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Board of Directors

Yuki Kotani

Co-Founder, Board Treasurer

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Yuki Kotani is a Co-founder of Harboring Hearts. She is a congenital heart defect survivor and her main inspiration for starting this organization comes from her father who is a heart attack survivor, LVAD and heart transplant recipient. As one of his primary caretakers, she experienced first-hand the emotional strain that can be placed on families and loved ones throughout this life changing procedure. During this trying time, she realized the importance of emotional support through a network of people who can empathize with the struggles that heart patients and their families face. Michelle and Yuki hope that Harboring Hearts will provide them with the necessary support.

Yuki is active on the American Heart Association’s Young Professional Board. She was a panelist in 2011 for High Water Women’s Young Women and Careers in Philanthropy Discussion and was chosen as an American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women national spokesperson and a Heart of New York’s spokesperson in 2010. She was awarded Rosewood Hotel and Resorts “30 under 30” winner in 2010.

Yuki holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia in Art History and East Asian Interdisciplinary Studies. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, rock climbing and playing field hockey.

Hope Geier Smith

President, Geier Foundation and Managing Director, Geier Investment Family Office

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Hope Geier Smith is the President of the Geier Foundation and the managing director for the Geier Investment Family Office. Mrs. Smith has a consulting business, WBB, and she is a founding member of Golden Seeds, dedicated in investing in companies founded and/or led by women. Prior experience includes marketing/PR with Hill and Knowlton, specializing in the travel industry, and finance with John Hassall, a privately held manufacturing company, which she now sits on the board of. Hope also sits on the board of the North Shore Land Alliance, is a trustee at Suffield Academy in Connecticut, is an active fundraiser for Autism Speaks and the Whitney Museum, and is a founding investor of the Dignity Fund, a microfinance institution. She obtained a BA in communication from Mount Vernon College.

Roxana Mehran


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Roxana Mehran, M.D. is the Professor of Medicine, and Health Policy, Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Trials at the Zena and Michael A. Weiner Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Mehran completed her training in internal medicineat the University of Connecticut, where she was also the Chief Medical Resident, before continuingcwith Fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.Dr. Mehran is a practicing interventional cardiologist and is active in the teaching program of Cardiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Mehran is internationally recognized for her work as a clinical trial specialist with complex data analyses.  She was previously Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Outcomes Research, Data Coordinating and Analysis Center at the Center of Interventional Vascular Therapies at Columbia University, where she led many projects focused on outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention.  She is known for her vast experience in working with regulatory agencies to design and conduct clinical trials.  She is currently one of the leads in developing standardized definitions for clinical trials in cardiovascular disease along with FDA.  Her research interests expand from mechanisms of restenosis to treatment and prevention of acute kidney injury in cardiac patients, outcomes research, as well as advancing pharmacologic and interventional treatments for acute coronary syndromes and acute myocardial infarction.

Ryan Melkonian

Board Chair
Managing Partner and Founder, Melkonian Capital Management, LLC.

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Ryan Melkonian is the Managing Partner of Melkonian Capital Management, LLC. Mr. Melkonian has 19 years of investment experience focusing primarily on public markets, private equity and real estate. Previously, Mr. Melkonian spent nine years at First Long Island Investors, LLC where he was a principal and Senior Portfolio Manager with oversight of $1.3 billion in assets invested across multiple asset classes.From 1998 to 2001 he was also a principal of W.P. Stewart Asset Management, a leading money management firm with over $10 billion under management. Mr. Melkonian began his career as an analyst for Republic National Bank of New York.He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and received a B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1992 and an M.B.A. with Honors from Columbia University in 1998. Mr. Melkonian is actively involved in a number of philanthropic and community activities.

Jessica Melore

Program Manager, Transplant Education, Outreach, & Advocacy, New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

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Jessica Melore is a founding member of Harboring Hearts Housing and a heart transplant survivor of over 10 years. She suffered a massive heart attack at age 16 and lived on the LVAD (a battery-operated mechanical heart assist device) for nine months before receiving a life-saving heart transplant.As a motivational speaker, she speaks to audiences both nationally and internationally. An advocate for heart disease, organ donation, cancer, and disability awareness, she was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 college women of 2002 and has appeared on Dateline, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, Extra!, and Telemundo, as well as in magazines including Woman’s Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and National Geographic Explorer for Kids.Jessica was so grateful to be close to her family and friends during her wait for a transplant. She has dedicated her life to promoting life-saving education and prevention and helping those in need.

