POWERED BY WOMEN

We are proud to be a female-led organization, providing compassionate solutions to break the cycle of trauma, and establish a new cycle of trust, well-being, choice and independence.

Sarah Symons

Founder & CEO

Sarah founded HFC in 2005 with her husband John Berger.  Formerly, she was a composer of music for TV and film, and before that, a counselor and art teacher at Creative Arts Workshops in New York City.  Sarah is the author of THIS IS NO ORDINARY JOY and co-author of STANDING IN THE WAY. You can view Sarah’s TED Talk about Living Heroically on YouTube. Sarah is passionate about empowering survivors to be changemakers in their families and communities.

Nafiza Khatun

Nafiza Khatun

Country Director

Nafiza oversees all HFC programs and partnerships in India.  She has a degree in Business from Chandra Chowdury College and is passionate about commerce and education as the means for uplifting vulnerable women. Before coming to HFC, she worked as a community liaison, computer skills tutor, and counselor at Apne Aap and Uddami.

Sumaiya Khatun

Sumaiya Khatun

Assistant Country Director

Sumaiya first crossed paths with Her Future when she joined our Jewelry Program in 2010. She spent 10 years designing and making jewelry and proved to be a hard working, independent, joyous woman. She speaks 3 languages and her smile brightens any room. In 2022 Sumaiya was promoted, officially joining our team and we couldn’t be more proud!

Suchismita Ghosh Pal

Suchismita Ghosh Pal

Consultant CFO and Advisor

Suchismita is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a social activist by passion. She has been associated with HFC for over a decade. Her strong acumen of finance, compliance, strategy and social networking has positively contributed in the journey and growth of HFC in India. She takes deep interest in animal welfare and is actively involved in sustainable development activities for differently abled persons too.

Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham

Amanda B. Cunningham

Development Director

Amanda is responsible for keeping all of HFC operations running like clockwork. She manages our campaigns, organizes our everyday, designs our brand, facilitates our group trips to India and, she makes sure WE make the biggest impact possible!

Amanda has a Business degree and Masters in Teaching. She is a 500 E-RYT yoga instructor with Yoga Medicine® and serves on their executive team managing the Seva Foundation, a partner of HFC. Amanda has been connected to anti-trafficking work since 2015 and is passionate about empowering women around the globe.

Maura Hurley

Maura Hurley

Education Program Director

Maura has been living and working in Kolkata for the past 20 years, as an art teacher, language teacher and translator.  She is passionate about helping provide top quality education to all children, regardless of their background or economic circumstances.

Maura was invited to represent Her Future Coalition at the Obama Foundation’s Girl’s Opportunity Alliance summit in Athens, Greece in 2023. 

Mitali Bose​

Mitali Bose​

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Mitali’s key role at HFC is building strategic partnerships to facilitate opportunities for our beneficiaries. She’ll also monitor and evaluate projects, both within our Learning Center and external, to ensure program outcomes. 

Mitali has been working in the social development sector for the past 23 years and has been involved in designing, implementing, monitoring and managing projects for marginalized communities, both in the urban and rural sectors. The projects included education for children living in slums and the red light area, health, women’s empowerment and anti-trafficking (Prevention,Rescue, Rehabilitation and Restoration). Mitali is a team player, deeply committed and passionate about her work.

Kelly Dwyer

Kelly Dwyer​

Hospitality Training Director​

Kelly has been living and thriving in Kolkata since 2016. She is deeply passionate about bringing light and love to those who need it most. She finds joy in empowering, equipping, and encouraging women, especially those marginalized by their community. She is excited to partner with HFC to train and equip women with and cafe skills.

Prior to moving to India, Kelly worked in project management, sales, education, fine arts, and served in Southern Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Tish Roy

Tish Roy​

Wellness Advisor​

Tish looks after HFC mind-body health with a cool head + a warm heart. She spearheads Mental Health Programming through a trauma sensitive lens, builds collaborative relationships with mental health practitioners, provides Wellness Coaching for staff, facilitates processing on HFC service trips + actively leads Trauma Sensitive Programs on the ground in Kolkata, India.

Tish has 40 years of experience empowering others, fostered by a professional degree in Social Work alongside MBSR Jon Kabat Zinn Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Training, 500 RYT, and certifications in Yoga Therapy + Meditation.

 

Katie Groetzinger

Katie Groetzinger

Development Manager

Katie assists in the day-to-day operations of HFC, working closely alongside Amanda. In addition to fundraising, donor relations, and our impact trips, she manages events + e-commerce within our jewelry program.
 
Katie has a professional background is in marketing and graphic design, and majored in Women & Gender Studies at Mercer University. Throughout her academic journey, she developed a deep passion for social impact and humanitarian causes. This innate drive has guided her career choices, leading her to work with organizations that prioritize making a positive difference in people’s lives- thus leading her to HFC in late 2022.
Sampa Roy Chowdhury

Sampa Roy Chowdhury

Counselor

Sampa is Masters in Social Work from Visva- Bharati University. She has been working in the field of Social Work, especially for Women and Children for several years. She has worked on a number of projects, under both the National and the State Government, such the Family Counselling Centre under Central Social Welfare Board, New Delhi, Street Children Project, Government of India, Ministry of Welfare, Evaluation of SGSY in District 24 Parganas South, under the Planning Commission and Participatory Poverty Assessment, DFID supported Kolkata Urban Slum Development Project for the Change Management Unit etc. 

At the Counselling field she has counseled different couples for resettlement after family conflict, survivors of domestic violence and abused adolescent girls for their rehabilitation.

