Board of Directors
Coni Frezzo, Chair
Coni Frezzo is a native of Avondale, Pennsylvania, and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Delaware. Coni has served in various business analysis and strategic planning roles at Borden Foods, Kraft Foods and Franklin Mint (US and Japan). Since leaving the workforce, Coni has devoted her time to her family and to community service. She was a member of the Junior League in London and in Summit, NJ. Currently, she works with her church’s Community Outreach to supply food to a Food Pantry in Patterson, NJ. She supports Safe House, which provides transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, both as a member of their Community Advisory Committee and as a member of Friends of Safe Home. Coni is also an active volunteer at her daughters’ school.
Bret is Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Coherent, Inc., a multinational NASDAQ-listed company in Santa Clara, CA. Coherent is one of the world's leading providers of lasers and laser-bound solutions for scientific, commercial, and industrial customers. Bret previously was a partner and associate at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His practice included representation of a large number of private and public companies. Bret also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where he teaches corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. Bret currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Woodland School, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) private school in Portola Valley, CA. During his tenure at Woodland, he has served in a number of capacities, including Chair of the Audit Committee, Co-Chair of the Head of School Search Committee, member of the Finance Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee. Bret earned his BA in History from the University of California at Irvine and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. His daughter just returned from Massachusetts for her second GLI Summer Camp experience. Bret stipulates that he has seen firsthand the positive impact that GLI has had in his daughter's life and is please to expand his involvement beyond just that of a supportive parent.
Mimi Gurbst worked at ABC News for the 30 years. For most of that time she was the Vice President of News, where she supervised the daily coverage of news all over the world and managed all of the personnel in the ABC News bureaus worldwide. She also served as the Senior Producer for World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson and with Diane Sawyer. In 2010 Mimi left ABC News to pursue a lifelong interest in a education. She attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she received her Masters Degree. While at Harvard, Mimi worked for the supervisor of student support programs at large Boston high school and for the Assistant Principal for Data Analysis at a “turnaround’ elementary school. In addition, Mimi served as a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Ed School. She is currently working as a consultant and a coach for school superintendents and principals, helping them improve their communication skills and strategies.Mimi received her BA degree from Brandeis University. Mimi is wife of Tom Hartfield and the mother of two children, Elizabeth age 27, and Harry age 23.
Nancy is the Director of Outreach for Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation responsible for alumni entrepreneur support and strategic communications.
Before joining Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Nancy was Executive Director of Harvard Business School Community Partners of Northern California where she mobilized teams of Harvard Business School Alumni volunteers to deliver pro bono consulting to assist Bay Area nonprofits with strategic business challenges. She managed over 55 consulting projects and recruited over 300 volunteer consultants, doubling the number of volunteers recruited and nonprofits served each year. She also expanded the program to include assisting nonprofits with recruiting members for their board of directors and established new formats for advising nonprofits. Nancy also oversaw a scholarship program for nonprofit leaders to attend Harvard Business School Nonprofit Executive Education.
Nancy’s previous experience includes roles at ESPN, Bank of America and Gap Inc. in Corporate Development, Strategy and Finance. Early in her career, she worked at the White House for President George H.W. Bush and as a Personal Aide to Barbara Bush. Nancy has served as a consultant to a variety of non-profits and was on the board of Positive Coaching Alliance and the Hillsborough School District’s Parent Executive Board and Site Council. She is a partner of SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund). Nancy received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business from Georgetown University.
Tina, a California CPA, joined PwC San Jose in 2000 as a Manager and is now a newly admitted Partner in PwC's Assurance practice and specializes in Software and Internet companies. Prior to this Tina served as the lead senior manager on eBay and Twitter. She completed a tour in PwC's National Office in 2010 and in this role Tina provided assistance to clients across the country with complex accounting matters, particularly in the areas of revenue recognition and compensation. Tina has served many multinational clients in the software, hardware and computers and networking sectors, and has significant experience with the administration of multi-location integrated audit engagements. She also has extensive experience with venture-backed start-up companies. Tina grew up in Goleta, CA and obtained a bachelors degree in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Accounting from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Tina started her career in the Denver office of Arthur Andersen in July 1995 and also spent time in Richmond, VA before joining PwC San Jose. Tina is married to Ryan and together they have two beautiful daughters, Ashley who is 8, and Hailey who is 6.
Adene Sacks identifies as an organizational strategist and philanthropic advisor who has 15 years of experience in grantmaking and growth strategy. She currently works as an independent consultant with foundations, philanthropists and social ventures interested to launch new program areas or consider major shifts in strategy. Her public writing explores how funders can be better catalysts of innovation and how networks can be deployed to amplify philanthropic impact.
From 2007-2012, Adene served as the founding Senior Program Officer of the newly established Jim Joseph Foundation. There, she guided development of the grants portfolio, grants review process and organizational culture from the Foundation’s earliest days. At Jim Joseph, Adene managed a grants portfolio of $40M and was charged with promoting the Foundation’s learning and visibility around the country. In 2011, Adene was awarded the JJ Greenberg Memorial Award for Leadership in the Field of Jewish Philanthropy.
Prior to her work at the Foundation, Adene served as founding Executive Director of a new social venture, the Israel Venture Network, which is now an international network of venture philanthropists interested to seed social enterprise in Israel.
Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator, Rachel works internationally to reduce bullying and empower girls and young women.
Rachel is a Vassar graduate and Rhodes Scholar from New York. The co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator who works with schools and organizations around the world. She currently develops leadership programs for undergraduate women at the Center for Work and Life at Smith College. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts and South Africa.
Rachel was the host of the recent PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life,” and is a contributing writer and advice columnist for TeenVogue.
Rachel has appeared on Oprah and the Today show, and appears regularly in the national media. Odd Girl Out was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Rachel lives in western Massachusetts with her daughter and West Highland Terrier, Rosie, who is currently taking private workshops with Rachel to learn how to stop bullying other dogs.
Amelia W. Wilson
Amelia Wilson is an independent management consultant who works with senior management at public companies and nonprofit organizations to maximize the effectiveness of boards of directors / trustees. Additional practice areas include development, strategic and business planning, and communications. Prior to establishing her consulting business, Amelia worked within the Executive Office of Goldman Sachs, the global financial services firm, in London and New York from 1998 to 2011. At Goldman Sachs, Amelia worked with the firm’s senior leadership in a number of different roles, including responsibility for managing the firm’s Board of Directors (2002 to 2008); serving as Chief Operating Officer for the Investor Relations Department (2010-2011); and as a founding member of the firm’s Internal Communications Department (2000 – 2002). Amelia received a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia and resides in Brooklyn Heights. In addition to her non-profit advisory work, Amelia is active in her community, serving on committees for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Brooklyn Public Library, the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights, and previously for Legal Aid in Australia.