The Hudson School is governed by a fifteen member self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. It is recognized as a charitable nonprofit educational organization, under Section 501 c 3 of the United States Internal Revenue Code. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of the school: engaging, evaluating and discharging a head, setting tuition, approving an annual budget, assuring the financial affairs of the school are maintained on a solid foundation and achieving its Mission in accordance with its Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws.
Officers of the School are elected by the Board at its Annual Meeting during the fall of the year. Trustees are elected by the Board to serve for a term of three years, on a staggered basis, to assure continuity of governance. Annually, the Board of Trustees receives and reviews an Audited Financial Statement, prepared by an Independent Certified Public Accountant. (Polcari & Co.)
The board provides strategic leadership, while the daily affairs of the School rest upon the Head who reports to the Board at its monthly meeting. The Hudson School is represented in legal matters by William Cagney, Esq., of the law firm of Windells, Marx, Mittendorf and Lane.
Daniel J. Gans, Chair
Dr. Minalkumar Patel, Vice Chair*
Arnold Lewis, Treasurer
Karol Roberts, Recording Secretary
Joel Freiser, President Emeritus
Robert J. Menendez*
*Hudson School Alumnus
Suellen F. Newman, Founder
Samuel Reckford, President Emeritus
Daniel Gans, Chairman of the Board
Daniel J. Gans serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Hoboken Brownstone Company – one of the nation’s leading innovator of energy efficient building practices and technology – overseeing the firm’s design, approval process and construction operations.
Mr. Gans’ career in the real estate industry and experience in the development of community-conscience and environmentally-responsible new home neighborhoods dates back more than 35 years when he joined personal friend and partner George Vallone to form the locally based Hoboken Brownstone Company. Their first project was a renovation of four condominium homes.
Daniel has been on the Hudson School Board since its inception in the mid 80’s. He is the parent of a Hudson Middle School alumnus and lives in Hoboken.
Minalkumar Patel, MD, MPH, Vice Chair
Minalkumar (Minal) Patel (MS ’84) currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Horizon BCBSNJ. Minal is a physician and entrepreneur with a passion for creating value in our healthcare system and has previously served as CEO and founder of Care Management International, President and COO of Horizon Healthcare of NY, strategy consultant with McKinsey and Company, and a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. He has been a member of the board at The Hudson School since 2004, and Treasurer from 2007 to 2016.
Arnold Lewis, Treasurer
Arnold joined the Hudson School board in January of 2015. Arnold’s daughter Kai attended the Hudson School for High School, graduating in 2013. Curently, Arnold is a Vice President of Macy’s, responsible for Credit Marketing and Customer Loyalty. Prior to Macy’s, Arnold was Senior Vice President of CitiCards, Rewards Product Management where he was responsible for New Product Development and Strategy Reward Card Products. Prior to Citi, Arnold was President of United Loyalty Services where he led United Airlines’ Mileage Plus frequent flier program and partnerships. Arnold started his business career at American Express in 1988 and spent 15 years in a variety of roles including Director of the Membership Rewards program, Vice President of Strategic Alliances Card Acquisition and Vice President of Business Alliances, where he was responsible for managing all Membership Rewards partners and developing new partnerships and co-brand cards with companies like Costco, Lexus, Hilton and Starwood.
Arnold received his Brown degree in History as a member of the Class of 1983 and a MBA from Harvard Business School in 1988.
Jeanne Shanahan, Recording Secretary
Jeanne Shanahan has had two sons attend The Hudson School High School. Jeanne was involved with the development of the Parents Association, and has served in every volunteer position as a parent at The Hudson School. She has also led the Parents Association as a co-chair for seven years.
Professionally Jeanne served as the Marketing Director for KLS advisors, a boutique investment firm. After having children, Jeanne decided to go back to school and completed a Dual Master’s Program at NYU. Her career moved to teaching and developing an Asperger’s School at NYU Child Study Institute.
Jeanne is currently developing a film production company that will service children with special needs.
