Board of Trustees
Renee Rolleri, Board Chair, Co-Founder
Inspired by the joy of working professionally with children and families, and becoming a parent herself, Renee co-founded Blue School with partners Jen Wink, Jennfier Stanton, and the three co-founders of Blue Man Group, Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton in 2006. In response to the urgent cultural need to reimagine education today, the six founders started Blue School in an effort to inspire passion for life-long learning through balancing creative thinking, academic mastery, and self and social awareness, which they identified as essential skills needed in all aspects throughout one’s life. Renee Rolleri received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design in 1992, and a masters in Art Therapy from Pratt University in 2001. Renee put her PhD at NYU in Education and Visual Culture with focus on developmental psychology on hold when she was launching Blue School. In 1993 – 1999, Renee worked as a visual artist with solo and group shows in New York City, the greater Tri-State area and the Midwest. Renee won National and International Juried Show Competitions during this time. From 1999 – 2004 Renee worked as an art therapist with children and families and as a research scientist at the NYU Child Study Center. Today Renee also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Lalela Project, and BlinkNow, with a focus on supporting children and families creative, self and social development, as well as promoting female entrepreneurs achieve their vision and professional goals for greater social good. Renee is happily married to Matt Goldman, and they are both very lucky to have an incredible son, who continues to motivate and inspire them on a daily basis to create a world that is both harmonious and sustainable. Renee and her family reside in New York City.
Matt Goldman, Board Vice Chair, Co-Founder
Matt Goldman attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where he received a Bachelor in Economics followed by a Masters in Business Administration/Marketing. He was also involved in Clark athletics, playing varsity soccer and coaching a women's club team. Upon graduation from Clark, Matt was invited to join Omni Resources, a startup software services company. He remained there for seven years, producing educational and business software packages for clients that included CBS, Simon & Schuster, Grolier, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Bantam Books and Prodigy. While at Omni, Matt formed a partnership with longtime friends Chris Wink and Phil Stanton. The three created Blue Man Group, which opened Off-Broadway at the Astor Place Theatre in 1991 and continues to play there today. Throughout their long association, Matt, Chris, and Phil have been fascinated by the interconnections between learning, creativity and community; and how, combined with new teaching techniques, the educational experience can be enhanced. It is this interest that led them to start Blue School.
Eric Huang, Board Secretary
Eric Huang is an attorney with the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, specializing in intellectual property litigation. A former engineer with a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a law degree from George Washington University, Eric counsels and represents a diverse range of international clients in intellectual property disputes in federal courts nationwide. He and his wife Tanja Norwood have a daughter in the 4th grade at Blue School.
Steven R. Wilson, Board Treasurer
Steve Wilson was born and raised in the New York metropolitan area. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School, and has served in general management, finance and planning capacities at major companies around the world for over 25 years. His experience includes turnarounds, strategic transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring.
Out of business school, after two years at W.R. Grace & Co. in New York, Steve joined Pepsico, Inc., where he served as head of planning for the Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Pepsi Cola USA, Chief Financial Officer of Frito-Lay International and President of Frito-Lay Brazil (Elma/Chips). After nine years at Pepsico, he moved to Cadbury Schweppes North America, where he was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and, later, President of Cadbury Beverages North America. After a brief entrepreneurial stint as President of the privately held Franklin Mint, Steve landed at RJR Nabisco, the newly formed LBO sponsored by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. At RJR Nabisco, he joined as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and was later promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.
When RJR Nabisco devolved much of its corporate headquarters role to its divisions in preparation for an eventual separation of its food and tobacco businesses, Steve took the opportunity to re-join the former CEO of Cadbury Schweppes North America at The Reader’s Digest Association, where Steve served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the Operating Committee of the company during a turnaround period.
Following a changing of the guard at The Reader’s Digest Association, Steve moved to London to become Finance Director and a member of the main Board of Reckitt & Colman, plc, a leading maker of household cleaning products around the world. After engineering the merger of Reckitt & Colman with Benckiser, NV, a Dutch company with a similar profile, he moved back to New York to become Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, of Bridge Information Systems, a leading global provider of electronic financial information to investment and trading professionals. Bridge was a privately-held leveraged build-up that had grown ten-fold over the prior five years with the support of Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, the New York-based investment firm. Following the sale of Bridge to Reuters, Steve joined Footstar, Inc., as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Administrative Officer; at the time, Footstar was a leading retailer of footwear in the United States. Footstar downsized and reorganized following the bankruptcy of its two largest customers, Kmart and Ames Department Stores, and successfully emerged as a dedicated supplier to the new Kmart. Currently, Steve serves as Senior Managing Director of the Brock Group in New York, providing advisory services to corporate clients around the world. He also works with OBX Advisors in restructuring assignments and with Camelot Equity Partners in private equity transactions.
