Nomi Network’s Board of Directors is the sole collection of individuals that are responsible for setting the direction of the organization, providing oversight, and ensuring access to the necessary resources for operation. They are guardians of Nomi Network’s mission while also ensuring compliance with legal, fiduciary, and ethical standards and policies. These experienced and dynamic individuals leverage their gifts, talents, and experience to further Nomi Network’s mission, while stewarding board responsibilities and duties to enhance the organization’s success.
George K. Ross
George K. Ross, a consultant and director for Nomi Network since the organization’s very inception, has worked to lift up others throughout his professional life. This desire to lift others up and do good has marked his entire public life of service from his time as a trustee and the chair of the Finance and Strategy Committee at the Michael F. Stern Parkinson Reserch Foundation from 2010 to 2015, to being a trustee of the Webster Apartments, a temporary residence for single women working in NYC from 2010 to 2016.
He has acquired his skills and acumen to lift others up from a variety of industries and positions: as Executive Director of Foundations and Partnerships for World Vision US from 2005 to 2010, as a member of the board of directors and Chair of the Audit Committee for Acura Pharmaceuticals since 2008. His prior experience includes senior financial offices and board positions in companies both public and private such as RJR Industries, American Independent Oil Company; Axel Johnson, Inc.; Capital Partners; Tier Technologies, Inc., which went public during his tenure; OM Scott & Sons; Ernst & Young (formerly Ernst & Ernst). Since 2002, he has advised and consulted for early stage businesses. Mr. Ross is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Masters of Business Administration from Ohio State University.
Dr. Kelly Gage
Dr. Kelly Gage is an accomplished public speaker, educator, advisor whose formidable skills and talents have allowed her to build bridges between across cultures and across eras. In her illustrious career, she has spent decades connecting the fields of advocacy, abolition, media, arts and culture. Dr. Kelly Gage received her doctorate from the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel at the University of Minnesota in 2008. Since then, for the past 7 years, Kelly has been an Assistant Professor at St. Catherine University instructing courses in the history of dress from the ancient period to contemporary dress, Non-Store retailing and Trend Analysis/Visual Merchandising. In that time, she has appeared in numerous publications for her articles pioneering the understudied area of Afro-Brazilian slave dress for men and women and its subsequent impact on culture, particularly religious art and use by religious orders.
In addition to her career, Kelly can also boast of 20 years of experience with foundations and NGO’s dealing with human trafficking, public media, arts and culture, education, and community development in Brazil, Russia and the United States. This includes serving as an Advisory Board Member for the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, as a board member on the Minnesota Institute of Arts as a Trustee Board Member and as a member of its Patrons’ Circle Committee, and as a board member of the American Craft Council. Kelly’s work in justice and philanthropy includes serving as a board member of the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation where she developed grant application materials, reviewed grant applications and directed funds to local, national and international philanthropic organizations. She has also sat on the boards of the World Childhood Foundation, an organization that combats the sexual exploitation of women and children, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Nomi Network Board Member Nancy Grunberg has labored tirelessly for justice throughout her professional career, focusing her practice on securities law and financial disclosure matters. She has worked the whole gamut of financial law cases from insider trading to stopping ongoing Ponzi schemes to litigating microcap fraud. Nancy spent nine years with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in two distinct periods, from 1996 to 2002 and from 1988 to 1992. When last at the SEC, she served as the Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement. While there, she supervised numerous investigations, resulting in the filing of judicial or administrative enforcement actions. In private practice, she has represented individuals and entities being investigated for financial and accounting fraud, investment adviser violations, and various other alleged securities law violations. Her work in this area has led to her inclusion in “The 25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law” by Law360, an award recognizing her vital work at the Securities Exchange Commission and private practice. She was also selected in 2014 by Corporate Responsibility Magazine as among the “Legal Who’s Who: Securities Defense.” In November of 2012, US News Media Group conferred Venable a Tier 1 Law Firm in 11 separate categories. Ms. Grunberg co-chaired the White-Collar Litigation of the practice when this award was conferred. She has also represented a number of high profile clients in internal and government investigations. In her first stinty at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Nancy received the “Supervisory Excellence Award.”