Viraj Desai, CFA, is an alumnus of the Hudson School (Middle School Class of 2000, High School Class of 2004) and has been a member of the board since 2015. Professionally, Viraj is a member of the Strategic Asset Allocation and Delegated CIO function of BlackRock Solutions, which provides complex solutions support for BlackRock’s largest institutional clients. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2015, Viraj worked for Columbia Management in Boston, where he was a member of the Global Asset Allocation portfolio management team. Viraj has a BA in Economics from New York University and is a member of the CFA Institute.
Joel Freiser was elected to The Hudson School Board of Trustees in 1996. He and his wife, Marilyn, are parents of two Hudson School graduates. Sarah Freiser graduated from Hudson High School in 2001 and Smith College in 2005. Laura Freiser is a 2002 graduate of The Hudson School and earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Drexel University in 2007.
Joel chaired the Hudson School Board of Trustees capital campaign committee to finance construction of the school’s present home at 601 Park Avenue, completed in 2002. Joel was elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1996. In 2015, He stepped down as chair and was elected as vice chair. He served as a member of the search committee to fill the position of Head of School upon founding director Suellen Newman’s announced retirement in June of 2016.
Professionally, Joel served as a federal, county and municipal government economic development official for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Essex County Government, the City of Hoboken and the City of Newark. He is an adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and the John Jay College of criminal justice. He is also a member and past president of the United Synagogue of Hoboken.
Bill Georges is Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer at Horizon BCBSNJ, the state’s largest health insurer covering 3.8 million members. In this role, Mr. Georges is responsible for overseeing corporate strategy, business development and the Strategic Initiatives Group which develops and implements key business programs. Prior to this role, Mr. Georges was Vice President, Business Development, responsible for developing and structuring new business opportunities that drive income growth and diversification. He also manages the company’s private equity fund investments.
Mr. Georges has also served as Vice President, Marketing & Product Development, where he was responsible for the company’s product development, sales forecasting, marketing & market research, competitive intelligence and public relations efforts. Mr. Georges joined Horizon BCBSNJ in 2008 and initially served as Vice President, Investor Relations, during the company’s effort to convert to a for-profit, publicly traded entity.
Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Mr. Georges was Vice President and Senior Analyst at JPMorgan Securities, where as a sell-side analyst, he covered the Managed Care industry. Mr. Georges holds an AB, magna cum laude, in Economics from Brown University, a JD from Villanova University, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Shay Grinfeld is an experienced entrepreneur and a passionate technology and sustainability advocate and investor.
Currently Shay is the managing director at Thylacine Capital, a family office investment firm with a focus on technology, real estate, and energy. Shay currently serves as a board member at Happify, Inc. a company with the vision is to use cutting-edge science and innovative technology to empower individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Shay also serves as a board member in Iluminare Biotechnologies, Inc. and Thylacine Realty Group.
Shay was previously a partner in Greenfield Cities an investment firm focused on technology, renewable energy, and sustainable technologies. Prior to Greenfield Cities, Shay was the Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at WebCollage, Inc., a software as a service (SaaS) company in the Online Advertising vertical (Sold to Answers Corporation). Prior to WebCollage, Shay was CEO of e-Glue USA, Inc., a CRM software company (Sold to Nasdaq: NICE). Prior to e-Glue, Shay was the Vice President of Product Development at Alfy, a media company focusing on the online educational games for kids.
Shay holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an Executive MBA from Columbia University School of Business.
Robert J. Menendez
Robert is a corporate associate at Lowenstein Sandler LLP and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law in Newark.
Robert is a graduate of The Hudson School (HS ’03) and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013.
Karol was a school administrative staff member for many years, most recently, Human Resources Coordinator for a charter school in Jersey City. She and her husband moved to Hoboken from Boston in 1986 and are the parents of Randi ’05 (MS ’01) and Alix ’09 (MS ’05). Karol has served as a board member since 2001.
Zemin serves as a trustee or an activist in various non-profit organizations, such as Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, Essex County Arts and History Council, Newark Water Group, and PLANewark. He has been planting flowers on his street for 25 years. He holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology. His two children, Myles, HS’15, and Maia, HS’17, ride the train to the Hudson School.