Launch Board of Trustees
Our board is an organized group of volunteers who, collectively, are legally and morally accountable to Launch community for the health, vitality, and effectiveness of our school. The board plays a pivotal role in ensuring the Launch realizes its potential as an excellent school.
Board President—CEO, Harber Advisors, LLC; Chairman, NYU Edtech Accelerator
Mr. Harber has been working in the field of education for over twenty years and is the founder of four award-winning education software companies and the former CEO of Pearson K-12 Technology. He is the founding board chair of the school and served on the board of NYC Outward Bound Schools for ten years.
Board Treasurer—Portfolio Manager, Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Ms. Lee, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School, has worked in the field of finance for over twenty years, and is a founding board member of the school. Prior to Columbia Threadneedle, she held investment roles at Mutual of America Capital Management, Daiwa Asset Management, Fifth Street Capital, and Bear Stearns. She began her career in San Francisco as a member of Merrill Lynch's Technology Investment Banking team.
Board Member—Consultant, Butler Capital Partners
Ms. Lemerond brings over 15 years of experience in the finance field to Launch, having worked at Lehman Brothers, The Carlyle Group and Accipiter Capital. Ms. Lemerond also serves as Treasurer of the Board at Engineering World Health and Co-President of Kids' B.A.S.E. & The Little School. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she was a Cornell Tradition Fellow.
Board Member—Vice President Global Consumer Services, American Express
Mr. Lirette brings years of experience in strategy, marketing and business development, as well as a strong finance background. Mr. Lirette previously founded the custom apparel social venture, 141 industries, which paired each purchase with a donation of uniform shirts to underserved youth in the US, including at KIPP Charter Schools and the Boys and Girls Club. He is a graduate of Tufts and Stanford Business School.
Board Secretary—Associate, Ropes and Gray LLP
Mr. Hazelwood is a graduate of Boston College, where he majored in Elementary Education, and Georgetown Law. Before beginning his work as an attorney at Skadden, Blackrock and Ropes and Gray, Mr. Hazelwood was a teacher at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts.
Board Member—Managing Director, Citigroup (Retired)
Ross comes to Launch after a long career in finance. He was a Managing Director in leveraged finance for Citi for eighteen years. Prior to that he spent ten years at Lehman Brothers and five years at First Chicago. Ross is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and received his MBA from the University of Chicago. Ross is a long-time resident of Brooklyn and is passionate about education and Launch’s model.
Board Member—President, NYC Outward Bound Schools
Mr. Stopol was appointed to his position in 1989, and, during his tenure, NYC Outward Bound Schools has directly served and touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of students in New York City. He previously served as a program director at the Fund for the City of New York, specializing in issues affecting children and youth. An attorney, Mr. Stopol earned a JD from New York University’s School of Law. He graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a trained facilitator and a published writer.
Board Member —Senior Managing Director, Strategy and Innovation - Teach for America
Dr. Hess began her career as a high school teacher in North Carolina, and has continued to work in education for the past fifteen years. Dr. Hess previously worked for the DC Public Charter School Board, eventually serving as its Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Hess holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology and a BA from the University of Georgia.