April 2017

Board and Staff Teams

Dedicated staff, Board of Trustees and volunteers form the backbone of more than 125 years of service.
Our Brooklyn Office Team

Steve Bates

Property Manager

Steve joined Trail Blazers in 2000 with a wealth of camping and property management experience. He worked as a counselor and instructor in CSB (scouting) programs. He managed the Milford Bible Church complex for 10 years, the Tuscarora Resource Center property in Mt. Bethel, PA as the Operations Manager, and owned/operated Marshalls Creek Painting for 13 years. He served 6 years in the US Army as a medical lab technician. Steve lives at Trail Blazers with his wife, Sue, and daughters, Sarah and Lindsey. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Bible with a Bachelors of Science in Youth Ministry and has extensive trade skills training at Monroe Vo-Tech.

Jennifer Bombardier

Under One Sky After School Director

Jennifer joined Trail Blazers in 2014 as an intern for Under One Sky and then as a Group Leader before assuming the role of Program Director in 2016. She brings experience gained as a preschool teacher and educator for multiple environmental education organizations in Virginia as well as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Education Department. She holds a B.A. in Integrative Studies with a Concentration in Elementary Education from George Mason University and an M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University.

Tiffany Caton

Director of Development and Communication

Tiffany joined Trail Blazers in 2011, transitioning to the nonprofit realm after 5 years of experience in experiential marketing. Tiffany holds a B.S. in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies.

Stephan Lendor

PLG Day Camp Director

Stephan joined Trail Blazers in 2010 as a Group Leader in our Summer Residential Camp program. In 2011, he was the lead counselor for the biking program and in 2013 he was the Program Director for Montague Day Damp. In 2015, he led the inaugural year of Brooklyn Day Camp. During the school year, Stephan works in Under One Sky After-School.

Molly McCue

Director of Programs

Molly joined Trail Blazers in 2014. This will be her ninth summer working in camping and her fourth at Trail Blazers, where she is the overnight camp director. Molly spent two years in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps volunteer promoting girls' education and empowerment, and worked in a Kindergarten classroom upon her return. She holds a B.A. in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College.

Riel Peerbooms

Executive Director

Riel was appointed as Trail Blazers’ Executive Director in 2008. Prior, Riel worked as the Camp and Associate Director at Trade Winds Lake Camp, and worked for over 10 years in New York City high schools, teaching science and counseling students as a social worker and a guidance counselor. Riel holds a BA in Biology Secondary Education from The Teacher’s College of Utrecht, the Netherlands, as well as a MSW from Fordham University, specializing in Children and Families.

Sunaina Rao

Community Relationships Director

Sunaina joined Trail Blazers in 2016. She comes from a background in youth development and strives to build strong communities in every space she works. Her experience includes two AmeriCorps years in Rhode Island and New York. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from The New School. In addition to her work with Trail Blazers, she is also a board member at The Octavia Project.

Our Board of Trustees

Hugh Babowal

Co-Chairman of the Board

Hugh Babowal began serving as Trail Blazer’s Co-Chairman of our Board of Trustees in January 2015 and has been a Trail Blazers Trustee since August 2011. Mr. Babowal heads Wells Fargo Securities’ Energy and Power M&A practice. Mr. Babowal serves on Wells Fargo Securities’ Fairness Opinion Committee and its Strategic Advisory Council. He received an MBA from the Western Business School at the University of Western Ontario and a BA in Economics from the University of Alberta. Mr. Babowal also serves as the Chair of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. He and his wife, Krysty, have two children and reside in Chappaqua, NY.

Jeff Miller

Board Member

Jeff Miller is a Managing Director for Valuation Research Corporation (VRC), an independent valuation firm, and is based in the New York office. Prior to joining Valuation Research, Mr. Miller served as Vice President of Sales at Merrill Corporation, where he directed sales of financial communications, virtual datarooms and litigation support services. He also held positions with Bowne & Co. in New York, and Pester Pac Automation USA, in Allendale, NJ. He resides in Oradell, NJ with his wife Caroline and two daughters, Sadie and Charlotte.

John Howie

Board Member

John is currently a member of the investment team at Willett Advisors, Mayor Bloomberg’s family office. His previous experience includes investment management (JPMorgan, Carbon Capital), strategy consulting (Monitor, Palladium) and Private Equity (Treacy & Company). He also serves on the Advisory Board of RocketStar, developer of a reusable aerospike rocket engine for commercial space operations.