Christian Johan Smith
Christian Johan Smith is the President and co-founder of TrackR, ranked #45 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the US in 2017. TrackR’s goal is to end the daily search for lost or misplaced items. Since its inception in 2009, TrackR rapidly grew from a simple app to track keys into a global operation, raising $61 million in capital and shipping over nine million devices worldwide. The widespread usage enables TrackR’s Crowd Locate network, a global finding community, and helps locate over two million items every day. TrackR is distributed in Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other retailers around the globe. Leading brands such as Amazon, HP, and Cross Pens also integrate TrackR’s finding technology into their products. Coupling an engineering background with a preternatural set of entrepreneurial skills allows Christian to synthesize technical challenges and business goals while aligning the interests of consumers, investors, and partners. In 2017, Christian was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of The Year. When not creating the future at TrackR, you can find him exploring the California coastline sailing, surfing, or diving.
Elizabeth Brandel is a senior Business Development Leader with over 10 years of experience with within consumer products sales and marketing. Throughout her career, she has partnered with multiple retailers including Target, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Amazon and Ulta to build growth plans across Unilever’s portfolio. Her recent work has focused on leading sales strategy for Unilever’s North American Deodorant Business, partnering with retailers and cross functional teams to drive positive change and grow businesses. Elizabeth is an innovative, credible leader who consistently inspires and empowers team to deliver results. She co-leads personal brand development for GALvanize in the Field, Unilever’s Resource Group for Women in Field Sales. She is passionate about empowering female leaders and providing support and resources to build business acumen and leadership skills. Elizabeth holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a BSBA from Ohio State University.
Patrick Gage, one of the modern abolition movement’s youngest leaders, has a distinguished track record that belies his age. Though still in college, he has already has served at the United States Department of State as a Trafficking in Persons Intern, where he researched and analyzed human trafficking in Brazil, identifying current trafficking trends and monitoring governmental responses. Patrick also sits on the Board of Directors of Nomi Network where he secured sponsors, advised the team on matters relating to the supply chain, and fundraised. He has also Co-Chaired the Nexus Working Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, which leveraged his unique skills and talents to perform corporate and individual outreach, managed social media, and facilitated presentations. He was an ambassador for the Scalabrini Action Fund to End Trafficking (SAFETY) while on the Scalabrini International Migration Network’s Advisory Board. As an ambassador, Patrick and the 2013 Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler, featured in a YouTube video, announcing the creation of SAFETY. A “tireless Millennial advocate for those without a voice” according to Millennial magazine, Patrick has spoken about human trafficking at conferences nationally and internationally including the White House Conference on Next Generation Philanthropy, the Congressional Summit on Next Generation Leadership, and the Vatican Youth Symposium. Patrick has also written for “The Elephant in the Corner,” a political blog that reaches over 100 countries and territories, and was the Director of Publications for the Georgetown University College Republicans where he spearheaded the organization’s first publication, “The Right Way” and managed a staff of up to 10 writers.
Throughout her entire career, in both her personal and public life, Susan Lee has stood on the side the less fortunate. Currently serving on the board of Nomi Network, Ms. Lee plays a vital role in the mission of Nomi Network. She leads semi-annual budget meetings to ensure proper use and stewardship of donor funds in addition to her work developing the methodology for program evaluation in Cambodia and India. She acquired her acumen over a decade and a half of experience in advocacy stretching back to her days as a legal assistant at Sullian & Cromwell, to the two years she spent at Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) where she served as a Program Manager for Development. During this time, she cultivated relationships with funders, prepared grant-seeking packages, and funder reports for government agencies, in addition to working directly with attorneys and resolving tenant/property issues.
Ms. Lee has also consulted for a number of organizations including Voces Latina, Inc., Our World Neighborhood Charter School, the Albanian American Women’s Organization, and the Mirabal Sisters Cultural & Community Center. Her work with Voces Latina was particularly notable for developing the organization’s first fundraiser. Ms. Lee has also served as the Director of Program and Community Affairs for the Office of NYC Council Member Margaret S. Chin. During her tenure at the Office, she fought for the disbursement of discretionary funding to CBO’s. She collaborated with CBO’s to ensure that programs and services in Community District 1 met and supported the needs of the community. After her time there, Ms. Lee moved on to serve as an Advocacy Fellow at Covenant House International where she collaborated with other organizations to center their work around Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Child Nutrition Act, DREAM Act, International Megan’s Law, and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence & Victims support act. In addition to her career as an advocate for justice, Ms. Lee serves on the Board of Trustees for MercyFirst and continues her philanthropy in her personal life as a charity marathon runner in Chicago, Hong Kong, Boston, and New York.
