Board of Directors
Members of our Board of Directors represent a diversity of experience and expertise. Their broad skills and resources help guide the Andrew Goodman Foundation into the 21st Century.
Members of our Board of Directors represent a diversity of experience and expertise. Their broad skills and resources help guide the Andrew Goodman Foundation into the 21st Century.
Energized by the opportunities he saw being created by the Internet in the New York metropolitan area, Mr. Goodman co-founded Activate Venture Partners in 1999. Between 1981 and 1999, prior to founding Activate Venture Partners, Mr. Goodman was with the U.S. office of Hambros, a London-based merchant bank where he supervised the growth of the venture business from $5 million to $150 million of paid-in-capital. Prior to Hambros, Mr. Goodman worked at Patricof & Co. (now Apax Partners), which he joined in 1974. Among other transactions, the Patricof fund invested $250,000 in the final private financing round raised by Apple Computer in the summer of 1977.
From 1970 through 1973, Mr. Goodman managed WBAI FM, an educationally licensed, listener-sponsored FM radio station in NYC. Before managing WBAI, Mr. Goodman joined the Bedford Stuyvesant Development & Services Corporation in Brooklyn, NY. His group made SBA-guaranteed loans to dozens of small businesses to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.
Mr. Goodman started his business career by joining his family’s high-fashion retailing business, Bergdorf Goodman, in New York City. He spent five years with the firm and worked with his father on the sale of the business to Carter Hawley Hale Stores, a New York Stock Exchange company, in 1972. The Goodman family retains ownership of the land and building.
Mr. Goodman is a former board chair and a current life trustee of the Board of the Choate Rosemary Hall School and is a former board chair and a current member of the Board of FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology), an 11,000-student college within the State University of New York system. Mr. Goodman holds a BA in English Literature from Yale College in 1962 and an MS from Columbia University Business School in 1979. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from June of 1962 to June of 1967.
David Goodman is the brother of Andrew Goodman and the Vice Chairman of The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Board of Directors. Professionally, David is a civil engineer and holds an MBA from Stanford University. He was the founder and CEO of United American Energy Corp., an electric generation and power company operating in 8 states throughout the U.S. David is a member of the Global Leadership Council of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), member of US Green Building Council, member of American Solar Energy Society, member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, on the Advisory Board of the Natural History Museum of The Adirondacks, and a Trustee Emeritus of the Antioch College Board of Trustees. He brings extensive experience in developing, operating, and expanding organizations.
Janet Dewart Bell is a social justice activist with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law and is the author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement. An award-winning television and radio producer, she lives in New York City.
Dale Berger is a member of Women for Women International’s Global Board of Directors. She currently serves as a member of the Global Revenue & Advancement Committee and the Global Program Committee.
Ms. Berger has a long career as a businesswoman specializing in retail, owning several successful stores in New York City. She most recently worked as a commercial real estate broker, specializing in the leasing of office space and sales of commercial buildings.
Ms. Berger has held numerous leadership roles with various not-for-profit organizations including Her Justice, of which she is a former Board Member, where she founded and organized their successful annual photography auction. She is also a former Board Member of New Alternatives for Children and a Founding Member of the Young Leadership of Israel Bonds. Ms. Berger has counseled City Year New York in their early development.
Ms. Berger holds degrees from Skidmore College and Tufts University. She and her husband, Max W. Berger, have four children and ten grandchildren.
Lola Brown is a scientist, educator, and entrepreneur. She is an expert in the academic success of students in math and science, from kindergarten to postgraduate, with a specialization in equipping Ph.D. students with the tools to successfully complete their doctoral studies in STEM disciplines.
Dr. Brown is currently the Assistant Dean for Research at Weill Cornell Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York. In addition to her leadership role at Weill Cornell, Dr. Brown has found time to reach out to her community and share her passion for science and engineering education. She had an academic enrichment business for middle and high school students specializing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and was a teacher at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. She has provided research mentorship and training to scores of undergraduate and graduate students throughout her career.
