Kathleen Davis, President, Founding Member Kathleen believes in the transformative power of education and is committed to providing all students of Jersey City a quality education that prepares them for success in the global marketplace of the 21st century. While a publishing executive in the newspaper, consumer magazine and book arena, Kathleen volunteered as a full-time house parent for A Better Chance in Massachusetts and as an ESL tutor for Literacy Volunteers in Danbury, CT. After her two sons graduated from college, she made a career change to support diversity initiatives in the business sector for Diversity, Inc. and later, joined McGraw- Hill Education to pursue a second career in education. She currently is an Executive Director for The College Board and has directed strategic initiatives for PSAT ,SAT and Advanced Placement. A Jersey City resident since 2005, Kathleen has tutored English in Jersey City and has also mentored a high school student for imentor.org in NYC. She and her family and friends have supported a 1,000 student K-8 public school, Escolar Carlos Bravo, in Granada, Nicaragua since 2009 - building a library, water system, propan- fueled kitchen and providing hundreds of lbs. of books, computers and school supplies. A life-long learner, Kathleen has a MS in Management and Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an international certification as a Pilates Instructor.
Jose Arango, Founding Member Jose O. Arango is one of the few immigrants to win a seat in the New Jersey Legislature and one of the youngest to serve as an Assemblyman. Born in Havana, Cuba, he attended Elementary School in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. He graduated from Memorial High School in West New York, New Jersey. He attended Bergen County Community College where he received an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Mr. Arango went on to take Media courses at New York University. Mr. Arango also studied at the Paramus School of Business and the Frank W. Kovats Real Estate and Insurance School, where he received his License in Real Estate. Mr. Arango went on to serve as Business Development Specialist for Hudson United Bank.
Mr. Arango has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the development of Jersey City and believes that a strong educational system is critical to the health of the city and the future of Jersey City students and their families. Under Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, he currently serves as the liaison to the United States Homeland Security Department and the Director of the Division of Economic Development for the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce [HEDC]. He served as a Senior Advisor to Mayor Bret Schundler for the City of Jersey City and as the Director of Business Development and Retention for the Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce [HEDC under Mayor Glenn Cunningham. Mr. Arango is also an adviser Pro-Bono to Governor Chris Christie on Urban Policies.
Mr. Arango served as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1986 to 1988, where he was voted “Legislator of the Year." He was also voted "Outstanding Citizen of New Jersey" for being the first freshmen legislator to have eight Bills signed into law during his first year. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Housing Committee in the Legislature and Chairman of the Commerce and Latin American Relations Committee for the US Legislature Association in 1987. The Administration of President George Bush, Sr. appointed Mr. Arango twice to the United States Electoral College (1988·1992) and in 1984 he was selected “Outstanding Young Man of America" by the U.S. Jaycees. From 1986-1988, he served as a member of the Legislative Committee on Independent Authorities.
In 1989, Mr. Arango became the Chairman of the Hudson County Republican Party. A position which he still holds. He is the only Hispanic ever to be elected County Chairman in New Jersey in either party. Mr. Arango served on the New Jersey State Parole Board as a Senior Hearing Officer; he was also a Project Manager for the Department of Community Affairs..
Nirupa Umapathy, Founding Member Nirupa Umapathy is a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She graduated from Smith College in 2002 with a double major in Anthropology and Economics. A Jersey City resident since 2002 she is keenly aware of the dramatic changes that the community has undergone in the past decade. In 2011 Nirupa joined the JCGCS board as a founding member to help provide Jersey City communities with better and free educational choices. As someone that has benefited greatly from a strong education through high school and undergraduate years, Nirupa strongly believes that education is one of the key determinants of the future of children and the communities they belong to. She is currently involved in many initiatives through her current employer to improve diversity in the workforce and help empower underprivileged communities in gaining fair and equal access to both education and employment opportunities. She currently supports the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholars Program and is an alum of the SEO Career Program.
Ajay Karippot Ajay Karippot is passionate about education and strives to promote programs that increase quality and excellence in the educational sector. He has worked for nationally-recognized educational management firms such as the CollegeBoard, Kaplan Inc and Duke University in various roles such as Senior Director, Product Management, Program Director of Alliances/ Partnerships, Director of Product Marketing, and as a Venture Capital Associate and Strategic Analyst. He has worked in Asia, Europe, Africa and the US and has a keen sense of the learning & knowledge needs for the 21st century and the international marketplace. Ajay earned his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology India.
George Garcia, ESQ, Founding Member George L. Garcia is a founding member of Garcia & Turula, LLC. His practice areas are primarily redevelopment and land use law, real estate and governments relations. In 2010, Mr. Garcia served as a member of Governor Chris Christie's Transition Team, Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Garcia attained his juris doctorate from New York Law School in June 2000, Cum Laude where he served as Articles Editor for the New York Law School Law Review. Mr. Garcia obtained his B.S. in Business Management from St. Peter's College, Jersey City, New Jersey in 1995. Mr. Garcia was also recognized as one of New Jersey's top 40 lawyers under 40 by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2010.