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“From the first day of training I knew that Imagine was a unique organization.”
Diana Miller is a CPA with over 18 years of experience in public accounting. Diana possesses significant not-for-profit and governmental auditing experience with associations, foundations, churches, healthcare entities, private schools, school districts, colleges and universities, municipalities and counties. In addition to performing financial audits, she has also performed numerous single audits and special consulting engagements.
As Partner- in- Charge of Wiss & Company’s Not-for-Profit Group, Diana has served a plethora of clients in not-for-profit, higher-education, government and commercial organizations, performing audits, reviews, compilations, tax and consulting services.
Diana is the chairperson of the Wiss Women’s Leadership Forum (WWLF) where she fosters leadership through professional activities, educational programs, networking and mentoring. Diana is also an internationally published co-author of the inspiring anthology book, RESULTS! Additionally, Diana has been named a Recipient of NJCPA’s 2016 Women of Note; an honor given to those who display a unique combination of NJCPA participation, accounting profession involvement, and community service dedication.
When asked about her new role at Imagine, Diana said: “Growing up as a child I never went to funerals; in my culture it wasn’t customary to bring children. Then as an adult, the reality of death hit me like a brick. I met Imagine’s Executive Director Mary Robinson right around the time my mother passed away after suffering for years with cancer as well as other health issues. Mary inspired me with her story and I knew at that time I wanted to get more involved with Imagine. There are so many people that don’t have family and friends to turn to when they are coping with loss or have a family suffering with a terminal illness. Children especially – they are so resilient yet vulnerable. Life always seems too short, however we can live it right and make a positive impact on others so no person ever feels alone. I feel privileged to join the board of Imagine and will do my best to support the organization in all its endeavors. ”
Diana lives in New Providence with her husband Jon and two children, Jasmine and Jayden. When not in the office, Diana enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, participating in community and philanthropic events, and traveling.
Jeffrey Peris has extensive Board experience, having held prominent leadership roles following a distinguished management career with leading pharmaceutical/healthcare companies. Dr. Peris served as Chairman of Allied Health Care International; Corporate VP, Chief Learning Ofﬁcer for Wyeth; Vice President of Human Resources, Investor Relations & Communications for Abbott Laboratories; and Vice President of Human Resources and other Senior Executive positions for Merck & Company.
Dr. Peris has an Sc.D. and M.Sc., in Biostatistics/Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh G.S.P.H, an M.B.A. from Rutgers University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Allied Healthcare International, he is currently on the Boards of Overlook Hospital and several other non-proﬁt organizations. He is married with 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 grand puppies.
When asked about his role at Imagine, Jeff said: “I am inspired by Imagine, a vital community organization that supports so many individuals and families at a time of intense grief and loss. I look forward to working closely with other committed leaders to ensure its long term presence. Imagine is fortunate to have the visionary leadership of Mary Robinson, as well as a very talented, dedicated staff, and Board in fulﬁlling its vital mission.”
Bob Koppel is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Reform Pension Board. He served as the RPB’s first Executive Director for 20 years beginning in March 1995.
Prior to his appointment as RPB Executive Director, Bob was the Chief Financial Officer of the Union for Reform Judaism for ten years. Bob represented the URJ on the Reform Pension Board, was a member of the Executive Committee, and chaired the RPB Management Committee during his ten years as a board member.
He represented the RPB as a member of the Church Alliance Steering Committee and was the Chairman of the Church Benefits Association Planning Committee, leading its annual conference in 2014.
Bob is a former president of Temple Emanu-El of Westfield, New Jersey, where he and his wife Barbara continue as active members. Bob and Barbara’s daughter, Rabbi Elisa Koppel, is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Beth Emeth, Wilmington, Delaware.
Pat joined Elizabethtown Gas Company in March of 1980 as a Staff Attorney in the Legal Department responsible for Rate and Regulatory matters. She was elected General Counsel of Elizabethtown in 1985 and served in various positions within the utility, ultimately serving as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary of the utility group and a member of its board of directors. She joined the Regulatory team of AGL Resources in 2004 and was responsible for regulatory matters in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. She was named the Managing Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2011 and was elected Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Business Support for Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas in September 2014. In July of 2016, AGL Resources was acquired by the Southern Company and she assumed the same role within that organization, as well as responsibility for regulatory compliance with all terms and conditions of the acquisition by the New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia regulatory bodies. She retired in January of 2019.
