Board of Directors
African Dream Academy Foundation Board of Directors
The Rev. Samuel R. Enders - FOUNDER and Executive director
The Rev. Samuel R. Enders is Founder and Executive Director of the ADA School (opened September 2012) and the Children's Health Clinic at ADA (opened April 2016). On October 10, 2017, he was elected a congressman of District 6, Montserrado County, Liberia, to serve a six-year term. Rev. Enders is a pastor from his home country of Liberia West Africa and has served as a minister, youth leader, community leader, and has worked with the United Nations, the Red Cross, and the Liberia Council of Churches for many years. He is a graduate of Anderson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organization Leadership, and of the Anderson University School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity degree.
Kurt W. Roeloffs, Jr. - CHAIRMAN EMERITUS
Kurt W. Roeloffs, Jr. is ADAF Chairman Emeritus of the Board. He is an independent investor/entrepreneur after retiring from his position as the Global Officer of Deutsche Bank's $55 billion real estate investment management division. Mr. Roeloffs holds a B.A. from Columbia College, Columbia University, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his family currently reside in Cambridge, England, while he is pursuing graduate studies in theology and business ethics.
Lydia Spinelli, Ed.D. - PRESIDENT
Lydia Spinelli, Ed.D. is President of the Board of ADAF. She has been the Director of the Brick Church School since 1983. She has a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the founder of Summer Steps, a program that seeks to prepare low income students for New York City independent school kindergartens and is a member of the Board of Early Steps, an organization that promotes racial diversity in New York City independent schools.
Heidi Leiser - VICE PRESIDENTS
Heidi Leiser is an independent consultant specializing in contemporary art. In 2006 she launched her own company, Les Arts Lulu, LLC. Her background is financial (Black Rock Financial Management, Sumitomo-Mitsui, and Dexia Bank). She earned a BBA, Finance, from The Lubin School of Business (Pace University), and an MA, Art Business, from Sotheby's Institute Of Art (University Of Manchester). She has lived in Kenya, teaching school in Nairobi.
Gracey Stoddard, LMSW - Vice President
Gracey Stoddard is a current Vice President of the Board of ADAF. She served as the past Board President from September 2013 – August 2018. Ms. Stoddard is a certified social worker, and from 2008-2013 worked as a District Representative for Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney of the 12th District of New York. She holds a BA from Sweet Briar College and a Master of Social Work from Columbia University.
Daryl Davis, Esq. - Corporate Secretary
Daryl Davis, Esq. is ADAF's Acting Corporate Secretary with the same duties and powers as the Corporate Secretary Rev. Tom Smith. He is Counsel to Leo Law, a national business law firm, and is a Co-Founder of the Huntsville Aeronautics Company, a space technology and commercialization organization. Mr. Davis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College and earned a law degree from the Yale Law School, where he was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for Public International Law (focusing on sub-Saharan Africa) and edited the Yale Law & Policy Review. He also has an active pro bono practice advising non-profit organizations and representing immigrants, many from African countries, seeking protection under asylum and UN conventions.
The Rev. Thomas Smith, Ph.D. - Corporate Secretary
The Rev. Thomas Smith, Ph.D. is ADAF Corporate Secretary as a resident of the State of Indiana where the Foundation is incorporated. He has served as the pastor of the Presbyterian Chapel of the Lakes in Angola, Indiana, continuously since 1986 when he was ordained. Rev. Smith has also served as an adjunct teaching assistant in philosophy since 2002 for Trine University, Angola, Indiana, and since 1997, provided mediation services in a peacemaking ministry on behalf of the social justice needs of children for several courts in northeastern Indiana. Rev. Smith holds professional licensure in the State of Indiana as a Clinical Social Worker, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and as a registered Family Law Mediator
Richard D. Rippe - Treasurer
Richard D. Rippe is Managing Director and Economist at Evercore ISI, where he contributes to the Firm’s daily and weekly economic reports, both for the U.S. economy and for international economies. His prior experience includes the position of Managing Director and Chief Economist at Prudential Securities, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial; the position of Senior/Chief Economist at Baker Weeks, Inc., which merged with Dean Witter to form Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc.; and as a teacher at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He currently serves on the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee and the Economic Advisory Panel of the New York City Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Rippe holds an AB degree in Economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University.
Nii-Amar Amamoo - Board Member
Nii-Amar Amamoo is s Sales Director at Pagea3, an alternative legal service provider with Thomson Reuters. His previous experience includes working for eight years as a Bankruptcy and Restructuring attorney at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and in the Equities Division of Goldman Sachs in New York City. Mr. Amamoo currently serves on the Vanderbilt Law School Board of Advisors and is a Founder of the Duke University Soccer Alumni Advisory Board. He holds a B.A. degree from Duke University and a law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School.
