Our Staff Team
Meet our enthusiastic team dedicated to bringing joy to pediatric patients...and to anyone who sees our childhood photos.
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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.
Rouane joined Project Sunshine in the fall of 2019 and brings with him more than a decade of nonprofit’s best practices and operations experience in human resources, technology, and management. As our Office Manager, Rouane leads our operations and provides high-level administrative support to our Executive Director and her team.
Rouane has a strong track record in philanthropy, with an emphasis on being a partner and a resource to the leadership team. Previously, he worked at the Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) for more than a decade, most recently serving as the Office Manager. While at the NCF — a private family foundation working to create a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society through grantmaking in the United States and Israel — Rouane took a leading role in managing the NCF’s Ladder of Opportunity Internship Program and overseeing office administration.
Before joining NCF, Rouane was a teacher assistant at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY through an Academic Peer Instruction program, a free peer tutor initiative that helps students succeed in their courses.
Rouane graduated summa cum laude from the City College’s Groove School of Engineering in New York. He is a native of Togo, West Africa and speaks about half-dozen languages.
Marketing Content Coordinator
Miller is Project Sunshine’s Social Media Coordinator. Formerly she developed content and managed social media for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and the National Parks of New York Harbor. After growing up in Boca Raton, Florida, Miller received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in English from the University of Florida. In her spare time, she loves to work on video and film projects around NYC.
CHILDHOOD FACT: As a child Miller loved trips to the Home Depot wood department so much we would never let her father go without her.
Associate Manager, Volunteer Engagement
Alida joins the Project Sunshine team as the Volunteer Engagement Associate Manager. She brings over 10 years of non-profit experience with a focus on Volunteer Experience and Customer Care Management, most recently working in the field of Disaster Management and relief. Alida gained most of her non-profit experience working with the Girl Scouts of Greater NY, where she did everything from teaching career and life skills to middle school girls in the Bronx, starting troops, training leaders and managing the Customer Care Team.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Growing up Alida always had an interest in music, playing instruments (violin and clarinet) as well as singing. She enjoyed it so much, that in 5th grade she was bestowed the honor of being the first, and to her knowledge only girl to play the solo role of the Little Drummer Boy in the Holiday Concert.
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.
Gregory is Project Sunshine’s Development Coordinator. He became interested in the non-profit world at a young age and even founded his own organization called “Threads to Thrive” as a high school student. He graduated from The George Washington University, before moving to Amsterdam, Netherlands to explore the intersection of sport and social impact at the Johan Cruyff Institute’s Master of Sport Management program. Most recently, Greg worked at The Over Under Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to play for youth around the country.
When he is not working, you can find Greg being constantly let down by his favorite sports teams.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Greg has never been a history buff. In fact, there is an entire family photo album dedicated to all the tourist attractions where he has been caught napping.
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: In the eighth grade, Kaitlin won first place in physical science at the Connecticut State Science Fair for her project on Buckminsterfullerenes (aka “bucky balls”). This was her first and last serious foray into the world of science.
Cathy recently joined the Project Sunshine team in the role of Development Manager. She grew up in Surrey in the South East of England, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Studies from Aston University in Birmingham. Following graduation, she worked for Disability Challengers, a non-profit organization that provides exciting and inclusive play and leisure activities for disabled children and young people in Surrey and the South East of England. Cathy moved to New York City in 2001 and continued her career in the non-profit world, first at New York Cares, followed by Girl Scouts of the USA and now she is delighted to be a part of the Project Sunshine family!
In her spare time Cathy loves to spend time with her husband and two children, exploring the city, especially their local neighborhood of Astoria. She enjoys travelling, cooking (and eating!) delicious food, attending shows and concerts and movies. She also relishes any opportunity to cozy up with a good book and a cuppa (tea!), although the opportunities to do so are few and far between with two lively kids at home!
CHILDHOOD FACT: Cathy grew up with two sisters and a twin brother. She doesn’t really look like her twin brother, and people often think she is actually twins with her younger sister, because they look more alike, even though there are four years between them. Cathy absolutely ADORED her baby sister (and still does!), and loved taking care of her, as you can tell from her childhood picture which was taken shortly after her sister was born!
As Program Coordinator, Kyra supports the delivery and management of Project Sunshine’s programs including TelePlay, Sending Sunshine and in-person volunteering.
