Our Board

Shara Perlman Borus – Board Chair

Non-Profit Consultant 

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 3.19.35 PMShara is a senior level manager and change leader with 15 years of experience and expertise in youth development, camping, and sustainability. Shara has mentored and groomed over 500 youth professionals providing guidance in both career development and professional growth through nurturing individuals’ strengths and exploring each individual’s vision. Shara fosters internal and external relationships, which yielded increased enrollment and revenue up to 20% year after year at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood. Shara designs creative and innovative programs and events including JCC camp director trainings, large community events and recreational youth programs for long standing organizations as well as start up companies from the ground up. With a Masters of Social Work degree, she brings her interpersonal skills, training and respect for people together in all of her work. Her entire career has focused on empowering youth and families throughout North America.


Brandy Cochrane – Board Treasurer

Founder and Program Director, 
Friends of the Woods


Founder and Director of Sustainable Initiatives

Community Board 8 Resident


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Brandy Cochrane has a wealth of experience in coordinating marketing‐related activities both in the nonprofit and private sector. She most recently started Sustainable Initiatives, a business development consulting focused on growing and developing small and new businesses. Prior to starting Sustainable Initiative, Brandy worked at GPN where she assisted them in building a growth capital marketplace for the nonprofit sector and assisted in planning the first Social Impact Conference on Scaling held in 2010. She also worked in the marketing department at Massey Knakal, a New York‐based commercial real estate firm. There she oversaw meeting and event planning, materials presentation, website content and a database of more than 900 properties. She also developed a program that increased web traffic and monitored its effectiveness. Prior to Massey Knakal, Ms. Cochrane worked in various capacities at other organizations, including the Jeanie Bird Foundation, where she was responsible for customer relationship management, report and presentation development, systems improvement and inventory control.

Ms. Cochrane is also very involved in community‐based activities. She founder and is currently the acting program manager at Friends of the Woods, a nonprofit organization for which she recently helped secure a $500,000 allocation in the New York City Parks and Recreation budget. Ms. Cochrane is also the recipient of the 2011 New Yorkers for Parks Daffodil Award. In addition, she serves as a mentor with the Jeanie Bird Foundation and on the boards of The Bronx News Network, The West Bronx Community Coalition, The Bronx Community Coalition and Girls Empowerment Movement.


Dart Westphal – Board Secretary

Organizational Development Consultant, The Support Center for NonProfit Management

Community Board 8 Resident

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Dart Westphal is an organizational development consultant with 30 years of experience in helping community organizations achieve their goals. He has been instrumental in developing the Bronx River Alliance, developed new funding methods for supportive housing, created a Business Improvement District and started a nonprofit newspaper. In addition, Dart provides consulting and coaching services to numerous collaborations and organizations including environmental organizations, social services organizations and faith‐based and cultural institutions.

As part of the Support Center’s team, Dart is collaborating on the development of the Trajectory Leadership Project and is part of a multi‐disciplinary team developing a new corporate structure for the Helen Keller National Center. Dart is actively engaged in developing the Harlem River Working Group, a new environmental collaboration, and a strategic plan for the Bronx Jewish Community Council.

Dart has an MA from Catholic University has been an adjunct faculty member for the Columbia School of Social Work, Lehman College and Manhattan College.


Karolyn Chamberlin

Economic Development Consultant

Karolyn Chamberlin is an economic development consultant with more than 15 years of experience serving neighborhoods, cities, and regions from across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Karolyn partners with her clients to plan and implement economic growth strategies at the local level. In addition to her consulting work, Karolyn worked for seven years in program management and development for nonprofits dedicated to community and economic development in New York City, Philadelphia, PA, and Indonesia.

Karolyn has a Masters in Urban Planning degree with an international development planning specialization from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Arts in French and anthropology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is a native English speaker, fluent in French, and has a working knowledge of Spanish and Bahasa Indonesia. She serves on the steering committee for her local park, the Friends of Rosemary’s Playground, in the Ridgewood section of Queens, New York.


Aileen Reynolds

Asset Manager and Deputy Director of Marketing, NYC Housing Development Corporation

Aileen is a long-time volunteer with The Bronx is Blooming with significant non-profit and government experience in the affordable housing industry. Aileen began working with The Bronx is Blooming while obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in general science and sociology at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus. She was a member of the original staff that launched the PLACE program in the summer of 2013. Upon graduating from Fordham, she continued to work and volunteer with The Bronx is Blooming as a consultant, until beginning her career in the affordable housing industry. Aileen has worked in both the Bronx and Harlem, helping to manage low-income housing projects benefiting from city- and federally funded programs.

Currently, Aileen works for the NYC Housing Development Corporation. She is responsible for overseeing the marketing and lease-up of a diverse portfolio of affordable housing projects for people of various income levels across New York’s five boroughs. Aileen’s experience working with public-private partnerships has provided her with a unique perspective on structuring policies and programs intended to bring about greater equity in New York City.


Christine Whelan

Clinical Professor, School of Human Ecology, Univ of Wisconsin

Director, MORE: Money, Relationships, and Equality

Dr. Christine B. Whelan is a clinical professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and director of MORE: Money, Relationships and Equality. She earned a masters and doctorate from the University of Oxford and has held teaching positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Iowa and Princeton University. She is the author of The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life (Templeton Press, 2016), Generation WTF: From “What the &%#$?” to a Wise, Tenacious and Fearless You (Templeton Press, 2011), Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women (Simon & Schuster, 2006). She has been published in The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post and The New York Times, among other national outlets. She has appeared live on television programs and radio programs across the nation. Dr. Whelan is a nationally recognized thought leader, helping groups like ThinkShift, AARP’s Life ReimaginedJackson NationalHackensack-Meridian Health and others on purpose-focused approaches to health, finances and self-improvement strategies for life’s transitions. She is on the board of SEEK Safely, and an outspoken advocate for the dissemination of research-based advice. Dr. Whelan graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Princetonian and was awarded the Daniel M. Sachs Scholarship to attend Worcester College at the University of Oxford. She and her family live and work in Madison, Wisconsin.


Board Committees

Executive Committee – Chair, Dart Westphal

Finance Committee – Chair, Brandy Cochrane