Board Members


Shirael Pollack, Co-Founder and President


Shirael Pollack has been a proud Hoboken resident since 2007, and has two young daughters who attend district schools. Shirael has a passion for community and for working with local corporations to lead Hoboken PEF's fundraising efforts. She is a practicing pediatric physical therapist who owns and operates Watch Me Grow, a therapy center for children of all ages with two locations in Manhattan, and has been recognized as a child development expert by various media outlets. In addition, Shirael serves as board member and Chair of Fundraising for the National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter.


Erica Gavin, Co-Founder and Vice President


Erica Gavin has lived in Hoboken since 2005, and has two young sons who attend Hoboken public schools. She has nearly 20 years of experience in communications and event planning, which serves her well in her event-planning activities for Hoboken PEF. In 2004, Erica established Erica Berg & Associates LLC, consulting for agencies, corporations, and not-for-profits focused on arts and education. Erica currently serves as Regional Director for DukeNY, working for the Duke Alumni Association.


Jackie Dowd-Prince, Co-Founder and Secretary


Jackie and her husband moved from Manhattan to Hoboken in 2006 as expectant parents looking for more space in which to raise their son. They found a welcoming, tight-knit community and soon thereafter decided to make Hoboken their long-term home. As Jackie started attending school board meetings and learning more about statewide funding cuts, she wanted to proactively help support the district schools; she became one of the co-founders of Hoboken PEF, and now manages its operations. Jackie is a senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, a leading human-resource consulting firm.


Danielle Moss, Treasurer


Danielle and her husband, Jason, are delighted to have set down roots in Hoboken in 1999. Their two young daughters attend Hoboken public schools. They love Hoboken's small town charm and convenient proximity to NYC, which allows for a strong work-life balance. Danielle's wish for Hoboken PEF is to better the schools and strengthen the community so that more families will choose to raise their children in Hoboken long-term. Danielle has over 20 years of experience in human resources and currently is Vice President of Compensation & International Total Rewards for Ralph Lauren.


Kate McQuestin, Public Relations and Communications


Kate McQuestin moved from Sydney to the UK in 2012 and then to Hoboken in 2017. Kate and her family were instantly drawn to the city’s vibrant atmosphere, unique community spirit and beautiful waterfront parks. She has two children at Wallace School and is the director of her public relations consultancy, McQ Media. After encountering false perceptions about Hoboken’s public schools, Kate was inspired to volunteer for Hoboken PEF and help shine a light on the many excellent initiatives, events and programs enabling children across the district to reach their full potential.  


Marina Palombini, Marketing and Communications


Marina Palombini moved from San Francisco to New York City in 2006 and then to Hoboken in 2012. She instantly fell in love with the local community and all that the Mile Square City has to offer. She has a daughter in kindergarten and a son in a local daycare. Marina leads Hoboken PEF's social media and communications efforts, and works as Global Marketing Director at Pfizer. She is a seasoned marketer with experience across many critical commercial functions.


Hannah Gordon, Fundraising and Events


Hannah Gordon has called Hoboken home since 2004, and has two boys in Hoboken district schools. Hannah joined the Hoboken PEF team to contribute to the ongoing improvement of the Hoboken public school system. She particularly enjoys helping manage the foundation's events and fundraising. Hannah earned her doctorate in organizational psychology from Rutgers, and has nearly 10 years of experience in the area of talent management, a specialty human resources function.


Melissa Shepherd, Website and Event Branding


Melissa has lived in Hoboken with her husband for nearly 20 years, and is the proud mom of a 3rd-grader and a 6th-grader. She is a longtime advocate for the city's students through her volunteer work with groups such as True Mentors, the Hoboken High School Drama Club and Passport to Learning, the district's comprehensive after-school program for K-6 students district-wide. She is one of Hoboken PEF's original members, helping to develop its website, creating graphics and supporting its events. Melissa is a freelance writer. 


Kate Deer, Fundraising and Partnerships


Kate Deer is originally from Hudson County and has lived in Hoboken for the past 9 years. She has two daughters who have attended Hoboken public schools since pre-K. Kate works on special projects for Hoboken PEF and has been instrumental in the foundation's fundraising efforts. Kate is a realtor in Hoboken, and loves that she can help educate families with young children moving to the area about Hoboken's great community and schools. 


Marie Lippert, Special Projects and Events

IMG_8294 (1).jpg

Marie moved to Hoboken from Upper Saddle River, NJ, in 2015 to improve her family's quality of life. She has two children in the Hoboken public shools. Marie works on special projects within Hoboken PEF, particularly those that make use of her marketing expertise. Marie has more than 15 years of experience in marketing and currently is Vice President of Account Management for Zeta Global, where she implements marketing programs by partnering with clients to drive their initiatives. 


Leslie Norwood, Endowments and Grants


Leslie Norwood resides in Hoboken with her husband and their two sons; their eldest attends Hoboken Public Schools' pre-K program, and their youngest will start pre-K in September 2018. She has lived in Hoboken since 1998, and has volunteered with the Brandt Parent Consortium and in her child's classroom.  Her interest in joining the Hoboken PEF board includes establishing an endowment fund to support the foundation's long-term goals. Leslie is employed as a securities attorney in NYC focusing on infrastructure finance. 


Zita Doktor, Community Outreach and Sponsorship


Zita has lived in Hoboken since 2008. The charm of this walkable city with its convenience to New York City helped Zita convince her husband they should stick around, instead of looking at a house in the 'burbs. Nine years in this amazing mile square and two amazing little boys later, they are so glad they did. Zita brings over 15 years of sales and advertising experience to Hoboken PEF, and heads volunteer recruitment for the group.