Staff and Leadership

PowHer New York’s team of advocates and professionals fight all year long to advance economic equity for women. If you would like information about any of our staff or leadership contact info@powherny.org.

 

Beverly Cooper Neufeld

Founder and President

To address the slow progress on women’s economic issues, Bev Neufeld envisioned PowHer New York: a community working across typical barriers to connect people, energize a movement, and accelerate progress. It is one of many innovative projects created by Beverly Cooper Neufeld, President of BCN Consulting Group LLC, which helps nonprofits create change through advocacy, programming, and organizational development.

“PowHerNY’s collaborative and holistic approach works because it reflects women’s values and our understanding that everything is interconnected. Shifting the cultural paradigm, changing long held beliefs and policies, and opening a wider path leading to economic well-being can only be accomplished together.”

As President of the New York Women’s Agenda, Ms. Neufeld invigorated the 20-year old institution with innovative programming, including and the New York Women’s Business Principles Initiative and the Equal Pay Coalition NYC. Beverly lead the campaign for pay equity reform, now a signature program of PowHer New York, which influenced the passage of the NYS Women’s Equality Act and the NYS Equal Pay Act. Beverly is a member of the national Paycheck Fairness Taskforce and the steering committee of the 850 member, NYS Women’s Equality Coalition.

As E.D. of the White House Project she oversaw research on women’s leadership and helped develop SheSource and Vote, Run, Lead. Beverly was Finance Director for Congresswoman Nita Lowey. Her board service includes 2020 Women on Boards, Free the Children, Sing for Hope, Women’s Campaign Forum, and Westchester Children’s Association.


Wendy Amengual Wark

First Vice President

Wendy Amengual Wark, the Founder of Inclusion Strategy, a WMBE Certified consultancy, has worked in the field of diversity and inclusion since 1988. Wendy helps employers to develop and implement practical and sustainable inclusion processes such as strategic diversity planning, inclusive communication, customized training, mentoring programs, and employee resource groups.

Wendy’s clients have included Fortune top 50 companies, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations in the U.S. and internationally.

“Organizations working for women’s equity are exponentially more effective when they share resources, knowledge, access, and perspectives. PowHerNY provides a critical link making this possible. Being a Board Member of PowHerNY is one way that I fulfill my personal mission: advancing the value of all people.”

She was the EEO Officer at NYS MTA Metro-North Railroad and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Executive Director at the NYC Commission on the Status of Women, New York City’s Liaison to the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women, a Diversity Manager at FedEX Freight, Inc., and a Lecturer at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Board and committee memberships have included: the Tri-State Diversity Council, SHRM’s Diversity and Inclusion Standards Taskforce; and WTS–Greater New York Chapter, Diversity Committee. Frequent speaker and presenter at conferences, Wendy authors a blog on all things inclusion and is writing the upcoming book, Let’s Not Be Polite: Overcoming Barriers to Inclusion.

Wendy has studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, CCNY, CUNY, and the University of Cambridge, England.


Linda C. Hartley

Vice President

Linda C. Hartley (MBA-NYU) is Principal of H2Growth Strategies LLC. Previously, she was for 15 years President of Hartley Consulting, Inc., working with nonprofits to build leadership, increase support, and generate lasting social impact.  Linda guided four campaigns at once—in NYC, Westchester and the Catskills—totaling $100 million.  She has helped raise $800 million for more than 50 nonprofits, from major institutions to start-ups.

Linda was VP at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, responsible for raising $8 million annually with a staff of 30, and Associate VP of Bard College for a $134 million campaign. Previously, she led development efforts at the New School, New York Public Library, Columbia University and NYU.

“PowHer NY is the most effective and innovative mobilizer of women’s organizations in New York, creating a powerful model for other cities and states to make economic equality a reality in our lifetimes.”

Linda shares her expertise in the U.S and Europe on governance, fundraising, ethics, advocacy and the law, serving also as an adjunct professor at NYU. She co-chairs the annual Leadership Summit at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, and recently conducted a 3-day workshop on nonprofit development in Athens, Greece. Previously, she served as VP of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater NY.

A fervent advocate for women’s equality, she co-founded the Equal Pay Coalition NYC while serving as VP for New York Women’s Agenda. She also served on the board of NARAL NY and led Women in Development, NY as its President.


