Join us on February 25, 2017 for the 31st Annual Tartan Ball! Visit www.bonniebraetartanball.org for details!

Board of Trustees

NJ School For Troubled Teens

 

Lou D.

 

Louis DiGiovanni
President

Retired
Former Executive Director
Verizon Communications

 

Lou has served as President of the Board of Trustees since 2011.  During Lou’s tenure as President:  Bonnie Brae has added six new Trustees; Board giving has risen 100%; Bonnie Brae has received outstanding evaluations from the Joint Commission, the American Association of Children’s Residential Treatment Centers, and from a recent survey of residents, parents and social workers, all during an era in which public reimbursement rates have remained stagnant.

A man with boundless energy and a penchant for details, Lou spends many hours on Bonnie Brae’s campus, and in March of 2013 represented his employer, Verizon in receiving the award for Outstanding Service from the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers (AACRC).

Lou credits the ‘Bonnie Brae formation’ he received as a young man to Elsa Osborne, daughter of Bonnie Brae founder Judge Harry V. Osborne, a long-time passionate advocate for the Bonnie Brae School.  A ship captain, avid fisherman and devoted husband, father and friend, Lou is a true champion of the boys of Bonnie Brae and the staff who serve them.

 

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Joseph M. Lemond, Esq.

Herold Law, P.A.
Warren, NJ

 

 

 

Joe’s expertise as an attorney specializing in Tax and Estate law has been critical to Bonnie Brae. Representing Herold Law, P.A., Joe continues the rich legacy of former Board President, Rick Herold, educates donors on the benefits of Planned Giving and, along with his wife Jennifer, personally supports several of Bonnie Brae’s events. They especially love bringing their son to The Scottish Games each year in June. “We are blessed to have a healthy and happy son who has the advantage of a supporting and loving family. Our passion for Bonnie Brae derives from a desire to provide a life foundation to New Jersey’s most neglected and vulnerable boys.”

 

Spence Decker

 

 

Carole Spence Decker

Carole Spence Decker relocate to New Jersey from New York City to raise a family, following a career in financial services where she held several positions with Citicorp and The American Express Trs, Co.

During her tenure in Hunterdon county, she has been deeply committed to fundraising efforts for various philanthropic causes, organizations and private schools including Immaculate Conception School, The Pennington School, Princeton Day School and Hunterdon Medical Center.

The Decker family has actively participated in the Bonnie Brae Polo Classic for the past 15 years which has been a true highlight.

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Robert H. Courtemanche
Treasurer

Senior Managing Director and Principal
Risk Strategies Company
New York, NY

 

Bob Courtemanche, former Chairman of ACE Private Risk Services, was responsible for directing the overall growth and profitability of ACE Private Risk Services, the high-net-worth personal insurance business of ACE Group, which provides specialty coverage solutions that can enhance family security and protect wealth by handling a wide range of needs for homeowners, automobile, valuable collections, watercraft, and umbrella liability insurance.

Bob has more than 30 years of personal lines insurance industry experience, with a special focus on leading businesses that insure the assets of high net worth clients. Prior to joining ACE, he served in executive leadership positions for several global carriers, where he was instrumental in establishing insurance practices for clients with substantial wealth.  Bob has been quoted by The New York Times, Reuters, Forbes, Fortune, Fox Business News, CNBC, and numerous insurance industry publications.

Bob received a Bachelor of Arts from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and attended the Executive Education program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

 

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Betty Cass-Schmidt
Secretary

Director – VZT-IT Planning
Verizon
Basking Ridge, NJ

 

In addition to her role as Director of VZT IT Planning at Verizon, Betty is a former mayor of Pequannock and currently serves as a Morris County Parks Commissioner. A woman of deep faith and conviction and a recent addition to the Board, Betty chairs the Building and Grounds Committee and has been instrumental in finding recreational opportunities for Bonnie Brae boys in areas surrounding Bonnie Brae’s beautiful campus in Liberty Corner. Betty and her husband Art have donated funds for a new recreation room for the new community-based Bound Brook transitional living home, educational scholarships for Bonnie Brae high school graduates, and many recreational trips taken throughout the year.

 

Irwin edited

 

Irwin B. Abramson

President
199 RT 22 LLC
Greenbrook, NJ

 

 

Irwin is a lifelong resident of Somerset County, a leader in several business ventures and a supporter of many area non-profits.  He is a passionate advocate for Bonnie Brae’s Polo Classic, opening his home and his tent at the Classic each year to host Bonnie Brae supporters and friends.  “Serving on Bonnie Brae’s board gives me great satisfaction in the fact that I am helping young men who might be otherwise lost to our society  When my first wife died in 1985 she had been very active on several boards and I felt that I should carry on the tradition in my family.”

