OUR CORE TEAM
The grandson of four Holocaust survivors, David has made it his life purpose to leverage the power of collective memory to inspire collective action towards a world of “Never Again.” After graduating from Duke University with a degree in Public Policy, David joined Accenture Strategy, where he advised Fortune 500 clients and the firm’s flagship corporate philanthropy program, Accenture Corporate Citizenship ($60M/Yr portfolio). In January 2017, unnerved by the rise of fear and hate at home and abroad, David left Accenture to pursue his global vision for Together We Remember full-time. David also serves on the External Advisory Committee (EAC) of the USC Shoah Foundation, the Institute for Visual History and Education.
The grandson of a US Army liberator, Kiel was the first executive director of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. For ten years, he shared an office with Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor, who was recently featured in a viral video that has been viewed over 189 million times. Kiel started working for CANDLES shortly after the museum was firebombed and totally destroyed by a hate-fueled arsonist in 2003. Through the power of survivor testimony and social media, he helped to grow this small museum in rural Indiana into a thriving international education center. Kiel has helped lead tours of genocide memorials in Europe and Africa, and has mentored youth and adult grassroots human rights activists.
Leah Oppenheimer is the granddaughter of four Holocaust survivors. As a student at the University of Connecticut, she became interested in the reconciliatory properties of education when learning about education in post-genocide Rwanda during an anthropology class. After completing her undergraduate research on post-genocide education in Germany, Bosnia, and Turkey, she took her interest to University of Cambridge, where she focused on the power of Holocaust education and its impact on the Jewish identity.
Leah is the founder and director of LEROOP Consulting, a firm specializing in strategic messaging and marketing operations for tech startups and not-for-profit organizations, and is dedicated to enabling entrepreneurship among refugees to the US. She grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, lived in London for three years, and is currently based in Denver, CO.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Andrea Lee-Zucker is a writer, artist, activist, impact investor and the Washington, D.C. City Ambassador of NEXUS, a movement uniting young philanthropists and social entrepreneurs to scale positive solutions to global challenges. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Andrea was shaped by early experiences in community activism through her parents’ leadership and through her involvement in Youth Service Charleston, Operation Understanding, and The Coastal Community Foundation. She is a member of the Leadership Council of South Carolina’s Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network (WREN), a board member of Foundation for Inclusion, and an advisor of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). She also works with her family’s company, The InterTech Group, Inc., which invests in a diverse, global group of businesses while retaining its core values of innovating, finding synergies, and being global citizens making a positive difference in this world. Andrea is the proud mother of three children and the wife of a tech entrepreneur who is helping her discover the potential of our exponential future.
Michael Pertnoy is a social entrepreneur, media & tech executive, award-winning documentary filmmaker, marketer and community organizer. He is currently a Partner at Volery Capital, a social impact and sustainability focused private equity firm. Prior to Volery, Michael was Vice President at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group responsible for innovation strategy and corporate development on behalf of senior leadership. Michael previously founded Righteous Pictures, a film and new media production company that creates social issue films and public engagement campaigns to serve as platforms for dialogue and catalysts for change.
Michael's first film, The Last Survivor, tells the stories of survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities. The film won numerous awards, including Best Documentary and the Audience Award when it premiered at the 2010 Oxford Film Festival. It went on to play in over 250 venues as part of a global community screening and social action campaign centered around genocide awareness, prevention and survivor advocacy. For his work in the field, Michael was accepted into the inaugural Carl Wilkens Human Rights Fellowship program and was named one of South Florida's Top 20 Business Leaders under 40 by the Miami Herald. Originally from Miami, Florida, Michael now lives in New York City.
Grady Lenkin is a first year MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management. Grady has been heavily involved with Together We Remember since its founding at Duke University in 2012. He gained experience in community organizing in Boston, policy research in India, and government and foundation advisory services across the US, Canada and Australia. Prior to entering Business school, Grady served as Special Assistant to the Founder and CEO of the Harwood Institute, a social enterprise that accelerates the impact of government agencies and social service providers through training and advisory services. Grady has also worked in commercial real estate development and private equity. He holds an undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Duke University and is an avid rock climber and skier.
