Board of Directors

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+ GBENGA AKINNAGBE
Actor/Activist/Entrepreneur

Activist, actor, and, entrepreneur, Gbenga Akinnagbe is perhaps best known for his role as “Chris Partlow” in “The Wire,” Gbenga can currently be seen in Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Detroit” and reuniting with “The Wire” creator David Simon as a series regular in the HBO series “The Deuce".

Off screen, Gbenga has his own lifestyle brand, Liberated People, an apparel company, which has created online movements like #OurSonTrayvon with various celebrities wearing hoodies and a percentage of sales going to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and #PatriarchyIsABitch, where they donate a portion of sales to Black Women’s Blueprint which recognizes the contributions of feminist freedom fighters. In addition, Gbenga can add interior designer to his credits as the founder of Enitan Vintage where he redesigns vintage and antique furniture in the same Dutch wax-resist fabrics that are a fashion staple in West Africa, which allows the consumer to “sit on a story.”

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+ NOELLE CLEARY
Communications Director

Most recently, Noelle was the Global Vice President of Marketing for Tremor Video, a publicly-traded technology company. There she led strategy, planning and execution for sales marketing, branding, content marketing, and public relations. Prior to Tremor she was Vice President, Marketing & Sales Development at InterActiveCorp, Marketing Director at BusinessWeek, and Director of Convergence at USA Cable/NBC Universal, in the early days of the digital explosion. Noelle holds a BA in English from Vassar College and is the co-author of The Art and Power of Being a Lady (Grove Atlantic, 2001). Noelle has been a literacy volunteer in Los Angeles, a computer literacy volunteer in Long Island City, and currently gives her time and expertise to Refoundry as Communications and Development lead while holding the position of Board President.

+ ADAM JACHIMOWSKI
Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Adam received his JD and MBA degrees from Syracuse University and has been practicing law for over 15 years. He is currently a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP where his practice focuses on financing and restructuring transactions, with a concentration on international and domestic corporate trust matters. Within the firm, Adam is co-chair of one of the firm's client groups and heads one of the banking industry group's subcommittees. Adam also provides pro bono services through the Lawyers Alliance of New York and Project Enterprise and is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Lawyers in Transition.

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+ SARA GOODMAN
Acting Board President

Born and raised in NYC, Sara lives with her husband Cinematographer, Mott Hupfel and their two daughters. After graduating from Vassar College, Sara taught at St Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights. From there, she worked in film production, and in 1992 opened Limbo, the first coffee shop of its kind in NYC (predating Starbucks). Here she curated art exhibitions, film screenings, improv nights, and most notably a reading series that featured authors like Don Delillo, Jeff Eugenides, and David Foster Wallace. In 1996 she founded The New York Women’s Film Festival, which she ran from 1996-2000. In 2002 Sara was named Director of the Washington Square Park Council and was involved in the park’s renovation. Sara is the co-chair of the Vassar President’s Advisory Council, general partner of 754, LLC, a family real estate partnership, and is currently working on a biopic of Phyllis Schlafly with writer, Sarah Paley.

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+ CISCO PINEDO
Co-founder & CEO, Cisco Brothers

Born in Mexico, Cisco Pinedo moved to South Central Los Angeles in his early teens, dropping out of school to work to help support his family. Working his way up in the upholstery trade, Cisco and his wife Alba opened their own shop, Cisco Brothers, in 1990. Cisco has been honored by Rebuild LA, the LA Mayor’s Office and other civic organizations for his commitment to keep his manufacturing in the United States, and in the South Central community where most of his employees live. Cisco Brothers’ LA Design Center has won architectural and community awards, including the prestigious Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence. Cisco also co-founded META (Making Education the Answer), a not-for-profit that provides mentorships and scholarships to Hispanic youth in Southern California. Cisco co-founded Refoundry with Tommy Safian, Executive Director, who is a longtime friend and colleague.

+ GREGORY MILNE
Clinton Foundation

Gregory Milne is the chief metrics and impact officer at the Clinton Foundation. Previously he served as the deputy chief of staff and director of policy to President Clinton and CEO of the Clinton Foundation’s Haiti program. Prior to that he worked as the private sector advisor at the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti, President Clinton’s UN office, assisting with economic development and reconstruction programs in Haiti. Before joining the Clinton Foundation, he was a senior associate at Shearman & Sterling, LLP in the New York Office where he specialized in international property transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Greg received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law where he was a Crowley Scholar and a bachelor's from the University of Michigan. He is also an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.

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+ TOMMY SAFIAN
Co-founder, Executive Director

After earning a Masters in Literature in 1991, Tommy moved to Los Angeles and started picking up furniture out of the garbage, refurbishing it, and selling it in weekly sales called Avant-Yard. Retailers started purchasing product, and before long he had a factory in South Central Los Angeles with more than 30 employees. In 1998 Tommy moved back to New York, resettling in Brooklyn, where he opened a retail store, Nova Zembla, voted Best Furniture Store in NYC by Citysearch users. In 2015 Tommy co-founded the innovative non-profit Refoundry with Cisco Pinedo. As the organization’s Executive Director, Tommy was named a NY1 NYer of the Week, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes and Inc., and in videos on Huffington Post, Upworthy and the US Chamber of Commerce’s online magazine Free Enterprise. He was selected by Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s Chief Purpose Officer for a featured interview at the 2016 Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, and is on Advisory Councils for the ReEntry Acceleration Program (REAP) at Columbia University’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and CHOOSE, creator of The Classroom Index, a resource for teaching racial literacy in K-12. A native New Yorker, Tommy lives in Brooklyn with his son Jaxon and their dog Chula.

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+ DAMON J. PHILLIPS
Columbia University

Damon J. Phillips is the co-Director of the Columbia Business School’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, which develops new leaders to use business insights/tools to contribute to, enhance, and impact society and the environment. Prior to joining Columbia’s Management Division in 2011, Damon was the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Organizations and Strategy at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He and Tommy Safian are working with UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business to develop new comprehensive workforce development curricula focused on financial literacy, negotiations and entrepreneurship. Damon has a BS from Morehouse College, Masters from MIT, and PhD from Stanford University. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Harlem.

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+ THOMAS SPURGE
PGS Millworks, Inc.

Tom is managing principal of PGS Millwork, Inc., a high-end architectural design and production company that works with some of the most influential architects and developers in both commercial, residential projects. Tom oversees all business operations and client relations, as well as all the company’s 65,000-sq.ft manufacturing campus in Hudson, NY, with more than 100 craftspeople, managers and other personnel. Prior to co-founding PGS in 2000, Tom held various positions in the construction industry. He serves on the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Louis August Jonas Foundation’s Camp Rising Sun, an international full-scholarship leadership program, and served on the organization’s Board of Directors for nine years. Tom and his wife Nancy split their time between NYC and the North Fork of Long Island, and have two grown children, both of whom work in craft industries. Tom first became involved with Refoundry donating hardwood scrap from PGS Millwork. He is currently Vice President, Refoundry Board of Directors.


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