 

Gregg Begg Edited

 

Gregory R. Begg, Esq.

Partner and Co-Chair
Peckar & Abramson
River Edge, NJ

 

 

A Partner and Co-Chair at Peckar & Abramson, Greg’s background in employment law has been a great gift to Bonnie Brae, which employs over 200 full-time staff. Greg is also a proud Scotsman, plays bagpipe and is a long-time supporter of our Scottish Games event. He has connected many people to Bonnie Brae through the Polo and Tartan Classics, and currently  serves on our Building and Grounds Committee.

 

Dr. Sandra Braimbridge, MD, MS, CCHP

Medical Director
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women
Clinton, NJ

Dr. Braimbridge is the Medical Director of Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women and has served as a physician at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark and at Somerset Medical Center, where she co-founded the Center’s hospitalist program. Prior to becoming a physician, she worked as a Programmer at Pennsylvania Power and Light and a Shift Supervisor of Computer Operations at Rutgers University. Dr. Braimbridge is a graduate of UMDNJ (MD) and Rutgers University (MS, Engineering and BA, Mathematics), and is a Certified Member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Sandra and her family have participated in the Bonnie Brae Polo event for 11 years. In 2014, she came for a tour of Bonnie Brae and became a mentor of the  “Teens for Teens” Jr. Polo Committee, comprised of Sandra’s son Troy and other youth who have raised over $10,000 for Bonnie Brae’s summer trip to Forest Lake Camp the last two years.

 

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Clifford Gilman, MBA

Managing Director
Venture Investment Associates, Inc.
Peapack, NJ

 

 

Following business school at Dartmouth, Cliff joined Merrill Lynch in NYC and was focused on building and investing in private equity globally.

He then joined Prime Buchholz and Associates.  PB&A is an investment advisory business based in Portsmouth, NH with $30 billion + under advisement.  Their focus is on providing advisory and investment guidance for small to medium non-profit organizations – over 300 at the time (mostly endowments and foundations).  He was responsible for all private capital investing and built the firm’s research capabilities.  He was a member of the asset allocation and equity committees and worked directly with the non-profits to enhance their investing platforms.

Since 2008 Cliff has worked at Venture Investment Associates which is based in Peapack.  Since 1993, VIA has built and invested in a dozen partnerships predominantly on behalf of non-profit organizations.

Cliff  brings to the Bonnie Brae Board of Trustees experience blending finance and investing and interacting with non-profit groups in their endeavor to build their portfolios and fulfill their organizational strategies.

 

 

Lauren edited

Lauren Jenkins

Director, Retail Development
Answers Corporation
New York, NY

 

 

Lauren represents the fourth generation of the Osborne family to serve on the Board. She has been instrumental in the design and implementation of the new Bonnie Brae website, co-chairs Bonnie Brae’s Development Committee and is leading the effort to engage a new generation of Bonnie Brae supporters.

Since joining the board, she’s witnessed how important the work of the staff is to shaping the lives of the young men of Bonnie Brae and has been further inspired to continue the family tradition.  Lauren attended Fairfield University (Class of 2005), with a B.S. in Marketing. She continues to manage large retail accounts at Webcollage, an Answers division that specializes in syndicating product content to retail web sites.  She currently resides in Jersey City, NJ.

 

Art Knowlton

 

Arthur Knowlton

Estimator
VRH Construction Corporation
Englewood, NJ

 

 

As a former Bonnie Brae resident in the 1950’s, Art brings a unique perspective to our Board of Trustees based on his own personal experience and first-hand knowledge of life at Bonnie Brae.

In addition to his history, Art brings to Bonnie Brae a wealth of experience and knowledge as an engineer in the construction industry where he has worked on both public and private projects for more than 50 years.  The last two decades he has specialized in Project Management and served as an Estimator specializing in the Aviation industry.

Art is very grateful to Bonnie Brae for turning his life around and is proud to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

 

Stephen N. Lawrence, PhD
Retired, Former Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer
Harlem Hospital Center

Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his years working as an executive, administrator and counselor in the healthcare field.  During his tenure as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Harlem Hospital Center he oversaw and spearheaded the conversion of adult beds to pediatric and adolescent beds as well as reversed a 6 year financial decline.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University and went on to obtain his Ed.M in Rehabilitation Counseling, M.P.A in Public Administration from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.