Pat has extensive experience in all aspects of utility regulation and ratemaking, having served as lead counsel in numerous base rate cases, rate clause filings, franchise applications, infrastructure replacement proceedings, energy efficiency matters, utility management audits, as well as merger and acquisition approvals.
Pat graduated with general honors from Douglass College for Women of Rutgers University in 1972 and with honors from Seton Hall University Law Center in 1975. She was employed by the New Jersey Public Utility Commission as a hearing examiner and regulatory officer prior to joining Elizabethtown Gas Company in 1980.
She served as Chair of the New Jersey Utility Association’s Board of Directors and was the first woman to serve in that capacity in the 100 year history of the organization. She was also the first woman to chair the Utility Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is a member of the New Jersey Bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for New Jersey and the United States Supreme Court. Pat was named to the Top 50 Women in Business by the New Jersey Biz magazine in 2012 and received the 2017 Mary Philbrook Award of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey for her work in the energy field. In 2019, she received the New Jersey Utility Association’s Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and commitment to the industry.
She resides in Scotch Plains and has two adult daughters and two granddaughters.
When asked about her reasons for joining Imagine’s Board, Pat said: ‘My mother died when I was a very young child after a long battle with cancer. Her death left a huge void in our family. Imagine’s promise that no child should grieve alone touches me deeply.’
Fatimah Burnam-Watkins has worked in education and leadership development for nearly 20 years. She currently serves as the Senior Vice President of the Office of Transformation and Change at Teach For America (TFA). In this role, she is responsible for coaching executives and teams on how to lead through change. Fatimah began her career as a 2001 Teach For America corps member in Baltimore where she taught high school English and History at Northwestern High School. After teaching, Fatimah joined Teach For America staff to begin her work in coaching and development first as Program Director (teacher coach) in New York City, and then served as managing director of TFA’s Philadelphia training institute before leading the New Jersey region as Executive Director for nearly 6 years. Prior to her current role, Fatimah led TFA’s National Program and was most recently the Senior Vice President of Executive Leadership & Learning Team to help strengthen the system of support, development and learning for all 52 regional executive directors and 17 national senior leaders across Teach For America.
Concurrently, Fatimah is founder of her own practice and part of a network of practitioners that help executives and organizations build their leadership capacity to accelerate growth and expand overall impact. The practice draws on techniques and approaches that enable leaders to build capabilities they need to maintain their core business while simultaneously imagining new realities. Fatimah has designed and delivered training experiences for a variety of groups and individuals from independent charter school networks, education non-profit organizations, and private consulting groups. Fatimah is obsessed with developing strong leaders and strong team cultures as a means to advance work and reach ambitious outcomes.
In January 2018, Fatimah was sworn in as a governor appointed member of the New Jersey State Board of Education where she chairs the Social Emotional Learning and Equity committees. She is also part of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows Program, a leadership program supporting diverse, executive leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools. Fatimah exercises her passion for service and mentorship as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated as well by mentoring young women of color through the Growing in Grief program, which started in honor of her mother, Isadell Riley, to mentor young women dealing with the loss or lack of a mother-figure.
Fatimah received a B.S. in Political Science & Afro-American Studies from the University of Maryland – College Park; and a Secondary Teaching Certification from Johns Hopkins University. In her most important role, Fatimah is a wife to her husband Jon and a mother to 14-year-old triplets Bryce, Cole, and Corynne.
A Director in the Corporate Practice Group at Gibbons P.C., based in Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Goldman counsels middle market and smaller public company clients on a broad array of corporate and transactional matters. He is a frequent speaker nationally on corporate matters, with a focus on the organization and operation of businesses as limited liability companies or other alternative entities. Mr. Goldman has held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, and chairs his law firm’s Legal Opinion Committee. He received his LL.M. from New York University School of Law, his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and his A.B. from Colgate University.
Mr. Goldman served on the Westfield Town Council for nine years and was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Westfield Foundation.
Steve Guberer is a Director at CBRE Capital Advisors, Inc., the real estate investment banking business of CBRE Group. Mr. Guberer has successfully executed over 40 capital raising and M&A advisory transactions that represents $20+ billion of total capital for clients within the real estate, gaming, lodging and leisure sectors. He has extensive experience in corporate finance, capital markets, strategy, financial statement consolidation and accounting gained through his career with a top-tier global financial institution and Big Four accounting firm.
