Young Executive Board

Young Executive Board

Dedicated young professionals become members of the Behind the Book Young Executive Board for fun times and, more importantly, meaningful experiences. The Young Executive Board provides young professionals in NYC with the chance to enhance management and leadership skills while helping Behind the Book make a difference in NYC public schools.

Harini Angara – Ms. Angara is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte. There, she works with clients in the corporate sector on leadership development and strategic change. Prior to joining Deloitte, she worked at AchieveMission, a non-profit consulting firm dedicated to increasing the impact of social sector organizations through effective human capital management. Harini holds a M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University and a BA in English from Columbia University. As a former staff member of Behind the Book, Harini is proud to serve Behind the Book in a board capacity and advance its mission to build readers for life.

Cameca Bacchus – Ms. Bacchus works as a Customer Service Operator for Deloitte Services LP. She earned a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Stony Brook University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College. Education has always been a passion for Mrs. Bacchus. Now being a parent she sees firsthand how the power of reading creates positive change in the life of a child.

Eric Bail – Mr. Bail is an Investment Banking Associate in the Financial Institutions Group at Houlihan Lokey.  He graduated from Cornell University where he studied economics.  He comes from a family with strong ties to the public education system, and as such, is committed to supporting Behind the Book’s mission of building literacy and empowering young readers.

John Barbera – Mr. Barbera is an Assistant Vice President at Barclays Investment Bank. Prior to joining Barclays, John spent five years working at the Royal Bank of Scotland. He graduated from the University of Hartford with a B.A. in Communications. Growing up John performed in theater productions all over Westchester County and NYC. An avid reader, John is excited to share the power and knowledge reading brings to an audience.

Jessamyn Block, Co-Chair – Ms. Block is a Manager of Retail & Outlet Marketing at Coach and responsible for the strategy and execution of local marketing initiatives across all store locations. A West Coast native, Jessamyn graduated from Willamette University with a B.A. in Rhetoric & Media Studies. Ms. Block has always been an avid reader and joined Behind the Book with the hope that she would be able to increase awareness of and support of the organization while sharing her life-long love of reading.

Manoj Budidha – Mr. Budidha is a senior consultant for Nordic Consulting Partners, where he helps healthcare providers operationalize new technology to better serve patients.  He previously worked in product management and implementation roles for health tech firms, Phreesia and Epic. As a former teacher, he is excited to help BTB foster a lifelong passion for literature and writing among the students we serve. Mr. Budidha holds a BS from Northwestern University in Learning & Organizational Change and a minor from its Kapnick Business Institutions program.

CJ Bzdewka – Mr. Bzdewka is an Associate in the Legal & Compliance Department at The Blackstone Group LP. He graduated with a B.S. in Economics from St. John’s University. He believes that literature is an integral part of shaping a child’s mind and imagination. Behind the Book fosters a love of reading and assists children in creating memories and developing skills that will be remembered and utilized throughout their lives.

Patty Carnevale – Ms. Carnevale is the Director of Integrated Marketing at Man Repeller, an award-winning media business and a global community of people who know that fashion, humor and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Art History and B.B.A. in Marketing. A career centered on meaningful storytelling, a lifelong passion for literacy, a deep respect for our work, and a love for her city are just some of the things that brought Ms. Carnevale to Behind the Book to help impact positive change in NYC public schools.

Ann Giornelli – Ms. Giornelli works in the sales department at HarperCollins Children’s Books. She graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in English, concentrating in Educational Studies. Children’s literature and educational access are two of her lifelong passions, and she’s thrilled to support Behind the Book’s mission to bring literacy programs into New York City classrooms.

Tom J. Han – Mr. Han is a professional at Ducera Partners, an independent investment bank focused on advising on complex corporate finance transactions. Prior to joining Ducera Partners, he worked at TriOaks Capital and Perella Weinberg Partners. Mr. Han graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service and majored in International Political Economy. Mr. Han is excited to support Behind the Book’s innovative literacy programs and to engender its continued growth in the greater New York City area.

Juliet Herndon – Juliet works for the New York City Department of Small Business Services as a Borough Manager where she manages the operations and performance of three workforce development programs in Brooklyn. She holds an MA in Counseling from George Washington University and a BA from Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA. She is excited to support Behind the Book’s mission that promotes a love for reading and education while allowing for the development of important skills and personal growth.

June Hu – Ms. Hu is an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP who holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Duke University. Ms. Hu previously worked as a TV reporter and writer for shows focused on childhood education. She loves to read and is excited to promote Behind the Book’s mission of empowering young readers.

Jordan Jones – Mr. Jones is an Associate in the Healthcare & Consumer Group at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing. Prior to joining Warburg, Jordan spent two years working at Greenhill & Co. in Chicago. He graduated from Northwestern University where he studied economics, math and German. As a former tutor, Jordan is excited to help promote childhood education initiatives and by supporting Behind the Book and its mission of empowering young readers.

