Linda Field – Board Chair
Linda Field has been involved in affordable housing in the Bronx and the New York City region for over 35 years. After beginning her career in City government, Ms. Field worked as Director of Development for a city-wide not-for-profit and then moved on to private practice as a housing consultant. As Principal of Linda F. Field Associates, her clients included not-for-profit and for-profit developers, banks, and community based organizations. Linda Field Associates was the consultant of record for over 3,000 new and rehabilitated subsidized apartments for families and senior citizens. Ms. Field formed Ashton Management LLC with Stephen Warren in 1998, which currently manages over 6,400 sponsor-owned rental apartments at Parkchester Condominiums. Over the last eight years, over 5,000 apartments have been restored by Ashton’s on-site staff and rented to new tenants.
Scott Martin – Treasurer
Scott Martin is the founding partner of the New York office of Hausfeld LLP, a global claimants’ firm, who focuses his practice in the areas of antitrust and complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining Hausfeld, he was a partner in the international law firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Greenberg Traurig. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Stanford University, Mr. Martin has been instrumental in some of the most significant antitrust class actions and civil and criminal international cartel cases over the past two decades. Mr. Martin is recognized as a leading antitrust litigator by every major publication that vets such listings, including The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA Guide, and numerous others. No stranger to the Bronx, Mr. Martin also operates a small business with a Bronx native, is a long-time Yankees season ticket holder, and is actively involved in various efforts serving communities around the borough.
Sara Kay – Secretary
Sara Kay is CEO of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. For more than a decade prior, she held a series of programmatic and management positions within the foundation sector — including at The Atlantic Philanthropies, where as Head of Advocacy and Health Equity Programmes she developed the Foundation’s concluding U.S. health equity and advocacy portfolio during its final phase of grantmaking. Previously, she led Atlantic’s strategic grantmaking to improve health care payment and delivery systems for low-income and vulnerable populations and also directed the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s Health Program, which supported nonprofit advocacy organizations to improve access to healthcare and a clean environment. Ms. Kay has held senior roles in the Office of the New York City Comptroller, including as Director of Policy Management and Senior Counsel. She also served as a Senior Fellow at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, taught in the Federal Litigation Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and was a corporate litigator. She received her J.D. from NYU.
Tania Brief, Esq. – Board Member
Tania Brief works in the Strategic Litigation Department at the Innocence Project, where she focuses on strategies to address the misapplication of forensic sciences as a leading cause of wrongful conviction. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Tania spent nearly a decade as a criminal defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders, a holistic public defender office in the Bronx. Tania was also an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and served as a law clerk to the Hon. William H. Pauley III, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Tania was an Associate Producer at Learning Matters, where she produced programs about public education for Frontline and the NewsHour. Ms. Brief graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, where she participated in the D.C. Law Students in Court clinic, representing low-income clients in Landlord-Tenant Court. She received her B.A. from Yale University.
Kyle Cruz – Board Member
Kyle Cruz is a private investor with over 20 years of investing and corporate governance experience. Most recently Mr. Cruz was a Senior Managing Director and Partner at Centerbridge Partners, an investment firm he worked with for 13 years. In that role, Mr. Cruz focused on private equity and credit investing and served on numerous corporate boards. Prior to that, he worked for several other investment firms after starting his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. Mr. Cruz serves on the New York Advisory Board of Good Sports and the Board of Directors of the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund. Mr. Cruz graduated with a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar.
Roger Gill – Board Member
Roger Gill joined the New York office of the hedge fund Marshall Wace Asset Management in 2016 as an analyst for their TOPS strategies, managing relationships with the brokerage community. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in Institutional Equity Sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, including launching the firm’s Industrials Sector Specialist effort advising institutional investors on their investments by focusing on the intersection of fundamental and technical factors. Mr. Gill spent three years as an inaugural member of WHEDco’s Assiciate Board, where he played an integral role in developing the group’s fundraising strategies. He and his wife, Meghan Gallagher, were also members of WHEDco’s Silver Anniversary Celebration Event Committee. Mr. Gill also serves as a member of the Wall Street Committee for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Georgetown University, and is a CFA charterholder.
Russell Jackson – Board Member
Russell Jackson is a professional chef and restaurateur, based out of New York and California. In 1990, Chef Jackson graduated from the California Culinary Academy at the top of his class. Following graduation, he returned to LA to open his first restaurant, Russell’s, and was also called upon to be a private chef to countless A-list celebrities. In 1999, he returned to San Francisco to serve as the chef of James Beard nominated Black Cat restaurant in the North Beach district. In the years that followed, Chef Jackson achieved notoriety and amassed a cult following through his seminal restaurant creation, SubCulture Dining, a radical underground supper-club. SubCulture Dining broke culinary boundaries and earned Jackson his reputation as the Dissident Chef. He later opened Lafitte on the San Francisco Waterfront, which received critical acclaim and Michelin recognition. In 2013 Jackson expanded SubCulture Dining to New York. Jackson is also an accomplished Iron Chef America Combatant as well as a finalist of Next Food Network Star on the Food Network.
