Lyn Lewis, Chair
Lyn Lewis is the Board Chair of Top Honors and was previously a volunteer tutor in the organization for four years. She is passionate about the work of Top Honors and believes there is a great opportunity to expand Top Honors’ reach.
In Lyn's career, she has served for three years as the CEO of Journelle, a luxury lingerie brand based in New York City. At Journelle, Lyn opened three new brick- and-mortar boutiques, grew and optimized its e-commerce business, and developed the brand’s eponymous in-house lingerie line. Her professional interests include operations, strategic planning, and providing exceptional customer service.
Prior to Journelle, Lyn worked in logistics, running warehouse and contact-center divisions for industrial supply retailer McMaster-Carr. Her previous experience also includes management consulting at Katzenbach Partners and algorithmic trading at a proprietary firm.
Lyn holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ben Block, Director
Ben Block is a partner at Ardsley Partners, where he is involved with the firm’s renewable energy investments. Prior to Ardsley, Ben was a software engineer. Ben has been a volunteer tutor at Top Honors since 2010 and received the 2011 New Tutor Award. He led Top Honors as the Board Chair until 2018, during which time he led the expansion of Top Honors to two boroughs of Manhattan.
Ben holds a BA in Physics from the University of California San Diego and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Elizabeth Bakarich, Director
Elizabeth Bakarich is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at AB Global, where she focuses on emerging-market corporate debt. Prior to joining the Emerging Markets team in 2014 as an associate portfolio manager, Lizzie worked in the firm’s London office on the Global and European Credit teams. She joined the firm in 2006 as an associate with the US Municipal group. She is a CFA charterholder.
Lizzie first became involved with Top Honors as a tutor in early 2014. She joined the Top Honors Board in 2016.
Lizzie graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a BS and MS in Mathematics. At Stevens, Lizzie was an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.
George King, Director
George is Vice President, Head of Corporate Development at Arconic Inc. He is responsible for the corporate transactions, joint ventures, and inorganic growth strategy at Arconic, a Fortune 500 company operating in the aerospace, defense, automotive, and commercial transportation industries. Previously, George held the same role at Alcoa, a Dow 30 company and Arconic’s predecessor which was separated into two Fortune 500 companies in 2016. Prior to Alcoa, George worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston, Lazard, and Lehman Brothers.
George is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
A native of Alabama, George is married and lives in New York. His wife, Lauren, has been a volunteer tutor with Top Honors for several years.
Heidi Boyd, Director
Heidi is a Principal at Blackstone Group, where she works in the Infrastructure Group. She is responsible for evaluating and executing investments in sectors including transportation, regulated networks, and energy. Heidi previously worked at Macquarie where she focused on infrastructure investing, and Boston Consulting Group where she advised primarily healthcare and education sector clients.
Heidi holds a BA in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jason Wood, Director
Jason joined AIG in 2015 as a Managing Director to assist in the build-out of the direct equity and private equity co-investment platforms. Mr. Wood’s career in the financial services sector has spanned 14 years. Prior to joining AIG, he held positions of increasing responsibility as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and as a principal investor at Parish Capital Partners and Zurich Alternative Asset Management. He began his career as an analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at UBS Investment Bank. He joined the Top Honors Board in 2016.
Jason holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business.
Mark Berman, Director
Mark is a Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank, working within its Consumer and Internet Technology Banking practice. He specializes in developing and managing relationships with early stage technology companies in the New York community. Prior to joining Silicon Valley Bank in 2018, Mark spent several years with City National Bank, and prior to that, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Mark has been a volunteer at Top Honors since 2012 and received the 2013 Tutor Effectiveness Award. He joined the Top Honors Board in 2015.
Mark holds a BS in Finance with a minor in International Business from the University of Delaware.
Matthew Rhodes, Director
Matt is an Executive Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Aqua America, a leading U.S. water utility. Prior to Aqua America, Matt was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in New York in the Natural Resources Investment Banking Group with a focus on power and utility clients. He has been involved in numerous Mergers & Acquisitions and financing transactions in the power and utility sectors throughout his career. Matt previously worked at Bank of America and Duke Capital partners in energy finance roles.
Matt earned a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA, with honors, from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Michael Connelly, Director
Mike is a Senior Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Until February 2015, he was Chief Executive Officer of Mosaica Education, Inc., a global manager of K-12 public charter schools, private schools, and online educational programs. Prior to Mosaica, Mike was with Lepercq Capital Management, Foster Management Company, and the law firm of Casey, Lane & Mittendorf.
He is a former Chairman of the National Council of Education Providers and member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University School of Law. He is the President Emeritus of Dance Theater Workshop and also a member of the Education Industry Leadership Board. Mr. Connelly was named “Global Entrepreneur of Year” by the AllWorld Network (Harvard University) in 2012. Business Council awarded him the “Encore Award” as the Business Volunteer of the Year in 2001.
Mike holds a BA in Mathematics from Michigan State University and a JD from the Columbia University School of Law.
Monica Greenberg, Director
Monica is the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel at LivePerson. She joined the Top Honors Board in 2016.
Monica holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Boston University
Nisha Deshmukh, Director
Nisha Deshmukh is Head of Marketing & Investor Relations at Ghost Tree Capital, a healthcare hedge fund. Prior to joining Ghost Tree, Nisha was a Vice President of Business Development and Investor Relations at Protégé Partners. At Protégé, she also served as a senior member of the legal team before transitioning to her business development role.
Nisha has been a volunteer tutor at Top Honors since 2015, and joined the Top Honors Board in 2017.
Nisha holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law.
Sergio Smiriglio, Director
Sergio is currently the Head Trader at Armistice Capital. Prior to joining Armistice, he was a Trader at Tourbillon Capital and before then, Co-Head of Trading and Risk at Dialectic Capital Management where he was responsible for trade execution across the capital structure and macro asset universe. He was also instrumental in building Dialectic’s risk framework and tasked with managing risk globally for the firm. Sergio started his career at Goldman Sachs in their Prime Brokerage equity long/short coverage group. He was the primary point of contact for all client trade and portfolio related activity across a broad book of hedge fund clients.
Sergio graduated with honors from Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering in Bio-medical Engineering. While at Stevens, Sergio volunteered for the Hoboken EMT squad, Habitat for Humanity, and Engineers Without Borders, a program designed to evaluate and develop solutions to problems across the globe.
Trude Tiesi, Director of Education
Trude is the Middle School Director of Academic Technology and the Class 6 Supervisor at The Chapin School in Manhattan. In addition to these roles, she is the coordinator of service learning and serves as a coach of the middle school robotics team.
Previously, Trude has taught 5th grade Humanities, 6th grade English, 8th grade speech and debate and 12th grade psychology. She completed her year of national service with City Year Boston. She is currently the co-chair of City Year's National Alumni Association Board.
Trude holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity College and an MA in Education Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.