Natasha Lituchy Kempf – Ms. Kempf is the Senior Manager of Operations and Projects for the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center.  Natasha holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College and a BFA in Performing Arts with a focus in Arts and Healthcare from the University of Florida.  She hopes to share her knowledge of nonprofits and experiences with education, as well as her passion for creative arts and reading with all Behind the Book constituents.

Kaitlyn Kotlowski – Ms. Kotlowski is an Account Supervisor at Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms. She earned a B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Connecticut and spent time studying Irish literature at the National University of Ireland Galway. Behind the Book combines two things she’s very passionate about: education and reading.

Christie Louie, Co-Chair – Ms. Louie is a Compliance Analyst at QFR Capital Management, L.P. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Education Studies. Ms. Louie first became involved with Behind the Book as an intern during the summer of 2010. She is very excited to return to this amazing organization as a member of the Young Executive Board.

Alexandra Lubensky – Ms. Lubensky works in development and communications at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, an independent school in Morningside Heights. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and an M.A. in International Educational Development from Teachers College. Education has long been a passion for Ms. Lubensky, and she believes in the transformative power of reading to create positive change in the life of a child.

Heather Luciano – Ms. Luciano is a Publisher at Elsevier, a scientific and medical publishing and technology company, where she oversees health and medical journals. Prior to Elsevier, she worked at Springer Nature, Scholastic, and Pearson, and has always had a passion for education and literacy. Just this past May, she received her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and recently stepped down as Chair of Young to Publishing Group Cares, a community service initiative of the Association of American Publishers, which is how she found her way to Behind the Book, through volunteering. She hopes to help Behind the Book achieve its mission by bringing her experience in education, literacy, and service to the Young Executive Board.

Malika Michaud – Ms. Michaud is a Research Assistant at Barclays Investment Bank. She graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in Communications. Malika’s passion for reading, writing and literacy building is what sparked her interest in wanting to be a part of Behind the Book. As an active member in her community, Malika is excited to carry out Behind the Book’s mission in NYC public schools.

Thomas Mulvaney – Mr. Mulvaney is the Attorney Training Coordinator at Morrison & Foerster LLP. He earned a B.A. in Political Science and History from Rutgers University As an undergraduate, he tutored Korean ESL students and utilized American classics to portray historical context to his students.

Alissa Nigro – Ms. Nigro is a marketer at Random House Children’s Books. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in English and Child Development and previously worked with preschool students through the Jump Start program. She loves working with and for children and hopes to help build more awareness and support for Behind the Book.

Kristen Reidlinger – Ms. Reidlinger is a business development professional at Davis Polk & Wardwell. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from The King’s College. Her experiences as a mentor and as an English tutor inspired her to help Behind the Book achieve its mission of empowering young readers.

Mary Salvaggio – Ms. Salvaggio is a Senior Manager of Consumer Communications at Intel Security. In this role, she develops creative consumer campaigns that help drive awareness of the need for online security while securing positive media coverage globally. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communication with a focus in Public Relations from Louisiana State University, in her home state of Louisiana. With Behind the Book, Ms. Salvaggio hopes to use her lifelong love of reading to help inspire and empower future generations of readers.

Victoria Stephanova – Ms. Stephanova is a member of the real estate group at Katsky Korins LLP. Ms. Stephanova grew up in Seattle and received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Washington. As a bookworm and former reading tutor, Ms. Stephanova is eager to share her love of reading with the children served by Behind the Book.

Latasha Sukhu – Ms. Sukhu is a Talent Development professional, currently leading the Global Learning & Engagement team at Young & Rubicam. She is passionate about coaching, mentoring and encouraging others to learn creatively, which is the main reason she supports Behind the Book. Prior to joining Y&R, she led the Learning and Development team at Hearst Magazines and has previously worked at Citi, American Express, and Girl Scouts of the USA. She earned a B.A. from the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida.

Stephanie Tam – Ms. Tam is an Associate at Goldman Sachs where she currently works on regulatory reform. She graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics and minor in International Studies from Boston College. She learned the importance of developing literacy skills at an early age, and is eager to help Behind the Book cultivate a love of reading and writing in young minds. One of her favorite pastimes is rereading the Harry Potter series with a good cup of coffee.

Jane Wang – Ms. Wang is a Junior Corporate Paralegal at WSGR, a law firm that specializes in venture financing for startups. She earned a BA in Political Science and Business Management from Columbia University. Most importantly, she believes there is a place for children’s literature on every bookshelf and is grateful to every teacher, family member, friend, and librarian who encouraged her reading.

Helen Zhang – Ms. Zhang is an investment professional at H.I.G. Capital and previously worked in investment banking at Moelis & Company. She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Economics-Mathematics and a concentration in Psychology. As a strong proponent of childhood education initiatives, Ms. Zhang is proud to support Behind the Book’s mission. She is excited to help bring more awareness to its innovative literacy programs and foster lifelong passions for reading and learning.


Are you a young professional with a passion for literacy, kids or children’s literature?  Behind the Book is always seeking interested, committed individuals to serve on our Young Executive Board.  Please contact Jo Umans at for more information or to express interest.