Board of Directors
Matthew A. Thompson - Chairman
In 1997, I got my first introduction to the stock market through an internship position with Smith Barney in their Pasadena, California office. A short while later, I was offered a full-time position as Client Service Associate and my career in Financial Services was born.
While still working for Smith Barney in 1999, I took on the role of liaison between Smith Barney and the California Medical Association. I worked with a group of select Financial Advisors who were the endorsed retirement plan providers for the association’s physicians.
I decided to further my career, and in May of 2000 I became a Financial Advisor at Smith Barney in the Sherman Oaks, California office. It was then that I got interested in Non Profits Organizations as both a volunteer building houses in South Central Los Angeles for Habitat for Humanity and as an advisor working on endowments for several organizations in the Los Angeles area.
April of 2008, I joined Morgan Stanley and continued to build the three pillars of the practice; Corporate Services, Investor Services, and Philanthropic Services. As the interplay between the three pillars expanded over the years, I developed a robust practice to include Private Corporations, Non-Profit Organizations, and Individual Families. My philanthropic involvement has expended as well, as I now serve on the Board of Directors for the Bayside Business Association, the Board of Directors for Career Day Inc., and the Advisory Board for Transitional Services of New York, Inc., as well as work with other charities on an as needed basis.
Steven G. Jacobson – Vice Chair
Steve Jacobson is the CEO of Jacobson Consulting Applications, Inc. (JCA), a firm that he founded in 1988 to provide information management services to nonprofit organizations. Headquartered in New York City, the firm provides ongoing CRM, ticketing/admissions/visitor services, fundraising, and membership systems consulting to over 200 nonprofit organizations nationally.
Steve has provided CRM strategy, system selection and/or best practices consulting for such clients as The American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Carnegie Hall, Theatre Development Fund, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Bushnell.
Steve is a past Adjunct Instructor at New York University, where he taught courses in Technology for NYU’s Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising. He is the president of the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and an active member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Museum Computer Network (MCN) and the International Ticketing Association (INTIX).
Steve holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Psychology from Stanford University.
Laura Duty - Secretary
With an 18+ year career in the philanthropic world, I am using experiences gained from leadership roles within community foundations and private foundations to work one-on-one with organizations and funders that are looking to move beyond the tried and true.
My passion is building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and the field itself through reimagining services and incorporating ideas with knowledge learned locally and beyond. Accomplishing this work requires conversation and collaboration.
I believe in the power of collaboration and in the power of change.
Laura has taught Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers and is a 21/64 Certified Advisor trained on working with multi-generational families.
William Skody - Treasurer
William Skody was born and raised in New York City, and graduated with a BA in accounting from Pace University within 2 ½ years and is Certified to practice in New York. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked for several well known public accounting firms including CBIZ-MHM Mahoney Cohen and BDO Seidman. William also learned first hand about business and the rewards of working hard from his father who was an entrepreneur for over 25 years. He believes in giving back to the community and donates a great deal of his time to many worthwhile causes and organizations.
For over 30 years William has been servicing not-for-profit organizations and is highly respected and well-known throughout the New York metropolitan area for his expertise with Public Charities, Business Improvement Districts and Economic Development Organizations. He currently represents 750 non-profit clients with annual revenues from $5,000 to $70 million per year, throughout the U.S.
Jennifer V. Abelaj
Jennifer has a combined background in business, tax, and the law. She started her career as a Certified Public Accountant with Ernst and Young and continued practicing as a CPA at two worldwide investment banks. In her legal career, she worked at both large and boutique law firms practicing in Trusts and Estates and Non-Profits. She is now the founder of the Jennifer V. Abelaj Law Firm, located in New York City. Her practice emphasizes all aspects of Trusts and Estates, Not-for-Profits, and relevant Taxation.
Jennifer also advises new and existing organizations in selecting the appropriate not-for-profit tax classification to achieve their goals. She is well-versed in the diverse offerings for philanthropy, ranging from public charities to private foundations, and donor advised funds to fiscal sponsorships. She enjoys working with organizations to resolve differences with membership or fellow directors. Jennifer is outside general counsel to various organizations that promote the arts, sciences, religion, global environmental impact, and local community outreach.
As a first-generation American, Jennifer is comfortable working with clients of various nationalities. Jennifer speaks Spanish fluently and Slovak conversationally, which are the native languages of her parents. She also speaks French conversationally, which is her husband’s native language.
Chris has provided web design and marketing solutions to some of the most successful businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout New England for the last 15 years. From strategy and branding to design and development Pivot Creative is dedicated to finding ways to help clients attract, grow and engage with their audience.