Lola obtained her bachelor of science from Brown University in biology where she conducted research studying tissue engineered heart valves. She took her master of science from the joint department of biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University studying the stroke pathology in children with sickle cell anemia. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in biochemistry as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow after solving the structure of proteins involved in HIV. Immediately following the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Brown began postdoctoral research in biomedical engineering at Yale University.
Her highly interdisciplinary training and skill set, which combines biomedical engineering, structural biology, and molecular biology, which makes her well suited to analyze projects from multiple perspectives. Lola has a deep commitment to teaching and mentoring and was awarded the 2009 "30 Under 30" Award for her science outreach efforts. Lola is committed to contributing to STEM education in a manner that values high achievement and meaningful community impact.
Dr. Brown is an active member of her undergraduate alma mater, Brown University, where she is a Women’s Launch Pad mentor and a member of the President’s Advisory Council for the College.
Vaughn Buffalo is the Managing Partner of Buffalo & Associates LLC. Mr. Buffalo has practiced corporate law for over 25 years, advising companies in all phases of the corporate life cycle. Recently, Mr. Buffalo has focused his practice on merger and acquisition transactions that are generally less than $15 million in overall value as this segment is often underserved. In the past five years, Mr. Buffalo has advised clients in connection with over 25 completed merger and acquisition transactions acting as counsel to both buyers and sellers. He has industry expertise in traditional wholesale clothing, jewelry, distribution, apiary and beekeeping, software, industrial gas, and clean tech industries.
Prior to establishing Buffalo & Associates in 2003, Mr. Buffalo worked as General Counsel and Director of Business Development for eBricks.com, where he helped guide the company through the investment and acquisition process. Prior to that, Mr. Buffalo worked for large New York law firms, including Mayer Brown LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, for a combined seven years following his graduation from Columbia Law School and Harvard College. Mr. Buffalo is admitted to the New York bar.
Fred Farkouh is a tax executive with over 40 years of experience in areas of business, financial, and tax consulting. Presently, Mr. Farkouh is a senior partner of Farkouh, Furman & Faccio LLP, a company founded in 1974 that provides tax advisory and compliance services to over 400 companies across multiple industry sectors both domestically and internationally ranging in size from start-up to multi-billion-dollar revenues and market cap.
Mr. Farkouh has also appeared as an expert witness in arbitration hearings as well as in Federal Courts, New York State Courts, Alaska State Court, and New Jersey Courts.
He holds a BBA degree in accounting from the City College of New York as well as a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Ross Garon is Managing Director, Quantitative Strategies at Cubist Systematic Strategies. From 2002 until early 2009, Mr. Garon was the co-founder and Managing Member of Tykhe Capital LLC. Mr. Garon began his career in quantitative finance in 1993 when he joined D. E. Shaw & Co. and was a member of the team that established the firm’s London presence and successful customer business in equity-linked securities (now KBC Financial Products). In 1994, he moved to Tokyo to establish the Japanese presence of D. E. Shaw Securities International. In 1997, Mr. Garon joined Commerzbank’s fledgling securities operation as the head of global business management. In 1998, he returned to New York to become responsible for Commerzbank’s equities business in the United States. In 2000, Mr. Garon co-founded Blink.com, an internet technology company, which was subsequently sold. Mr. Garon graduated magna cum laude from Harvard.
Sylvia Golbin Goodman is the President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation and a member of its Board of Directors. She oversees the Foundation’s long-term planning and strategic direction and originated the Hidden Heroes Awards and the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program. Sylvia served as the Executive Director of AGF from 2007 to 2020 during which time she oversaw the growth of the organization from a small, family foundation to a public, non-profit charity. Under her guidance, AGF developed its current mission and vision as well as becoming a leader in youth voting rights. Before joining AGF, Sylvia was the Director of Corporate Communications for United American Energy Corp. from 1989 to 2001. She is an experienced educator who served for 13 years as a tenured English teacher, guidance counselor and dean for the NYC Board of Education as well as two years as an Adjunct Professor of English at Bergen Community College. In addition, Sylvia is a trained Life Coach and Earth Wisdom Teacher. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Council for Peace. Sylvia earned a B.A. (English) from Connecticut College in 1967, an M.A. (Education) from Syracuse University in 1968 and an M.S. (Counseling) from Fordham University in 1972.
