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An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, repeating until June 21, 2023
Click here to register! Details below.
So What Else, Inc. Office: 6901 Rockledge Drive, Suite 730, Bethesda, MD 20817
Montgomery County Food Pantry: 4924 Wyaconda Rd, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Baltimore Resource Center: 424 S Pulaski St, Baltimore, MD 21223
Fax: (240) 778-2660
EIN #: 27-1219231
Board Secretary – Project Change
Dr. Williams joined the Project Change Board of Directors in 2016. She is a veteran educator and Principal at Stone Mill Elementary School who is passionate about helping children become successful and confident adults. Kim has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in elementary education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Through Project Change Kim is able to tap into her passions and further her goals for developing local youth into leaders.
Expertise: Communications/Public Relations, Public Advocacy; Strategic Planning, Program Planning/Evaluation, Human Resources Development
Senior Manager of the Verizon Media Advanced Cyber Threats Team
Lillian Teng is currently the Senior Manager of the Verizon Media Advanced Cyber Threats Team. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (Go Hoyas!), she joined the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) as a Cyber Special Agent in 2003, where she began tracking government backed cyber actors and served in both the Middle East and Asia.
After leaving NCIS in 2011, she joined Booz Allen Hamilton and worked at the National Cyber Joint Investigative Task Force as well as the FBI’s Cyber Division Asia Cyber Operations Section. After over 10 years in US government service, Lillian decided to try her hand at private sector life and joined Yahoo!, which became Verizon Media in 2019.
Lillian is passionate about helping her community and is particularly involved in issues such as food insecurity, digital safety, and amplifying women and under-represented groups in STEM.
Esq., CIPP/G Managing Partner
Joel Schwarz is a former cyber prosecutor for the Justice Dept & New York State Attorney General, as well as a former Intelligence Community Privacy Officer (CLPO), and Counsel on E-Commerce and Privacy for MetLife. Mr. Schwarz is a certified information privacy professional (CIPP), certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and a frequent speaker, publisher and thought leader on privacy, cybersecurity and emerging tech issues.
He is currently a Managing Partner with The Schwarz Group, LLC, and an Adjunct Professor at Albany Law School, where he develops and teaches Masters-level courses on cybercrime, cybersecurity and privacy. Schwarz is a highly skilled and experienced consultant and attorney specializing in privacy, cybersecurity, cyber intelligence, and compliance oversight.
Previously, Mr. Schwarz served as the Senior Director, Global Internet Enforcement & Data Analytics for BSA |The Software Alliance (BSA), managing a multi-million $ budget and supervising local and international staff, contractors, vendors, and outside counsel in development and implementation of a holistic strategy for BSA’s Internet Enforcement Department. He was also a member of BSA’s GDPR Implementation Working Group and helped oversee BSA’s data mapping, and design of operational privacy requirements for his Department.
Prior to BSA, Mr. Schwarz was the Civil Liberties & Privacy Officer (CLPO) for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), an office that he stood up and led as NCTC’s first CLPO. In that role, he spearheaded the development, implementation, and oversight of a holistic, agency-wide privacy and civil liberties compliance program to identify, assess, and manage compliance risks across the organization. Mr. Schwarz also worked with Senate and House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to keep them apprised of NCTC’s ongoing handling of information, while concurrently protecting privacy and civil liberties, and held regular briefing sessions with the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). Finally, Mr. Schwarz advised the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) on establishing a privacy office.
Before NCTC, Mr. Schwarz was a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) where he prosecuted cybercrime cases and represented U.S. law enforcement and intelligence organizations in the negotiation, drafting, and signing of the APEC Privacy Framework. He also drafted and implemented technology laws, policies, and information sharing mechanisms, both domestically and abroad, and provided policy advice and guidance on cybercrime/cybersecurity legislation throughout Asia and Africa.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Schwarz served as Special Counsel for Internet Matters for the Securities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office and as Assistant Attorney General for the Internet Bureau. He was also E-commerce and Privacy Counsel for MetLife, where he advised various lines of business on privacy and security, and was responsible for helping to implement MetLife’s e-commerce strategy, including the purchase and roll-out of an online bank.
