her other passions include hosting large dinner parties for family and friends, and dancing around the living room with her girlfriends to very loud music.
She believes in compassionate sisterhood, the power of storytelling, and that art heals.
Vera has a B.F.A. in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and an M.A. in Drama Therapy from NYU, Steinhardt. She has worked as a drama therapist at Bellevue Hospital in NYC with psychiatric, homeless, and drug addicted patients.
In recent years her focus has been on working with women as a Wellness Coach. She is also a Breast Cancer Recovery BOSU Specialist, and the founder of "Fit & Fierce after Fifty," a workout series taught at Uplift Studios in New York City.
Amelia Salzman has been working to improve environmental quality through policy change for over thirty years.
She currently is principal at Lazer's Bight, LLC providing strategic policy advice to a variety of foundations and non-profits, is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, and serves on several not-for- profit boards.
As Associated Director for Policy Outreach at the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Obama, Ms. Salzman led several conservation initiatives on behalf of the administration. She also engaged with a wide range of stakeholders interested in learning about or shaping the Administration's policies relating to climate and energy, land and water conservation, endangered species protection, technology innovation, pollution, and scientific integrity. Ms. Salzman served on President Obama's transition team for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and on Mrs. Obama's Council on Women and Girls.
Prior to working at the White House, Ms. Salzman was the senior program officer for energy, climate change and biodiversity at the Wallace Global Fund. Previous to that, she was a senior program officer in the International Policy Program at World Wildlife Fund U.S. Ms. Salzman launched her environmental career in the honors program of the U.S. Department of in the Environment Division. She received a J.D. from New York University and a BA from Brown University.
Ms. Salzman lives in New York City with her husband and near her two daughters. Her mother and grandmother both survived breast cancer.
Paula Reardon is a Senior Client Partner for Korn Ferry Hay Group based in the Firm’s New York office.
Ms. Reardon is responsible for managing large, strategic accounts for the Firm in and around New York.
She ensures custom and off-the-shelf solutions are aligned and integrated to drive strategic business priorities.
She primarily works with clients in the financial services, consumer products, life sciences, and luxury retail industries.
Ms. Reardon has over twenty-five years of experience in sales, sales leadership, and relationship management. She works with our client companies to help senior leaders improve their organizational effectiveness and performance through leadership and talent strategy, and aligning enterprise-talent and leadership initiatives with their strategic goals. Ms. Reardon’s experience includes work in the areas of leadership assessment and development, learning strategy, and large-scale coaching initiatives and global program implementation.
Ms. Reardon obtained a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
Jill Shomer is a writer and editor at Columbia University. She has more than 20 years experience in magazine editorial, including Managing Editor roles at Women's Health and Popular Science.
Kelly Fisher Collamore
Senior Vice President, American Express, 1998 - 2017
New York University, School of Business, MBA 1998
Breast Cancer Survivor
(Full Bio coming soon)
International Board Member
Amanda Roberts is an Australian who grew up in Hong King, England and Australia.
After earning her Bachelor degree in literature at the University of Western Australia she worked as a researcher and assistant speech writer for the State Premier for over three years.
In 1986 she moved to the US, returning to her love of literature with doctoral study in Boston and Palo Alto.
There, between reading, teaching and writing term papers and a dissertation she became the mother of a (still) adorable American citizen and began dreaming of life in a New York City loft.
After raising her three sons in Sydney she fulfilled this dream in 2015 when she moved back to the US with her husband and youngest son and took up residence in Union Square.
A jack of all trades literary and crafty, Amanda has worked as a lecturer in and teacher of English and indigenous Australian literature, writing and writing as therapy tutor, fiction and non-fiction developmental and copy editor, knitting and embroidery instructor and in-class assistant and private tutor of children and young adults with learning disabilities. She has served on editorial, educational and charitable committees. In recent years she most enjoys wasting time with her children and their partners and working with textiles. Her current projects include a quilt exploring the "genre" of cardboard signage written and used by the homeless of New York and reworking and embellishing vintage embroidered household linens with her own decorative or subversive stitching.
A two time survivor of breast cancer, Amanda has used her love of reading and creative writing to help others work through their own experiences of serious illness and depression.