Steve advises on mergers and acquisitions, institutional capital raising and “Secondary” real estate opportunities. He is focused on building and maintaining relationships with the Real Estate Consultants to provide better access to capital for our clients.
Prior to joining CBRE Capital Advisors, Steve spent seven years at Deutsche Bank Securities where he was a Vice President in the Real Estate, Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Investment Banking Group. During his tenure at Deutsche Bank, Steve was involved in many prominent transactions such as the restructuring and subsequent re-IPO of General Growth Properties out of bankruptcy, Equity Residential and AvalonBay’s joint acquisition of Archstone and Retail Properties of America’s IPO (formerly Inland Western Retail REIT).
Prior to his work in corporate finance and investment banking, Steve worked in the Assurance and Advisory Practice of Deloitte and Touche’s Real Estate practice.
Steve earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Steve holds a CPA, Series 7 & 63 license.
Upon joining the Imagine Board Steve said, “The help and support Imagine provided to our family has been amazing, and I wanted to play a bigger part in helping to build the next stage of Imagine’s life cycle. As a new Board member, I look forward to learning from the distinguished current Board Members and to bringing my professional and personal experiences to bear for such an amazing program.”
Steve lives with his wife, Lauren and their four boys, Samuel, Jacob, Benjamin and Levi.
Bob is an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Summit, New Jersey. In this role, Bob advises affluent families, corporate executives, financial leaders and entrepreneurs on all critical aspects of their balance sheet, including borrowing, investing, banking, estate planning, and philanthropic giving.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan in 2017, Bob managed investment portfolios for endowments, foundations and families at Grisanti Capital Management. Previously, Bob spent nearly a decade as a sell-side equity analyst, where he was recognized by the Wall Street Journal in its annual “Best on the Street” survey in 2008. Bob began his career as a research analyst for a $3 billion equity fund at Victory Capital Management.
A graduate of Boston College, Bob lives in Cranford, New Jersey with his wife Jessica and three children. He enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball and volunteering as a youth sports coach.
“I am extremely grateful to Mary Robinson and Imagine for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees. Loss is something with which everyone can identify, and Imagine’s mission of providing support and hope to grieving children is one that resonated strongly with me as a father. The staff and volunteers at Imagine offer an important and necessary service to families in need, and do so with a tremendous amount of care and enthusiasm. I am excited to be part of the Imagine community, and look forward to helping the organization to grow in the coming years.”
Ethan is a co-founder of Paramount Hotel Group and has served as President since its inception in 1999. He is also a veteran of Prime Hospitality Corp, having coordinated the expansion of two national brands managing the investment of over $800 million in new hotel development. As Senior Vice President of Development and Construction during the period 1995 through mid-1999, he grew the AmeriSuites (now Hyatt Place) chain to 100 hotels.
In his capacity as President of PHG, Ethan oversees the general operation of the company as well as focusing on acquisitions, business development, operations and investor relations. PHG consists of three operating entities; PMA manages a portfolio of hotels on behalf of capital partners, H-CPM provides project management for renovations and new construction in the lodging industry and Book MY Group is a sales intermediary in placing group business throughout US hotels. Ethan earned his MS in Hospitality Administration from Florida International University and a BS in Business Administration from SUNY Oswego, NY.
When asked why he chose to join Imagine’s Board, Ethan said, “Having been a Circle of Hope donor to Imagine, my inspiration for joining the Imagine team lies within the example set by my mother. After battling breast cancer and lymphoma, she returned to school and obtained a Masters in Social Work and dedicated the remainder of her life, to age 57, counseling terminally ill women. Imagine embodies the beliefs instilled in me to help others coping with loss.”
Ethan lives in Scotch Plains with his wife Debby Hall, a nursing home administrator and health care hero.
Shane Nelson currently serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Business Partner for Sanofi. In this role, he works with the company’s business units and functions on diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. He also oversees and advises the company’s employee resource groups and collaborates with the Talent function on embedding DE&I in talent acquisition and talent development processes and initiatives.
Prior to Sanofi, Shane was a Principal at Culture@Work, a division of Seramount (formerly known as Working Mother Media). He worked with global companies to design culture change and engagement strategies that maximized I&D efforts. In this role, Shane conducted culture assessments and inclusion diagnostics that mapped workplace challenges and delivered tailored client solutions. He designed and moderated employee listening sessions (virtual focus groups), hearing nearly 7,000 across-industry perspectives on organizational culture, inclusion, engagement, workplace bias, talent management, leader effectiveness and team dynamics.