Mr. Schwarz received his law degree from Albany Law School, cum laude, and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton, cum laude. He subsequently completed a certification in Advanced Information Technologies from New York University.
Bio coming soon.
Board Vice-Chair, Project Change
Dr. LaGrange is a Licensed Psychologist, applied research scientist, and public health specialist. He received his B.A. in History from the University of Virginia, master’s degree in public health from George Washington University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in Counseling Psychology from Howard University. Dr. LaGrange is co-founder of BASICS Group Practice, a private mental health practice in the Washington, D.C. area that provides comprehensive psychological services to children, adolescents, and adults, along with a host of other community-based health and wellness programs that drive social progress. He is currently the Vice President, US Health for ideas42, a non-profit consulting agency that uses insights from behavioral science to improve lives, build better systems and policies, and drive social change.
Previously in his career, Dr. LaGrange was a faculty member at Children’s National Health System and George Washington University where he designed and executed research studies and health communication campaigns targeted at high-risk youth for HIV/STD prevention in partnership with pharmaceutical and health IT companies and government agencies. As a National Institute of Health-funded Principal Investigator, his research pursuits involved behavioral issues relevant to treating individuals with chronic diseases. Dr. LaGrange brings over 25 years’ experience advancing public health, educational and youth development initiatives.
Non-Profit Development – Bio coming soon.
Board Chair and Co-Founder Project Change
Anthony DeCicco is one of the original founding members of Project Change (founded in 1998) and is enthusiastic to join forces with SWE to once again work with today’s youth to promote positive change and youth leadership opportunities within our community. With a Bachelors’s degree in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Anthony has over 20 years of architectural design and construction management knowledge and is a Project Manager with Natelli/Main Street Homes based in Gaithersburg, MD.
Expertise: Communications / Public Relations; Community Outreach,
Fundraising, Information Technology, Special Events
My favorite volunteer quote is “Volunteer, make a difference and be the change in the life of one child, one family and one community”
My favorite quote is “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take” Wayne Gretsky.
I am a Paraeducator at Twinbrook Elementary School. I have years of volunteer and fundraising experience. It’s my passion. God made me a helper.
Partner and CIO Gries Financial
Priya is a teacher and parent to two so what else graduates. She is driven towards humanitarian work and is helping so what else in our community outreach and literacy and outcomes department. She also is passionate about solving the summer learning loss for disadvantaged youth
Founder & President, Sherman Wealth Management
Brad Sherman is the founder and president of Sherman Wealth Management in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Brad provides clients with customized financial strategies, designed to help each client pursue their own unique long-term financial goals. He helps clients navigate the often-overwhelming selection of wealth solutions and financial tools, in order to create a customized plan, and make suitable recommendations for each client’s specific goals and timeline.
Devoted to making an impact on the community, Brad is a frequent contributor to many leading financial publications, a proud member of the Rockville and Gaithersburg Chambers of Commerce, and devotes his time to a variety of local community organizations, like So What Else, to make a difference in the community around us.
Brad lets his curiosity about people lead his interactions. He simply likes to relate to people, whether talking about the latest pop culture trends, fantasy baseball and football, or family adventures of raising his two young children. But mostly, he wants to put his clients at ease, understanding what their specific needs and concerns are and perhaps imparting a handful of financial lessons he has learned along the way.
Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Realty
Josh Ross, the #8 agent with RE/MAX in MD for 2016, is an award winning Real Estate agent with RE/MAX Realty Services, having over 12 years experience serving buyers & sellers throughout the Greater Washington DC Metro area (DC, MD & VA). Josh is a native Washingtonian. His innate drive and motivation matched with his youthful vitality allow him to continually grow and mature in the field of Real Estate – helping more families each year find the right home.
Through explicit relationships with a variety of home builders & developers he is able to obtain intricate knowledge of up and coming areas as well as trends (Always be sure to ask about what he has “coming soon”). Whether you are looking to buy or sell your first home, move up, relocate, or invest he will help ensure that you accomplish your goals, taking all that is important to you into account.
Josh is also very active in the community serving as a board member for local grassroots humanitarian organization So What Else, and actively supports other local organizations Nourish Now and Comfort Cases.
