Bottomless Closet is governed by a Board of Directors. From its start, Bottomless Closet has relied largely on the dedication of volunteers to accomplish its mission.
Christine is a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer with over 15 years of experience in the institutional asset management and family office space. She has served as Chief Compliance Officer at Alternative Investment Management, an independent, privately-held investment management firm focused on hedge funds and private equity. She spearheaded special projects for the firm, including the design and implementation of strategic initiatives in operations, compliance, and marketing. She was also responsible for managing relationships with families, foundations, and endowments. Prior to this, Christine was the Chief Operating Officer of New York Private Bank & Trust, the wealth management division of Emigrant Bank, where she built the infrastructure to support ultra-high net worth clients. Previously, Christine was Business Manager and advised on business development at MPI Professionals, LLC, a subsidiary of CGI Group, Inc., providing consulting to financial services firms. Christine also served at Credit Suisse in New York and London as: European Product Manager of Fixed Income Emerging Markets; Financial Analyst for the Global Head of Fixed Income; and Compensation Analyst in Human Resources. Christine began her career at Charles River Consultants, Inc. as a Project Manager in financial services technology consulting.
Christine is Chair of Bottomless Closet, a member of High Water Women, and a member of the Trust and Estates Committee of SUNY College of Optometry. She is also a member of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network and a mentor in Cornell’s Alumni-Student Mentoring Program. Christine earned her B.A. from Cornell University.
Arlyn S. Gardner
Senior Vice President
Arlyn became involved with Bottomless Closet as a volunteer shortly after it was founded through her friendship with Reva Wurtzburger. Arlyn serves on several board committees including the Events Committee with primary responsibility for Bottomless Closet’s annual fundraising luncheon.
Arlyn began her career at CBS where she worked for ten years, which was followed by time off to raise her three children. Because of her learning disabled son she became a volunteer at the National Center for Learning Disabilities and subsequently became its’ Executive Director. She then served as Executive Director for The National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction, an organization affiliated with the New York University Medical Center, devoted to making a difference in the lives of children and adults with facial differences.
Arlyn is former Chair of the Board of the Learning Leaders, an organization which provides over 15,000 tutors annually to New York City schools. She is a former member of the board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Judy is the senior analyst covering the Beverage and Tobacco sectors in the Consumer Products and Retail team within Global Investment Research (GIR). She has been ranked in industry surveys such as Institutional Investor, Starmine and The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street.” She also serves as co-head of the GIR Asian Professionals Network. Judy joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 and was named managing director in 2013.
Prior to joining the firm, Judy worked at an asset management firm as a buy-side analyst.
Judy earned an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BS in Communications from Cornell University. She resides in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Judith T. Hunt
Judy joined Bottomless Closet as a volunteer and Board Member in 1999, as an opportunity to utilize her previous retail and fundraising experience in a not-for-profit organization. Judy has served as Bottomless Closet’s Treasurer from 1999-2006, chair of the Finance Committee and the Retail Committee, and sat on the Development and Volunteer Committees. Judy serves as Board Secretary, and participates on other Committees including Finance, Program and Evaluation, and Spring Luncheon. Since 2014, she has co-chaired the Volunteer Committee. Judy is a graduate of Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY. Working at Bottomless Closet these years has been an exciting, challenging and rewarding experience pooling together years’ worth of volunteer and professional experiences, as Judy moved around the U.S.A.
Sheila is a founding member of Bottomless Closet and served as its first, volunteer Executive Director at its opening January 19th, 1999. She has served in numerous leadership positions including President and Chair as well as chair of several committees. A retired corporate executive with extensive experience in human resources and general management, Sheila has applied these skills to her volunteer career.
Sheila was with The Dun and Bradstreet Corporation for twenty years. Her responsibilities as Vice President, Human Resources, included all recruitment, compensation and employee relations. Subsequent to that, Sheila served as Senior Vice President and Publisher at Moody’s Investors Service where she managed production, sales and marketing operations for all of Moody’s published products.
Other current volunteer commitments focus on education, Jewish continuity and education, women’s issues and the economically disadvantaged. Sheila has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Town School, Is former board chair and current executive committee member of Project Kesher, a women’s advocacy group in the Former Soviet Union, former Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College, President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. She is also a founder and past Board Chair of Breakthrough, an enrichment program for disadvantaged students to help them gain access to more educationally challenging high schools and is a member of the advisory board for the school of communications of Northwestern University.