Maya Oaks

Board Secretary
Head Start Program Specialist, Administration for Children and Families
Founding Advisor, Palindrome Advisors

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Maya Oaks is a Head Start Program Specialist at the Administration for Children and Families and a Founding Advisor with Palindrome Advisors. A former Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Maya has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors in a variety of capacities, including direct service, program evaluation, strategic planning, communication and grants management. A veteran of programs that have historically helped the needy and underserved, Maya was drawn to Harboring Hearts’ dedication to supporting patients and caregivers in times of significant distress. She also has firsthand experience with the impact chronic disease can have on friends, families and caregivers. Maya received a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in 2008 and a B.A. from Stanford University in 2005.

Advisory Board Members

William T. Sullivan

President and CEO, The Ronald McDonald House of New York, Inc.

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William T. Sullivan is the President & CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of New York City, the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world.The Ronald McDonald House of New York City is a facility that serves as a “home away from home” for pediatric cancer patients and their families while they are in New York City to receive treatment at local hospitals.A native of Brighton, MA, who is himself a survivor of prostate cancer, Mr. Sullivan previously served as Chief Operating Officer of the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America. In this position, Mr. Sullivan was in charge of the finance division and also oversaw the membership of over 120,000 youths throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In his tenure of overseeing all fundraising efforts for the Boy Scouts of Greater New York, Mr. Sullivan assumed the responsibility of a $16 million budget and completed a $7 million capital campaign that built Cub World in Alpine, New Jersey.

Susan Camerata

CFO, The Wavecrest Management Team Ltd.

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Mrs. Susan Camerata is a licensed real estate broker with over 25 years of real estate accounting and administrative experience. Susan is a graduate of Baruch College with a B.A. in accounting.Susan is a certified assisted housing manager and is certified in tax credit compliance. She supervises Wavecrest Management’s accounting and administrative departments and is responsible for over eighty-five (85) million dollars of cash collections. Susan was the treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the Sacred Heart Athletic Association and also served on the board of directors of St. Joseph School for the Blind.In addition, Susan directly supervises and provides direction for our in-house legal department (landlord/tenant) while coordinating the efforts of our outside counsel.

Devon George

President, DMV Capital Corporation

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Devon George has been helping startups apply strategic execution and infrastructure to their business operations since 2001 and is currently the President of DMV Capital Corp, a family office. He has built and developed strategies for web, software, ecommerce and technology companies.Before DMV Capital, Devon served as a founding member of Freshnotes, a social search company seeking to index, connect and distribute person-based information on the web. Previously, Devon was a member of the PetCareRx leadership team through multiples of revenue growth. He has also held various advisory positions for many small and startup companies as a consultant and sometime owner.Devon is a graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business (2001). He was born and raised on Long Island, NY as a member of a happy family that enjoys the outdoors and good neighbors.

Cyrus Massoumi

CEO, Co-Founder, ZocDoc

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Cyrus Massoumi is the CEO of ZocDoc, which he co-founded in 2007 after rupturing an eardrum. Massoumi struggled for four painful days to find a doctor, and became convinced that a better healthcare system is possible. He has extensive experience in the healthcare-technology nexus, web commerce, and small business management.Prior to ZocDoc, Massoumi served as an Engagement Manager at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he focused on healthcare and technology. Massoumi’s four-year tenure at McKinsey & Co. began soon after his 2003 graduation from Columbia University, where he earned an MBA and received the Heffernan Award for Outstanding Service.In 1999, Massoumi founded his first business, a web startup specializing in e-commerce management tools. During the prior year, he worked in Austin, TX, for Trilogy Software, which recruited Massoumi upon his graduation from the Wharton School cum laude.

Massoumi’s most proud and humbling distinction to date is ZocDoc’s 2010 recognition by Crain’s New York Business as the Number One Best Place to Work in NYC.

Yoshifumi Naka

M.D., Ph.D.

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Yoshifumi Naka is currently the Associate Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Director of the Cardiac Transplantation Program at Columbia University Medical Center, Director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Columbia University Medical Center and Attending Surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.Dr. Naka is internationally known for his clinical expertise in adult cardiac surgery for coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support device implantation. His research interests expand from cardiac and pulmonary transplantation, organ preservation, surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, vein graft disease after bypass surgery and outcomes of clinical mechanical circulatory support device surgery and heart transplantation.Yoshifumi has been honored by the American Heart Association and Japanese Association of Thoracic Surgery, among others. He is a member of numerous societies, most notably, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Heart Association, Councils of Circulation and Cardiothoracic Surgery, American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery and Japan Surgical Society.



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