Wesley Okerson is a highly accomplished health Professional from Maryland. Where he earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland in 2001 and relocated to Los Angeles.
Wesley lives an active lifestyle in addition to working full time as a health pro he competes in endurance competitions. A former collegiate pitcher with a passion for coaching.
Vice President, Minkoff Company
Greg Minkoff is the principal owner of Minkoff Company, a general contractor specializing in restoration of fire and water damaged commercial properties. In his role at Minkoff, Greg is responsible for day-to-day management of 3 offices and a staff of over 70 dedicated employees.
Greg has been with the company for twenty years and has been actively involved in several industry trade associations. Notably, he is a past President of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute.
Outside of his duties at Minkoff Company, Greg has invested in and redeveloped upscale residential properties in the Washington, D.C. area.
Founding Partner, EDGE Commercial Real Estate
Scott helped form EDGE Commercial Real Estate in 2007 as one of the Principals of this newly formed company with a primary focus on the Tenant Advisory Practice for companies headquartered in the Washington D.C. region. Prior to EDGE Scott helped open the Northern Virginia office for Scheer Partners, was there for almost 5 years, and was one of the company’s top producers. Before Scheer, Scott was with USI Real Estate Advisors, now Johnson Controls, for 4 years and was integrally involved there in developing their Tenant Services Practice Group. At the start of his real estate career Scott joined Insignia/ESG now CBRE and was there for almost 6 years.
In addition to providing strategic guidance, his expertise includes site selection, financial analysis, market knowledge, and contract negotiation. Scott has been involved in helping his clients across the country including such cities as Boston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Charleston, Orlando, Chicago, El Segundo, Houston, and New York.
Scott has been successful establishing and maintaining effective and long-term relationships with clients. His commitment and willingness to provide quality customer service, in this service industry, is one of the true strengths Scott brings to EDGE Commercial Real Estate and his clients.
Michael Meers is a native of Montgomery County and has spent the past 25 years in the multifamily industry by financing, managing, developing and owning apartments across the Washington, DC area with a special focus on workforce and affordable housing. Michael believes that quality affordable housing is a foundational issue and is necessary to create stable communities.
Michael’s involvement with So What Else is longstanding as he has partnered with the organization over the past five years with different after school programs for youth and also with food programs for the food insecure during the pandemic and related economic crisis.
Michael serves on numerous nonprofit boards that are focused on housing issues and ways to bring economic and educational opportunity to all. Michael is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (BA) and the University of Maryland (MBA) and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with three daughters.
Founder & CEO, Curbside Kitchen
Amy Katz is the Founder and CEO of Curbside Kitchen, a PropTech company that creates custom food truck solutions for commercial and residential properties. As one of the few female founders in the Proptech sector, Amy oversees all aspects of the company’s operational, sales, and marketing of the business.
In 2018, Amy identified the increasing tenant demand for food amenities within the commercial and residential property markets. Property Owners and Property Managers were struggling to find a way to provide reliable and safe food trucks to their urban and suburban properties. She brought her expertise in sales and digital marketing to the commercial real estate sector and launched Curbside Kitchen.
Curbside Kitchen believes that eating is a shared experience and that every person should be able to enjoy delicious, diverse, and accessible cuisine outside their workplace doors. With her team, Amy developed an easy-to-use technology platform that connects building owners, leasing agents, and property managers with food trucks. Curbside Kitchen has further expanded its technology platform by rolling out its new mobile app and ordering platform which has proven to be prescient given COVID-19’s effect on the food delivery business. Curbside Kitchen also provides wrap-around services to support the tenant experience, such as marketing, flyers, promotional emails, weekly reminders, and menus to tenants. Curbside Kitchen has expanded to work with universities, corporations, and cultural events that want to curate culinary experiences for their communities.
Since its founding in 2018, a core tenet of its mission is community outreach and charitable initiatives. Amy and her team founded Curbside Cares, the company that partners with organizations to support corporate social responsibility efforts and work with national and local non-profits including, So What Else, March of Dimes, and Crystal City.
The company is headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and works with partners and food truck owners in the Washington, D.C metro area, Philadelphia, and Raleigh, N.C.
Amy’s previous experience includes positions in sales, marketing, and advertising at leading companies including WashingtonPost.com, Paper, and Varsitybooks.com.
