Meet Our Team

Michele Hall-Duncan
Michele Hall-DuncanPresident & CEO
Michele began her career at enCourage Kids as a volunteer and joined the foundation staff full-time in 1996. Her passion and warm personality, combined with her leadership expertise, eventually led to her rise in the organization, and the Programs department flourished under her direction. In addition to overseeing the growth of the Pediatric Hospital Support Program, Michele was responsible for the creation and development of the Tablet program, which became one of the organization’s most sought-after and valuable programs. The relationships she has fostered over the years with Child Life Staff and all levels of hospital administration have helped her to develop an integral understanding of their needs and has helped position the organization to be on the forefront of state-of-the-art programming.

Michele is a Trustee of the Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation where she serves as board Secretary and chair of the governance committee. She also serves on the Advisory Board of one of the nation’s leading anti-bullying organizations, STOMP Out BullyingTM, and is a board member of the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where she also serves on the Professional Advancement Committee. A native of Flint, Michigan, Michele is a proud graduate of Michigan State University (go Spartans!!) with a B.A. in Advertising and has been an active associate member of the Essex Hudson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for 10 years. Michele has been featured in Social Lifestyle Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, Resident Magazine, ABC7, CBS New York and Spectrum1, to name a few.

Christina Buono
Christina BuonoManager of External Relations
Christina excitedly joined enCourage Kids in August 2013 and has been on a mission to make enCourage Kids a household name ever since. After graduating from Monmouth University with a BA in Communications and a minor in Sociology, Christina began working for Best Buddies, where her responsibilities included running after-school friendship clubs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities promoting social inclusion and disability awareness.
Fast forward two years, she found herself living in and loving all NYC had to offer while working for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – where her love for planning events fully emerged.
Tied to enCourage Kids by a personal mission connection, Christina feels lucky to be able to put her youth services background and her love for making a difference to good use.
Christina has a wonderful husband, Michael, who is also an EKF superfan, and welcomed a brand new baby boy, Mikey in November 2018. She enjoys summers by the beach, spicy tuna rolls and her not so guilty pleasure, reality TV.
Giselle Dean Miller
Giselle Dean MillerDirector of Special Events
Giselle is a native Texan who fell in love with New York as a child during her summer visits to study ballet. She attended NYU, majoring in Italian. NYU was her excuse and opportunity to move to New York. In her vast experience, she has organized fundraising events for the Metropolitan Opera, the Dance Theater of Harlem, Princess Grace Foundation, Skin Cancer Foundation, Hazelden and Girl Scout Council of Greater NY. She also worked at the Writers Guild of America, East where she organized their Annual Awards Dinner among other events. She came to enCourage Kids in 2007 and has been extremely fulfilled by the work that she does in furthering the organization’s mission. She is in charge of all their fundraising events including the Annual Gala; our tasting event, Serving Up Smiles; enCourage Kids Night at Citi Field; and our Golf Outing. She has two wonderful daughters, is an avid yogi, enjoys playing ping pong and travelling the world.
Allison Evans
Allison EvansProgram Associate
Allison joined enCourage Kids as their Programs Associate in July 2017 after graduating from Barnard College of Columbia University in the City of New York with a BA in Psychology and Dance. Her passion for creativity, empowering underserved youth, and strong commitment to helping others has been the driving factor in each of her experiences thus far. While in undergrad, Allison served as a Well Woman Peer Educator, providing one-on-one counseling and educational wellness workshops to the Columbia University community. She has also worked with Movement Exchange and Peace x Peaceorganizations to teach conflict resolution, nutrition, and self-care to youth at Aldeas SOS Orphanage in Panamá and at public schools in the Harlem and Morningside Heights area. Prior to joining the enCourage Kids Team, Allison worked as an Interventionist at Teacher’s College Center for Cerebral Palsy conducting research with kids affected by hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Allison loves tacos, Planet Earth documentaries, dogs, and all things enCourage Kids Programs!
Danielle Giorgetti
Danielle GiorgettiOffice Manager
Danielle joined enCourage Kids in 2007. As Office Manager, she supports company operations by maintaining office systems and implementing special projects, but she secretly likes to be known as the Office Ninja and all-around go-to gal providing general administrative support wherever she’s needed.

