Board of Directors
Chair: Monica Derbes Gibson, Esq. (New Orleans, LA)
Monica Derbes Gibson is an environmental attorney who has practiced in both the federal government and the private sector. Ms. Gibson currently works for the law firm of Liskow & Lewis in her home town of New Orleans. Monica was previously of counsel with Venable LLP. She also served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an attorney and manager in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Ms. Gibson is an active member of the community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, and she currently serves as the Secretary and as a member of the Audit Committee. She also volunteers as a cook for So Others Might Eat, a Washington DC organization that helps the homeless. At St. Peter School on Capitol Hill, where her son is in fifth grade, she has served in numerous volunteer capacities, including bringing Mardi Gras to St. Peter School students.
Ms. Gibson is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the managing board of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal and was active in community theatre and the Charlottesville AIDS Support Group. She is a member of the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She is also a member of the bars of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the First Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit.
Vice Chair: Jennifer L. Schwartz, Esq. (Philadelphia, PA)
Jennifer Schwartz is the Chief Legal Officer for Christiana Care, responsible for all legal affairs across the system. Ms. Schwartz provides counsel to the senior leadership team and Board of Directors. She also serves as health system corporate secretary and staff to the Board of Directors and committees of the Board, while managing and leading the Legal and Risk Management departments. Ms. Schwartz previously served as Vice President of Legal Affairs & General Counsel for Lourdes Health System (LHS) and St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC). She was initially hired by LHS as its first in-house attorney, and after just three years as the Assistant Vice President, Legal Affairs, was elevated to LHS’ Chief Legal Officer as a direct result of her foresight, strategy initiatives, and legal expertise. In 2015, she added SFMC to her legal responsibilities. In addition, as a result of her keen business acumen, she was also appointed in 2013 as the first President of the LHS Health Network, a new collaborative patient-centered Accountable Care Organization which now consists of 160 primary care doctors in four New Jersey counties.
Ms. Schwartz was recognized by her legal peers in 2011 as New Jersey Law Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2014, Ms. Schwartz was recognized as a NJBIZ General Counsel of the Year Finalist. Ms. Schwartz was previously a partner at the law firm of Fox Rothschild in Princeton, New Jersey.
Treasurer: Steve Bruneau (Edgewater Park, NJ)
Steve Bruneau is a product-development expert and business leader who draws upon his engineering, information-technology (IT), and business skills to develop award-winning, patented products and services that have jump-started businesses ranging from startups, to Fortune 500 companies, to programs for the United States Military. Mr. Bruneau is presently the Chief Operating Officer for Pulsar Informatics Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Steve also presently serves as the Business Manager for Bruneau Family Care, P.C. in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
Previous positions include Director, Managed Services at PTC in Marlton, New Jersey (formerly NetIDEAS, Inc.), and Director of Engineering, Director of Space Products, and Project Engineer at Marotta in Boonton, New Jersey. Mr. Bruneau’s education includes: attending the Executive Masters in Technology Management Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University; and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Secretary: Ira M. Levee, Esq. (West Orange, NJ)
Ira Levee is an accomplished attorney with extensive experience in bankruptcy law as well as commercial and bankruptcy litigation. Presently, Mr. Levee is a Senior Legal Editor at Thomson Reuters/Practical Law (Bankruptcy). Previously, he was Of Counsel with Lowenstein Sandler LLP for 15 years, and prior to that time, was first an Associate and later a Partner with Ravin Sarasohn Cook Baumgarten Fisch & Rosen PC, where he worked for more than 11 years.
Mr. Levee received his law degree from Seton Hall University. He also attended Rutgers University and Bucknell University, where he received his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, respectively. His bar and court admissions include the State and District Courts of both New Jersey and New York. Mr. Levee has authored several articles on bankruptcy issues.
In terms of memberships and affiliations, Mr. Levee is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute; he previously was a member of the Board of Trustees, NJ Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2002-2016, and the Chair of the Governance Committee from 2015-2016. Additionally, Mr. Levee provided legal services for the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program (Newark, NJ) and the Honorable Morris Stern Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project (Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, NJ).
