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Three Industry Leaders Join the Jackie Robinson Foundation Board of Directors

Three Industry Leaders Join  the Jackie Robinson Foundation Board of Directors

At its annual Fall board meeting, Kees Kruythoff, Sobani M. Warner and Richard J. Blank, were elected to the Board of Directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) to terms that begin immediately.

In official statements, JRF Board Co-chairs Leonard S. Coleman, Jr., and Gregg Gonsalves welcomed the illustrious additions to the roster of directors. “In our 40th year, JRF is embarking on exciting opportunities which will enrich the lives of the scholars we serve as well as embrace the enduring legacy of our namesake, Jackie Robinson,” said Gonsalves. “We are delighted to have Kees, Richard and Sobani join us in our efforts to support such a great organization.”

Here are brief profiles of the new members:

Kees Kruythoff is the President, North America of Unilever , JRF's first sponsor, (née Cheseborough Ponds) and one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. During his long career with Unilever, Kees has worked in different roles within the company traveling around the world before being appointed president of Unilever North America cluster in 2011. Kees also serves on the boards of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Enactus, a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world. A graduate of Eramus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Kees and his wife Sabine have four daughters.

Richard J. Blank is Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Equities for BTIG , a global equity trading and fund service, where he oversees the global sales traders’ team, runs the firm’s equities business, and sits on the firm’s Executive Committee. Richard is active in a number of community philanthropic causes including the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey and the Count Basie Theater. A graduate of Muhlenberg College (PA), Richard received his J.D. from St. Johns School of Law. He and his wife Ana have one son.

Sobani M. Warner is a Jackie Robinson Foundation alumna and an experienced Wall Street analyst with a successful track record of analyzing a broad array of domestic and emerging market companies. Formerly with J.P. Morgan Chase, Bear, Stearns & Co. and the Williams Capital Group, L.P., Sobani is a successful independent consultant working in equity research. The 1989 Stanford University graduate has been active on the Jackie Robinson Foundation board Investment Committee and Regional Scholar Advisory Committee. Sobani returns to the Board of Directors after a decade.

“We are pleased to welcome our newest board members and appreciate their willingness to serve,” JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza said. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and passion for our mission and will be valuable resources to the board and the Foundation staff.”

The full board of directors meets three times annually and represents a cross-section of individuals vital to the Foundation’s work in narrowing of the achievement gap in higher education.

Pictured above l-r: Kees Kruythoff, Sobani M. Warner and Richard J. Blank