Rachel AlkonRachel Alkon
Rachel is the Founding Principal of Alkon & Co., a boutique strategic communications firm specializing in food and sustainability.
Prior, Rachel was the Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Bowery Farming, the largest U.S. vertical farming company, and led global public affairs at Whole Foods Market. Earlier in her career, she was a Director at Brunswick Group, a reputation management firm, and advised clients, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, The Gates Foundation, and PepsiCo. Rachel earned a Master’s in Food Systems and Policy from New York University and a B.A. in English with Honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Alexia BrueAlexia Brue
Alexia is the co-founder of Well+Good, the award-winning wellness media company, and she served as CEO until Leaf Group (NYSE: LEAF) acquired Well+Good in June 2018. She’s currently SVP of the Fitness & Wellness Group at Leaf Group, which is comprised of Well+Good, Livestrong.com, and My Plate. The three digital properties collectively reach 30 million people every month and create compelling and actionable content and events aimed at informing and inspiring people to find their personalized wellness recipe. Brue is a frequent commentator on digital media, entrepreneurship, and wellness and has been featured in outlets including CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, the New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, AdWeek, and Digiday. Brue earned her BA in Classics from Grinnell College and her MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Chanel CatheyChanel Cathey
Chanel is the Founder and CEO of CJC Insights, an award-winning strategic communications and public relations agency headquartered in New York City. She puts brands and thought leaders on the map and counsels businesses on communications and press strategies. She is a builder and storyteller with a passion for partnering with female founders and BIPOC and minority-owned businesses. Chanel is a contributor for Fast Company and on the Advisory Board for the Wall Street Journal's Women in the Workplace Series, helping to curate national events and conversations around the future of women and work. Previously, Chanel was the Director of Corporate Communications at Viacom and also spent time in media relations for ABC News and for Unilever. Chanel was named to the Forbes Next 1000 list, The Observer’s PR Power 50 List, and received the 2020 ADCOLOR Change Agent Award for using her talents to enhance corporate cultures and create more inclusive industries. Her work has been covered in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Ad Age, PR News, and more. She graduated from Fordham University and received her MPA specializing in Management and Policy from New York University.
Maya FellerMaya Feller
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is a nationally recognized nutrition expert. In her practice, she provides medical nutrition therapy for the management of and risk reduction of non-communicable diseases. Maya received her Masters of Science in clinical nutrition at New York University, where she is adjunct faculty. Whether addressing the nation or working one on one and with groups, Maya believes in providing nutrition education from an antibias patient-centered, culturally sensitive approach. Maya is dedicated to promoting nutrition education that helps the public to make informed food choices that support health and longevity. Maya shares her approachable, real food based solutions to millions of people through regular speaking engagements, writing in local and national publications, via her social media account on Instagram, @mayafellerRD, and as a national nutrition expert on Good Morning America, GMA3: What You Need to Know and more. She is the author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life.
Kelvin GaryKelvin Gary
Kelvin is the Founder, CEO and Head Coach of Body Space Fitness, a boutique personal training facility specializing in “Semi-Private” personal training. A graduate of the University of Miami (FL) College of Engineering and New York University Stern School of Business, Kelvin left the business world to pursue his love for helping others live a better life through fitness. After training for several years both independently and in a big box gym setting, Kelvin opened Body Space Fitness in 2012 with the goal of bringing a customized experience to group training. Through an innovative approach to program design and unique training system, Body Space Fitness has become known as one of the premier personal training facilities in New York City.
Kelvin is an internationally recognized fitness expert (holding numerous training certifications) and is known as the “trainer’s trainer” and the fitness guru to many of New York City’s top fitness professionals.
Allison GroverAllison Grover
(Treasurer) Allison is a former investment banker who today combines her business acumen with her longtime involvement in the fitness community. With a focus on the boutique fitness space, she currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to Jetsweat, a premium digital content fitness app, and Body Space Fitness, a leading NYC training facility. From 2014 through 2016, Allison was President of Terez, a performance activewear line made in New York City. Prior to Terez, she spent over a decade in finance as an investment banker and equity trader, most recently as Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Securities Division. While there, she served on the firm’s LGBT Network Steering Committee, developing and implementing its LGBT Ally Strategy, which won the HRC Innovation Award for Workplace Equality in 2011. Allison also worked for Vestar Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley & Co. She currently serves on the board of Athlete Ally, an LGBT non-profit.
Born and raised in Montreal, Allison received a BA in Business Administration with honors from the University of Western Ontario, and lives in Manhattan with her family.
David MansbachDavid Mansbach
David Mansbach, CCP, is a Senior Partner with Kingsley Gate Partners specializing in the hospitality industry. He has more than two decades of experience advising hospitality clients, and has sold and led engagements in the areas of executive recruitment, compensation consulting and business strategy & implementation. He is also an investor in early-stage Restaurant companies and a human capital artificial intelligence technology platform.
Prior to joining Kingsley Gate Partners, David served as a Managing Director at AETHOS Consulting Group, a firm he co-founded in 2013 to provide executive search, compensation consulting and human capital advisory services to the global Restaurant, Hotel and Gaming industries.
