Board and Staff Teams

Supporting more than 130 years of service
Our Brooklyn Office Team

Steve Bates

Property Manager

Steve joined Trail Blazers in 2000 with a wealth of camping and property management experience. He worked as a counselor and instructor in CSB (scouting) programs. He managed the Milford Bible Church complex for 10 years, the Tuscarora Resource Center property in Mt. Bethel, PA as the Operations Manager, and owned/operated Marshalls Creek Painting for 13 years. He served 6 years in the US Army as a medical lab technician. Steve lives at Trail Blazers with his wife, Sue, and daughters, Sarah and Lindsey. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Bible with a Bachelors of Science in Youth Ministry and has extensive trade skills training at Monroe Vo-Tech.

Jennifer Bombardier

Under One Sky After School Director

Jennifer joined Trail Blazers in 2014 as an intern for Under One Sky and then as a Group Leader before assuming the role of Program Director in 2016. She brings experience gained as a preschool teacher and educator for multiple environmental education organizations in Virginia as well as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Education Department. She holds a B.A. in Integrative Studies with a Concentration in Elementary Education from George Mason University and an M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University.

Tiffany Caton

Director of Development and Communication

Tiffany joined Trail Blazers in 2011, transitioning to the nonprofit realm after 5 years of experience in experiential marketing. Tiffany holds a B.S. in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies.

Stephan Lendor

Stephan joined Trail Blazers in 2010 as a Group Leader in our Summer Residential Camp program. In 2011, he was the lead counselor for the biking program and in 2013 he was the Program Director for Montague Day Damp. In 2015, he led the inaugural year of Brooklyn Day Camp. During the school year, Stephan works in Under One Sky After-School.

Molly McCue

Director of Programs

Molly joined Trail Blazers in 2014. This will be her tenth summer working in camping and her fifth at Trail Blazers, where she is the overnight camp director. Molly spent two years in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps volunteer promoting girls' education and empowerment, and worked in a Kindergarten classroom upon her return. She holds a B.A. in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College.

Riel Peerbooms

Executive Director

Riel was appointed as Trail Blazers’ Executive Director in 2008. Prior, Riel worked as the Camp and Associate Director at Trade Winds Lake Camp, and worked for over 10 years in New York City high schools, teaching science and counseling students as a social worker and a guidance counselor. Riel holds a BA in Biology Secondary Education from The Teacher’s College of Utrecht, the Netherlands, as well as a MSW from Fordham University, specializing in Children and Families.

Jay Wilks

Day Camp Director

Jay first joined Trail Blazers in 2014 and has been a part of summer camps since 2011 via Camp America’s cultural exchange program. He started as a counselor and has progressed through leadership roles to proudly become the Trail Blazers Day Camp Director. Originally from the U.K, Jay has worked at his University as a Mentor, Ambassador and disability support officer. He has held qualifications as an archery instructor and ARC lifeguard.

Our Board of Trustees
Board Portal

Hugh Babowal

Co-Chairman of the Board

Hugh Babowal began serving as Trail Blazer’s Co-Chairman of our Board of Trustees in January 2015 and has been a Trail Blazers Trustee since August 2011. Mr. Babowal heads Wells Fargo Securities’ Energy and Power M&A practice. Mr. Babowal serves on Wells Fargo Securities’ Fairness Opinion Committee and its Strategic Advisory Council. He received an MBA from the Western Business School at the University of Western Ontario and a BA in Economics from the University of Alberta.

Jeff Miller

Board Member

Jeff Miller is a Managing Director for Valuation Research Corporation (VRC), an independent valuation firm, and is based in the New York office. Prior to joining Valuation Research, Mr. Miller served as Vice President of Sales at Merrill Corporation, where he directed sales of financial communications, virtual datarooms and litigation support services. He also held positions with Bowne & Co. in New York, and Pester Pac Automation USA, in Allendale, NJ. He resides in Oradell, NJ with his wife Caroline and two daughters, Sadie and Charlotte.

John Howie

Board Member

John is currently a member of the investment team at Willett Advisors, Mayor Bloomberg’s family office. His previous experience includes investment management (JPMorgan, Carbon Capital), strategy consulting (Monitor, Palladium) and Private Equity (Treacy & Company). He also serves on the Advisory Board of RocketStar, developer of a reusable aerospike rocket engine for commercial space operations.