Belgies Anan, Board Member
Belgies Anan is a graphic designer living in New York City with her partner. Their son Leo is in 3rd Grade at Blue School. She is originally from Germany. After graduating from the University of The Arts in Berlin, Belgies moved to New York City in 1994 to work in advertising and branding. She's worked at several NYC agencies; among them Select NY, Weiss Stagliano Partners, Brand Architecture and was a design director at Futurebrand. Since 2007 she has been designing brand identities, logos, stationery, collateral, packaging and websites for clients in a wide range of industries as a freelance designer.
Lora Appleton is the founder and CEO of kinder MODERN, the only gallery worldwide specializing in vintage children's furniture of the 20th century, and the principal furniture and textile designer at kM’s own child design studio, studiokinder. Her meticulous curatorial work, innovative exhibitions, and nuanced collections have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle Decor, Wallpaper* magazine, and more. Lora is also the editor-in-chief of KINDER, an online academic journal exploring child design of the past, present, and future. Lora’s interest in design and its implications on growth and development began after the birth of her son and current Blue School student, Willem.
Lora is a graduate of New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts and ran her award-winning branding firm, EdgeLab Inc., for ten years before turning her attention to kinder MODERN. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, she is a published portrait photographer and founder of the Female Design Council, and organization that builds community and pools resources for women designers and makers in a still predominantly male field. As a mom, business woman, and advocate, Lora strives to live her motto every day: Great design = smart and happy kids.
David Beal, Board Member
David Beal is a strategic management consultant with clients ranging from leading corporate brands to small Nano Cap companies. His current projects span several industries including media and entertainment, mobile gaming, and natural resources. Formerly, David served as the President of National Geographic Entertainment, the President of Palm Pictures and the CEO of Blue Tape. Currently David maintains his role as a Director of the TV/Film production company Noise Production Inc. and serves on the Advisory Board of Andover Games and the Board of Directors of Folio House Inc in addition to serving on Blue School's Board of Trustees. Most recently, David has teamed up with artist Gregory Colbert on Gregory’s latest endeavor, “Island of Songs.”
In addition to his corporate experience, David's early artistic endeavors included film and music production, performing with artists such as Joe Cocker, Julian Lennon, Madonna, and Peter Gabriel, and co-producing the Grammy-nominated “Theme From Mission: Impossible” with U2’s Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton.
Currently, David lives in New York City with his wife and has two daughters enrolled at Blue School, one in the 4s and one in the 1st grade.
Erin Isakov, Board Member
Erin Isakov received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University. Following graduation she worked at leading fashion brands ElieTahari and Theory before founding the ski and activewear brand ERIN SNOW. Erin takes inspiration from the ocean and mountains to design and create sustainably manufactured clothing to help people lead healthy, active lives indoors and out. ERIN SNOW has grown into an international brand with distribution in the United States, Canada and Europe. In 2013, Erin was honored as a finalist for the CFDA / Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge for her commitment to ecologically responsible and sustainable fashion design. Erin and her husband have three children who all attend Blue School. Her shared belief in reimagining education, innovative thinking and fostering creativity drive Erin’s commitment to Blue School’s mission and vision.
Lisa Kaye, Board Member
Lisa Kaye is a founding member of the Blue School community. Her daughter enrolled in the school’s lead class at its inception. Lisa grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and received her education in South Africa, Israel and New York City, receiving a BFA in Film and Television from NYU. She founded a business in London, designing sleepwear and home goods manufactured in India utilizing traditional crafts and the skilled work of local craftspeople. Upon returning to New York, Lisa opened a jewelry company, and designed jewelry handmade in India. The values Lisa shares with Blue School - her love of the arts, her sense of community and her belief that all children deserve the type of education that Blue School provides - are what make being part of the school community such a privilege for Lisa.
Hozefa Lokhandwala, Board Member
Hozefa is a Managing Director in the Media Investment Banking Group at J.P. Morgan. As the Head of Content & Entertainment Investment Banking, Hozefa focuses on providing M&A advisory, capital markets and corporate finance advice to media clients, particularly in the diversified media, programming networks, digital media, film and entertainment sectors. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Hozefa was an investment banker in the Media & Entertainment Group at Bear Stearns. Hozefa also worked in the Business & Finance group at Morgan Lewis, providing legal advisory services for M&A and Finance transactions.
