New Leadership and Directors Elected to FIT Foundation
At its October 10, 2019, meeting, the Fashion Institute of Technology Board of Trustees officially installed two new trustees—Gabrielle Fialkoff and Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan—to its 16-member board. Fialkoff and Kanaan, appointees of the Panel for Educational Policy of the New York City Department of Education, FIT’s local sponsor, have commenced terms that end on June 30, 2023, and June 30, 2024, respectively. They are replacing former trustees Jay H. Baker, who served for 16 years, and Amsale Aberra, who served 10 years.
Additionally, the FIT Foundation, the primary fundraising arm for the college, recently elected new board leadership as well as new directors, who will each serve a three-year term. Gary Sheinbaum, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Americas, was elected chair of the FIT Foundation and Eric Fisch, Carmen Nestares, and Ivan Bart were all elected as new directors.
“I am so honored to be the new chair of the FIT Foundation,” Gary Sheinbaum said. “FIT is such an iconic institution bringing together design, fashion, and technology. To be able to support the foundation’s efforts to promote creativity, innovation, equality, and inclusivity in the fashion and creative industries is a privilege, and I look forward to being a part of all the incredible work they do.”
“I am so pleased to have this distinguished group of individuals joining FIT’s boards,” FIT Board of Trustees Chair Elizabeth T. Peek said. “I am confident that with their talent, experience, and enthusiasm for FIT, they will have much to contribute to our efforts—and I look forward to working with them.”
“FIT will benefit from the experience and expertise of each of these accomplished individuals,” FIT President Joyce F. Brown said, “all of whom broaden our outreach to relevant sectors of the creative economy. I am delighted to welcome them to the college and to the foundation.”
New FIT Trustees
GABRIELLE FIALKOFF, FOUNDER, GKF GROUP: Gabrielle Fialkoff’s extensive experience working with the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, and business communities provides a unique perspective into the inner workings of other sectors. She is the founder of GKF Group, an advisory firm offering dynamic strategies on social impact, partnerships, and public affairs. Fialkoff has more than 13 years of political experience, previously serving as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the Mayor’s Office, where she brought together the business, nonprofit, and philanthropic communities to create high-impact partnerships across an array of issue areas, including initiatives like the Center for Youth Employment and Computer Science for All, which put private funds toward combatting income inequality. She oversaw the city’s many city-affiliated nonprofits and served as a principal liaison to the business community for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. Fialkoff also has extensive experience in the business sector as the former owner, president, and chief operating officer of Haskell Jewels LLC—a leading designer, marketer, and distributor of costume jewelry and watches—and as a former director of Investor Relations at Perry Capital. She is active on the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Board of Advisors, which is comprised of prominent individuals in the business communities of New York who advise and assist the board of directors in identifying projects and programs that the fund might undertake to facilitate high-impact public-private partnerships throughout the city.
MONA ABOELNAGA KANAAN, MANAGING PARTNER, K6 INVESTMENTS LLC: Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan is an experienced CEO, serial entrepreneur, investor, and corporate director with more than 25 years of experience in global finance and investment. She is currently managing partner at K6 Investments LLC, a private investment firm she founded to invest in a wide array of industries, including financial services, technology, consumer products, and entertainment. Previously, Aboelnaga Kanaan was president and chief executive officer of Proctor Investment Managers, a firm she co-founded in 2002 to make private equity investments in the traditional and alternative asset management industry. She sold Proctor Investment Managers to National Bank of Canada in 2006 and continued as Proctor’s president and CEO until 2013. She worked as senior vice president at Communications Equity Associates, where she expanded the firm’s principal investment activities in the U.S. and Middle East. Prior to joining CEA, she was a vice president and portfolio manager at Siguler Guff & Company. Earlier, she held various positions at PaineWebber Investment Banking in the Leveraged Transactions and Financial Institutions Groups. A qualified financial expert, Aboelnaga Kanaan serves as a member of the boards of directors of Sterling Bancorp, Siguler Guff Small Business Credit Opportunities Fund, Inc., as a trustee for International House, and as an investment advisor and member of the board of pioneers of the Arab Fashion Council. She is also a member of the board of advisors of Ibancar, a fintech specializing in collateralized auto lending in Spain. A recognized expert in private equity, asset management, entrepreneurship, and the Middle East, Aboelnaga Kanaan is a frequent speaker and commentator in forums and publications such as the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Pensions & Investments, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York, HFM, FundFire, and the Private Equity Analyst.
By New York State law, FIT is governed by its own Board of Trustees. It is comprised of eight trustees appointed by FIT’s local sponsor, the New York City Department of Education, through the Panel for Educational Policy; seven are appointed by the Governor of the State of New York; and there is one student trustee.
Current board members are Elizabeth T. Peek, chair; Robin Burns-McNeill, vice chair; Richard A. Anderman; Judith I. Byrd; Yaz Hernández; Joan B. Hornig; Jaqui Lividini; Beverly S. Mack; Deirdre Quinn; Robert Savage; Sally Singer; and Sallie Haas, student trustee.Continue reading