Our Board of Directors
Andrew Russ- Chairperson
Andrew is currently a Senior Associate at Triangle Peak Partners, LP, a multi-strategy investment firm with offices in Palo Alto, Carmel-by-the-sea and Houston. Andrew sits on the firm’s five-person Investment Team, which is responsible for managing venture capital, growth equity and hedge fund strategies. Andrew manages trading and hedge fund operations as well as being the lead Associate on Triangle Peak's venture capital strategy. He joined Triangle Peak Partners, LP in July 2009. Prior to joining Triangle Peak, Andrew was an equity analyst at Columbia Management Advisors, where he worked with a team managing high net worth client portfolios, as well as two Columbia mutual funds. Andrew began his career with U.S. Trust Company, a private bank specializing in high net worth client portfolios and diversified mutual funds. In 2006, he served as a summer analyst at Lehman Brothers in the Private Investment Management group. Andrew received a B.A. in Sociology from Amherst College in 2007, with concentrations in Political Science and History.
Arthur Hyde- Treasurer
Arthur has been working in governmental and non-profit finance throughout his investment banking career at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Today, Arthur works in the Credit Origination Group within JPMorgan’s Public Finance Department. Arthur graduated from Amherst College in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought. In addition to his work with Hope On A String, Arthur is a member of the Student Sponsor Partners Program in New York City and enjoys reading, traveling and, most importantly, live music.
Christina Bechhold- Vice Chair
Christina is an Associate at Citigroup specializing in the origination, structuring, and execution of transactions in partnership with export credit, developmental finance, and multilateral agencies globally. She has arranged financing for projects in a variety of emerging market countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and is an avid supporter of unique developmental programs like Hope on a String. Christina is also a Responder with the American Red Cross in Greater New York, a member of the Financial Literacy Committee of the New York Junior League and sits on the Board of Governors of the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association. Christina graduated cum laude from the Honors Program at Boston College in 2007 with a B.S. in Management.
Devin is an entrepreneur and business strategy professional. After receiving a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, Devin spent two years as a banking analyst at Citigroup where he worked in Equity Capital Markets advising a broad spectrum of corporate clients on products ranging from initial public offerings to convertible bonds. In 2009, Devin left Finance to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity and, alongside two business partners, aggressively grew Career Explorations, a boutique recruiting firm focused on student internships, across four markets in the U.S. Just twelve months later, the firm was fully acquired by Dream Careers, Inc., where Devin served as the Senior Business Development Officer. Devin recently moved to P.L. Thomas, an international sales & marketing firm focused on science-supported, natural ingredients, where he re-joined his previous business partner to focus on product strategy and growth in the food and supplement industries.
Dominique F. Carvonis is a multilingual (speaks 5 languages) hotelier and tourism consultant with over 30 years of hospitality experience in multicultural environments particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America. She has been actively involved in the Tourism sector, presiding over the Haiti Tourism Association for two consecutive terms during which she participated to the creation of the Haiti Tourism Master Plan. Her extensive experience also includes managing, and overseeing significant expansions and remodeling of lodging facilities, designing, developing, coordinating, and delivering training programs for hotel employees at all levels, particularly in Haiti. She is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT), officially recognized by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Dominique is passionate about developing, implementing and promoting destination development programs in emerging markets particularly in Haiti. She is the founder and President of DFC Consults (USA/Haiti), an international consulting firm committed to the improvement of the quality of life through the development of companies in emerging markets through a holistic approach, a "triple bottom line" philosophy which encompass economic prosperity, respect for the environment, and social equity with an emphasis on sustainable development of best practices in the Tourism Industry. Some of her latest accomplishments include developing business and marketing strategies for the revitalization of the Tourism sector for the north of Haiti and offer holistic and lasting solutions that address social, economic, and environmental challenges, the production of a film that promotes the services offered by the Haiti Tourism Association’s members, facilitating business and advising investors interested in industrial projects in Haiti, and creating special management projects for hotels in Haiti.
