Whitney Namm Pollack
Whitney joined Project Sunshine as the Executive Director in 2018. She has built her career over the last twenty years at the Robin Hood Foundation, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, University of Pennsylvania and 92nd Street Y. She has consulted with non-profits including the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Character Lab, Riverdale Country School and The Center for Jewish History.
Before coming to Project Sunshine, she served as Interim Executive Director for EB Research Partnership, a national medical venture philanthropy. After completing this leadership role she accepted a position on their Board of Directors. She received her BA and MA from Penn and is a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women.
In her downtime, she can be found spending time with her husband and two young sons or reading fiction.
CHILDHOOD FACT: According to family lore, for years the only “vegetable” Whitney would eat was olives. Now, she eats all sorts of vegetables.
Toni Millar, MS, CCLS
Director, Program Innovation
Toni is a nationally recognized leader in the Child Life field and oversees programming across the organization. Prior to joining Project Sunshine in 2019, she was Vice President and a member of senior administration at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; there she oversaw a team that guided patient experience improvements for the NYP Regional Hospital Network sites. Toni also previously ran the Child Life Departments at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
Toni holds a M.S. in Child Life and Family Studies from Wheelock College in Boston, MA and a B.A. in Education and American Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. She also served as President of the national Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP).
When she’s not improving the lives of pediatric patients and their families, Toni enjoys reading, cooking, spending quality time with her family, and walking her dog through Central Park.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Toni grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and has had the same best friend since 3rd grade.
Despite his youthful persona, Joe founded Project Sunshine as a college student…many years ago. When he isn’t helping pediatric patients find their smiles, Joe spends his spare time as the CEO of New Legacy Group, an SEC registered investment advisory firm. Joe has a B.S. in Accounting from Yeshiva University and has participated in executive education programs at Harvard Business School.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Joe was an undefeated NCAA tennis player.
Director, Corporate Partnerships
Katy leads the charge with Project Sunshine’s many corporate partnerships. Prior to working at Project Sunshine, Katy led girls’ education programs in the Peace Corps and large-scale volunteer programs for dozens of nonprofits in NYC. When she’s not working, you can find Katy exploring with her husband and dog or eating her way through all the dollar slice joints in the city.
CHILDHOOD FACT: An animal enthusiast from birth, Katy spent her summers as a Junior Zookeeper at the Dallas Zoo while caring for up to 8 pets at home. Her father never recovered from the “home zoo” where he resided.
Director, Volunteer Engagement
Kaitlin manages Project Sunshine’s volunteer programs, working with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers across the country. Kaitlin has a passion for volunteerism and has spent her career developing sustainable volunteer programs for various organizations.
Prior to joining Project Sunshine in 2019, Kaitlin worked at the Girl Scouts of the USA, where she was responsible for driving strategy to design and implement volunteer delivery models that aligned with girl and volunteer demands, and increased membership and market share. Kaitlin also worked at NYC Service, a division of the New York City Mayor’s Office. During her time at NYC Service, she oversaw all external relationships and managed the recruitment, placement and tracking of volunteers to NYC Service initiatives. Kaitlin received her Executive Master’s in Public Administration from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and her BA in Political Science from Dickinson College. In her free time, you can find Kaitlin spending time with her husband, and traveling to new and interesting places around the world.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Kaitlin was obsessed with animals as a child and even had nine animals all at one time! Her love for animals continues to this day, and although she is not allowed to have pets in her building, she fills the void by volunteering at a shelter for rescued dogs and cats.
Director, International Programs
Megan manages our robust International Programs, working with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers in Canada, China, Israel, and Kenya. Prior to joining the Project Sunshine team, she worked in higher education with a focus on leadership development and club activity advisement. Her love of volunteerism runs deep, having taught ESL in Harlem for many years before serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in western China.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Megan has a lifelong obsession with junk food-named animals – from Cookie and Marshmallow, the adorable hamster twins, to her childhood dog Oreo. Today, she is a proud mom to Pasta, the English Bulldog.
Programs & Volunteers Manager, Project Sunshine Canada
Sara manages Project Sunshine Canada’s programs, volunteers and corporate social responsibility partnerships. Sara joined Project Sunshine Canada in 2012 as a volunteer member of the Young Patrons Circle. Sara brings more than eight years of professional experience in public relations, event planning, and program management. Her past experience includes organizing a TEDx conference in Toronto for high school students, and planning promotional events for Paramount Home Entertainment Canada. Sara loves working at Project Sunshine because of its approach to child and family-centred care.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Growing up Sara loved listening to her parents’ old records and would come up with alternate lyrics for songs. Her whole family remembers that time fondly.
