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Fourth Annual Mardi Gras Junior Board Gala

The Young Associates of the Valerie Fund invite you to join us at the Bowery Hotel on Saturday, March 22nd from 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM for the fourth annual Junior Board Gala. This Mardi Gras themed event promises to be a night of dancing and drinks, all for a great cause.

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Register Today to be a Young Associate

To complement the mission and goals of the executive board, The Valerie Fund Junior Board aims to ensure the longevity of The Valerie Fund by engaging a younger generation of participants with the cause, and enlisting supporters to carry the organization into the future.  A primary focus of the Junior Board is to connect enthusiastic young professionals in the Valerie Fund’s many activities through the establishment of The Valerie Fund Young Associates program:

The Junior Board is seeking to attract upstanding individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 to serve as “Young Associates” of The Valerie Fund.  Young Associates will be invited to all Valerie Fund events, especially those social and service-oriented events exclusively targeted towards younger members. Additionally, Young Associates will have the opportunity to get involved with all aspects of the organization, including community outreach, social event planning, recruiting and fundraising. Young Associates will have the option to join Junior Board committees that suit their particular interests, and will be encouraged to contribute a suggested $20 of annual membership dues, which are fully tax-deductible.

Interested in getting involved with The Valerie Fund Young Associates program? Email Richard Kandel (Richard.Kandel@gmail.com), Justin Chukumba (justin.chukumba@gmail.com) or Jeff Messer (jeffmesser1@gmail.com) to learn more.

Junior Board

Richard Kandel - Co-Chair
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Richard became involved with The Valerie Fund in 2013 when his grandmother passed away from cancer. His grandparents were lifelong summer camp owners, which Richard attended for over ten years. As a former camper he appreciates the value that Camp Happy Times provides children struggling with cancer, even if only for a week. Richard graduated from the Kelley School of business at Indiana University and holds a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting and Finance. He is currently an investment professional at Thomas Weisel Global Growth Partners and is a non-practicing CPA.

Justin Chukumba - Co-Chair
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Justin joined the Young Associates in January 2013 after a former roommate from college, who served on the Junior Board at the time, introduced him to the organization. Justin was immediately involved in the planning for the annual Mardi Gras Gala a few months later in March, and after such a fun, successful, and meaningful experience, Justin realized how impactful the organization was. Justin graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a concentration in International Affairs. Justin is currently a Business Development and Client Relationship Manager for a professional services and consulting firm in NYC.

Jeff Messer - Co-Chair
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Jeff has been actively involved with The Valerie Fund since joining Morgan Stanley as an Investment Banking analyst in 2011. After co-leading the 21st annual Morgan Stanley fundraising campaign, he had the opportunity to spend a day with some of the children of TVF at Camp Happy Times and was immediately motivated to continue to work for and support both this organization and all of the wonderful programs it hosts. He joined the Junior Board in June of 2013 and became a Co-Chair at the end of that summer. Jeff graduated from Northwestern University in 2011 with a B.A. in Economics and currently works as an investment associate at Vestar Capital.

Jim Tormey - Chair Emeritus
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Jim has been an active supporter of The Valerie Fund since joining Morgan Stanley as an Investment Banking analyst in 2010. After co-leading the Morgan Stanley Campaign in the Spring of 2012, Jim joined The Valerie Fund Junior Board as a Co-Chair in the Fall of 2012. After visiting Camp Happy Times for the first time in the Summer of 2012, Jim was blown away by the true impact that The Valerie Fund has on the children in the medical centers and at camp, and knew that he wanted to be even more involved with the organization going forward. Jim graduated from Yale University in 2010 with a B.A. in History.

Erika Gruppo - Chair Emeritus
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Erika has been involved with The Valerie Fund since joining Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets division as an analyst in 2009. She co-chaired the analyst campaign for The Valerie Fund in 2011, helping the team surpass a 19-year fundraising record. The following summer, Erika visited Camp Happy Times and solidified her love for the fantastic organization and the children it supports. She was thrilled to become the Co-Chair of The Valerie Fund Junior Board in the fall of 2012. Erika currently works in company management at Morgan Stanley. She graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a B.A. in International Relations.

Adam Nowak
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Adam Nowak got involved with the Valerie Fund in 2010 through the Analyst run fundraising effort at Morgan Stanley. Adam was raised in California and is an avid skier, runner and biker. He graduated from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California in 2008 where he studied International Business and Finance. Adam moved to New York following graduation as an Analyst at Capital IQ and is currently an Associate in Corporate Strategy and Business Management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Adam can be reached at adam.r.nowak@gmail.com.