Edward is a Haitian-American who brings firsthand experience with and knowledge of the socio-economic conditions in Haiti to the board of Hope on a String. Aside from his exposure to Haiti through trips with his family as a young child, Edward has been involved with several projects and initiatives in the country. While studying to receive a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, Edward worked with members of the Student International Business Council in Leogane, Haiti to assist with the creation of a mosquito net manufacturing business. In addition, while completing a Master in City and Regional Planning and Master in Urban Spatial Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania, Edward served as a graduate intern for an international development firm that provided Government of Haiti with strategic advisors for various ministries involved with land use following the earthquake of January 12th 2010. He also served as a graduate intern for Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group, where he was tasked with working on strategic projects and program evaluations for long term housing finance solutions and economic development. Additional activities in Haiti include providing consulting services for a social investment group with proposed housing development in Jacmel, Haiti. Edward is currently an Assistant Vice President in the Real Estate Banking group at PNC in Washington, D.C.. He is also an active member of the International Real Estate Federation and United Nations Association.
Jeff brings a diverse mix of financial and entrepreneurial expertise to the Hope On A String team. Jeff began his career as an investment analyst for an emerging markets hedge fund at Axiom International Investors. Jeff's investment team expanded their assets under management from $2 million to $800 million in just three years, and their investment performance annually ranked among the top ten percent of their global peer group. Jeff left Axiom in 2010 to become a founding partner of MindSnacks, a technology startup developing innovative mobile applications for the education industry. MindSnacks recently closed a $1.2 million seed investment round from top Silicon Valley investors, has been featured in Reuters, TechCrunch, and other top publications, and has three separate mobile apps ranked within the top ten Education Apps based on revenues and number of installs. Jeff graduated from Syracuse University in 2006, where he played soccer and was an ESPN the Magazine All-Region selection, and is currently an MBA Candidate class of 2013 at Yale University.
Kernst is part of the project management team for Shearman & Sterling LLP as part of their Global Real Estate group. His focus is on managing the firm's global office real estate portfolio throughout their approximate 1.3 million square feet of space and 22 offices worldwide, by assisting in managing construction/renovation projects, sublease/lease negotiations and working to create and manage any spacial and financial analysis associated with aiding the firm's decisions on any real estate initiatives. Kernst graduated from Northeastern University in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture. Using his background in architecture, he has worked in project management within the capacity of civil and urban planning in Boston, at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and then Massachusetts Port Authority before relocating to New York City to work within office real estate at Shearman & Sterling LLP. In addition to sitting on the Board for Hope on a String, Kernst is also a member of CoreNet Global's Young Leaders organization in New York City and participates in raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, most recently by running as part of their triathlon team in the 2011 Nautica NYC Triathlon.
Negin Sohrabi- Secretary
With a passion for international issues from a young age, Negin focused her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley on international political economy, followed by a masters in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She was able to explore and develop her skills and interest in global issues while working at non-profit organizations as well as spending time abroad. Specifically, Negin worked closely with teachers and administrators at a non-profit organization in Iran to promote educational development through computer technology. Following that experience, Negin volunteered with the World Federation of UN Associations, encouraging civil society efforts with the Millennium Development Goals. For the past 4 years, Negin has focused on marrying her interest in emerging markets and finance. After having worked at a management consulting firm, advising leading investment banks in the bond markets and heading the firm's Emerging Markets Study, Negin is now transitioning to a research role at an investment management firm and has been working toward receiving her CFA charter.
Tim is currently in his third year at Harvard Law School where he serves as president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the nation's oldest student run legal services clinic. While in law school Tim worked as a summer intern at the U.S. Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section and as a summer associate at Covington & Burling, LLP. Next year Tim will serve as a clerk for the Honorable Judge Liam O'Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to law school, Tim spent four years working in education reform with Teach For America. At Teach For America he served first as a fifth grade science teacher in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood. He later went on to serve as a recruitment director, school director, and Director of Institute Operations for Teach For America. Tim received his B.A. from Amherst College where he majored in history.