Special Advisor, Book Club
Sally is an award-winning children’s book author and founder of the Project Sunshine Book Club. Before entering the magical world of books, Sally was a reporter for the Associated Press; her articles have also appeared in The New York Times, Family Circle, Family Life, Parenting, McCall’s and Stagebill. When she’s not reading or writing, Sally enjoys swimming, playing tennis, and spending time with her husband and children.
CHILDHOOD FACT: As a second grader, Sally made rounds in her Virginia neighborhood every morning, feeding Cheerios to her favorite dogs – including her own dog, Chippy.
Coordinator, College Volunteer Engagement
Claire oversees all of our college volunteers. Claire has a wealth of experience working with college students, mainly advising students preparing for service immersion programs as the Assistant Director of Fordham University’s Global Outreach program. She’s also worked as a Case Manager in homeless services at Miriam’s Kitchen, a social services agency in Washington, D.C. as part of her post-grad year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Claire has a BA from Fordham University in Communications and Environmental Policy. In her free time, Claire enjoys hanging out in her neighborhood (Astoria, Queens), listening to podcasts, and (literally) running around New York City- she’ll be doing the NYC Marathon this November!
CHILDHOOD FACT: Claire’s favorite thing to do as a child was play dress-up with her older sister, Lucy. She still loves to dress up and is now experimenting with a new favorite outfit color: yellow!
Community Partnerships & Development Manager, Project Sunshine Canada
Catherine manages community partnerships and fundraising initiatives with a focus not only in raising funds but bringing awareness to Project Sunshine Canada within her community. Prior to joining Project Sunshine Canada in 2018, Catherine worked both in the corporate and charitable sectors. Her passion for giving back and helping her community cemented her career path in the non-profit world. Working for Project Sunshine Canada she is the happiest she has ever been.
CHILDHOOD FACT:Catherine was an extremely fussy eater as a little child and would only eat ketchup sandwiches. Nowadays, thank goodness her palate has changed for the better, and in fact, she is not fond of ketchup anymore.
Coordinator, Project Sunshine Israel
Ariela manages volunteers and operations abroad as the on-site program coordinator for Project Sunshine Israel. Ariela gained her expertise in early childhood development through her work in preschools and early childhood daycare programs. Since 2016, she has been using her wealth of experience managing fun-filled bedside programs at 6 medical facilities throughout Israel. She proudly continues the Project Sunshine tradition of dressing up for our patients- Ariela holds a certification in Medical Clowning from the Simchat Halev Organization. Ariela speaks four languages and loves to travel.
CHILDHOOD FACT: As a 4 year old, Ariela received a yellow Canary, named Olly. Unfortunately, she had to part from Olly about a year later when her family immigrated from Argentina to Israel.
Mark uses his 17 years of administrative experience to manage the day to day operations of Project Sunshine’s headquarters. Whether offering tech support or coordinating with vendors, Mark ensures the office is up and running. He is also the only person alive who could make expense reports entertaining. In his spare time, Mark is an avid guitarist, singer, poet, novelist, and street photographer.
CHILDHOOD FACT: In 1989, Taylor Swift was born. That same year, Mark beat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game within two weeks of its release. He repeated this hard-won victory in 2014 at Jersey City’s Barcade with only $4 in quarters and help from his two brothers.
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Katie manages Project Sunshine’s strategic partnerships across the West Coast and nationwide, including corporate relationships, brand engagement, and other fundraising initiatives. Dedicating 10 years to the nonprofit sector, Katie has found her passion in creating and expanding public-private partnerships, holding corporate relations and development focused positions at The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Orthopaedic Institute for Children. A former NCAA athlete, Katie serves as a volunteer youth lacrosse coach and never turns down the opportunity to play a competitive lawn game.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Katie loved grocery shopping with her mom but was terrified that her habit of sampling a single Swedish Fish or Peanut M&M from the bulk foods section would lead to certain arrest. A law-abiding toddler, Katie would never fail to give the cashier a detailed report of her snacking to be charged at checkout.
Coordinator, Corporate Partnerships
As a member of the corporate team, Ashley facilitates volunteer events, manages corporate partnerships, and coordinates with hospital partners. She also works to innovate our current in-hospital programs and donation offerings. Ashley graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Sociology and has always had a passion for volunteering. When she isn’t at work, you can find Ashley traveling to check new cities off her bucket list, playing guitar, or practicing Krav Maga.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Ashley once swam in a lake at the mouth of an active volcano!