Andrea Mangione
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Andrea became involved with The Valerie Fund when a loved one was diagnosed with cancer. She spent time in high school and college volunteering at various events and spreading awareness of the organization to my family and friends. Her love for children is what makes giving back to the Valerie Fund so easy. Following her graduation from Fairfield University in 2007, Andrea was selected to be a counselor at Camp Happy Times. Since then she has organized a fundraiser with her sister and fellow counselor called "Cheers To The Valerie Fund" and was the captain of "Team Kickin It For The Kids" at the Walkathon in 2009. Currently, Andrea is working as a preschool teacher for children with developmental disabilities and counting the days until her third summer at Camp Happy Times.

Brian Lasky
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Brian Lasky is excited to reunite with The Valerie Fund following his exposure to the organization at Morgan Stanley. He looks forward to the opportunity to spread awareness about The Valerie Fund and support its critical mission. He hopes to encourage other individuals, especially young professionals, to join the cause regardless of commitment level. Currently, Brian is an Associate at Morgan Stanley in the Research Department covering Exploration & Production companies. Previously, he was an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Global Power & Utilities Group. Brian graduated from The University of Notre Dame in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance/Economics. He can be reached at brian.j.lasky@gmail.com.

Cara Lewis
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Cara grew up in Cranford, NJ. She attended West Virginia University and graduated in 1999. She is a member of AOII sorority. Cara started working in Advertising in NYC when she graduated at The Media Edge as an assistant buyer on Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals. In 10 months she was promoted to buyer. After a year and a half, Cara changed agencies and went to work for TN Media. She was at TN media/Initiative (was bought in 2001) for 7 1/2 years, where she was promoted internally. Cara left Initative in August of 07 for another agency called MPG, where she was again promoted to VP, Account Director on the Sears account. She has been married for almost 7 years to her college boyfriend, and lives in Clifton, NJ. Cara is a 4 year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed on Jan 9, 2006 and she is officially going on year 5!

Carolyn Arntsen
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Carolyn Arntsen is excited to join the Valerie Fund Junior Board and contribute to its worthwhile cause; she has volunteered with several national cancer nonprofits in that past, and looks forward to getting more deeply involved with the Valerie Fund. Carolyn currently works as a Program Associate for a foundation that supports education reform, medical research, and environmental conservation. Previously, Carolyn served as a Manzi Fellow at Julie's Family Learning Program in Boston, MA where she assisted program staff end the cycle of poverty for single women and their at-risk children. Carolyn graduated from Colgate University in May 2012, having received a BA in cellular neuroscience.

Cassandra Greene
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Cassie, a former patient of the Valerie Center, is thrilled to be a member of the junior board. Cassie graduated from the University of Delaware in 2012 with a late decision to enter the medical field. As an aspiring medical student, she has been inspired by the amazing care she received as a child at the Valerie Center and her studies in South Africa working in public healthcare facilities and orphanages. She hopes to raise awareness for rare blood disorders and the prevalence of childhood illnesses in need of research and funding.

Chelsea Mintz
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Chelsea has been involved with the Valerie Fund Young Associate Program since its inception in early 2010 and currently serves as one of the Young Associate Coordinators. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 2008 and is currently a RN at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She works in the inpatient Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant unit with the adult population. She is very excited to continue her work with cancer patients and their families outside of work through the Valerie Fund. She can be contacted at clmintz@gmail.com

David Krupnick - Chair Emeritus
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David has been an active supporter of The Valerie Fund since joining Morgan Stanley as a Leveraged Finance analyst in 2006. Some of David's fondest memories are from attending camp as a kid and he immediately connected with the Camp Happy Times effort. He attended Brown University where he was a member of both the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Varsity Squash team, graduating in 2006. David currently works in a corporate strategy effort for Morgan Stanley. David is excited to be a member of the Valerie Fund's Junior Board and he looks forward to working towards its continued success.

Elias Massood
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Eli looks forward to working with the Junior Board on furthering The Valerie Fund's mission to support health care for children with cancer and blood disorders. After graduating from Seton Hall University with an Accounting Degree in 2011, Eli became an Associate at Bederson & Company. Currently a CPA candidate, Eli's primary responsibilities at Bederson include tax and auditing engagements.

