John Lyons is a film producer who resides in New York City. As an independent producer, he has worked on many successful films, including BOOGIE NIGHTS, PIECES OF APRIL, AUSTIN POWERS, and SISTERS. From 2003 to 2011, he was the President of Production at Focus Features, overseeing all aspects of production and marketing of popular and award-winning films. Among the films he produced, twelve won Academy Awards and fifty-five received Oscar nominations.
Brett Williams is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs & Public Policy at CreativeFuture, a nonprofit coalition of over 560 companies and organizations and over 250,000 members who advocate for the value of creativity in the digital age. Brett began his career in New York, and spent over a decade in independent film production. He has a lifelong passion for food, cooking, and education. Brett grew up in Texas and Singapore, and currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner and two pugs, Beverly and Frances.
Jim Head is a Partner at BDT & Company, a merchant banking firm. He has 30 years of strategic and financial advisory experience, including 21 years at Morgan Stanley, where he was the co-Head of M&A for the Americas. Jim received a BS in Finance from Indiana University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School.
Eden Werring is a seasoned executive with eighteen years of experience in nonprofit and philanthropic management and strategy. After serving as Executive Director of various nonprofits and foundations, Eden joined Arabella Advisors as Senior Advisor in 2015. Eden is also a writer, currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Sarah Lawrence College, and is at work on her first book, a memoir. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children, one dog, six chickens, and a vegetable garden.
Mary Bernard is an accomplished lawyer whose 20-year career focused on corporate finance and investment banking. From 2004 through 2008, Mary served as Global General Counsel of Credit Suisse’s investment bank and was a member of the Bank’s operating, risk management and global commitment committees. Mary began her legal career in 1988 at King & Spalding in Atlanta, became a partner in 1996 and moved to New York to lead the Firm’s corporate finance practice. Since retiring in 2008, Mary has run a family investment and real estate office. Mary’s charitable activities focus on children and education. In addition to serving on our Board, she is a former director of Student Sponsor Partners and has sponsored high school students through the SSP program for more than 15 years.
David Maupin was born in California and studied art history at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. He started his professional career abroad in Italy, where he met Lehmann Maupin Gallery co-founder Rachel Lehmann in 1991. For nearly two decades, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media.
Sophie McNally most recently served as interim-CEO for Keith McNally Restaurant Group, a family company based in New York. Sophie took on myriad roles within the organization over the course of her seven year tenure, developing expertise at the intersection of business and F&B operations. Newly based in Los Angeles, she is excited to continue working in hospitality, while also pursuing a more just food system. In 2011, Sophie was the first employee of Edible Schoolyard NYC and learned first-hand the power of an edible education.
Christine Muhlke is the founder of Bureau X, a food and lifestyle consultancy. After years as the executive editor at Bon Appétit, she is now editor at large. She has written cookbooks with Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, David Kinch of Manresa, and Eric Werner of Hartwood, and contributes frequently to the New York Times, Lucky Peach, Cherry Bombe, and other publications. She lives in New York City and gardens on weekends in Woodstock.
Raph Osnoss is a Principal at General Atlantic, a growth equity firm, where he focuses on investments in financial technology. He previously held roles at Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Berkshire Partners. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Manhattan and Washington, CT with his wife, Kimberly, and two sons.
Alexander Smalls is an iconic figure in American cooking and a James Beard Award winning author/chef/ restaurateur. He has owned multiple celebrated Harlem eateries including the re-opened Minton’s Playhouse, The Cecil—which was Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant in America” in 2014—and the acclaimed Café Beulah which was the first fine dining African American restaurant in NYC. Smalls was named one of Zagat’s NYC Restaurant Power Players. He is the author of 3 critically acclaimed cookbooks, and his most recent book, Meals, Music, and Muses, was named one of the Top 5 Lifestyle Books 2020 by Publisher’s Weekly. Smalls is a world-renowned opera singer and the winner of a Grammy and a Tony Award.
Cynthia Wood is a native New Yorker with a love for food, travel, and the arts. Cynthia
works at Columbia University where she oversees a variety of digital and volunteer initiatives for Columbia Alumni Association and University Relations.
Cynthia has diverse experience in within the culinary arts. She founded a food production company and has worked with a list of clients that includes: San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Central Park’s 200th Anniversary. Her products have been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.
She lives on the Upper West Side with Jasper, her Yorkshire Terrier.