Debra Feldstein is a collaborative leader, problem solver, advocate, community builder, and an innovative organizational development and philanthropic strategist. Following a brief career as an attorney in the Boston area, Debra entered the field of nonprofit management and development. She built her 25-year career as an executive director and consultant, working to increase the capacity of nonprofits. She also specializes in rebuilding organizations with management and infrastructure challenges following leadership transitions.
Debra relocated to Silicon Valley in 1999 to lead Hillel at Stanford, where she transformed the program, successfully spearheaded the first phase of the capital campaign for the Center for Jewish Life at Stanford University, and increased annual revenues by 300%. She then served as executive director for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley and as a consultant for several local and national nonprofits. She has worked extensively with organizations that deliver programs in youth development, the arts, environmental education, academic support, and Jewish engagement. Having worked with large, national organizations, Debra has a nationwide network of resources and individuals.
Debra graduated from Tufts University with a degree in international relations, received a Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, and completed a Master of Management degree at the Heller School at Brandeis University. She is a member of the Massachusetts and Illinois Bar Associations.
Debra lives with her family in Santa Cruz, CA. She is an active community member, participating in political campaigns, serving on several boards of directors, and raising funds for various nonprofits. She studies martial arts and has taught karate to children and adults.
Samantha L. Anderson is a strategic visionary with 25 years' experience leading organizations in philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. Samantha most recently served as vice president of philanthropic engagement and executive director of the Center for Philanthropic Excellence at the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) where she engaged with more than 2000 philanthropists worldwide, strengthening JFN's impact in the Jewish community. She is committed to helping build a more vibrant, meaningful, inclusive, interconnected, creative, and compassionate world.
Samantha came to JFN with a deep background in the field of philanthropy and social innovation. Previously, as Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, the philanthropic advisory firm, she led the New York office and managed a range of engagements for the firm's clients. Before that, at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University, she curated the thematic content for the largest global convening of social entrepreneurs and philanthropists that had ever been assembled. Prior to that effort, she directed the Yale School of Management/Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures, a $6 million venture fund that capitalized social entrepreneurs with start-up funds and educated nonprofits about building sustainable organizations.
Samantha is certified by 21/64 as a philanthropic consultant to multi-generational families, and is a member of the 13th National Cohort of the Selah Leadership Program, in partnership with the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She is the editor of Generating and Sustaining Nonprofit Earned Income: A Guide to Successful Enterprise Strategies. Samantha graduated from Tufts University and earned her master’s degree in U.S. Women's History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also a Functional Medicine Health Coach earning her certification from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
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CERES GROUP ADVISORS
In Roman mythology, Ceres represented Mother Nature, growth, grain crops, and the bond between mother and child. Ceres' name derives from the root word ḱerh, which means "to satiate, to feed" and it is also the root for Latin crescere "to grow" and, through it, come the English words create and increase.