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 in the Hudson Valley of New York, Helene recently retired from her position as a development officer for the not-for-profit Foundation for Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. Valuing the importance of community service, Helene has volunteered as a member of the Pine Plains School District Board of Education, the Pine Plains Zoning Commission, and the Pine Plains Free Library..
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, Chief Operating Officer & 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 the former 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. 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 provided 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. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Columbia University.
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 is a nonprofit governance consultant with a specialty in working with family foundations. Karen held senior positions in philanthropy for 20 years, most recently as vice president of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. She 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. At the Council she led national consensus building processes resulting in stewardship principles for both the family and independent foundation fields. Karen was the first President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, transforming the foundation from anonymity to a known and respected community presence granting $1.5 million annually to organizations improving healthcare in Montgomery County, Maryland. Earlier in her career, Karen 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. Other volunteer commitments include serving on the national board of HIAS and as General Coordinator of the Refugee Response Team at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Karen holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Peggie Hartwell, Board Member
Peggie Hartwell is a nationally-known fourth-generation African-American quilter, teacher, and lecturer. She currently lives in Summerville, South Carolina, where she is Chairperson of the Summerville Chapter of the Women of Color Quilters Network and Voices On Cloth. She is also a member of the American Quilt Society (AQS). Her education includes a B.A. in Theater from Queens College, Queens, N.Y. and a Certificate of Completion: Artists in Classrooms, Developing Strategies for Working with Students with Disabilities from S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind, Spartanburg, S.C.. She was a recipient of the 2017 Jean Laney Folk Heritage Award and is on the Roster as a Master Artist for Opus Inc., Hartford, CT and also on the Roster as Artist in the Classroom for the State of South Carolina. In 1996, she received a grant from the National Quilting Association, Inc. to create a ten quilt series that recorded her South Carolina childhood and farm experiences. Her work can be found at the Museum of Arts and Design (New York City), Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (Grand Island, NB), International Quilt Study Center & Museum (Lincoln, NB), the Michigan State University Museum and the Smithsonian Institution American Art Museum. Her work as an inspirational teacher is documented in the film The Quilted Conscience – a Nebraska Story, where she guided a group of 16 Sudanese girls, all refugees living in Grand Island, Nebraska, to create a quilt made up of their hopes and dreams.
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.