Grant Category: Board

Andrew Parsegian


Andrew Parsegian is a musician, teacher, composer, and music producer based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is the great grandson of the foundation’s founder, and has been a Board member since 2005. He’s performed at Carnegie Hall, toured nationally with major-label artists, and taught at many NYC area schools, including the 92nd St.Y, Children’s Aid Society, Omega Institute, and Greenwich House Music School.

Recently, he’s worked on award-winning documentary films such as Sundance finalist “Echo Morris.” Currently, he’s producing several upcoming singer/songwriters, from r&b to Indian-influenced pop styles. His goal to help people grow their own relationship to self-expression, in ways that are meaningful to them.

Nicholas Zimmermann


Nicholas Zimmermann has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2013. As a member of the Board, he is interested in supporting small organizations, especially those operating within their local community, that address the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations.  These concerns include, but are not limited to, food poverty, educational needs, and social inequity.

Nick is a Senior Data Analyst at the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal.  He also works as an independent urban planning and design consultant where his work focuses on land use, housing, and climate change adaptation and resilience. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Kathryn Noel Phillips


Kathryn has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1992.  She is the granddaughter of the founders of the foundation, Kathryn and Ellis Phillips.   

As a member of the Board, Kathryn is interested in arts and historic preservation projects.  She is also interested in the growing farm to table trend at local, rural food pantries that works to end hunger in a sustainable manner, while working with local farmers to provide nutrient rich food to those in need.  Kathryn also lends her talents to preserving open land in Columbia County, NY.

Kathryn has a B.A. in History of Art and Fine Arts from Cornell University, and has completed graduate study at Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing, Aix en Provence, France and at Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester NY.  She has also studied photography and printmaking. Her art work has been shown in Ithaca, Rochester, Red Hook, and Hudson NY.  For more than two decades she was the sole proprietor of Noel Phillips Gilding and Restoration, which provided conservation of gilded antique frames and furniture.  Kathryn lives in Hudson, NY. 

Cynthia Phillips


Cynthia Phillips has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1996.   She is the granddaughter of the founders of the foundation, Kathryn and Ellis Phillips. 

Cynthia has studied extensively, both informally and formally, and has a wide range of interests, including Philosophy, Psychology, Comparative Religion studies, History of Western European Music and Literature.  As a member of the Board, her grant interests specifically include historic preservation, music, and the arts.

Cynthia spent several years living in Wales, where she indulged in her love of travel, nature, folk music and poetry.  One of her main passions in life has been guitar playing (pickin’), songwriting in the folk/rock/blues genres, and harmony singing, which is reflected in her foundation interest in music and the arts.  Previous work experience includes working on a dairy farm, as a docent and educator at science and history museums, as a certified Home Health Aide, and as a volunteer with her local public school.  Cynthia currently splits her time between Rhinebeck, NY and northern Maine.

Spencer Blasdale


Spencer Blasdale has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2015.  He is particularly interested in urban education as well as organizations that provide education to empower students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to achieve their full potential.

Spencer is currently the Executive Director at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School, a position that he held from 2000-2007 and assumed again in 2016. In his role as Executive Director he leads the school to ensure student success as well as organizational viability.  Prior to this role he served as Chief Executive Officer of SchoolWorks, providing leadership and decision-making for the company, including the development and execution of the company’s strategic plan. He has spent the past 25 years in the field of education, beginning with a teaching internship at The Park School in Brookline, Massachusetts and working as a teacher, administrator and service partner to district schools in Chicago and Boston.

Spencer currently serves as Board Chair of the Charlie Sposato Graduate School of Education and also serves as a Board member of Boston Day and Evening Academy.  He lives in Greater Boston.

Paula Edgar


Paula T. Edgar Esq. is a Partner of Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC, a consulting firm that provides innovative and strategic solutions on organizational diversity efforts, intercultural competence initiatives, sexual harassment prevention and EEO compliance.  The firm is a leader in executive/leadership development, professional branding, networking, social media, and career strategies. Paula speaks and consults on these topics by advising, facilitating workshops, professional development training, and providing keynote speeches. Paula has demonstrated leadership in numerous civic organizations and she is the immediate past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), New York State’s largest black bar association.

Paula’s professional experiences include serving as the founder and CEO of PGE LLC (a speaking, consulting and executive coaching firm), the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at New York Law School and as an attorney in the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Paula received her B.A. in Anthropology from the California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law. She was recognized by The Network Journal Magazine as a “40 Under Forty” Achievement Awardee, a Ms. JD “Woman of Inspiration” and a “Rising Star” by A Better Chance.

 Connect with Paula at, Linkedin, Twitter (@PaulaEdgar) and