More recently, he and his wife developed a collaborative workspace called Spark Offices located in downtown Manchester. Focused on the community, Spark’s goal is to provide small businesses with the networking and educational opportunities to grow and expand their business. By providing a modern, professional space at an affordable price, Spark gives business owners the environment and resources to achieve their growth goals responsibly.
In his spare time, Chris can be found using his creative talents for local charities, including Best Buddies NH, Game Plan Sports, and NH Hospitality Relief Fund. He and his wife are dedicated to being involved and growing the local community.
Michael Halperin is the Chief Revenue Officer at Solarus Technologies, Inc., which provides outsourced managed IT services to clients nationally. Michael is presently President and Chairman of the Board for Habitat for Humanity Nassau. Michael also held board seats with both Girls Inc. of Long Island and Spirit of Huntington Art Center. Michael is also part of the class of 2020 Energeia Partnership, a leadership academy at Molloy College. Michael is passionate about hockey, enjoys being outdoors, and has a deep appreciation for music and art. His teenage daughter shares his love for art and together, they have amassed an eclectic art collection from all over the world in their home on Long Island with their dog Tucker.
Nonprofit Board Members
Jose Dominguez is the CEO for the American Red Cross on Long Island. Prior to this position he served as the Regional Volunteer Services Officer for the Greater New York Region, where he oversaw the engagement and recruitment of more than 5000 volunteers annually. He began his career with the American Red Cross over 15 years ago in what is now the Eastern New York Region. Jose was previously as the Regional Disaster Officer and Volunteer Services Officer for the Central and South Texas Region.
During his tenure, Jose has deployed to support more than 54 national disaster relief operations, including Hurricane Maria in 2017, where he was stationed on the Virgin Islands for more than six weeks working with hundreds of event-based volunteers. During deployments, Jose has shared his expertise in various operational management activities, including Staff Services Management and as the Assistant Director of Workforce Cares.
Jose is driven by the evolving progress within the Red Cross to ensure the wellbeing of its workforce and providing opportunities to build stronger leadership for the future. He has worked to implement new policies and processes via his participation on a variety of working groups and task forces, including the Volunteer Experience Workgroup, the Workforce Care Workgroup, the Latino Engagement Initiative Workgroup, and the Youth Services Engagement Workgroup.
Kelley Francis is Executive Director of Calculated Genius, a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to helping underrepresented youth explore and connect to engineering, to inspire a brighter future. She joined in January of 2020 with over 10 years of experience serving as an executive team member of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Her experience in small business development, corporate relations and complex project management helped shape the organization and its programs to support the growth of small businesses to achieve sustainable economic impact. Francis also successfully developed and managed the IHCC Foundation’s Summer Youth Program, ENTERpreneur, exposing Chicago high school students to entrepreneurship.
Kelley is passionate about education and entrepreneurship as drivers of social and economic change, as well as the advancement of educational and professional opportunities for every individual. She lives in the Western Suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two young boys.
Stephen E. Peeler
Stephen E. Peeler is the Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Foundation. He leads all programs, fundraising and a growing staff of eleven from their Arlington, Virginia offices. The IDSA Foundation is the $4.1M charitable arm of The Infectious Diseases Society of America, a 12,000-member, medical society representing ID practitioners throughout the world. The organization has a $31M budget and staff of over 75.
The IDSA Foundation is the premier charitable organiza¬tion committed to reducing the burdens of infectious diseases globally. Founded in 2001, the foundation’s priorities are to build the future workforce of infectious disease clinicians and expand research support for early career physicians.
Prior to joining IDSA, he served as VP of Meetings, Marketing and Membership for the National Club Assn. He also served as the Executive Director of the National Club Foundation. As VP of Development at the ASAE Foundation, he joined ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership in 2011 and led all fundraising and development programs, campaigns and special events that support the Foundation’s initiatives.
Peeler has more than 25 years of innovative nonprofit leadership and fund development experience. He has a proven track record in generating revenue and increasing support bases for many organizations while bringing together like-minded groups to form productive coalitions.
He brings excellent experience in building boards with major gift capacity; creating and launching operating and capital campaigns; developing and managing donor relationships; and identifying and stewarding individual donors and institutional funders.
A certified fund raising executive and fellow of the charitable estate planning institute, this native Washingtonian, resides in Mitchellville, MD and enjoys mentoring rising association executives while connecting them to his powerful networks. When he is not at work, he enjoys golfing and taking long walks with Copper and Ginger his Chocolate Cocker Spaniels.