Board of Directors | Apex for Youth

Board of Directors

Apex for Youth’s Board of Directors is a dedicated group of professionals whose strategic decision-making and guidance help direct the organization.

Preeti Sriratana


Preeti is Partner and Managing Director at MN, an award-winning architecture firm based in lower Manhattan. MN works with industry pioneers who include Swizz Beatz, Larry Gagosian, and HYPEBEAST to create coveted spaces, many of which have become NYC institutions. Currently, the company has over 1M square feet under development with over 250,000 square feet under construction, and has had works featured in publications such as Vogue, Wallpaper, and Surface Magazines. Preeti began his career in Paris working for Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel. Preeti earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University. He holds an Official Commendation from the City of New York and is a proud product of the public school system.

Eric T. Lee

Vice Chair

Eric T. Lee is currently a Portfolio Manager at Soros Fund Management, an investment firm based in New York. Previously, Mr. Lee was Co-Chief Investment Officer and a Managing Partner of Blockhouse Capital Management, a hedge fund focused on credit and equity investments with a macro overlay. Before Blockhouse, Mr. Lee was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at PointState Capital Management where he was primarily responsible for high yield and distressed credit investments. Mr. Lee has also been a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with Duquesne Capital Management, as well as a Director at Deutsche Bank in the High Yield Research Group. Mr. Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 1998 with a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School and a minor in Asian American Studies.

Kathy Wong


Kathy is Head of Export Aggregation at Chase Digital, leading the Third Party Channel for Chase. She owns the strategy and product roadmap to consumer data sharing and partnerships with third parties and FinTechs. Prior to Chase Digital, she held various leadership roles at JPMorganChase. Before her time at the JPMC, she was a Principal Consultant at IBM Business Consulting Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting in the Financial Services industry.

Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Management Systems with a minor in Economics from Columbia University. She joined Apex in 1999 as a High School Mentor and SAT Prep volunteer. She maintained her relationship with her mentee until she graduated high school while continuing to run the SAT Prep program until 2004. Interestingly, her former mentee was key in bringing Kathy back to Apex to join the board; they are still in touch today. Kathy is born and raised in New York City and is a proud product of the NYC Public School System.

Blaise Chow


Blaise is a partner at the full service law firm Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley. He concentrates his practice in employment law and analyzing professional liability insurance policies. In these contexts, his practice also includes negotiation of settlements in mediation arising from business and employment disputes that span from individual entrepreneurs to mid-size and larger corporations. Blaise has also defended directors and officers against lawsuits including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and civil fraud. He was admitted to practice to the New York State Bar in April 2001, and received his bachelor’s degree from University of Rochester in 1997 and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 2000.

Raymond Chan

Raymond Chan is a Partner at Atalaya and is responsible for the firm’s investing in Financial Assets, which focuses on sourcing and executing specialty finance and other private asset-backed transactions. Prior to joining Atalaya, Ray was a Partner and Co-Founder of TTM Capital, LLC, an investment firm focused on acquiring and lending against portfolios of financial and other assets. Previously, he was a Managing Director and co-head of the Assets Group at Highbridge/Zwirn Capital Management. Earlier in his career, Ray was a member of the Principal Transaction and Principal Finance teams at Lehman Brothers and worked on numerous securitizations across multiple asset classes at Salomon Brothers. He began his career as a consultant at Price Waterhouse, followed by internal consulting and operations roles at Lehman Brothers. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University.

Christopher Chao

Chris is a Director in Asset Management at Paramount Group, a vertically-integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that is a best-in-class owner, operator and manager of Class A office properties in the U.S. At Paramount, he is responsible for the asset management of Paramount’s 15-million SF office portfolio as well as its loan portfolio from the REIT’s fund business. Previously, he worked in Real Estate Banking at BNY Mellon and in Asset Management at Broadway Partners. Chris graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Quantitative Economics and from New York University with an M.S. in Real Estate Finance. He has been involved with Apex for over a decade and was previously a 4th Grade Prep tutor, a High School Mentor, and an Associate Board member.

