Board of Directors
Sara Blau is the Founder and President of Game Changers New York. She started the 501(c)3 organization when she was 17, as a sophomore in high school. She realized the extreme need of sports equipment for children, while also learning about the massive amount of equipment that gets wasted or goes to no use annually. She decided to bridge these two factors together to form a system where, with the help of team members, volunteers, and donors, sports equipment could get redistributed globally.
Sara is studying Business Management at the Smith School of Business and minoring in Sociology at the University of Maryland. She is an International Studies scholar in the College Park Scholars program. Blau was the VP of Finance of the Real Estate Club, a member of the TAMID Group Fund analysts program, as is heavily involved with the religious organizations on campus. She is a Israel21C Ambassador as well as a Ramah Campus Network Coordinator. In Sara’s free time, she likes to try out new exercises classes, bike along the Hudson River, bake new healthy dessert recipes, or read a good book on the beach. You can reach her on Linkedin @ www.linkedin.com/in/sarablau/
Andria Scaglione is a kinesiology major at Manhattan College with a minor in religious studies with an interest to become a Registered Dietician post-graduation. She is also a member of the Women’s Cross Country and Track team at Manhattan College. With her life revolving around movement and sport, Andria knows the importance of encouraging youth to stay active. A big part of that encouragement involves increasing accessibility to equipment and assisting other youth sports programs in carrying out their mission, which is what Andria strives to do in her work with Game Changers NY. As the present Partner Organization Outreach Manager at Game Changers NY, Andria wants to provide all children with the chances to make the choices to engage in physical activity in the form of organized sports programs which aid in instilling vital soft skills such as teamwork, cooperation, collaboration, and work ethic that can be applied to any situation in life.
Anisha Kurukulasuriya: Social Media and Public Relations Manager
Anisha Kurukulasuriya is a 16 year old student from Sri Lanka and the US. She was born in New York and moved to Bangkok when she was 5 years old. Anisha lived there for 8 years and currently resides in New York City. She attends the United Nations International School in Manhattan and is part of the Women in Stem club where she supports and empowers women to follow their dreams. Anisha believes that sports is not only an important part of having a healthy life, but also that it brings people from different backgrounds together, and always brings a smile to their faces. Anisha’s passion of sports began when she was very young and has always been a big part of her life. She loves swimming, basketball, volleyball, track and many more sports. Anisha believes in the mission of Game Changers NY which brings her two passions together – helping others, especially those who are not as privileged as well as the powerful impact of sports on young peoples lives.
Khiem Doan is a senior studying Information Systems at the Smith School of Business. After serving as a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Information Systems and Career Search Strategies for Business, he found his passion for helping out fellow students achieve their fullest potential, whether it be in the gym or in the classroom.
Lewis Bartell is a Business Law/Litigation attorney practicing in Metropolitan New York for over 30 years. In addition to his active involvement in the legal community, Mr. Bartlell has had a deep commitment to community service in a variety of areas including both religious and secular, many of which directly impact our youth. Believing that we have to give every child the best possible opportunity to succeed and become an active and contributing member of society, his involvement with Game Changers NY is a natural fit. Mr. Bartell graduated Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Cardozo School of Law. He is married with three adult children.
Rachel Brody recently retired from Accenture after a 30 year career as a management consultant in the North American Utilities industry. As a managing director, she was responsible for client accounts in the northeastern U.S. and spent almost a decade working with clients in Canada. Ms. Brody is a leader in process and technology optimization and managing transformational changes tied to large-scale system implementations. She also led Accenture’s Inclusion and Diversity initiatives within her operating unit for many years, and was part of the faculty for Accenture’s Women’s Leadership Development course for managers. Ms. Brody is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University with a B.A. in computer science. She lives in New York City with her family.
Ira Balsam was the Chief Financial Officer of Avenue Capital Group (“ACG”), one of the largest hedge
funds in the country, from 2002 until he retired in 2011. He was responsible for all of the accounting,
operational and financial activities of ACG supervising a group of over sixty professionals. Prior to
joining ACG in 2002, Mr. Balsam was a Partner at Goldstein Golub Kessler LLP (“Goldstein”), where he
focused on audit and tax advice primarily for hedge funds, institutional funds, and investment
partnerships. Mr. Balsam also assisted in structuring limited partnership agreements and reviewed private
placement memoranda for clients. Prior to joining Goldstein in 1992, Mr. Balsam was a Senior
Accountant at Mahoney Cohen & Co., PC, where he advised clients on accounting and tax issues. He is a
member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants where he has chaired a
committee and several conferences and served on various other committees. Mr. Balsam received a B.S.
in Accounting from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College (1988). He is also a CPA. He is
currently the owner of The Cookie Outlet of Long Island (D/B/A Best Cookies & More) one of Long
Island’s largest cookie distributors. He has served as the President of the Board of Trustees of the
Schechter School of Long Island and Congregation Ohav Sholom. He has also served on many
committees at UJA. He lives in Merrick with his wife Sheri and their three children.