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BOARD

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 Mark Benerofe, Program Committee Chair

Mr. Mark Benerofe serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CampGroup, LLC. Mr. Benerofe serves as a Principal of Benerofe Properties, a real estate investment firm. He served as the President of CampGroup, LLC. since 2009. Mr. Benerofe served as Director of Business Development of CampGroup, LLC. Prior to joining Benerofe Properties in 2004, he taught high school and coached basketball for ten years in the New York City public school system. He is a member of the Board of the Urban Dove, which provides a variety of programs that build confidence and leadership skills in inner city youth. He developed his love of camping at Camp Chateaugay and Camp Echo Lake. Mr. Benerofe holds a Masters in Anthropology from Hunter College, a Masters in Education Administration from Baruch College and an Undergraduate Degree from Cornell University. 

 Steven A. BergerFundraising Committee 

Steve Berger is a founding partner of Berger & Webb and the head of its commercial litigation and employment practice groups.

Mr. Berger has more than forty years’ experience litigating complex commercial disputes, primarily in New York’s state and federal courts, as well as in numerous arbitral forums (including the American Arbitration Association, JAMS and FINRA). His expertise centers on commercial issues, including contract, fraud, fiduciary duty, proxy fights, derivative lawsuits, dissolution proceedings and professional liability litigation.

 

Mr. Berger also has substantial experience successfully shepherding clients through what he describes as “non-matrimonial divorce” – matters involving the break-up of small corporations, limited liability companies and professional partnerships, as well as the protection of minority stockholder interests in restructuring and buy-out scenarios.

 

In the realm of employment law, Mr. Berger’s clients include Wall Street and corporate executives, accountants, lawyers and other individuals in need of behind-the-scenes advice regarding sensitive issues, or affirmative representation in negotiating the terms of employment or separation agreements. His practice in this regard includes the representation of employees who have experienced potential age, gender and other forms of discrimination. Mr. Berger also represents senior corporate officers and directors in connection with Sarbanes-Oxley issues.

 

Mr. Berger is admitted to practice in New York, before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Eighth and District of Columbia Circuits. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Berger also clerked for the Hon. John F. Scileppi of the New York State Court of Appeals (1968-1970).

 David D. FroelichGovernance Committee

David Froelich joined Solaire Generation in 2009 and is responsible for business development and strategic partnerships. He brings over 25 years of executive management experience in operations, strategy and finance to the company. Prior to joining Solaire, David was President of Gracedale Fabrics, Inc., a 60+ year old, New York-based textile company. Earlier in his career David held positions in corporate finance for Drexel Burnham Lambert in New York and London, and he was a strategy consultant in the Chicago office of The Boston Consulting Group. David sits on the board of directors of the Urban Dove, a non-profit organization in NYC providing after-school programming and other services to at-risk inner city youth. He earned his BA degree from Tufts University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

 Lawrence D. EllmanFinance Committee, Chair and Treasurer

Larry Ellman is managing director and head of venture investments for Berkshire, responsible for executing and directing the Berkshire affiliate’s investment activities, building and managing the organization, and developing third party capital relationships. He has more than two decades of experience in U.S. real estate investment, including debt, entity-level, joint ventures, direct acquisitions and CMBS. Prior to joining Berkshire, Ellman held senior leadership positions with Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Real Estate. Mr. Ellman received his B.S. in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Southern California and his M.S. Real Estate from MIT.

 Michael GrandisGovernance Committee Chair and Secretary

Michael Grandis’ practice focuses on corporate transactional work and he serves in a general counsel role, as management advisor and contract negotiator, for several middle market companies. In addition to mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity investments, his experience includes SPAC deals, divestitures, mezzanine debt transactions, joint ventures, recapitalizations and financings. His practice also includes intellectual property and licensing matters, employment agreements, complex commercial deals, corporate governance and other day-to-day general corporate matters. In addition, Mr. Grandis counsels a variety of professional services firms in connection with ownership transition issues, restructuring, management succession, financing, and general business advisory services. 

Mr. Grandis handles domestic and international transactions for clients in a broad array of industries, including technology, real estate, health care, financial services, energy, entertainment and media, logistics, internet gaming, advertising, fashion and apparel, camping and recreation, restaurants and telecommunications. Mr. Grandis received his B.S. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Columbia University.

 Henry JohnsonFinance Committee

Henry Johnson is currently serving as Managing Director for Mergers and Acquisitions at RBC Capital Markets. Prior to joining RBC, Mr. Johnson was Managing Director at Barclays Investment Bank from 2008-2013 and Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers from 2001-2008. Henry received his B.A. in Economics and his MBA from Duke University.