Jeff Chen

Jeff Chen is a Private Equity Investment Professional and a founding member of Enhanced Healthcare Partners. Prior to joining Enhanced, Jeff was an Associate in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he focused on M&A as well as equity and debt financing transactions for consumer retail and healthcare clients. Prior to his role in Investment Banking, Jeff worked in the Client Strategy Group within the Executive Office at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he focused on performing global client targeting analysis for senior executives of the firm. Jeff graduated with distinction from the Ivey School of Business with an Honors in Business Administration. Jeff was a previous Apex basketball coach, mentor, volunteer, and Chair of the Apex Associate Board.

David Jar

David Jar is a Managing Director of Owl Rock Capital, a division of Blue Owl, and a member of the technology investment team. Based in New York, he is focused on credit, equity, and structured capital investments in technology businesses, and leads our efforts in cybersecurity and infrastructure software. Before joining Blue Owl, David led the software/technology vertical at SLR Capital Partners, a credit-focused asset manager based in New York. Prior to that, he was a Principal at KKR in the Capital Solutions Group, focusing on private credit opportunities, and a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Natural Resources Financing Group. David began his career in investment banking as an Analyst at Lehman Brothers.

David received a BS in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Aya Kanai

Aya Kanai is the Head of Editorial and Creative for Shopping at Google. Previous roles include Head of Content and Creator Partnerships at Pinterest and Editor In Chief at Marie Claire. Aya also spent nearly twenty years as a Fashion Director at publications including Cosmopolitan, NYLON, Women’s Health and Teen Vogue. She was also a judge on Project Runway Junior on Lifetime. A native New Yorker, Aya lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Jay Kim

Jay Kim is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse Group in the Investment Bank division, based in New York. He is the Co-Head of Fixed Income Sales & Trading, the Head of Credit Products and the Global Head of the Securitized Products. He is also a member of the Management Committee of the Investment Bank division. Since joining Credit Suisse in 2011, Mr. Kim has served in leadership roles including the Global Head of Securitized Products Finance and member of the Fixed Income Division Operating Committee. Before joining Credit Suisse, Mr. Kim worked at Barclays Investment Bank where he spent 13 years, most recently as Managing Director and Co-Head of the Securitized Products Origination Group and prior to that Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup Global Markets as a member of the Asset Backed Finance team. Mr. Kim received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University. He serves on several boards and advisory boards of privately held and nonprofit organizations.

Melody Lee

Melody is currently Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Product Marketing for the Herman Miller and Knoll flagship brands within the MillerKnoll collective of design brands. Previously, Melody was global COO and principal for the Americas at Camron, a global communications agency. Prior to joining Camron, Melody was the vice president for brand development at Shiseido, a 140-year old global prestige beauty company. Before her time at Shiseido, Melody spent six years with Cadillac as deputy CMO and the executive in charge of brand marketing for the iconic luxury car brand. Melody began her career at global PR agency Hill+Knowlton Strategies from 2006 to 2012, where she led high-stakes communications campaigns for Fortune 500 corporations. Melody holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in International Affairs from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gilbert Liu


Gil is a partner of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, where he serves as the head of the securitization and structured finance practice group. Gil specializes in complex esoteric securitization and structured finance transactions. These include the first securitization of solar assets by SolarCity Corporation, the first securitization of government energy efficiency contracts and various securitization of intellectual property including the songwriter royalties of the Motown Records songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, domestic and international syndication rights of dozens of hit television situation comedies and trademark and/or franchise licensing revenues related to many famous brands including The Athlete’s Foot, Joe Boxer, Guess? and Max Azria. He is a past winner of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Best Under 40 Award. He was a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award.