Lee Simonson

Board Member

Lee Simonson is the President of Simonson Associates, an advisory firm in New York that assists media companies and their executives in strategic planning.<br /> Lee spent 30 years of his career in the radio broadcasting industry culminating in positions as Vice President and General Manager of KISS-FM and WOR-AM in New York City and ownership of over 50-plus radio stations across the U.S.

Tom Nakashian

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Marc Hyman

Co-Chairman of the Board

Bio coming soon

Maureen Sullivan

Board Member

Maureen Sullivan is a Product Manager at OppenheimerFunds. Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds, Maureen held positions at JPMorgan and Bank of New York Mellon. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Fairfield University and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.

Grace Kurdian

Secretary of the Board

Bio coming soon

Louis Milea

Treasurer of the Board

Bio coming soon

Jonathan Peris

Board Member

Jon is a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. He has 22 years of Capital Markets and Wealth Management Experience. Jon graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Today, he lives in Mountainside, New Jersey with his wife, Sari, their three children and a new pup.Jon has proudly served for years as a mentor and on the Board of Trail Blazers.He is also on the board of the Animal Cancer Foundation. An advocate of protecting people's health and wealth, Jon encourages people to leave time for personal fitness and fulfillment. Away from work, Jon enjoys spending time with family and friends, fitness, music, travel, getting outside in nature, and the personal rewards of supporting various philanthropies.

Anna Krassy

Board Member

Retired. Anna's involvement with Trail Blazers spans six decades, starting with her time as a camper. Wanting to give other children the same opportunities she had as a camper, she became an active alumna, working as a Group Leader and then serving as a Board Member as well as volunteering in the office.

Ronald Rasdall Jr.

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Lauren Catapano

Board Member

Lauren Catapano is a change management and transformational consultant with over 20 years of experience, starting, building and restructuring organizations for growth and efficiency. Her clients range from start-ups, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. She is known for her extensive expertise that spans strategic planning, operational management, organizational design, sales and marketing. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Ms. Catapano served in senior leadership roles across Human Resources, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Sales at CIT, as well as held various positions in Insurance, Strategy and Finance at JPMorgan Chase. Lauren is a member of the Women's Bond Club and actively volunteers to support children's causes, women's development, the homeless and cancer research.

Jay Broaddus

Board Member

Jay is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Food & Beverage Investment Banking at RBC Capital and joined the Trail Blazer’s Board in 2016. He has 22 years of experience in the investment banking and financial services industries, including prior senior roles at Barclays Capital, Banc of America Securities, and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Jay graduated from Washington & Lee University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and has an MBA from the University of Virginia. He lives in Larchmont, New York, with his wife, Molly, and their three children. In his free time, Jay and his family enjoy music and travel and are avidly involved in outdoor activities, distance running, and other sports.

Laura Markham

Board Member

Laura is a twenty four year veteran of the IT industry of which fourteen of those years have been spent in transportation in various key roles. Her start in the industry came in 2001 when she began working for P&O Ports which eventually morphed into Ports America. As Director of IT, she rose through the ranks of the organization during its aggressive period of acquisition and growth to become their Senior Vice President of IT. During her tenure at Ports America, Laura successfully managed and integrated several proprietary systems thus streamlining the company’s IT infrastructure resulting in increased efficiencies for the largest stevedoring company in the USA.<br /> In 2010 she joined her current organization, Maher Terminals, in a consulting capacity and was quickly identified as a key member of the team resulting her in appointment as Director of Project Management. Maher has also experienced several years of successful growth at both their Elizabeth and (previously owned) Prince Rupert facilities. Laura has since been promoted to her current role of Vice President, IT Operations again managing and facilitating the introduction of state of the art technology for Maher.<br /> Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts. Born and raised in New Jersey, Laura currently resides in Morristown.

Nihad Rahman

Board Member

Nihad Rahman is the head of Planning & Analysis for the Corporate Sector. He leads the team responsible for the forecasting and financial analytics of the $10B of NIE in JPMC’s Corporate Sector. He joined the Firm in May 2015 from General Electric, where he spent 11 years and where most recently, he led financial planning and analysis for the Commercial Lending & Leasing business within GE Capital. Nihad has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Haverford College and a MBA from Columbia University. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

David Tcholakian

Board Member

Bio coming soon

Scott Napolitano

Board Member

Bio coming soon