Meet Our Team


Sara Blau

Founder and President

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.

Anisha Kurukulasuriya

Social Media and Public Relations Manager

Anisha Kurukulasuriya is a 18 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.

Nate Goldman

Team Member

Nathan Goldman is a junior in high school from Springfield, New Jersey. He attends Jonathan Dayton High School, where he plays basketball and baseball. Nate strives to provide others with the same opportunities in sports that he has been given. For his Bar Mitzvah Project in 2019, he organized a Game Changers NY equipment drive and fundraiser. He also volunteers in youth basketball and baseball clinics with his high school sports teammates. Nate’s passion for sports began when he was very young, and they have been a large part of his life ever since.


Sydney Sayre

Team Member
Sydney Sayre is a graduate student at Columbia University currently earning a masters in Sports Management in the School of Professional Studies. As a first-generation student, she attended the University of Kentucky where she completed an undergraduate and masters degree in History and African American and Africana Studies. Now, she hopes to use her skill set to further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in the sports industry! Sydney is excited to be a part of the Game Changers efforts to help youth across the world and the city of New York.

Game Changers Bergen County Team

Michael Cicero

Michael Cicero is a high school student at Saddle River Day School in Saddle River, New Jersey. He is the captain of the varsity soccer and the golf team; he is also on the basketball team. He decided to co-found a chapter of Game Changers after realizing the need for an organization like this in his area. While refereeing for soccer, he realized that many kids didn’t have the equipment necessary to play safely and wanted that to change. Michael has always loved sports and believes it helped shape him into who he is today. Vaughn Scully attends Don Bosco Preparatory high school. He is a member of the baseball team and robotics club. He is also a member of the math and science national honor societies. Vaughn has been playing sports since he was a young kid. Vaughn believes that sports help a child develop not only physically, but also socially and mentally. Vaughn attributes many of his accomplishments in the classroom to the lessons he learned in sports.

vaugHn scully

Vaughn Scully attends Don Bosco Preparatory High School. He is a member of the baseball team and is a part of the robotics club. He is also a member of multiple national honor societies, including math and science. Vaughn has been playing sports since before he can remember. Vaughn believes that sports not only help a child develop physically but also socially and mentally. Vaughn attributes many of his accomplishments in the classroom to the lessons he learned in sports.

board of directors

Lewis Bartel

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 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.

Yanet Leul

Yanet Leul is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in finance. During her time there, she was involved in organizations such as the Smith Finance Group, Women in Business Association, and UMD’s Real Estate Club. More recently, Yanet traveled to Ethiopia to work as a Financial Analyst intern at Cepheus Growth Capital. Based on this experience, Yanet has had the opportunity to better understand the needs of developing countries and, more specifically, up-and-coming markets.