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Debra HertzFor over 25 years, DEBRA HERTZ has worked in non-profit, philanthropic, governance and academic roles throughout Fairfield County. In 2012 Debra founded THE STRATEGY GROUP and now works with organizations on issues related to strategic planning, transition management, merger planning and integration, leadership coaching, governance and organizational effectiveness.

Debra also teaches management classes in the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University, where she received her Ph.D. and her Master of Social Work. She has extensive board experience and currently serves on the boards of directors at Liberation Programs, Inc. and Achievement First Bridgeport Academy. For over nine years Debra was Executive Director of the William Pitt Foundation, a private foundation focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Previously she served in several executive positions at a non-profit agency in Stamford, CT serving families and women who are homeless, persons with HIV/AIDS, and individuals with mental illness.  Click to download Debra’s full CV.

GILLES MESROBIAN, RED QUEEN GROUP, LLC
Gilles M
Gilles Mesrobian is a Senior Associate at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management/Partners in Philanthropy. His credentials include over 26 years senior management experience in the non-profit arena, with over 20 years as an Executive Director. His consulting experience covers a broad range of organizational work in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, including executive leadership transition, organizational assessment, executive search, strategic planning, leadership development, retreats and trainings. Gilles has also completed several Interim Executive/Organizational Restructuring assignments including the Reeves-Reed Arboretum, the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, and Abraham House New York. In addition to his consulting work, he facilitates several leadership training programs including the Support Center’s Trajectory Leadership Program, a yearlong cohort-learning program for Executive Directors, as well as the CT Council of Family Service Agency’s yearlong leadership program, both of which are funded through the American Express Leadership Institute. Gilles is also on the faculty of Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability Program where he teaches Personal Leadership Development. Gilles is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and a guest facilitator of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Live Discussion series.

KAREN BRENNAN
Karen B
Karen has an extensive background in education and technology and routinely brings results-oriented project leadership to the non-profit and for profit sectors. She runs a successful consulting business, specializing in project management and program design for companies like Classroom Inc. and The Strategy Group. As a Senior Associate of The Strategy Group, Karen contributes to client-centered work around strategic planning, specifically focused on environmental scan work which includes interviews, focus groups, document review, survey data analysis, and report writing.
She also works part-time as the Director of the Stamford Early Childhood Collaborative at the United Way in Stamford, a community partnership of early childhood and business professionals committed to improving the quality of life for all children. A member of the Darien community since 1999, she is raising three children with her husband and volunteers in numerous capacities, including as a member of the Darien Public School parent-teacher associations, as a board members at the First Congregational Church of Darien, as a Girl Scout leader, and as a Fresh Air Fund parent. Karen holds an undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard.

CHRISTINE YANG
Chrstine Y2
Christine Yang is an independent consultant, specializing in strategic, technology and marketing projects for non-profit organizations in Fairfield County, CT. She serves on the board of directors for The Tiny Miracles Foundation. She is also active on New Canaan Public Schools’ Parent Advisory Council for special needs, and is a volunteer with the New Canaan Community Foundation. The premature birth of her children and the management of their special needs launched Christine into both volunteering for and receiving the services of local nonprofits. This sparked an interest and a passion for improving the processes and strategies of nonprofit organizations. She now puts her consulting background to work in this arena, specifically on projects needing: strategic planning and business planning; process design and improvement; overall project management; technology evaluation, improvement and management; public relations and marketing plans, inclusive of social media; change management and training; website development and implementation. Prior to her children’s birth in 2008, Christine was working as a Manager in Accenture’s consulting practice. Her background and expertise include project management, systems integration, technology strategy and implementation, training and change management, product development, content management and web development. She has worked on large scale projects at JCrew, Chico’s FAS and General Motors, and held corporate positions at Liz Claiborne, Toys R Us and Bloomingdale’s. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Mount Holyoke College.

SARAH NEUMANN
Sarah Neumann manages the day to day office operations of The Strategy Group. She has been an active volunteer in lower Fairfield County for almost 20 years. She has had many leadership roles in the Darien Public School community, including roles co-chairing both the elementary and high school PTOs, as well as managing communication roles for the elementary and middle schools. She is an active member of the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, Inc. She served at the League President from 2012-13 and has held numerous roles in their organization. Her prior work experience including managing marketing for clients at Memberworks, sales support at KPMG Consulting, and business development for Chase Manhattan Bank in Connecticut. Sarah earned her BA from Saint Michael’s College and lives with her husband and two children in Darien.