Prior to Culture@Work, Shane spent 14 years at DiversityInc, holding numerous positions, including debriefing senior executives on their DiversityInc Top 50 survey results, and offering best practices and recommendations on next steps. Shane oversaw the content strategy for the DiversityInc Top 50 event, the company’s flagship event, and was the editor of DiversityInc Best Practices website, which offered articles, research, videos and webinars across the full spectrum of I&D management.
When asked why he chose to join Imagine’s Board, Shane said, “I grew up in Newark, NJ and had close friends that experienced family loss. They and their families didn’t have resources like what Imagine offers available to them. For some of them, the lack of resources negatively affected their promising futures. I wish they had a resource like Imagine. I am honored to join the board and look forward to helping Imagine continue its mission of supporting children and families coping with loss.”
Shane holds a BA in Political Science and Government, and an Executive MBA from Rutgers University. Shane lives in Piscataway with his wife and has four children.
Although Ken “retired” from his full-time academic position at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers University fifteen years ago, he continues to teach, supervise and mentor doctoral students in clinical and school psychology. He is a licensed New Jersey professional psychologist with a practice in Springfield and is an ally with individuals considered less able by many segments of society. The mission of Imagine coordinates with Ken’s commitments. Offering a variety of resources without cost to individuals and families at a time when they are in need of unconditional human connection is a high calling.
Jersey Fresh, Ken was born, raised and inculcated by the diversity of the NY metro influences. He and his wife, Linda, a professional educator, raised their children in Mountainside and exposed them to the values of relationships, understanding others, and repairing the world in the smallest of ways. Their children are passing these values to their children. Under normal times Linda and Ken are Broadway enthusiasts and spend time in Kennebunk, Maine.
Morgan founded the charitable fundraising organization, The Garden Gives, which hosts events to provide donations to Imagine as well as local community organizations such as The Westfield United Fund. Additionally, she has volunteered her time serving on the board of the Presbyterian Nursery School & Kindergarten as a Parent Teacher Organization representative.
Morgan and her husband John have three children – John, Rosie and William. Morgan has seen first-hand the impact grief can have on children and families, and has been drawn to the mission of Imagine since being introduced to the organization in 2017.
When asked about her reasons for joining Imagine’s Board of Directors, Morgan said: “I was honored to be asked to join the Imagine board. I have tremendous respect and admiration for all that Mary Robinson and her team do to help grieving families in our communities. After attending one of Imagine’s Seasons of Hope breakfasts several years ago, I felt compelled to help in any way that I could. The Imagine team was there for my family recently when dealing with a tragic loss, and their guidance and support were paramount in helping us, and our young children, deal with the grief. The families that Imagine serves have taught me so much about strength and resiliency and I am eager to get even more involved.”
We are so pleased to welcome Jeffrey Vanterpool of Scotch Plains to the Board of Trustees at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss in Mountainside and Newark. As an employee health & benefits professional for over 25 years, Jeff is the Managing Director of Service and Operations of the Employee Health & Benefits Division for Marsh & McLennan Agency. Throughout his career, Jeff has consistently provided solutions to organizations throughout a diverse market by maintaining focus on the goals and objectives of his clients and understanding the culture and community of the organization. Jeff is also a former accident and health underwriter and served as the Director of Underwriting for a top 10 insurance benefits consulting firm.
Born in the Bronx, NY, Jeff is a graduate of Stony Brook University and is a “transplant” into the Garden State as he now lives in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He is an avid golfer (albeit not awesome), hoops player and enjoys participating in his 2 daughters’ youth sports teams.
When asked about his decision to join the Imagine Board, Jeff said: “It is an honor to have been considered to serve on the Board of Trustees for Imagine. The services and support that Imagine provides are invaluable and I am looking to add my experience, knowledge, energy and listening ear to those that are in need. Intervention into a young person’s life during a time of trauma can make a significant difference and help lead to a healthy upbringing. My goal, along with those of the Imagine team, is to continue to bring as much awareness and increase the support to the families and communities in need. This is a very important part of serving people as a fellow human being that I am anxious to be a part of for now and the future.”