Our Board and Staff

Meet the team behind BoardStrong.

Photo by Maya Gold Foundation, NYCON Member

Our Board Officers

David S. Birdsell, PhD | Board Chair

David S. Birdsell, PhD | Board Chair

Dean and Professor, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY

David is Dean of the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness. He 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. He is 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. Before that, he 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. Reg has also worked as an analyst in several nonprofits, including the Vera Institute of Justice. 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

Prior to his current work as CFO & Director of Portfolio Operations for Argand Partners LP, Joe Del Toro was the Chief Financial Officer of Novitex, where he oversaw Novitex’s accounting and finance functions. Joe has over 20 years of finance, general management, operations, private equity, and M&A experience and joined Novitex from Undertone, a digital advertising and technology company. Prior to Undertone, Joe served as the CFO of the The Topps Company, a manufacturer of consumer products that includes baseball cards and confectionery. Prior to Topps, Joe served as General Manager of the Fortune|Money Group, a multi-media network comprising the business and finance titles of Time, Inc. Joe was previously Director of Finance and Acquisitions at the Time Warner corporate entity. Earlier in his career, he worked in private equity at Lazard Freres and HIG Capital Management as well as 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

Mr. Flax is the CIO and Advisor 360 for MassMutal. Most recently, Mr. Flax was the Chief Technology Officer for OmegaOne, as well as an independent Consultant. Mr. Flax was also the Chief Information Officer at TheStreet. Prior to TheStreet, Mr. Flax 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. Prior to Cowen, Mr. Flax was a Managing Director for the New York Stock Exchange, where he was responsible for Trading Technology and the NYSE’s transition to a Hybrid Market. He also previously worked for Reuters and OptiMark. 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
Partner
Christmas Jewell

Marina Cvetkovic
Chief Commercial Officer
The NextGen Project

Peter Dunn
President & CEO
Central New York Community Foundation

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
Mercer

Althea Luehrsen
CEO
Leadership Buffalo, Inc.

Jane O’Connell
Board Chair
Altman Foundation

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

Michael Sirkin, Esq.
Chairman and Managing Director
Jamieson Corporate Finance US

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

 

Our Staff

Doug Sauer

Doug Sauer

CEO, NYCON & BoardStrong

Since 1980, Doug Sauer has provided leadership to the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc., the largest state association of nonprofits in the country with over 3,000 nonprofit members. 

Doug is skilled in nonprofit governance capacity assessments and customized board matching. He is also highly experienced as a board leader and is passionate about BoardStrong’s mission to be a one-stop-shop for governance and board matching services.

Barbara Paxton

Barbara Paxton

Chief Program Officer, BoardStrong

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.
Emily Cote

Emily Cote

VP, Communications & Engagement at NYCON

Emily joined NYCON in 2017. She brings with her a breadth of professional experience having previously served as Director of Communications for the Civil Service Employees Association (the largest labor union in New York State) and as Marketing and Communications Director for the Commission on Economic Opportunity. Her skillset spans digital and traditional media, brand development, messaging, policy and public relations. 

Megan Hassenger

Megan Hassenger

Web-Based Content Manager, BoardStrong

Megan has coordinated content for over 10 years for various media and educational organizations. Her experience in digital content management includes an emphasis on media and content editing. With a background in customer service and quality assurance, Megan’s goal is to make BoardStrong an intuitive and engaging online experience for users.