Valerie L. Johnson
A native New Yorker, Ms. Johnson brings a wealth of experience in finance and education to her role as board chair. As an educator, Ms. Johnson taught mathematics to middle school students in Harlem and supported fellow teachers as math coach, team leader, and data specialist. She initiated after school activities to promote interest in math and science and wrote grants to support these efforts and to increase the availability of technology as a tool to enhance teaching and facilitate student independence. Prior to officially joining the teaching profession, Ms. Johnson was the chief operating officer of Friends of the Family Academy, Inc., a 501(c)(3) formed to support a traditional public school in Harlem. Ms. Johnson was also involved in the finance sector for ten years as a banker specializing in municipal bonds during which time she was involved in financings totaling over $5 billion. She was subsequently appointed finance director of the City of Detroit with responsibility for the City's accounting, purchasing, treasury, tax collection, property assessment, pension administration, and risk management divisions. During her tenure, Detroit's credit ratings showed consistent upgrades which translated into lower financing costs for the City's bonds.
Although retired since 2013, Ms. Johnson continues to be involved in middle school mathematics as a volunteer educator with the Learning Leaders Program. She has also served as an independent peer-evaluator for at-risk teachers. Ms. Johnson is a consultant to several micro start-ups and sits on the boards of Planned Parenthood of New York City and Dreams for Tomorrow, Inc. She also teachers fitness classes as part of the ShapeUp New York program of the NYC Recreation Dept. and the "Our Health in Our Hands" Faith-Based fitness program of the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Ms. Johnson is a graduate of C.W. Post College (LIU) where she earned a B.S. in Accounting. She also holds an MBA from Yale University's School of Management and a Masters in Education from Hunter College.
Paul Konigstein helps nonprofits master finance and accounting. He specializes in making financial concepts understandable to non-financial nonprofit leaders to enable the strategic use of finance to achieve organizational goals.
Paul has twenty five years experience as a controller and Chief Financial Officer at arts, culture, education, and international development not for profits including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Hall of Science, Helen Keller International, ArtsConnection, and the American Montessori Society. He is currently a Senior Consultant at Accounting Management Solutions, a CliftonLarsonAllen LLP division. Paul is also chair of the Bridgespan NY nonprofit CFO Group and co-chair of the Financial Executives Networking Group not for profit special interest group.
He holds an MBA in finance from New York University and a BS in marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Donna Daley comes to the Board with a deep gratitude for the arts exposure she received as a young student, and a desire to help bring such exposure to today's youth. A graduate of New York University, with a Bachelor's Degree in History, Ms. Daley is a photo researcher who recently ended a long-term role at Corbis, where she sourced images for various clients, including Harper Collins, NFL Films, and The Smithsonian, the latter for whom she provided imagery for their National Museum of African-American History and Culture. She's currently a research editor at Getty Images.
Aside from her love of music, Ms. Daley also participates in dance classes, and enjoys exploring NYC history via walking tours. A Brooklyn native, she is a longtime resident of Manhattan.
As a relative new comer to New York City, Sean brings a strong finance background as treasurer. Mr. Devine is a CPA and spent five years with Johnson & Johnson in finance, including time as an internal auditor. He grew up outside of Philadelphia and attended college at Villanova University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He is currently completing his MBA at New York University and will begin a career in consulting upon his graduation.
Marc Santora brings community relations, program development, and nonprofit leadership experience to Reaching for the Arts. As Director of Youth Services at Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, Marc has brought comprehensive educational and social-emotional programs to children and families most in need of services. He is passionate about youth development and the ability of the arts to play a pivotal role in the growth of child and in society as a whole. In additional to his time at Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, Marc has worked for other youth-serving organizations, including the Urban Dove and Achievement First Charter Schools.
Marc received his BA in English and Creative Writing from Fordham University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Baruch College through the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows Program.
Having grown up in a family of artists, June Hu comes to the Board with heartfelt appreciation for the importance of arts education in a child’s journey towards self-discovery. Ms. Hu is a corporate attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP who has previously worked as a TV reporter on shows focused around childhood education. She is a music enthusiast who loves to sing and play the Chinese zither in her free time.
Ms. Hu received her law degree from Columbia Law School and a B.A. in biology and art history from Duke University.