Toby Banks

Institutional Giving​

Toby Banks has over 20 years experience raising millions of dollars for a wide range of nonprofit organizations around the globe. As a fundraising and nonprofit management consultant, she forged partnerships that resulted in significant organizational growth for clients such as Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Asia Society, and the Malave Leadership Academy. 

Toby has supported organizations on five continents, allowing them to expand their work in areas ranging from women’s rights to environmental conservation, education to health, and the performing and visual arts among many others. She received her BA from Cornell University.

Sonali Biswas

Sonali Biswas

Teacher & Youth Mentor

Sonali first joined the HFC family as a program participant, growing up in a shelter home in Kolkata.  After graduating high school, she joined our jewelry program and became an expert goldsmith while also working her way through college.  She recently graduated from Netaji Open University with a degree in Liberal Arts with Bengali Honors.  

“I like to work at HFC because it is like a  family to me. Most importantly this is a roof under which I feel safe to be a woman and I can be independent and I can offer good work to everyone who has given me opportunities in every possible way!”

Soma Seal

Soma Seal

Social Work Program Manager

Soma provides counseling, life skills training, and social work support to women and girls in all our Kolkata programs.  She serves on the Executive Team, and as a translator for our English speaking volunteers and interns. Soma has a Bachelor degrees in Sociology, is a certified nurse and is currently taking classes in mental health programming. She is also a gifted goldsmith and jewelry designer. 

In her spare time, she runs House of Hope, a sewing project providing income to vulnerable women in her community. 

Minu in Red Light Resource Center in Kolkata, India

In loving memory of

Minu Chetri, Community Organizer

Part-Time, Advisory & Volunteer Staff

Our work would not be possible without the dedication and talent of our part-time and advisory staff and volunteers:

Sarah Annay – Photography & Media

Aslyn Baringer – Videographer

Felicity Denby – Jewelry Trainer/Designer

Dianna Badalament – Vocational Advisor

 

Nancy Edwards – Jewelry Trainer/Designer

Robin Singer – Tutor & Education Specialist

Abigail Jones & Lauren Bridgewater – Co-Founders of Our Future Of Change & Youth Liaisons

Geeta Chaudhry – Equality Special Advisor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MBA, MPP, is owner and principal at Mission Spark, a management consulting firm dedicated to leading organizational change and improvement in complex and often resource-constrained settings. Kara has led award-winning community collaboratives; designed, managed, and evaluated multiyear social change initiatives; and provided in-depth consulting services to more than 100 nonprofits, social enterprises, corporations, and philanthropic foundations.

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When Diane saw the documentary “The Day My God Died” in 2009 she felt that abusing the most innocent and vulnerable among us for huge profits was the most egregious injustice on the planet. Diane works with a dedicated group of people in Denver to educate and fundraise in support of our mission. Diane has run her company, Expanded Learning, for 35 years, and recently published her first novel.

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As an arts program manager for multiple nonprofits, and a New York City public school teacher, Shira has dedicated much of her life to art education and community development through the arts. She has been passionate about the power of arts to heal and transform lives, including her own, since childhood as the daughter of an artist. She has been working in the field since she was 16.

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Two-time Emmy Award winning consumer and investigative reporter. Producer – RealDeal Productions, Columnist – MarketWatch. Jeanette made a documentary short film about Her Future Coalition in 2011, and is currently running a highly successful jewelry party program for us in the Bay Area.

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Danielle traveled with Her Future Coalition on a service trip to India and has been dedicated to the work ever since.  She comes to HFC with over 20 years of experience working with non-profits and community organizations.  She is a realtor by profession and also offers interior design.

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Jenny has worked in nonprofits for 30 years, in program planning, development and executive leadership. She is currently President of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council in Pittsfield, MA, and prior to that she led the North East Community Center in Millerton NY for 17 years. Jenny earned her BA from Yale, and her Masters in Public Administration from the Univ. of Connecticut She writes about film and dance, studies improv theater, and has been friends with HFC founder Sarah Symons since the sixth grade.

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Mo is a creative, strategic business leader with over 20 years of combined experience in non-profit and design, offering unique perspective and insight to both fields. She’s connected her skills and knowledge to create positive change in institutional philanthropy, social impact business models and the fashion industry through sustainable manufacturing solutions, workforce development programs, women’s empowerment, BIPOC leadership development, racial equity, and environmental justice. Mo currently serves as Chief Advancement Officer at Movement Strategy Center.  
 
 
Lauren is the owner of an all female small business with 15+ years of volunteer work focusing on women and children in her local community. After traveling with HFC on their last service trip to India, Lauren felt the urge and responsibility to share her experiences and put her experience into action. Lauren’s ability and enjoyment of connecting to those most vulnerable has motivated her to raise awareness and explore more advocacy work. Lauren is a mother to a bright and empathetic 8-year old daughter, Bitsy. She is her why.
 
 

Anila Narayana is an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Geography. She is passionate about understanding how people’s social and physical environments influence their health and well-being, manifesting in her desire to eventually practice medicine as a physician, while also contributing to sustainable research initiatives and programming. Anila admires that, in order to break the cycle of exploitation and poverty that is often linked to human trafficking, HFC provides the very educational and social resources that have been systemically withheld from marginalized youth in India and Nepal.

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Co-Founder of Her Future Coalition, Impact Solutions Architect at Toniic, an impact investment advisory firm. After 18 years on Wall Street, John left his job as an institutional sales investment banker to join his wife Sarah in starting this charity. HIs expertise in social impact business, technology and international development continue to be integral to the success of the organization.

Home base: St. Augustine, FL

Founder and Executive Director. 

Home base: St. Augustine, FL