Board of Directors
President Alice Tenney
Vice President Robin Zisson Leader
Secretary Sharon Grossman
Treasurer Sarah Stern
Dawn Plourde- Camp Director
Rachel Heyman- Assistant Camp Director
Marybeth Hawkes- Head Counselor
SHARON GROSSMAN- Board Secretary
Sharon, a Waldenite in the 1980’s, feels privileged to be part of a cause close to her heart. She first became aware of Main Idea at Walden, which inspired her to work with underserved children as a Big Sister for the Big Sister/Big Brother program, and later as a volunteer with NY Cares. Sharon is a clinical psychologist and has a private practice dealing exclusively with women’s issues in Rye Brook, NY.
MICHAL HART HILLMAN
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Michal Hart Hillman spent her summers at Camp Walden in Denmark, Maine. She has continued her devotion to camp life by serving on the Main Idea Board of Directors, previously as vice-president and currently as a director. Her love for women and girl’s issues finds her on the board of Lilith, an international magazine that is “independent, Jewish and frankly feminist”. Michal resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she is a Founding Trustee and Grants Committee Chair of the Atlanta Jewish Women’s Fund.
A Walden camper for seven summers, a Main Idea counselor for four sessions, and a Walden counselor for an additional two summers, Allison Kadin is definitely a camp enthusiast. Having learned the importance of leadership building, Allison participated in a number of mentorship programs for teenagers while attending Wesleyan University. After receiving her BA in English, she spent two years teaching adults and adolescents in Spain and then found her way to Brooklyn, NY where she currently works at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in Marketing.
ROBIN ZISSON LEADER –Board Vice President
Robin is the granddaughter, daughter, niece, and cousin of ten current and past Waldenites. Her first experience at Camp Walden came at age four in 1975 and she remains involved whenever possible. She was a Main Idea JC in 1985 and returned in 2005 to work with the JCs and CAs.
Realizing the importance of camping for all girls regardless of economic means, Robin has been member of the Main Idea board of directors since graduating from college and currently serves as the board’s vice president. Robin is a graduate of American University, and spent 12 years working in broadcast TV, most recently for NBA Entertainment, the NBA & WNBA’s production arm. She is the mother of three and lives with her family in Greenwich, CT.
Amy Levere has been an enthusiastic supporter of sleep away camp as a place for girls to mature and develop while having fun learning new skills as a result of her six happy summers at Camp Walden. A graduate of Trinity College and Duke Law School, she practiced law for 14 years and then, upon the birth of her third child, became an active volunteer in the Larchmont/Mamaroneck community in which she resides. She is a strong advocate for children, as the future of the world depends on their success.
Cindy Shmerler is an award-winning sports journalist and broadcaster who has covered tennis for more than 35 years. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Tennis magazine and on ESPN, Direct TV, USA Network and Tennis Channel. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Shmerler is a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and serves on the board of directors of Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, New York, and The Main Idea.
SARAH MAY STERN- Board Treasurer
Sarah May Stern, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, is a Waldenite, a former Main Idea JC, and the mother of a Waldenite. She worked as Business Director of Commentary magazine where she served on the board as Treasurer and Secretary. She is the Chairman of Hudson Institute, a policy think tank in Washington, DC, past president of the Edgemont Union Free School District in Scarsdale, New York, and active in a number of community activities.
ALICE TENNEY- Board President
Alice, a Waldenite as well as a daughter of one and mother of two Waldenites, has served on the Main Idea board for many years and as president since 2008. She graduated from Tufts University and spent 20 years working in advertising and sales. In addition to Main Idea, Alice has been active in community affairs, primarily centered on education, for the past 15 years and has a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Manhattanville College.
Beth Zadek is an active community volunteer, serving in many capacities from the PTA president of her children’s elementary school to a founding board member of the Scarsdale Schools Education Foundation. A graduate of Vassar College, Beth worked for ten years in the advertising department of The New Yorker magazine. She brings to The Main Idea a love of Camp Walden that has been nurtured through the life-changing relationships and experiences that her two daughters have had as campers there.
Jill, a former Walden camper, counselor and summer business manager, has served on the Main Idea board since 2006. After years of working in the technology industry, she followed her passion of helping others and became a teacher in the Boston area. In addition to teaching high school math, she is also the girls’ varsity tennis coach. Jill is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and holds an MBA from University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Masters of Education from Cambridge College.