Board of Directors
FOUNDER, HUMANITY RISES AND KEL & PARTNERS
Kel Kelly is the mom of four kids, a humanitarian, empath, warrior for the underdog, champion for the homeless, refugee advocate, and the founder of Humanity Rises. Kel has been deeply involved and immersed in the refugee crisis since spending March of 2016 at Camp Moria on the island of Lesvos, Greece. In Moria, Kel was one of the many volunteers ensuring the refugees’ basic human needs – food, water, shelter, dry clothing, medical assistance, and comfort – were met after the refugees made the harrowing crossing of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Lesvos in overcrowded boats wearing fake life jackets the smugglers had sold them. While navigating the sheer chaos of Camp Moria and witnessing their utter desperation, Kel realized she needed to spend the rest of her life looking for ways to restore dignity and ignite hope in the lives of these innocent souls who deal with unimaginable uncertainty every second of every day of their lives. Humanity Rises was created as the path to do just that.
Kel is also the Founder of Kel & Partners (K&P), the anti-agency agency for public relations and social media. For the past fifteen years, K&P has delivered explosive results for clients like Lola, Zappos, TrueCar, VacationHomeRentals, Cumberland Farms, UNREAL, GLAAD and hundreds of other brands. Instead of talking about business, Kel would much rather talk to you about things near and dear to her heart like giving underdogs a voice. Kel believes her purpose in life can be summed up in the two words she has tattooed on her forearm: Be Kind. Kel spends time every day looking for opportunities to create happiness through kindness in the lives of people who are often invisible or simply need a to know someone cares about them.
Stephanie Dodson Cornell
Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Stephanie Dodson Cornell became a Managing Director at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation in September 2014. Draper Richards Kaplan believes that with early funding and rigorous support, exceptional social entrepreneurs, tackling some of the world’s most complex problems, can make the world a better place. In her role at DRK, she has served on the boards for and worked in close partnership with leadership of DRK portfolio organizations in the U.S., India, Colombia and Africa. These organizations address a range of issues from mental health to homelessness to economic empowerment to education and more. She also serves on the boards of RefugePoint, Year Up-Boston, the Partners In Health advisory board and Share Our Strength’s leadership council. Stephanie co-founded, and remains involved with, three social ventures. Strategic Grant Partners, a venture capital model of consulting and philanthropic investing, works to create positive futures for children and families in Massachusetts and nationally. Project Healthy Children partners with developing countries to save lives through sustainable and measurable methods of food fortification and supplementation. The Maranyundo Initiative is a boarding school for girls achieving the highest academic performance in the country and a teacher enrichment program in Rwanda. Stephanie also worked in the computer industry at Tandem Computers. She holds a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and an MBA from Stanford University, and completed the Harvard Advanced Fellowship Initiative. Stephanie lives in Boston.
Over the last 25 years, Lucas has been helping game-changing companies change the world. As the CEO of Tiny Rebellion, he has presided over the advertising success of disruptive companies like eHarmony, LegalZoom, Hotwire, and TrueCar. In 2014, his agency won Ad Age’s Small Agency of the year. That same year Lucas held a joint position as CEO of the agency and CMO of TrueCar and is now full time as the Chief Brand Officer for TrueCar. Lucas is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and has directed many of the campaigns for his clients over the years. He resides in Malibu with his wife of 33 years and their 20-year-old daughter.
Co-Founder, Kayak and Lola Travel
Paul is an entrepreneur who has co-founded numerous companies including Kayak and Lola Travel, where he currently serves as CEO. A highly active philanthropist, he is a co-founder of Summits Education in Haiti and The Winter Walk Boston, which held its inaugural event in February 2017, raising funds for the Pine Street Inn and other homeless services organizations. Paul has also been an unwavering supporter of refugees by providing generous financial support through numerous non-profits.
Humanitarian & Philanthropist
Beth Floor is a leader in the Boston-area philanthropic community, supporting a number of international and domestic causes focused on the most vulnerable souls on earth. Beth is an outspoken advocate for refugees and after serving as an informal advisor to Humanity Rises, she joined the Board in January 2019. Additionally, Beth serves on the Board of The St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing essential health services to the people of Southern Haiti, especially the most vulnerable. As a testament to her boundless energy and advocacy, Beth also currently serves on the New England Regional Board for UNICEF and the New England International Donors (NEID) Steering Committee. Previously, Beth served as the Chair of the Board of the Maranyundo Initiative, which funds and operates the Maranyundo Girls School in Nyamata, Rwanda. The school graduated its first high school class in November 2017, and its students rank in the top 2% in the country. Beth is the former Chair of the Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center, served on the board of Project Healthy Children, and was a part of LeadBoston.
