Board of Directors
Jamie Kleman - Executive Director & Board Chair
Jamie Kleman is the author of more than 10 books for children, including It’s Not Mean to be Green. She is the Executive Producer and playwright for It’s Not Mean to be Green the Musical, and wrote the lyrics to all nine original songs for the show and CD.
Kleman has spent extensive time with schools and youth organizations, and consistently delivers messages through her work that inspires compassion, creativity, and confidence. She has been featured on television, radio, and in various publications, and was a guest speaker at TEDxWilmington and TEDxWilmingtonUniversity.
Dr. Dan Young – Vice Chairman of the Board
Dr. Dan Young is an Assistant Professor at Wilmington University and founder of Young Consulting Group LLC, a boutique marketing consulting company.
Dan received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Delaware’s Honors Program and received his PhD in Social and Behavioral Marketing for Temple University¹s Fox School of Business. As a person who values education, Dan has also taught courses as an adjunct professor at Temple University, University of Delaware, Goldey Beacom College and West Chester University.
Dan has served on the Boards of many local organizations, including the ACLU, Delaware Theatre Company, the Western Family YMCA, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, The First Tee of Delaware, and the Gamma Theta Lambda Education Foundation. Dan is also a founding member of the African-American Empowerment Fund of Delaware (AAEFD) and the New Castle Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. On a weekly basis, Dan is a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club and has chaired their Community Service Project and Membership committees.
James Tristani – Director of Finance
James Tristani is the co-owner, with his brother Edward, of Harford Pharmacy, located in Bel Air, Maryland. The two also began Institutional Pharmacy Services to service Assisted Living and Alcohol and Drug rehabilitation centers. Tristani has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Maryland Pharmacists Association, assisted in a state board appointed committee to re-write the pharmacy law in Maryland, and was elected as President of the Maryland Pharmacist Association.
Tristani, along with his wife Judy, dedicates much time and resources to charitable organizations. In 2010 James partnered with author and playwright, Jamie Kleman, to assist in bringing her Musical “It’s Not Mean to be Green” to the stage. Based on the reaction to the music and message, Tristani and Kleman joined forces once again to form A Bigger Boat Foundation in order to build a “boat” big enough for all children to join on the journey of living the best life possible.
Chris Henn – Director of Operations
Chris brings 30 years of professional experience to A Bigger Boat Foundation; with a background in corporate finance, information technology, and education, he brings a unique perspective to complement Jamie’s vision for the Foundation. Chris also has deep experience in product development, sales & marketing, and publishing; his repertoire of skills enables him to advise and lead the Foundation on the variety of paths it must travel on its way toward enabling you to be the best version of you. Chris has managed teams, divisions, customers, and full organizations, and serves as an advisor to other corporations on product development and deployment.
In his spare time, Chris golfs, computer games, and volunteers as a soccer coach in his local county program. He is married with 3 children…and a great dane.
Kelly Young – Ark Project Chair
Kelly Young has a passion for working with children. She has been involved in teaching from the time she could volunteer at local 4-H Camps as a teenager and went on from there to work in Special Education classrooms during high school. This time also began her involvement in working at a summer camp for many years, teaching swim lessons, working in Before and After School programs, and on to college where she majored in Education, earning her BS in Educational Studies at the University of Delaware. That led to an opportunity to teach at a preschool for five years, as a Lead School-age Teacher and as an assistant in the other classrooms. Following her graduation from Wilmington College with a Master’s in Middle School Education, Kelly began teaching in the Christina School District, teaching every subject and specializing in Reading/Writing as an English Language Arts Teacher. She has taught every age from infants through 8th grade, but loves the Middle Schoolers the best! Kelly has spent 15 years in the classroom, sharing her love of learning and education with her students.
Kelly lives in Middletown, Delaware with her husband Dan and their four children.
Steve is Founder & President of Hatch House Ventures, a growing network of university-tied startup incubators with locations in Bethlehem, PA, University of Delaware, and Rowan University. Through the process of working closely with these organizations, Hatch House Ventures expanded into offering a software solutions called the Virtual Incubator Network designed to further higher-education entrepreneurship programs.
Steve is an Adjunct Professor of Practice at University of Delaware’s Horn School of Entrepreneurship and an avid public speaker. His life’s work is focused on economic development through the impacts his company has on the next generation of startups and small businesses.
As Director of Operations at Beekeeper Group, Hannah heads the operational, financial, human resources, and marketing functions of the company.
Hannah began as a Research Assistant while she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware, and has therefore been with Beekeeper since its founding in 2010. She graduated with a dual business degree in Marketing and Management, and a minor in International Business with Spanish. Hannah was also the President of the Business Student Association.
Michael Borcky is a Vice President at Bank of America’s Internal Advertising Agency that comes with 17 years of advertising and marketing experience. He received a Bachelor’s of Art degree from Millersville University with a concentration in graphic arts and commercial design field.
Barbara Slavin sees her involvement in ABBF as the suitable culmination of a career spent advocating for theatre and the arts as an important part of children’s lives. The University of Connecticut graduate has had plenty of opportunities to do that as a schoolteacher for 15 years and owner of a preschool for 20 years.
For seventeen years, Barbara coordinated the DuPont Theatre Children’s Series, a community outreach program which has served as an introduction to the world of live theatre for thousands of school children in the Delaware Valley.
Patrick Duffy is co-founder and chairman of the Chatham Bay Foundation, a public, non-profit organization created to promote conservation of the marine environment. The foundation also funds and manages a program in conjunction with the Department of the Army and Walter Reed Army Hospital to teach scuba diving as part of a rehabilitation program for wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Patrick holds a B.S. degree from University of Delaware; an M.B.A. from Wilmington University and has earned his certificate in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School.