Board of Directors

Sarah BarrSarah Barr (President)
Sarah is the Director of Academic Programs at the Center for Community Engagement at Amherst College. She works with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community organizations to develop community-based courses, research projects, internships, and co-curricular initiatives. She recently completed a master’s degree in Theology and Ethics at Hartford Seminary.


Robert BraininRobert Brainin (Treasurer)
Robert has worked in nonprofit finance for the past 15 years.  He has an MBA from the University of Chicago. Currently, and is currently Chief Financial Officer at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley.



Bill ClementBill Clement
Bill is an Extension Professor at UMass Amherst using geophysical methods to understand Earth processes. He moved to Amherst from Boise, Idaho in 2010 and started volunteering at the Center in the Food Pantry.



Richard CohenRichard Cohen
Richard is an attorney who presently works as a consultant advising companies in the areas of commercial and antitrust law.  He was employed for 27 years as an in-house corporate attorney and 3 years as a litigator at a Wilmington, DE law firm.  He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Nicholas DiCaprioNicholas DiCaprio
Nicholas is a Branch Officer, Assistant Vice President with Berkshire Bank where he also serves on the bank’s Regional Volunteer Employee Council.  He is a local small business owner including High Horse Brewing and The Moan and Dove both located in Amherst.  Nicholas is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a major in Human Resource Management.


J. Lynn GriesemerJ. Lynn Griesemer (Vice President)
Lynn is an Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Executive Director of the UMass Donahue Institute with the UMass President’s Office.  Lynn chaired the Amherst Survival Center Capital Campaign and serves on the Finance Committee. She has an Ed.D. and MS from the University of Tennessee and a MPA from the Kennedy School, Harvard University.



Naz MohammedNaz Mohamed (Clerk)
Naz volunteers to cook the Monday meal, sits on the Events Committee, and helps with other Center activities. Naz is an
Early Childhood Educator by profession.
She is also involved in the Interfaith Community, and the Hampshire Mosque in Amherst. The source of her inspiration comes from her faith–Islam–which considers all deeds of charity and community service to be acts of worship.


Leslie NymanLeslie Nyman
Leslie Nyman has been a volunteer at the Amherst Survival Center for six years.  She coordinates the Events Committee for major fundraising events.  She is a former RN and a writer.



Ted Parker

Ted Parker
Ted is the President of Kohl Construction Inc.  He is a real estate developer and construction pro with 35 years of experience managing and financing commercial and residential projects. In addition to being a licensed construction supervisor Ted is also a realtor and a licensed real estate agent in association with 5 College Realtors in Amherst. He attended Wesleyan University.



Manju SharmaManju Sharma
Manju joined the Amherst Survival Center board in June 2012. Manju works at The Environmental Biotechnology Center at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Manju is also the Hindu advisor for Mount Holyoke and Amherst Colleges where she is actively engaged in volunteer and community service projects–some of which directly benefit ASC. She sits on the Events Committee and volunteers at ASC events.


Kenneth Toong
Kenneth K. Toong
Ken is the Executive Director of Auxiliary Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is responsible for oversight of the Campus Center/Student Union complex and Events Office; Dining Services, retail food services, Hotel and Conference Services, retail services and the UMass system’s trademark and licensing program and serves as the contract administrator for bookstore operations.