Our Non-Profit Board

Gerald R. Kunde II (Chip)

Board Chair; Vice President, Sysco Systems
Gerald R. Kunde II (Chip)

Board Chair; Vice President, Sysco Systems

As the Vice President of Government Relations at Sysco Systems, Chip has led the development and implementation of a comprehensive government relations strategy and organizational structure to promote and protect Sysco's public policy interests at the local, state, federal and international levels. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Sysco Systems is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Their family of products also include equipment and supplies for the food service and hospitality industries. Sysco operates 194 distribution facilities serving approximately 425,000 customers. For FY 2014 that ended June 28, 2014, the company generated sales of more than $46 billion.

Previously, he has served in senior management roles at Darden, the International Dairy Foods Association, and the State Government Affairs Manufacturers Association responsible for setting strategic direction for their legislative and political programs, and managing teams of government relations professionals and consultants.Chip holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Executive and Legislative Management from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Florida.

Blushel Ocbina

Board Vice Chair; Booz Allen Hamilton
Blushel Ocbina

Board Vice Chair; Booz Allen Hamilton

Blushel has been involved with Leadership Initiatives since 2005 when she established and managed LI's programs in the Philippines. Following the conclusion of her contract in 2007, Blushel became an active volunteer and supporter of the organization, eventually joining the advisory board in 2009 and serving as its chair in 2012. Blushel joined the LI Board in 2013 and has been serving as its vice chair since. Blushel brings to Leadership Initiatives her passion for community service and development. Her involvement in numerous community service programs over the years has allowed her to better understand the important role of the individual in effecting change.

Blushel is an alumna of the University of Southern California. She has more than 12 years of professional experience serving the needs of public, private, and civic organizations in the areas of strategic communications, change management, marketing, branding, portfolio management, program management, project management, stakeholder management, proposal management, and business analysis / business process improvement. Blushel is currently employed by Booz Allen Hamilton where she has been since 2011.

Carmine C. Carullo

ExxonMobil Medicine & Occupational Health
Carmine C. Carullo

ExxonMobil Medicine & Occupational Health

Since graduating from Wagner College with a BA in economics and masters in finance, Carmine C. Carullo has built a nearly 40-year career with ExxonMobil Corporation. It is here that he has combined his business expertise with civic engagement locally and worldwide. Carullo's ExxonMobil career has taken him from New York, where he worked in accounting and finance; to Singapore and Indonesia to Virginia, where he has worked in various controller and finance positions, as coordinator of government reporting, and as assistant secretary for shareholder relations.

Now, as planning manager of medicine and occupational health worldwide, he is charged with the well-being of 80,000 employees in 50 countries. He travels extensively to visit the company's more than 100 medical clinics. He is also involved in community health initiatives such as malaria control, HIV/AIDS prevention, clean water delivery, medical waste disposal, and medical donations. He has also worked on hospital projects in Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.

Carullo is a dedicated supporter of civic organizations in his home community as well, especially Food for Others, of which he was a board member and treasurer, 2003-2010. It is the largest distributor of free food directly to people in need in Northern Virginia. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1989, finance leader for the Emergency Oil Spill Response Team, and treasurer of Felicity Cove Association Inc.

Nicolas Benore

Portfolio Manager at PNC
Nicolas Benore

Portfolio Manager at PNC

Portfolio Manager PNC
October 2012 – Present (2 years)Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area
-Develop, execute, and refine portfolio management strategies to optimize value of high-risk Non-Strategic and Consumer Retail assets in conjunction with functional partners.
-P&L ownership of broker-originated Home Equity portfolio.
PNCPricing Manager

Pricing Manager PNC
March 2011 – October 2012 (1 year 8 months)Greater Pittsburgh Area
-Develop, recommend, and execute pricing strategy for the Consumer Retail product portfolio (Home Equity Loans/Lines of Credit, Auto, Personal Loans/Lines of Credit, etc), including account acquisition and account management programs with joint accountability with key partners.
-Create optimized, risk-based pricing to exceed financial goals while maintaining a moderate risk profile
-Incorporate risk, behavioral, and price elasticity assumptions into price setting strategy in collaboration with functional partners
PNCSenior Pricing/Financial Analyst

Senior Pricing/Financial Analyst PNC
February 2010 – March 2011 (1 year 2 months)Greater Pittsburgh Area
-Design, deploy, and administer system to allow management of over 200000 price points across Consumer Lending products
-Create automated reporting processes to analyze and distribute competitive information, estimated monthly financial forecasts, application trends, and weekly rate exceptions
-Execute ad-hoc analysis using data from a variety of sources to support Pricing Managers

Rick Kuehn

Entrepreneur / Commander, 452 Airlift Control Flight, USAF Reserve
Rick Kuehn

Entrepreneur / Commander, 452 Airlift Control Flight, USAF Reserve

Rick’s career has taken him all over the world, from Afghanistan and rural Kenya to NYC and the Pentagon. An Air Force Reserve Officer, he currently commands a rapid-response team that responds to humanitarian and other emergencies, setting up and operating airfields on short notice with minimal manpower and equipment. He runs a small firm focused on applying Red Team and Design thinking to small businesses.

