Lindsey Counts Chair - Board Governance and Audit Oversight Committee

Lindsey Counts Chair - Board Governance and Audit Oversight Committee

Lindsey Counts is a Senior Attorney with New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office. In this role, she advises on state and federal fair housing law and assists in the development of policy and procedure to promote access to affordable housing statewide.

Prior to this position, she worked as an Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs. A native New Yorker, Lindsey earned a BA in History from Yale College and a JD from Yale Law School. She is a co-chair of the Prison & Re-Entry Ministry at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, where she also serves on the vestry.

Christine Evangelides Donovan

Christine Evangelides Donovan

Christine (Tina) Evangelides Donovan is the principal of Christine Donovan Consulting which specializes in marketing, communications and executive search in the nonprofit sector. She has broad experience with and a particular passion for the world of higher education. As a search consultant, Tina has successfully worked on and filled leadership positions in a range of organizations, from large to small, focused on higher education, arts and culture, social services, and the environment. She succeeds because she is adept at understanding complex organizations and their competitive landscapes as well as how to articulate their missions.

Tina became a consultant after a 25-plus year career in marketing/communications during which she held senior positions at The Episcopal Diocese of New York (EDNY) and The Children’s Aid Society as well as American Express, The New York Times and the Echo Design Group. In those positions she spearheaded the creation of new branding strategy and award-winning website for the EDNY; created, developed and deployed branding strategy for American Express Custom Extras winning her a Superior Performance award.

She joined the board of the LCU Fund for Women’s Education in 2009 where she serves on the grants and governance committees as well as being a past Vice President and Chair of the communications committee. She serves on the Parents Association Board at the Trinity School, co-chairs the reunion committee for her Brown University class and serves as a Parents in Action facilitator. She earned a BA in Art History from Brown University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Tina is a native New Yorker who lives in Morningside Heights with her husband and daughter.

Kathy Legg

Kathy Legg

Kathy Legg retired from her role as Executive Director of Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children in the spring of 2011. Ms. Legg had been the director of this child welfare and adoption agency for 21 years. Prior to this position she held several government jobs with the City of New York, including serving as the deputy executive commissioner with the City’s Human Resources Administration and as the City’s first Coordinator of Homeless Services.

A graduate of Connecticut College, she received her MBA from NYU in 1978 and earned a Master of Library Science in 2002. She is an honorary board member of Search and Care, a small nonprofit serving the homebound elderly and is on the board of the Buck Hill Conservation Foundation in Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania.

Valeta Prendergast Chair – Grants Committee

Valeta Prendergast Chair – Grants Committee

Valeta Prendergast is a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 15 years of experience working in finance and budgeting, contracts and procurement, vendor relations, travel risk management and safety and security. In May 2018 Valeta decided to pursue a lifelong dream of owning her own company and launched The VP Approach; a consultancy firm dedicated to helping nonprofits and corporations that have social responsibility programs with donor prospecting, grant writing, researching, general writing and editing as well as budget analysis. Valeta works diligently with key decision makers within an organization to manage projects so they can achieve success in furthering their mission.

Born on the sunny island of Jamaica, Valeta immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was three years old. Growing up in the Northeast Bronx with her close-knit and extended family, Valeta learned the value of hard work, dedication and compassion. It’s these life lessons that continue to drive her each day. In 2004 she received a BA with a double major in English Literature and World History from Hunter College. That same year, she won the highly competitive Clark Fellowship Award through NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service while simultaneously obtaining a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs and Planning, all while working full-time for an international nonprofit organization.

In her downtime, Valeta enjoys spending quality time with her husband and family, volunteering for her favorite charities, traveling, painting, writing poetry, reading mystery novels, watching horror movies and taking acting classes.

Adela Ruiz

Adela Ruiz

Adela is a professor, activist scholar and project manager based in New York City. Throughout her time in philanthropy (most recently at The Ford Foundation) she has worked with hundreds of grantees, co-founded the Latinx/Blatinx, Disability, and Healing for Justice staff groups and led institutional/philanthropy-wide efforts to advance disability inclusion, diversity, and equity. At Open Society Foundations in addition to organizing international convenings, she managed the Global Legal Research Internship Program and served as the chair of OSF’s Disability Inclusion Working Group. In 2009, Adela co-founded Immigrant Advancement Matters, a non-profit organization in Queens, New York. Adela has led community/youth empowerment projects all over the world including Kenya, China, and Italy, helped develop a BA in Sustainable Development at St. John's University, and has taught undergraduate Sociology at Monroe College in the Bronx. She is passionate about creating opportunities for historically excluded groups like women, people with disabilities, queer, trans, black, indigenous, people of color (QTBIPOC), and immigrant families.

