BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Scott Rosenberg is an artist living in New York City. In 1991 he founded Art Start to help homeless and at-risk children transform their lives through the creative process. In 1997 Scott was presented with the President’s Service Award, the nation’s highest honor for community service. In 2000 his work with the kids of Art Start was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah described him as “giving children a voice and helping kids discover their dreams.” Scott was also the subject of a short documentary by Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple as well as a Bravo documentary hosted by Quincy Jones, called Fire, Risk and Rhythm. In 1997 Scott produced The Hip Hop Project, an award-winning, nationally released feature film about the kids of Art Start.
David Solomons is the ultimate insurance professional, taking the concept of customer service to new heights. The major part of his 20-year career to date was spent with Wells Fargo Insurance Services and its predecessor companies, where his most recent role was Senior Vice President. In late 2009, he founded MAX Total Benefit Solutions, Inc., a boutique employee benefits brokerage firm, working with client companies from 10 to 8,000 employees, viewed by most as a virtual member of their human resources team. David is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BA in Political Science and is the father of two daughters.
Miriam Bekkouche joined Art Start as a volunteer in January 2013. She works at the Canadian Consulate General and is the founder of the Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York which connects digital media start-ups with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York through mentoring programs and other resources. Miriam is a graduate of McGill University and the College of Europe where she studied political science and international relations. Miriam loves to paint and is training for the NYC Marathon in November.
Gavin Blair is the Director of Customer Experience at Signpost, a cloud-based platform that makes digital and mobile marketing simple and effective for SMBs. Previous to SignPost, Gavin was the Director of Technology at Patch.com, AOL’s leading online platform for local news, information and engagement. He managed Patch’s Customer Support, QA and Enterprise Technology teams and led Patch’s customer support strategy during a period of significant growth for the company. He joined Patch in 2010 from John Wiley & Sons publishing, where he was the Business Lead for the development of Wiley’s next generation online learning resource tool, Wiley Plus 5.0. Gavin came to Art Start in 2015 with the Apple Arts / Art Start merger, after volunteering with Apple Arts for four years and serving as their Board President.
Natalie Brasington is a commercial photographer that has been volunteering with Art Start since 2007. Natalie is the Head Producer for Art Start's Family Portrait Project, bringing industry photographers, commercial services and make-up and hair stylists together to celebrate the Art Start families through portraiture.
Gregg Fisher is President and Chief Investment Officer of Gerstein Fisher, an independent full-service financial advisory firm that he founded in 1993. Mr. Fisher was a pioneer in introducing fee-based planning and asset class investing to individuals, believing that they deserved the same caliber of investment advice, products, and services historically afforded only to ultra-high net worth investors and large institutions. In addition to his work with clients, Mr. Fisher routinely offers expert commentary on financial planning and investing to the media, professional organizations, and community groups. He is widely quoted in the financial press, including Investor’s Business Daily, Wealth Manager, Business Week, and the Journal of Financial Planning. He has also appeared as an industry expert on various television networks, including CNBC, MSNBC, and CNN-fn. Mr. Fisher is a Certified Financial Planner® and a CFA charterholder.
Jeff Schleider is the Founder and Managing Director of Miron Properties (www.MironProperties.com), a progressive real estate brokerage and property management firm with offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Northern New Jersey. He is also a regularly featured commentator on the New York real estate market for New York Magazine, The Real Deal, and The Mann Report. After gaining industry experience, awards, and a loyal following, Jeff, a Columbia University Alum, launched Miron Properties and the firm grew rapidly from inception. Today, the company boasts three brokerage offices, a property management division, and over a hundred agents. Jeff is a strong believer in the mission and passion of the Art Start staff and youth and is thrilled to have the opportunity to support this fantastic organization.
Catherine Sun is a freelance copywriter who began her relationship with Art Start as a volunteer teaching artist in 2012. Since then, Art Start has been the perfect outlet for her desire to do good and make art. When she's not behind a desk at an ad agency or having a blast with Art Start youth, Catherine is making spirit animal pillows, designing patterns, experimenting with healthy baking, and exploring the city for endless inspiration. Catherine considers the arts as a vital form of expression that must be honed in today's youth, and believes that small steps make the biggest differences. If in 10 years, one youth can look back to Art Start days and remember Catherine as a positive influence, she'll consider that a job well done.