Katherine Soll, CEO/Director. Kathy Soll believes that all New Yorkers should be committed to ending hunger, food insecurity and poor nutrition in one of the world’s greatest cities and that connecting youth to this mission and each other is a critical part of achieving that goal. Teens for Food Justice was built on the concept that hands-on volunteering and helping others builds character and creates a unique level-playing field where people of all backgrounds can contribute equally through hard work and commitment, something hard to find in an increasingly polarized, stratified world. She also believes that service is a powerful tool for tapping young people’s talents, resources, and abilities, helping them flourish and work productively with others, and that youth who help solve social problems become more positive, engaged, hopeful adults who remain active throughout their lives on behalf of social change. Kathy raised and educated two children in New York City’s public and independent school systems, serving in various leadership capacities within their schools’ PTAs and other community organizations. A lifelong New Yorker, she has also worked in the for-profit sector in management and marketing.
Board of Directors
Tara Smith, Chair. Tara Smith is the founder of Triptyk Studios, a company that develops and produces Broadway, film, tv and web-based IP. Tara made her Broadway debut at 26 as Co-Lead Producer of the hit musical satire, Xanadu, for which she was honored with the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award and a TONY Award Nomination for Best Musical. Other Broadway hits include The Seagull starring Kristen Scott Thomas, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America (TONY nominee), The Performers, starring Henry Winkler and Alicia Silverstone and the critically-acclaimed, new Broadway production of An American in Paris. Ms. Smith is a proud member of The Broadway League and the National Alliance of Musical Theater.
Connie Early, Project Director. Connie Early is a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group, working primarily in their Healthcare Practice, focused on strategy and operations. She is involved in their community engagement activity and high school mentoring program. She has previously worked for the UK Government across multiple policy areas, including education funding, climate change and trade and investment. Raised in Scotland, Connie studied Astrophysics at the University of St Andrews. She now lives in Soho with her husband and son, and enjoys vegan cooking, yoga and rock-climbing.
Chana Chenfeld, Co-Founder, Vice President. Chana Gandal Chenfeld is a graduate of Ohio State University. After graduating, she worked for two years at the UJA Federation in NYC in the New Gifts department developing techniques for soliciting new donors. Following that, Chana spent four years working in marketing for Remco Toys. Subsequently, she worked for Columbia Pictures as the Director of International Licensing for their television and motion pictures. While raising her three children, Chana worked to create Columbia Cares, the community service arm for the lower school at Columbia Prep, a NY based private school. Her involvement at Columbia continued as a member of both the diversity and social action committees, which brought information to and engaged the community in issues that brought a better understanding to elevating the ethics and culture of the school. She has chaired various community based committees and given countless hours towards raising funds for the various public and private schools her children have attended.
Mauricio Garcia. Mauricio Garcia is the Deputy Director at Cities of Service, a national nonprofit organization that supports mayors and city chief executives in their efforts to engage local communities and solve problems together. He has over a decade of nonprofit management experience leading programs and strategy for organizations focused on workforce development, financial empowerment, and community development. Mauricio previously served as Director of New York Programs at Seedco and as Director of Services at The Financial Clinic. Mauricio holds a master’s degree in public administration from the City University of New York’s Baruch College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oakland University. He is also an alumnus of the Coro Leadership New York program.
Neil Goldstein. Neil Goldstein is a principal and member of the Executive Committee for Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck P.C. He is also Chairman of the Real Estate Department and member of the Firm’s Corporate Department Committee. In addition, he is a personal counselor and legal adviser to a number of prominent, high income, high net worth individuals in the fashion, music and real estate industries. He was a member of the Brooklyn Law Review in 1966 and 1967, and is currently a member of the Association of the Bar in the City of New York.
Henry Gordon-Smith. Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies. Henry was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada, Spain, Austria, and the United States. Henry earned his BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, a certificate in Food Security and Urban Agriculture from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. Henry is the Founder of the popular blog Agritecture.com and Co-Founder of the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF). Two years ago, Henry launched his company Blue Planet Consulting, a boutique urban agriculture advising firm where he helps entrepreneurs with vertical farming feasibility studies, recruiting, and systems design. Henry could not be more excited about empowering the teens of today to be the food justice leaders of tomorrow with the TFFJ team!
Loretta Harms, Secretary. Loretta Harms is the Owner/Partner of independent film company Motocinema Inc. She is Executive Producer and Producer of LAMBERT & STAMP, the rock ‘n’ roll creative relationship story about the phenomenon known as THE WHO, recently released by Sony Pictures Classics. Her past films have appeared on broadcast channels: The Sundance Channel, IFC and PBS, with her art films and installations exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Photography, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, BMOCA and the Kunstalle, Germany. Loretta believes in the transformative power of creative team building. She was a championship rower at Tufts University, and holds a black belt in martial arts. She is an Artist Member of The Lotos Club and has served on the Advisory Board of the Tufts University Gallery.
