OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Adi Jaffe, PhD is a nationally recognized expert on mental health, addiction and stigma.
He lectures in the Psychology department at UCLA and is the Executive-Director and Co-Founder of one of the most progressive mental health treatment facilities in the country - Alternatives Behavioral Health. Dr. Jaffe's work and research focus on changing the way Americans think about, and deal with mental health issues. He is passionate about the role of shame in destroying lives and aims to greatly reduce the stigma of mental health in this country. In this context, Dr. Jaffe has used his personal experience as an incredibly effective inspirational and motivational tool.
Professor Jaffe attended UCLA, graduating with a B.A. in psychology. It was during his undergraduate career that Adi began struggling with drug issues himself, eventually leading to a 4 year hiatus from studies and into the Los Angeles drug-dealing world where he became quite successful. During that period of his life, Adi's days looked more like a re-enactment of a beatnik novel or a Quentin Tarantino film that the life of an upper-middle class suburban kid. Following a SWAT team arrest in his apartment and a year-long jail sentence, Adi began rebuilding his life. This eventually led to the pursuit of a Master's degree in psychology and his attainment of a Ph.D. from UCLA's top-rated doctoral program in psychology, where he graduated with honors. Even before he graduated Dr. Jaffe’s name had become known through his online and academic writing. His views on addiction and his research on the topic have been published in dozens of journals and online publications and he has appeared on numerous television shows and documentaries discussing current topics in addiction and the problem of addiction as a whole.
Dr. Jaffe is still heavily involved in research both at Alternatives and through his academic appointments and connections. His current research focuses on evidence-based but non-traditional approaches to treating addiction and mental health.
David Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital, LDJ Real Estate Group and The Soho Loft Media Group.
Mr. Drake has been involved in TMT (technology, media, telecoms), realty, hospitality, cleantech, energy and social impact investments for more than 20 years. He is an advocate of innovative investing in private equity, capital formation policies and developments globally, and the US JOBS Act which he lobbied for in the US Congress and the EU Commission. Because of his leading work in this space, he represented the US Commerce Department at the EU Commission in Brussels and Rome in 2012 and was invited to the White House Champions of Change ceremony in Washington, D.C. and as a speaker at the UK Parliament in 2013.
His investment, The Soho Loft Media Group, produces and sponsors over 200 global conferences annually and his articles are syndicated in over 100 publications. One such event was April 2013 for the institutional media leader Thomson Reuters, with speakers from Nasdaq, NYSE, KKR and Carlyle Group. He advances financial innovation through his work as an international speaker and writer. He has spoken in top universities like Cambridge, NYU, Cornell, Columbia, and writes regularly for major publications like WSJ, Forbes, Huffington Post, Thomson Reuters. He is the co-author of the books Planet Entrepreneur and is the author of the upcoming books The Crowdfunding Economy and LIFEE: Life Instructions for Entrepreneurs and Executives
Privately, Mr. Drake has hosted the Harvard Business Club of NY at his home, produced Carnegie Hall concerts and raised funds for the charities Trail Blazers and Best Buddies for many years. As he resettled in NYC from years of traveling, he was honored March 2015 to become a board director for the New York City Opera and spent years with London-based UBS Charity of the Year ARCHIVE Global, as well as a board advisor for The Washington Ballet. He is a board director also of the Carnegie Hall Einhorn Oratorio Project in honor of the Ukraine MH17 flight victims which allows him to work and advise US Ambassadors from, but not limited to, Dominica, Ukraine, Marshall Islands, Australia, Canada and Sweden.
Born in Sweden and fluent in six languages, Mr. Drake has an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics from George Washington University, where he was awarded the Wallenberg Scholarship for academic merit.
Nancy C. Donahue is a Fashion / Fitness Model and Entrepreneur.
Nancy was one of the first international super models of the late 70’s and 80’s, and appeared on numerous covers of American, British, French, Italian and German Vogue, Mademoiselle, Harpers Bazaar. She was represented by Ford Models and worked with the greats of the industry including Avedon, Penn and Newton. She was a go-to model for the European Collections and was often paired with supermodels of the time: Gia, Kim Alexis, Esme, Patti Hanson, Carol Alt, etc.
