New York Area Advisory Board

The Little Kids Rock New York Area Advisory Board is a body of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about bringing the lifelong gift of music education to public school children in low-income communities. Their purpose is to build a supportive community of donors and volunteers who attract the financial and human capital needed to ensure the stability and growth of the Little Kids Rock NYC Metro Area chapter. The Board achieves this purpose through their own personal financial donations as well as their fundraising, relationship-building, and advisory efforts. The New York Area Advisory Board does not bear the burden of governance, but is rather an organizing entity. Please direct membership inquiries to Board Secretary, Keith

Sunil Aggarwal

Sunil is a portfolio manager for BlackRock Credit Alpha, an event-driven credit hedge fund.  Prior to joining BlackRock, Sunil spent 10 years in the distressed credit group at Morgan Stanley.   With his MS colleagues, Sunil helped found Custer’s Last Stand, a 90’s grunge cover band that performed at multiple venues in Manhattan. 

Scott Burton (co-chair)

Scott has served as technology executive in the financial sector since 1990. He currently is CTO of Investment Management at JP Morgan. Scott began his career as a software developer at AT&tT Bell Labs after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1984. He is also an adjunct professor at both NYU and WPI where he teaches technology project based courses in finance and music. He is passionate music fan and has been playing as a guitarist, bassist and drummer as long as he can remember. FULL BIO

Kevin Cassidy

Kevin provides healthcare consulting services for Zia Physics, Inc. Before that he was a Major Accounts Manager at Varian Oncology Systems in Dallas, where he provided sales support and customer interface for manufacturer of linear accelerators and other radiotherapy equipment. He also was President and Owner of Alpha Imaging, Inc. where he directed physician/hospital joint venture syndication, demand analysis studies, equipment purchasing/leasing evaluation, management/marketing, planning and consulting for existing projects. FULL BIO

Peter Chalif

Peter is a native New Yorker who works in the finance industry. He attributes music, music education, the arts, and his mother for his creative approach to problems. His dedication to Little Kids Rock’s mission is founded on the belief that children will need imagination and dedication to thrive in a changing world. FULL BIO

Jenna Converse
Jim Dattoli


Greg Hall

Gregory Hall is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and head of the Hedge Fund Solutions group’s Ventures business unit. Mr. Hall has been a member of the Hedge Fund Solutions group’s investment team since 2004, focused on a wide range of hedge fund strategies. In his current role, Mr. Hall leads the Strategic Alliance and Strategic Capital Holdings initiatives, in addition to his involvement in the broader Hedge Fund Solutions group. He serves on the investment committees for the Blackstone Strategic Alliance funds and Blackstone Strategic Capital Holdings. FULL BIO

Frank Kotsen

Frank Kotsen is the global head of credit and special situations for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Kotsen, who joined the bank in 1996, was most recently head of US special situations and loan trading and has previously served as co-head of global credit. 

Steve Kurz

Steve is a Principal at River Birch Capital, LLC, where he serves as Head of Business Development for the firm.  Prior to joining River Birch, Steve was a Vice President at Fortress Investment Group, where he held capital raising, product specialist, and strategy roles.  Steve started his financial services career at Lehman Brothers as a capital markets analyst in the Fixed Income Division.  Steve holds a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.  He serves on the Cornell Annual Fund’s National Committee, and is an active member of NextGen Angels, an early stage investing group.  Outside of the office, Steve’s primary passions are soccer and music, with a particular affinity for the mandolin. 

Susan Mazo

Susan Mazo is the Senior Vice President of Global Communications for Universal Music Group (UMG) where she oversees the company’s major internal and external events, special projects and global philanthropic efforts. She also plays a key role in the company’s communication strategy. Prior to UMG, Mazo served as Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Warner Music Group (WMG). During her tenure at WMG, Mazo led WMG’s philanthropic efforts such as developing community outreach programs and helping to raise millions of dollars in disaster relief aid. Mazo also produced numerous world-wide conferences as well as high-profile events for the company surrounding award shows, music and technology conferences, the company’s IPO, among many others. In addition, Mazo was a key member of the executive team responsible for global branding and corporate identity initiatives. Prior to joining WMG in 2000 as a manager in the communications department, Mazo served in a variety of positions at Billboard magazine, Westwood One and KSA Public Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware.