Marilyn Abalos

Secretary

Marilyn Abalos is a public relations, development and project management specialist who has worked with finance, arts & culture, publishing and public service organizations. After two decades at Citigroup working in its global markets divisions, Marilyn applied her business practices to the non-profit, Dance Theatre of Harlem. As a volunteer, Marilyn, a tireless advocate for human rights, helped establish the equal pay movement in NY and was an officer of the New York Women’s Agenda. The Human Rights Campaign/ Greater NY recognized her talent and commitment in planning and managing advocacy and diversity initiatives.

An arts and culture writer for Filipino new outlets, she has dedicated her skills to the Philippine Development Foundation, as well as, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Princess Grace Foundation USA., and New York City Opera.

“Having worked on legislative issues supporting the needs of women and families, I am pleased PowHer NY has taken on the leadership in the fight for economic equality in New York.  Working with advocates and women’s organization, PowHerNY is a formidable force enabling a coalition to work with legislators to ensure the protection of women, families and communities in New York.”

Always ready for a new and important cause, Marilyn is treasurer for Mission Getting to Next, a non-profit initiative providing coaching to military women transitioning into the civilian life.  

She is the US National Chair of her high school alma mater, St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA, dedicated to promoting support for the school and engaging alumni in the US and Europe, including participating in the New Year’s Day Coney Island Polar Plunge.


Michelle Blankenship

Treasurer

Michelle Blankenship is a financial manager at N. Cheng & Co, Certified Public Accountants. There she advises and oversees the business needs of a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to coming to N Cheng & Co., Michelle was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for an expansive community center in New York City and a financial consultant for various other influential organizations.

Currently through N. Cheng & Co, she is the CFO for a New York organization, the Astraea Foundation.

“As a finance professional providing CFO services to not for profits for over 20+ years, it has been my observation that there is a lack of financial expertise within the boards of not for profits. Wanting to put my experience to work at the board level, I was looking for an organization to work with when I was approached by Wendy Amengual Wark to consider joining the board of PowHerNY,  I jumped at the chance to work with an organization seeking to gain economic equality for NY women. “

As well, Michelle has worked with a Department of Justice funded project. This national program provided services through faith-based organizations working with marginalized youth.

Michelle attended Michigan State University and Hunter College. Growing up in Michigan exposed Michelle to the needs of people, the auto industry and unions and developed her social activism and “commitment to the mission of non-profits.”


Donna Seymour 

Chair, Program Committee

Donna Seymour has dedicated her 40-year career to public policy reform focused on education, children’s and women’s issues. She is currently Public Policy Vice President for the New York State branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women), a national educational and advocacy organization founded in 1881 with more than 170,000 members and supporters. Donna informs and inspires action in AAUW-NYS’s 33 branches and seven districts.

“I believe in the multi-issue focus of PowHer NY because it represents an understanding of the umbrella-nature of other work we do. Single-issue campaigns cannot address the unique nature of “women’s work.” In fact, everything is women’s work, since we have never just fought for ourselves. We include the issues of our families and our communities and other at-risk populations as a matter of course.”

Donna has been a leader in the state’s Equal Pay Campaign since 2008. Also involved in Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters St. Lawrence County, Donna has established many strong working relationships across the state, greatly benefiting upstate efforts to forward policy reform. As a Steering Committee member of the Women’s Equality Coalition (WEA) which successful pushed the passage of the 2015 Women’s Equality Act, Donna organized WEA’s North Country Region campaign.

A regular contributor to news outlets in upstate New York, Donna’s voice has been heard on a cable/YouTube series “North Country Matters” which interviews area leaders on key issues.


Abigail Grimshaw

Consultant, Online Content 

Abigail Grimshaw is a Brooklyn-based creative communications professional specializing in nonprofit and social cause organizations.  She provides a wide array of services in the spectrum of communications strategy including graphic design, web design and development, social media outreach and strategy, email marketing and copywriting, and strategic consulting.

As a consultant, Abigail is responsible for creating and updating www.powherny.org and all social media platforms, as well as PowHerNY’s outstanding graphics. She has also delivered high-level branding, communications and web design products to over 15 organizations including Basic Health International, The Century Foundation, National Organization for Women-NYC, and the New York Women’s Equality Coalition.

Abigail graduated with a BFA of Advertising Art Direction from Pratt Institute and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration.  She grew up in upstate New York but currently lives in Brooklyn and enjoys amateur boxing, gardening and reading through the long New York winters.