Humanitarian & Philanthropist
Barrie Landry is a force of nature when it comes to tackling some of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world. She is a forward thinking philanthropist who aligns herself with innovative leaders and organizations that are addressing the problems of world poverty, the rights of children, refugees and gender inequities through transformative, sustainable and just solutions. Barrie serves on the UNICEF USA’s Board of Directors. Additionally, she serves as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s New England Regional Board and as Co-Chair of UNICEF’S Children First Speaker Series. Recently, Barrie helped to form a partnership between UNICEF and Harvard that has developed a first of its kind graduate-Level Child Protection Program at Harvard. This program was created because of the growing numbers of exploited children around the world and the alarming shortage of sufficiently trained child protection professionals, especially during periods of emergency. She serves on the Board of the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, which brings health care, education and community development to the people of Haiti; and on the Board of Refuge Point, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of refugees through resettlement, stabilization, and self-reliance. Barrie was one of the original eight women from Boston who helped to build the Maranyundo School in Nyamata, Rwanda and currently sits on their Board. Barrie is a former Board member and development chair of Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center in Dorchester. She graduated from the LEAD BOSTON class of 1988. Barrie lives in Boston and has three children and nine grandchildren.
CEO & founder, Icon Media Direct
Nancy Lazkani is the CEO and founder of Icon Media Direct, Inc., a leading direct-to-consumer marketing firm specializing in performance-based media and data analytics. With expertise spanning over 30 years, Lazkani is a renowned leader in the industry known for being on the forefront of innovating industry trends. Founded in 2000, her firm has extensive expertise in building house hold brands that drive consumer engagement. Her firm has a unique approach amongst traditional methods that give her clients a competitive advantage through its industry leading ROI analytics and strategic capabilities. Her firm consistently ranks as a top ad agency in Los Angeles and has had several cover stories spotlighting its success, as well as, CEO of the year from Los Angeles chapter of Women in Business. Lazkani touts that her success is predicated upon her team of just under 100 passionate employees. Her business philosophy is about creating a company culture that is built on sound leadership principles. Lazkani notes that “My efforts have always been centered on doing whatever it takes to make our client partnerships successful through transparency and accountability”. Lazkani has an impressive roster of high-performing clientele such as, but not limited to: Church & Dwight, Guthy/Renker, TrueCar, Zulily, Well Care, Nutrisystem, Zulily and The Proactiv Company.
President, Kel & PArtners
Ginny is the founder and President of Kel & Partners. Ginny’s philanthropic initiatives involve working with Best Buddies, the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as the House of Possibilities, an organization focused on making a difference for children, adults and families, living with developmental challenges. Ginny is also actively involved in supporting the Pine Street Inn which provides a comprehensive range of services, including permanent supportive housing, job training and placement, emergency shelter and street outreach to more than 1,900 homeless men and women each day.
John E. Stephenson, Jr.
Partner, Allston & Bird
John is Partner at Allston & Bird. As a trial lawyer, John has spent his professional life fighting for justice for those who need a warrior in their corner. John has been honored by the ACLU for his pro bono representation of plaintiffs in civil rights litigation. He also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Stonewall Bar Association for his work on equal rights litigation.
Director, The Shapiro Foundation
Larry Tobin is the Director of The Shapiro Foundation, a Boston-based foundation particularly focused on the plight of refugees across the globe. The Shapiro Foundation, seeks to be the most collaborative, nimble and forward-thinking partner to great NGOs. They look to engage with organizations who are changing the lives of refugees. Their philosophy is simple. They find the best NGO partners and fund them. They find holes where other philanthropists won’t go and governments can’t go. They have spearheaded local-resettlement efforts in the US, contributed to help those in refugee camps across three continents, and have invested significantly to ensure that every individual’s journey is a safe one. Beyond their work with refugees, they also invest heavily in public health and education.