Shirael Pollack, Co-Founder and President

Shirael Pollack has been a proud Hoboken resident since 2007. She has two young daughters who attend district schools, one at Wallace and one at Brandt. 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 PrinceCo-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 state-wide funding cuts, she wanted to proactively help support the district schools and became one of the four co-founders of Hoboken PEF. In addition to her regular duties managing the foundation's meeting agendas and internal policies, Jackie also acts as Hoboken PEF's liaison with Hoboken public school leadership including the superintendent, principals and PTOs. Jackie is a senior consultant for a leading consulting firm helping large employers strategize and restructure their benefits programs.

Marina Palombini, Director of 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 Pre-K 4 at Brandt 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.

Danielle Moss, Treasurer

Danielle and her husband, Jason, are delighted to have set down roots in Hoboken since 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.

Melissa Shepherd, Board Member

Melissa has lived in Hoboken with her husband for nearly 20 years, and is the proud mom of a 2nd-grader and a 5th-grader. She is a longtime advocate for the city's students through her volunteer work with groups such as True Mentors and the Hoboken High School Drama Club. Melissa helped develop and serves on the parent advisory group for Passport to Learning, the district's new, comprehensive after-school program designed to provide innovative enrichment opportunities, academic support, structured play, and high-quality care for K-6 students district-wide. She is one of Hoboken PEF's original members, helping to develop its website and supporting its events. Melissa is a writer and creator of the Hoboken-based web comedy Not Quite

Kate Deer, Board Member

Kate Deer is originally from Hudson County and has resided in Hoboken for the past 9 years. She has two daughters who have attended Hoboken public schools since Pre-K. Kate works on many 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 our area about Hoboken's great community and schools. 

Hannah Gordon, Board Member

Hannah Gordon has called Hoboken home since 2004, and has two boys, ages 6 and 8, in Hoboken public 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.

Marie Aiello Lippert, Board Member

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 many special projects within Hoboken PEF, particularly those that make use of her strong marketing expertise. Marie has over 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. Throughout her dynamic career, Marie has been driven by a dedication to excellence in all that she does, an appreciation for meaningful relationships, and the belief that life is too short to be anything but extraordinary. 

Hoboken PEF would like to acknowledge the following individuals who were instrumental in helping to launch the foundation:

Linda Kwok, co-founder

Daniel Vinish, Crowell & Moring LLP, legal assistance 

Mark McNamara, website development

Lesley Neadel, communications 

Molly Mendes, graphics