Danny Bernstein (Executive Director) learned to love all sports right in his own neighborhood. Raised on Long Island, Danny played in the schoolyard, driveways, and backyards of suburbia. He attended Amherst College where he played goalie on the varsity soccer team and was elected captain his senior year.
Backyard Sports was created to bring these powerful youth sport experiences to today’s aspiring young athletes. In 2012 Danny received a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Manhattanville College.
In 2010 Danny launched Backyard Sports Cares, a not for profit 501(c)(3) which brings youth based sports development programming to at risk and special needs children in the Westchester community.
In 2011 the programs received the Rosemarie Siragusa Award for Youth Activity Achievement from the Westchester County Youth Board. In addition, the activities have been recently cited by the cities of White Plains, Elmsford, and Mt Vernon for contributing to community life and the advancement of young people through sport and play.
Richard Gersten (Board Member) has been a Brant Laker all his life. Formerly a camper, counselor, area head and then Director, Rich comes from a strong sports background as both a player and coach. In high school he was a 5-sport varsity athlete and in college played on the freshman basketball team at the University of North Carolina. He has been a teacher and Dean of Students and coached more than 50 seasons of high school sports, including 30 years in basketball. Rich now works year round for Brant Lake Camp and is responsible for all decisions involving campers, counselors and the program at BLC. Rich is married and has two children. He resides in Brant Lake and New York City with his wife Mieks Gersten, the Co-Director of Dance Camp and an Associate Director of Brant Lake Camp.
Jocelyn Sontag (Board Member) is an attorney, specializing in executive compensation and employee benefits, but now focusing her efforts on not-for-profit organizations in her community. She currently serves as a Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. Jocelyn just recently completed her term as Treasurer of the Quaker Ridge PTA but continues to be involved in school activities. Jocelyn enjoys playing tennis and is the captain of her tennis team that participates in the Metropolitan Interleague Tennis League each spring. She also enjoys skiing, theater, and travel. Jocelyn is married and has two children that also love their time on the courts and fields on which they play.
Eric Kahan (Board Member) is a partner in the Manhattan based law firm Sperber Denenberg & Kahan, PC specializing in real estate. An active athlete growing up, Eric continues to play softball, basketball and tennis. He is also an avid football fan and enthusiast. Eric lives in Chappaqua, NY with his wife and 2 children, and spends his weekends running around from one activity to the next after his kids. Eric became involved with Backyard Sports through the participation of his son who has special needs. Eric was impressed by how rewarding this experience was for the coaches in addition to the kids and their families. He is excited to assist in any way possible in delivering these experiences to others.
Richard Maybaum (Board Member) is a partner at Littlejohn & Co, an investment firm located in Greenwich, CT. Richard has been active in sports his whole life having played soccer in high school, college and beyond, as well as having coached all three of his children in multiple sports. Richard still enjoys both watching and playing sports, although watching seems to dominate now. Richard has sat on other Boards, but he is excited to be a Board Member of Backyard Sports Cares, his first non-profit board experience.
Nesta Felix (Board Member) is a native of St. Lucia and is currently the Executive Director of New Flex Foundation, a dynamic organization that provides mentoring services to underserved youth in Mt. Vernon and Westchester County. Nesta also serves as the head varsity basketball coach for the Yeshiva University Women’s team. Nesta has been involved in building youth leaders since her undergraduate years at Iona College where she worked for the local YMCA as an on site program coordinator. In 2009 as part of her MBA thesis Nesta launched the New Flex Foundation.
Kevin Stahl joined the Board of Backyard Sports Cares in 2014. Kevin has been in the real estate business for over 20 years, and is currently a Partner at Perella Weinberg Partners, a boutique investment banking and advisory firm, where he heads the Real Estate Group. Kevin also serves as an Advisory Board member for a growing technology and internet company. He enjoys tennis, golf, playing the drums and traveling. Kevin has three kids, ages 14, 12 and 7, and his son, Jake is a volunteer for BYSC.
Scott McKay (Board Member) is a Portfolio Manager at Littlejohn & Co, an investment firm located in Greenwich, CT. Scott has been active in sports his whole life having been a three sport athlete in high school, and a collegiate football player at the United States Air Force Academy. Scott is active in the community of Westchester County as a youth sports coach in the town of Rye, NY. Scott is excited to be a part of Backyard Sports Cares as an opportunity to work with a tremendous group of athletes, professionals, and volunteers. Scott lives in Rye, NY with his wife, Suzy, and their four young children.
Geoff Fitzgerald (Board Member) is a financial consultant, currently advising Lehman Brothers Holdings. Geoff brings over 30 years of finance and capital raising experience as well as a life-long interest in athletics to the Board. Geoff and his wife Carol have two college-age children, both of whom were active in high school sports. His son, Geoffrey Jr, also spent four summers as a counselor with Backyard Sports and Geoff looks forward to experiencing a similarly rewarding experience with Backyard Sports Cares
Angel Rodriguez (Board Member) is a Senior Tax Manager at Clarfeld Financial Advisors, LLC. Angel has more than a decade of experience identifying, understanding, and managing federal and state tax issues related to complex individual, business and financial transactions. Angel is an avid NY sports fans, specifically Yankees, Knicks, and Giants. He lives is Westchester County, NY with his fiancée and two young children. On his spare time he enjoys playing Golf and going to the batting cage.
Henry Chapman (Board Member) has always been a jock at heart. He was raised in Brooklyn, NY and could always be found with a book or a ball in his hands. Henry has said in the past that, “Too many of our children are still unable to participate in this fertile learning experience. If not for sports, my life would not have turned out as it has.”
Henry is an active member in his community as well in both civic and athletic roles. He has served on the Special Needs PTA and NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering): the nation’s largest provider of scholarships to underrepresented minorities in engineering. His love for sports led him to become a multi-sport participant in college. Over the years Henry has continued to remain active in sports. He has also coached a myriad of junior and senior sports teams throughout the communities he’s lived and currently coaches tennis for Pelham Memorial High School. In late 2016 he joined the athletic staff at Westchester Community College while wrapping up his master’s degree in Athletic Administration.
He lives in White Plains with his college sweetheart and has three children.
Zach Sawyer (Board Member) is a Senior Project Manager at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and owner of CrossFit Ossining. Zach is passionate about helping people meet their goals. At work his work consists of helping teams accomplish project goals, and at the gym it is helping people reach their goals to have a better general fitness. His experience with project execution and coaching were a natural fit for the Board. Zach is looking forward to bringing his skill set to the Backyard Sports Cares team.
Ashruth Easwar (Board Member) is the wellbeing specialist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and creator of Regeneron Sports. He has been at Regeneron for 6 years, starting in the Corporate Finance team before moving to R&D Finance, then Facilities Finance for 4 years. During his time in Facilities Finance, he created the Regeneron Sports program that grew from an initial 20 members to 1,600 in just two years, that prompted his move to the HR Benefits team to support employee’s emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing. Ash is excited to be able to bring his experience and programs to support Backyard Sports Cares.
Please call (914) 304-4052 or Click Here to contact us if you would like information on our community partnership opportunities and programs, or if you would like to volunteer.