At BoardAssist we believe: find fantastic people for phenomenal nonprofit boards and incredible things happen. Our sole mission is to identify and personally match high impact New Yorkers who want to be real agents of change with the hardworking boards that make our city the best it can be.
BoardAssist clients range from start-up organizations to some of the most established names in the nonprofit community, and serve interest areas from arts and education to the environment and poverty relief. Though most boards are New York-based, they serve locally, nationally and internationally. BoardAssist has been responsible for bringing over $80 million into the nonprofit community through our board placements over the last 15 years.
Cynthia Remec is the Executive Director and founder of BoardAssist. An internationally recognized authority on nonprofit governance issues, and highly sought after speaker, Ms. Remec has lectured on nonprofit governance at events for the business schools of Columbia, Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, as well as at forums for government agencies, leading financial service institutions and Fortune 100 corporations. Since founding BoardAssist, Ms. Remec has been responsible for bringing over $80 million into the nonprofit community through the board placements she has effected.
Ms. Remec has been quoted or profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Crain’s New York Business, and Conde Nast Portfolio, among other publications and is the author of Giving Back, a guide to nonprofit board service. Before founding BoardAssist, Ms. Remec had previously practiced corporate law with Pillsbury Winthrop, Weil Gotshal and JP Morgan. She currently serves on the board of Platinum Pals and Artadia, and formerly served on the boards of The After School Corporation and Resources for Children with Special Needs.
Sallie Abelow is a dedicated lawyer and banker with a long history of motivating volunteer work forces to achieve important ends, creatively solving problems through collaborative work processes, and managing multi-use real estate-based facilities. Ms. Abelow holds a B.A. from Trinity College and J.D. From University of Texas School of Law. She has previously sat on the board of the Matthews Ranch and Cattle Company and The River Club of New York. Most recently she served as Director of Finance for Park Children’s Day School.
Hugh Frater is the chairman of VEREIT, one of the largest net lease companies in the nation, which owns and manages over 100 million square feet of real estate. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Berkadia, and was a founding partner of BlackRock. Mr. Frater serves on the boards of directors of ABR, a Bermuda-based reinsurer, and Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest housing finance company. He is a former member of the board of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Mr. Frater holds an MBA from Columbia Business School (where he sits on the Board of Overseers) and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Aimee Garn is an independent consultant with Intrepid Relocation International in New York. In recent years she has worked as a freelance writer, founded a small press, and served as president of a nonprofit board devoted to teenage substance abuse prevention. Early in her career she was an art director and creative consultant. Ms. Garn holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.F.A. in graphic design from Yale University, and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University.
Richard Hall has been a partner with Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, one of New York’s largest law firms, since 1996, where he serves as mergers and acquisitions practice leader. Richard is a frequent speaker and lecturer on these topics at American Bar Association, International Bar Association and Practicing Law Institute events, and has been a guest lecturer on M&A matters at Harvard Law School, New York Law School and Yale Law School. Richard is also an Adjunct Professor at Cornell Law School. He has Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees, each from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Masters of Law degree from Harvard Law School.
Meryl Jacobs is an experienced and skilled businessperson who entered real estate sales after a successful career as a real estate attorney and development executive. Her philanthropic activities include volunteering at both of her sons’ schools, chairing several committees for UJA Federation of New York, and actively supporting The Jed Foundation, which works to promote mental health and prevent suicide among college students. Meryl started her real estate sales career, prior to joining Halstead Property, at both Warburg Realty and Douglas Elliman, after which she established her own commercial brokerage and consulting firm. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Fordham University School of Law.
Tracy Schwartz was formerly the Director of Digital Communications at Sard Verbinnen & Company, a leading strategic corporate and financial communication firm based in New York City. In addition to providing traditional public and media relations counsel, Ms. Schwartz oversaw the strategic development of and managed online reputations for a wide range of clients, including global corporations, public/private institutions, investment, financial and professional service firms, and high-profile individuals. During her tenure at the firm, she helped launch over 200 websites and developed global advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Schwartz was previously a marketing associate at Lazard Freres & Co. and Prudential Preferred Properties. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ellen Simon D.S.W. is the former Executive Director of Union Settlement Association, a 100+ year old human service agency serving the East Harlem Community with effective programs in child care, adult education, after school, meals on wheels, senior services, mental health counseling, and youth development. Prior to joining Union in 2000, Dr. Simon was the Director of Patient and Family Services at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Campus. Dr. Simon holds degrees from Simmons College, The University of Chicago and Hunter College School of Social Work. Dr. Simon serves on the board of Platinum Pals and is a past board member of Concrete Safaris. Dr. Simon currently works as a nonprofit consultant supporting a diverse set of clients ranging from social service to education reform nonprofits.
Xavier Sztejnberg is currently with the McCombs School of Business of The University of Texas at Austin on the finance faculty. Prior to UT, he was an executive in Corporate Development with Dell and also worked an investment banker with Lazard, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Blackstone. He was also formerly a consultant with McKinsey. Mr. Sztejnberg earned an MBA in Finance & Accounting, BS in Economics and BSE in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. BoardAssist is grateful to have Mr. Sztejnberg’s expertise as a Trustee Emeritus.