Honorees

We are thrilled to honor our distinguished guests for their commitment to LIFT’s mission of empowering families on their path out of poverty.

 

Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine

Jonathan S. Lavine Co-Managing Partner
Jonathan Lavine is Co-Managing Partner of Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm with more than $105 billion in assets under management, 1,000 employees and 19 offices on four continents. He also serves as the Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital Credit.

Mr. Lavine founded Bain Capital Credit, formerly known as Sankaty Advisors, in 1998. Bain Capital Credit invests across the full spectrum of credit strategies, including leveraged loans, high-yield bonds, distressed debt, private lending, structured products, non-performing loans and equities. Bain Capital Credit has more than $41 billion in assets under management, more than 290 employees and offices in Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Madrid, Dublin, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Mr. Lavine joined Bain Capital’s private equity group in 1993. Prior to joining Bain Capital, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in mergers and acquisitions.

In 2007, Mr. Lavine and his wife, Jeannie, formed the Crimson Lion Foundation which delivers financial resources to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations focused on leveling the playing field for individuals and families. The Foundation works to address pressing social challenges in the areas of education, community and public service, health and welfare, discrimination and poverty. It supports the multi-disciplinary efforts of organizations that serve to strengthen society through research, innovation, public policy, direct service and advocacy. To that end, Mr. and Mrs. Lavine have supported a wide array of organizations including City Year (where Mr. Lavine serves as Co-Chair of the National Board of Trustees), uAspire (where they have dedicated the Lavine Family Center for College Affordability), WBUR/NPR (where they are dedicating the Lavine Broadcasting Center at CitySpace in Boston), LIFT, Best Buddies, Cradles to Crayons, the Equal Justice Initiative and many others. They are also longtime supporters of Columbia University, where Mr. Lavine serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and is a former chair of the Columbia Board of Visitors, and Harvard University, where they endowed the Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health and provided substantial support to fund scholarships for first-generation students at Harvard Business School.

Mr. Lavine is the 2017 recipient of Columbia University’s Alexander Hamilton Medal, the highest honor awarded to a member of the college community for distinguished service. He is a past recipient of Columbia’s John Jay Award for professional achievement, Columbia’s David Truman Award for outstanding contribution to academic affairs, the Dean’s Leadership Award for the Class of 1988 25th Reunion, Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Seixas Award, Opportunity Nation’s American Dream Award, Voices for National Service Citizen Service Award and of the New England Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Community Service Award. In 2016, Mr. Lavine was appointed a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council by President Barack Obama. Mr. Lavine is also a member of the ownership group and a director of the Boston Celtics.

Mr. Lavine graduated from Columbia College, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and holds an M.B.A with Distinction from Harvard Business School.

Jeannie Bachelor Lavine
Jeannie Bachelor Lavine is a former management strategy consultant with global consulting firm the Boston Consulting Group. Along with her husband Jonathan, she has dedicated the last two decades to raising their family while actively supporting numerous educational and charitable organizations through the Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation.

Jeannie currently serves on the Better Angels Society Board of Directors, a foundation dedicated to support the making of historical documentaries by Ken Burns and other American documentary filmmakers. She and her husband have supported numerous organizations including the Equal Justice Initiative, WBUR, Lift, UAspire and City Year. They remain actively engaged with Harvard through the Lavine Family Cornerstone Scholarship Fund, created to support undergraduate financial aid at Harvard, as well as the Lavine Humanitarian Studies Initiative (HSI) to support the training of humanitarian aid workers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Jeannie served as co-chair of the Campaign for Harvard’s School of Public Health and has served on the Board of Dean’s Advisors for the Harvard School of Public Health 2012 to 2018. She also serves as a member of the FAS Major Gift Committee, and the Committee on University Resources (COUR) as well as the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Campaign Steering Committee. She holds an M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School and a B.A., Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard College.

Jeannie and Jonathan live in Massachusetts and New York. They have two daughters Allie and Emily.
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Ben and Jaclyn Harper

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Caroline Degenaars

Caroline is a long-time LIFT ally, supporter and friend with extensive experience in helping to strengthen non-profits. She currently serves on the Board of LIFT-Chicago as well as the boards of RUSH and Providence Englewood Charter School. Previously, Caroline has served on the boards of Kenilworth Union Church and Chicago Botanic Garden Guild. She has also spent many years with Columbus Maryville, a DCFS transitional home, on a program called CARE (Creative Arts Raising Esteem). Caroline is a proud mother of three boys.
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Elizabeth Milbank

Elizabeth Milbank, MD, MPH is a board certified preventive medicine and lifestyle medicine physician. She currently serves as a clinician in the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai and Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health. Next month she will begin working as a clinician at Parsley Health, a primary care, wellness-based, functional medicine practice.

Liz graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in English and worked for six years in public health consulting before applying to medical school. She completed her medical degree at Weill Cornell Medical College, her internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Weill Cornell and her Preventive Medicine residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Liz is passionate about women’s health and her clinical and research interests throughout her career have focused on pregnancy, family planning, breastfeeding, and fertility. She has a special interest in obesity, nutrition and using lifestyle strategies to improve health. In addition to her clinical work, Liz currently teaches in the medical school and Master’s in Public Health program at Mount Sinai, with a focus on lifestyle medicine and health promotion strategies. She is also a clinical advisor to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on their pediatric obesity programs and initiatives, and she co-founded the Manorhaven Edible Schoolyard Garden, a nutrition education program designed to teach children about the benefits of healthy eating and active living.

Liz has been involved with LIFT since her college days at Yale and has served on the New York Board since its inception. She currently serves as board chair of LIFT-New York and lives in New York with her husband Mike and their four children, Sophie, Olivia, Will and Louisa.
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Marne Obernauer, Jr.

Marne is a shareholder and Director of Breakthru Beverage Group, wholesale distributors of wines and spirits throughout the United States. He had been Chairman of Beverage Distributors Company of Colorado before merging his business with Breakthru.

Marne was previously Vice Chairman and Director of Applied Graphics Technologies, Inc., a provider of outsourced digital imaging management and pre-press services. He had been Chairman and CEO of Devon Group, Inc. (NASDAQ) for almost two decades before the company merged with Applied Graphics. Prior to that he spent almost eight years as an Investment Officer with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette and with First National City Bank (now Citibank).

Marne has held numerous leadership positions in the broader business community. He is a Founding Member of the American Business Conference and a Director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He was a Trustee of the Trinity School in New York City for twelve years and is a past Treasurer and member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni. He also served as a Trustee of Congregation Emanu-El in New York City from 2007-2016 and as its Vice President from 2012-2016. He is also a Limited Partner in the ownership group of the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club.

Marne earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelors Degree from Yale University. He has two sons; Matthew, Yale 2000 (where he was an original volunteer for LIFT) and Michael, Yale 2002. Michael’s wife Kaitlin, Yale 2002, recently gave birth to their first child and Marne’s first grandchild, Henry, (Yale 2041?).
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Deanna Singh

Deanna Singh is an accomplished author, educator, business leader, and champion for marginalized communities. As the Founder/Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant, Deanna consults with individuals and companies that are looking to make a positive difference in the world. She is known for giving clients the tools and courage to imagine, activate, and impact the world as agents of change.

A social entrepreneur at her core, Deanna is always at the forefront of social change. She has established and operated multiple social innovations, including the NYC office of LIFT which helps people find a way out of poverty for good; Milwaukee's Street Law Program, an interactive legal program that has taught over a thousand Milwaukee students basic legal knowledge; and Birth Coach Milwaukee, which provides doula services for women who otherwise could not afford them.

Singh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University, a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is also the author of two children’s books, I am a Boy of Color, and I am a Girl of Color and a business book, Purposeful Hustle.
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Cash Warren

Cash Warren has been spent his entire career developing ideas into tangible products. Whether that end product is a Film, TV Show, Tech start-up or a brand, Cash has been the producer helping the idea come to life.

Cash's Film and TV credits include an ESPN 30 for 30 centered around the pioneer and somewhat controversial sports marketing legend Sonny Vaccaro, entitled "Sole Man," the Emmy-nominated documentary "Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” the feature film "In the Blood" starring Gina Carano and Danny Trejo and the documentary on legendary skateboarder Christian Hosoi, "Rising Sun.”

In 2012, Cash launched two premium content channels in partnership with YouTube: The NOC and YOMYOMF. The NOC, which focused on athlete entertainment and lifestyle content was sold to VICE Media and has since re-launched as Vice Sports.

Since 2014, Cash has been focused on running the basics brand he co-founded called Pair of Thieves. Pair of Thieves is on a mission to make all lovely humans more comfortable by providing them with the best undergarments on the planet. Their products are currently sold on Pairofthieves.com and carried nationwide at retailers Target, Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, Selfridges, Tilly’s, Martin Patrick’s and a handful of others.

Cash has always been philanthropic and is currently serving as chairman of the board for LIFT:LA – an organization he first volunteered for during his sophomore year at Yale that is dedicated to ending intergenerational poverty by connecting families to the people, tools and resources they need to help break the cycle.
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