Meet Our Board

Visionary Leadership since 1987

enCourage Kids Foundation has been fortunate to have been guided by solid visionary leadership since 1987, whose strategic decision-making and guidance steer the organization. The board of directors includes individuals from key area businesses, organizations, and the community, from such industries as real estate, finance and banking, media and entertainment, international apparel, beauty, and hospitality. Their knowledge and insight combined with their vision for the future are essential to the Foundation’s continued success.


Joseph Wessely
Board Chair

After a career span of nearly 40 years in the banking industry, Joe Wessely retired in 2018 from his position as Managing Director at Dime Community Bank, where he was responsible for business banking clients and commercial banking products.

Joan Palermo
Vice Chair

Ernst & Young LLP
As a Partner in Ernst & Young LLP’s Assurance practice, Joan Palermo serves as the Northeast Region Health Care Market Segment Assurance Leader, managing teams of high-performing professionals and coordinating EY resources to assist clients in the healthcare industry, including provider care and managed care companies.

Tony Fineman

ACORE Capital, LP
Tony Fineman has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate business. At ACORE, he is responsible for originating, underwriting, structuring, and closing commercial real estate financing opportunities, and for managing originations for the Eastern Region.

Mary Krayeske

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Mary Krayeske has more than 25 years of experience as a State and Federal regulatory attorney with expertise in rate cases and privacy.

Jeff Gural
Chairman Emeritus

GFP Real Estate
Jeffrey Gural is Chairman of GFP Real Estate, which has an ownership interest in 41 properties, almost all of which are located in Manhattan.



John Anastasio

Staten Island University Hospital

Steve Carbone


Jocelyn Chisholm Carter

Humana Healthy Horizons

Erika Feil-Lincoln

Claudia Hilbert

Special Events Consultant

Diane Rode

Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital

Robert Rosenberg

Wells Fargo Bank

Alan Roth

Signature Bank

Paul Verdi

Capital One Commercial Real Estate Group

Michael Weinstein

Ark Restaurants Corp.

Adam Spies

Cushman & Wakefield

Meet Our Chairman’s Circle

Lucy Ball

Lone Pine Foundation

Kip Crennan

Hampton Beauty Associates

Buzzy Geduld

Cougar Capital

Jeff Gural

GFP Real Estate

James O’Donnell

Citi Markets

Harvey Sanders