Mel serves as Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon. Mel started his association with the Boys & Girls Club as a member of the Pathhways for Youth Boys Club in the Bronx and has held leadership roles in many Boys & Girls Clubs. He is a lifetime Boys & Girls Club Advocate. Prior to his work with Boys & Girls Clubs, Mel held leadership positions with the Bank of New York, the City Volunteer Corps, the Albany Service Corps, the New York National Guard Challenge Program, Public Private Ventures, and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A graduate of Manhattanville College, Mel is married to Barbara Allen and has three children, Adam, Lorin, and Brian.
Ilaria Fusina is an editor, writer and translator whose clients have included the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and Rizzoli International Publications where she was, until recently, a senior editor. The arc of her twenty-year career in publishing has run parallel to a life-long commitment to philanthropy that is gradually taking hold as her primary focus. She has worked with victims of domestic violence in the past and currently counsels families facing pediatric surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, volunteers with Free Arts and Girls Inc., and is head of community service initiatives at her children’s school. Ilaria has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Art History from Georgetown University and a Masters degree in Italian Literature from New York University. She is currently a director at The Duchossois Family Foundation.
Janice Hamann retired from the NYC Department of Education in 2006. Her experience includes classroom teaching of art, gifted/talented and special education. Additionally, she worked in instructional coaching, staff development, curriculum planning, evaluation/placement, and special education administration. Janice has been working as a consultant in recent years. Her clients include; New Visions for Public Schools, NYC Department of Education, and the Special Education Collaborative of the NYC Charter School Center. Additionally, Janice works as an adjunct assistant professor and field consultant with the New York City Teaching Fellows program at Long Island University since 2006. Janice holds Master’s Degrees from both Brooklyn College and Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Shelley is a certified clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience working in child welfare, family and children’s services and in New York City public schools. She has directed parenting centers for the Educational Alliance for the NYC Department of Education Pre-Kindergarten program. Through parenting workshops and children’s counseling groups, Shelley has reached out to the many diverse communities and people that make up our city. She is honored to have spent a career talking with and about children and their parents.
William Lopez is a consultant with 36 years of experience representing state and city governments in developmental disabilities. Previously, he has held various roles including the Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Bureau of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, where he dedicated his entire career developing services for the developmentally disabled in underserved communities. In addition to his public service leadership, William has served on the boards of five nonprofit organizations.
Nell is a world traveller who has committed herself to education and the elimination of poverty both locally and abroad. She's worked with children in 6 countries on 4 continents as the recipient of multiple public interest grants and awards for service to children with special needs. She has experience working with people and organizations of diverse backgrounds, offering her expertise in finance and business wherever possible. Nell currently works for Highbridge Prinicipal Strategies in New York. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bowdoin College with a BA in Economics and Asian Studies.