Who We Are


WE ARE WOMEN, accomplished in our fields, who wish to put our time, expertise, resources, networks, and passion in service to the families of our city who struggle to feed their children. We believe that the ideas are out there, they just need all of us working together to help them come to fruition. We applaud those currently working in the field and look forward to joining your community.

ATE’s Board of Directors

Ann B. Diamond, Treasurer, is an independent financial advisor and educator.  In addition to counseling private clients, Ann teaches courses and conducts seminars and workshops on personal financial management.  She is an author of personal finance books who has appeared on television and radio networks and has been quoted in many newspapers and magazines across the country. Through her work with the Financial Women’s Association, Ann developed a financial literacy course taught free-of-charge to women in training programs working to improve their job prospects.

Lori Diamond Nersesian, Communications Director, is a PR and brand development strategist whose 25-year career spans beauty, food & nutrition and green business categories. Lori spent 10 years working with emerging brands at two boutique PR practices where she was both a founder and partner. Her corporate experience includes Artistry, Aveda, Estee Lauder and The Body Shop. She also worked at award-winning PR agencies, Ketchum and Ruder Finn. In growing ATE’s presence in social media channels, Lori unearthed her passion for clean food and food justice with the hope of increasing education and access to more sustainable food options for all New Yorkers. Lori divides her time between New York City and Dallas.

Helaine Geismar Katz, President, is a 35-year veteran of the 92nd Street Y and, as Associate Executive Director until June 2012, was responsible for the development and execution of the internationally known cultural and community center’s roughly 5,000 annual offerings in the arts, education, Jewish culture, early-childhood education and family life, community service, and health and fitness. Before joining the 92nd Street Y, Helaine directed a model program for severely and profoundly developmentally disabled children, led a two-year study on special education in New York City and was a consultant on services for the disabled.

Cindy Gerhard, Board Member, has built a career in the financial industry for 30 years, concentrating in the treasury and asset management businesses and specializing in providing global solutions for institutional clients. Ms. Gerhard frequently participates in industry conferences and online forums, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, and has published articles in Euromoney, Treasury Today, GT News and the AFP Exchange. Ms. Gerhard is active in her alma mater, a member of the New York Cabinet for the University of Rochester. She is a mentor and educator to the New York University chapter of Smart Woman Securities (SWS), a not for profit whose mission is to educate undergraduate women on finance and investments, creating a new generation of women with greater investment knowledge and financial influence.

Carol Raphael, Secretary, served 22 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the largest nonprofit home health agency in the United States. Prior to joining VNSNY, Ms. Raphael held executive positions at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and in New York City government.  In 2012, Ms. Raphael was an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. She was recently appointed by President Obama to the Commission on Long Term Care.

Victoria Roth, Vice President, has worked in the classical music field for more than 35 years, principally in the non-profit sector. She directed the program area and worked on development projects at two national organizations: Chamber Music America and Meet The Composer. She now divides her time between freelance projects in the music field and teaching Alexander Technique. A trustee of Yellow Barn, a center for chamber music study and performance based in Putney, VT, she served as board president from 2006 through 2010.

Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, LCSW, Ph.D, Vice President, has degrees and experience in early childhood education, social work and clinical psychology and has devoted her energies to young children from gestation through age 5 and their families. The founding director of the Institute for Infants, Children and Families at JBFCS, Rebecca works full-time at the Institute, in addition to frequent lecturing and writing. She is also the founder of the New York Zero-to-Three Network, the founding president of Abraham Joshua Heschel School (a preschool through high school committed to social responsibility), and a decades-long  board member of Zero to Three, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.

Blair Soyster Fiore, Vice President, is a retired attorney. She practiced law in Manhattan for over 30 years with the law firm Clifford Chance US LLP where she was a partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution group and served as a member of the Executive Committee.  Since her retirement, Blair has taught English as a Second Language and engaged in various other volunteer activities.  She is on the Board of Directors of the Clifford Chance Foundation and is the President of the Bridgehampton Association, a group that raises money for charitable, cultural, and educational organizations serving the Bridgehampton, N.Y. community.