MEET THE BOARD
Kimberly McLain - Board Chair
Prior to the Alliance, Kimberly was President & CEO of Foundation for Newark’s Future (FNF), the centerpiece of a $200 million philanthropic initiative to improve educational outcomes for Newark students from early childhood through college. FNF, established with a five-year charge to seed conditions for systemic change, used short-term philanthropy to create the systems and conditions necessary for long-term educational improvement. At FNF, Kimberly oversaw the Foundation’s pursuit of comprehensive high-quality school options, including traditional, charter and community schools. Kimberly also led the expansion of the Foundation’s core strategies beyond K-12 to include career and workforce development by investing in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program, the Newark City of Learning Collaborative and an Opportunity Network to reengage at-risk youth.Previously, Kimberly served as Vice President of Finance and Operations with Newark Charter School Fund and Managing Director of Planning with Teach For America. Prior to transitioning to the nonprofit sector, she was an Investment Banker with Credit Suisse and Certified Public Accountant with KPMG LLP.
Kimberly serves on the board of Leadership Newark and is Chair of the Board of BRICK Academy; a transformative educational organization that focuses on improving low performing schools in Newark’s South Ward. She has received many accolades, including the Leadership Newark Education Award, the Willing Heart Community Center’s Excellence in Philanthropy Award, and NJ Biz’s Top Forty Under 40 Award. Kimberly holds a BS in Accounting from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Columbia University.
Peter Cordrey - Vice Chair/ Treasurer
Mrs. Booth holds a BA in political science from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and a master’s degree in education from St. Elizabeth College, Convent Station, New Jersey. Prior from becoming a teacher, Mrs. Booth worked in public relations for Adidas, USA and other fortune 500 companies. In 2003, she became a teacher and has taught history and English in private, public and charter schools. She is currently a public school teacher in Somerville and serves on the Board of Trustees for BRICK Academy in Newark, New Jersey.
Melanie Brown, Esq.
and Tarrytown, New York and leads a team of 4 patent attorneys, a patent agent, and support staff. Melanie reports to BASF’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President.
Melanie also serves as the Pro Bono Coordinator for BASF Corporation and in 2011; the Pro Bono Partnership honored her with an Individual Volunteer of the Year Award for her pro bono work.
Before joining Engelhard, Melanie was an IP attorney at Honeywell International Inc. for 15 years and had worldwide responsibility for IP matters of various Engineered Materials businesses. She assumed roles of increasing responsibility including heading the IP function for the fibers business in Richmond, VA.
Melanie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1979 and a Juris Doctorate with honors from Capital University Law School in 1985. She is licensed to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and in Ohio and New Jersey.
She is a member of the North Branch Reformed Church, Bridgewater, New Jersey and serves on the Preschool Advisory Board. She also does fundraising for non-profit Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue in addition to adopting their rescues.
Prior to leading Gallium, Gary led Edison Properties, a real estate development and operating company which ownsand operates Manhattan Mini Storage and Edison ParkFast. Most recent title was CEO, having worked in the business for 22 years.
While at Edison, he led teams in the development of eight Manhattan Mini Storage projects totaling over 1.5 million square feet; repositioning of the Hippodrome Building (1120 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY) while 90% occupied, and led a team in the development and construction of The Ludlow, an 80/20, 243 unit multi-family project in the lower east side of Manhattan.
Worked for Tishman Realty and Construction as a Project Engineer on commercial projects in Atlantic City, Jersey City and Manhattan. Served as Lieutenant in U.S. Navy as a Naval Submarine Officer and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Engineer.
She previously served as the Executive Director of the Montclair Economic Development Corporation and as a Program Director for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Key government experience includes senior leadership positions at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
Ms. Mazarakis is a National Board Member of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, as well as Chair of its Regional Support Committee and founding Co-Chair of its Northern NJ Committee. She has also held volunteer leadership roles on the School Action Team for Montclair High School, the Princeton University Class of 1984 Memorial Fund, and the Montclair Housing Commission.
Ms. Mazarakis earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Princeton University and an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Aaron is the Senior Program Officer at The MCJ Amelior Foundation where she manages the education portfolio of investments. Prior to joining MCJ, Aaron worked as Program Officer at the Foundation for Newark’s Future.
Aaron joined the foundation world after eight years working at the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in a variety of roles. For four years, Aaron led the Office of School Redesign where she spearheaded the effort to standardize how more than 20 large, comprehensive secondary schools restructured into Small Learning Communities with theme-based, semi-autonomous academies. Her work included managing over $17M in federal and philanthropic grants and establishing a framework, implementation rubric, and targeted professional development to support schools in their improvement efforts. New York City’s work in this area was recognized as a national model of promising practice.
Later, Aaron worked with the NYCDOE’s Chief Operating Officer to provide oversight for the implementation of strategic priorities in the Division of Community Engagement, the Office of Family Information and Action, and the Panel for Educational Policy. She also coordinated a strategic communications plan for the NYCDOE that served as a blueprint for NYC’s education campaign. Prior to leaving the Department, Aaron led a major leadership pipeline program designed to develop the capacity of teachers to lead their peers and to increase the number and preparedness of teacher leaders ready to take on school-wide leadership positions.
Before to joining the NYCDOE, she managed national children’s literacy grants at Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and traveled the country to monitor and support program implementation in schools and communities.
Aaron’s commitment to education began after college as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Las Cruces, NM where she served as a literacy tutor and school-to-family liaison to help bridge the gap between school and home learning.
Aaron lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband, two daughters, and old dog.