Zack Garber is Vice President and Client Advisor at Alex Brown, a division of Raymond James. He has extensive experience serving a wide range of clients, from large retirement plans and endowments to high-net-worth individuals. He specializes in custom portfolios with expertise in overlaying alternative investments, including private equity, hedge funds, real estate and structured solutions. Zack infuses enthusiasm and thoughtfulness into his work, and strives to help clients seamlessly navigate all aspects of their financial well-being.
Zack was initially driven to the industry by his desire to serve business and community leaders while also stimulating his intellectual curiosity. Today, he makes full use of the tools available at Alex. Brown, a division of Raymond James, to provide suitable investments based on a client's goals and risk profile and offer strategies customized to his clients' needs.
Before joining the team, Zack was an associate on Deutsche Bank's structured solutions desk. He graduated Beta Gamma Sigma from Emory University Goizueta School of Business with a B.B.A. in finance, and later participated in Deutsche Bank's global analyst training program. He then went on to graduate with honors from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business with an M.B.A.
He has met the CFA® Program requirements and Zack is a CFA® charterholder. In addition to this, he has Series 7, 63, 66 and Health, Life, Variable Life & Variable Annuity insurance licenses. Recent accolades include Zack being recognized as one of America's Top Next Generation Wealth Advisors** by Forbes in 2017 and The Garber Wealth Management Team being recognized as one of America's Top 100 Wealth Advisors by Forbes in 2016.
When he's not in the office, Zack stays active as a member of a number of community organizations, including The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, where he is part of the Young Leadership Council program. Zack is also part of the Living Classroom Foundation's Rising Star program and is a volunteer with Volunteering Untapped, a nonprofit organization. Zack is a Baltimore, Maryland, native.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD
Ms. Ekhlas Ahmed was forced to flee the outbreak of civil war in Sudan with her mother, father, and three younger brothers in 2003. Her family was resettled to Portland, Maine, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Sociology from the University of Southern Maine with hopes of helping resettle other refugees. She is the vice President and Co-founder of Chance to Advance , an non profit organization raising awareness in her community of the violence and needs in Darfur. Additionally, she is writing a book called the Bridge Between, an autobiography in a poetic form to share her experiences and raise awareness about Darfur. Those who are devoted to “The Ellen show” will be familiar with Ekhlas, a teacher of English language at Westbrook middle school. She gives credit to Ellen DeGeneres with helping her learn English. Ms. Ahmed devoted her life to helping refugees navigate culture differences and works outside the classroom to build bridges with the community at-large.
Abdullah Antepli is Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs at Duke University and teaches courses on Islam and Muslim cultures at Duke Divinity School. Previously, he was Duke’s first Muslim chaplain, associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary, the first Muslim chaplain at Wesleyan University, and worked in Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia with the Association of Social and Economic Solidarity with Pacific Countries. He is founder and executive board member of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains, a board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs, senior fellow on Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and co-director of the Muslim Leadership Initiative.
Mandar is a Visiting Scholar in the School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University. Prior to this, Mandar worked at Shell for 17 years and managed Shell’s GameChanger social innovation program investing in ideas that create shared value - business value and social impact. Mandar is an acclaimed expert on leadership and social innovation and has spoken on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at prestigious forums including TEDx, Wharton Business School, Social Innovation Summit, Sustainable Brands, London Business School, etc. He is the winner of the prestigious Ashoka League of Intrapreneurs for designing and delivering an innovation learning program at Shell to over 2000 colleagues using meditation practice. For over a decade, Mandar has taught leadership programs using meditation practices for the International Association for Human Values and the Art of Living Foundation.
Susan Benesch founded and directs the Dangerous Speech Project, to study rhetoric that can inspire violence - and to find ways to prevent this without infringing on freedom of expression. Susan started out as a journalist, covering wars and invasions among other topics, then trained as a human rights lawyer at Yale, and has worked for NGOs including Amnesty International and Human Rights First. She now teaches at American University and is Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. She also runs a community music space at her home in DC, hosting monthly dinner concerts.
