Meet the Team
Release Foundation is run by a group of dedicated, supportive individuals seeking to make recovery attainable for everyone.
Meet the Team
The Release team is diverse, athletic, and committed to helping clients focus on the life-giving aspects of recovery–so that healing is more accessible and sustainable.
Release Foundation Board
Founding Board Member
Co-founder of the Release Foundation and CEO of Release Recovery, Zac maintains day-to-day operations of our program, including organizational expansion, staff development, fundraising and strategic planning. He’s Chairman of the New York Advisory Board for the Caron Foundation, where he himself received treatment for substance abuse. Zac has established philanthropic initiatives through the Clark Family and our Foundation.
- Ran 13 marathons, including the coveted Goggins challenge
- Philly sports and Pearl Jam fanatic
Founding Board Member and Board Chair
Co-founder of Release Recovery Foundation. When he’s not helping and mentoring others, Matt focuses on direct infrastructure investments. He’s the Managing Director of GCM Grosvenor and previous Senior Vice President at Oaktree Capital Management, where he built strategic relationships for the firm and led origination of investments in the transportation sector.
- Former quarterback for the University of Chicago and still holds passing records.
Driven by a deep sense of purpose and a desire to save lives, Barbara is an advocate who brings to the Release Foundation Board a wealth of personal experience navigating the complex landscape of mental health care for her daughter, which provided her unique insights into the struggles that many families face. Having the means to access life-saving mental health treatment was a privilege she recognized, and she is determined to ensure that every individual – regardless of their circumstances – has access to the right care. Barbara has served on the boards of People’s Emergency Center and The Village, both of which provide shelter and support services to those at risk: homeless women with children and vulnerable young women needing residential treatment.
- Known for her “not-to-miss” theme parties
- Enjoys skiing, golf and horseback riding
- Married for 34 years and has two adult children
Managing partner of Baum & Baum with over thirty years of accounting and financial services experience. Provides tax and accounting services for individuals, businesses and fiduciaries and with a specialty in personal taxation and employee compensation. Member of the New York State Society of Public Accountants.
- New York City resident for 45 years
- Enjoys traveling and hiking
As a Board Member, Dorothy raises funds and builds a successful, strong Release community. She is also the Co-Founder of DEVLINHAIR Productions and Learning where she leads her company to double digits growth, builds and leads teams and develops and maintains strong client relationships.
- Nickname is Dute–rhymes with cute
- Enjoys making people laugh with outrageous antics like dressing up in costumes
- Loves experiencing people’s creativity through art, dance, music and free expression
A community connector and motivator, Andrew helps us raise funds, build the Release Foundation community and advocate for recovery initiatives. When he’s not motivating our entire community to be their best selves, he works as a finance partner at a wealth management firm.
- Cold brew enthusiast
- Voted Best Uncle 2022
- Slow runner, hack golfer
Hilary is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and recovery advocate who after a RAND study showed heavy drinking increased 41% among women during the pandemic and as statistics continue to demonstrate that men are more than twice as likely than women to seek treatment, felt compelled to share her own struggle with alcoholism and get more involved in the recovery community. Phelps has worked in media, marketing, and event management across a broad range of categories, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
- An Ironman triathlete with certifications in yoga and pilates
- Served as a commentator at the 2012 London Olympics
- Has covered New York Fashion Week for multiple publications
Aaron is an alternative investments professional who currently serves as a Vice President and Co-Portfolio Manager at Artemis. He is a leader in driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and education through his work with organizations such as the PREA Foundation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunities, and the Toigo Foundation. Aaron earned a BS in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University and a MBA from Harvard Business School as a Dean’s Award Recipient for service to the school and society. Aaron is motivated to support the Release Foundation’s efforts to broaden access to high-quality treatment and care, regardless of people’s backgrounds.
- Avid user of Todoist
- Voracious reader of fantasy novels
- Amateur barista
Release Foundation Team
Doug is an accomplished and energetic director and a motivated leader with strong organizational and prioritization abilities. His areas of expertise include people, processes, and communication. As a person in long term recovery, Doug has been drawn to finding ways to use his own experiences in recovery to help others.
His career began in hospitality, where he spent over 15 years working in the Private Club side of ths industry at some of the most well renowed clubs in the country. Doug serves on the advisory board for his alma mater, the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport, and Recreation Management at James Madison University. In 2015, he was recognized with the Dolley Madison Award by the Hart School for his contributions to the program.
In 2017, as the result of a serious health scare, Doug got a new clarity and perspective for his life. He took his volunteer role as a peer recovery coach and turned it into his full time passion by starting a recovery focused non-profit. That journey has led him to Release, where today Doug looks to share his passion for recovery and finding pathways to make recovery attainable and accessible for all!
- Diehard Phish fan
- Grew up in Sunny Southern California
- 6-time Marathon finisher with more on the horizon
Margaret wears several hats with Release. She assists the Foundation with our NYC marathon fundraiser and provides bookkeeping services for our scholarships. She also works full-time at Release Recovery as a Client Support Specialist in the women’s residences and assists Founder Zac Clark with administrative projects. Margaret graduated from Stony Brook University with a background in Sociology with academics focused on Substance Abuse and Prevention.
- Long Island native.
- Former D1 runner. Found out about Release through a running podcast.
- Has never eaten a hamburger or hot dog, but not a vegetarian.
As the program manager for the foundation, Hannah works with scholarship recipients, their loved ones, and clinical teams – building long-term relationships with those who reach out to the foundation for support. She brings a passion for serving others and building community to the Release Foundation, which holds a special place in her heart. Hannah previously worked part-time with the Release Foundation and has experience working for an inpatient treatment center and a perioperative pain clinic. Hannah graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2022 with a BA in Psychology and Communication.
- Once stranded on an island in South Africa and has spaghetti and meatballs for her birthday every single year.
Director of Engagement
Charles Lerner is energized by the opportunity to serve as the director of engagement at Release Recovery and the Release Recovery Foundation. In these roles, Charles’ mission is to establish a resilient and compassionate community dedicated to supporting individuals in their journey through recovery and overcoming addiction. By fostering genuine connections and prioritizing collective well-being, he is focused on creating a nurturing environment that transcends conventional approaches. Most recently, Charles spent six years at Tao Group Hospitality, where he spearheaded the Tao Cares community and employee engagement efforts. A 2014 graduate of Syracuse University, Charles managed the men’s basketball team for 4 years – including a trip to the 2013 Final Four.
- A caesar salad aficionado and 3-time marathoner who bleeds orange for Syracuse basketball.