Lee Simonson

Board Member

Lee Simonson is the President of Simonson Associates, an advisory firm in New York that assists media companies and their executives in strategic planning. Lee spent 30 years of his career in the radio broadcasting industry culminating in positions as Vice President and General Manager of KISS-FM and WOR-AM in New York City and ownership of over 50-plus radio stations across the U.S. Lee earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a Certified Business Mentor for SCORE, a non-profit partner of the SBA, a Walking Guide in Central Park for the Central Park Conservancy, and a volunteer for Big Apple Greeters. He has been married to Nancy for 44 years with 2 adult children, Michael and Laura, and a grandson, Jonah.

Tom Nakashian

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Marc Hyman

Co-Chairman of the Board

Bio coming soon

Maureen Sullivan

Board Member

Maureen Sullivan is a Product Manager at OppenheimerFunds. Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds, Maureen held positions at JPMorgan and Bank of New York Mellon. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Fairfield University and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.

Grace Kurdian

Secretary of the Board

Grace Kurdian began serving as a Trail Blazers Trustee in May of 2013 and has served as Secretary of the Board as of 2017. Grace is the Deputy General Counsel of Kindle Energy LLC, a portfolio company of the Blackstone Group. An attorney for over 20 years, Grace’s prior experience included service as a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey as well as private practice as an associate and then partner at two law firms in New York.

Louis Milea

Treasurer of the Board

Bio coming soon

Jonathan Peris

Board Member

Jon is a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. He has 22 years of Capital Markets and Wealth Management Experience. Jon graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Today, he lives in Mountainside, New Jersey with his wife, Sari, their three children and a new pup.Jon has proudly served for years as a mentor and on the Board of Trail Blazers.He is also on the board of the Animal Cancer Foundation. An advocate of protecting people's health and wealth, Jon encourages people to leave time for personal fitness and fulfillment. Away from work, Jon enjoys spending time with family and friends, fitness, music, travel, getting outside in nature, and the personal rewards of supporting various philanthropies.

Anna Krassy

Board Member

Retired. Anna's involvement with Trail Blazers spans six decades, starting with her time as a camper. Wanting to give other children the same opportunities she had as a camper, she became an active alumna, working as a Group Leader and then serving as a Board Member as well as volunteering in the office.

Ronald Rasdall Jr.

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Lauren Catapano

Board Member

Lauren Catapano is a change management and transformational consultant with over 20 years of experience, starting, building and restructuring organizations for growth and efficiency. Her clients range from start-ups, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. She is known for her extensive expertise that spans strategic planning, operational management, organizational design, sales and marketing. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Ms. Catapano served in senior leadership roles across Human Resources, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Sales at CIT, as well as held various positions in Insurance, Strategy and Finance at JPMorgan Chase. Lauren is a member of the Women's Bond Club and actively volunteers to support children's causes, women's development, the homeless and cancer research.

Jay Broaddus

Board Member

Jay is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Food & Beverage Investment Banking at RBC Capital and joined the Trail Blazer’s Board in 2016. He has 22 years of experience in the investment banking and financial services industries, including prior senior roles at Barclays Capital, Banc of America Securities, and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Jay graduated from Washington & Lee University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and has an MBA from the University of Virginia. He lives in Larchmont, New York, with his wife, Molly, and their three children. In his free time, Jay and his family enjoy music and travel and are avidly involved in outdoor activities, distance running, and other sports.

Laura Markham

Board Member

Laura is a twenty four year veteran of the IT industry of which fourteen of those years have been spent in transportation in various key roles. Laura is currently Vice President, IT at Maher Terminals. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts. Born and raised in New Jersey, Laura currently resides in Morristown.

Nihad Rahman

Board Member

Nihad Rahman is the head of Planning & Analysis for the Corporate Sector, leading the team responsible for the forecasting and financial analytics of the $10B of NIE in J.P.Morgan's Corporate Sector. He joined the firm in May 2015 after 11 years at GE, where he, most recently, led financial planning and analysis for the Commercial Lending & Leasing business within GE Capital. Nihad has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Haverford College and an MBA from Columbia University. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

David Tcholakian

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Jim Torpey

Board Member

Jim is a professional with many years experience in the electric industry as an executive with utility companies and solar energy firms. He founded a solar industry consultancy and has worked on the East Coast and in Australia for SunPower Corporation. He has served on numerous boards, both for-profit and non-profit. Before his business career, he taught students and adults from kindergarten to college. Jim is also an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast!