In the early 90’s, Nancy moved to her hometown of Lowell, MA, to raise her son .She became an NSCA Personal Trainer, a certified RYT yoga teacher and received a certification from the Physical Mind Institute for Pilates. With these qualifications, she became a Fitness Director of a high-end country club.
In 2007 Nancy became co-founded BelleCore LLC and started the development of a breakthrough body-tool for the beauty/wellness industry with 4 Boston Doctors, M.I.T. and Harvard engineers. After 3 years of development they launched their first product, the HoneyBelle® bodybuffer, and was immediately signed up for an exclusive deal with Neiman Marcus , Harrods in London , Neiman Marcus ,Bloomingdales andHarrods London . Nancy founded C&N a baseball training camp for under privileged children in the Dominican Republic
Jonathan Lia is a Director and Creative Producer .
Jonathan based in New York started working in the film business at 17 years old. He has collaborated with artists including Beyoncé, Jay Z, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, A$AP Rocky, 50 Cent, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar and many more. Outside of the music world, Jonathan has also directed commercial campaigns for L’ Oreal, Revlon, and Spike TV, among others. As a creative producer Jonathan has had a prolific career, having produced hundreds of music videos for iconic artists like Kanye West, Coldplay and Depeche Mode. The latter earned him a Grammy nomination for the critically acclaimed video, “Wrong.” He has also produced long form projects such as Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” (Peabody Award 2017), Kanye’s films “Runaway” and “Cruel Summer,” and live concert films for Beyoncé, Madonna, BIGBANG, and Aziz Ansari.
Jonathan founded Good Company along with partners Brian Welsh and Ryan Heiferman in 2011. Over the last six years they have evolved into a highly creative collective of conceptual producers, directors, editors, and artists, offering full service creative solutions to some of the world’s most sought after artists and brands.Jonathan’s work has garnered many awards and nominations including BET, Grammy, Emmy, Peabody Awards, National Board of Review, VMAs, UKMVAs, and Brit Awards
Rolf Heitmeyer is a Private Investor / Businessman / Philanthropist and Art collector.
Mr Heitmeyer founded Instco Ltd ,an international trading company, of which he is Chairman and President. Instco was for many years one of the largest U.S. importers of construction steel. In 2006 the company became a major financial advisory firm.
Mr. Heitmeyer was raised in Germany and France and attended the University of Heidelberg. He is co-trustee of the WW Trust Fund. Mr. Heitmeyer is a prominent collector of 20th century and contemporary art and serves on the Board of Directors of The Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He is fluent in four languages,and since his retirement he has devoted his time to extensive travel all over the world and is supportive in numerous international charities.
Danielle Pashko is Author / Fashion Model / Nutritional Consultant /Certified Yoga Instructor / Licensed Massage Therapist.
Danielle Pashko began her wellness career over fifteen years ago in New York City. After losing her mother to breast cancer as a little girl, optimizing her own health became an obsession. As a mature teenager living on her own in Manhattan (and modeling to pay the bills) much of her time was spent studying healing modalities.
Danielle became certified as an Interdisciplinary Yoga Instructor from the Omega Institute. She has also studied Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga under Eddie Stern, David Swenson, Wayne Krassner and Shiva Rea. She continued her education and attended The Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she first became certified as a Health Coach. She later received a Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition. Danielle has consulted for several Integrative physicians regarding her nutritional expertise and has worked with clients in some of the world’s leading spas and fitness clubs including: The Sports Club LA, The Reebok Sports Club, Equinox Fitness, Exhale Spa and The Peninsula Spa.
Ironically, after years of living as a “Picture of Health” and becoming the go-to practitioner for everyone else’s physical problems, Danielle was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While still continuing healthy dietary and lifestyle habits, her personal experience with illness opened a window of exploration to the relationship between emotions and the body’s wellbeing. Her conclusion was that the past chapters of our life are often a reflection of our present health. This prompted her to write the best selling book Smile at Your Challenges.
