Anat Gerstein, Founder and President, started her eponymously named firm in 2010 after years of seeing first-hand the support nonprofits need to effectively tell their story. Prior to starting the business, Anat served as chief of staff and press secretary to New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum; provided public relations services to top healthcare companies, including Eli Lilly and Cigna; developed effective communications materials for social service and other non-profits; and promoted political candidates at the state and local level. She began her career nearly 25 years ago in the advertising sector, working on consumer brands such as Vicks and Crest.
Anat is a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Sabra (Israeli native). Anat served on The New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Selection Committee from 2013 to 2018.
Jeff Simmons, Managing Director, has more than three decades of experience in private and public sector communications, media, and journalism. Well-networked in New York City, Jeff – who oversees the firm’s Arts & Culture practice area – currently hosts two shows on politics and policy on WBAI 99.5 FM radio: Driving Forces on Thursdays at 5:00 PM and City Watch on Sundays at 8:00 AM. He also hosts the It’s in Queens podcast for the Queens Economic Development Corporation.
Accomplished at leading long- and short-term communication initiatives, Jeff has designed strategic public relations and constituent outreach campaigns, tackled crisis communications, and overseen free and paid media campaigns.
Jeff previously served as senior vice president for communications at the Alliance for Downtown New York, the country’s largest Business Improvement District, where he spearheaded the organization’s public relations and communications strategy to amplify the region’s recovery a decade after the September 11th attacks. Prior to that, he ran communications for New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., and served as campaign advisor to Thompson in 2009 and as his reelection campaign manager in 2005.
A born and bred journalist, Jeff spent 17 years as a reporter, working at The (Bergen) Record of Hackensack, New York Post, New York Daily News, and New York 1 News. A New Yorker for nearly two decades, Jeff lives in Queens. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @JackHite
Erin Clarke, Senior Account Executive, joined the anat. team in 2020 after working as a television news reporter for 12 years. Erin previously worked at the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, as the Bronx reporter at NY1, and at other stations throughout New York State. Erin is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Writing, and Syracuse University, where she earned a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. She lives in the Bronx.
Jake Oliver, Vice President, joined anat in 2018 and oversees the firm’s Advocacy practice area. Jake has a decade of public relations experience, having managed media relations and crisis communications campaigns for clients in the nonprofit, labor, financial services and health care fields. Prior to that, he worked in New York City politics and government, serving as a chief of staff to a senior member of the New York City Council, and as an aide on a number of successful campaigns that elected candidates for city, state, and federal offices.
Jake received his bachelor’s degree from Drew University and his master’s degree in urban policy analysis and management from The New School. He is a native New Yorker, and lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn.
Jessica Meditz, Account Associate, joined the anat. team in 2023. She previously covered all things Queens as a community editor and reporter at the Queens Ledger newspaper group, and continues to freelance for the Queens Chronicle. Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2021, with a major in Communication/Journalism and a minor in English.
At SUNY Fredonia, she served as editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Leader, and worked as an English writing tutor at the university’s Learning Center. A Queens native, Jessica attended Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Astoria, where she majored in dance. She resides in her hometown of Ridgewood.
Joanna Gallai, Senior Account Executive, began her career at Shandwick Public Affairs (now Weber Shandwick) in Washington, D.C. where she worked on the team that supported the U.S. government and a client in a case at the World Trade Organization. She later moved to the New York office where she staffed and managed a variety of consumer goods and food accounts, including Ferrero USA, which makes Nutella, and Eastman Kodak Company. When she left full-time paid work to stay home with her children, she continued freelancing and spent seven years as the vice president of communications for PennNYC, the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Association. At PennNYC, she created content for and launched the organization’s website and crafted all communications materials.
Joanna joined anat. part-time in 2013, fulfilling a career goal of working with nonprofits exclusively. In her current role, she especially enjoys finding engaging, moving, and surprising client stories that attract press coverage and ultimately move people to take action—whether it is purchasing an exhibition ticket, making a donation, or tweeting in support of a cause. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and art history. She lives in New York City with her family.
Kara Walsh, Business Development and Marketing Director, joined anat. in 2024. Fueled by a deep affection for NYC, she started her career with New York City business improvement districts and the Workforce1 program. Then, as an Account Executive at Modern Luxury Media, she excelled in crafting top-tier multi-platform marketing campaigns for Manhattan and Hamptons Magazine. Before joining anat., Kara worked at New York City-based startup Showfields, shaping brands’ experiential marketing strategies.
Kara graduated from Loyola University Maryland as a presidential scholar, then swiftly returned to New York City, the vibrant city she calls home.
Karin Venegas, Associate Vice President, has been with the anat. team since 2019 and works primarily in the firm’s Arts & Culture practice area. She has experience helping clients develop strategic communications plans and thought leadership, produce exhibition previews and press conferences, and secure impactful press stories that drive audience attendance and influence policy.
