Chair, Board of Directors
Co-Chair, Audit Committee
Member, Executive Committee
Tim is the mayor of the Village of New Paltz, NY, where he lives with his family. He has been an active supporter of Writopia Lab and has served on the board 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. His children have been attending WriCampia every summer since they were toddlers in 2014 and now, in high school.
Co-Chair, Executive Committee
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.
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.
Co-Chair, Executive 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.
Member, Benefit Committee
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.
Member, Audit Committee
Lisa Isaacs holds degrees in English and American Literature from Bard College and Washington University. After stints in entertainment and technical writing, she graduated from Brooklyn Law School and became a practicing lawyer. She concentrates her legal practice in special education and disability rights. Prior to establishing her own firm in 2011, she directed the Education Program in the Disability Rights Center at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Family Law and General Practice at Legal Services, New York City. She practices and maintains offices in Yardley, Pennsylvania and New York City.
Member, Executive Committee
A champion for inclusion and equity, Michelle Herbowy currently directs a competency-based leadership program for aspiring principals for the New York City Department of Education. Michelle is a lifelong learner and educator with over two decades of experience working alongside families, teachers, and school leaders as a former special educator, school principal, and central office leader in upstate New York and New York City. Michelle has expertise in serving our most vulnerable students and collaborating with stakeholders to create classrooms where teachers take risks to be their best and students strive to reach their highest potential. As a former professional developer for EL Schools and NYC Outward Bound, Michelle has a passion for literacy in the context of adventurous, meaningful curriculum, and has witnessed its power to cultivate engaged student citizens. A champion for inclusion and equity, Michelle currently directs a competency-based leadership program for aspiring principals for the New York City Department of Education. Michelle earned a BA in Early Childhood Education and Human Services at the State University of New York at Buffalo, an MS in Elementary and Special Education at Syracuse University, and a CAS in Educational Leadership at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Co-Chair Audit Committee
Hyeon Lee is a firm believer in the importance of education, creativity, and communication. When presented with the opportunity to join the board of Writopia Lab, he jumped at the chance to become involved in its mission. Hyeon graduated cum laude from Harvard College where he concentrated in Applied Mathematics and Economics and received his JD from Columbia Law School. He began his legal career as an associate in the Structured Derivatives Products Group at Brown & Wood before joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he was an associate in their mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance practices.
After spending several years as a corporate attorney, Hyeon decided to change careers and joined Eagle Advisors as Vice President. While at Eagle Advisors, he was primarily responsible for managing investments in credit and fixed income as well as Asian equities. In addition, he oversaw and managed the legal aspects of investments and the operational matters relating to investments. Hyeon has been involved with the Harvard Club of New Jersey since 2008, having served as a member of its Executive Committee and its President from 2016 to 2018. He continues to be involved as an active Past President. Hyeon resides in New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and their pug.
Jennifer Divina is the Manager of Donor Research and Reports on the Development Team at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and has worked as a book editor and occasional writer for over twenty years. Jennifer grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a child, she was often lost in a book, identifying flora and fauna in the woods, or performing on stage or behind the scenes as a part of her high school drama program. After a brief career in costuming at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and other regional, Off-Broadway, and summer-stock theaters, she moved to New York City and earned her B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University. An internship at Russell & Volkening Literary Agency led to a career in publishing. As a member of the editorial department at Viking Penguin, she discovered her strength in helping authors find their voice and navigate the sometimes-intimidating publishing world. For the past 18 years, she has worked as an independent editor and occasional writer. Jennifer has logged many hours volunteering in elementary schools, focusing on literacy, parent engagement, and fundraising. She is an active member of NY Cares, through which she has volunteered for a local food pantry and the Arab American Family Support Center in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. For five years she was a voting member of the Off-Broadway Alliance’s nominating and award committee for their Family Theatre Award. She lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with her husband and two teenage daughters, one a WriCampia camper.
Rebecca founded Writopia Lab in April 2007, and currently directs the national organization. You can read the founding story in The Village Voice. She designed the organization’s mission and no-barriers sliding scale model, as well as its instructional approach, which has been embraced by thousands of children, teens, schools, and nonprofit partners across the country. In 2015, she established Writopia’s Training Institute that serves the youth development sector and the Department of Education and established The Positive Literacy Collaborative in partnership with Goddard Riverside in 2019 both with the support of the Pinkerton Foundation. Rebecca has led the organization’s growth and impact in NYC, while establishing and overseeing its labs in the DC Metro region, NY Metro North, Chicago, Los Angeles, and The Bay Area.
She writes, presents, and curates panels for schools, events, and conferences on a variety of topics including “The Case for Youth Voice, Creative Writing, and Joy-Based Writing Programs in Schools and After School,” "Building Safe Spaces: The Power of Creative Writing for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma," "How to Inspire Joy and Creativity through Thought Competition,” “Partnering for Literacy Impact”, and "How to Love Writing for High School and College Admittance." She oversees communications and development at Writopia Lab.
In the founding five years of Writopia Lab, Rebecca 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.
Rebecca oversees impact assessment at Writopia. She studied at Harvard Business School's Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations for organizational leaders in 2015 and continues to oversee Writopia’s impact assessment team's practices as a Youth Inc partner. She won a 2021 scholarship to attend Columbia University’s certificate program in business excellence for nonprofit leaders and is currently completing her Master's in Urban Education Policy at CUNY Graduate Center.
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, to help shape the future of writing education, and Writopia’s literary arts, youth development culture.
Jeremy Wallace-Segall is our Chief Operations officer, bringing together the efforts of our technology, human resources, media, finance, accounting, and facilities management teams to ensure that our program staff have the tools and human support to accomplish their goals. Jeremy joined Writopia Lab in 2009 with 15 years of nonprofit experience building databases and websites, leading design and layout teams for publications, and spearheading teams to create smooth passage through operational challenges. Jeremy is a foundational member of our fundraising events team, our sleepaway camp, and our compliance team. Since 2017, he has also run our Dungeons & Dragons program — and tons of epic adventures!
Jeremy has led the organization through vendor selection processes, web design and content charrettes, transitions between payroll providers, implementations of physical and electronic security systems, and leasing of spaces around the country.
Jeremy’s goal is always to provide tools and services that match not only the technical needs but also the working style of program teams while simultaneously ensuring that the tools and services bring each program team and the operations team closer together from the perspectives of data, workflow, and personal connection.
Jeremy has loved being part of Writopia Lab’s growth from it’s days in a synagogue basement to having 22 locations around the country and to now serving thousands online and he looks forward to being part of upcoming transitions in delivery, measurement, and growth of our services.
Join the Team!
If you love writing and want to share that love with young writers, apply today to join Writopia Lab! Click here to learn more!