Founder, President, and Board Chair
Jeff Feingold founded Hope & Comfort in 2011 in an effort to teach his two young children the importance of giving back to the community and to ensure that all people have access to basic and essential personal hygiene products.
He brings a great deal of expertise to the organization. Jeff worked full-time at Fidelity Investments from 1997 to 2019 as an Analyst, Co-Director of Research and Portfolio Manager in the Equity Division of Fidelity Management and Research Company, and currently works part-time helping mentor and coach recent college and business school graduates. He received his BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School and enthusiastically shares his knowledge and expertise with Hope & Comfort in an effort to help the organization scale to have the most impact in the most cost effective and dignified manner.
In addition to his professional experience, Jeff has participated in dozens of philanthropic and volunteer activities over the last 30+ years, including volunteering at a camp for children with cancer where he met his wife and fellow Board member, Loren Feingold, teaching classes to Boston inner-city youth on topics such as kindness and journalism, and leading hundreds of his co-workers at Fidelity Investments and friends in activities such as renovating inner-city schools, as well as others to collect and serve clothing, food, and other items for those in need.
Community Engagement Manager
Abby joined the Hope & Comfort team in fall of 2019 as the organization’s Community Engagement Manager. Abby oversees Hope & Comfort’s volunteer programs and marketing initiatives. They bring their passion and experience in program management and community outreach to the team. Previously, Abby worked at the YMCA of Greater Boston as a Site Director at a Boston Public School. Prior to the Y, Abby worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County. They hold a BA in Sociology from Framingham State University.
Abby shares the Hope & Comfort team’s passion for engaging others in the fight to end hygiene insecurity. They are excited about youth development and engaging young people through service-learning. They look forward to welcoming you, your family, and/or organization to Hope & Comfort for a volunteer event or a product collection drive. Abby can be reached at email@example.com.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Amy recently retired from the practice of family-based immigration law at Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services where she worked for 13 years. Prior to that, Amy practiced real estate law at Dryer and Traub in New York City. Amy received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and her B.A. from SUNY @ Albany.
Amy served on the Board of Jewish Family & Children’s Services for 19 years and is currently involved with various organizations including Combined Jewish Philanthropies and AIPAC.
She lives in Newton with her husband and is the mother of 3 adult sons and grandmother to her first grandchild.
Ryan T. Debin has been an entrepreneur from the age of 21, when he purchased a 50% share of a residential real estate leasing company, which he successfully owned and operated before selling his interest in 2008. He moved on to a career in banking and was a Senior Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending at Anglo Irish Bank for the next ten years. Since 2012, Ryan Debin and his wife have owned and operated multiple franchise businesses involved with community, family, and children. His asset management company, Momentum Enterprises, owns and operates 12 businesses and employs over 160 people. Momentum Enterprises is the largest owner of My Gym Children’s Fitness Centers in the U.S. with 8 locations -and was awarded worldwide franchisee of the year by My Gym Enterprises in both 2017 and 2018 (of more than 600 locations in 38 countries). Momentum also operates children’s art studio Kidcasso, Launch Trampoline Parks in Norwood, MA and Framingham, MA, and a real estate company in Newport, RI -The Newport Venture.
Ryan Debin is also involved in various civic and non-profit organizations. In addition to Hope and Comfort, he is on the Board of Directors for Horizons for Homeless Children and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Chairman of the Real Estate Committee. Ryan is also on the Board of Directors of the Dover Sherborn Soccer Club where he coordinates the Club’s program for Pre-K to Grade 2. He also is the head coach of four (4) different teams. Ryan lives in Sherborn with his wife, Jennifer, and their four (4) boys.
Loren Feingold, former Executive Director, Development at BIDMC, has spent her career in the nonprofit space, holding multiple leadership roles related to health and wellness. Some of these roles include Director of Research and Policy for a cancer foundation, Nutrition Trainer and Educator with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Clinical Dietitian at Lynn Community Health Center.
Loren received her bachelor’s from Cornell University and her master’s in Public Health and Nutrition Communications from Tufts University. Loren is passionate about giving back and paying it forward in both big and small ways. She believes in for-profit/not-for-profit and private/public partnerships to make sustainable societal change.
Loren shares her skills in fundraising, community building, and grant writing with Hope & Comfort.
Robert Himmel is a Senior Managing Director at Gordon Brothers Group. He joined the firm in 2002, and has served in a variety of roles, including Co-President of Gordon Brothers Commercial and Industrial Division, CEO of the (former) Coby Electronics Brand affiliate, and as a founding Principal of their Wholesale business. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers, Robert was President of the Malden Ventures Division of Malden Mills Industries, the manufacturer of Polartec® branded performance textiles. In a career spanning over 15 years in the textile industry, Robert also served as the Vice President and General Manager for Malden Mill’s North American business unit, and as a corporate vice president of Product Development and Marketing for Guilford Mills, a then NYSE-listed multinational manufacturer of textiles. Robert is a past member of the Board of Trustees of TMA Global (Turnaround Management Association), Board of Directors of CBY Holdings, LLC, vice president of the Board of Directors of the Knitted Textile Association and a former member of the Board of Directors of Jewish Vocational Services, Inc. Robert is a graduate of Stony Brook University.