Coordinator, Program Operations
Louise coordinates the shipment of craft kits and program boxes for our Sending Sunshine and Direct Service programs nationwide. Before coming to Project Sunshine, Louise worked at after-school programs throughout three boroughs of New York City. In her spare time, Louise enjoys exploring Inwood Hill park with her dog, Shiro, and listening to podcasts.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Growing up, Louise’s parents owned an ice cream store. She even had a sundae on the menu named after her – the LouLou Brownie Sundae! Although her parents sold the business, Louise followed her love of ice cream and worked at a frozen custard shop all four years of high school.
Dennis Ngui Muyanga
Coordinator, Project Sunshine Kenya
Dennis manages a robust, dedicated team of Project Sunshine volunteers in Kenya- a few of his volunteers have been with him since 2006! Prior to his work with Project Sunshine, Dennis was a community health worker at Bomu Hospital and an addiction counselor in an outreach center. Dennis is one of the pioneers of our Kenya program and has seen Project Sunshine through many exciting developments, including the construction of a hospital play area. Dennis’ work with Project Sunshine allows him to combine his diverse skills and experience with his passion for empowering families to have healthy lives. Dennis holds a BA in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In his downtime, he enjoys reading, attending motivational talks, and having quality time with his family. He is the proud father of two daughters, Abigail and Ciela.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Dennis grew up in Kitui County, in a place known as Ikanga. He loved playing football so much at school and in the community that he was nicknamed “Kadenge,” after a famous footballer.
Associate, Corporate Partnerships
Shaylah works with Project Sunshine’s diverse corporate partners to offer unique social responsibility opportunities. Her passion for inspiring others to volunteer in their communities is reflected in Shaylah’s personal experience with community service. Prior to working at Project Sunshine, Shaylah interned and volunteered at a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Raising Up Hope for Uganda. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science with a focus in Youth and Adolescent Development. When she’s not working, Shaylah loves reading, traveling, and boxing.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Shaylah began traveling internationally at 5 years old and traveled solo for the first time at 13 years old.
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Lauren manages Project Sunshine’s strategic partnerships across the West Coast and nationwide, including corporate relationships, brand engagement, and other fundraising initiatives. She started her career in public relations and marketing, where she honed her client management and planning skills and developed a love of partnership building. Lauren first volunteered with Project Sunshine as a college then community volunteer and was excited to join the team to further a mission she felt closely connected to. She is always eager to collect new passport stamps, recently visiting 10 countries in four months, and will frequently instigate a karaoke night or Scrabble challenge.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Lauren made her theatrical debut as the back hump of a camel in a middle school production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’
Wallis works on the development team coordinating special events, writing grants, and supporting marketing initiatives. She literally organizes everything and is suspected to have a computer for a brain. With over six years of experience as a writing tutor, Wallis brings these skills to executing the organization’s communications objectives. When she’s not working, Wallis can be found mixing cocktails with her husband and obsessively flossing.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Wallis’ favorite childhood toy was a cardboard refrigerator box.
Jess has worked in the nonprofit field since she was 16 years old – previously with an arts organization as well as an order of nuns. She helps the development team advance the mission of Project Sunshine through various fundraising and communications projects. Jess enjoys all aspects of donor stewardship, from diligent record keeping to celebrating supporters. She spends her spare time cooking, reading, and watching movies with her boyfriend and rescue dog, Luna.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Jess received a standing ovation at a keyboard recital for her rendition of Titanic’s theme song, “My Heart Will Go On.” It remains one of her mother’s proudest moments.
Andy has been with Project Sunshine since the summer of 2017 and has worked with Community, College, and Kids for Kids volunteers. In addition to his regular duties, Andy loves wowing kids with the lava lamp program activity and going to Party Time events with volunteer groups. He is a graduate of Binghamton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Outside of work, Andy enjoys playing soccer and swing dancing.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Andy used to play with the MTA Subway Map for 1-2 hours a day.
Executive Director, Project Sunshine Canada
Robert joined Project Sunshine Canada in 2015 as the first Executive Director in Canada. His background is in visual arts, public programming, non-profit management as well as education, community and healthcare philanthropy. Prior to joining Project Sunshine Canada he worked as a major gifts fundraiser in a large hospital foundation in downtown Toronto, gaining insight to Canada’s healthcare system and the needs of patients and their families. Working to enhance the emotional, physical and mental support resources for families through Project Sunshine Canada’s programs makes his role as ED one of the most satisfying of his career.
CHILDHOOD FACT: In his early grades at school during the cold snowy Alberta winters, he loved to lay down face-first in the snow at recess and look across the opened school yard and imagine he was in the Arctic or at the North Pole. As an adult he longs for tropical climates.