MentorPrize is a coalition of like-minded individuals and institutions committed to fostering mentoring relationships that are rewarding for the mentee, the mentor and our communities.
Jeanna Finamore, Executive Director
Jeanna comes to MentorPrize after having spent more than 15 years leading teams in the media industry, most recently at Discovery Communications. During her time at Discovery, she guided, developed and empowered a team of Sr. Content Financial Analysts that reported Discovery’s US networks content value, which totaled over $725M in 2015. Additionally, she acted as the SAP Project Systems global champion by overseeing cross-continental training. She received an array of awards for her team leadership, staff development and project management skills. Before her time with Discovery, Jeanna stage managed Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn for ESPN. Jeanna fully understands and appreciates the importance of a mentor/mentee relationship as she credits much of her success to the mentors she has had in her life. She is excited to be in a role where she can pay it forward and is especially honored to serve her native metropolitan D.C. community. Jeanna is currently a mentor for a high school female through the Community Bridges program and a mentor for a first generation college student through the Future Link program. She holds a BA in communications from the University of Maryland.
Rita Sammis, Americorps VISTA
Rita serves as MentorPrize’s Community Impact Coordinator, a position she’s held since joining our team in 2017 through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. In her role, Rita is instrumental in supporting and enhancing the recruitment and non-profit partnership efforts. A passionate advocate for social justice and youth development, Rita graduated from James Madison University with B.S. in Health Sciences. While attending JMU, she volunteered for multiple non-profits across the United States, including Free For Life and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
Leslie Adelman, President and Co-Founder
Leslie is an attorney who has worked both in law firm settings and in-house for large corporations. Leslie started her career at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, where she worked primarily on the derivative product offerings of Morgan Stanley. When she moved to the Washington, D.C. area, she continued her corporate transactional practice at two technology companies, Hughes Network Systems and then Spacenet Inc. Leslie also served as the Pre-Law Advisor at Georgetown University and spent a few years working as a trusts & estates lawyer at the law offices now known as Krame and Biggin. Leslie is a mentor for a teen mom through the Generation Hope program, a mentor for a first generation college student through the Future Link program, serves as a Trustee for Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation of Greater Washington, and recently served on the Board of Directors of Joy of Motion Dance Center. Leslie holds a B.A. in political science from Tulane University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. Leslie lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two daughters.
Deborah D. Boedicker, CFA, Chairperson
Deb has more than 30 years of experience in the institutional investment management industry. Most recently she has been with Strategic Investment Group, a pioneer in the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer industry, where she directed the business development, marketing and client relationship management activities and served on their Board of Advisors. Prior to joining Strategic, Deb worked at UBS Global Asset Management (previously known as Brinson Partners), and Analytic TSA Global Asset Management. In addition to MentorPrize, she is active with nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross (member, Benefit Plan Investment Committee), Northeastern University (member, IDEA Advisory Board), Future Link (mentor), and Junior Achievement (volunteer teacher). She is a frequent attendee and periodic speaker at conferences. She has also been featured in articles and webinars and appeared on Executive Leaders Radio. She co-authored the book Expert Systems for the Technical Professional (Wiley & Sons, Inc.), authored a case study How Corporate America is Changing: Expert Systems Today, and published articles in the area of artificial intelligence. Deb holds a B.S. in Finance and Mathematics from California State University, Long Beach and an M.B.A. from University of California, Irvine. She was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.
Lawrence H. Dunford
Lawrence is an Organizational Development and Change Management practitioner with over 15 years of experience. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Professional Leadership & Learning at Kaiser Permanente (Mid-Atlantic Medical Group) which is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. Lawrence has worked as an internal Organizational Development consultant for organizations in both the private and government sectors from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He has developed mentorship programs and has implemented leadership development programs with the purpose of supporting corporate talent development and succession planning strategies. Lawrence holds a Master of Organizational Behavior (MOB) from the California School of Professional Psychology and a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Psychology from the University of New Orleans.
Dina ElBoghdady, Secretary
Dina spent more than two decades as a reporter at national and local news organizations, including the last 15 years at The Washington Post. While at the Post, Dina provided in-depth coverage of the financial crisis and the effects of the ensuing housing bust on the economy, consumer wealth, and the attitudes of the millennial generation toward homeownership. She’s appeared as a guest on The Diahne Rehm Show, PBSNewshour, C-Span and MSNBC. Prior to the Post, Dina covered presidential politics, major developments on Capitol Hill and consumer safety issues. She reported on the auto industry for the Washington bureau of The Detroit News and on California lawmakers for the Washington bureau of The Orange County Register. Dina recently mentored a young man through the Future Link mentoring program. Dina graduated from American University with a B.A. in communications and journalism. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two daughters.
Lauren is an HR executive with 25+ years of experience leading Human Resources for organizations of varying sizes, industries and growth stages. Currently, she is the Managing Director & Chief Human Resources Officer at Strategic Investment Group. She has also served as the Head of Human Resources at American Capital, Ltd. and CoStar Group, as well as senior HR roles at the Pepsi-Cola Company. Lauren was also the Head of Human Resources for Morton’s Restaurant Group. Lauren holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Commerce degrees from DePaul University. Lauren was a contributing author of Inside of Minds-Leveraging HR Metrics: Leading HR Executives on Adding Value, Evaluating Productivity, and Demonstrating Tangible Results, is a Council Member for the GLG Expert Network and serves on the Board of the Somerset Elementary School Educational Foundation, where she has been elected Treasurer.
Janet has worked in youth development, advocacy and mentoring for decades. Her primary areas of expertise are in program development and evaluation, research utilization, training/technical assistance, grant writing and fundraising, and public policy advocacy. She has worked on mentoring programs funded through several federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Health & Human Services, Labor, Agriculture and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Her experience has enabled her to work with diverse constituencies of vulnerable youth. Janet earned her B.A. in Political Science from Michigan State University and M.A. in Education from George Washington University.