Michelle Hipwood is CFO, Head of Finance and Operations at clypd, an early-stage technology company in the television advertising space. Prior to clypd, Michelle was Director of Finance and Operations at ImmusanT, an immunological biotech company. She joined ImmusanT after being the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of The Capital Network, a nonprofit dedicated to providing extensive educational and mentoring programs to help early-stage high growth entrepreneurs master the entire funding process and successfully raise seed capital. Michelle’s early career was focused on Strategy Consulting and Investment Banking at firms such as Roseview Capital, Deloitte, and Fleet Bank (now Bank of America). In addition, Michelle has dedicated much of her spare time as various nonprofit Board’s such as Land’s Sake Farm and currently Hope & Comfort. She has an MBA from Babson College’s Olin School of Business and a B.S. from Boston College.
Jay is a Vice President and Head of North America Investment Risk for Columbia Threadneedle. He currently Chairs the N.A. Investment Risk Committee as well as the N.A. Liquidity Risk Committee. In addition, he is Co-Chair of the firm’s N.A. Diversity and Inclusion Group and heads up the firm’s innovation efforts.
Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Jay held several positions at Legg Mason, including Managing Director of Investment Risk, Portfolio Manager and Equity Analyst. He has over 30 years of investment experience. He received a B.S., cum laude, in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a former President and Director of the Baltimore Security Analysts Society. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
In addition to serving on the Board of Hope & Comfort, Jay is Treasurer and serves on the Board of Union Park Association. He is a volunteer coach at South End Soccer, as well as mentor at the Posse Foundation.
Ralph is the Chief Banking Officer at Wellesley Bank, overseeing commercial and residential lending activities and deposit gathering for the bank. He has a 33-year banking and finance career in the Boston area, previously working with Citizens Bank and Boston Private Bank in management roles.
Ralph has been active as a volunteer and board member in a number of community and not-for-profit organizations. He was a board member of the Natick Visiting Nurse Association for five years. He served on the board of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce and finished as the chair of the audit committee. He is also in his 18th year as a committee member of the Natick Elderly and Disabled Taxation Fund.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA from Babson College. Ralph shares his expertise in management, finance, and social service with Hope & Comfort.
Ezra is a private investor, focusing on early stage investment opportunities across various sectors. Previously, Ezra was a Portfolio Manager and Partner at Arrowstreet Capital, an investment management firm that manages global equity portfolios for institutional investors around the world. Prior to that, Ezra managed international and emerging market equities as well as global asset allocation strategies at PanAgora Asset Management. Ezra’s early investment career included equity and derivatives trading at Valores Bursatiles de Mexico, in Mexico City.
Ezra earned a Master of Science in Finance from Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northeastern University. Ezra is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Society Boston.
In addition to his service with Hope and Comfort, Ezra volunteers at Jewish Family Services of Metrowest, Sudbury for Wounded Warriors, and CJP. Ezra shares his skills and experience in management, finance, and community service with Hope & Comfort.
John is Chief Investment Officer, CEO at Battery Global Advisors. John joined Battery Ventures in 2001 to start and manage an internal family office. From 2001 through 2004, he designed custom portfolios and advised the senior partners on their personal investment strategies. In early 2005, the firm created Battery Global Advisors to put an institutional framework around the investment process for the family office. In 2011 BGA spun out into a separately owned and operated business and began also servicing clients that are not affiliated with Battery Ventures.
John has devoted a significant amount of time to community based nonprofit organizations. He was formerly a Trustee of the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School which is now part of Uncommon Schools. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Weston Little League and Family Service of Greater Boston. John has a B.S. in Accounting from Bryant University and was a licensed CPA. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Sara Quist is Director of Community Engagement for the New England region of Cigna, where she leads the company’s initiatives to make a positive impact in the local communities where our employees and customers live and work. She is also a co-leader for the Generations ERG, empowering more than 1,600 Cigna employees to network, learn and support one another on topics related to major life roles such as parenting and caregiving. Sara joined Cigna in 2017 with more than 18 years of experience in branding and marketing in the consumer products, financial services and higher education verticals with brands including Heinz, Procter & Gamble, and American Express. In her previous role as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Babson College, she earned two Women Who Make a Difference Awards.
In addition to the Hope & Comfort Board, she is on the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition, Leadership Committee for the Greater Boston Corporate Volunteer Council and a previous wish grantor with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sara received a B.B.A. in Marketing from Loyola University, Maryland. She lives in Needham with her husband and two boys.
