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Designing Lives, Empowering Women

BOARD OF DIRECTORS


  Deborah Chay, PhD   Deborah is a management consultant focused on the intersections of philanthropy and other forms of mission-oriented capital. She assists individuals and organizations develop and deploy their cultural and philanthropic capital for greater total impact. Deborah has special expertise in race and gender issues, along with extensive practical experience creating platforms and pathways for donors, investors, and advocates to achieve shared social purpose objectives together. Deborah has launched and directed program initiatives at Duke University and Japan Society among others.

Deborah Chay, PhD

Deborah is a management consultant focused on the intersections of philanthropy and other forms of mission-oriented capital. She assists individuals and organizations develop and deploy their cultural and philanthropic capital for greater total impact. Deborah has special expertise in race and gender issues, along with extensive practical experience creating platforms and pathways for donors, investors, and advocates to achieve shared social purpose objectives together. Deborah has launched and directed program initiatives at Duke University and Japan Society among others.

  Michele Long, MS   Michele is the Director of Corporate Communications at Triumph Group. Her professional expertise includes communications and marketing, employee engagement, and global transformation and change management initiatives,Michele is a native New Yorker living in Philadelphia with her husband and their two daughters.

Michele Long, MS

Michele is the Director of Corporate Communications at Triumph Group. Her professional expertise includes communications and marketing, employee engagement, and global transformation and change management initiatives,Michele is a native New Yorker living in Philadelphia with her husband and their two daughters.

  Melody Rollins, MBA, CFA, CAIA   Melody Rollins, CFA, CAIA, is a Partner and Head of Client Service and Business Development at Brightwood Capital Advisors, LLC and also serves on Brightwood’s Executive Committee. . Outside of work, Ms. Rollins is very active in the community, focusing on organizations and programs that are eliminating disparities in access to educational, legal and health resources in underserved communities.

Melody Rollins, MBA, CFA, CAIA

Melody Rollins, CFA, CAIA, is a Partner and Head of Client Service and Business Development at Brightwood Capital Advisors, LLC and also serves on Brightwood’s Executive Committee. . Outside of work, Ms. Rollins is very active in the community, focusing on organizations and programs that are eliminating disparities in access to educational, legal and health resources in underserved communities.

Advisors


Ifey Anoliefo - Legal & Regulatory Advisor, Department of Veteran Affairs

Starita Ansari - Director of Philanthropy, United Methodist Women

Kobla Asamoah - Director, HBK Incubates, Hot Bread Kitchen

Heidi Bruce - Director of Development, University of Maryland

Ruth Conner - Management Consultant, Clearstory Communications

Dennis Derryck - President, Corbin Hill Road Farm

Cathy Gilliard- Senior Minister, Park Avenue United Methodist Church

Guylene Grace - Senior Product Development & Garment Production Consultant

Makeba Morgan Hill - Deputy to the President and Chief Planner, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Amini Kajunju- Director of Strategic Partnerships, Africa Integras

Christian Lem - Strategy Consultant, Poet's House

Marsha Modeste - Assistant Professor, Penn State University

Patience Oti - Assistant Vice-President, WIN (formerly women in need)

Eric Palmer- Grants Accountant, Stevens Institute of Technology

Michelle Pryce-Screen - Manager of Social Services, Hope Community

Mark Reed- Founder, Contact Fund LLC

Arva Rice - President, New York Urban League

Andrea Rogers - Nonprofit & International Philanthropy Consultant, CRE

Lisa Shepard Stewart- Designer, Cultured Expressions, Inc.

Vanna Sin - Director of Donor Engagement Fundraising, ASPCA

Caitrin Watson - Fabric and Sustainability Coordinator, Lafayette 148

Alfonso Wyatt - Public Speaker

THANK  YOU

We are grateful for the support of our partners and donors who are dedicated to helping women obtain education and networks so they can access good paying careers. We extend special thanks to The Riverside Church.

CORPORATIONS

Alder, New York

Eileen Fisher

Hanky Panky LTD.

Lafayette 148 New York

FOUNDATIONS

Cottonwood Foundation

Darma Fund

Eileen Fisher Community Foundation

Goldman Sachs Gives

Hyde and Watson Foundation

New York Community Trust

New York Women's Foundation

The Riverside Church Sharing Fund

Valentine Perry Snyder Fund

WellMet Philanthropy

INDIVIDUALS

Chinonso Akano, Rhonda Allen, Racquel Alston, Ifeyinwa Anoliefo, Anonymous, Ava Bynum, Susan Bynum, Deborah Chay, Ruth Conner, Tricia Davies, Dennis Derryck, Greg Dolan, Angelique Dorsey, Melody Rollins Downes, Steven & Susie Feldman, Reverend Cathy S. Gilliard, Cristina Gonzalez, Victoria Grant, Ruby Harmon,Dr. Adam Hill, Suwha Hong,  Kerry James, David Jones, Veronica Jones, Amini Kajunju, Patricia J. Kozu, Rana LaPine, Christian Lem, Michele Long, Marsha Modeste, Carol Baldwin Moody, Alisia Moore, James Okaro, Ngozi Okaro, Nnabike Okaro, Amarachi Onouha, Eric Palmer, Christine Pomeranz, Michelle Pryce-Screen, Elaine Reiss, Andrea Rogers, Juliana Rowe, Solade Rowe, Vanna Sin, Denise Slater, Ramona Sunderwirth, Sharona Sankar-King, Laurel Schaffer, Willa Shalit, Vivian Taylor, Owen Traynor, Soo Uhm, Carl Webb, Enrique Godoy Ynzenga, Susan York

