FMC is grateful to all of these leaders who dedicate their time to supporting our work.
Jeffrey Nicholai, Board Chair
Jeffrey Nicolai is a Silicon Valley-based tech entrepreneur and a former attorney. In 2016, he founded Phoodie, a mobile app that connects users with photos and videos about food.
Prior to that, Nicolai was a partner in Tackett, Mull and Nicolai LLP, a firm focused on mergers and acquisitions for technology-based corporations.
Nicolai stared his career in law as an associate in White & Case's Silicon Valley office and a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. There, he represented corporations and private equity firms in domestic and cross-border public and private mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity transactions and restructurings.
Kathleen Strottman, Secretary
Kathleen Strottman comes to her role as the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Children with 15 years experience as a policy advocate for vulnerable children.
In her previous role as the Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), the nonprofit partner to the largest bicameral caucus in Congress, Strottman was a sought after expert in legislation related to children outside of family care.
As Legislative Director for Senator Mary Landrieu, Strottman worked to pass legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act, The Medicare Modernization Act, The Inter-Country Adoption Act, The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, and the Family Court Act.
Throughout her career, Strottman has worked to increase the opportunity for positive dialogue and the exchange of best practices between the United States and its partner countries. Strottman regularly presents at national and international child welfare conferences and has appeared on CNN, FOX News, CBS, NBC, C-SPAN, PBS and numerous other media outlets.
Tara Wilson, Treasurer
Tara Wilson is a Tax Senior Manager at Gumbiner Savett, Inc. where she provides services including tax compliance, strategic tax planning, financial statement preparation and analysis, and client representation to the IRS and State Departments. Tara has over 10 years of public accounting and taxation experience, with expertise in partnership taxation and real estate investments.
Tara has over five years of experience working with exempt organization accounting, during which time she has become an expert in preparing complex Form 990s and applicable Schedules. She has assisted her clients in the preparation and follow through with applications for tax-exempt status. Tara formerly served on the board of a not-for- profit, the Atlanta Women’s Network, as the Treasurer, where she prepared monthly financial reports and budgets, as well as the annual Form 990.
Daniel Heimpel, President of FMC
Daniel Heimpel is an award-winning journalist, the founder of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through solution-based journalism, and teaches graduate students of public policy, social work and journalism on how to use media to drive social change. Heimpel has written and produced stories about vulnerable children for Newsweek, The Los Angeles Daily News, LA Weekly, The Seattle Times, Current TV, The Oprah Winfrey Network, KPCC and KCRW among many others. This coverage has garnered him journalism awards from the Children’s Advocacy Institute, The Los Angeles Press Club and the Child Welfare League of America, among others. His full bio can be found on our team page.
Lisa Ling is an award-winning journalist and executive producer/host of CNN’s docu-series This is Life. Previously she produced and hosted Our America with Lisa Ling on the Oprah Winfrey Network. A former host on Barbara Walters’ The View Ling has also reported for National Geographic, Time, PBS, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Lindsay Ellenbogen is a communications professional and an adjunct professor at Fordham University.
Most recently, Ellenbogen worked as public relations manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Washington, D.C.
Ellenbogen founded the Sara Start Fund for Foster Youth and serves on the advisory board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and Peace Players International. She was also appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to a three-year term on the Maryland Advisory Council to the Children’s Cabinet.
Aileen Adams has been a leader in government at the local, state and national levels. She served as President Clinton’s appointee heading the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Justice Department; as the Secretary of State and Consumer Services agency in the Cabinet of Governor Davis; and as Deputy Mayor for Strategic Partnerships under Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa. She was the Co-Executive Director of the County’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection and helped to prepare their report with recommendations on how to improve the County’s child protection system.
Adams served for many years as the Legal Counsel at UCLA’s Rape Treatment Center, where she co-founded Stuart House, a widely acclaimed center for sexually abused children. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, which supports nonprofits in Southern California that serve underserved communities.
Jeremy Pelphrey is a partner at Fox Rothchild LLP Attorneys at Law, where he advises businesses, fiduciaries and funds on a broad range of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and transaction-based matters. He has practiced law at firms in California and Illinois and lectured on labor law at Bradley University.
Pelphrey also serves as counsel to Los Angeles-based nonprofit United Friends of the Children regarding their health and welfare benefit arrangements. In Peoria, Illinois, he served on the board of trustees and as general counsel to the South Side Office of Concern, which seeks to end homelessness and provide individuals and families with a warm, safe place to live and assistance in achieving their goals.
Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is a lawyer, philanthropist and writer whose memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, was published in 2009. She currently co-chairs Human Rights Watch’s Los Angeles Committee. She also is a former president of the Alliance for Children’s Rights and a board member of The Skirball Cultural Center. In addition, she served as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles County Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Welfare, which led to widespread child welfare reform in the county.
Gilbert-Lurie spent much of her early career at NBC, where she oversaw NBC Productions and the Comedy division, co-wrote television episodes, and co- founded an in-house production company, Lurie-Horwits Productions. Previously, as a lawyer, Gilbert-Lurie worked at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney and served as a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Law Clerk.