Meet Our Board

Teen Board

Sara Blau: Founder and President

Joshua Blackstone: Partner Organization Outreach

Image previewAnisha Kurukulasuriya: Social Media and Public Relations Manager

Advisory Board

 Lewis Bartell

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 

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

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.