Board of Directors

Jackie Shapiro (Founding Board Chair/Emeritus), United Nations & ECPAT USA
Veronica Jordan (Vice Chair), Simon and Schuster
Michele Potlow (Treasurer), Ford Foundation
Philip A. Sanchez (Secretary), Sanchez & Polovetsky, PLLC.
David Boxenbaum Avex Group
Janet Charles Mercedes-Benz
Wendy Francis Chase
Mark Fina Spring Studios
Brett Galley Hollywood Pop Gallery
Lisa Miles Pace University
Celines Sims Citigroup
Julie Tilson Stanley Luria Academy

Jackie Shapiro, United Nations & ECPAT USA Representative
Jackie is a freelance writer and has represented nonprofit organizations at the United Nations for fifteen years. Currently, she is a representative for ECPAT-USA, an organization working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. Formerly, she represented Zonta International, a women’s service organization working to advance the status of women and girls worldwide. In her years at the United Nations, Jackie has served as the Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Convener of the NGO Committee on UNIFEM, Chair of UNA-USA Council of Organizations, Vice-President of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO), Co-Chair of the NGO Committee on UNICEF, and Co-Chair of the Working Group on Girls.

Veronica Jordan, Vice President & Senior Counsel, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Veronica Jordan is a Vice-President and Senior Counsel in the legal department of the publishing company Simon & Schuster (S&S). She manages a diverse projects portfolio for S&S, which includes cutting-edge legal, work for the digital distribution and marketing of content, data privacy, multimedia content development deals, print on demand, and content streaming deals. She has worked on a host of issues for S&S, ranging from its initial efforts to digitize content for eBooks, to its innovative enhanced eBooks, as well as its foray into ecommerce, its digital warehousing initiative, its Author Portal, and its teen fiction and romance social networking platforms. Veronica touts Stephen King’s critically acclaimed “N” “mobisode” series as her favorite work project and securing political asylum for an Ethiopian survivor of torture as her proudest legal achievement. Veronica serves on the Data Privacy Committee and Legal Diversity Committee of CBS, S&S’s parent company.

Veronica started her legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Judge Stanley S. Brotman and worked at the law firm Davis, Polk and Wardwell before joining S&S. She is a graduate of Amherst College and NYU School of Law. She is passionate about education; particularly the ways in which a quality education can help broaden the life choices for inner-city students. She formerly sat on the board of the Ruth Turner Fund, a foundation that gives grants to NYC-based charities focused on social services for those with developmental and emotional disabilities, senior citizens, and human rights. Veronica has also been involved in fundraising for Friends of The Brooklyn Latin School. Veronica enjoys reading, travelling, hiking, and Salsa dancing. She was born and raised in Spanish Harlem in NYC, a heritage that brings her great pride. She lives on the Upper West Side with her partner and two teenage sons.

Michele Potlow, CPA, Ford Foundation
Michele, with over 35 years experience, retired from the Ford Foundation in January 2010. As Deputy Director, Financial Services she managed financial statements, taxes and payroll for overseas offices in addition to headquarter operations. As Treasurer of the Board, Michele’s experience managing the finances of the largest and most influential foundation in the world, with a global reach and special interests in education, the arts, and Third World development, is invaluable to the organization. Michele has traveled extensively to support the finance and accounting teams in Ford’s field offices. She is well versed in nonprofits that focus on reducing poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity, and achievement.

Philip A. Sanchez, Partner/Owner at Sanchez & Polovetsky, PLLC.
Philip began his career as the Director of the Community Outreach Division at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, where he worked from 1999-2001. From 2001 until 2012, Philip was a partner at the eminent domain law firm of Goldstein, Rikon & Rikon. Over the years, Philip has successfully settled and litigated many cases on behalf of his clients in the New York State Courts at both the trial and appellate levels. In 2015, Philip received an award from the Manhattan Borough President for his distinguished leadership and service to the community. That same year, he was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in the New York Times. Philip is the Chairman of the New York County Lawyers Association Condemnation Sub-Committee. He has also served as a panelist and speaker for the Hispanic National Bar Association, and a guest speaker at Touro Law Center.