Natasha Bergreen - Board Member
Natasha Bergreen is the principal of her own design firm that focuses on interior design and events. She has been in practice since 1985 and has participated in numerous charitable events as a chair, event coordinator and/or event designer, including co-chairing the first African Dream Academy Foundation's benefit concert. She studied at The Parsons School of Design and went on to further her design concentration at Sotheby's and The Cooper-Hewitt Museum.
Jacquline L. Curiel - Board member
Jacquline L. Curiel is currently a director of the Supervisory Board of the Maduro & Curiel Bank in the Netherlands Antilles.She is also a shareholder in several Venezuelan companies, one of which is the distributor of main brands of cosmetics and perfumes, such as Chanel and Carolina Herrera. Formerly Mrs. Curiel was in the employ of Citibank N.A., where she started her career and, over a period of 12 years, reached senior executive positions. Mrs. Curiel holds a BS degree in Administrative Services and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She also attended the London Business School, where she studied international business and finance, and has also pursued a Ph.D. in International Relations.
Inzata Fofana - board member
Inzata Fofana is an entrepreneur who recently founded a company which produces a line of skincare products made of all natural ingredients called D'Amony. Her past experience includes working in sales and advertising for the Palmolive Division of Lever Brothers Corporation in her native country of Cote d'Ivoire. Inzata has also worked as an assistant teacher at la Croisette French Language Center and is currently an assistant teacher at The Brick Church School. .
Karen L. Gaines - board member
Karen L. Gaines is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Photography Collections Preservation Project (PCPP), a not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to secure the cultural legacy of 20th century photography. She also currently works as an appraisal consultant with Penelope Dixon Associates. In 2016 she was an Exhibit Producer for the Smithsonian Museum of American History and an Assignment Editor of Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book. Ms. Gaines is a graduate of Tufts University with a BFA degree from the Museum of Fine Arts and has a master’s degree in Information Studies from Pratt Institute in New York City.
Christine Garrison - Board Member
Christine Garrison is currently a teacher with the Life Adjustment Center teaching children with special needs. During her career Christine has worked extensively with children combining her interests in theater and education. For approximately seven years she traveled with several children's theater companies, including the Shoestring Players and Creative Arts Team under the direction of New York University, performing plays and workshops designed for children. She has also performed with the Castillo Theater and worked as a manager at the American Museum of Natural History, both in New York City. Christine received her BA in Liberal Arts/Political Science from Wilberforce University in Ohio. She is also the recipient of a certificate in Drama from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City.
Blanche Goble Mansfield - Board Member
Blanche Goble Mansfield was Head of the Lower School at The Nightingale-Bamford School from 1985 to 2016. . During that time, was responsible for 225 students from kindergarten to fourth grade and 25 faculty members with whom she worked on curriculum and professional development. From 2000 to the present, she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Community School at Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to her professional career, Blanche attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she received an A.B in American Studies, and she later took graduate courses at Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Oliver T. Moses - Board member
Oliver T. Moses is the Senior Managing Director of MTS Health Investors, LLC, a New York-based private equity fund that focuses exclusively on healthcare. Prior to joining MTS in early 2006, Mr. Moses was a founding partner of MBF Healthcare Partners and, previously, a Director in Merrill Lynch's healthcare investment banking group. Mr. Moses joined Merrill Lynch in 1994 and was responsible for advising leading healthcare companies on mergers, acquisitions, and capital structure strategies. Prior to investment banking, Mr. Moses was a securities analyst in Merrill Lynch's equity research department, where he provided coverage of companies in the healthcare service industry. Mr. Moses holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College.
Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D. - Board Member
Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D. is a family therapist with a Ph.D. from Fordham University and Masters Degrees from both Cornell University and NYU. She has also completed the Extern Program at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and a certification from the National Institute for Psychotherapies. Dr. Smerling is a contributor to CNN, Fox News, and ABC News. She has also written articles for Vanity Fair, NY Post, and Hamptons House & Garden. Random House published Kathryn's "Instep", an early childhood curriculum for the State of New Mexico. Presently on the staff of Mount Sinai Hospital, she is the psychologist for the OB/GYN department, working with residents and interns as they face new challenges.
Richard B. Stryker - Board Member
Richard B. Stryker is an entrepreneur and managing partner of Stay in Your Home Group, a real estate firm located in Brooklyn, New York. The firm helps homeowners modify their mortgages and retain their homes. He has over 16 years in the real estate brokerage field and was formerly CEO of Baltia Realty and Development Corporation of Jamaica, New York. He has a BS degree in Business and Marketing from Thomas State University and a Certificate in Banking from Magna Institute of Brooklyn, New York. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Mr. Stryker and his family came to the United States as refugees in 1990 during Liberia’s first civil war.
* Members of the Board of Directors serve on a voluntary basis and independently of any other professional or organizational affiliation.