Previously, he managed an engineering consulting start-up in Manhattan, led a water supply project in Kipingi Kenya with Engineers Without Borders, and worked as a disaster responder with the American Red Cross in Greater New York. As a military officer and aviator, he has commanded missions to 4 continents, led a team of 300 in response to the Haiti Earthquake, and provided advice to senior leaders, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rick has undergraduate degrees in history and computer engineering from Stevens Tech, an MBA from the University of South Carolina, and a Masters in Military Studies from Marine Corps University. He has been on the board of Leadership Initiatives since 2014.

Elizabeth Ghandakly

Oracle America, Inc.- Senior Corporate Counsel
Elizabeth Ghandakly

Oracle America, Inc.- Senior Corporate Counsel

Since graduating from The Ohio State University with a joint JD/Masters in Public Policy Administration in 2009, Liz has worked as a corporate attorney focusing on public sector contract negotiation, ethics and compliance, privacy and security law, intellectual property, licensing, and government regulation. She spent over five years in the IBM Legal Department and is currently in her second year at Oracle. She is also a Member of the City of Alexandria Public Health Advisory Commission, working to advise and support the City on public health policy matters.

While pursuing her undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science at Ohio State, Liz also studied abroad at the University of Damascus in Syria in 2005 as part of her Arabic minor. While in law school, she worked as the Editor-in-Chief of the Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal. Having travelled extensively in the Middle East and studied development from an economic, political, and legal perspective, she is inspired by the Leadership Initiatives mission of empowering community leaders to drive local development through entrepreneurship.

Whitney Derber

Attorney at Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick LLP
Whitney Derber

Attorney at Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick LLP

Whitney graduated from the Washington College of Law, American University in Washington, D.C. in 2008, where she focused her JD/MA studies on the effects of trade and foreign investment on development, as well as methods for creating sustainable economic development. She was called to the Bar in California in early 2009, shortly after moving to British Columbia in 2008. Whitney was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2011 after completing her articles with Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick LLP, where she continues to practice civil litigation.

She has traveled extensively throughout the developing world, and has a broad background in business development, intellectual property rights and development methods, and is a firm believer in community-identified, established and funded programs as a method for sustainable development.

Penny Daniels

Strategist, Executive Communications Coach, Messaging, Speechwriting, Presentations for 3D Communications
Penny Daniels

Strategist, Executive Communications Coach, Messaging, Speechwriting, Presentations for 3D Communications

Penny Daniels is a strategic communications consultant and coach for pharmaceutical and device companies, academic institutions, government, and non-profits, empowering top executives and scientists to communicate effectively in urgent, high-pressure environments. An accomplished writer, Penny is recognized for her ability to quickly distill essential messages from complex data, assisting individuals and teams in developing presentations, speeches, webcasts and other content. Penny excels in helping communicators optimize their own individual styles to meet audience needs and achieve business and organizational goals.

A former national broadcast journalist, Penny uses her experience to make even the most senior executives comfortable with the coaching process and draw the best performances from the most reluctant presenters. Penny helps communicators succeed at challenging FDA advisory committee meetings and scientific conferences, present to critical internal audiences and develop and deliver important messages to an increasingly skeptical press.

Ahmed Suleiman Mohammed

Director of Talent Acquisition, Dartmouth College – Hanover, NH
Ahmed Suleiman Mohammed

Director of Talent Acquisition, Dartmouth College – Hanover, NH

Ahmed has been in the human resources and management field for over 13 years. His professional experiences extend over for profit and non-profit organizations within the United States. He has managed human resource activities in a Fortune 50 company with sales of up to $50 billion a year and has also successfully lead and transformed recruitment, management functions and talent acquisition activities at two Ivy League institutions, Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts and Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Ahmed’s academic accomplishments include a Diploma in Computer Studies from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi State Nigeria, an Associate Degree in Computer Applications Management from Bay State College, Boston Massachusetts, a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is also an Administrative Fellows Program graduate at Harvard University in Boston, MA.

A native of Bauchi State in Nigeria, Ahmed has lived and visited various countries around the world including Europe, Asia, The Middle East, North and South America, and Africa, earning him the title, “global citizen” among his friends and colleagues. He now resides in Boston, MA and travels to Nigeria following his passion for social change in Africa and the world. Balancing everyday life is a process according to Ahmed. “One step leads to the next in an ever-changing cycle. There are no silver bullet solutions. The key is to always be analyzing your personal and professional situation, and making decisions that will have a cumulative effect towards your personal definition of success.”

Bill Stefan

Principal Deputy Director, Corporate Applications Office, National Reconnaissance Office COMMSPrincipal Deputy Director, Corporate Applications Office, National Reconnaissance Office COMMS
Bill Stefan

Principal Deputy Director, Corporate Applications Office, National Reconnaissance Office COMMSPrincipal Deputy Director, Corporate Applications Office, National Reconnaissance Office COMMS

As a Senior Executive in the federal government, Bill has over 40 years of experience in management, employee training and development, strategic planning, creating global communications and strategic networks, and research & development.

Bill has over 15 years of Senior Executive Service within the US Intelligence Community, including assignments as Associate Director of National Intelligence for Financial Management, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Deputy Enterprise Management, DIA Director of DIA Business Solutions, Director DIA Resource Management Office, Deputy Director of the Military Intelligence Staff, and DIA lead for the Iraq Threat Finance Cell.

Bill was also a former Senior Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers and a retired US Army Officer with over 22 years of service. Bill graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1976 and obtained a Master of Science in Business Administration from Boston University in 1981. Bill holds certifications as a CPA, CFE, CGFM, and CDFM.