Dr. Louis M. Aledort
Louis M. Aledort, MD, MACP, is the Mary Weinfeld Professor of Clinical Research in Hemophilia at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
He was educated and trained at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the University of Rochester, and the University of Virginia.
Dr Aledort has spent his career in the specialty of bleeding disorders, and has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and the House Ways and Means Committee.
He has chaired and has been a member of the Practice Committees of the American Society of Hematology and the American College of Physicians. In 2010, Dr Aledort received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Research Society. In 2014, Dr Aledort received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from Lund University in Sweden.
He has written more than 400 articles on several aspects of bleeding and clotting disorders with an emphasis on the supply availability and affordability of blood products. Dr Aledort also had been involved in developing healthcare programs and their underwriting in developing nations.
Stephen B. Schneider
In over thirty years of professional experience, Stephen has written, produced and directed a diverse body of award-winning work in film, video, music and live corporate theatrical events.
He has been recognized for creative excellence and been the recipient of numerous awards including those presented at the New York International Film and Television Festival, the Houston International Film Festival, the Telly Awards, the U.S. Industrial Film Festival, and the American Song Festival.
As Creative Director, Stephen has conceptualized, written and supervised major shows and critical show elements for such clients as Novartis, IBM, Canon USA, Celgene, Gillette, Parke-Davis, Deloitte, Merck, Lincoln-Mercury, Cendant/ERA, ICI Americas, Schering-Plough, the Berlin Tourist Board and others.
Working as director and interviewer, Stephen has also created numerous pieces featuring high-profile business leaders and celebrities including: Sir Howard Stringer (SONY), Thomas Friedman (NY Times), Malcolm Gladwell (Author), Ken Chenault (American Express), John Chambers (Cisco), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Lou Gerstner and Sam Palmisano (IBM), Meg Whitman (eBay), Gene Kranz (NASA), Kathleen Rice (District Attorney), Sunil Mittal (Bharti, India), Susan Chambers (Wal-Mart), Uma Chowdhry (Dupont), the President of Portugal, George Clooney and many others.
Additionally, Stephen has been writer and director on hundreds of video projects of all kinds around the country and in many countries around the world.
Stephen has also served as Creative Director and writer for several annual charity events including the Viscardi Center Fundraiser starring celebrity athletes such as Joe Namath, Eli Manning, JoJo Starbuck and Sarah Hughes and Broadway Barks featuring Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore.
Stephen boasts a wide breath of nuts-and-bolts production experience that comes to bear on his professional capacities as Creative Director. Oh, and he can even play the ukulele!
Elisabeth Frank is an Executive Producer with extensive project implementation expertise.
She has developed, managed and executed highly innovative and technically intricate live events and videos for leaders in the pharmaceutical, financial and entertainment industries.
Her leadership strategy sets the tone for an organized, detail oriented and highly responsive production team. Elisabeth is extremely collaborative with both clients and vendors and knows how to get the job done as efficiently as possible and with as much fun as possible. She starts every job having thought through plan A, plan B and plans C-Z. Nothing gets by her.
Elisabeth lives in New York City with her musician husband. She is passionate about yoga indoor cycling and loves volunteering at senior centers with her certified therapy dog Sophie.
Patricia McGuinness has been serving various communities in NYC for much of her career.
She started out working with the natural families of children in Foster Care, established adolescent Group Homes and went on to earn a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from NYU with post-graduate training in Drama Therapy.
Patricia moved on to become a Creative Arts Therapist, working in Adult Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center.
Patricia's careers have also included collaborating with her husband, developing Sound and Smart House design; performed in commercials; sang with The Village Light Opera Group and other Community Theater companies; taught English to Chinese speaking children; and bartended. Her pro bono work includes being a member of the NEST + m's PTA Executive Board and working with the Xavier Mission in Chelsea, NYC to provide services to our homeless neighbors. She is an avid photographer and has exhibited her work in NYC.
Currently, Patricia employs her creative arts interests and talents working with Fresco Decorative Painting, Inc in Soho, NYC where she collaborates with artists, designers and architects to provide handpainted interiors for international luxury retail settings.
Patricia lives in NYC with her husband Duane Yrizarry and is the proud mother of Aidan.