All Officers and Directors of Volunteers for Children work on a volunteer basis without any compensation.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Co-Founder, President & Chairman of the Board
Romona was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana among a wide mix of ethnic and religious customs. At a very early age, Romona understood the importance of helping others, as it was a fundamental part of her childhood. She was actively involved with giving back and volunteering by working with her parents to support local orphanages.
After moving to the United States in 2001, Romona became a citizen and started her family. She continued her support of Guyanese children and expanded her work to include orphanages in Central and South America, Europe and Africa, as well as other charitable causes supporting children and the environment.
Founding Volunteers for Children is a very personal endeavor for Romona as she explains below:
“Growing up in Guyana I saw the impact of poverty and limited education on children day after day. Guyana is but one example of the struggles facing children around the world. The lack of proper educational materials, learning facilities, and trained teachers has sadly resulted in over half a billion children in the world not having basic reading or mathematical skills. This creates a cycle of poverty in these communities that continues generation after generation. I founded Volunteers for Children to help children who are being left behind have access to education and other tools they need to break through the cycle of poverty.”
Jeff Norton is a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, a leading global law firm, where he focuses his practice on a variety of public and private finance matters in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He's been repeatedly recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global as a leading banking and finance lawyer.
After graduation from Cornell Law School in 1985, Jeff joined O’Melveny as a corporate associate where he practiced until 2005, serving as partner and head of the firm’s banking practice. Prior to rejoining O’Melveny in 2019, Jeff was a partner at Linklaters where he served as Co-Managing Partner of the US and Head of The US Banking Practice.
Jeff has been active in community service and charitable causes throughout his career, including pro bono legal work for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Lawyers Alliance (the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods) and as a Representative to the Legal Council on Legal Diversity (a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a truly diverse US legal profession).
Co-Founder & Secretary
Melissa was born in South Carolina and raised in Atlanta, GA. After attending George Washington University on a dance scholarship, she worked at the Smithsonian Institution before obtaining her master’s in Arts Administration from Columbia University and Fine Art Appraisal certification from NYU. After working in development at art schools in NYC and France, she pursued a career in the for-profit visual arts, first at Sotheby's auction house, and then as the Director of The Wynn Collection in Las Vegas and Director of Analytics at Artnet.
Upon becoming a mother in 2009, Melissa moved to Greenwich, CT, and founded her own art advisory firm. She returned to development as Associate Director of Advancement and Capital Campaign Manager at New Canaan Country School and, later, led Development at the Greenwich International Film Festival. She currently oversees special events at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.
Melissa has volunteered for numerous charitable organizations in Greenwich, including Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich United Way, as a Gala Co-Chair and member of the Development Committee at the Bruce Museum, and also served as Trustee overseeing annual giving at the Putnam Indian Field School. She currently lives in Greenwich with her three children.
Pandora is a global communications and brand strategist with 20+ years experience working across industries that include CPG, leisure and entertainment, pharma, professional and financial services, utilities, and defense.
As VP External Communications for Pernod Ricard USA, Pandora is responsible for building corporate and portfolio reputation among customers, investors, local communities, government officials, regulators and consumers. Prior to joining Pernod Ricard, she was Senior Partner with Kantar Consulting, orchestrating high-performing global teams of consultants and vertical experts to deliver a strong portfolio of brand and growth strategy initiatives for clients like Pfizer, Shell, Enterprise, Bank of America, and PepsiCo. As head of Ketchum and FTI affiliate, CIVITAS, she led award-winning programs to advance and defend reputation for major local and international players, including Boeing, Adidas and the IMF.
Pandora is a NA Effie judge and has a passion for industry thought leadership, with contributions to publications and keynotes for the ANA Masters of Marketing, the American Marketing Association, Google brand labs and others. She is a winner of 28 Ermis PR Awards. In 2015, she was recognized by Harper's Bazaar in the Women Who Dare series. In addition, she is a classically trained ballet dancer with the Royal Academy of Dance (London) certification.
SAMANTHA CONKLIN MORO
Samantha Conklin Moro went to Westover School, earned her B.S. in Finance at Lehigh University in 1993 and M.B.A. at NYU, Stern School of Business in 2000. She worked at Banker’s Trust in the Derivatives Middle Office until 1997, then at Credit Suisse First Boston as an Internal Consultant until 2003.
Samantha currently resides in Greenwich, CT with her three children and has volunteered at Greenwich Hospital, The Greenwich Historical Society, The Bruce Museum, Whitby School, Stanwich School, Greenwich Academy, and St. Luke’s School.
We also want to provide an opportunity for volunteers to join us as we go to these communities around the world. We hope that our volunteers will form the base that keeps our efforts and other charitable endeavors active and sustainable for the years and generations to come.
100% of donations to Volunteers for Children go directly to help make the next generation safer, smarter and stronger.