Chic Dambach is CEO of Operation Respect as well as an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins and American Universities, and he is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He is President Emeritus of the National Peace Corps Association; former President of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and former Chief of Staff for Congressman John Garamendi. Previously, he held executive positions in the arts, sports, and health, and he was an “expert” advisor to the director of the Peace Corps. He has served on dozens of nonprofit boards, and he was a senior consultant with BoardSource where he helped write two books on nonprofit governance. His career began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, and his memoir, Exhaust the Limits, the Life and Times of a Global Peacebuilder, features a lifetime of service and successful initiatives for peace in Africa. He has been nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, and the Institute for Economics and Peace presented him the Leadership and Service for Peace Award in 2016. He was named the “2016 Peace Corps Champion” for keeping the spirit of service alive. His TEDx Talk “Why Not Peace” is available on YouTube. He was a national champion kayak racer and served as an official for canoe and kayak competition in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and he has an MBA degree from Wake Forest University.
Sam Harris is a child survivor of the Holocaust. He was born on May 13, 1935, in Deblin, Poland, and was only four years old when World War II broke out in 1939. As a young child, he survived four years in the Deblin ghetto and in the Czestochowa concentration camp. Sam lost his parents and five brothers and sisters, who were killed in the Treblinka death camp.
In 1947, the 12-year-old boy born as Szlamek Rzeznik sailed with other child refugees to America. Through the Jewish Children's Bureau in Chicago, he was adopted by a loving family and became Samuel R. Harris.
School, career, marriage and fatherhood followed, but Sam never forgot his past. He wrote a book to share his journey, "Sammy: Child Survivor of the Holocaust." He speaks to thousands annually about the atrocities of genocide, honoring the lives of all those who died at the hands of bigotry and hatred.
Sam was an instrumental force in the creation of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, of which he is President Emeritus.
In 2014, Sam was the proud recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Ivy Schamis is an award-winning social studies teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School, where she has taught for 18 years. On February 14th, 2018, while teaching about how to counter hate groups on college campuses, a former MSD student shot and killed 2 of Ivy’s students and wounded others. Despite this tragedy, Ivy continues to educate and inspire youth to make “Never Again” a reality. Over 200 students are enrolled in her “History of the Holocaust” class this year.
Ivy has earned numerous awards for her teaching and courage. She was MSD Teacher of the Year and Broward Educator of the Year. She was named Teacher of the Year by the New York-based Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and received the Bear Award from The Brady Campaign for Gun Control. Ivy was the recipient of the inaugural Stronger Than Hate Award for educators from the USC Shoah Foundation.
Ivy Grew up in Miami and earned an undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Graduate degree in Social Studies Education from Florida International University in Miami. She is married to her husband, Jeffrey, and has 2 grown children, Isaac and Sabrina. They raised them in Parkland and they are proud graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Ivy loves to travel and has visited Holocaust Museums and Memorials in cities all over the world.
Dr. Stephen D. Smith is the Finci -Viterbi Endowed Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation, and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education.
Smith founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide.
Smith has served as a producer on a number of film and new media projects, including New Dimensions in Testimony, and the VR project The Last Goodbye.
In recognition of his work, Smith has become a member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion. He also holds two honorary doctorates, and lectures widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity.
Kelley Szany serves as Director of Education at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (IHMEC), the 2nd largest Holocaust museum and human rights institution in the United States. In this role, she oversees all educational initiatives for educators and students, public programing, and training for all recruits and promotional classes (Sergeants and Lieutenants) to the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff and Correctional Department recruits, and suburban law enforcement officials.
During her 16-year tenure, Szany has become recognized as a leading human rights and museum educator, training facilitator, and public speaker. Szany currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Holocaust Organizations and Educators Institute for Human Rights, and serves on the Advisory Board of Unsilence. In 2015, Szany was appointed to serve on the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
She has won multiple awards for her educational and human rights work, and most recently was awarded the Carl Wilkens Fellowship, where she worked alongside national leaders to strengthen a permanent anti-genocide constituency through both advocacy work and influence of U.S. policy. In 2016, she was awarded the Damen Award from the Graduate School at Loyola University of Chicago, an award granted to an alumnus (a) from each of Loyola’s schools and colleges that recognizes the qualities of leadership in industry, leadership in community, and service to others.
Szany is the author of “Teaching the 1994 Rwandan Genocide Through Stanton’s 8 Stages,” and “The Power of Story: Teaching About Genocide Through Literature Circles,” in the upcoming Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group book Teaching About Genocide: Insights and Advice from Secondary Teachers – Volume One and Volume Two.
Szany holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Canisius College, as well as a master’s degree in public history from Loyola University Chicago.