Board of Directors

Starling Marshall, Esq., Board President

Starling Marshall, Board President Starling Marshall is a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, Court of Federal Claims Section, and serves as a detailee to the Department’s Office of Legal Policy where she assists in pre-nomination vetting of candidates for nomination to the United States District Courts. Before joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Marshall practiced civil litigation in the New York office of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett. Ms. Marshall also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Victor Marrero on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Marshall received her J.D. from Fordham University’s School of Law, where she served on the editorial board of the Law Review and was an associate editor of the Moot Court Board; she received her B.A. from Emory University. Ms. Marshall is also an adjunct Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, serves as President of the Fordham Law Alumni Association’s DC Chapter, and is the Chair of JLW’s Bright Beginnings Committee, which serves homeless children and their families in DC. Starling had the honor and pleasure of working with Dave on Fordham’s Moot Court Board, which gave her a front row seat to witness Dave’s equally piercing wit and intelligence.

Alexandra Nee, Board Vice-President

Currently, Ms. Nee is a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where she has worked primarily in the areas of strategy development and risk for social and public sector clients. Prior to McKinsey, Ms. Nee worked in the tech and non-profit fields. She is the first Washington, D.C. Site Director for StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization with a mission to build mentoring relationships between low-income individuals and volunteer business professionals to develop workplace skills and employment networks as the bridge to a successful career. In this role, Ms. Nee led the nonprofit’s corporate relations, fundraising, and program operations and expansion in the region. In addition, Alexandra developed the nonprofit’s outcomes surveys and reporting for both the New York and Washington DC offices. Ms. Nee also currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Newark Mentoring Movement, and the Young Professionals Advisory Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for New York City, Inc. (NAMI-NYC Metro). She comes to the Dave Nee Foundation with an A.B., magna cum laude, in Religion from Princeton University, an M.B.A. in General Management from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and professional experience starting successful non-profit ventures. Dave Nee was Ms. Nee’s wonderful older brother, and her commitment to the Foundation is motivated both by indelible impact of his life on hers, and the mission of the organization to eradicate the stigma of depression and create a world where no one struggles alone in silence.

Brian Schmidt, Esq., Treasurer

Brian is the director of operations and general counsel for Trello, a tech startup based in New York, and has been a supporter of the Dave Nee foundation since its inception. Previously, Brian was a senior associate at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in their Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement group. Before that, Brian was an associate with Katten Muchin Rosenman. His practice included a broad range of litigation matters, including high profile securities, complex commercial and copyright cases. Brian also has extensive experience with internal investigations and regulatory matters.


Annie Farrenkopf, Board Secretary

Annie holds her Masters of Professional Studies in Education at Manhattanville College in January 2012. She received dual certification in General and Special Education, grades 1 to 6. She graduated from Iona College in 2007 with a Bachelor in Social Work and continued her social work education receiving a Masters in Social Work at Fordham University in 2008.

Community service and volunteering have always been important to Annie. She started Iona College’s AFSP chapter and led the college’s first efforts to address student depression and suicide. She organized fundraisers both at Iona and in Westchester to fund AFSP’s education programs. She has also volunteered for two summers at Camp Viva, an organization that provides respite to HIV/AIDS patients and their children.

Annie is a lifelong friend of the Nee family. Some of her first memories are of playing board games with Dave’s sister, Alex, while Dave supervised and dispensed his legendary advice on strategy.

Annie is an Early Childhood educator at The Community Synagogue of Rye’s Early Childhood Center in Rye, New York. When not spending time with her family and friends, Annie can often be found walking her Shih Tzu, Teddy on the streets of Greenwich, CT, where she lives with her fiancé.


Brian Clarke, JD, Director

Brian Clarke joined the Charlotte Law faculty in 2011. Professor Clarke teaches Civil Procedure, Employment Discrimination, and other employment law related courses. His scholarship focuses on employment law, civil procedure, and judicial decision making. His work has appeared in the Utah Law Review, the Rutgers Law Review, and the California Law Review Circuit, among others.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Clarke practiced law for more than eleven years with Littler Mendelson PC and Nexsen Pruet LLC. While in practice, Professor Clarke argued and won significant cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals and successfully represented clients before the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Clarke also taught at Washington & Lee University School of Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law from 2009 to 2011.

Professor Clarke received his B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Washington & Lee University School of Law.

