About Us
kids
STAFF
Leah1
Founder and Executive Director
Leah Okimoto started Aaron’s Presents in January 2014 as a way to honor the memory of her son by creating a unique opportunity for other children to start thinking of themselves as community members with unique qualities to be developed and put to good purpose. At other phases of her life, she has composed music for musical theatre, run a legal recruiting firm, tutored and mentored kids, and volunteered at homeless shelters, hospitals, schools and meal kitchens. She currently lives on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters.
North Shore Regional Director
Kimberly joined Aaron’s Presents in September 2014 as the North Shore Regional Director based in Danvers, MA. This position has given her an opportunity combine her previous non-profit and business experience with her passion for working with kids. Kim’s previous roles include Development Manager for Teen Voices Magazine in Boston, Residential Counselor at The Lakeside School for Boys in Peabody and Account Manager for Concentra in Woburn. She holds a B.S. in Management from Endicott College. Personally, Kim has always enjoyed encouraging creativity in kids and thrives on the energy they bring to any organization. Kim is an active volunteer at her son’s school, the Danvers Rotary Club and serves on several committees in her hometown of Danvers, where she lives with her husband Jeff and their son, Bryce.
Project Mentor
Nana joined Aaron’s Presents in February 2017 as a Project Mentor based in Lowell, MA. Her bio is coming soon! Nana is a current student at UMass Lowell, finishing her degree in Business with a minor in Plastics Engineering. She is also the founder of a fantastic mentoring program for high school girls called Get Girls Going. An amazing example of Aaron’s Presents values and mission, from the age of 14 to the present, Nana has served as a youth leader in 8 nonprofit organizations, both in the city of Worcester and statewide. At 14 she started a community venture and at 16 two more for youth in her community.

Marianne Cashman
Director
Marianne is a realtor at William Raveis in Andover, MA.

Connie Chung
Director
Connie K. Chung works at the Global Education Innovation Initiative (GEII) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), conducting research about education for the 21st century, and partnering with institutions in Chile, China, India, Mexico, and Singapore. Connie usually looks for two things when she canvasses her opportunities for volunteer work; solid organizational leadership and an organizational vision that matches her own passion for engaging with children and with low-resource communities to build their capacity for positive development. For her, Aaron’s Presents met both these criteria.

Rosemary Infante Costello
Director
Rosemary joined the Aaron’s Presents Board after serving on its mentor team through the Entrepreneurship For All–Lowell Accelerator 2015. Also on the board of Wellspring House in Gloucester, she has 20+ years experience in economic and community development. Currently serving on the United Way of Mass. Bay’s North Shore Local Council, Rosemary also performs community grant review for the Essex County and the Greater Lowell Community Foundations. She lives in Beverly with her husband and son. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kathy Egmont
Director
Bio coming soon!

John Hilliard
Director
John Hilliard is a senior software engineer and has worked at Next Jump since 2008. After graduating from MIT, John joined Next Jump and has worked on a wide range of engineering projects from an email platform to an e-commerce architecture. After a few years at Next Jump, John joined Next Jump’s leadership team and played a larger role in growing both the business results and the culture of the company.

Along the way, John discovered his passion for mentoring engineers, teaching and giving back. In 2012, he led the development of OO.com. That platform ended up raising over one million dollars to fund thousands of high poverty classrooms all over the country. More recently, John worked with local non-profit Cambridge Community Services to create and teach a course that taught coding skills to local high school students. In the summer of 2015, John was the recipient of Next Jump’s highest honor: The Avengers Award. The Avengers Award is a peer-nominated recognition that highlights service to others.

Dinesh Makhija
Director
Dinesh is Software Development Manager at Amazon-Lab126 in Cambridge. Prior to joining Amazon, he held various leadership roles with Coero, Alcatel, Lucent, Motorola developing products in security, networking and mobile technologies. Dinesh’s passion for volunteer grassroots work stems from his student days in India while working with national organizations on social causes with villages. He believes that kindness needs to be passed forward and it starts with kids and young adults as they begin to explore higher causes and develop a sense of compassion in community.  He has a keen interest in bringing research/technology to help the causes.

Aldonsa Pereyra
Director
Bio coming soon!

Teg Rood
Director
As principal of Rood Consulting, Teg works with clients to deliver a superior customer experience. His pro bono work includes projects with Community Action Partners and Entrepreneurship for All. Teg has also served in senior management positions over a 30 year career with several electronics manufacturers.

Ana Senior
NetImpact Board Fellow 2017-18
Bio coming soon!

Rishub Solan
Director (NetImpact Board Fellow 2014-15)
Rishub works in Product Management at Thermo Fisher Scientific, supporting strategic initiatives for multiple product lines in the life sciences space, and was formerly part of the Strategy & Corporate Development Group at HQ. Prior to Thermo Fisher, Rishub worked for Huron Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, and specialized in provider space operations within the firm’s healthcare arm. He joined the Board of Directors to foster the “pay-it-forward” concept inherent to Aaron’s Presents, and to help children cultivate the idea of self-awareness. He is currently assisting as Chair of the Strategy and Finance Committee.
BOARD OF ADVISORS

Carlene Alpert
Heidi Burgess
Sheila Corbitt
Elizabeth Dill
Dona Flamme
Jooé Kim (Founding Board Member)
Fabio Malagisi
Dr. Paul Nguyen (Founding Board Member)
Natalie Nicholson
Barb Petricone
Victor Sheen (Founding Board Member)
Marjory Sherman-Bindman
Dr. Jocelyn Thein