Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Rising Leaders Council

Rising Leaders Council | Get Involved

The Rising Leaders are a vibrant group of young philanthropists committed to the mission of New York Cares. This dedicated group spearheads new volunteer initiatives and raises more than $250,000 annually in support of New York Cares year-round programs.

Member Expectations

  • Commit to a net impact of $5,000 throughout the fiscal year (10/1 - 9/30), in one or more of the following areas:
    • Pledge a minimum personal financial commitment of $500 across the year of service
    • Raise or leverage donations to New York Cares inclusive of event ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, general individual donations, Cares Champions fundraising, etc.
    • Secure in-kind donations to support RLC fundraising events throughout the year
  • Be an active volunteer:
    • Attend monthly meetings throughout the year, typically held on the last Tuesday evening of every month
    • Actively participate in New York Cares calendar programs by volunteering on projects throughout the year
  • Introduce the New York Cares mission to your company by engaging them in our annual events such as the Coat Drive, Winter Wishes, and Cares Days or introducing them to our customized corporate programs
  • Serve as an ambassador for New York Cares at special events throughout the year.

Member Benefits

  • Attend networking happy hours with other members and their guests across many industries in New York City (e.g. real estate, finance, technology, culinary arts)
  • Receive a special annual session of “Meet the Executive Director”, to connect with and hear from New York Cares’ Executive Director, Gary Bagley;
  • Exposure to the strategic objectives of the New York Cares Board of Directors, whom the Rising Leaders support on several initiatives to fundraise for the organization;
  • Granted access to volunteer opportunities that New York Cares offers in the areas of education, revitalization, and immediate needs
  • Earn the distinct honor of making an impact on their community while building their own empathy for the New York City community-at-large.

Current RLC members

RLC Leadership:


Gus Garcia, BAML (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)


Ashton McLeod, Berlin Rosen

Finance Chair

Will Breskman, Bregal Sagemount

Membership Co-Chair

Elyse Kromer, Entrepreneur 

Membership Co-Chair

Kaitlin Bergan, BlackRock

Soiree Co-Chair

Emily Panzer, Pitney Bowes

Soiree Co-Chair

Nirupa Raghunathan, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Concert Co-Chair

Nikaline McCarley, Thrive Global

Concert Co-Chair

Megan Mainardy, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp


Council Members

Tara Almassi

Abasi Aniton, Cristo Rey New York

Romeo Ardimento, Ernst and Young

Megan Asmar, Entrepreneur

Emily Baldwin, Zola

Heather Berstein, Audible

Victoria Billecocq

Dan Birney, RXR Realty

Eric Brown, Eye ui

Becca Connolly, Morgan Stanley

Josh Cromer, Rialto Capital

Reiley Dabbs, Bloomberg

Brett Davis, Bennie

Mark Doramus, Centerview Partners

Roshan Dutta, BlueMountain Capital

Colleen Fitzgerald, Google

Kyle Hartman, American Express

Hari Joy, Clayton Dubilier & Rice

Omar Khedr, American Express

Phil Kirschner, WeWork

Pradeepa Krish, JP Morgan

Jenna McElhinney, Blackstone Group

Thomas Murray, Goldman Sachs

Frederico Padilha, J.P. Morgan

Charlotte Savino, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Melody Serafino, No. 29 Communications

Julie Silver

Scott Silverstein, EQ Office (Blackstone Group)

Ellie Stein, Goldman Sachs

Nalima Toure, Entrepreneur

Sandra Will, Renaissance Management, Inc.

Cassandra Young, Microsoft

As of 7/2/2020

Affiliations for identification purposes only. 

Become a Rising Leader

Interested in joining the committee? Submit the application below to get started.