Past Chair: James M. Anderson, Esq. (Ridgeland, MS)
Jim Anderson is the Managing Member of Anderson Crawley & Burke, pllc, a Mississippi law firm headquartered in the Jackson, Mississippi area. An Honor graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and a cum laude graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, Mr. Anderson is active in numerous professional organizations surrounding his private law practice where he focuses on workers’ compensation litigation, insurance/self-insurance regulation, and mediation.
Mr. Anderson carries Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating (A-V), has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, and he was named Lawyer of the Year for 2012 by Best Lawyers in the field of Workers’ Compensation – Employers in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Also in 2012, he was named the Lawyer of the Year for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in the Legal Community by the Mississippi College School of Law.
Eric K. Bossard (Worcester, PA)
Eric Bossard founded Commonwealth Insurance Advantage in 2016 in an effort to expand his outsourced risk management and insurance expertise globally. In addition, he co-founded Archway Insurance in 2002 as an outsource risk manager, which placed insurance coverage on behalf of brokers nationwide. In 2006, Mr. Bossard was instrumental in the acquisition of Alliance National Insurance Company (formally UMI Insurance Company), a New York domiciled property and casualty insurance company where he originally served as president and chief operating officer. He is currently one of the owners.
A graduate of West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mr. Bossard has amassed more than 30 years of industry experience on both the broker side (sales, marketing, and e-commerce) and the carrier side (accounting, finance, preparation of the insurance company annual statement, budgeting, underwriting, and reinsurance, including captives). He has served on the Board of Directors for both profit and nonprofit entities. He also volunteers his time coaching youth sports.
David L. Herzog (St. Albans, MO)
Mr. Herzog retired from AIG in April, 2016 after more than seven years as the Group Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Herzog serves on the following Boards of Directors: AMBAC Financial Group and is Chairman of the Audit Committee; DXC Technologies and Chairs the Audit Committee; MetLife Inc. and Chairs the Audit Committee, along with serving on the Finance & Risk and Compensation Committees; and PCCW (Hong Kong).
Mr. Herzog joined American General in February, 2000 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Life Division. Following AIG’s acquisition of American General in 2001, he was also named Chief Operating Officer for the combined United States domestic life insurance companies. He held several other executive positions until October, 2008 when he was appointed to the position from which he retired in 2016. Prior to joining American General, Mr. Herzog held numerous positions at General American Life Insurance Company, Reinsurance Group of America, GenCare Health, Family Guardian Life, and Coopers & Lybrand.
Mr. Herzog holds a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. Additionally, he has attained the designations of Certified Public Accountant and is a Fellow in the Life Office Management Association.
Mr. Herzog has served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, and in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Mr. Herzog also serves on: the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business Strategic Development Board and the Investment Advisory Committee for the University of Missouri. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Trustees of the American College, The Logos School, and The University of Missouri School of Accountancy Advisory Board. He was recognized by Treasury & Risk Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in Finance and also recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine as one of the top CFOs in Insurance.
Susan Kowitz (Columbus, OH)
Susan Kowitz is a senior information and technology business executive. She is a results-oriented leader and relationship manager, managing the relationship between business and technology.
Ms. Kowitz is currently employed by L Brands, a member of the MAST Global Technology Omni-Channel organization, based in Columbus, Ohio. In this position, she has direct oversight of the stores’ functional and application development teams, focusing on support and delivery of best-in-class technology solutions. Ms. Kowitz is also responsible for the strategy, vision, and management of applications in stores, supporting the company’s direction in these areas.
Her most recent previous positions include: Director of Business and Production Support with Macys.com in New York; EMEA Project Management Office and Customer Services Lead with Univar Corporation, based in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands; Business Systems Manager for Starbucks Coffee Company, also located in The Netherlands; and Senior Information Systems Officer with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ms. Kowitz received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management Information Systems from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
Paula Nitto (Wayne, NJ)
Paula, a Finance Executive and Strategic Partner, is most renowned for driving financial health and growth. A true change agent, she is a passionate and hands-on leader with proven success in establishing and managing a strong financial infrastructure that fosters flexibility to achieve revenue growth through increased cost management and operational effectiveness.