As a father of two young girls, Philip is honored to join the Board of Girl Be Heard. Based on his own experiences with being the sole person of color in his niche practice, he wants young women to know that while it may be a long and difficult road for women and people of color, success can be achieved. In fact, Philip’s firm settled the largest trade fixture case (over $35,000,000) in the history of New York State, a proud victory not just due to size of the award, but because it was achieved by a firm owned by a woman and a Latino man.

David Boxenbaum, COO, Avex Group
David is COO of Avex Group, a management company for singers and entertainers. Previously, David was Co-CEO of Heavy Metal, a multi-platform media company focused on: Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy and a co-founder and COO of A&M/Octone Records, which he sold to Universal Music Group in 2014. At A&M/Octone he discovered and developed such artists as: Maroon 5, Hollywood Undead, K’naan and Flyleaf. Prior to A&M/Octone, David was a Senior Strategy Consultant in the Entertainment and Media Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. David currently sits on the boards of several early-stage tech companies. David is on the Family Council of the March of Dimes. He has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Janet Charles, Mercedes-Benz
Janet is an attorney with 25 years of experience. Most recently she served as Senior Corporate Counsel for Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC where she negotiated contracts, managed warranty litigation, defended patent infringement claims and handled a variety of other matters. She advised the executive team on compliance, marketing, customer service and other issues relevant to the business. She is an experienced trial attorney and has represented The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in cases involving discrimination, police brutality, personal injury and business disputes. She is a New York City resident and is passionate about making a difference by associating with organizations, like Girl Be Heard, whose mission includes economic empowerment, education and social justice reform.

Mark Fina, Executive Creative Director, Spring Studios
Mark has been a renowned Creative Director on international brands such as COVERGIRL but began his career working in a dark mailroom at Ray Manley Photography in Tucson, Arizona. His early jobs in advertising were working on accounts such as Fendi, Revlon, Ultima, Charles of the Ritz, Almay, Max Factor, The Limited, Express, Henri Bendel, L’Oréal, Jean Patou, Giorgio Fragrances, Hugo and Hugo Boss. Mark honed his eye for beauty by working with photographers and their images, including Horst P. Horst, Patrick Demarchelier, Kurt Markus, Arthur Elgort, Michael Thompson, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel and many others. Mark is an expert in matching talent to brands, such as Queen Latifah, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Taylor Swift to COVERGIRL. In his spare time he is a photographer with Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, a painter and a chef with a black belt in karate and mixed martial arts.

Brett Galley, Co-Owner of Hollywood Pop Gallery
Brett Galley, co-owner of Hollywood Pop Gallery, leads a team of creative and over-the-“POP” planners that design and produce private and corporate events for some of the biggest names in sports, business, and entertainment (Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Diana Ross, and Bette Midler) with offices in Greenwich, CT, New York City and London. Brett was raised in New York City and around the world by her journalist / artist mother and explorer father. Following art school, she opened her first art gallery with her mother, acclaimed artist Joyce Galley. As the space became a hot spot for events, Brett satisfied the demand for full event planning and concert production. With a background in the fine arts and a taste for entertainment, Brett brought her experience as the Director of Entertainment at New York City’s Tavern on the Green to Hollywood POP Gallery. Hollywood POP has worked with Family Centers, Kids in Crisis, and the Greenwich Audubon. Brett, along with her all-female team of planners, satisfies the demands of their national and international client list for all occasions. Brett also fulfills her artistic passions as the creative director to Monday Night Magic, the longest running Off-Broadway magic show in New York City.

Brett is enthused about becoming a member of the Board of Directors to Girl Be Heard and says, “We are all here to give our wisdom and to make a difference. I try to teach my daughter Ava to be a Shero by letting persistence and passion fuel her efforts and by finding her special calling that will make the world a better place.”