Angela Ortiz – Board Member
Angela Ortiz is an experienced nonprofit executive and attorney. She is the Chief Administrative Officer of Row New York, a sports-based youth development nonprofit organization, where she is responsible for a variety of administrative and operational functions, and she previously served as its Chief Talent Officer and General Counsel. Prior to joining Row New York, Ms. Ortiz was Director of Human Resources and Assistant General Counsel at WHEDco. While working at WHEDco, she was responsible for all human resources functions, including recruiting, benefits administration, payroll, compliance, and employee relations, as well as assisting with handling legal matters for the organization. Ms. Ortiz began her career in private law practice in Chicago litigating employment cases and advising corporate clients on all aspects of labor and employment law. She subsequently served as in-house employment counsel at a multi-national financial institution. Ms. Ortiz also serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair of JobsFirst NYC, and has served on its board since 2013. She was board Secretary of the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School and a Trustee for six years. She received her law degree from Wisconsin Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She was admitted to practice law in Illinois and Wisconsin and is currently licensed to practice in New York.
Susan Saegert – Board Member
Susan Saegert is Director of the Center for Human Environments and Professor of Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Since 1990, Dr. Saegert has worked in partnership with community organizations and coalitions to understand how to improve distressed housing and neighborhoods in New York City. Research with the Taskforce on City Owned Property in New York allowed Dr. Saegert to compare cooperative housing with other housing forms in distressed inner city neighborhoods. The results of this research have been published in Housing Policy Debate (a quarterly journal) and have been used to design programming models. Dr. Saegert co-authored “The Community Development Reader” published by Routledge in 2007. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan and her BA in Government from the University of Texas.
Sean Simmons – Board Member
Sean Simmons joined Fifth Third Bank in 2020 as Director of Community Reinvestment Act Compliance. Previously, Mr. Simmons spent over five years at Citi as Director and Manager of Community Reinvestment Analysis. After 18 years in banking, he remains as passionate about his career as the first day and believes that financial institutions have a duty to serve the under-served. He works diligently to ensure Fifth Third is doing its part, as he has for his previous employers, The Huntington National Bank, Washington Mutual, and National City Bank. Mr. Simmons joined WHEDco’s Board in 2015. His previous board service includes positions with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) and Chair of its subsidiary ESOP Realty, All THAT, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Western Pennsylvania and the Young Preservationists Association. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Simmons is truly a resident of North America and has lived in a number of cities including Seattle, Mexico City, and New York City. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Pamela Sloan, Esq. – Board Member
Pamela Sloan, Esq. is a Partner in the law firm Aronson, Mayefsky & Sloan, LLP and specializes in matrimonial law, litigation, and trials and appeals. She has been a member of various professional committees including the New York State Bar Association and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She was recognized in 2003 as one of the best lawyers in America and in 2007 as one of the top 50 female lawyers in New York. In addition, Ms. Sloan is dedicated to being an active member of her community, having served on the Board of Directors for multiple non-profit organizations including United Way of Westchester, Angela House in the Bronx, and Pelham Education Foundation. Ms. Sloan received her JD from New York University.
Sharmi Sobhan – Board Member
Sharmi Sobhan is a Senior Banker in the Chase Community Development Banking Group’s Real Estate Lending division. Prior to joining Chase, she held positions at organizations such as Save the Children, Grameen Foundation, and Fonkoze. In addition, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Haiti and completed a Fulbright scholarship in Sri Lanka. Ms. Sobhan holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree and an MA/MBA from American University. She is also serves on the NY Loan Committee of the Enterprise Community Loan Fund and on the Local Advisory Committee of LISC NYC.
Dana You – Board Member
Dana joined The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, based in New York, as Chief Operating Officer in May 2015. Ms. You is responsible for day-to-day operations overseeing finance/accounting, budget, human resources, information technology and facilities management. Prior to joining the Trust, Ms. You worked at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP). As chief operating officer, she worked to ensure that NHeLP maximized its operational potential and effectively implemented its strategic goals. Ms. You currently resides in Arlington, VA where she volunteers with Arlington Food Assistance Center. Ms. You received her B.S. in Public Administration from George Mason University.
*Analisa Torres – Board Chair Emerita
Judge Analisa Torres served on WHEDco’s Board from 1998 to 2017, acting as Board Chair since 2007. Judge Torres currently serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District. Prior to her appointment by President Obama in 2012, she served on the Supreme Court, Criminal Division. Previously, she served for four years as a Judge in the New York City Civil Court and Criminal Court. Prior to this, Judge Torres was City Planning Commissioner in the Dinkins Administration where she advocated for low-income housing and increased day care facilities. Judge Torres also spent seven years practicing real estate law with several Manhattan-based firms. As a young child, she lived in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, where her father was an assistant district attorney and her mother was a social worker at Morrisania Hospital (now the site of Urban Horizons). Judge Torres is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.