• Tim Rogers

    Tim Rogers

    Tim is mayor for the Village of New Paltz, NY, where he lives with his family. He has been an active supporter of Writopia Lab since its inception in 2007, advising on everything from short-term problem solving to general business development. After business school at NYU, Tim served as Vice President at Eagle Advisors for a decade where he made investment management decisions for the multi-billion dollar family office of the founder of a large software company. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts from Siena College and an MBA in Finance from NYU Stern.

  • Kim Hartman

    Events Committee Chair
    Kim Hartman

    Kimberly Hartman is founder of KH Designs, an interior design firm in New York City. Prior to design, Ms. Hartman was Vice President of Human Resources and Facilities for Trust Company of the West. She also serves on the Board for the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, Temple Emanu El 's Mitzvah Board and UJA Manhattan Women's Philanthropy Board. Ms. Hartman earned a BA at Tufts University and an MBA in Finance from the Leonard Stern School of Business at NYU.

  • Candice Braun

    Scholarship Committee Chair

    Candice Braun is originally from Virginia, where she graduated from James Madison University ('92) with a B.S. in Finance. After moving to New York in 1997, she decided to find a career where she could combine her finance background and her life-long passion for raising money for non-profits. Until September 2001, she worked at UJA-Federation, focusing on event-planning and major gifts development. Before moving to New York City, Candice lived and worked in London at Lloyd's of London. Candice has served on the board of directors of JCP: The Jewish Community Project Downtown and as the President of the Rodeph Sholom School Parents Association. Candice is married to Ben Braun and is the mom of Jack, Annie, and Mateo. Her hobbies include reading, walking, traveling, vegan baking/cooking and advocating and fundraising for causes and organizations dear to her heart, including food allergy awareness, suicide prevention, rare cancers, homelessness, Writopia Lab, and For His Children orphanage in Ecuador.

  • David Sherman

    Chair of the Finance Committee

    David founded Cohanzick Management in 1996 and has served as Managing Principal since then. Prior to this, Mr. Sherman worked at Leucadia National Corporation for 10 years. In 1992, Mr. Sherman became a Vice President actively involved in corporate investments and acquisitions. In addition, Mr. Sherman was Treasurer of Leucadia’s insurance operations with $3 billion of assets. During Mr. Sherman’s tenure, he played an active role in the insurance companies’ investment portfolio and asset/liability management. Further, his parent company investment duties ranged from general investment analysis to opportunistic distress positions including serving on steering and creditor committees to active roles of private and public securities transactions. Mr. Sherman began his 25+ year investment career in high yield and distressed securities at Leucadia in 1987, following internships at Drexel Burnham Lambert’s High Yield and Convertible Bond department based in Los Angeles. In 1987, Mr. Sherman graduated from Washington University with a B.S. in business administration. Mr. Sherman is a member of the advisory board of Washington University’s Olin Business School Center for Finance and Accounting Research. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of Open Door Medical Centers. Mr. Sherman has lectured at Washington University, Pepperdine University, and investment industry conferences.

  • Kevin R. Free

    Board Member
    Kevin R. Free

    Kevin R. Free is a writer/performer/director and OBIE Award winning producer whose work has been showcased and developed in many places, including the Moth Radio Hour, The Fire This Time Festival, The New Black Fest, The Blackboard Reading Series, the Estrogenius Festival, and the New York International Fringe Festival. The former Education Director of Queens Theatre in the Park, Kevin has also directed several productions performed or written by young people, including several plays in Writopia Lab’s World Wide Plays Festival, The Wiz, The Robber Bridegroom, Godspell, Barnum, and Starlight Express. More at www.kevinrfree.com.

  • Atoosa Rubenstein

    Board Member
    Atoosa Rubenstein

    Atoosa Rubenstein joined the Writopia Lab Board of Directors in 2019. Atoosa was named editor-in-chief of Seventeen in July 2003.

    Seventeen is the largest teen title in the U.S. with more than 13 million readers. Just one year after coming to the magazine, Rubenstein increased Seventeen’s newsstand sales for the first time in over half a decade – for a total newsstand growth of 23% to date.

    In the fall of 2005 a series that Rubenstein conceived, titled “Miss Seventeen,” debuted on MTV. The series featured seventeen girls competing for the honor of being Miss Seventeen – a life-changing award that included a college scholarship, an internship at Seventeen and an appearance on the iconic magazine’s cover. Rubenstein was the creator and an executive producer on the series.

    Previously, Rubenstein founded and served as editor-in-chief of CosmoGIRL!, Hearst Magazines’ successful teen spin-off of Cosmopolitan. In 1998, Cathleen P. Black, president of Hearst Magazines, decided to create a new teen title and asked Rubenstein to develop a prototype. Within 48 hours, she presented a product that was so compelling that Black offered her the job as editor-in-chief on the spot. When she founded CosmoGIRL! in August 1999, Rubenstein was only 26 years old, making her the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of Hearst Magazines. During her tenure at CosmoGIRL!, the magazine was honored with some of the industry’s highest honors including Adweek Startup of the Year in 1999.

    Rubenstein began working in magazines throughout her junior and senior years of college, as an intern at Sassy magazine. After graduating from Barnard College, she took a job as a fashion assistant at Cosmopolitan, under the leadership of renowned editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown. Quickly her talent and enthusiasm propelled her through the ranks, where she became a senior fashion editor at Cosmopolitan in five short years.

