Co-founder & CEO
Michelle Javian is the Co-founder & CEO of Harboring Hearts. She started the organization in honor of her father, who lost his battle to heart disease after a heart transplant in 2008. During the time she spent by her father’s side in the hospital, Michelle witnessed firsthand the need that existed for refuge and community support for heart patients and their families. It was from this realization, and devotion to her father’s memory, that Michelle and Yuki Kotani co-founded Harboring Hearts in April 2009.
Michelle is active in several other charities, including her roles as a Board member of New York Presbyterian Hospital New Leaders, American Heart Association heart advocate and volunteer, and as a Founding Member of Friends of Best Buddies, Manhattan chapter.
She was awarded the 2009 Maurice Gurin Memorial Scholarship by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, was a semi-finalist in SELF Magazine’s 2009 “Women Doing Good” contest, and chosen as a Rosewood Hotel and Resorts “30 Under 30” winner in 2010.
Michelle holds a B.A. from Georgetown University in Healthcare Management, and is a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post under the “Impact” vertical.
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.