Colleen Sebra

Board Member

Colleen is a Partner at Ernst and Young LLP (EY). She focuses on Tax Technology and Transformation, leveraging her cross industry experience to identify and implement operational process improvements, data analytics, visualization, and automation. She specializes in automating State income tax reporting processes and is passionate about saving people time so they can focus their energy on value driving functions and personal priorities. Colleen graduated from the University of Georgia with a Masters in Accountancy and from the University of South Carolina Honors College with a double degree in International Business and Accounting. Colleen lives in Chatham, New Jersey with her husband, Mike, their two children and dog, Bailey

Erez Levin

Board Member

Erez has spent over a decade working in the online advertising industry in various sales & business development positions. In his current role at Google, he is focused on the advertising technology space and helping Fortune 500 advertisers & national web/TV publishers leverage data, technology, and partnerships to grow their businesses. He holds a B.S. in Marketing from Rutgers University, and currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Arielle. In his free time, Erez loves to travel to far-flung parts of the world (backpacker-style), listen to audiobooks while running (two birds, one stone!), and play tennis (preferably alongside and not against his wife).

Frank Nolan

Board Member

Frank is an attorney in the New York City office of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s global litigation group. Frank defends class action lawsuits and complex business litigation matters in federal and state courts throughout the country, and advises financial services and insurance clients on issues affecting their core business practices. Frank also serves on the Board of the non-profit organization City Cottage, which facilitates educational programs between high school students in the United States and Malawi. In his free time, Frank enjoys outdoor activities, especially fishing and hunting. He lives in New York City with his wife, Lizzie, and their dog, Marbles.

Christopher Sheaffer

Board Member

Chris is a Partner in the New York City office of Reed Smith LLP, an international law firm with offices around the world. Chris is a member of the firm’s Global Corporate Group concentrating his practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, securities law compliance, corporate governance issues, and general corporate law. Chris was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2013-2017 and is an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth where he serves on the membership committee. Chris is engaged in numerous charitable endeavors and, in addition to his work with Trail Blazers, serves on the Legal Committee of Global Potential, a New York based non-profit focused on empowering youth through international travel and social awareness. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling as much as possible, running and other outdoor activities.

Austin Park

Board Member

Austin Park is a Global Client Engagement Manager with over 13 years of experience at BlackRock servicing institutional clients using the Aladdin platform, BlackRock's proprietary technology for investment managers. Prior to his current role, he was a Risk Analytics Manager supporting many of the largest U.S. banks. Austin graduated from New York University and currently lives in Long Island, with his wife and two children. In his free time, Austin enjoys spending time with his family and friends and loves traveling and outdoor activities. His interests include golf, camping, football, baseball, biking, and hiking. He even finished a Tough Mudder!

Eric Smith

Board Member

Eric J. Smith is Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel of PineBridge Investments. Prior to joining the PineBridge, Mr. Smith served as General Counsel to IREO Management, an India-focused real estate private equity fund manager. Between graduation from university and beginning law school, Mr. Smith spent two years teaching English at the junior high level in Ichikawa, Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Mr. Smith received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Nathaniel Drake

Board Member

Nate currently works for the Macquarie Group. Nate loves the outdoors so, of course, Trail Blazers is a great fit.

Corey Schor

Board Member

Corey is the Vice President & COO of CJ & CMS Audit, Recovery & Merchandising as he has extensive experience within the supermarket and retail industry. Prior to this role, Corey was the CEO & Founder of Atlas Learning Devices, the Vice President of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce-USA, and Development Director of Vacamas Programs. He is also the proud grandson of one of the 'founding theorists' in Accounts Payable Auditing. Corey has both his BA & MA from William Paterson University.

Helen Horsham-Bertels

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

Ryan Goodman

Board Member

Ryan Goodman is the CEO of Scale Microgrid Solutions, a new microgrid and distributed energy company that is revolutionizing the energy infrastructure in the US. Ryan has over a decade of experience in the energy industry, with prior stints at GE Energy, the Boston Consulting Group, and ENER-G Rudox, a company he helped grow and sell in 2016. Today, Ryan lives in northern NJ with his wife, Anne, and three daughters. Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University, and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family and friends, travel, NY Giants football, and any activities that gets him outside. He has always valued outdoor education, dating back to his days in the Boy Scouts, and is a true supporter of Trailblazer’s mission and vision.