Board of Directors

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 a shareholder in the Litigation Practice of Greenberg Traurig’s New York office. He focuses his practice in the areas of antitrust and complex commercial litigation. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Stanford University, he has been instrumental in the defense of numerous high-profile antitrust class actions and civil and criminal international cartel cases for more than a decade. Mr. Martin has received a litany of accolades during his career, and in 2013 alone he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Antitrust; Chambers USA Guide; International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists; and International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers. No stranger to the Bronx, Mr. Martin is also a Yankees season ticket holder and looks forward to helping efforts that serve communities around the stadium and beyond

Sara Kay – Secretary

Sara Kay is CEO of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, where she is working with the Trust’s Board to develop high-impact new programs and funding strategies. 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.

Danielle Ash – Board Member

Danielle is a partner in the Real Estate Department of the law firm of Adler & Stachenfeld LLP. In her role, she represents a diverse group of real estate developers, family offices, equity funds, mortgage and mezzanine lenders in a wide variety of commercial real estate transactions in New York and throughout the United States. She is a Board Member of Women in Housing and Finance (New York Chapter), an industry group that promotes and supports members’ professional growth through sharing knowledge and exploring issues, with a particular focus on women in the affordable housing, community development and real estate finance sectors. She was also previously a member of the New York City Bar Committee on Housing and Urban Development, which addresses legal and policy issues on affordable housing preservation and development in New York City. She received her J.D. from New York Law School, where she was a scholar in the school’s Center for Real Estate Studies and her Bachelor’s from Columbia University in the City of New York, where she majored in Urban Studies. She is a life-long New Yorker – born and raised on the Upper West Side, where she still resides.

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 the Managing Partner at Cross Rapids, holding over 20 years of investing and corporate governance experience. Prior to founding Cross Rapids, 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.

Felicia Franklin – Board Member

Felicia Franklin is a life-long resident of the South Bronx and an entrepreneur with deep roots in the community. She has served as a Trustee of the South Bronx Early College Academy Charter School since 2014, leading the Finance Committee as Treasurer and serving on the Education and Personnel Committees. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Grace Church School for 12 years, sitting on the Educational Committee, the Long Range Planning Committee, and the Institutional Culture Committee (formally the Diversity Council), as well as on the Board of Directors of the Dalton School, serving as the Board Secretary, in addition to sitting on the Development Committee, Diversity Committee, and Committee on Trustees. Ms. Franklin is passionate about bringing the quality of education present in schools like Dalton and Grace Church, both independent schools, to children in her own community in the Bronx.

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 Junior Board, where he played an integral role in developing the group’s fundraising strategies. He and his wife, Meghan Gallagher, are 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.

Emmanuel Offiong – Board Member

Emmanuel Offiong is the Vice President & Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Small Business Bank at Capital One Bank, where he is responsible for the overall tech strategy and delivery for Small Business Bank and the core banking systems for all Capital One Bank. Prior to joining Capital One, Emmanuel was Vice President, Enterprise Platforms for the Government Programs division of UnitedHealth Group. Previously, he held leadership roles at various Fortune 500 companies, including Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, Amazon, and Tiffany & Co. Mr. Offiong is dedicated to using his experience to support small businesses through reducing barriers to entry, tech innovation and building strong communities. He currently serves as a member of the mentor network for Level Up Ventures, a mission driven investment firm founded by the Hearst Corporation, dedicated to closing the wealth gap through investments in high-growth startups led by Black and Latino founders. Mr. Offiong holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, MSc from NJ Institute of Technology, and a BSc from DeVry University

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.

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. She is a member of the Northeast team and is responsible for originating debt in the New York tri-state area. In 2006, Ms. Sobhancjoined the Community Development Group as an analyst and soon moved into an underwriter position. In August 2011, Ms. Sobhan moved on to the originations team. Prior to joining Chase, Ms. Sobhan’s career was focused on international microfinance where 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. Sharmi holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Chicago and a Master’s Degree and an MBA from American University. She is also a participant in the JPMorgan Chase Ambassador program in addition to serving on the NY Loan Committee of the Enterprise Community Loan Fund.

Emerita Torres – Board Member

Emerita Torres is the Vice President of Policy, Research and Advocacy for the Community Service Society of New York, where she is responsible for directing data-driven public policy and research to address the economic inequities facing low-income communities of color. Previously, Emerita Torres was the Director of Policy Research and Programs at The Soufan Center (TSC), an independent non-profit center offering research, analysis, and strategic dialogue on global security challenges and foreign policy issues. Emerita has over a decade of experience as a U.S. diplomat at the U.S. Department of State, with tours including Brazil, Pakistan, Colombia, Washington, DC and our U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Emerita is the recipient of three Meritorious Honor Awards and a Superior Honor Award for her diplomatic service. Emerita holds a B.A. in History from NYU and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Truman National Security Fellow, and was recognized by New America as a Latinx National Security and Foreign Policy leader. Emerita is a proud Bronxite of Puerto Rican heritage.

*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.