About BoardStrong

Learn more about our organization and the values that drive us.

BoardStrong’s mission is to help nonprofit organizations achieve the highest standards of board leadership, governance and oversight. We do this by providing nonprofit board training, consultation and educational resources. We also have an online recruitment platform that helps organizations find talented board candidates from outside their networks. BoardStrong is a subsidiary of the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).

Our Vision

To have more knowledgeable and diverse leaders on more nonprofit boards serving their communities for the public good.

Our Mission

To transform the flow of knowledgeable and diverse leaders onto nonprofit boards by:

  • Identifying and guiding new leaders into board service.
  • Fostering a more efficient process for boards to fill their leadership needs.

Our Core Values

  • Unyielding focus on strengthening nonprofit boards
  • Strong spirit of collaboration
  • Dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Fundamental belief in the value of citizens serving as volunteer trustees
  • Deep commitment to respectful communication
  • Protection of privacy

Questions about using BoardStrong’s matching portal? Click here to view our FAQ page.

Our Board Officers

David S. Birdsell, PhD | Board Chair

David S. Birdsell, PhD | Board Chair

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kean University

Before starting his tenure at Kean University, David served as Dean at Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs for fifteen years. David has centered his academic work on the nexus of communication, media, and information technology in politics, government and nonprofit administration. An expert on political debating and widely published on communication theory and practice, David is a regular guest commentator on debates and other aspects of political communication for television and print media. His work has been supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the IBM Endowment for the Study of Business and Government, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the JPMorganChase Foundation, the United Way of New York City, the Markle Foundation, and other funders. David is President of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and serves on NASPAA’s Executive Council. He chairs the boards of BoardStrong and of the New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center. He is a member of the board of the New York Council of Nonprofits and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. David received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in Public Communication from the University of Maryland.
Reg Foster | Vice Chair

Reg Foster | Vice Chair

Principal, RB Foster Consulting

Reg Foster is the former President and CEO of United Way of New York State, retiring in August 2017. His prior role was the Global Coordinator for Corporate Responsibility for the IBM Corporation, leading IBM’s internal working group on corporate responsibility and relations with outside organizations. Reg also worked at United Way of New York City and held human service policy roles in New York State and City government. His fields of work included low-income housing, mental health and adult education. Reg holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

Joe Del Toro | Treasurer

Joe Del Toro | Treasurer

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Portfolio Operations, Argand Partners

Joe has over 20 years of finance, general management, operations, private equity, and M&A experience. He current role is CFO & Director of Portfolio Operations for Argand Partners LP. Previously he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Novitex, where he oversaw accounting and finance operations. Earlier in his career, he worked in private equity at Lazard Freres and HIG Capital Management and in Morgan Stanley’s Mergers & Acquisitions department. Joe received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and received a BA in Mathematics from Columbia University.

Daniel Flax | Secretary

Daniel Flax | Secretary

CIO and Advisor 360, MassMutual

Daniel is the CIO and Advisor 360 for MassMutal. Most recently, he was the Chief Technology Officer for OmegaOne and the Chief Information Officer at TheStreet. Prior to TheStreet, Daniel was the Chief Information Officer for Cowen Group, where he was responsible for the delivery of technology services to all areas of the bank, including research, investment banking, and trading. Mr. Flax holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and was an Undergraduate Research Fellow in High Energy Astrophysics at CalTech in a joint program with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA.

Our Board of Directors

Marc Christmas
Christmas Jewell

Marina Cvetkovic
Chief Commercial Officer
The NextGen Project

Janet T. Farrell
Group Vice President, Education and Nonprofit Banking Group
M & T Bank

Yulitza Franklin
Deputy Director for Community Development
New York State Dept. of Financial Services

Joanne Florino, Ex Officio
Adam Meyerson Distinguished Fellow in Philanthropic Excellence
The Philosophy Roundtable



Irfan Hasan
Deputy Vice President for Grants
The New York Community Trust

Hsing Hsing Li
Global Digital Portfolio and Capabilities Leader, Chief of Staff

Althea Luehrsen
Leadership Buffalo, Inc.

David M. Rottkamp, CPA
Partner & Not-for-Profit Practice Leader
Grassi Advisors & Accountants

Robert Thompson
Director of the Center for Community Engagement
St. John Fisher College


Our Staff

Megan Allen

Megan Allen


Megan is a trusted nonprofit leader of two decades with proven managerial, communications, and team-building skills who specializes in organizational growth. She is also Board Chair of the Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center.

Barbara Paxton

Barbara Paxton


Barbara has years of experience working with nonprofit boards and helping them achieve success. She is an expert in personalized board matching services and has served on boards of The Pearl Theatre Company, Heiress Productions and the New York Junior League.

Megan Hassenger

Megan Hassenger

Community Engagement Manager

Megan helped launch the BoardStrong matching platform in 2021, previously serving as the Program Manager for charitySTRONG. With a background in customer service and quality assurance, Megan’s goal is to make BoardStrong an intuitive and engaging online experience for users.