As PENCIL’s CEO, Gregg brings over 25 years of experience working at the intersection of school needs and business expertise. Gregg draws on deep experiences as an educator and a leader at the NYC Department of Education where he led Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to improve college and career outcomes for students, founded the Office of Postsecondary Pathways & Planning and the Office of School Programs & Partnerships, and managed relationships with CUNY. Gregg joined PENCIL in 2015, leading the organization to financial stability, programmatic clarity, and renewed citywide credibility in the service of student success
Prior to his work at the DOE, Gregg served as Senior Vice President of the National Academy Foundation. He oversaw program operations and strategy to sustain a national network of career academies supporting the development of America’s youth toward personal and professional success in high school, higher education, and throughout their careers. NAF Academies represent business/school partnerships that prepare young people for future careers through a combination of school-based curricula and work-based experiences. He started his career as teacher and Assistant Principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, where he taught American History and Finance. Gregg is a public school graduate and holds a B.A. in Government & Law and History from Lafayette College, an M.A. in Social Studies Education and M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Columbia University. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife Karen and two daughters.
Christine Gorman is currently the Chief of Staff. In this role, she oversees Board and ELC engagement, special events, and government contracts. Her work also includes oversight of the systems and structures of the Development team. Christine has a breadth of experience supporting and leading fundraising initiatives across more than a decade of experience. Prior to joining PENCIL, she supported the Corporate Relations team within Global Resources at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Christine earned a BA in Social and Cultural History from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When not at work, Christine can be found cooking and reading books that double as door stops.
Jessica Bynoe is currently President of PENCIL. She holds a BA in Psychology and Metropolitan Studies and a Master of Public Administration Policy and Nonprofit Management from New York University.
Previously, Jessica was the Executive Director of Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, a foundation dedicated to supporting programs that transform the lives of children through the arts. Jessica created a unique philanthropic model to support small, diverse grassroots organizations with a combination of funding and intense capacity building. She elevated the work of over 50 grantees and ensured arts access to over 75,000 children. Prior to Variety New York, Jessica held leadership positions at Usher’s New Look Foundation and the Academy for Educational Development.
Jessica has conducted over 100 workshops and presentations and is internationally recognized for her expertise on youth development, civic engagement, and strategic philanthropy. She is the author of celebrated white papers, including Confronting the Glass Ceiling of Youth Engagement and The Art of Adding Value: Variety New York’s High Touch, High Impact Philanthropic Strategy
As a native New Yorker, Jessica has served her city as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and as chair of the Young Professionals Network for Let’s Get Ready, a college preparatory organization. She is a former president of the NYU College Alumni Association and is currently Vice President of the NYU Alumni Association Board. When not volunteering or working, you can find Jessica pursuing her passion for cooking by hosting multi-course dinner parties and experimenting with new culinary techniques and cultural influences.
Tracy began her career by joining the ranks of the Executive Training Program at Saks Fifth Avenue. After successfully completing the program, she spent 4 years as a buyer honing both her buying, planning, and financial skills for various divisions within the Saks organization. Her career then progressed to Bloomingdales where, as the buyer for the Men’s Division, she superseded the company’s profitability expectations to win the prestigious “Buyer of the Year” Award.
Later she attended the International University of Monaco where she earned her MBA with a concentration in Corporate Finance. On her return to the U.S, Tracy worked for several private companies in a financial and analytical capacity. It was at companies like Michael Kors as a Finance & Strategic Partner she further adapted her financial skills to lead a team of four to accomplish what is still to date retail’s most successive IPO which garnered global brand recognition. In 2014, Tracy joined the Opening Ceremony Team and partnered with Private Equity Group Berkshire Partners to build financial processes that streamlined the company’s inventory levels world-wide. During her tenureship with the company, they doubled their revenues, and mitigated excess inventory by lowering it more than 75%. At Coach/Stuart Weitzman she oversaw the North America region, growing their sales by 50% while improving profitability year over year by 7%.
Tracy has most recently completed her Master’s in Public Policy from the esteemed University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy. With over 15 years of private-sector experience Tracy is now making a deliberate decision to transition her private sector financial acumen to the world of nonprofit and build sustainable yet profitable programming.
Davina has been a servant leader within the nonprofit sector for over 12 years. A native Bronxite & first generation Jamaican-American college grad, she has dedicated her career to serving children & families in NY. Having previously served as the Executive Director for the American Camp Association, she has overseen programming for over 3k participants in the largest camp conference in the U.S. Prior to her time with the American Camp Association, Davina served as the Deputy Executive Director for the Public School Athletic League serving over 45k NYC scholar-athletes within over 400 NYC DOE public high schools. It was there where Davina had the opportunity to develop and implement major programming initiatives to transform equity & access through special events, sports and summer programming for the children of NYC. As well as build major partnerships with corporations like NIKE, WNBA & Jr. Knicks and nonprofits like the Women’s Sports Foundation.