Gil currently serves on the board of directors of Homerun Projects, a nonprofit organization supporting youth-based programs in New York City. For over 12 years, he served on the board of directors of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization providing social, academic and athletic services to over 1,200 boys and girls in East Harlem, New York. He has also been a member of the board of directors of Volunteers of Legal Service. He is involved in pro bono matters and other charitable projects for Harlem RBI, the DREAM Charter School, the CAIPA Foundation, the Chinese American Medical Society, the American Cancer Society – Asian Initiatives, The Lowline, Broadway Barks, Infinite Variety Productions and Seido Juku Benefit Foundation. Gil received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the NYU School of Law.

Patrick Lo

Patrick is Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer at Waterfall Asset Management, LLC, an investment firm started in 2005 that focuses on Securitized Products and Loans. Since joining Waterfall in 2006, Patrick has served in leadership roles including Head of International and Chief Risk Officer. Prior to that, he was at Citigroup Global Markets as an analyst within the Asset Backed Finance team. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Management Science.

Yukari Matsuzawa Pass

Yukari is the board chair of and brings experience across multiple industries and global companies including Toyota Motor Corporation, Google, Twitter, ngmoco and charity:water. Yukari focuses on operational efficiency, scaling products through technology and product innovation, and internationalizing platforms for many languages. In addition to building experiences in the for-profit and nonprofit sector, Yukari was the first female Asian American executive at Twitter and charity: water. Yukari received her BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Betty Wong

Betty is Executive Editor at Andrews McMeel Universal. She has edited bestselling books and publications in lifestyle, photography, and pop culture for leading publishers, including Meredith Corporation, Penguin Random House, and Hachette Book Group. Her passion for amplifying and celebrating diverse voices was honed during her time as Managing Editor and Business Development Director at A. Magazine, a groundbreaking Asian American publication. A native New Yorker, Betty first began her association with Apex as a High School Mentor. She is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University and a member of the Women’s Media Group.

Karen Wong

Karen Wong is the cofounder and chief creative officer of GBA/Guilty By Association — a digital marketplace and inclusive community for artists, designers and consumers of all generations. She established her mark as an innovative leader during her 15-year tenure at the New Museum where she founded the genre-defying initiatives NEW INC, an incubator for art, design, and technology, and IdeasCity, a conference-festival format focused on creative placemaking. Through both programs, Karen mentored a wide range of artistic talents and fostered environments that led to the advent of NFTs and new VR/AR creative enterprises. An expert storyteller and producer, Karen has steered multimillion dollar partnerships with Apple, Audi, Google, Nokia Bell Labs and Onassis Foundation.

Patrick Yee

Patrick is the Chief Marketing Officer at Callisto Media. He was previously Chief Marketing Officer at Daily Harvest, a direct-to-consumer healthy food platform. Prior to Daily Harvest, Patrick was CEO of Laird & Partners, the luxury brand and creative agency, working with clients like Tiffany, Tommy Hilfiger, Soulcycle and Swarovski. Patrick was an early partner and the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Refinery29, where he led growth, marketing and strategy for 8 years. After graduating New York University, he started his career as an investment banker at Wasserstein Perella and an equity research analyst at Soros Fund Management.

Wen Zhou

Wen Zhou moved with her family from Ningbo China to New York City’s Chinatown at the age of 12. She didn’t speak a word of English but possessed a challenger spirit, love of fashion handed down from her mother, a seamstress, and an entrepreneurial drive to succeed even at a young age.

By 26 years old, she had founded two businesses, a fabric selling company, and an offshore clothing production company. Through a fateful meeting in Paris, Zhou met young designer, Phillip Lim and the two quickly became friends. With Lim ready for a new endeavor, Wen seized the opportunity to make him her business partner and in the Fall of 2005, Wen and Phillip launched 3.1 Phillip Lim. They were both 31 years old at the time.

The company’s vision of cool, easy chic wardrobe essentials for today’s global citizen have become synonymous with an understated modern luxury. As President and CEO, Zhou has grown 3.1 Phillip Lim into a global fashion brand with womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories. She juggles the roles of CEO, business partner and friend, with her most important job – being a mom to her two children, Ming and Zen.