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HCZ has spearheaded a place-based approach to ending generational poverty, with a pipeline of programs supporting youth from early childhood to college and beyond. Known as true innovators, HCZ functions as a model for nearly 500 communities across the world tackling the same issues. The organization transforms the lives of the 13,000+ youth annually, with 100% Pre-K school-ready testing rates, 97% college acceptance rates, and 1.2 million+ nutritious meals prepared every year, amongst other important accomplishments.

For ten years, Ms. Anne Williams-Isom leveraged her law degree, advocacy experience, and passion for justice first as the COO and then as the CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). During her tenure, Ms. Williams-Isom applied her analytical expertise, problem-solving skills, and heart to create and find leading-edge ways to improve the lives and outcomes of 28,000 children and families.


A life long resident of Harlem, Regina Lynn Smith has always been deeply committed to community empowerment having been raised in a politically active household.

Ms. Smith served as a member of the Consortium on African American Education, the African American Leadership Summit and the Coalition for Excellence in Black Education. She also served on the boards of Operation Open City, the Harlem Red
Cross, the Harlem Education Roundtable and WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Ms. Smith is President of the West 130th Street Homeowners Association.

Regina Smith gained both private, public and non-profit sector experience while employed in various capacities at Union Carbide, Revlon International in Paris, the NYC Housing Partnership, the Harlem Commonwealth Council and the Harlem Business Alliance (HBA). As HBA’s Executive Director, she continuously advocates for Harlem’s small businesses and seeks to provide entrepreneurs with cutting edge instruction and one-on-one technical assistance from subject matter experts.

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After graduating from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Christina worked in the fashion industry for companies like Jones Apparel Group and Bloomingdale's (Macy’s Inc), before transitioning into web editorial for NYC & Company - the city's tourism arm, then becoming a Social Media Manager and Marketing Consultant for several small business clients throughout NYC. In 2015, she launched a free coding program for Harlem's young adults called Disrupt Harlem Code Squad while at the Harlem Business Alliance.


Shortly after moving to St. Louis, MO, Christina joined Venture Café St. Louis as their Program Manager - curating innovation sessions for the largest weekly gathering of entrepreneurs in the world. After almost 3 years, she moved back to Harlem and joined the Venture Café Global Institute becoming their first Program & Experience Design Lead, working with Venture Cafe organizations across the globe to “connect innovators to make things happen.”


Her next chapter brings her to the Education Equity Center of St. Louis as their new Director of Communications. 

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Mike Steadman is the founder of IRONBOUND Boxing, a veteran owned company whose core purpose is to “change lives through boxing."

Mike runs the IRONBOUND Boxing Academy, a free boxing gym for youth in Newark, NJ that plays an integral part in their educational, wellness, and socio- economic development, which is powered by proceeds from Mike's corporate program, IRONBOUND Boxing, whose clients include WeWork, Spotify, and Next Jump.


DREAM – formerly Harlem RBI – has been using the power of teams to inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams since 1991.

Andrew is currently the Head of Elementary Programs at DREAM, presiding over all programming, evaluation, and management of the DREAM Elementary Program.

Andrew oversees a multi-site after school and summer elementary program serving more than 1,300 youth in East Harlem, the South Bronx, and Newark.


Pat Russo is the founder and head of the NYC Cops & Kids boxing program, serving youth across New York City for over 30 years.

NYC Cops & Kids has been integral to the academic success of the 700+ youth they work with each year, through a combination of after-school tutoring and boxing classes.


Dan Werther is a part owner of G&S Boxing Supply, a leading New York based supplier of high-end boxing and mixed martial arts equipment serving the boxing community since 1937.

G&S Supply has worked with non-profits in the past, including Harlem House of Champions, and has a strong network of boxing coaches and mentors in the Manhattan area.

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Jimmy is the founder of Juno Investments and Esquared Hospitality.

For many years, Jimmy has been supportive of the Youth Renewal Fund, a charity focused on the education of youth across Israel.


Paul Achkar is a Senior Associate on the Apax Digital team.  Prior to joining Apax, Paul was a member of Citigroup’s Financial Technology team in New York, where he worked on global M&A.

Paul graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program.

Paul enjoys applying his investor mindset in an advisory role with Hit the Books, and observing the impact the organization has on our students. 

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