Prior to working with Project Sunshine, Kyra was involved in the education field through various teaching fellowships and mentorship positions and is very happy to continue helping children in this role. Kyra graduated from Brown University in 2021 with Bachelors of Arts in Engineering and Education Studies.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Kyra loved arts & crafts and Legos growing up and thus wishes she herself could play with Project Sunshine’s kits.
Director of Development
Samantha joined Project Sunshine in November 2019 after a year of consulting for the development and corporate partnerships teams, as well as with other nonprofit clients. Previously, she served as the Director of Special Events at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Before that, as a Senior Account Manager at Event Associates, Samantha honed her fundraising and event management skills working with organizations including Robin Hood, Jazz at Lincoln Center, iMentor, and the Navy SEAL Foundation.
Samantha is a native New Yorker who loves exploring Central Park with her 2 year old son, cooking, and riding her Peloton.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Samantha was a competitive swimmer when she was younger, making it all the way to the “Junior Olympics” at the age of 11! Unfortunately, her sporty days ended soon after…
Program Coordinator, Corporate Partnerships
Hansee supports the volunteer programs available for our corporate partners. Over the years, Hansee strived to understand the diverse needs of children and families within their distinct physical and mental abilities and the impact of early experiences on mental health. Her passion for non-profit work grew during her undergraduate years at the University of Central Florida as she had the opportunity to serve as president for a college chapter focused on fundraising for pediatric cancer patients and volunteering at local hospitals. In her free time, Hansee enjoys walks along the pier with a friend, cooking different cuisines, and exploring new parts of the city.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Hansee was born in Hong Kong and was partially raised in India. During her time in India, Hansee loved to put on impromptu performances for her family dancing to her favorite Bollywood songs.
Director of Pediatric Experience
Meg oversees Project Sunshine’s national programs and medical facility and nonprofit partnerships. Meg’s passion for pediatrics led her to pursue a career as a Certified Child Life Specialist, supporting patients and families both in and out of the hospital setting for over a decade.
Prior to working with Project Sunshine, Meg worked in at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Patient Experience to innovate and enhance numerous pediatric programs. At Cohen Children’s Medical Center of NY, Meg was the lead CCLS of the inpatient surgical unit. As a once former employee of Project Sunshine, Meg is thrilled to return to Project Sunshine yet again to further the impact and reach of its programs across the US.
Chief of Staff
Katy leads the charge as Project Sunshine’s Chief of Staff. 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.
Mercy Nabwire Maita
Chapter Leader, Project Sunshine Kenya
Mercy Nabwire Maita is a Chapter Leader, serving in an administrative and program assistant role for the Project Sunshine Kenya team. Her dedication and passion for supporting the youth in her community is commendable; she began volunteering with PS Kenya in 2016 and also volunteers for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children program at Bomu Hospital, in Mombasa. She can often be found not only in the play room leading programs, but conducting home visits where she distributes scholastic materials and farm implements. She is also trained as a facilitator in Evidence Based Interventions and life skills. In her free time, Mercy likes reading, traveling, swimming, dancing and socializing.
Senior Salesforce Manager
David is responsible for overseeing and managing Project Sunshine's CRM, Salesforce. A technologist to his core, David is passionate about improving business processes through digital transformation.
David joined the Project Sunshine family in 2021 and brings with him almost two decades of experience in the Customer Service, Hospitality, Information Technology, and Business Intelligence industries. Most recently, he worked for Girl Scouts of the USA overseeing the movement-wide service delivery design for strategies impacting the overall customer experience.
When he isn't heads down working on Salesforce improvements, you'll find David in Las Vegas where he lives with his girlfriend and their two rescue pups; Malla and Hailey. He enjoys camping, hiking, off-roading, and is learning to play the guitar.
CHILDHOOD FACT: All through high school, David was a championship debater and travelled across the country competing in debate tournaments.
Dennis Ngui Muyanga
Manager, 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.
Chapter Leader, Project Sunshine Kenya
Kennedy Mwachala is a Chapter Leader, serving in an administrative and program assistant role for the Project Sunshine Kenya team. Kennedy began volunteering for Bomu Hospital in Mombasa in 2013 as a Community Health Worker where he gained exposure to volunteering and the value that he could provide to communities through critical health messaging. The following year, he was introduced to Project Sunshine by his sister, who is also a volunteer. He was quickly recognized for his outstanding work, winning the best volunteer of the year award in 2016. He then opened a new volunteer site at one of Bomu Hospital’s locations in Mariakani, where he led the volunteer team in establishing that new partnership.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Kennedy attended kindergarten at the age of 4 where he enjoyed playing football.