Adela was recently awarded a Líderes Fellowship from Hispanics in Philanthropy and a Clarke Fellowship at Binghamton University where she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Sociology. She earned her BA/MA in Sociology and Romance Languages from St. John’s University and is also pursuing graduate Disability Studies coursework at the University of Maine and CUNY SPS.

Sofya Shuster

Sofya Shuster

Sofya Shuster is a Director of Real Estate Finance at ING in New York. In this role Sofya is responsible for underwriting, execution, and portfolio management of commercial real estate loans across the United States. She is also a Global Sustainability Champion for Real Estate Finance at ING, acting as a connector between Sustainable Finance and Real Estate Finance teams. Previously, Sofya worked in Loan Syndications at ING in Amsterdam and London, where she was responsible for underwriting, structuring, and distribution of syndicated loans in Europe. Over the course of her career she has covered a number of sectors, including infrastructure, energy, transportation, and commercial real estate.

Originally from Russia, Sofya received a BSc Cum Laude in Economics from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Thanks to her participation in a prestigious international Huygens Scholarship Programme, she had an opportunity to continue her studies in the Netherlands. She received an MSc Cum Laude in Finance and Investments from the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University), which launched her career in international banking. Since 2014, Sofya holds a chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. Given her personal experience, Sofya cannot underestimate the value of non-profit organizations supporting education and she is keen to contribute her time, energy, and resources for this cause. In her free time, Sofya enjoys visual and performing arts, reading, aerial acrobatics training, and travel.

Carol Ann Starmack

Carol Ann Starmack

Carol Starmack has over twenty-five years of senior leadership experience in the nonprofit arena, ten of them at the c-suite level. Most recently she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the American Montessori Society (AMS), a 16,000+ member professional society that sets standards for Montessori schools and teacher education programs and credentials Montessori teachers. It also offers high-quality professional development to Montessori administrators, faculty, and teachers. Prior to joining AMS in 2013, in addition to consulting for nonprofit organizations, she was the Senior Vice President of The Century Foundation, a progressive, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to foster opportunity, reduce inequality, and promote security at home and abroad. She served as its Chief Operating Officer.

Carol has a strong commitment to equality and justice and views the work of LCU as making a vital contribution to creating a more just world by helping NYC women of modest means succeed and thrive.

She holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College’s Executive program and a Bachelor of Science from the City University of New York Baccalaureate Program. She is a native New Yorker.

Sandra M. Stevenson Co-Chair - Communications and Development Committee

Sandra M. Stevenson Co-Chair - Communications and Development Committee

Sandra M. Stevenson is an award-winning Assistant Editor in the photography department at The New York Times. She oversees digital photo editors on the news desk and works on visual content for Race/Related and the Gender, in addition to special projects such as "Overlooked." She’s originally from Albuquerque, NM and was raised in Cheyenne, WY. After receiving a BA in English from Syracuse University, Sandra spent four years working at NBC – first as a Page and then working on various news programs. From there, she became the program coordinator for the Black Filmmaker Foundation. During her time there, she held a deep commitment to helping people of color enter the film industry at various levels.

Sandra then returned to the news industry, by taking on a position at The Associated Press, where she spent eight years moving up from photo assistant to overseeing photo news coverage for Latin America and the Caribbean. She also took time to work on and an advanced degree in multimedia from L'Universite Toulouse in France. Sandra was a contributing writer in the book "Unseen: Unpublished Black History from The New York Times Photo Archives." Most recently, she was the picture editor and co-curator on the book "This Is 18."

She currently serves as a governor on the Overseas Press Club – America. Previously she was the board president at the Bronx Documentary Center as well as a board member of the American Montessori Society.

Linda J. Wright Co-Chair - Communications and Development Committee

Linda J. Wright Co-Chair - Communications and Development Committee

Linda J. Wright migrated to NYC in 1970 from a small, rural town (pop. less than 1,000) in Massachusetts. Graduating from Wagner College, Staten Island, with a dual B.A. in English Literature and Religion/Philosophy, she saw a future in lifting up others while exploring the world.

Her first stop was west London, where she taught for two years in a struggling secondary girls’ school composed in equal thirds of working-class whites and recently settled immigrants from India and the Caribbean. When her visa expired, she returned to NYC to pursue an M.A. in TESOL, expecting to be back overseas soon. To pay for her studies she took a clerical position in the development office at Teachers College, Columbia University. This decision led to a professional sea change: Linda now saw the non-profit sector–focusing on institutional development, fundraising, and management–as an even more effective, inclusive way to reach people in need.

As her multi-decade career at Teachers College and Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children wound down and she looked to supplement past volunteer/board commitments, Linda embraced the LCU Fund for Women’s Education. Heartfelt testimonials from supported students reinforce how much the LCU Fund’s housing grants have contributed to their success and remind Linda that many of us share a dream: “To be the first in our families to go to college; to have a meaningful, successful career; and to remember to make giving back to others a priority.”