Towma Rastad, a native of Florida, moved to Massachusetts 20 years ago with her husband, Jason, and their two children Alec and Allissa. Both children were born with a rare life-threatening immune disease, which led Towma to volunteer for the Immune Deficiency Foundation for the past 20 years. She spent much time as a peer contact as well as lobbying on Capitol Hill for healthcare change. This is where Towma really found her love and passion for helping others.
Towma spent the last 7 years as Business Marketing Account Rep for Wegmans, where she worked with organizations like the Greater Boston Food Bank, Hope & Comfort, and United Way. Towma served for the past 3 years on the Executive Board of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce as the Vice Chair of their DEI Committee. Towma has a passion for people, and DEI is a very important focus for her. This passion led to a recent career change, and she is now the Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion and Member Retention for the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce. Towma looks forward to continuing to serve these amazing organizations and more.
Betsy Rosen is a marketing, branding and strategic planning consultant who partners with nonprofit organizations to lead strategic and marketing initiatives. Her background includes nonprofit and for-profit work for organizations including Hope & Comfort, Play Ball! Foundation, Reach Out and Read, Digitas and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. In addition to her consulting work, Betsy is a member of the WGBH Board of Overseers, the Miriam Fund, and The Ohio State University Parents Advancement Council, a volunteer mentor at MassBay Community College, and a past Board President of JF&CS. Betsy is a graduate of Williams College.
Cheryl Schondek is the Senior Vice President of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain at The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Prior to her decision to join GBFB in 2014, Schondek had a successful career at Shaw’s/Star Markets Grocery Stores for more than 25 years.
Cheryl is active in the food industry, chairing the GBFB Food Industry Council. She is an executive board member of the New England Food Foundation, the New England Region of the Network of Executive Women, and a founding member of the New England Produce Council. Cheryl was a member of the Supervalu Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Board and was the president of the Shaw’s Affinity Group – MESA. Along with degrees from University of Vermont and Bridgewater State University, Cheryl has completed course work in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Executive Supply Chain & Strategic Management certificate sessions and has a certificate in produce management from Cornell University.
Yolanda Taylor is a managing director at Prio Wealth, where she oversees their socially-responsible investing efforts and manages marketing communications. She is also the co-owner of Lexington Power Yoga, a yoga and barre studio in Lexington. Prior to these ventures, she was a partner at Copper Rock Capital, and director of research, analyst, and portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments. Yolanda has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business. She is the author of “Take Me Back to Redway” – her memoir about growing up homeless.
In addition to the Hope & Comfort board, Yolanda serves on the Board of Cradles to Crayons, and is actively involved in the town of Lexington, helping with school PTA activities and coaching Fit Girls. She lives in Lexington with her husband and four children.
Rich is a private investor, focusing on publicly traded small cap companies. He is also an adjunct professor of Finance at Bentley University, his alma mater. Rich has 30 years of experience as a stock picker. He was an Equity Analyst at Manchester Growth fund before joining the Equity Division of Fidelity Management and Research in 1996. Rich was an Equity Analyst, Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Research at FMR with a focus on small cap stocks until his retirement in 2019.
In addition to his professional experience, Rich has participated in various volunteer activities. He enjoyed leading his teams to many community service events with Fidelity Cares and he previously served on the Board of Trustees at Belmont Day School. He is actively involved with the Catholic Schools Foundation. Rich lives in Lexington with his wife and 3 children.
Krishna Valluru is a director of the Advanced Data Analytics technology team at Fidelity Investments Asset Management with 20+ years of experience in financial industry. Krishna started working at Phillips Kiln Services, collecting and analyzing the data from steel and cement plants using lasers and other electronic devices. As a result, he traveled to 21 different countries to collect information from around 70 different cement and steel plants. He graduated with a BA in Production Engineering from Pune University in 1992 and received his MBA in High Technology at Northeastern University in 2005.
In addition to his professional work, Krishna is also a part of the editorial board of the MIT CDO Magazine and is actively involved in community service events sponsored by Fidelity Cares. He lives with his wife, two children, and a golden doodle.
Amy Reich Weil
Amy is a founding partner with the law firm Kertzman & Weil, LLP and has practiced law in Wellesley since 1994, following two years at a Boston law firm. She graduated in 1987 with a B.S. in Business Management and Communications from Babson College and received her law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1992. She is a member of the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Amy is currently Vice Chair of Babson’s Board of Overseers and was formerly a member of the Executive Board of the Babson College Alumni Association. She is also an adjunct professor in the Accounting and Law Department at Babson where she teaches Business Law.
Beyond her professional roles, Amy also volunteers a great deal of time with the Babson community. She actively organizes and participates in Babson’s Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program, a program that provides undergraduate students with constructive coaching in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and communication. Amy shares her expertise in law and business as well as her enthusiasm for volunteerism and community with Hope & Comfort.