Meet the Board of Directors
BROOKE STERN, CEO/CO-FOUNDER
Brooke was born and raised in Suffern, New York. Her passion for S.O.U.L. Foundation stems from her belief that every human being has a right to the most basic necessities and opportunities in life. Influenced by her mother who has dedicated her career to saving the lives of medically fragile children, and her father who has an unwavering passion for travel in developing countries and cultural awareness, she developed a sense of responsibility and a passion for improving the lives of our global community at a young age.
Brooke studied Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and completed her studies at the Denver School of Nursing with a Bachelor’s in Science and Nursing. She went on to work with Einstein Medical Center for the Global Diabetes Initiative Research Program in Uganda.
Brooke co-founded S.O.U.L. Foundation in 2009 after visiting Uganda while backpacking with her father on a volunteer trip. Reflecting, she says,
“I understood that by emphasizing education and self sufficiency in the community, we have the ability to drastically increase their quality of life.”
She is currently the full time CEO for S.O.U.L. Foundation and transitions between Uganda and the United States. Brooke is featured on the Jewish Women's Archive alongside thousands of other inspiring women.
DIANE STERN, board chair
Diane Stern is the President and founder of J & D Ultracare, a pediatric home care agency since 1985. As a young Neonatal ICU nurse, Diane recognized a void in the home care services available to the medically fragile pediatric population. Today, more than 25 years later, the company provides thousands of nursing hours per week to a diverse and complex clinical population, employing a highly trained staff of over 200 RN’s and LPN’s throughout New York State. Diane’s leadership focus has always been about providing a culture of team building, while at the same time ensuring an atmosphere that encourages and nurtures personal development. Her entrepreneurial spirit continues to keep the organization fresh, innovative, and to this day at the forefront of the field. Currently dividing her time between homes New York and Colorado, Diane and her husband Ken are the proud parents of three grown children. Among them is Brooke Stern, RN and the Co-Founder of S.O.U.L. Foundation.
BOB GREENFIELD, TREASURER
Bob is a native of the New York City/Hudson Valley area where he resides with his family. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance. Subsequently, Bob joined Societe Generale, the French international money center bank, spending ten years in most all Operations & Treasury areas before leaving the bank as Assistant Treasurer in Foreign Exchange Trading. Bob is currently the President & Chief Operating Officer at Ultracare, focusing on the development and achievement of the strategic plans, service levels, and organizational and financial benchmarks of the corporation. He also serves as a Managing Director of Children’s Health Network, LLC, an advisory firm sanctioned by the state of New York to provide case management services to a medically fragile pediatric population throughout the state. Bob is integral to the operations and finances of S.O.U.L. Foundation.
TANYA AHAMED, SECRETARY
Tanya is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s degree from the University of Denver. Born in Jamaica, she spent much of her childhood abroad where she was exposed to many different cultures and levels of development. Tanya’s love for travel continues to be an important part of her life, and her choice to pursue a career in social work initially stemmed from a desire to work with refugee populations in Africa. She has spent the last nine years working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as rehabilitating criminal offenders in Colorado, but her heart has always remained in Africa. Through S.O.U.L., she has discovered the perfect outlet for this passion! Tanya knew that the culture and people of Africa had always been a part of her heart even before setting foot on the ground in Bujagali and she fell deeply in love with Uganda during her first visit there in February of 2012. Tanya currently serves as coordinator of the Mulungi program in the United States.
Janis simon, BOARD MEMBER
Janis resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland and Vail, Colorado. She has been married for 32 years and is a mother of four children and a host son from the ABC program (A Better Chance).
She has her Master’s degree in art education from Connecticut. She has taught art in public schools’ kindergarten through 12th grade, and pre-school and kindergarten for the Jewish Community Center.
She has been on many boards of directors including Hadassah, Congregation Kol Haverim, A Better Chance, and Hartwell Soccer. Besides S.O.U.L. Foundation, she is presently on the board of Segal Family Foundation, Artists in Real Time, The University of Hartford, and Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. In addition, she has experience fundraising for the National Epilepsy Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
OMARI JINAKI, BOARD MEMBER
Omari Ayinde Jinaki is the Impact Strategist at Timshel, working to evaluate the way nonprofits and brands use data and analytics to solve social, civic, and humanitarian challenges. Beforehand, Omari spent three years at Ogilvy & Mather, successfully managing and leading marketing analytics initiatives for clients including Sears, UPS, Nestle, and BlackRock. He joined the UPS team in May 2010 to implement UPS' first-ever globally integrated, cross-channel marketing dashboard, going on to manage the Ogilvy Analytics team responsible for optimizing UPS' global campaign initiatives.