She began her career in nonprofit work for one of NYC’s largest CBO’s; New York Edge (formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation) working her way up to senior management within two years of entry. Successfully leading operational support & development of organization compliance and progressed to overseeing collegiate advancement for students. Ultimately, overseeing multi-site operations for program sites in Queens, NY while achieving excellent ratings in programming by the Department of Youth & Community Development. Davina holds a B.A. in Sociology/Minor in Leadership from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College) & an M.S. in Human Services-Nonprofit Management with a focus in Programming & Planning from University of Massachusetts Boston.
Angelie Singla, LMSW (she/her) has extensive experience in fundraising, program development/evaluation, and grant management in public health, youth development, education, and healthcare. Most recently she was the first Chief Development Officer for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Previously, she was the Director, Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations at Mount Sinai South Nassau. Her prior roles include serving as Vice President of Philanthropy at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, Assistant Director of Program and Resource Development at the Fund for Public Health in New York, and Site Director at the Queens Community House.
Angelie has taught courses, facilitated workshops, and spoken on panels for Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service, Stony brook University’s School of Social Welfare, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and the Network for Social Work Management’s national and NYC chapter conferences. Most recently she was the Chair of the Scholarship Committee and a member of the Steering Committee for Fundraising Day in NY for the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ NYC Chapter. She earned a MSW from Columbia University and a BA from Pace University.
Keith started with PENCIL over 5 years ago as the Associate Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning then Director, Impact and Operations. In his current role, he leads PENCIL’s research and evaluation work as well as build organizational capacity through improved processes, technical solutions and thought leadership. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Sociology from Fordham University.
Before joining PENCIL, Keith worked with Breaking Ground and United Way of New York City to advance the organizations’ data maturity and develop M&E frameworks. He served in the US Army as a military police officer including a tour in Baghdad and training development at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Keith lives in Central New Jersey with his wife, two children, four chickens and a wide assortment of plants.
Ariana Alessandri graduated from St. John’s University with a B.S. in Marketing. Her background is in marketing and technology, where she has spent several years in startup and social media environments. Throughout college and in her early career, Ariana has always had a passion for giving back and mentoring the next generation. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, singing, creative writing, and doing volunteer work in her community.
Arianny Hidalgo graduated from the University at Albany in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in French. Before working at PENCIL, she worked at a public school with Pre-K students and at a shelter for refugee children. These experiences made her realize how much she enjoys guiding and mentoring students through the most pivotal moments in their lives. Arianny intends on continuing her studies in Mental Health Counseling and one day open up an organization that promotes Mental Health awareness to students and their families. Aside from this, she really enjoys traveling the world, reading books, and spending time with the people she loves.
Braily Guerrero is a master’s graduate from Teachers College, Columbia University. With many years of experience in the education field, she is passionate about bridging the gaps and promoting equity amongst NYC students. Throughout her career, she’s had the opportunity to work with students as an educator, work with diverse teams, and learn about policies and policy making to improve the education system. When she’s not learning about education, you can find her traveling, finding new restaurants, and hiking. Braily firmly believe that a balanced life fuels creativity and productivity, and she strives to maintain that harmony both inside and outside the workplace.
Carly is the Senior Employer Engagement Manager at PENCIL. In her role, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with employer partners who serve as internship hosts for the Ladders for Leaders Summer Internship Program. She also supports the Public Sector Pathways Program, a sub-initiative of Ladders for Leaders, with the goal of bolstering the education on and access to public service careers for NYC students. Carly is a graduate of Smith College where she studied Psychology and Education. As an experienced youth developer and athletics coach, she is passionate about the impact of holistic support and equitable opportunity on the long-term success and well-being of young people.
Charles Parker is a native New Yorker who has worked in non-profit for over ten years. Charles graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2012 with a Bachelors in English. His non-profit career began as a mentor to court-involved youth through the Arches program in the South Bronx. Since then, Charles’s journey has seen him be an educator, a case manager, program coordinator, and a program manager. He is a diehard Knicks fan, but all-around New York teams’ sports fan. He is a foodie and enjoys spending time with family.
Clair Oblamski is a Senior Operations Manager at PENCIL. For the past three years she has worked for the City Parks Foundation in their education department as the program manager of a STEM-based afterschool program. Previously she worked at a youth-focused nonprofit that provided squash instruction and academic enrichment to students in Harlem. She grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee but came to the east coast for school. At Smith College she majored in neuroscience and psychology, and played on the varsity tennis and squash teams. In New York she plays in various sports leagues, and enjoys walking, running, and biking around the city.
Claudine is from the Bronx and has a passion for helping others progress in life. She has a dachshund puppy named Francis and they enjoy watching Law and order together. She enjoy reading mystery and drama books by her favorite authors, James Patterson and V.C Andrews.
Darlene Okpo has been an Educator for a little over ten years. She is Nigerian-American and a Bronx native. She graduated from Lehman College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in African American Studies. Darlene is passionate about education and the success of others. Her purpose in life is to support the youth in making sure that they have fulfilling successful lives. She enjoys reading and summer’s in New York City.