Katz graduated from the University of Maryland, with a degree in Marketing.
Founder, Origen Vodka
Amy Holmwood is a health and wellness entrepreneur and advocate of holistic health solutions. She is also the Founder of Origen Vodka, a gluten free, non-GMO superfood vodka.
Origen Vodka was founded in response to the growing global movement towards a more health-conscious approach to all aspects of life, including a desire for more sustainable manufacturing practices. It was developed with botanical ingredients that minimize the negative effects of alcohol on the liver and reduce oxidative stress, resulting in an experience of improved overall wellness while minimizing impact to the environment.
Amy is engaged in the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market, an emerging area in the health and wellness community and one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Using her personal experience of overcoming childhood asthma and Lyme disease, Amy embraces genomic sciences that focus on natural alternatives and healthy eating. She encourages the use of Nutrigenomics and Biohacking in exploring individual solutions and sees this as the future of disease prevention and in the treatment of aging.
With a knowledge base built upon three decades of experience in the insurance and financial industries, Amy is still active as a consultant and advisor in the Life Insurance industry with AgencyONE. Previously, her focus was on providing HNW individuals with advice on estate and liquidity planning, international insurance and asset protection planning. Amy was previously a board member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) and President and board member of Forum 400, an advisor-driven life insurance industry think tank.
Amy earned a BBA in International Business from the George Washington University. She also completed the Strategic Negotiation and Dealmaking Executive Program at Harvard Business School and holds the Nutrition Science Certification from the Stanford Center for Health Education.
Meredith Heller is a digital media professional with over 21 years of experience. She has opened DC offices for multiple digital advertising companies such as Quantcast and now GumGum.
Before moving into the DC market, she spent 3 years at Philly.com as VP of Digital at Philly.com. Prior to Philly.com Meredith spent over 10 years at AmericanGreetings.com, starting in Chicago, and building out their first ever digital sales team. Chicago was where she started in digital with Disney, and it is where she received her MBA in Marketing from Loyola in 2001.
Meredith is currently a board member for AAFDC serving as Secretary and also co-chair for ADWKDC. Additionally she served for 3 years as a board member for Nourish Now, a non-profit that strives to alleviate food insecurity in Montgomery County, MD, by reducing the waste of unused fresh food. We are so pleased to have Meredith as a Board Member for So What Else.
Chief Information Officer, Avendra
Jane Dunigan is the S.V.P. and Chief Information Officer of Avendra Group, an Aramark company.
Avendra Group delivers world-class procurement and supply chain management services in higher education, business dining, sports and entertainment, hospitality, and other related industries. Avendra Group leverages $14B in purchasing power to secure significant savings on a variety of products and services. Launched in 2001, by 2017, Avendra was managing $5B in spending and serving 650 companies across 8,500 locations, including more than half of the top 30 hotel chains. In 2017, Aramark acquired Avendra for $1.35B and created Avendra Group.
Jane came to Avendra from Applied Information Sciences, a technology consulting firm focused on building Microsoft-based business applications for Fortune 500 companies. Jane managed all aspects of a 40-person consulting organization and was responsible for large application development efforts across multiple clients. Before joining Applied Information Sciences, Jane spent 5 years at Verizon in various technology management-related roles including Application Development and IT Program and Release Management. Prior to Verizon, Jane worked at Marriott International and Accenture in various technical roles of increasing responsibilities.
Jane is a native of Washington, DC, and graduated from Elon College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Jane and her husband, Robert, reside in Kensington, MD, and Gibson Island, MD, and have three sons. Jane enjoys long walks, yoga, golf, and sailing with her husband.
Vice President with CIH Properties
Nicolle comes from an extensive background in the field of Property Management with over 30 years of experience and expertise. She currently serves in the position of Vice President with CIH Properties of which she has been an integral part of their management team for over 25 years. With this experience Nicolle has emerged as a convergent thinker and an intrinsic motivator to her supporting staff.
Ms. Davis holds a degree in Business Management from Bowie State University and completed certificate program with George Mason University. Nicolle is an active member of IREM with several designations including Certified Property Management and Accredited Residential Manager. Additionally, she is a Housing Credit Certified Professional with the National Association of Home Builders and a licensed Real Estate professional. Ms. Davis is also an entrepreneur with various business ventures in the Washington Metropolitan area.