Professor Clarke’s research and scholarship are available on SSRN at


Edward Filusch, Esq., Director

Ed is an associate in the New York office of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP. His practice focuses on complex commercial and financial products litigation. Prior to joining Kasowitz, Ed served as a law clerk to the Honorable Brian M. Cogan of the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. Ed began his legal career as an associate in the White Collar Criminal Defense Group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Ed earned a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center where he served as Executive Editor for The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, and a B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College.

Prior to his election to the Board in 2015, Ed was a long-time supporter of the Dave Nee Foundation and is honored to be able to continue working to further the Foundation’s mission of eliminating the stigma associated with depression and suicide.

Ed and his wife, Meghan, live in Brooklyn, NY with their son, Teddy.


Kara Friedman, JD, Director

Ms. Friedman received her J.D. from Fordham University’s School of Law, where she was a member of the Urban Law Journal, an associate editor of the Moot Court Board and Legal Writing Teaching Assistant and Student Program Coordinator; she received her B.A. from the University of Florida. Ms. Friedman practiced corporate litigation at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and is currently an associate real estate broker at Warburg Realty. Ms. Friedman also currently serves as the co-chair for the Families Division of UJA-Federation of New York. Kara had the honor and pleasure of working with Dave on Fordham’s Moot Court Board, where she learned of Dave’s natural charisma, charm and fierce intellect.


Kacey LeGeyt, Esq., Director

Kacey joined the Board in 2014 and has been an active volunteer with the Foundation since its inception. She was a driving force behind the Foundation’s expansion to the DC area, working with fellow DC Board members on the planning and implementation of fundraising events in the District since 2011. Kacey is a 2005 graduate of Fordham Law School where she was fortunate to have developed her friendship with Dave through her position on the Moot Court Board. She was immediately drawn to Dave’s warm smile, brilliant mind and free spirit, all of which were enough to forgive his poor choice in New York baseball teams. After law school, Kacey practiced Corporate and Real Estate law as an associate at Herrick, Feinstein in New York and Arent Fox in Washington, DC before transitioning to a career in legal recruiting in 2010. Kacey first coordinated summer associate recruiting for Howrey’s DC office and then moved to WilmerHale, where she specialized in national lateral attorney recruiting until the birth of her daughter in the Fall of 2012. During her time at WilmerHale, she was a board member of the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association where she held the position of Secretary. Prior to law school, Kacey attended The Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 2002 with a degree in Political Science. Kacey and her husband live in Northern Virginia with their daughter, their son and their pug.


Joan Pedley, Director

Ms. Pedley is the Head of Customer Experience at Pearson North America.

Previously, she was the Global K-12 School Marketing Director. Prior to joining Pearson, Joan worked at Revlon in the Marketing and Strategy groups. Joan also has extensive experience in Finance and was a practicing CPA for several years. Joan is based in New York City.

Joan attended Vanderbilt University for both her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics and an MBA in Finance.

Joan has been a member of the Junior League since 1996 and transferred into the New York League in 2005. She received her certificate in Nonprofit Board Membership from the Junior League in 2009.  Joan has extensive volunteer experience across the League that includes community service committees which focus on child abuse, adult domestic violence, and youth in foster care. Her other experience includes finance, training, and fundraising. Joan was the Finance Manager from 2012-2013.  She currently serves on the Audit, Investment, and Annual Fund committees of the Junior League as well serving as the Secretary of the Audit Committee at St. Bartholomew’s church in Manhattan.

Anne-Marie Peterson, Director

Anne-Marie Peterson is a Managing Director in the Leveraged Finance Group of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., the corporate and investment banking arm of Cleveland-based KeyCorp. Anne-Marie is based in New York City office.

Prior to joining KeyBanc, Anne-Marie was at Credit Suisse Securities in the Financial Sponsors Group within the investment banking division. Anne-Marie also worked in the investment banking divisions of Lehman Brothers Inc. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. At both companies, she was in the Leveraged Finance Group.

Anne-Marie attended Trinity College for undergraduate and Columbia University for graduate school. She holds both Series 7 & 63 License Designations.

Anne-Marie has been a volunteer in the fundraising division of the New York Junior League since 2004 and received her certification in Nonprofit Board Membership from the Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse (a division of the NYJL) in the fall of 2009. Anne-Marie was a member of the Student Sponsor Partners Leadership Committee from 2006 through 2014; she was co-head of the committee from 2009 through 2014. She was co-chair of the inaugural Back-to-School Benefit in 2008 and was also co-chair of the 2009, 2010 and 2013 Back-to-School Benefits.