A native New Yorker, Danielle attend Polytechnic University in Farmingdale, LI as an Aerospace Engineering major but switched to a humanities track when it became obvious that she enjoyed an evening with Shakespeare more than structural loads. After college Danielle ran away (sort of) to join the Big Apple Circus headquarters in Manhattan, where she worked for almost 10 years helping to administer their hospital clowning and after-school programs, and coordinating special performances of the tent show for blind and deaf children in their major tour markets.

Danielle was named the 2007 Eastern Region Community Leader of the Year by America’s Charities and is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Passionate about the performing arts, Danielle is also an active member of the St. Bart’s Players, NYC’s longest continuously running community theater group, where she served on the Board from 2001 to 2014, planning and executing more than 40 main stage productions and fundraising events. Since then she has worked on and off stage in numerous roles including as Stage Manager and her favorite, Props Master. Danielle also volunteers at fundraising events for the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, where she has served as a Production Assistant for their award shows and Gala productions, and as a celebrity escort for legendary icons Liza Minnelli and Bebe Neuwirth (a definite check mark on her bucket list!)

Briana Horwich
Briana HorwichDevelopment & Impact Philanthropy Associate
Briana is the Development & Impact Philanthropy Associate at enCourage Kids Foundation. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and a Minor in Sociology. Briana has always been passionate about helping others. She was a mentor at Storyteller Children’s Center, helping at-risk and homeless children develop self-esteem, social, and language skills. She also offered support and guidance to underclassman as a Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Ambassador.

After graduating, Briana moved back to the East Coast and started her career in the nonprofit realm working at ELEM, an organization that offers treatment, counseling and social services to troubled youth in Israel. In April 2018, Briana joined the enCourage Kids team and is excited to continue her dedication of improving the lives of children by helping them overcome obstacles so that no child feels afraid or alone.

Mallory Humphries
Mallory HumphriesCommunications Manager
Mallory joined the enCourage Kids Foundation team as their Communications Manager in September 2018. Prior to joining enCourage Kids, Mallory worked at Futures and Options in NYC; an organization that provides work-readiness training to underprivileged teens and Extra Special People in Athens, GA; an organization that provides programming for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She created content for their website, social media platforms, and marketing initiatives, and worked as a member of the development team.

Mallory graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Science in 2016 and moved on to get her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Georgia as well, making her a Double Dawg. During her time in college, she was an active member of many nonprofit and student organizations. She served on the executive board of UGA Miracle and was an integral part of their mission to raise money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is passionate about serving others, creating equal opportunities for all, and improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses. She is looking forward to continuing to work with enCourage Kids as they grow and expand across the country.

Sandro Lemberg
Sandro LembergOperations Manager
Sandró is responsible for database management and business analysis. He graduated from Baruch College with a Management degree. He is a ping pong player and speaks several languages. Favorite food is Georgian and Canadian.
Sophie Lesser
Sophie LesserDevelopment Manager
Sophie joined the enCourage Kids team in October 2018 as a Development Manager. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2013. During her time in college, she was an active board member of five student organizations. Upon graduation, she began her four year tenure at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where she developed her passion for fundraising. She has been volunteering with NYLaughs since the spring of 2014, helping to bring joy to New York City. At enCourage Kids, she works to make every event exciting, every race with Team EKF inspiring, and is passionate about making the world a brighter place for everyone in it.
Thomas Sullivan
Thomas SullivanStaff Accountant
There are two primary things that make this Queens, New York native smile: Travelling to different countries as well as his hobby in DSLR Photography for The Gram. With his “Mercy Maverick Mentality” approach, he conducts a multitude of back-end functions that are vital for the organization. During his spare time, he plays classic arcade games and makes a mean Taco Casserole!
Emma Wolk
Emma WolkDevelopment Manager
Emma joined enCourage Kids Foundation in August of 2017 as an energetic member of the Development team. She is eager to share the mission of enCourage Kids and raise vital funds to ensure that sick children across the country experience joy, hope, resilience, and healing.
Emma attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) where she majored in Communications with a focus in T.V., Radio, and Film, and received a minor in Digital Studies. Emma began her journey in the nonprofit world at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and later, New York Cares, and feels lucky to be able to help make a difference.
Emma enjoys traveling, loves all things chocolate, and hopes to one day conquer the New York City Marathon.