Hozefa has an MBA from Columbia Business School, a JD from Brooklyn Law School, a BA from Oberlin College and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. Hozefa lives in Brooklyn with his wife Perryne, and their two kids Maya and Mason, who both attend the Blue School.
David Rock, Board Member
David Rock lives between New York and his hometown of Sydney, Australia. David coined the term NeuroLeadership and co-founded the NeuroLeadership Institute. The purpose of the Neuroleadership Institute is to encourage, generate, and share neuroscience research that transforms how people think, develop, and perform. David is CEO of NeuroLeadership Group, a global human performance consultancy that draws on the latest findings in neuroscience in consulting with organizations. He is the author of four books, including 2009 best-seller Your Brain at Work. David is on the faculty and advisory board of CIMBA, an international business school based in Europe. He is a guest lecturer at Oxford University's Said Business School. David's work has been featured in global publications, including BusinessWeek (USA), The Guardian (UK) and the Globe & Mail (Canada). David is passionate about improving learning and the way people collaborate; and spends much of his time talking to neuroscientists about how the brain works to help translate their findings for every day usage. He has two young daughters with wife Lisa Rock. Their daughters attend Blue School while living in NYC for few months every year.
Jennifer Lamberts Stanton, Board Member, Co-Founder
Jennifer Lamberts Stanton moved to New York from Texas after receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance Performance, at Southern Methodist University. After performing with a number of dance companies and regional theaters, she found herself on the Broadway stage. Jennifer has also pursued acting and performed in off broadway and off off broadway plays. Since becoming a mother, her desire to give her own children an educational experience like no other has been at the forefront. In 2006, she and her soulmate, Phil joined long time friends, Jen, Chris, Renee and Matt in founding Blue School.
Jen Wink Hays, Board Member, Co-Founder
Jen Wink Hays is an artist and graphic designer. Originally from coastal Maine, Jen moved to New York City to attend Barnard College where she majored in Modern Art History with a concentration in Visual Arts. After working in a directorial role with Blue Man Group and as a designer at the Village Voice, Jen went on to create Utility Design, a New York City graphic design studio. In subsequent years, she received an Ace Award, an SPD editorial design award and had her work published in numerous design anthologies and periodicals. After scaling back professionally to become a mother, Jen's search for a worthy, resonant educational path for her children brought her lifelong pursuit of creative expression and collaboration back to the fore. In 2006, Jen co-founded Blue School with dear friends and partners Renee, Matt, Jennifer, Phil and Chris.
Philip Stanton, Co-Founder, Founding Board Member
Philip Stanton is a graduate of public schools and Evangel College of Arts and Sciences in Springfield, Missouri. Philip received a Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from Evangel College with a double major in Religious Studies and Theatre Arts. At Evangel College, Philip discovered the joys of theatrical performance and the power of the arts to ignite the imagination and celebrate the human experience. Though Philip felt immediately at home in New York City and knew he had followed the right path, it was not until he met Chris Wink on his first assignment as a waiter for the catering firm Glorious Food, and soon thereafter Wink’s long-time friend Matt Goldman, that Philip found the endeavor that would incorporate the interests and influences he’d had throughout his life. The three began work on Blue Man Group -- a celebration of the human spirit through music, science, art, and theatre -- which has allowed them the freedom to express themselves in a variety of media, with few limitations. Having been given such generous opportunities in life to learn and explore, Philip is excited to help ignite curiosity and creativity in the context of community to new generations through Blue School.
Chris Wink, Co-Founder, Founding Board Member
Chris Wink is one of the co-founders of Blue Man Group and currently serves as the Chief Creative Officer for Blue Man Productions. Wink originally joined forces with Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton to find a creative outlet for their shared interests in percussion, technology, art, and comedy. These experiments led to the various Blue Man Group productions that have now appeared in venues all over the world. Wink’s work with Blue Man Group and Blue School has led him to explore techniques for enhancing the creative process. He has lectured on this subject before numerous organizations such as Harvard University, McKinsey and Co, and the NeuroLeadership Institute.
Lilah Fisher Wise, Board Member
Lilah is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. A former actress, she has an MFA in Drama Therapy from NYU. Lilah is President of the Lilah Hilliard Fisher Foundation, a small charitable foundation with a focus on arts education, mental health, and women and children’s health. She is also at work editing her first novel. A mom of three children attending Blue School, Lilah could not be more thrilled to serve on the board and help Blue School fulfill its mission.