Emily Baldwin
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Emily has served on the Junior Board since 2012. She first became involved with the Valerie Fund in 2010 while working as an analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Global Capital Markets Division, and was co-chair of the Morgan Stanley campaign for the The Valerie Fund in 2011. Emily is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue supporting the Valerie Fund’s healthcare initiatives to help children with cancer and blood disorders. Emily received a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development, with an emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, and minored in Corporate Strategy and Child Development. She currently works as the analyst for the Chief Investment Strategist of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Eric Klein
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Eric Klein is excited to be working with the Valerie Fund Junior Board to support its meaningful mission. Eric currently works as an Associate at Vestar Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm. Previously, he was an Associate at Eos Partners and before that was an Analyst with JPMorgan’s Diversified Industries Investment Banking Group. Eric graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, having received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts from The College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at eric.w.klein@gmail.com

J.C. Uva - Chair Emeritus
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A former Valerie Fund patient and current cancer survivor, JC has been involved with the Valerie Fund for over 10 years in various capacities, including as a member of the Thanksgiving Gala Committee and as a counselor at Camp Happy Times. JC is currently completing his MBA at NYU Stern and will be working in investment banking following graduation. Prior to NYU, he worked as an Account Executive in advertising sales at CNN for six years. JC can speak firsthand to the incredible services the Valerie Fund provides to children and is thrilled to be a part of this new venture for the organization. He can be reached at jcucnn@gmail.com

Joshua Slavitt
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Joshua graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 with a B.A in History. After graduating from Michigan, he began a successful career on Wall Street. Over his 13 year career he has traded equity derivatives for Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and most recently MF Global. At MF Global, Joshua manages the single stock US Derivatives team under CEO Jon Corzine. In 2006, he was voted by his peers one of the top 30 traders under 30 years old. He is also an active member of NY Cares and Children's International. Joshua looks forward to working with the motivated and talented Junior Board members in an effort to raise funds and bring awareness to the Valerie Fund.

Julia Abelkop
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Julia Abelkop is thrilled to be a part of the Valerie Fund Junior Board and contribute to this meaningful cause. Julia graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She has worked in real estate finance since 2007 as an analyst at Lehman Brothers and currently as an associate at Capmark Finance Inc. She can be reached at jabelkop@gmail.com.

Kerri Ford
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Kerri Ford has been a member of the Valerie Fund Junior Board since 2011. She is a graduate of the Educational Theatre Program at NYU and works to support the arts in education. She is the co-founder of a teaching artist company called Dance.Laugh.Learn., which brings music, movement, and drama into the classroom.

Mark Dimilia
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Mark has been a Junior Board member and Young Associate of The Valerie Fund since 2010, and an active supporter of the organization and its incredible mission since 2008.

Mark Kavulich
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Mark has served on the Junior Board since 2012. He first became involved with the Valerie Fund in 2010 while working as an analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Investment Banking Division, and was co-chair of the Morgan Stanley campaign for the The Valerie Fund in 2011. Mark is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue supporting the Valerie Fund’s healthcare initiatives to help children with cancer and blood disorders. Mark received a B.S. in Foreign Service, with a concentration in International Economics and proficiency in Chinese from Georgetown University. He currently works as an associate at Avista Capital Partners.

Matt Delaney
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Matt has been a proud and active supporter of The Valerie Fund since 2012. Matt gerw up in Summit, NJ, and was extra motivated to join The Valerie Fund cause because so many of The Valerie Fund centers are located around his home town. He works at Energy Capital Partners in Short HIlls, NJ, and graduated from Amherst College in 2009 with a B.A. in Economics.

Phoebe Lapine - Chair Emeritus
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Phoebe graduated from Brown University in 2007 with a B.A. in Urban Studies. Until August 2009, she worked as an assistant manager in global marketing at L'Oreal, first at Kiehl's Since 1851, and later at Ralph Lauren Fragrances, where she managed new product development for the women's category. In November of 2008, during a bout of professional apathy and creative frustration, Phoebe started a food and recipe site for twenty-something cooks looking for user-friendly, affordable ways to navigate their kitchens. Her first cookbook, In the Small Kitchen was published by Harper Collins in May 2011. Phoebe currently works as a caterer, private chef, and culinary instructor. Her healthy recipes and snapshots of her professional cooking world can be found on her blog, Feed Me Phoebe. Passionate about caring for kids, Phoebe is extremely excited to join the VFJB and support this fantastic organization.

Will Morel - Chair Emeritus
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Will has been an active supporter of The Valerie Fund since his time as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he began his career following his graduation from Penn in 2007. He conceived of and served as a founding Co-Chair of The Valerie Fund's Junior Board from early 2010 until his recent move back to Philadelphia, where he is pursuing an MBA at Wharton. He is looking forward to the inevitably awesome year that the VFJB will have under Phoebe and David's leadership, and he is incredibly enthusiastic about the VFJB in general. Will would love to hear from you if you or someone you know is interested in getting involved. He can be reached at wamorel@gmail.com

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