Danielle has successfully overcome her physical setbacks and never takes how well she feels for granted. Her knowledge has led to lectures, articles and videos on healthy living for several publications including The NY Post, Yahoo Shine, The Jewish Week, Galtime, JCoach, Betty Confidential and NY Wellness Guide.
Philip Tsiaras is an international artist of Greek origin who lives and works in New York City.
Since 1974 he made more than 80 one-person exhibitions Including: Seattle Museum of Art, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessalonica, Mannheimer Kunstverien, Mannheim, Bernier Gallery, Athens, Studio Palazzoli, Milan, Shea & Beker Gallery, New York: Margulies/Taplin Gallery. Miami,Tegnerforbundet Gallery. Oslo, Museum Santa Apollonia, Venice, Gallerie Dominion, Montreal, Swank/The Regency-Intercontinental, Hong Kong, Newport Art Museum, R.I., Villa Reale, Monza, The Currier Museum, N.H., Spazio Cavallieri di Malta, Syracusa, Pinakotech of the Cyclades, Syros, International Contemporary Art Fair Tsiaras works in a great range of media–painting, photography, glass, ceramic, and bronze. He has exhibited in the Venice Biennale three times and produced a ten foot bronze sculpture on the Grand Canal entitled “Social Climber”. Philip Tsiaras has been the recipient of many national prizes: The American Academy Award for Poetry, The Thomas Watson Fellowship, New York State C.A.P.S grant, two N.E.A. National Endowment Grants for Arts, nomination for the Blickle Stiftung International Photography Prize, Germany and The Generali Assicurazioni Gold Metal Award for “Civilita” Venice.
Philip Tsiaras’ works are widely collected in corporate, private and important museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fifteen books and catalogues are attributed to his work, most notably monographs published by both Electa and Mondadori books, recently a book of photographs entitled, “Family Album” published by Contrasto, Rome.
Mark L. Kesselman is currently President of Eurofinance, Inc, and Strategic Partners Ltd
His firms engaged respectively in financial advisory work and principal investing across a wide spectrum of industries and countries. The firm's have a special focus on the oil/gas and minerals/mining industries.
Mr. Kesselman holds a B.S. in Physics and an M.B.A. from Columbia University, graduating both colleges with honors.He began his career at Citibank N.A. as Vice President in corporate lending for the oil/gas, petrochemical, and mining industries and later became Vice President of the Corporate Reorganization Division of the bank. After he joined Allen & Company Inc. in New York, as Vice President in the Corporate Finance Department, working on a wide array of venture capital and public and private transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements and corporate reorganizations.
In 1986, Mr. Kesselman rejoined Citibank (Citigroup) as Managing Director and Head of the International Mergers & Acquisitions Group and as Managing Director of the International Corporate Finance Department. In 1990, he became Head of the Corporate Finance Group and High Net Worth Sector of the Citicorp Private Bank (Switzerland) S.A. and was based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr. Kesselman is a member of the World Economic Forum, the Asia Society, and numerous other professional associations. He serves and has served on numerous Boards of Directors of both public and private companies, as well having been Chairman of the Audit Committee of several publicly-traded companies.
Honorary Board Member Gabor Mate,MD is Physician, Public Speaker and Bestselling Author.
His works have been published internationally in twenty languages. Dr. Maté is an expert in the areas of: Addiction / Mind/Body Health / Stress & Illness / Parenting & Childhood Development /Attention Deficit Disorder
His most recent book is the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site. With over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research, Dr. Mate is a sought-after expert on mind/body health, parenting, childhood development, illness,and the treatment of addictions. A renowned thinker and speaker, Dr. Maté regularly addresses health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America. At the core of his work is an understanding of the broader context in which human disease and disorders arise, and the intricate mind/body unity that is at the root of illness, and of health.
Awards & Recognition
- Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
- Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia
- Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University.
- 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence