Our Board

David Robbins


Mr. Robbins launched Trevi Health Ventures in 2005. He currently leads their public equity investment activities and previously served as their managing partner.

Robbins has played key roles on the boards of both non-profits and corporations. He has been the chairman of the board at Bally Technologies since 2014, playing an integral part in their strategic decision making, company oversight and board leadership. He was the chairman of Bally from 1997 to 2010 and also spent time as the board’s lead independent director. He’s currently on the board for Trevi Portfolio companies Paradigm Spine, Optovue and Home Skinovations.

In addition to his previous work as the chairman of the board of trustees at the McCarton School, he has been a board member for Columbia University Medical School’s Science and Technology Council and the Connecticut Innovations life sciences seeder fund. Robbins was also chairman of the board of directors at Alliance Gaming Corp.

Robbins has been a practicing attorney since 1984, specializing in corporate, finance and securities law. He is also a private investor and investment manager with extensive experience as a portfolio manager for private investment funds that emphasize healthcare. Robbins is a licensed C.P.A. in the state of New York and received a J.D. from the New York University School of Law and a B.S., magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Cecelia McCarton, M.D.


With over 40 years of experience as a pediatrician, researcher, and lecturer, Dr. Cecelia McCarton is among the nation’s leading experts in diagnosing and treating children with developmental disorders.

Early in her medical career, Dr. McCarton developed an affinity for children who displayed special needs. After completing her residency in Pediatrics at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, where she also served as chief resident, she received two prestigious post-doctoral research fellowships from the Department of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human Development at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Since finishing her formal training in 1977, she has served as Director of the Clinical Research Unit at the Rose F. Kennedy Center and Director of the L.I.F.E. (Low Birth Weight Infant Follow-Up and Evaluation) Program. Her research experience includes national studies developmental complications in infants with low birth weight, infant health and development, and the prevention of mental retardation. Dr. McCarton has also taught pediatrics for over 25 years and is currently Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In 1998, Dr. McCarton founded The McCarton Center for Developmental Pediatrics, a diagnostic and treatment center dedicated to childhood developmental disorders. It is here that she developed the McCarton Integrated Model, an intensive multidisciplinary methodology designed to address all of a child’s developmental deficits by combining applied behavior analysis, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.

The unprecedented success of her integrated method at the Center led Dr. McCarton to believe the same approach would be effective at a school. In 2002 she founded the McCarton Foundation for Developmental Disabilities, which immediately began raising funds to help open a special school for children with severe autism spectrum disorders. Later that year, the McCarton School opened its doors. The school’s dynamic and broad-based approach integrates scientifically supported best practices from a number of disciplines in the treatment of autism, and continues to be ranked as a top program for children with autism.

Driven by the continued success of Center and the McCarton School, in 2009, Dr. McCarton founded the Children’s Academy, a school that utilizes her integrated model to educate children with speech and language delays.

Throughout her career, Dr. McCarton has received numerous honors including grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has published over 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Child Development, Journal of Pediatrics and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.

She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics (1988) and a member of many professional societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Behavioral Pediatrics, Society for Research in Child Development, the International Neuropsychology Society and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.

Eric Wise

J. Eric Wise is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Global Finance and Business Restructuring and Reorganization Practice Groups.

Mr. Wise advises agent banks in complex leveraged financings, including cross-border and multicurrency transactions, real estate financings, asset-based financings, leveraged acquisition financings and bank and bond/bridge and other financings, and represents lender and bondholder groups, financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds and corporate debtors in complex restructuring and reorganization transactions. Mr. Wise is a member of the bar of New York and is admitted to practice in the federal courts in the Southern District of New York. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Wise practiced with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Elyse Kroll

Ms. Kroll founded ENK International in 1982 and quickly established it as the most exclusive trade show producer in the United States. Their series of 16 annual trade exhibitions include nearly 10,000 design companies, attract 250,000 domestic and international buyers and press outlets each year, and produce sales of over $1 billion.

She has also developed a reputation as a highly respected advocate for numerous children’s organizations. In addition to the McCarton Foundation, Kroll is actively involved with the Parkside School for Learning Difficulty, Kids In Distressed Situations and Fashion Delivers.

Kroll graduated from Cornell University with a degree in design and environmental analysis.

Gary Mayerson

Gary Mayerson is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. In early 2000, Gary founded Mayerson & Associates as the very first civil rights law firm in the nation dedicated to representing individuals with autism and related developmental disorders. Gary speaks regularly at national conferences and major universities and has testified before Congress on the subject of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (“IDEIA”). At the invitation of the United Nations, Gary spoke on the subject of facilitating inclusive education. Gary is well published in the field and is the author of How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child (DRL Books 2005), the “ABA Litigation” chapter appearing in Dr. Ivar Lovaas’ book, Teaching Individuals With Developmental Delays, the “Legal Considerations” chapter appearing in the Second Edition of Dr. Donna Geffner’s book, Auditory Processing Disorders (2013), and the “Autism in the Courtroom” chapter appearing in the Fourth Edition of Dr. Fred R. Volkmar’s seminal treatise, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (2014).

In 2016, after being peer-nominated and vetted across 12 factors by an attorney led research team, Gary was again named by Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top attorneys in the New York metropolitan area. Gary is responsible for more than sixty reported federal court decisions, including Deal v. Hamilton County, the very first autism case to ever reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jonathan Izak

Mr. Izak, who has a younger brother on the autism spectrum, co-launched SpecialNeedsWare in 2011. Utilizing his training as a computer science engineer, the company creates technology that enables special needs educators, clinicians and families to provide personalized learning experiences for their students and loved ones. What started out as a single project for his brother has gone on to become a leading provider of unified educational platforms for some of the largest public school systems in the country.

In 2011, Izak’s efforts enabled SpecialNeedsWare to launch AutisMate, a therapy and learning tool that allows children and adolescents with autism to become more independent by focusing on both behavior and communication. They went on to launch TeachMate in 2014, a unified special education platform to create, manage and deliver modified instructional content while tracking student performance. The company established a partnership that same year with Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital.

Izak graduated in 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science. He spent a year afterwards working there as a research assistant.

Leena Bhutta

Ms. Bhutta has spent over a decade climbing the ladder at Joho Capital, a privately-owned hedge fund sponsor that does private equity investments. She has been their director of alternative investments since March 2011, working closely with their Chief Investment Officer to carry out the strategic goals of the company. Before taking on this role, she spent nearly five years as a senior research analyst with Joho after being promoted from her junior analyst role. Bhutta also spent nearly two years working as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs.

Bhutta earned her B.A. degree from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Michael Vasinkevich

Michael Vasinkevich is the Chairman and Senior Managing Director of H.C. Wainwright & Co., a leading investment bank. Prior to H.C. Wainwright & Co., Mr. Vasinkevich served as Senior Managing Director, Vice Chairman and Founding Partner of Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group, Inc. Mr. Vasinkevich has also served as Senior Managing Director of Enthrust Financial Services, Inc. since July 2002. From August 1999 to May 2002, Mr. Vasinkevich served as a Managing Director of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. In 1998, he founded Tandem Venture Partners Ltd. and served as its Managing Director. Piror to that, Mr. Vasinkevich served as Managing Director for the structured finance group of New York City-based Jesup & Lamont Securities Corp.

Sigurd Ackerman, M.D.

Dr. Ackerman has been president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital since 2003. Prior this, he was the CEO and president of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, and also spent time as chairman as the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. Prior to this, he led a clinical research unit for affective disorders and was the associate director for Clinical Affairs and Research at the Eating Disorders Institute of New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical Center, Westchester Division.

He is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, in addition to holding academic titles in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Ackerman is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a number of other scientific societies. His work on research topics including psychopharmacology, depression and eating disorders have been published in both national and international professional journals.

Ackerman is an honors graduate of Harvard College. He received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and trained for 10 years in psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

John Hu

Junior Board

John Hu has worked passionately as a mentor for children with disabilities over the past decade through the Boy Scout program, the YMCA, and his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. He most recently served as his fraternity’s philanthropy chair, through which he planned a joy prom for over 300 guests with disabilities. He currently works as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. He graduated with a double major in Computer Science and Finance from the University of North Carolina’s Honors college.

Julie Seidel

Junior Board

Julie Seidel is currently an Analyst at Stern Investor Relations, which she joined in June 2015. She works with both public and private biotechnology companies, assisting with IR programs through tactical investor outreach and targeting, as well as broader strategic activity plans. Prior to joining Stern, Julie graduated from Barnard College with a B.A. in Psychology. She focused her studies on child development, which led her to find the McCarton School. As part of her senior fieldwork course, Julie worked at the Upper School, assisting across classrooms. Julie also worked in the Barnard Toddler Center as a student teacher. Outside of Barnard, Julie has held various internship positions focused on oncology dietetics, internal hospital health and medical projects, and nutrition public relations at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, The Hospital for Special Surgery, and Pollock Communications, respectively.