Sheila is passionate about the issue of women’s empowerment and believes whole-heartedly that Bottomless Closet makes a real difference in the success of our clients. That belief drives her commitment to the organization as a volunteer and as a leader.
Reva has a lifetime of volunteer involvement. She is experienced in fund-raising, in creating and sustaining effective organizational structures, and in supporting and nurturing staff at all levels. Reva and a small group of women initiated the idea for Bottomless Closet in November 1996 and she became its subsequent President when the organization opened its doors on January 19th 1999.
Previously served on the Board of Lighthouse for the Blind in the 70’s, she was one of the architects of the “Posh Sale”, which now brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. As one of the very early members of the New York Philharmonic’s Volunteer Council, Reva served as its President. She has also served on the Board of the Learning Leaders, formerly known as the New York City School Volunteers. In addition Reva has sat on the Boards of the Rehearsal Club and The Chelsea Theater Club.
Today, Reva is proud to be the Chair Emerita of the Board of Directors of Bottomless Closet New York. She believes that one’s life is immeasurably enriched when given the opportunity and the privilege of helping another person – especially one-on-one. Reva is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Anne became involved with Bottomless Closet when she was introduced to the organization and was encouraged to lead a workshop. In 2009 Anne became a regular weekly volunteer, recognizing the opportunity to call upon her previous professional experience in Human Resources at Time Warner Inc. to coach clients to be better prepared for their interviews. She heads Bottomless Closet’s Program and Evaluation Committee and is a member of the Volunteer Committee, and regularly conducts ongoing training sessions and new volunteer orientation. Anne is a leader of Job Club, a multi-session intensive training and mentoring program for clients.
Anne’s over 20 year career with Time Warner Inc. included human resources management roles at Time Inc., the Warner Music Group and Corporate Global Benefits. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College, attended graduate school at New York University and several Human Resources, Management and Leadership certificate programs.
Anne has been inspired by her clients at Bottomless Closet and is happy to be able to apply her professional experience to work with clients to be better prepared for their interviews and the workplace environment.
Katherine spent more than 20 years in the financial services industry globally, where her roles spanned a variety of areas including investment banking, institutional equities sales, and hedge fund marketing, at institutions including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Eton Park Capital Management. Most recently, Katherine was an executive recruiter with Russell Reynolds Associates, where she focused on the financial services industry. Katherine is also an executive coach.
Katherine is passionate about helping individuals from diverse and underserved backgrounds prepare for the workforce, which is the common theme among her volunteer activities and prior board experience. She currently volunteers at American Corporate Partners, where she mentors veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq as they transition into the civilian world. She also volunteers at the English Speaking Union, where she provides job skills training to non-English speaking adults. In the past, she worked with abused women to develop similar skill sets. Katherine’s prior board experience at Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide also focused on job preparation skills and financial literacy. Katherine held a variety of roles at JA, where she was the Treasurer and served on the Board’s Executive Committee.
Katherine received a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Katherine also holds a B.S. from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. After receiving her MBA, Katherine earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Harvard Business School. She also earned a Certificate in Executive Coaching from New York University. Katherine is fluent in German.
Rebekah is Senior Vice President, Advanced Services for CBS. She serves as department expert in technology and the rapidly-evolving digital multichannel space, and she is responsible for directing the evolution of CBS’ portfolio of media assets and increasing revenue across all digital and emerging platforms. Prior to her current position, she spent 14 years at HBO and was Vice President, Global Technology Business Management. There, she led the teams responsible for cross-group coordination, program management, technology vendor relationships and overall communication for the Digital Products division (HBO GO & Cinemax GO). In addition, Dopp negotiated technology agreements, managed strategic vendor relationships and managed the P&L across all technology departments at HBO.
Rebekah is very passionate about her work in the non-profit sector with a focus on supporting women and children. She served as chairman of the board for the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) for many years and serves on the Board of Trustees for The New York Foundling and the Board of Directors for Bottomless Closet. She also served on the board of directors for the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center in New York City and has done pro-bono work for The Taproot Foundation. In August 2014, she participated in ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in honor of her instrumental leadership resulting in CAPP becoming a fully-integrated program of The Foundling.
