Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Michael Shannon

President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

Michael Shannon is founding president of the not-for-profit Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) located in Hackensack, NJ. Mr. Shannon holds a B.A. in Architecture from Princeton University, an M.A. in Adult Education from the department of Organization & Leadership at Columbia Teachers College, and a M.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University. His professional background includes corporate management as President, Northwood Corporation; Director, Design & Marketing, at Dunbar Furniture Company; and Director of Design, Formica Corporation. His self-employed experience includes design management consulting, free-lance furniture design, and pre-K-12 educational consulting in the fields of Design & Technology Education, 3-D Design, and Service Learning.

Lynne Harwell Algrant

Vice President of Planning, Development and Communications, Greater Bergen Community Action

Lynne Harwell Algrant is Vice President of Planning, Development and Communications at Greater Bergen Community Action. In addition, she is the founder of H 10 A Consulting, a practice focused on issues of leadership and effectiveness. Her clients include: the Association of Black Foundation Executives; DeLaSalle Academy (NYC), a 6th through 8th grade independent school for children from low-income families; the Cleveland (OH) Fire Department and the Brick City Development Corporation in Newark.

Her career began in independent school education when she worked at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in admissions and in the summer school program. She then moved to New York City to work at DeLaSalle Academy as director of high school placement and director of development. Lynne spent seven years at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in admissions and diversity and served as one of the class deans. For five years, she served as Executive Director of The Albert G. Oliver Program, a program dedicated to placing and supporting students of color in independent schools. While at Oliver, Lynne helped to found the Independent School Placement Association, a national consortium of organizations serving students of color in independent schools. As Executive Director of an educational non-profit, she took the organization from bankruptcy to solvency in two years.

Ms. Algrant was awarded the Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and is a member of the Englewood Rotary Club.

Joseph Ferro

Joseph Ferro

Vice President,
Market Manager at Valley Bank

Joseph Ferro was born and raised in New Jersey, where he graduated from St. Peter’s University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. Joseph’s family original from Sicily, Italy.

His first banking job was at Summit Bank where he started his career as a Full-time Customer service banker. About 1 year later, he became the assistant manager for Summit Bank that became Bank of America today. Joseph became the Branch manager after one year at Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
When Joseph joined Valley Bank as assistant Vice President in 2002, he quickly fell in love with the culture, the passion, and the community involvement which molded him to a successful path. He did leave Valley Bank in 2010 for an opportunity at JP Morgan Chase as the Vice President. Joseph managed over three different offices for the next 8 years. Joseph did leave banking for a short amount of time to pursue an opportunity for a family business. He traveled overseas and did multiple trade shows for a year.

Joseph came back to banking after the year because he misses the banking business. He felt that his passion is servicing client’s needs. In 2020, Joseph Join Alma Bank as Vice President in New Jersey. He spent the next 5 years developing business in Bergen County.

In 2022, Senior Management from Valley Bank asks Joseph to Join Valley Bank. Joseph to rejoin Valley Bank and continue making a positive impact in the Greater Hackensack area. His experience and strong ties to the community will surely benefit the bank and its customers. It’s to maintain meaningful relationships with businesses and residents for long-term success. Joseph missed the culture from Valley Bank. He is the Market Manager for the Greater Hackensack area. He currently manages two teams of 15 employees with the response of handling over 750 million in deposits. Joseph’s strong ties to the communities in which he serves resulted in meaningful relationships with businesses and residents to create an impact for their financial needs.

Christopher Percopo

Director of Grants Information and Management, The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust

Christopher Percopo is Director of Grants Information and Management at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. As one of Helmsley’s first staff members, he has served in a variety of capacities in collaboration with staff, external consultants, and the Trustees. As Director of Grants Management, Chris oversees the entire lifecycle of Helmsley’s grantmaking, and his team provides technical assistance to internal and external audiences, ensuring that all grants remain compliant and are monitored. Prior to joining Helmsley, Chris worked for various nonprofits on fundraising and other critical endeavors, such as developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for social service programs, developing and executing strategic plans, and assisting with the drafting of bylaws and governance for board development.

Chris graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in Human Services and Social Justice (Nonprofit Management) and has a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College. A lifelong New Jersey resident, Chris currently lives in Hoboken where he enjoys cooking in his free time and is a licensed marriage officiant.

Mary Call Blanusa

Director of Public Policy at The Alliance for Decision Education

Mary Call Blanusa is Director of Public Policy at The Alliance for Decision Education, a national nonprofit and field builder leading the growing call to have Decision Education a part of every student’s learning experience. Before joining the Alliance, Mary served as Executive Director at The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. Among her activities, she is a member of the Bergen County Democratic Committee and a volunteer with the Hasbrouck Heights Green Team. Currently, she serves on the board of directors of Seek Common Ground and as Board Chair of The English Learners Success Forum. Previously, she served as president of the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman’s Club. Mary holds a Master’s degree from the Heller School of Public Policy at Brandeis University and a Bachelor’s degree from American University.

Leslie J. Lipka

Executive Director in Clinical Safety and Risk Management, Merck & Co.

Leslie J. Lipka, MD, PhD, FACC is a cardiologist now working as an Executive Director in Clinical Safety and Risk Management supporting oncology products at Merck & Co. where she also chairs the cardiovascular safety board. She has worked in the
pharmaceutical industry both in Clinical Development as well as in Clinical Safety and Risk Management.

Leslie holds a BA from Lehigh University and both MD and PhD (cardiovascular pharmacology) degrees from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University). She performed her internal medicine training at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC and postdoctoral work in pharmacology at Columbia University. Her cardiology and clinical cardiac electrophysiology training were performed at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center where she was subsequently on staff.

Leslie and her husband are 25-year residents of Bergen County, where they raised their 2 children. In her free time, Leslie enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, reading and the arts.

Enos Ntombura

Senior Director of Sales Operations at Stryker Corporation

Enos Ntombura is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in Sales Performance Management, currently serving as Senior Director of Sales Operations at Stryker Corporation, based out of the Mahwah, NJ offices. Enos has been recognized for his exceptional leadership skills and strategic acumen, evident in his recognition as the 2020 Manager of the Year across the entire Stryker corporation.

Enos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance & Management, complemented by an MBA from the Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business at William Paterson University. Further enhancing his leadership capabilities, he completed the Harvard Business School Leadership program, a year-long intensive for high-potential leaders.

Beyond his professional achievements, Enos is deeply committed to fostering diversity and inclusion within the corporate landscape. He is the Founding President of the Stryker African Ancestry Network, an employee resource group (ERG) that has over time expanded nationally and internationally, and plays a pivotal role in attracting, retaining, and engaging diverse talent within the organization.

A New Jersey resident for over 25 years, Enos currently resides in Bergen County. In his leisure time, he enjoys traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

John Devol

Trustee Emeritus

John Devol is a professional musician and licensed educator, with a BA degree from Ohio University and a MA from University of Maryland. While pursuing an active musical career and serving in the pit orchestra for the full run of Broadway’s “A Chorus Line,” Mr. Devol devoted his daytime attention to reaching children through the beauty of the arts. In 1978, he founded Arts Horizons, which has since served over eight million children in ten states. Mr. Devol provided the vision and direction, which has made the organization a key player in the field of arts education. In 2010, he stepped down as Executive Director, but remains involved as a trustee and assists in resource development.