Partner & Director, XML-Women, Wealth & Wellness
Michelle P. Cooper is the Director and Co-founder of XML-W, a division of XML Financial Group which focuses on the planning and financial needs of women at all stages of their lives. She brings to XML-W over 25 years of experience in the estate planning, finance and tax fields. Prior to joining the XML team, she worked for Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust (both entities are now owned by Bank of America) as a Director and Senior Trust Specialist helping high-net-worth clients design and update their estate plans. She also had the responsibility of educating over 650 financial advisors on estate planning and trust services. Before starting her career at Merrill Lynch in 1996, she worked as an attorney specializing in tax and estate planning for the law firms of Ralph R. Polachek & Associates and Joseph, Gajarsa, McDermott & Reiner, P.C.
Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Miami of Ohio University. She then attained her Juris Doctor and Masters of Business degrees from Capital University, with honors. She is admitted to the bars of the State of Maryland and Washington, D.C. Michelle is a member of the Ambassador’s Council for N Street Village, a supporter of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and Joy of Motion Dance Center. She is married to Paul Cooper and they have five wonderful children together. She enjoys yoga, traveling, a good bottle of wine and helping women thrive!
Investment advisory services offered through XML Financial Group. Securities offered through Lara, May & Associates, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.
Principal, The Robert Joseph Group
Bob Schless is a CPA with many years of experience in both public and private accounting. He received his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University and his postgraduate degree from Long Island University’s School of Professional Accountancy.
Bob started with Reznick, Fedder & Silverman (now the Reznick Group), a large regional public accounting firm in suburban Maryland. Bob primarily worked on the audit side, mainly with Real Estate and Construction clients. After public accounting, he worked for Host Marriott Corporation’s Asset Management Group where he focused on financial reporting for various syndicated hotel properties and partnerships. From there, he worked for MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, a large Hotel REIT and Management Company. There he specialized in SEC reporting and worked on various corporate accounting projects.
After several years of working for a multi-billion dollar national firms, Bob co-founded Continuum Financial. Currently with The Robert Joseph Group, Bob works with Fortune 500 companies, not for profit organizations, and large government contractors providing professional accounting and financial resources within these industries. He currently lives in Maryland with his daughters Amanda and Sydney.
MD, Sibley Memorial Hospital, GWU Hospital
Dr. Matthew D. Ammerman is an assistant clinical professor of neurosurgery at George Washington University School of Medicine. He is board certified in neurosurgery and practices out of Washington Neurosurgical Associates at Sibley Memorial Hospital and George Washington University Medical Center. Dr. Ammerman’s expertise is in minimally invasive techniques for spinal disease.
Dr. Ammerman earned his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. He continued his education at George Washington, completing a residency in neurological surgery. Dr. Ammerman then went on to complete a fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
Dr. Ammerman supervises the monthly journal club for the neurosurgical residents at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He has also published research in medical journals and contributed textbook chapters.
CEO & Co-Founder, XML Financial Group
Brett Bernstein is the CEO and Co-founder of XML Financial Group. He serves as the firm’s head of the financial planning department and manages the operations of the firm, including the firm’s M&A strategy. Brett is an active financial advisor assisting clients with his holistic approach to goal setting and problem solving. Prior to co-founding XML in 2004, he was a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, where he was designated Producing Sales Manager for a complex that managed over $5 billion in assets.
Brett is a serial entrepreneur actively investing in many start-up companies and has led his firm in acquiring two local wealth management firms. This entrepreneurial spirit has led Brett to be active at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business as an Advisor and Subject Matter Expert. Additionally, Brett volunteers his time to the Bullis School’s entrepreneurial program, sponsoring the Capstone Entrepreneurial Shark Tank competition.
Brett received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and continued his education at Georgetown University and Harvard Business School’s Executive Leadership Program. He earned his CFP® certification in 2003.
Brett has served on various non-profit organization boards in numerous leadership positions but over the past nine years has served as the Board Chair of So What Else, a local, grass-roots charity helping at-risk youth with after school and summer programs.