Rebekah holds a Bachelor’s degree with a Finance concentration from The College of William & Mary and completed the CTAM U. executive management program at the Harvard Business School. She is a fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and a recipient of the 2014 Bravo! Outstanding Achievements Award from the Chesterfield Public Education Foundation. She serves on the Advisory Board for BWG Strategy, and has been a judge for the Miami & Latino Web Fest and the CTAM Mark Awards.
Rebekah lives in New Jersey with her husband Jeff Samuel, their young children, and their hound dog.
Carolyn is a founder of Bottomless Closet and has been a standing member of the Development Committee.
Carolyn concentrated her career in the nonprofit sector, having served as staff member and consultant to a number of human service and education organizations, including The Court Employment Project, the Vera Institute of Justice, Reality House, Girls Inc., The Family and The Cooperative Program for Educational Opportunity. She served as Director of Development for the New York City Mission Society and as a Senior Development Officer at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center Fund. She joined Jeanne Sigler & Associates in 1995, and served as Vice President and senior consultant on a variety of projects.
She is a founder, selection committee member and administrator of a college scholarship fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College. She also studied at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and completed graduate coursework in Human Resources Administration at the University of Utah.
Pam is the Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. Kaufman is a strong global-branding executive who provides the company with high-level vision, strategy and execution across its media platforms, marketing efforts and consumer products businesses.
Kaufman oversees all global consumer marketing efforts across television, digital, events, music, retail and consumer products, advancing Nickelodeon’s standing as the world’s leading kids’ entertainment brand. She also leads Integrated Marketing efforts, working with blue-chip advertisers like General Mills and Toyota, and spearheads all strategic marketing plans for new content. She helmed the launch strategies for the groundbreaking iCarly, the successful return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the launches of the Emmy Award-winning Nick App and Nick Radio; and live events like the annual Kids’ Choice Awards.
As President of Consumer Products, Kaufman oversees domestically Nickelodeon’s billion-dollar global consumer products business, which encompasses merchandising and licensing for some of the worlds’ most popular and iconic intellectual properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Peter Rabbit. She spearheads Nick’s major licensing programs with industry-leading partners like Mattel, Fisher-Price and Playmates and retail partnerships with Walmart, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us among others.
Kaufman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Communications from American University.
Diane began her association with Bottomless Closet in 2002 initially as an evening volunteer working with clients and conducting Workplace Skills workshops. In 2004, she joined the Board and began working as a daytime volunteer coincident with her “retirement” from the corporate world. In addition she has been Co-Chair of the Program and Evaluation Committee, Vice President, President and Chair and sat on numerous committees.
Diane’s corporate career began in Human Resources beginning with the Consulting firm of Booz Allen, then Gulf & Western/Paramount Communications where she rose to the top Human Resources position. She joined Time Warner’s Warner Music Group as Senior Vice President of Human Resources where she had responsibility for over 12,000 employees in 65 countries and traveled extensively. Subsequently, she was in a similar role at Random House Publishing Group.
Diane also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Professional Children’s School, an educational institution dedicated to students in the performing arts, sports and entertainment.
Diane received her BA from St. John’s University and Masters in Human Resource Management and Development from the New School in New York. In addition she has attended numerous Executive Leadership and Development programs at Harvard and IMD in Lausanne Switzerland.
Robyn Polansky is a Vice President and Private Client Associate with U.S. Trust in New York. Robyn works closely with individuals, families, and institutions to develop customized financial strategies that align with their goals and values. She offers the acumen and knowledge she has gained from extensive experience in capital markets research and portfolio design. As the leader of a client’s U.S. Trust® team, Robyn is a central resource for a range of needs. She collaborates with in‐house specialists to devise and implement integrated initiatives in investment management, including socially innovative investments; trust and estate planning services; philanthropy; and credit and lending through Bank of America, N.A. Robyn grounds her approach in client education, fostering engaged and informed decision‐making.
Prior to joining U.S. Trust in 2014, Robyn spent twelve years with Bessemer Trust in New York, where she held increasing responsibilities in investment manager research, selection, and monitoring. She ultimately served as Vice President and Manager Research Analyst for External Manager Solutions. Robyn began her financial services career in 2000 at Thompson Financial Corporation in Venture Economics.
Robyn earned her B.A. in Economics from Union College, where she was a four‐year member of the varsity crew team.