Stephanie Mudick. Stephanie Mudick is Executive VP and Head of Supervisory Regulatory Strategy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Previously, she was Head of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for Mortgage Banking serving on the Executive Committee for Chase Consumer and Community Banking and the Mortgage Banking Executive Committee. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Stephanie was the Co-General Counselor of Citigroup before taking the position as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Global Consumer Group. Stephanie serves as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of City Year New York, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the American Museum of Natural History. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Families and Work Institute, the Board of Corporate Advisors for The Global Fund for Women, and the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers.
Judy Schoenberg. Judy Schoenberg is a seasoned mission driven leader with two decades of professional experience in the social sector focused on research, program development, strategy and philanthropy. She is currently a leadership consultant partnering with academic, non-profit, and start-up ventures. Previously, during her fifteen-year tenure at Girl Scouts of the USA, Judy was Chief Research Executive and led the Girl Scouts Research Institute. Her work has been featured at White House events and in national media outlets. Judy has also held positions as a program officer at a national women’s foundation and as a Brooklyn legal advocate. She is passionate about social action and wellness and was a Coro Leadership New York fellow in civic participation and is a certified health coach. For over a decade, she has co-led cooking classes with students at the Storefront Academy in East Harlem. She is currently a member of board of directors at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn. Judy holds a bachelor of arts (comparative literature) degree from Haverford College and a master’s in education (human development and psychology) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. A native New Yorker, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons, and enjoys running and yoga, reading with her boys and cooking anything green.
Valerie Soll. Valerie Soll has been a textile conservator at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine for the past 20 years. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Fashion and Textile Studies graduate program at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she teaches collections management and basic conservation courses. With a background in dyeing and reweaving,Valerie has also taught conservation dye courses and rug workshops for FIT’s advanced conservation students. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, and has been an instructor in an AIC sponsored Preventive Conservation workshop on Ossabaw Island, GA. Valerie received her BA from University of Oregon and her special training in rug restoration in Ankara, Turkey. As well as serving on the TFFJ board, Valerie is on the board of the Look and Listen Festival and a team leader for a New York Cares reading program.
Leslie Waller. Leslie is a Marketing & Brand Strategist veteran who has led several domestic and global fast-moving consumer goods brands such as Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Planters, and Trident. In these roles, living in both North American and Singapore, she has been responsible for building high performing teams, revitalizing iconic brands, and expanding brands and platforms into new emerging markets. She is now a freelance Senior Brand Strategist for a global brand design agency and Founder of Fire Opal Communications.
Cathy Cramer. Cathy Cramer is Executive Director of New York Interschool, a coalition of 8 independent schools in New York City. NYI does collaborative projects between the schools involving students, faculty and parents and acts as a conduit between the schools and the greater NYC community. NYI runs academic programs, cultural exchanges, and service learning and peer leadership opportunities for students. She also directs the Faculty Diversity Search, which recruits faculty of color for the independent schools. Cathy has been a consultant to several NYC nonprofit organizations, has worked in city government (NYC Board of Education and City Council President’s Office) and at a major NYC law firm. She has been a teacher and has served on several nonprofit Boards, including Sanctuary for Families. She is currently board chair of Planned Parenthood of New York City, where she has been involved for over 30 years.
Sara Mears, Brand Strategist. Sara Mears is a communications professional with a track record of creating award-winning strategies, brands and designs. Prior to founding Communication By Design, Sara worked for more than two decades for NYC agencies with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies (American Express and Milliken) to global nonprofits (Planned Parenthood and International Women’s Health Coalition) and charitable foundations (The Commonwealth Fund and Carnegie Foundation). Sara now focuses on business and nonprofit startups, as well as existing organizations looking to take their brands to the next level.
Elaine Morales, Development Consultant. A seasoned development consultant and grant writer, Elaine Morales has worked with 39 New York City not-for-profit organizations over more than 20 years. Elaine earned a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and certification as a holistic health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Elizabeth Tobbe Swibel, Grant Writer. Elizabeth is an independent grant-writing consultant for nonprofit agencies nationwide. Prior to becoming a consultant, Elizabeth was the Director of Grants and Foundations Relations for the Anti-Defamation League. She also edited publications for the Association for Interactive Media and was a reporter for Phillips Business Information, during which time she published regularly as a freelance journalist for the Washington Business Journal. Elizabeth is the recipient of the American University’s 2004 John D. Young Memorial Award and 2003 and 2004 Susan Dweck Scholarship.
Andrew McGee and Matthew Hettler, Architects. Andrew McGee and Matthew Hettler run Format Design, an architecture and design practice based in Brooklyn, NY. They provide full-service architectural design and construction management, as well as graphic design and website design/development. Since May of 2015, they have worked pro bono with TFFJ to provide architectural drawings and graphic representations of various classroom-based hydroponic farming systems.