Evelyn Davis has a rich background in education, spanning over a decade in various roles within educational systems. Beginning her career as a mathematics teacher then transitioning into positions such as Curriculum Coach and Assistant Principal indicates her progression into leadership positions. Her experience as an Assistant Principal involved overseeing various aspects of school operations and administration. Her academic journey reflects her commitment to continuous learning and professional development. With a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Pace University, Evelyn has equipped herself with both subject-specific knowledge and leadership skills essential for a successful career. Beyond her professional pursuits, Evelyn enjoys quality time with her family, and her passion for college basketball games.
Hannah Chan joined PENCIL over 4 years ago on the Internship team and later moved into the Program Manager role. In her current role as Senior Program Manager, she is responsible for PENCIL’s strategic industry pathway work, focusing on a new initiative with the Pinkerton Foundation and the Mayor’s Office to support public service careers as well as programming for the Legal Industry Advisory Group and other industry specific partnerships. She is interested in project-based learning, workforce development and building diverse talent pipelines for organizations. She graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in History and East Asian Languages & Literature, with a focus on Japanese. Before joining PENCIL, she was an elementary school teacher specializing in ESL at a bilingual school in New Jersey. She spent 5 years in southern Japan on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program where she taught high school English and prepared seniors for university. She holds a certification in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and is fluent in Japanese. Hannah is from Honolulu, Hawaii and enjoys fly fishing in her spare time.
Hannah is the Associate Director of Development at PENCIL. Before joining the PENCIL team, Hannah managed and developed children and youth programs and cultivated partnerships at Homes for the Homeless (HFH), a nonprofit that provides transitional housing and educational services for families experiencing homelessness. Prior to her work at HFH, Hannah served as the Co-Executive Director at Art Start – an organization that uses the creative process to engage youth experiencing homelessness and navigating the justice system. At Art Start Hannah primarily focused on program development and building partnerships in the corporate, nonprofit, foundation, and government sectors. Hannah graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Design and Architecture Studies from New York University and holds a Master of Science in Urban Policy and Leadership with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Hunter College. Hannah lives in her hometown of Brooklyn where she is an active member of her neighborhood’s community garden.
Jason Bocko (He/Him) comes to PENCIL from Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, where he served as the Academic Coordinator and Assistant Program Manager of Adult Education for seven years. In that role he helped many new New Yorkers learn English and other’s get their High School Diploma. Prior to that, he taught everything from art to elementary school students to English to immigrants. Jason got his start in the Non-Profit world in Rochester, NY serving as Program Director at the Museum of Kids Art – a community-based organization that provided free art education to children living in an underserved neighborhood. While at the Museum of Kids Art, he helped to launch Girls Rock! Rochester, and then later Pride Rock! Rochester – camps designed to empower female identifying and LGBTQ+ youth through the power of music making. They are still going strong after 11 years.
Jason has a BA in English and Art History from SUNY at Buffalo and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Rochester, where he studied Social Studies and Inclusive Education. He also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Baruch College.
Jason is originally from a small town outside of Rochester, NY. In his free time, he enjoys going to the theater and orchestra, reading and writing, taking photographs, playing his saxophone, and learning new languages. He also served as a volunteer mentor to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness through the Ali Forney Center. He has been a proud resident of Washington Heights for the past ten years.
Katherine Gan (they/them) is a Program Manager at PENCIL. They graduated from Duke University in 2022 with a B.A. in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and a minor in History.
They have experience teaching ELL students of all ages and designing arts, literature, and theory courses for undergraduate students. In their free time, they enjoy creating, consuming, and collaborating on art, with a focus on film photography, poetry, and digital collage.
Raziyah Eure is from New Jersey. Her experience is in youth mentorship, program development, and strategic planning, in the nonprofit field. She has a passion for youth development and a natural drive for taking chances and creating new and thoughtful programming. Above all, she values community and advocacy. She believe communication is key in any environment and creating an environment where folks can show up as their authentic selves. She enjoy reading, hiking, watching movies, and a variety of other hobbies.
Sumara Ahmad is a Program Manager at PENCIL. She joined PENCIL in 2019 and has supported the Internship and Development teams. Her interest in youth development and advocacy related work began while attending CUNY Hunter College and volunteering with Peer Health Exchange, an organization that brought health-related curriculum and conversations into high school classrooms. She is committed to connecting NYC students to career development and opportunities, especially being a Queens native and resident herself. Prior to PENCIL, she worked in corporate cash logistics, retail, and customer service.
Tiana Douglas is a Program Manager at PENCIL and started her career in education in 2018. She is Jamaican American and a native New Yorker who has spent parts of her career in retail management and music. Her purpose in life is to support others and build community through music amongst her peers so that they can experience ease and joy. Using her knowledge gained from attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, Tiana hopes to continue to support and grow her community. Tiana actively DJs in Brooklyn and abroad and currently practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Xheni is a Senior Manager of Growth at PENCIL. She began her work with PENCIL as the Communications Manager 2 years ago. A product of NYC public schools, Xheni holds a B.S in Marketing from CUNY CSI. Her professional journey encompasses a foundation in business management and marketing as well as a background in fashion design. Her commitment to driving growth and fostering creativity defines her impactful contributions to PENCIL.