Nancy Liffmann, Treasurer
Nancy has a background in finance and marketing. She has worked with corporate clients in Commercial Real Estate and Technology. Nancy began her career working with the developer Hines as a Project Manager, on projects in Chicago, Latin America, Europe and Washington DC. She later provided real estate services to corporations with Jones Lang LaSalle. Most recently, as a consultant, Nancy has worked with Decision Lens and Rapid Advance on financial planning, marketing and professional development. Nancy earned an MBA from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Northwestern University. When not working, Nancy keeps busy with her husband, three sons and dog, Jackson. Nancy enjoys hiking and skiing and loves to cook for family and friends.
GiShawn is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Howard University in Washington, DC. Prior to that, GiShawn spent seven years on faculty in the Department of Psychology at American University in Washington, DC as the Director of Externships for the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and Director of the Gray Psychotherapy Training Clinic. GiShawn has extensive research experience in the areas of child and adolescent development, chronic stressors (i.e., violence exposure, trauma), resiliency, mental health disparities, low-income families, emerging adults, and evidence-based practices. GiShawn holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Bethune-Cookman University, a Master’s of Science in Community Psychology from Florida A & M University, and a Master’s of Arts & Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Child/Clinical Psychology from DePaul University. She completed her American Psychological Association-approved pre-doctoral clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center and completed a postdoctoral fellowship as a W.K. Kellogg Community Health Scholar at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. GiShawn lives in Bowie, Maryland with her biggest supporter, her husband, James.
Julie Mendel Reinhard
Julie began her career on Capitol Hill first working for Senator Jack Danforth and then as a lobbyist for Soviet Jews. After graduating from law school, she worked at Dow, Lohnes in Washington DC focusing principally on corporate, litigation and administrative law matters. Her passion for public policy and advocacy work motivated her to transition back into the non- profit sector where she worked as Executive Director of the American Section of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, focusing on human rights issues around the world. She later turned her attention to domestic policy and helped lead the efforts to draft and pass federal legislation concerning food allergen labeling and for better rules in the manufacturing of food to reduce the risk of cross contact of allergenic ingredients. She has testified before the FDA, spoken before consumer groups and state task forces, and worked with preschools, elementary schools, and camps in the Washington DC Metro area to develop appropriate policies. Julie earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University, her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis where she served as the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Urban & Contemporary Law, and her Masters in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She serves as a Trustee to the Brown RISD Hillel, as a member of the Leadership Advocacy Council of the Food Allergy Research and Education association, and as a volunteer lawyer for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Program. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Emily Neisloss Roisman
Emily has practiced law for over 30 years. After becoming a litigation partner with the law firm of Schatz & Schatz, Ribicoff and Kotkin in Hartford, Connecticut, she transitioned to a 20-year in-house counsel career with Feld Entertainment, producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Disney Live!, Disney On Ice, Monster Jam®, Supercross, Arenacross, and Marvel Universe Live!. She is currently an attorney with Axiom, a company that provides outsourced in-house counsel services. Emily is a founder and Chair Emeritus of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Sports and Entertainment Committee. Emily received her undergraduate degree with distinction in French from Dartmouth College in 1981 and her J.D. from The University of Connecticut School of Law in 1985.
Stacy is an attorney who began her career at Kaye Scholer in New York, focusing on corporate transactions. She then transitioned to the Private Client department of Bryan Cave in New York, where she concentrated on estate planning and philanthropic giving for high net worth individuals. After moving to Washington, D.C., she focused on family and community volunteer work. She is currently a Trustee with the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides grants to empower women and girls. Stacy received her B.A. degree from Tufts University and her J.D., with honors, from Cardozo Law School, where she was a member and editor of the Cardozo Law Review. Stacy lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two children.
Jim has had a positive influence on the performance of a broad range of programs in the nonprofit, public, and commercial sectors. His primary contributions continue to be in program development and management, including strategic planning, leadership development, performance-based analysis, and change management. His experience with initiatives for vulnerable populations includes training and technical assistance for positive youth development, programs for military families and veterans, and capacity building for providers of faith- and community-based services. He has developed innovative methods and tools for successful outcome-oriented and process-based results through his work with Dare Mighty Things, SAIC, and the International Youth Institute. Jim’s twenty-eight years of federal government experience included service as the Manpower and Personnel Director for U.S. Forces in the Pacific region, speechwriter for the Air Force Chief of Staff, and Professor of Aerospace Science at Cornell. Jim earned a BS in political science from the United States Air Force Academy and an MBA from Louisiana Tech University. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife of 48 years and in close proximity to children and grandchildren.
Rachel is a strategic thinker with more than 20 years experience in business development, management, sponsorship sales, strategic alliances, client relationships, marketing and event logistics. Most recently, Rachel served as Director of Global Business Development for Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) based in Alexandria, VA. Prior to working at ACTE, she was the United States representative for the Johannesburg-based Unique Speakers Bureau, where she connected associations and non-profits with business professional presenters and moderators. Rachel also served as President of Bradley Hills Education Foundation and is currently on the board of Pyle Education Foundation, both located in Bethesda, MD. In her spare time, Rachel volunteers with Jewish Social Services, visiting hospice patients on a weekly basis. Rachel lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and three daughters.
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS
Steve Hull, MentorPrize Co-Founder
Editor and Publisher, Bethesda Magazine/Bethesda Beat
Multimedia Producer and Production Consultant, Kraken Pictures
Sales Manager Regional Sales and Marketing, Mid-Atlantic Region, NISSAN North America