Additionally, Omari was a service leader at the Advisory Board Company, where he mentored youth and managed company-wide volunteer events. At Ogilvy, he was Co-President of Black Diaspora and Business Chair for LatinRed, Ogilvy’s networks for professionals in the Black and Latin communities. Recently, Omari joined the board of the Bloomingdale Family Program – an organization that served as the model for the first Head Start programs in the 1950s – to support their marketing and fundraising efforts. He joined the S.O.U.L. Board in 2015 after volunteering with the organization for several years, including in Uganda.
Emily ForhmAN, Board Member
Emily Forhman brings over 20 years of international nonprofit experience and strongly believes that supporting womens' and girls' causes are critical in strengthening and building thriving communities. Emily has led successful programs in the fields of maternal health, child-welfare, volunteer management, mentoring, adoption and girls and women's rights. She also has expertise in major donor and foundation relations and leveraging corporate and public partnerships. She is currently the Executive Director for VGIF, an international women's fund that grants globally to fund locally generated projects that advance the rights and improve the lives of women and girls. Emily currently lives in New York and holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University.
Ellie Reiter, Board Member
Ellie Reiter leads Board Development Initiatives at Youth INC, a venture philanthropy organization that partners with NYC youth development nonprofits to build their capacity. In this role, Ellie strengthens boards of directors through governance training programs, skills based employee engagement programs with Youth INC’s corporate partners, and a board matching service. Prior to Youth INC, she was a program strategist with a design-thinking focused social enterprise and managed the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program at the Institute of International Education. She has lived and taught English in both Spain and China.
Ellie holds a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University where she co-chaired the International Development Interest Group, initiating “International Week”, a tradition that is still in place and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College where she studied abroad in Chile. She is thrilled to join the S.O.U.L. board to further engage her interest in global development efforts and to support S.O.U.L’.s community-driven approach to accessing human potential.
Suzanne mitchell, Board Member
Suzanne Mitchell is an accomplished director and producer, having created documentary films, television series and cutting-edge content for the web and social media platforms. Her projects have garnered two Emmys, two Gracie Awards, an Omni Intermedia Award, and a Cine Golden Eagle.
Suzanne has directed and produced an impressive array of films and has collaborated with Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple on a variety of films: New Passages, The Presidential Summit, The Hamptons, Woodstock: Now & Then, Force of Nature, where Suzanne traveled to South Sudan to present the humanitarian work of philanthropist Ellen Ratner, and Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation, which took Mitchell to the oil-soaked Gulf Coast, the slums of Haiti, the drought-ravaged West, and the highly contested political races of 2012. Suzanne's feature film Running Wild was hailed by the New York Times as "a grand documentary" and the Village Voice as "Inspiring in the best possible way."
Among her myriad of projects, Suzanne also produced and field directed ABC's The Century, A&E's The Millennium Biography Special, HBO's 13-part docu-drama G-String Divas, and Oprah's Martin Luther King Special and Freedom Riders Special. She also directed and produced S.O.U.L.’s film on maternal health in Uganda and is currently creating a multi-part series on income inequality.
Suzanne’s skills as a filmmaker have guided her successes in the non-profit sector. Serving as the Board Chair of Rivertown Film, an independent film society she is also the Director of ROSA 4 Rockland, an environmental advocacy group successfully protecting sensitive land from over-development for which she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and continues to recruit active members.
KENNETH STERN (1956 - 2019), Co-Founder/ Board member
Ken was born in Brooklyn and spent his life in the New York area. At an early age he began his international travels which sparked his desire to help the worldwide community. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Special Education. After teaching in New York for five years, Ken changed careers and started Stern Agency Inc., a property and casualty agency located in New York. Ken co-founded S.O.U.L. Foundation in 2009 with his daughter Brooke after visiting for a short five days, a visit which changed both of their lives forever.
"In the last 35 years I’ve passed through many communities around the world and always wanted to do something to make a difference. Spending time with my daughter in Uganda we both experienced the beauty of the people, their dreams and hopes and knew we could do something that would positively impact the lives of so many.”
Ken worked passionately both on the ground in Uganda by coordinating the village projects and in the US by spearheading many of S.O.U.L.’s fundraising efforts.
Ken sadly passed away on April 21, 2019, leaving behind a loving family and larger than life legacy in both the US and Uganda. To read more about Ken’s life and his work with S.O.U.L., click here.