Barbarina Heyerdahl was born in New York City in 1964, the same year Andrew Goodman volunteered as a civil rights worker with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during Freedom Summer. She attended the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf School in NYC, then Barnard College, and received a degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Her educational path instilled in her a deep curiosity about the world and commitment to serving it.
Ms. Heyerdahl has always been interested in the intersection of citizens and government working collaboratively to solve problems. Her career has included running an organic vegetable garden, working in early childhood and parent education, and working for various NGO advocacy groups, as well as running a family philanthropic fund, the Acorn Fund. Whether as a funder, board member, or volunteer, she enjoys finding ways to connect organizations that could benefit from working collaboratively. The Acorn Fund supports work on racial and economic justice, climate change, and sustainable agriculture.
Barbarina is married and is the mother of four children (three of whom are now voting age), and also serves as a board member of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
Charles Imohiosen is a first cousin of Andrew Goodman. He is currently the Of Counsel at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Charles was formerly the Senior Director of Value Engineering and Global Head of Customer References at Infor. Previously, Mr. Imohiosen was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He also worked for the Obama Administration in Washington D.C. as Counselor to the Deputy Administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Administration, where he provided policy advice to Lisa Jackson, Administrator and the Deputy Administrator on a wide range of issues, including environmental technology and finance and community engagement. Charles has a long history of working on local civic engagement issues, having served as a local Democratic District Leader for the Upper West Side of Manhattan, an advisor to Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a representative to the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, a director for the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.
Previously, Charles served as an associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He graduated from Williams College with Honors in 1997, Harvard Law School in 2002, and served as a law clerk to Judge Colleen McMahon in the Southern District of New York from 2003-2004.
Mr. Lowenthal is one of two Co-founders of the Wellsford Group of public and private companies. He served as President and CEO of its NYSE listed REIT, Wellsford Residential Property Trust from its IPO in 1992 to its merger with Equity Residential Property Trust (NYSE: EQR) in 1997. Currently, Mr. Lowenthal is Co-Managing Member of Wellsford Strategic Partners LLC, a private investment firm organized to acquire real estate special situations including equity and debt investments. Mr. Lowenthal presently serves as a non-executive Director of two NYSE listed companies: Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. and as non-executive Chairman of American Campus Communities. Previously he has served as a director of EQR and as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts from 1992-2000. Mr. Lowenthal serves as a Trustee and Vice-Chairman of The Manhattan School of Music and is Chairman of its Executive and Finance Committees. He received a B.A. degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1966 and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969, where he was an editor of the Georgetown University Law Journal. Mr. Lowenthal is Andrew Goodman’s first cousin.
Robert Masters Esq. is a life-long New Yorker who attended Queens College during the same period as Andrew Goodman. Robert and Andrew drove together from NYC to Oxford, Ohio in June 1964 to participate in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Summer training to prepare for their volunteer work in Mississippi registering African Americans to vote.
Currently retired, Robert was the Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Acadia Realty Trust, a fully-integrated equity real estate investment trust focused on the acquisition, ownership, management and redevelopment of high-quality retail properties located in key street and urban retail corridors as well as suburban locations within high-barrier- to-entry, densely-populated metropolitan areas along the East Coast and in Chicago.
Previously Mr. Masters worked in the banking sector, a private law firm, and the Department of Justice. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo and Ghana, West Africa. Robert received his Bachelor of Arts from the City University of New York and his Juris Doctorate from New York University Law School. He currently lives with his wife Carla in White Plains, NY. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Jonian Rafti is an Associate at Frier Levitt, LLC, where he focuses on regulatory and transactional law. He advises healthcare clients on regulatory matters related to fraud, waste and abuse compliance.