Anne-Marie and her husband, Cullen, live in Scarsdale, NY with their daughters Katherine and Julia.

Charles Ricciardelli, Esq., Director

Charles is a Political Law associate in the Washington, DC office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Prior to joining the Political Law group, he worked as a corporate associate in Skadden’s New York office, representing investment advisers in the formation and operation of private equity and hedge funds.

As a student at Georgetown University Law Center, Charles taught a first-year class in Legal Research & Writing and served as a member of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. Charles received his B.S. in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University in 2000.

Charles was elected to the Board in 2013 and aims to further develop the Foundation’s outreach efforts within the legal community in and around the Washington, DC area.


James Stanford, MBA, Director

James is the Managing Director with Fitzroy Health. With more than 15 years experience in health care strategy and business development, James has worked with hundreds of organizations across the sector to launch new businesses, bring new products to market, and transform performance of existing assets.

Prior to joining Fitzroy, James was a strategy and marketing consultant in the health care practice at McKinsey & Company, where he also helped start up Objective Health, the division devoted to optimizing performance for U.S. health care providers. Prior to joining McKinsey, James was Director on the Faculty of the Advisory Board Academies and earned an MBA in Health Care Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. James also holds an A.B. from Princeton University.


Dean Vetsikas, Director

Dean is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and Financial Planning Specialist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Philadelphia. His practice serves foundations, endowments, corporate executives, retirees, entrepreneurs, attorneys and closely held business owners.

Dean holds dual bachelors in Mathematics and Physics from Colorado College, where he was named a Trustee Scholar. He completed his MS in Physics from the University of Washington in Seattle. The National Science Foundation funded much of Dean’s geophysical research at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, Stony Brook’s Center for High Pressure Research, Brookhaven National Laboratories, and the Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source.

Dean is also the Co-Founder of the Crescendo Club at the Curtis Institute of Music and serves as a strategic liaison to the Leopold Stokowski Society Committee. He had the good fortune of meeting and knowing Dave during Dave’s studies at Fordham Law. Dean and his wife Julia live in Center City Philadelphia with their bulldog, Rosie.

Staff Profiles

Rachael Barrett, Executive Director

Rachael Barrett, Executive Director of the Dave Nee Foundation, has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working in domestic and international organizations, in the areas of health and mental health, community development, legal services, criminal justice, and advocacy. Throughout her career, she has been committed to working with entrepreneurial organizations focused on systemic change through education and advocacy.

Before joining the Dave Nee Foundation in January 2014, Rachael was a fundraising consultant, working with a number of nonprofits in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, helping organizations raise funds from individuals, foundations, and government. Rachael has also worked at nonprofits in New York City as fundraising staff, including senior-level positions with the International Rescue Committee’s Women’s Refugee Commission and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

Rachael is a member of the American Association of Grant Professionals, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Women in Development, American Prospect Research Association, and the American Evaluation Association. She serves as a board member on two New York City nonprofits, Good Shepherd Volunteers and Radio Diaries. Rachael has a BS in Mass Communications from Emerson College and an MBA from the University of New Haven. Rachael is honored to be working with the Dave Nee Foundation, its board, staff, and supporters to advance the Foundation’s mission and vision. You can reach Rachael by email at


Katherine Bender, Ph.D., NCC, Programming Director

Upon graduating from Georgetown University as an English and Theology major, Katherine Bender began teaching at an independent Catholic secondary school for girls in Philadelphia. During this time, she became increasingly interested in the social concerns of young women and decided to pursue a degree in community counseling with a focus on women’s issues at the University of Scranton. After completing an internship providing individual counseling to undergraduate students at a residential college, as part of her Master’s degree in counseling, she began working as a full time mental health counselor for college students in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Recognizing that advocating for students with mental health issues in higher education would likely require a Ph.D., Kate began her doctoral work at Old Dominion University in January of 2011, focused her dissertation on research regarding college student suicide prevention, and in the summer of 2013, successfully completed her doctoral program. She now has a PhD in Counseling, Counselor Education & Supervision.

She joined the team at the Dave Nee Foundation as Programming Consultant in September of 2012 and became Programming Director in September 2013. In this role, she leads the Uncommon Counsel program and LawLifeline. She sees her role with the Dave Nee Foundation as an excellent way to continue to provide outreach services and to raise awareness about depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention for higher education students.

You can reach Kate by email at