 Gary LiebermanFundraising Committee

Mr. Lieberman has 30+ years of experience in the mortgage and derivatives markets. He is the founding member of West Side Advisors and has served as President since its inception in 1997. Prior to founding West Side, he was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns & Co. and President of Bear Stearns Investment Advisors. Previously, Mr. Lieberman was CEO of L.F. Rothschild Holdings and Manager of the Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS) Department and the Asset-Backed Finance Group at Merrill Lynch. He started his career in Institutional Sales at Salomon Brothers, Inc. Mr. Lieberman received a B.A. from Emory University and a M.B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

 Spencer RothschildBoard Chair

Spencer Rothschild is the founder and president of Barrio Foods LLC, with a proven track record of creating and consulting for multi-unit hospitality businesses over the past twenty years. Prior to graduation from Tufts University, native New Yorker Rothschild immersed himself in hospitality at ARK Restaurants. Upon graduation, Rothschild was hired at David Paul’s in Maui, Hawaii as the Chef Tournant. Rothschild returned to New York to become a partner at Main Street Restaurant Partners (MSRP) where he launched some of Manhattan’s most successful restaurants, including Union Pacific, Rain, Main Street, Calle Ocho, Django and BLT Prime. In 2007, he introduced Barrio Foods, opening and operating enormously popular restaurants such as Barrio and Yushi, as well as re-launching the world famous Copacabana Nightclub Supper Club.

Today, he continues to expand his scope of ventures under his parent company Barrio Foods, having launched MAMBO Catering, Rooftop 760, Barrio Spirits, Plates 4 Chefs, Latin Spice Co., San Ignacio Kitchenware, and Barrio Foods Consulting. In July 2012 Rothschild’s Barrio Foods joined forces with Jeremy Wladis of The Restaurant Group in their first co-venture, A.G. Kitchen (Chef Alex Garcia’s Kitchen). Together with Wladis, Rothschild is thrilled to introduce Manhattan’s Upper West Side to American classic comfort food, this time with Chef Garcia’s innovative Latin twist.

In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees at UD Team, he is Chairman of the Board of Urban Dove, UD Team’s institutional partner. He also started the program, Barrio Goes to School, where students spend the afternoon at one of his properties learning about food service operations, regional ingredients and cooking techniques. He sits on the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce and the Prospect Park Visitor Services Committee and is committed to giving back to his community.

 Trisha RozasProgram Committee

Trisha joined The Navigators Group, Inc in August 2012 as their Chief Information Officer (CIO), providing leadership, planning and management for all areas of information technology strategy, development and implementation. The Navigators Group, Inc. is an international commercial property & casualty specialty insurance holding company with insurance company operations, underwriting management companies and operations at Lloyd's of London.

Trisha was previously part of Goldman Sachs where she served as VP in Technology Organization, directing a team of senior project managers in the Strategic Divisional Projects and Architecture Group in providing internal strategic consulting services and leadership of complex, enterprise-wide technology initiatives for one of the world's leading multinational investment banks. In December 2008, she was named one of the "Women to Watch" in Business Insurance magazine's Special Report while she was working as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. Trisha has also worked for CIT Group, where sheserved as Vice President of Consumer Technology Solutions and then later CIO for the company's Commercial Financial division. While at CIT, Trisha was an active member of the company's Women's Leadership Council.

Prior to joining CIT Group, Trisha spent eight years at AIG, most recently as Vice President/Senior Information Officer.Trisha led application development across seven of AIG's largest companies in the United States and the UK. Earlier inher career, Trisha held positions at Deloitte & Touche,Chemical Bank and two start-up companies. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Northeastern University. Trisha and her husband, Santiago, have two children and enjoy skiing and traveling.

 Steve SwiatkiewiczFinance Committee

Stephen Swiatkiewicz, of counsel to the firm, is an experienced real estate and commercial attorney. His practice has focused on the representation of institutional real estate clients in the sale, acquisition, leasing and financing of commercial properties, as well as financing restructures and workouts. However, he also represents and counsels a wide range of businesses in all aspects of their legal needs, among them: manufacturers, design firms, and a prominent modeling agency.

In addition, Mr. Swiatkiewicz is a founding partner of Midway Investors, LLC, which owns and manages multi-family and retail properties along the eastern seaboard of the United States and in Texas. He is also an investor and board member of several privately held companies, among them: a New York City based IT staffing company, an owner/operator of fifteen (15) summer camps based throughout northeast and midwest of the United States, as well as a New York City based proprietary school.

Mr. Swiatkiewicz received a Juris Doctor degree from New York University Law School, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. Mr. Swiatkiewicz is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

 

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