DANCEWAVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Saundra Thomas, Chair Emeritus
Ms. Thomas, former Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV is a media,community affairs and board consultant with more than 30 years experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Ms.Thomas has held several roles as member and board chair of non-profit organizations throughout the tri-state and was a recent candidate for City Council in Brooklyn.
Ms. Thomas holds a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from St, Francis College.
She is a proud resident of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where she lives with her family.
Grace R. Freedman, PhD, Board Chair
Dr. Freedman is a long-time Brooklyn resident and community advocate, committed to improving arts, dance, educational opportunities for Brooklyn’s youth. Her family has been part of Dancewave for over ten years, her older daughter recently graduated from Dancewave Company I and her younger daughter currently dances in Dancewave Company III and Young Performers Ballet Ensemble. Dr. Freedman serves as Board Chair, on the Development, Audit and Capital Campaign Committees, and has been Gala Chair/Co-Chair in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Her professional background includes work in public health research and grant-writing at Columbia University and the New York Academy of Medicine, adjunct professor in public policy at New York University, and project management and sales support at Thinkmap (a data visualization software company). She is currently Director of Development at Beam Center in Brooklyn and is co-chair of Forth on Fourth Avenue, a committee of the Park Slope Civic Council.
Dr. Freedman has a BA from New College in Biology and Social Sciences, and holds an MA and PhD from Columbia University in Sociomedical Sciences (Political Science/Public Health).
Sabrina LeBlanc, Vice-Chair
Ms. LeBlanc spent more than 14 years helping millions of people lose weight at Weight Watchers. She was part of the team that founded WeightWatchers.com, establishing one of the Internet's first and most successful subscription-model businesses. She was also a driving force behind many new products and services that combined the latest scientific research with consumer insights. Prior to Weight Watchers, she worked in equity research.
She currently sits on the board of Justice in Motion, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that protects workers rights across borders and advises several wellness start-up companies.
She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Grace Protos, Treasurer
Ms. Protos is the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau where she oversees a large part of the country. In her role, she designs and oversees the implementation of policy, research, projects and advocacy devoted exclusively to promoting the advancement of working women.
Ms. Protos develops strong relationships with community-based organizations, federal, state and local government agencies and companies in order to work collaboratively on various initiatives related to women’s advancement in the labor force. As part of the management team, she is responsible for long and short-term planning of goals and the development of employees. Ms. Protos is an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Social Work where she has taught courses on human resource management and board development.
Before joining the Women’s Bureau, she was a senior vice president at MacKenzie Partners, Inc., a corporate advisory services firm, where she worked on corporate mergers, acquisitions and stakeholder identification and communications for clients who were Fortune 500 companies.
Ms. Protos has a Master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her family.
Stacie Sherer, Secretary
Ms. Sherer is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Weight Watchers International, Inc. where she leads internal and external communications in service of the Company's purpose to inspire healthy habits for real life; for people, family, communities, the world, for everyone.
Prior to joining Weight Watchers, she was a Managing Director with leading global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller. Over her 15-year career with the agency, she advised clients across different industries on public relations, marketing communications, public affairs and issues management.
Ms. Sherer earned a BS in Business Administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has lived in Brooklyn since 2007 and moved to Prospect Heights in 2012.
She believes in the potential of the arts to unleash the full expression and potential of each individual, and was inspired to join the Dancewave Board after witnessing the energy and passion of the staff, supporters and students.
Lisa Aguilera del Puerto, Member
Ms. Aguilera del Puerto is an attorney with almost 20 years’ experience as a New York City real estate attorney. She represented clients from around the world and often conducted closings in Spanish. Her diverse background includes working at government agencies and in media, and a position as general counsel for an international management consulting firm, establishing corporate policy for the company, drafting and negotiating multi-national consulting, intellectual property and employment agreements. Currently she is a vice president at Morgan Stanley in the Global Market Risk Management Department. She is charged with ensuring that the department’s risk governance and oversight are compliant with regulatory guidelines and best practices. Lisa is a graduate of Smith College and earned her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law.
She serves as the chair of the governance committee and the acting secretary for the board of the NY Council on Adoptable Children. In addition, she is a board member for Dancewave, a nonprofit dance company, where she serves on the governance and audit committees. She also is a board member of Health Builders, a nonprofit based in Kigali, Rwanda that builds medical clinics and infrastructure and trains health care providers throughout the country.
Lisa lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband of almost 20 years and two teenage children. She spends her free time skiing in the winter, going to the theater, reading, and traveling.
Shenique Coston, Member
Ms. Coston is a multi-faceted business consultant and an award-winning marketer, specializing in brand management, experiential strategy, event production and operations/ project management for nearly 15 years.
She is currently dedicated to helping mission-driven organizations translate vision and big ideas into actionable and achievable plans. Shenique has spent most of her career using consumer insights to build innovative and disruptive business building ideas and curate brand experiences for category leading companies such as Samsung Electronics America, Procter & Gamble Co., and Nickelodeon/ MTV Networks. Her passion for technology, culture & arts, and diversity coupled with business expertise makes her well positioned to assist emerging to established leaders across varying arenas.
Shenique received her BA in Economics from Boston University and her MBA with emphases in Marketing and Strategy from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She is a native New Yorker currently residing in Newark, NJ. Shenique is very active in her community and devotes time to a number of professional and charitable organizations, including Dancewave and the Urban League of Essex County.
Christiana Lazo, Member
Heather White, Member