    Columbia University honored Rubenstein in 2004 by naming her one of the top 250 alumni through the ages. She was also recognized by the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York as a Woman of Distinction. Rubenstein has been featured in Crain's New York Business’ “40 Under 40” and Folio's “30 Under 30.”

  • Jonathan Friedland

    Head shot of Jonathan Friedland
    Board Member

    Jonathan Friedland joined the Writopia board of directors because of his love of the written word and his belief that the ability to write is a fundamental requirement for success in academics and, ultimately, much of life. Jonathan’s most recent not-for-profit board experience was as president of the Friends of the Highland Park Library.

    Jonathan writes about law, business, and investing. He is lead author of three books and scores of articles about these subjects. Sadly, however, he has not yet found a way to breathe life into any of his many ideas for fiction.

    Jonathan earns his livelihood as a lawyer. He is a partner with Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP. Licensed in four states, Jonathan’s transactional work focusses on representing private funds and other owners of private businesses, and the businesses they own. He regularly advises on M&A activities, structuring new ventures and restructuring old ones, and on other commercial relationships. Jonathan is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell, 10/10 by AVVO, and enjoys several other similar distinctions. Jonathan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany, magna cum laude (in three years) and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He clerked for a federal judge before entering private practice; served for several years as an Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and as the first visiting professor at the Clayton School of Entrepreneurial Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law; and earlier in his career was a partner in the Restructuring Group of Kirkland & Ellis. Jonathan is lead author and editor of several significant treatises, several chapters in other treatises, and scores of articles on law, business, and investing. He also co-founded two successful businesses. See his LinkedIn profile for more information.

  • Rebecca Wallace-Segall

    Board Member
    Rebecca Wallace-Segall

    Rebecca founded Writopia Lab in April 2007, currently directs the national organization, teaches writing workshops and college essay writing and runs in-school staff and teacher trainings in New York City through the DYCD, the DOE, and at community-based organizations that serve at risk youth. She has grown the organization in NYC, and established and oversees Writopia in the DC Metro region, NY Metro North, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. She trains Writopia instructors across the nation, as well as classroom teachers and volunteers in the Writopia method.

    Rebecca has won multiple teaching awards including the Scholastic Awards' 2012 Ovation Inspired Teacher Award for submitting the most outstanding senior portfolios on the national level and for "developing a method of working with students that inspires them to create original work that embodies their unique, personal voice.... Because of [her] tutelage... these students are now empowered to bring that voice into the broader world..." She has also won the 2008, 2009, and 2011 National Gold Apple Teacher Award for "submitting the most outstanding group of submissions on the national level" to the Scholastic Art & Writing event. She lectures at schools, events, and parents' organizations on a variety of topics including "How to Inspire the Writer Within Your Child," "Writing for High School and College Admittance," and on "Identifying and Participating in Positive Competitions." Previously, Rebecca established the creative writing program at the Abraham Joshua Heschel Middle School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a consultant. While she was there, the program outperformed every other school in the city (including every elite public and private institution) in Scholastic's prestigious Art & Writing Awards competition. She has been awarded recognition from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as an "outstanding educator" every year since 2006. (Writopia won Scholastic's official endorsement in 2007.) Rebecca was also nominated by students and selected to be entered into the 11th Edition of Who's Who Among American Teachers.

    Rebecca has taught at SUNY Albany, New York University, and at Gotham Writer's Workshop. In 2009, Rebecca was invited to join The Op-Ed Project Mentor Editor Program and has since helped several brilliant women break into some of the nation's most widely read national opinion pages. In 2002, she had the pleasure of working with young writers in New York City public schools for the first time as a resident writer with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. By 2003, she was working at the Heschel School, planting the seeds for a unique and successful creative writing program there. She also participated in the judging of the Scholastic competition in 2006 and currently serves as a judge of several national youth writing competitions (in which her students are not involved).

    Rebecca also serves on Writopia Lab’s Board of Directors and is thrilled to have a team of accomplished board members from various social and business sectors, help shape the future of Writopia's youth literary community.


    Rebecca began writing for publications in 1997. She has contributed opeds about education and writing to the The Atlantic Monthly and The Wall Street Journal, and thought pieces to The Huffington Post and The Nation, along with five cover stories (and other pieces) to the Village Voice. She has contributed the foreword to Bryant Park's Poem in Your Day Chapbook 2012 and to The Scholastic Award's 2012 Best Teen Writing. She also served as Senior Editor at Psychology Today Magazine, and won Salon's "Best People Story of the Year Award" for "Love Labor's Flossed." In 1999, she became a Journalism Fellow at Brandeis University. In 2003, she entered the world of comedy writing, and began writing and performing sketch comedy around NYC. She won a "Best Sketch" competition at the Upright Citizens Brigade in 2006.

  • Jeremy Wallace-Segall

    Board Member
    Jeremy Wallace-Segall

    Jeremy Wallace-Segall is the Chief Operations Officer for Writopia Lab. Jeremy oversees technology and back-office functions, contributes to the organizational literature, recruits new students and new schools, and does light housekeeping.

    Jeremy has built and implemented databases and websites for 15 years. He ran a consulting business, ABCDataworks, for six years, that brought database, website, and communications strategy to non-profits and socially minded corporate ventures. Jeremy spent a few years in the corporate world, but most of his work experience has been focused on making the world a better place by helping non-profit organizations manage their data collection and dissemination. Jeremy has written corporate policy documents, software documentation, branding copy for websites, and tutorials.

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