Lisa Miles, Officer of Equity & Compliance, Pace University
Lisa Miles is a proud product of the South Bronx who has dedicated the past thirteen years as Pace University’s first Affirmative Action Officer. In this capacity, she implemented Equal Employment Opportunity policies and wrote the University’s first Affirmative Action Plan. Today Lisa is the Officer of Equity and Compliance for Pace University where she has an active role in the area of affirmative action, civil rights and social justice, advocating for individuals who feel un-heard or disenfranchised. She received her Bachelors degree in English from Herbert H. Lehman College and later her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School, where she specialized in employment law. Lisa is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, sits on the Board of Westhab, which provides housing and social services for homeless and low-income families in Westchester County and is a representative of Shelterbox, USA. Lisa is passionate about education and is currently in her final year at Union Theological Seminary, working toward her Masters in Divinity with a concentration in Religion and Psychology. She is seeking ordination in the Methodist denomination and plans on pursuing a PhD, allowing her to provide free mental health services to under-served communities. Lisa is also a prolific poet and very active in her church community.

Celines Sims, Chief Administrative Officer, Citi
Celines Sims has a few roles at Citi: Chief Administrative Officer for Institutional Clients Group (ICG) in Human Resources, Head of the Project Management Office for HR Operational Excellence and HR Advisor for ICG Client Analytics and Strategic Advisor Group. She is responsible for leading major initiatives aimed at streamlining HR processes and practices across the various ICG businesses. Currently, Celines is focused on HR Transformation projects that drive efficiency, effectiveness and change management across the HR organization.

Celines joined Citi in August 2006. Prior to her current role, she held multiple roles in Compensation supporting both Consumer and Wealth Management businesses. She was also a Chief of Staff who helped build the first Compensation Center of Excellence (COE) at Citi. In Executive Compensation, Celines project managed the first response to the Federal Reserve’s regulatory inquiry about Citi’s balance of risk and reward. Then she moved on to become an HR Advisor for the Global Consumer Marketing & Internet Office for a few years, partnering with Citi’s Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining Citi, Celines held HR roles at the following companies: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, American Express, and Johnson & Johnson.

Celines holds a B.A. in Psychology from Fairfield University in Connecticut; an M.S. in Human Resources Management from the New School for Social Research in NYC, and is also ABD (All but dissertation) in her pursuit of a PhD in Management from Capella University. Born and raised in Northern NJ, Celines resides in the suburbs with her husband Kyle, two children: Cecelia and Matthew, and two mini Dachshunds – Blackjack and Cleo.

Julie Tilson Stanley, Director of Institutional Advancement, Luria Academy
Julie has been a fan of Girl Be Heard since 2012 when she brought the theatre company in to raise awareness about the rape epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a performance and talk back at the WNYC Green Space for an American Jewish World Service (AJWS) event. At the time, she was serving as AJWS’s Board Engagement Director and prior to that served as the Senior Development Officer, handling major gifts and events. Julie is now the Director of Board Relations at the Birthright Israel Foundation where she provides organizational leadership, strategy, and support for the Board of Trustees. She holds an M.P.A. from NYU Wagner School of Public Service with a focus in nonprofit management, and is a recipient of the Professional Leaders Project Academic Fellowship. Earlier in her career, Julie worked for an event management firm in Los Angeles, coordinating celebrity weddings and events. She also worked in the Theatrical Feature Film Publicity and Marketing Department at 20th Century Fox Studios Film. Projects included: “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Borat,” “Walk The Line,” and “Star Wars Episode III.” Julie’s volunteer activities include serving as a Steering Committee member for Hand in Hand (Domestic Workers Network) and as a Leadership Council member for American Jewish World Service’s Global Circle. Julie lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband Matt and sons Jack and Charlie.