Ms. Donna Tobin is a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein and Selz in New York City and the Co-Chair of the firm’s Trademark and Brand Protection practice. She has worked for over 30 years to guide both established and emerging companies worldwide through the legal system in a variety of consumer products and services industries -- including fashion, jewelry, specialty foods, beverages, and home furnishings in addition to representing well-known media, entertainment and sports entities. Untangling complex areas of trademark and related laws, including in the areas of geographical indications, trade dress and designs for her clients, she renders trademark search and clearance opinions, effectively counsels on trademark portfolio management and monetization, and successfully handles federal court litigation as well as oppositions and cancellations before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Ms. Tobin is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and a contributing member of the INTA Bulletin. She is also a member of the Federal Bar Council, Intellectual Property Section, and the New York State Bar Association, Section on Women in IP. She is a legal advisor to Women Across Frontiers, a magazine focusing on gender equality.
George Veth is the founder and manager at Adaptable LLC, a professional services firm focused on collaborative problem solving using advanced analytics. George is also the founder and president of Mango Fund, a nonprofit impact investment fund with 40+ investments focused on SME development in East Africa. He is a seasoned entrepreneur and business manager who has a passion for developing people, teams, and organizational cultures. He was the founder and CEO of Painted Word Inc., a professional services firm focused on corporate performance management services and solutions, which was included twice in the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies and subsequently merged with the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative and sold to the Palladium Group. His clients have included Walmart, GE, EMC, and Staples. He is an experienced workshop facilitator who has coached dozens of social entrepreneurs in strategic alignment and business planning and is an adjunct lecturer at Babson College where he has taught courses in operations management. George is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has a Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Scott Austin is a coach and consultant with extensive experience in non-profit, senior level management. As an independent consultant, Scott has worked in a wide array of sectors such as the construction industry, philanthropic foundations, and community initiatives. His clients include attorneys, physicians, executives, and entrepreneurs. Scott serves as a board member and consultant to several local organizations in the city of San Antonio where he lives with his wife Shannon, a pediatrician, and their two sons. In 2010 Scott and his closest friends planted a Church community in North Central San Antonio. Prior to the co-founding The Park Scott served several churches (and denominations) as a youth, college, and family pastor. He has a BA in History from Texas State and is pursuing a Masters in Theology from Northern Seminary.
Board of Advisors
Nomi Network’s Board of Advisors is a network of individual subject matter experts that use their expertise and progressive thinking to assess and enhance the current and future work of the organization. These talented individuals often hold the admiration of colleagues in their respective fields and actively share about Nomi Network’s mission within their networks. Each member also has the option of raising financial support for the organization to grow its programs and mission. This group of advisors is a volunteer network and is not a governing body of Nomi Network, having no fiduciary or legally binding commitment to the organization.
An-me Chung, Mozilla Foundation
Antonio del Valle, JP Morgan Chase
Catherine Hartman, Harper++Scott
Charity Wallace, Wallace Global Impact
Danielle Classman, Target
Edwin Keh, Hong Kong Textile Research Institute
Emily Nielson Jones, Imago Dei Fund
Greg Furman, Luxury Council
Gayle Embrey, Embrey Interests and Embrey Family Foundation
Hannah Chang, End Fund
Harriet Novet, Time Warner, Retired
James Vanreusel, Vanreusel Ventures
Jamie Lund, Polyphonic
Jean-Pierre Verbiest, Retired Asian Development Bank
Jonalie Korengold, Junior League
Jonathan Ward, US Embassy
John Damonti, Bristol Myers Squibb
Kate Ancketill, GDR Creative Intelligence
Kim Ogden, Bridgespan
Kinsen Siu, Lafayette 148
Lauren Embrey, Embrey Family Foundation
Leland Maschmeyer, Chobani
Maroun Mourad, Verisk
Mary Fontamillas, Fabletics
Mike Hoffman, Changing our World
Randy Belcher, Fossil
Sridhar Seshadri, University of Austin Texas
Shannon Sedgwick Davis, Bridgeway Foundation
Suman Saran, Gap
Tina Tran, Facebook
Tong Ip, Neropol
Wesley Nguyen, Workforce Training and Education Training Board
Young Professionals Boards
Nomi Network’s Young Professionals Board is a passionate group of professionals whose mission is to strategically champion the mission of Nomi Network among their networks to enable programmatic and financial growth, and to help Nomi Network plan and execute events, conversations and introductions that bring the visibility of Nomi Network to the next level. The YPB also actively cultivates a community of abolitionists that have a personal commitment to this work and the women that we serve. YPB is a volunteer network and is not a governing body of Nomi Network, having no fiduciary or legally binding commitment to the organization.
Caroline Hughes, Chair