Robyn serves on the Board of Directors of Bottomless Closet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to workforce preparation for disadvantaged New York City women transitioning from unemployment and public assistance to work, and Strength to Strength, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting worldwide victims of terrorism. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Council of Young Jewish Presidents. Robyn has also led initiatives to help women impacted by the September 11th terrorist attacks and has raised funds for cancer patients by completing the New York City Marathon.
Sara T. Slocum
Sara is a longtime volunteer, who has been involved with all aspects of the organization: from coaching clients to helping lead workshops, and in the planning of many events for Bottomless Closet.
She previously worked in the retail consulting and market research fields.
Sara received a Master’s Degree with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated with Honors from Haverford College. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Reading Reform Foundation of New York, the board of the Katonah Museum of Art and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Rippowam Cisqua.
Saumil Shukla is currently Vice President of Supply Chain with responsibility for the procurement of materials, equipment and services for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., amounting to approximately $2 billion dollars annually. In addition, Saumil is responsible for the operations and management of the central warehouse distribution facility at fifteen regional facilities as well as a central storeroom.
Prior to her current position, Saumil was the vice president of Steam Operations from 2007 through 2014. In this role, Saumil was responsible for operating the largest district energy steam system in the world, including generation and delivery of energy to many of the most prestigious landmark buildings in Manhattan such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the United Nations, and the Museum of Natural History.
During her 33-year career at Con Edison, Ms. Shukla has held several prominent positions in various operating organizations in Con Edison.
Ms. Shukla leads several initiatives focused on increasing representation of women in non-traditional job within Con Edison. She was recognized in 1999 by NY Crain’s Business as a “40 under 40” business leader and in 2000 was honored by the YWCA-NY Academy of Women Achievers.
Ms. Shukla holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from City College of New York and a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Polytechnic University of New York.
Mehrnaz (Naz) Vahid
Naz Vahid is a Managing Director and Head of the Law Firm Group for Citi Private Bank. In this role she is responsible for the 14 offices in the United States and UK that serve Law Firms, their Partners and Associates. The group’s 200 professionals provide financial advice and services to more than 40,000 attorneys across 650 law firms, as of 2015 year end. Naz serves as the Head of the Citi Private Bank Diversity Program, working with the committee and ICG Diversity to increase awareness across many areas and previously was head of the Private Bank’s Mentorship Program for two years.
Prior to leading the Law Firm Group, she was the Global Market Manager for the East Coast and London responsible for six Law Firm Group offices. Before this, she was a Senior Private Banker for more than 15 years, handling some of the largest client relationships in the Private Bank.
Naz is formally credit trained, and prior to her role as a Private Banker, worked as a Private Bank Credit Officer and also as an analyst. Naz holds a graduate degree in International Relations and Finance from Columbia University School of International Affairs and undergraduate degrees in Economics and Sociology from Hobart and Williams Smith College.
Naz is married and lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and their daughter.
Katherine Elvin Watkin
Katie has been a regular daytime volunteer at Bottomless Closet since 2005 and joined the Board of Directors in 2008 is currently chair of the Program Committee and a member of the Young Leadership Council. She was previously chair of the Volunteer Committee and part of the development team that created and led a workshop focusing on strategies parents can use to read with their children. Prior to her volunteer work, Katie was a learning specialist at the Country School in Weston, Massachusetts and The Chapin School in New York. Her career as a teacher showed Katie that children best succeed when their parents are strong and confident. Bottomless Closet helps women gain the self-confidence needed to succeed. Katie received her BA with honors from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Education in Special Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Eleanor Willets is the Area President of Metropolitan New York for Wells Fargo. She has more than 30 years of experience leading nearly 600 team members in Westchester, Suffolk, Nassau, Bronx Counties, and New York City. She is able to inspire team members through experience gained by working in every position in the Community Bank from a part-time Teller to her current senior-leadership role.
Eleanor builds and sustains a diverse and inclusive culture at Wells Fargo by connecting with multiple communities through her sponsorship of numerous Wells Fargo Team Member Networks, where she can frequently be found engaged in networking and educational events. Eleanor’s leadership helps to ensure that the diversity of team members reflects the rich diversity of our communities. She takes great pride that the Metropolitan New York team promotes an inclusive culture that is not only accepting of differences, but celebrates them.
Through her membership on the Board of Directors for Bottomless Closet, Eleanor has been inspired by the stories of the clients she has met, and enjoys helping others achieve their dreams by sharing her own experiences.