Nick MarshNick Marsh
(Chairman) Nick is the CEO of Chop’t Creative Salad Company, the leader of the premium salad segment with over 40 restaurants in New York, Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Under his leadership, Chop’t is committed to changing the future of “fast food.” Nick became the lead investor at Chop't in 2005, through his investment fund, GrowthPoint Restaurants. He is also the lead investor and Executive Chairman of Mendocino Farms, a twelve-unit fast casual sandwich chain based in Los Angeles, CA. Earlier in his career, Nick was President and Chief Operating Officer of Cosi Restaurants. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1990.
Brian MeyerBrian Meyer
Brian is General Counsel of Fir Tree Partners, an NYC-based hedge fund, and is responsible for overseeing the firm's legal, compliance, human resources, insurance and regulatory matters. Before joining Fir Tree in 2005, Brian was a Managing Director at Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a media-focused private equity firm and investment bank. From 1997 until 2004, Brian worked closely with Fir Tree Partners as General Counsel of The Official Information Company, a Fir Tree investment. Before that, he was Senior Corporate Counsel at Revlon, Inc. Brian began his professional career specializing in M&A, corporate, securities and banking law at the law firms of Latham & Watkins and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Brian received a J.D. degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, where he was Executive Editor of the California Law Review, and received a B.A. in History and graduated magna cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley.
DeMarco MurrayDeMarco Murray
(Chief Athletic Officer) DeMarco is a retired NFL Running Back who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. He currently serves as the Running Backs Coach at his Alma Mater, Oklahoma University and is an active Entrepreneur & Investor in a variety of different industries and sectors, including Food, Agriculture, Real Estate, Sport Tech / Ecommerce. Murray graduated from OU in 2010 with a degree in communication and a minor in African-American studies. After an historic collegiate and then heavily decorated seven-year NFL career (3x Pro Bowl, 2015 Player of the Year, All Pro, etc.), Murray retired from the NFL in 2018. Shortly after announcing his retirement, DeMarco set his sights on broadcasting, securing a full time position as in game color Analyst for FOX Sports. With an inherent passion for health and fitness, DeMarco sought to invest and grow the national salad chain, Chopt, a Creative Salad Company based in NYC as well as serving as an advisor on the Seventy Six Capital Athlete Venture Group. DeMarco lives in Norman, OK with his wife and two kids.
Craig RussellCraig Russell
(Secretary) Craig is the Global Head of Family Capital at Blackstone. Mr. Russell joined Blackstone after 15 years at Goldman Sachs where he was most recently vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and co-head of the Global Client Business responsible for global sales and client relationship management for all institutional and retail client assets. Mr. Russell serves on the Board of Directors of Wellness in the Schools, a national nonprofit that creates healthier environments for children, and the Evans Scholars Foundation, a national nonprofit that awards full tuition and housing college scholarships to golf caddies. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Industrial and Operations Engineering department at the University of Michigan. Craig earned a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Jamie SutherlandJamie Sutherland
Jamie is the Managing Director and Head of Americas Advisory at UBS. Jamie is responsible for global client-facing advisory sales teams within UBS Equities Americas including specialty sales and the corporate access business. Jamie is a member of the Global Distribution Executive Committee, Americas Distribution Committee, and Americas Cash Management Committee. Prior to joining UBS, Jamie was co-head of New York Global Equity Sales at Goldman Sachs. She joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1999 within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and moved to the Securities Division in 2001 to help grow the Firm’s Institutional Equity relationships. Jamie was named Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in 2010. Jamie earned a BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish from the University of Virginia in 1999.
Troy ThorntonTroy Thornton
Troy is co-head of Retail Sales within the Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) Americas Client Business. Prior to assuming his current role, he was head of Key Accounts and Platform Development and national sales manager of the Investment Consulting Group in US Third Party Distribution. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Money Management Institute and serves as chair-elect. Troy is also a member of the Distribution Council of the Investment Management Education Alliance and a member of the Sales and Marketing Committee of the Investment Company Institute. Troy also chairs the advisory board of the Pennsylvania State University Educational Equity Program.
Elly TruesdellElly Truesdell
Elly has spent her career driving strategic growth in the Natural and Organic Food industry, shaping the landscape of some of the fastest growing, most innovative categories and sectors of food. Elly spent nearly a decade at Whole Foods Market as Global Director of Local Brands & Product Innovation, and left to join as interim CEO with Canopy Foods, a strategic manufacturer. In June 2019, Elly became Partner at Almanac Insights, a venture fund focusing on consumer food, beverage, and food technologies, where she brings expertise in brand, purchasing, and supply chain as an investor. Elly holds a B.A in Media Studies from the University of Virginia and got her start in food volunteering on an organic vegetable farm in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Elly sits on the board of Scout Canning, and acts as an advisor to FOOD-X.
Susan Fisher Haag
Susan Fisher Haag was a founding board member and dear, dear friend to WITS. We lost Susan to ovarian cancer on April 12, 2020 but her legacy, her spirit, her beauty and her love lives on in the WITS design, which was all created by Susan. She loved the work of WITS and believed deeply in the power of our team to share their gifts and create change in schools. She was bold and persistent in her beliefs and in her designs. She created a brand that captures the spirit and beauty of this great work. Susan will be remembered and honored always.