"BoardAssist found me the perfect board fit, where I could really make a difference."

a BoardAssist candidate.
Credit: The Bridge
offering help, hope and opportunity to NYC’s most vulnerable

Who We Are

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 $225 million into the nonprofit community through our board placements since 2001.

Executive Director

Cynthia Remec is the Executive Director and founder of BoardAssist.  An internationally recognized authority on nonprofit governance issues, 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 $250 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, Forbes, 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 was a corporate lawyer with Pillsbury Winthrop, Weil Gotshal and JP Morgan.  She formerly served on the boards of Platinum Pals, Artadia, ExpandED Schools and INCLUDE and currently sits on the Business Advisory Board of Hunter College and Major Gifts Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a Patron of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

Board of Directors

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 Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae.  He also currently serves as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of VEREIT, Inc. Mr. Frater previously led Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, a national commercial real estate company providing comprehensive capital solutions and investment sales advisory and research services for multifamily and commercial properties. Earlier in his career, Mr. Frater was an Executive Vice President at PNC Financial Services, where he led the real estate division, and was a Founding Partner and Managing Director of BlackRock, Inc.  Mr. Frater has a bachelor of arts in English from Dartmouth College, and a master of business administration in finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he serves on the Board of Overseers.  After serving 15 years on the BoardAssist board as Treasurer, BoardAssist is proud to have Mr. Frater currently serving as a Trustee Emeritus.

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.

Diarra K. Lamar, MD is a Principal in the New York office of PwC Strategy& where he focuses broadly on growth and deals strategy in healthcare services with deep expertise in providers, payers, and HCIT.  Dr. Lamar is an enthusiastic, active Board Chair of the Brooklyn Ballet Board (where he was proudly placed by BoardAssist) and Co-Chair of the Ambassadors’ Committee of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  A consummate lover of the arts more broadly, Dr. Lamar holds an AB, magna cum laude, in Cognitive Neurosciences, an MD, and MBA from Harvard University.  BoardAssist is honored to have Dr. Lamar serving as an Honorary Trustee on our Board.

Monica Mehta is an author, investor and sought after expert on finance, small business and the economy.  She is a managing principal at investment firm Seventh Capital.  Ms. Mehta has written columns for WSJ, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, INC and Entrepreneur Magazine and appears on Real Time with Bill Maher, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, BBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, ABC News. She is the author of award winning book The Entrepreneurial Instinct: How Everyone Has the Innate Ability to Start a Successful Small Business (McGraw-Hill 2012).  Throughout her career, Ms. Mehta has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs on a pro-bono basis to write business plans and secure loans through her work with the NY Business Solutions Center and the Wharton Small Business Development Center.  She is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Marko Remec is a conceptual sculptor. A keen observer of the human condition, Remec translates his firsthand experience to conceptual sculpture with wry yet playful wit.  Remec spent the first 25 years of his career as a Managing Director in Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley and Lazard Freres, becoming a full time sculptor in 2007.  He currently sits on the Art Advisory Board of Hunter College and is a past board member of INCLUDE and Volunteers of America.  Remec graduated with degrees in Studio Art and Chemistry from Williams College and earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

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.

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.



Young Professionals Board

Brianna Ferrante

Lowenstein Sandler

Joy Jack

Paul Weiss

Wei Li

TD Securities

Ryan Macedo

Court Square Capital

David Massart


Emily Mernar


Matthew Montaquila

Siris Capital

Claire Schreder

United States Department of Defense

Tunji Williams

Golub Capital