Bonnie Brae is thrilled to have Stephen on our team. His experience and industry expertise will be invaluable as we embark on our next century of growth.

 

Joseph Mudd, CPA

Joe has 20 years of experience in international and domestic tax advisory services and leading large national tax practices. Prior to venturing out on his own, Joe held leadership positions at The Tax Specialty Group and RSM McGladrey’s New York Economic Unit Specialty Tax Services Practice, as well as at CohnReznick where he was responsible for all aspects of quality assurance for the firm’s federal tax practice.

Joe feels a very deep connection to Bonnie Brae, as his son is a former resident.  Joe credits Bonnie Brae with “giving him his son back” and through his position on the Board of Trustees, hopes to make an impact for current and future residents.

 

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Harry (Ted) Osborne

Director of Architecture
Gannett Fleming
South Plainfield, NJ

 

 

The grandson of Bonnie Brae’s founder, Judge Harry V. Osborne, Ted grew up with the boys who lived on what was then “The Bonnie Brae Farm for Boys.” A proud Scotsman, former President and long-time Bonnie Brae Board member, Ted is Bonnie Brae’s ultimate ambassador and historian. He has witnessed the amazing growth of Bonnie Brae, from a working farm and school to a professional Residential Treatment Center, to the multiplication of facilities and programs that now extend Bonnie Brae’s reach far beyond its main campus in Liberty Corner.

A professional architect for Gannett Fleming, Ted has been instrumental in facilitating many of our building projects. Ted also serves as President of the Board of the Wardlaw-Hartridge School.

 

Keisha Richardson

 

Keisha Richardson

District Trainer
Safeguard Storage
Richmond Hill, NY

 

 

Having been a child in the foster care system, Keisha brings a unique perspective and history to Bonnie Brae’s Board of Trustees.  Her motto is “experience is precious…..sharing it is priceless,” and she lives this in both her professional and her personal life.

Keisha’s compassionate commitment to young people brought her to serve, not only on Bonnie Brae’s Board of Trustees, but also on the Board of Conscious Kids, Inc., a foundation whose mission is to provide cultural exposure to disenfranchised children and young adults. Keisha shares her time and talents with Bonnie Brae as an active member of the Development Committee, and as an Ambassador to others, sharing and advocating for Bonnie Brae’s mission.

 

 

Maximillian M. Spann, Jr.

President & CEO
Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co.
Clinton, NJ

A licensed real estate broker in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, Max Spann, Jr. has more than 20 years of diverse experience in commercial and residential real estate as a broker, developer, site acquisition officer and marketing executive.  During his career, he has purchased and managed development of hundreds of residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space on behalf of various entities.  His multi-faceted experience includes acquisition, tenant/landlord representation, financing, development, asset management and commercial leasing.

Recognized as a leading innovator in accelerated marketing, Max has lectured at Realtor, builder, developer and auctioneer conferences around the country and is regularly quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The london Times and others.  he has coordinated the auctioning of hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate on behalf of developers, lending institutions, private entities and various government agencies.

Max also serves on the Board of Directors at Team Capital Bank, past-president of the New Jersey State Society of Auctioneers, the New Jersey representative for the Auction Action Network, a member of National Auctioneers Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, New Jersey League of Municipalities, National Association of Realtors, ICSC, BOMA, NAIOP, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the National Home Builders Association.

Max, his wife Loren, and their three sons became involved with Bonnie Brae through their attendance and assistance for many years at Bonnie Brae’s Polo Classic event.  Their heart and passion for the mission is evidenced by their desire to help and do more for the boys and young men of Bonnie Brae.

 

William “Bo” Vastine

Finance Manager
Plainfield Area YMCA
Plainfield, NJ


Bo brings 15 years of experience and a track record of success in Business Development to Bonnie Brae. Bo has worked in both technology and finance sectors for Bloomberg LP, LEK Securities, Inc., and Knight Equity Markets, successfully building relationships and connecting people and businesses.

Bo also has a background and deep understanding of government and regulatory affairs process, having served as a Councilman At Large and Deputy Mayor for Scotch Plains. During his service, he co-built a bi-partisan coalition with the Mayor and police chief of adjoining towns, while preserving quality of service for residents with a budget increase of less than the 2% state mandate.

In addition to overseeing finances for the Plainfield Area YMCA, he currently involved in its expansion plan to redevelop part of its historic building and create a safe, clean, supervised facility for kids aging out a foster care.

Bonnie Brae is very fortunate to have Bo bring his passion and commitment to helping young adults to our Board of Trustees.