Person-to-Person is pleased to welcome the following new members to the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.
Yakut Akman describes herself as a Young Turk, and not because she was born in Turkey and blessed with youthful energy. More fittingly, she identifies as a progressive woman and a staunch challenger of the status quo. Through perseverance coupled with academic achievements, Yakut was first in her family to attend school in the USA, first as a high school exchange student In Wisconsin and later as a Foreign Fellow at Mount Holyoke College, graduating Magna Cum Laude in Economics. After moving back to Istanbul, Yakut joined Citibank, commencing a long career in banking. In the following 40 years, Yakut worked in several locations around the world covering numerous functions within Operations & Technology, Audit, and Risk Management. As the financial markets grew more complex, Yakut sharpened her skills as a thought leader and a change agent. She was instrumental in establishing brand-new operational standards, including Derivatives, and leading significant transitions in Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange, as well as Trade and Securities Services. She excelled in driving simple, meaningful and effective processes in support of strategic business objectives. Her expertise led to multiple executive positions as a Managing Director in Risk Management. As she governed emerging risks globally, she actively interacted with regulatory agencies and successfully addressed enterprise-wide issues. In her most recent position as Citigroup’s Chief Third Party Management Officer, she designed and implemented an industry-leading program to assess and govern third-party risk.
Yakut is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and a member of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). As a strong believer in women’s education, Yakut remains active with her alma mater; she has been a dynamic voice in company-wide women’s groups, and continues to mentor several professional women around the world. Yakut is also an advocate for immigrants’ and women’s rights and previously served on the board of YWCA Darien as the Finance Chair and volunteered at Building One Community and Habitat for Humanity.
Now retired, she recently completed Yale’s Women on Boards program and looks forward to bringing her corporate governance experience to new boards. Yakut is married to another retired banker and has two adult children, who are not involved in banking but promise to carry on the Young Turk spirit as a musician and a lawyer.
Alvaro was born and raised in Madrid (Spain), where he got a double degree in business and law at Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. He has been living in CT since 2016, since he relocated to his current role as President, General Manager of Beiersdorf (Aquaphor, Coppertone, Eucerin and Nivea) for North America. Previously General Manager of Beiersdorf North Cone Latam located in Mexico (since 2014), and General Manager in Spain (since 2011). In 2013, he was awarded FMCG Executive of the year by “Distribucion y Actualidad” magazine in Spain, and in 2019, he was honoured at the Dream Ball gala dinner of the Look Good Feel Better foundation in the US.
Alvaro also worked for Grupo Farlabo as General Manager, for Carrefour group as Director for Non- Food Categories, and for Unilever in different roles, always in Spain.
As part of his professional life, he has been a board member of Stampa (2012-14) and Ecoembes (2014) in Spain, Canipec (2014-2016) in Mexico, and currently of PCPC in the US since January 2017, where is also advisory Board member of FIT (State University of New York) for its Cosmetics Master. He has also been a part time teacher in Universidad Pontificia de Comillas and Instituto de Empresa, both in Madrid, Spain.
In 2009, he joined the Fundacion Sindrome de Down Madrid, acting for 6 years as a board member and the last 2 years as President of the Board of Directors. In 2005, he was a founder and board member (until 2009) of the Unilever Former Executives association in Spain ADELFA.
Married to Irene, a dedicated and passionate volunteer at Person to Person Pantry in Norwalk, Alvaro has four kids, two of them studying in College in Madrid, Spain and the other two currently living in CT.
Most recently Christina was the co-founder and owner of Walin and Wolff, a group of women’s specialty stores in Westchester and Fairfield counties, along with an online business and distribution site. This business operated on affluent main street locations from 2012 until 2018.
Prior to this, Christina was a partner in the Private Equity firm NRDC. During her tenure, the firm acquired Lord and Taylor, Hudson Bay Canada, and Linens and Things. In this role, she was the managing retailer partner working with investors and new acquisitions. She also opened her own consulting company, Christina Johnson and Associates. The firm advised investment banks, private equity groups, and hedge funds on retail trends and potential investments in the retail sector.
Christina was the first woman to be President and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Fifth Ave Enterprises. SFAE includes not only the 62 Saks Fifth Avenue stores located throughout the U.S., but also the direct business, e-commerce site (saks.com), and 65 Off 5 th outlet stores. She had joined Saks Fifth Avenue as SVP Director of stores, followed by EVP Director of stores and finally Vice Chairman – COO. She had responsibilities spanning store operations, finance, merchandise planning, and strategic planning across these roles. Prior to this, Mrs. Johnson-Wolff held several senior merchandising and operational positions at Marshall Field’s & Company. In addition to her retail career, she has served on several boards, both profit and non-profit. These include: AXA Financial, Lord & Taylor, Loyola University Of Chicago, Women in Need, NIAF, Grant a Wish, and the Connecticut Food Bank.
She has been acknowledged by multiple organizations and has received awards such as: the Equal Opportunity Award from the NOW Legal Defense Fund, the Retail Leadership Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Humanitarian Award from the Fashion Group International, the Woman with Heart award from the American Heart Association, and the Damen Award from her alma mater. Ms. Johnson-Wolff holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Loyola University Chicago, where she has also been made a Lifetime Trustee. She currently resides in Darien, CT. with her husband Richard.
Antonia Soares Thompson works for the Stamford Mayor’s Youth Service Bureau. She is the Project Coordinator for the Restorative Justice Project (“RJP”). The mission of the RJP is to use various methods of restorative practices that are both formal and informal to address and respond to juvenile crime, school suspensions/expulsions and other disruptive community activity as a diversion to Juvenile Court involvement. RJP works with community providers, school districts, juvenile courts, and community members to educate youth about emotional literacy, self-awareness and self-sufficiency thereby building relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and wrongdoing.
Antonia earned her B.A. and Law Degree from Boston College. As an attorney, she has represented juveniles with the Public Defender’s Office in Massachusetts. She has taught at both the collegiate and graduate levels regarding the juvenile justice system. In addition to coordinating the RJP, Antonia conducts community and school workshops addressing bullying, the juvenile court process, and special education. She has served on the National and Regional board of directors for non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting the legal rights of poor children.
Antonia currently resides in Stamford, Connecticut with her husband and two children.
James Winter is the co-Chairman of The Winter Organization, a real estate Investment, development and management company based in New York City. He is a 1970 graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds an MBA from Columbia University. After graduation he served as a lending officer and Vice President of the former Chase Manhattan Bank and subsequently as a single-family home developer before helping to found The Winter Organization.
He has served on non- profit and municipal committees including a municipal Planning Board, playground, hospital and synagogue building committees, guest lecturer at New York University, as well as serving as a Trustee on the Board of Johns Hopkins University and a Director on the Board of Johns Hopkins Medicine International. James and his wife, Susan, are residents of Stamford.
The full membership of the 2020-2021 Person-to-Person Board of Directors includes:
Mike Riccardi, President, Chris Whitney, Vice-President & Treasurer, Kim Dickinson, Second Vice-President, Pam Dysenchuk, Secretary, Clare Kretzman, Assistant Secretary, Yakut Akman, Alvaro Alonso, Victoria de Toledo, Allison Gagliardi, Caroline Gillespie-Greer, Amy Gold, Michael Hyman, Christina Johnson-Wolff, Jackie Leonard, Katherine Michele, Wendy Moore, Antonia Thompson, Virgil Williams, Betsy Wilson, James Winter, Ex Officio: Nancy Coughlin