The “Center of Excellence” is the hallmark of her approach and it is based on what she entitles her “Three P’s: People, Process, and Performance.” Her accomplishments in these areas include: building a strategic alliance among executives and staff with different backgrounds and cultures, resulting in an increase in productivity; re-engineering operational processes throughout the Company, providing cost efficiencies; and being the driving force behind the implementation of Operational and Financial Systems, resulting in increased performance for customers, vendors, and internal operation.
Currently, Ms. Nitto is the CFO of Axis Global overseeing Finance & Accounting, HR, IT, Administration and Legal. Prior to joining Axis, Ms. Nitto was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance for NYK Line (NA), Inc., a Japanese Global Shipping and Logistics Carrier, for over 16 years. Ms. Nitto was also the first woman appointed to the board of directors in the history of NYK (North America).
Ms. Nitto began her career in public accounting with Coopers and Lybrand (PwC) serving financial services, insurance and telecommunication. She later transitioned to various management positions at a telecommunications company before becoming a CFO of an architectural firm.
Ms. Nitto is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pace University. A native of Sicily, Italy, Ms. Nitto grew up in Brooklyn, NY before moving to New Jersey, where she currently resides. She considers home “wherever her kids are.”
Alexandra von Plato (Gladwyne, PA)
Navigating new technologies and media to help clients since the early days of the digital revolution, Alexandra “Alex” von Plato has played a key role in the success of several award-winning, next generation communications and media businesses. As a creative leader, Ms. von Plato has overseen the development of groundbreaking brand marketing initiatives and programs for leading life sciences, biotech, and wellness companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Target, Nestlé, and Weight Watchers. As a business leader, Ms. von Plato has driven consistent performance through a commitment to building strong teams and enduring client relationships.
Ms. von Plato currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Health, where she leads global teams of nearly 4,000 professionals with expertise in advertising and branding, strategic communications, digital media and technology, service design, health sciences, and medicine. In addition to her work as CEO of Publicis Health, she is also an accomplished creative and business leader as well as a sought-after healthcare expert.
Before holding the position of CEO of Publicis Health in 2018, Ms. von Plato served as Global Group President for Publicis Health’s Communications & Media Group for three years. Prior to that time, she was President & Chief Creative Officer at Digitas Health (DH), where she was the principal creative executive responsible for building DH into an award-winning healthcare agency and the only digitally native brand agency in healthcare.
Wendy B. Scott (Jackson, MS)
A graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Law, Professor Wendy Scott made history as the first African-American to serve as Dean for the Mississippi College (MC) School of Law. Scott became the eighth Law Dean at MC Law and served with distinction from 2014 to 2016.
Prior to joining the MC Law faculty, Ms. Scott taught at the North Carolina Central School of Law for eight years, serving as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2012. She previously taught at Tulane Law School in New Orleans for 17 years and served as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. She has also been an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Brooklyn Law School, and CUNY Law School.
Prof. Scott teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Native American Law, and Gender and the Law. Her scholarship focuses on constitutional theory and school desegregation. Her work on the desegregation of public colleges and universities has been widely cited. She is currently completing a book on the dissenting opinions of Justice Thurgood Marshall with co-author University of Wisconsin School of Law Professor Linda S. Greene.
Early in her career, Ms. Scott practiced employment law as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Action Center of the City of New York and as an Associate at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard in New York City. She directed litigation as the Associate Counsel for the Center for Law and Social Justice, a community law office in Brooklyn, New York.
Barry A. Singer, MD (St. Louis, MO)
Barry Singer, MD, has been the Director of The MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center since 2008. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine since 1999 and maintains privileges at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He has been an investigator in greater than 25 multiple sclerosis trials (Phases I to III) focused on new therapeutic options. He continues to publish peer-reviewed articles, present posters and lecture globally on multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Singer earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in neurology at New York Hospital-Cornell University. In addition, Dr. Singer completed a neuroimmunology fellowship focusing on clinical and laboratory research in multiple sclerosis at the National Institutes of Health.
As a patient advocate, Dr. Singer started national award-winning www.mslivingwell.org and www.ICanWithMS.org that provide information and inspiration, respectively, to those living with MS globally. He has served on the health advisory committee of the Gateway Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 2000 and is the recipient of the 2008 Pathlighter Award. In addition, Dr. Singer has received a Congressional Proclamation for MS Research in 2008.