Betty Murphy

Betty is President and Managing Member of ReGenesis LLC, a new products development company in Montclair, NJ. Betty and business partner, Jim Smith co-founded their first company Creative Products Resource in 1979 and spun off ReGenesis when CPR was bought by Dial Corporation and Henkel, Germany in 1999. They have over 50 patents in Household, Personal Care and Topical Drug Delivery categories and share responsibility for developing well-known products including Wet Ones®, StickUps®, Carpet Fresh® and more. Their company was honored with a Top 25 NJ Businesses Award. Betty is included in a chapter on sales presentations in Barry Farber’s 12 Cliches of Selling (& Why They Work) and is also one of the subjects in The Happy 100, a book by journalist, Joanne Burke, about women who love their careers. FULL BIO

Elani Myers

For the past decade she has devoted her career to fashion footwear and accessories company, Steve Madden. As the company’s Marketing & Events Manager, the St. Louis native helps run the Steve Madden Music program as well as coordinating the brand’s presence at national trade shows and events on behalf Steve Madden’s top fashion brands. Music has always been a passion of Elani’s, having played clarinet since childhood and continuing to dabble in the ukulele with her vast network of friends in the music community. Other creative outlets include: painting, puppetry, and even helping to organize and write grants for the largest national legal graffiti art event, “Paint Louis,” in 1999 and 2000. Her background is as colorful and spirited as her ever-evolving lifestyle and aptly supplements her passion to lead efforts toward bringing music to youth — a cause nurtured by Elani’s family who instilled in her the importance of creativity and its impact on making the world a better place.

Lance Neuhauser

Lance Neuhauser is CEO of 4C, a global leader in data science and media technology company with solutions for cross-screen convergence. The Chicago native is a big believer in the potential for social media data to drive drastic change in many industries, especially marketing. Early in his career, he recognized that traditional advertising is broken as it focuses on demographics, not real people. 4C formed to address this gap and help marketers achieve their goals through mining social data for insights and connecting it across channels and screens. Lance believes that even in a tech driven world it is more important than ever to get kids started early on music and to provide them means for creative expression.

Sandeep Ramesh

Sandeep is an investor and entrepreneur.  Most recently, he was co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Meghalaya Partners, a hedge fund focused on credit and leveraged equities.  Before launching the fund, Sandeep was an Investment Analyst at Valinor Management.  Prior to joining Valinor, he was an Investment Banking Associate at CenterviewPartners and began his professional career as a restructuring attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. 

Sandeep received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, where he graduated first in his class, and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as a senior editor on the Yale Law Journal. Sandeep is a zealous guitar player with a penchant for 32nd note triplets.

Nathan Riggs (co-chair)

Nathan is a Principal with Pacific AirFinance, a commercial aircraft investment firm, where he focuses on aviation related investments in emerging markets. Nathan is also a founder and Principal with Bala Real Estate Group, a New York City based real estate brokerage and development firm. FULL BIO

Nedim Soylemez


Alex White

Alex White co-founded Next Big Sound in 2008, while in his last semester at Northwestern University. The analytics service measures daily music consumption and purchase decisions around the globe. From Facebook fans to sales, Next Big Sound combines artist activity with context to help the modern music industry make decisions. White and his co-founders have been featured in Billboard (10 best music companies) New York Times, CNN, Forbes (30 under 30), Techcrunch, BusinessWeek (25 under 25) and more. Next Big Sound works with thousands of customers, from individual artists to major labels, and licenses two charts to Billboard magazine. In 2012 the start-up announced a $6.5 million dollar series A financing from IA Ventures, Foundry Group, SofttechVC and other notable angel investors.