BOARD OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS
Bernice Steinhardt, President and Chairperson
Until her retirement from federal service in 2011, Bernice Steinhardt was a senior executive at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative and analytic arm of the U. S. Congress. Over the course of two decades, she directed the GAO’s work on environmental, energy, and public health programs, as well as government-wide management issues, testifying numerous times before the Congress. For several years, she was also responsible for leading GAO’s strategic planning. Her work led to major improvements in the effectiveness of federal policies and programs as well as savings for taxpayers, for which she received a number of awards. Bernice is currently a consultant on strategic planning to various government agencies, here and abroad. Since 2003, when she and her sister, Helene McQuade, founded Art and Rmembrance, she has also worked tirelessly to share her mother’s art and story, and inspiration, with wider audiences. She is the co-author (with her mother, posthumously) of Memories of Survival, and Executive Producer of the award-winning film, “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz.”
Helene McQuade, Vice President and Vice Chairperson
Helene McQuade, the younger of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s two daughters, was born in Brooklyn, New York, where her parents emigrated after World War II. Encouraged by her mother to draw, paint and play the flute as a child, Helene developed a lasting love for art and music. A graduate of the City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Art History, her early career was in the arts and publishing. During the 1970s and 1980s, she was assistant to artist Dan Flavin. Now residing with her husband and son in the Hudson Valley of New York, Helene is a development officer for the not-for-profit NDH Foundation of Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck. Placing great value in the importance of community service, Helene volunteers her time as President of the Pine Plains School District Board of Education, and as a member of the Pine Plains Zoning Commission.
Benita Kline, Treasurer
Benita Kline is co-founder and Vice President of Leventhal/Kline Management Inc., a comprehensive management service for family, independent and corporate foundations located in the San Francisco Bay Area. At LKM, she directs client foundations’ activities in grantmaking, strategic planning, board development, evaluation and community relations. She also provides consultative services to foundations on strategic planning, program development, and succession planning. Prior to forming LKM, Benita served as Director of Planning and Allocations for the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay. Previously, she was the Development Director of the United Jewish Community Centers of San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula. She is a Past President of the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay and has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Federation of the East Bay and the Alameda County FEMA Board. She is a recipient of the “Menches in the Trenches” Award of the American Jewish Congress for outstanding community service. She holds an MS in Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State University.
Rachel Peric, Secretary
Rachel Peric (nee Steinhardt, formerly Glass) is Deputy Director of Welcoming America, an organization devoted to to promoting mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans, and was previously Executive Director of the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy in Montgomery County, Maryland. The granddaughter of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, she is a founding board member of Art and Remembrance, and has been actively involved in the operations of A&R, including developing educational materials to accompany the works of her grandmother. Ms. Peric holds a BA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Public Management from the University of Maryland.
Bruce Steinhardt, Assistant Treasurer
Bruce Steinhardt, a retired health care economist and businessman, is the son-in-law of Esther Krinitz. Serving in governmental and non-profit health care organizations, including the US Public Health Service and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, his career in health care was devoted to expanding access, improving care quality and fostering greater efficiency in care delivery. His report, “Medicaid and Poor Children,” played an important role in the successful efforts of children’s advocates to expand Medicaid access to all US children living below the poverty line. After spending three decades in health care, he went on to become a businessman and floral designer as the owner and manager of Frederick Florist in Frederick, MD. Mr. Steinhardt serves as an officer of Art and Remembrance, but is not a member of the board.
Ronni Denes, Board Member
Ronni Denes is president of New Jersey SEEDS, a statewide nonprofit organization that enables high-achieving, low-income students to excel in rigorous academic environments. In each of its programs, SEEDS delivers a challenging integrated curriculum along with opportunities for cultural exposure, emotional growth, leadership development and placement in some of the nation’s most competitive independent schools and colleges. SEEDS continues to guide its graduates throughout their school careers and beyond, and encourages its alumni to be ethical, engaged, responsible citizens. Ms. Denes is a lifelong champion of access to education. Before joining SEEDS she was senior vice president for External Affairs and Strategic Planning at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, an all honors college in New York City that provides a full tuition scholarship to every admitted student. A contributor to educational research and practice, she was chief operating officer of NACME, Inc. (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) before moving to Cooper Union. NACME is a not-for-profit organization that creates entrée to careers in science- and mathematics-based fields. Responsible for NACME’s research effort, Denes is co-editor of Access Denied; Race, Ethnicity and the Scientific Enterprise (Oxford University Press 2000). She began her career as a teacher and curriculum development specialist in the New York City Public Schools, and became a consultant to the Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education. Ms. Denes currently serves on the boards of Art & Remembrance and Westbeth Center for the Arts, where she is immediate past president. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Doris Freedman, Board Member
Doris Freedman is a former government attorney with 30 years experience in public policy, including drafting legislation and regulations. She has served as an advocate for small businesses within the Small Business Administration and was an advisor on health care policy for the Senate Small Business Administration. She was Policy Director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship, a non-profit organization funded by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City. This organization was designed to foster entrepreneurship at the state, local and national levels. Currently she is with a small law firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Doris is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Karen Green, Board Member
Karen Green has spent 20 years in philanthropy most recently as vice president of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Karen also served as Managing Director of Family Foundation Services at the Council on Foundations as well as Director of their Governing Boards Program, which provided foundation board members and CEOs with resources on foundation governance and oversight. Green also served as President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation. Earlier in her career, Green served as associate director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, managing $9 million in annual grants to increase access to justice for low-income people in that state. Prior to her involvement in philanthropy, she directed refugee resettlement efforts in Singapore and Indonesia to bring Vietnamese boat people to the U.S., and directed business advisory services for the U.S.-China Business Council. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a M. P. A. from Harvard University.
Nina Shapiro-Perl, Board Member
Nina Shapiro-Perl is an award-winning producer and director who has served in recent years as Filmmaker-in-Residence at American University, where she teaches and leads the Community Voice Project. Before joining the faculty of American University, she worked for twenty years building and directing the Video Services Department and Greenhouse Cultural Program of the Service Employees International Union. Nina earned her doctorate from the University of Connecticut as a social anthropologist. Her first job outside academia was as a writer and producer at Maryland Public Television. Her first independent film, Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, documents the art and story of Holocaust survivor and artist Esther Nisenthal Krinitz. It premiered in December 2011 at the Washington Jewish Film Festival where it won the Audience Favorite Documentary award. It also won the Audience Choice Best Short award at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, as well as Audience Best Short award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival and a Special Mention at the Miami Jewish Film Festival. Professionally juried awards include a CINE Golden Eagle Award, a TIVA Silver Medal and the Docs-in-Progress Alumni Arts in Focus award. The film has aired on multiple public TV stations around the US.
Simon Steinhardt, Board Member
Simon Steinhardt, a grandson of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, is an editorial strategist and the co-author of Hidden in Plain Sight (HarperCollins). He is the former managing editor of Swindle magazine, and has written for numerous other magazines; edited and co-written several art and culture books, including Shepard Fairey’s Supply and Demand; written copy for a wide range of ad campaigns and websites; and developed social media and editorial content for marketing agencies Studio Number One and JESS3. Simon holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland. He lives in Los Angeles.