Prior to joining the firm, she served as Director of Development & Communications at Exploring the Arts, an arts education nonprofit founded by legendary singer Tony Bennett. There, she led the organization’s external communications strategy and effectively fundraised to sustain programmatic expansion from 14 to 46 schools.
A native New Yorker, Karin’s career began as a child actor in the city’s off-off Broadway theatre scene.She attended LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and Mount Holyoke College, where she obtained her bachelors in Sociology and Spanish. A documentary film she directed, Unafraid: Voices from the Crime Victims Treatment Center, won various festival awards and is now distributed by Women Make Movies.
Karin brings a lifelong passion for the arts, language, and storytelling to her work with the firm’s clients. She now lives with her husband and daughter in Astoria.
Lauren Braithwaite, Account Associate, joined the anat. team in 2024. She was previously a fellow for Just Media, a network of writers that reports on criminal justice related issues, where she worked as a freelance journalist in 2023. She continues to freelance for Just Media. Lauren also served as a student adviser for the Student Leadership Network, a non-profit that assists high school and college students in completing their degrees.
Lauren earned her Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2023, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Digital Media & Journalism.
At John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Lauren served as Managing Editor for the college’s paper, the Sentinel, for the 2021-2022 academic year, and then later as Editor-in-Chief in the Fall of 2023. She is a Queens native and attended The Young Women’s Leadership School on Hillside. She lives in Springfield Gardens.
Lauren Mannerberg, Account Executive, joined the anat. team in 2022. Prior to joining the firm, she spent five years working in the executive chamber of New York State government, where she honed her skills in communications and advocacy. In her most recent role as Director of Internal Communications, she was responsible for developing and executing communication plans for the Governor in collaboration with State agencies. Before that, Lauren served as Director of Operations for the Lieutenant Governor, where she built strong relationships with constituents, local elected officials, and the media to promote New York State policies and initiatives.
Lauren began her career at the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) labor union as an advocate in their Legislative and Political Action department, representing a diverse spectrum of workers across the state. She is a graduate of the University at Albany, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism, and she earned her master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy from Rockefeller College.
Linnea Mumma, Account Executive, joined the anat team in 2022. A New Jersey native, she is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in both English and music. In her current position, she has elevated the work of several nonprofits around New York City, including clients in the youth and education, health, and social services sectors, through developing targeted media lists and crafting meaningful press strategies. She seeks opportunities that are mission-focused and specific to a client’s goals.
At Kenyon, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Kenyon Collegian for the 2021-22 academic year, working as a news reporter prior to that position. She also worked as an associate at the Kenyon Review, a marketing assistant for Chalmers Library, and a consultant and liaison at the Writing Center. She currently resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Lynsey Billet, Associate Vice President, worked in nonprofit advocacy, lobbying, and research prior to joining the anat. team in 2016. In her current role, Lynsey specializes in the firm’s Health practice area and works with organizations that engage in advocacy work and those that provide health care and other social services. Before joining anat., Lynsey was a member of AARP’s national campaign communications team, and she previously served as a junior lobbyist. Observer recognized Lynsey as a 2022 PR Rising Star.
Marina Hansen, Account Associate, joined anat. in 2021. Prior to joining the team, Marina interned for B/HI, an entertainment-oriented public relations firm. She graduated from Pace University in 2021, with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in art. At Pace University, Marina worked with different organizations through the Women’s Leadership Initiative which advocated for diversity, inclusion and accessibility across campus. Her advocacy work in university and love for the arts is what inspired her to work with nonprofits. A native Texan and a New Yorker since 2017, she currently lives in Brooklyn.
Matt Sollars, Vice President, joined the anat. team in 2022, and oversees the firm’s Community Development practice area. Prior to joining the agency, Matt led media and public relations at the New York City Campaign Finance Board where he organized the city-sponsored debates for four citywide election cycles. Matt helped launch the NYC Votes campaign and organized the design competition to select New York City’s first “I Voted” sticker.
Before entering city government, Matt was a policy analyst at the Citizens Budget Commission and a journalist covering city and state politics at Crain’s New York Business and WNYC. He has a master’s degree in journalism from CUNY, a bachelor’s degree in Italian Literature from Columbia, and a certificate in culinary arts from the Institute of Culinary Education. He lives in Westchester with his wife and two children.
Nasreen Hussain, Account Executive, joined the anat. team in 2022. She has a background in both television production and higher education administration. Before coming to anat. she helped to bring local stories to viewers across the tri-state area with more than a decade of experience in broadcast journalism at organizations including News 12, FiOS1 News, Fox 5 NY, and CNBC. Additionally, she served as the Assistant Director for Student Success at Pace University.