In 2014, Jonian joined the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program’s inaugural class at Bard College. For his work, he received the Robert Koblitz Human Rights Award in 2015 from Bard. Upon graduating, Jonian joined The Andrew Goodman Foundation as a staff member and worked to expand and refine the Vote Everywhere program. He has since remained involved with AGF in numerous ways, including currently serving on the Foundation's Board of Directors.
As a law student, Jonian refined his election law expertise while working at the Brennan Center for Justice and the NYC Campaign Finance Board. He also worked at the Charities Bureau of the NYS Office of the Attorney General, the state agency that regulates New York not-for-profit corporations.
He holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Bard College, and a J.D. from Fordham Law School, where he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest and the Business & Articles Editor of the Fordham International Law Journal. Jonian was born in Greece and is fluent in Albanian.
Valencia Richardson is a third-year law student at Georgetown University. She is also a certified Distinguished Communicator, recipient of Upper Division Honors from the LSU Honors College, and a Fulbright Scholar.
Valencia graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana State University in 2016, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Political Communication and a minor in Spanish. In 2014, Valencia became an Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Ambassador at LSU. She also co-founded Geaux Vote LSU, an on-campus student organization aimed at assisting LSU students with registering to vote, voting, and staying up-to-date on upcoming elections. Under her leadership as a Vote Everywhere Team Leader and Geaux Vote LSU President, her team was instrumental in registering hundreds of students to vote, advocating for higher education funding, as well as increasing voter accessibility for college students by leading the charge to change Louisiana’s state law to allow student IDs to become eligible voter IDs.
Valencia continues her research to expand voter accessibility in the South as a Puffin Democracy Fellow. She is also the author of Young and Disaffected, publishing December 2019 by New Degree Press.
Amy Solas is the Founder and Managing Member of Solas Communications, LLC. She has over 25 years of experience in financial communications, marketing consulting, and journalism. Prior to launching Solas Communications, Ms. Solas was a vice president in both Latin America Investment Banking and Corporate Communication at J.P. Morgan. She was a news assistant at The New York Times early in her career.
Ms. Solas is an active member of the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance and a volunteer for PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support). She has served as a judge for double-bottom-line business plan competitions and is a contributor to the book Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income (Jossey-Bass). A native New Yorker, Ms. Solas graduated from Hunter College High School. She holds a BA cum laude from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Dr. Andrea McEvoy Spero currently teaches at the University of San Francisco in Critical Diversity Studies and Teacher Education. As an educator and activist, she develops curriculum and training for teachers focused on engaging youth in the historical and current contexts of race, gender, and human rights. She leads the high school implementation of From Slavery to Obama: Renewing the Promise of Reconstruction, a course developed in collaboration with Dr. Clarence B. Jones. Previously, she served as Director of Education for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. As the first doctoral graduate in Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco, her research and writing focus on the use of the performing arts to teach human rights in urban high school settings. She co-edited, Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms, which remains the only HRE textbook for US K-12 schools.
Corey Weiss has a background in engineering, physics, business management and philanthropy. He spent the early part of his career in the semiconductor industry in both technical and management positions for a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. In 1998, Mr. Weiss founded Applied Technologies Consulting, a business consultancy that serves clients of technology driven enterprises. Mr. Weiss is also an active investor evaluating, making and monitoring investments across asset classes. He is currently a Board member, advisor and fiduciary to a variety of organizations including the Karan-Weiss Foundation (founded by Donna Karan and Stephan Weiss, founders of the NY based fashion house Donna Karan International) and the Green Meadow Waldorf School, of Chestnut Ridge, NY. Mr. Weiss holds a Masters degree in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University, NY and a BA in Physics and a BS in Electrical Engineering both from Rutgers University, NJ.