Associate, Community Volunteer Engagement
Cecilia joined Project Sunshine as a Community Volunteer Engagement Associate in November 2021. Cecilia has had a passion for helping people as a young girl when she started in her community in St. Lucia in the early 1900s.
Her career has always been in business management including her real estate business in the Bronx. In 2014, Cecilia decided to go back to college where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics. But regardless of where life takes her, Cecilia will never forget her hometown in St. Lucia especially the children during Christmas session.
In Cecilia’s spare time, she loves spending time with family and friends. Whether it’s one or two people, Cecilia will have a good time. She loves to travel, dance, swim, watch documentaries, and cook among many others.
Her motto, “Life is a party, just dance”.
CHILDHOOD FACT: As a young girl, Cecilia had always had a passion for business. She used to make cakes, popcorn or whatever she could get her hands on to sell it to her siblings pretending she had her own business.
Louise St. Rose
Operations Associate Manager
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.
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Feiras is Project Sunshine’s Digital Marketing Coordinator. Prior to joining the Project Sunshine Team, he supported online marketing efforts by managing email campaigns as well as developing social media and website content at Columbia University and the United Nations World Food Programme. Feiras received his Master’s in Public Administration from New York University and his BA in Communications and Political Science from American University. In his spare time, he likes to go biking and explore New York City.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Feiras grew up as a third culture kid leaving his birth country, Bangladesh, when he was a year old. Before moving to the United States, he lived 18 years of his life in 5 countries spread across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
Corporate Partnerships Manager
Jake joins Project Sunshine as the Manager of Corporate Partnerships. He has worked in New York City’s education and nonprofit space for nearly a decade, with extensive experience in relationship and community building. Prior to starting with Project Sunshine, Jake was the Director of Career Services for Lincoln Technical Institute and spent several months overseeing an Emergency Childcare Center to help serve New York’s first responders during the height of the COVID19 pandemic. A graduate from SUNY Albany with a degree in English and Communications, Jake is a native New Yorker who loves exploring the diverse culinary options of Queens, walking his dog, and arguing about proper bagel etiquette.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Jake always loved music and at age 9 he utilized his parent’s treadmill to try and recreate Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” music video. It did not go well for either Jake or the treadmill.
Director, International Programs
Shapari serves as the Director of International Programs, which oversees Project Sunshine’s work in Canada, China, Israel, and Kenya.
Prior to joining Project Sunshine, Shapari lived in Africa, Asia, and Europe working for non-profits, the public and private sectors, and the United Nations. She received her masters from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and her bachelors from Pomona College.
CHILDHOOD FACT: One year, Shapari forgot her lines at an annual recital and started laughing uncontrollably from nervousness. Eventually the audience joined in the laughter, and she didn’t complete her lines. She was never again asked to perform at the recital.
Programs and Volunteers Manager, Project Sunshine Canada
Michelle manages Project Sunshine Canada’s programs, volunteers and Corporate Social Responsibility partnerships. Michelle joined Project Sunshine Canada in 2017 as a volunteer in three of our programs. Michelle brings more than 1,600 volunteer hours from several programs in local hospitals and charities in the Toronto area. Michelle spent many years as an Early Childhood Educator, as well as Faculty Supervisor supporting students in the field.
CHILDHOOD FACT: Michelle fondly remembers her first road trip to Walt Disney World when she was five years old. Today she still loves Disney, having been there seven times since. Her wedding song was a Whole New World and two days later they were honeymooning in Walt Disney World. She has been to Disneyland California and hopes to knock both Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris off her bucket list.
Board of Directors
Meet the passionate individuals who serve on our Board.
Founder & Chairman of the Board, Project Sunshine; CEO, New Legacy
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.
Chief Accessibility Officer, NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Senior Vice President, Commercial Marketing Cloud, Salesforce
President & COO, NFP
Advisor, Bank Leumi and Founder and CEO, Leather Honey
Chief Programs and Network Officer, Points of Light
Bernard M. Rosof, M.D.
CEO, Quality in Healthcare Advisory Group, LLC
Founding Executive Director, Project Sunshine
Chief Operating and Financial Officer, CC Capital
CEO and Co-Founder, Silverline
Reed V. Tuckson, M.D.
Managing Director, Tuckson Health Connections
Tylis Family Foundation
Caryn Stoll Unger
Founder and CEO, Freestyle Mktg LLC
Robin Wilpon Wachtler
Noel R. Wallace
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Colgate-Palmolive
Partner (retired), PwC
Senior Director of Marketing, PepsiCo