Nasreen is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, and a master’s degree in communications. She volunteers her time and expertise to several organizations including the Rutgers Club of New York City, Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, and A Walk To Believe. She is a Jersey Girl who splits her time between the Garden State and New York, and spends her spare time baking, traveling, and attending concerts.
Reynaldo Muniz, Senior Account Executive, joined the anat. team in February 2023. Prior to joining the firm, Reynaldo worked for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation where he managed a communications portfolio for state-operated sites, major capital projects, and nonprofit partners. Reynaldo led the development of the All In Centennial Accessibility Campaign and coordinated innovative grant programs for social service organizations in the region. He designed and led the government relations effort for the SUNY statewide Tele-counseling program in 2017. He has deep experience in advocacy and electoral communications campaigns, particularly on mental health, clean energy, and development.
Rey received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University at Albany, where he studied Political Science and Public Policy at Rockefeller College. A transplant from New York’s Capital Region, he lives with his family in Manhattan.
Sandra Tharas, Account Executive, began her public relations career working for the German National Tourist Office in New York, showing U.S. travel journalists her home country. Sandra graduated in 1999 with a master’s degree in social sciences from Friedrich-Alexander University in Nuremberg, Germany and moved to the United States a year later. She has been working with anat. since 2016 and loves sharing the stories of our nonprofits with local reporters highlighting the important work they do. She lives in Queens with her family.
Sophie Crumpacker, Senior Account Executive, joined anat. in 2017. Her clients include social service, health and advocacy nonprofits. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in communications and development at Partnership with Children, a nonprofit that provides counseling services to New York City public school students. She also interned at the Huntington Disease Society of America and worked as a research assistant in a psychology lab. Sophie graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and public health. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Stephanie Millian, Vice President, Social Services, joined the anat. team in September 2022 and oversees the firm’s Social Services practice area. She has an extensive background in crisis and corporate communications and most recently was a Strategic Communications Consultant at the American Red Cross, where she previously served for 18 years and managed national communications and media relations activities for large-scale disasters and the Biomedical Services division.
Stephanie also worked as Senior Director of Communications for SourceAmerica, an organization dedicated to creating jobs for people with disabilities. Prior to that, she led the Communications team at ZERO TO THREE, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families. She also spent several years as a News Producer for a CBS affiliate in Georgia and as an Adjunct Professor of Mass Communications in the Boston area.
Stephanie graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in business management and earned her M.S. in broadcast journalism from Boston University.
Sydney Pereira, Senior Account Executive, joined anat. in 2024. Her clients include social services, education, and youth development nonprofits. Prior to joining the firm, Sydney worked in communications at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a nonprofit providing myriad social services to thousands of New Yorkers. Her nonprofit communications work follows years of reporting and writing in various staff and freelance roles covering New York City news, climate change and the environment, health, and workers’ rights. She helped launch the worker-owned local news website Hell Gate as a founding member and covered the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout for Gothamist and WNYC. She has been featured live on local and national radio and television.
Sydney graduated from New York University with a B.A. in journalism and global public health with a concentration in anthropology. She is a volunteer community composter and a certified trauma-sensitive yoga instructor. She lives in Brooklyn.
YiMing Tseng-Lee, Operations Manager, joined the anat. team in 2018. YiMing currently oversees the firm’s administrative, human resources and technology client services. Previously, she worked at financial and non-profit firms as a Network Engineer. She currently volunteers as the President of the Knickerbocker Figure Skating Club, and has volunteered at her children’s schools in various capacities. YiMing graduated from Brooklyn College and lives in Queens with her family.
Zac Roy, Vice President, manages anat.’s Education & Youth Development practice area. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public relations and communications. Since joining the firm in 2011, Zac has developed and executed communications strategies for a wide variety of New York City organizations, including schools, higher education institutions, and nonprofits in the fields of youth development, economic development, and social services. In 2023, Crain’s New York Business named Zac a “Notable Leader in Advertising, Marketing, and PR.”
Previously, Zac worked in corporate communications at the magazine publishing company Time Inc., specializing in media relations, social media, speechwriting, and internal communications. He began his career as a journalist, covering communities in Lower Manhattan.
Zac is a graduate of New York University with bachelor’s degrees in history and journalism. He has also done graduate work in Strategic Communications at Columbia University. A native of St. Louis and a New Yorker since 2000, he lives with his wife and son in Westchester.
Anat Gerstein, Inc. is a communications firm that supports a broad array of nonprofits in their work to benefit society. We help local and national nonprofits tell their stories and communicate with key audiences: donors and funders, elected officials, community members, and the general public. Our nonprofit clients assist people experiencing poverty, homelessness and mental health concerns; they provide education, arts programming, advocacy and civic engagement; and they support local businesses and communities. A full list of available positions is available here.