PARTNERS

STAFF


  Ngozi Okaro - Executive Director   Ngozi, Executive Director, is as an advocate for socioeconomic justice. Tall since birth, she understands the challenges facing women who love nice clothes but whose bodies do not conform to ready-to-wear’s template—which represents the majority of US clothing buyers. Ngozi aims to serve two constituencies, meeting both the need of fashion-industry workers for fair compensation and the demand of thoughtful consumers for quality clothes.

Ngozi Okaro - Executive Director

Ngozi, Executive Director, is as an advocate for socioeconomic justice. Tall since birth, she understands the challenges facing women who love nice clothes but whose bodies do not conform to ready-to-wear’s template—which represents the majority of US clothing buyers. Ngozi aims to serve two constituencies, meeting both the need of fashion-industry workers for fair compensation and the demand of thoughtful consumers for quality clothes.

  Ben Pinpin - Production Coordinator   Ben is Custom Collaborative's Production Coordinator. Before joining us, Ben was founding Creative Director of Mood Fabrics "Mood U School". He graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and is enrolled in the Production Management program at FIT

Ben Pinpin - Production Coordinator

Ben is Custom Collaborative's Production Coordinator. Before joining us, Ben was founding Creative Director of Mood Fabrics "Mood U School". He graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and is enrolled in the Production Management program at FIT

  Veronica Jones - Business Development Manager   Veronica Jones has led a storied career in fashion. Rising from assistant buyer to buyer of contemporary sportswear for major department stores. She traveled across Europe to view collections by Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Gianni Versace, Blumarine, and Fiorucci. Veronica transitioned from retail to wholesale to become Vice President of Gene Ewing Bis, later opening The Veronica Jones Showroom, her first entrepreneurial venture selling American designers. She is currently a fashion retail consultant advising emerging designers & retailers how to navigate the business of fashion.

Veronica Jones - Business Development Manager

Veronica Jones has led a storied career in fashion. Rising from assistant buyer to buyer of contemporary sportswear for major department stores. She traveled across Europe to view collections by Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Gianni Versace, Blumarine, and Fiorucci. Veronica transitioned from retail to wholesale to become Vice President of Gene Ewing Bis, later opening The Veronica Jones Showroom, her first entrepreneurial venture selling American designers. She is currently a fashion retail consultant advising emerging designers & retailers how to navigate the business of fashion.

  Ruth Conner - Communications Manager   Veteran promotional writer Ruth Conner has served more than 100 organizations—from Fortune 50s to nonprofit start-ups—while helping others learn to write competently as a community college adjunct professor of English Composition. Today Ruth is privileged to deploy her skills in the cause of expanding economic and social opportunity through her support of Custom Collaborative’s communications initiatives.

Ruth Conner - Communications Manager

Veteran promotional writer Ruth Conner has served more than 100 organizations—from Fortune 50s to nonprofit start-ups—while helping others learn to write competently as a community college adjunct professor of English Composition. Today Ruth is privileged to deploy her skills in the cause of expanding economic and social opportunity through her support of Custom Collaborative’s communications initiatives.

  Brenna Dolan - Operations Fellow   Brenna is Custom Collaborative's Operations Fellow working with Ngozi and team members to implement action plans for day-to-day and project management. As a recent alumni of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Fashion Business Management BS with an Ethics and Sustainability minor, Brenna contributes her passion for developing a more socially, environmentally, and economical sustainable fashion industry.

Brenna Dolan - Operations Fellow

Brenna is Custom Collaborative's Operations Fellow working with Ngozi and team members to implement action plans for day-to-day and project management. As a recent alumni of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Fashion Business Management BS with an Ethics and Sustainability minor, Brenna contributes her passion for developing a more socially, environmentally, and economical sustainable fashion industry.

  Harvey Mogojwe - Web and digital Consultant   Harvey is Custom Collaborative's web development and digital media consultant. He is based in Gaborone, Botswana where he works full-time as a communications consultant. He is a Williams College theatre graduate.

Harvey Mogojwe - Web and digital Consultant

Harvey is Custom Collaborative's web development and digital media consultant. He is based in Gaborone, Botswana where he works full-time as a communications consultant. He is a Williams College theatre graduate.