Board Member

Cynthia D. Shapira

Cynthia D. Shapira

Board Member

Cynthia D. Shapira is President of the Shapira Foundation.  With her husband David, she leads the development and implementation of the foundation’s initiatives, such as Onward Israel (which transforms young adults through professional summer internships with Israeli businesses) and the Comprehensive Excellence project with Hillel International (creating a data-informed culture to define and achieve a new standard for non-profit operational excellence.)

Cindy is Chair of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. She served as Vice-Chair of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s transition team, and also serves on the Governor’s Advisory Board on Education and Workforce Development. She was appointed by Governor Corbett to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women and was a member of the 2012 Pennsylvania Electoral College. In 2017, Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf recognized Cindy as one of this year’s Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, honoring women who have shown distinguished service through professional careers and/or voluntary service.

Cindy is a trustee of Brandeis University. She serves as a Board Member of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. Past service includes chair of the Pennsylvania Center for Women In Politics at Chatham University, and the boards of Point Park University, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, The Pittsburgh Promise, United Way of Allegheny County, and WQED Pittsburgh.  Cindy is immediate past Chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Cindy was Honorary Co-Chair of Allegheny 365, an initiative to ensure access to individuals of varying abilities in Allegheny County, and founded the 21 & Able policy project to address the needs of youth with disabilities aging out.  She was a management consultant for twenty years in the non-profit and education sectors, including ten years as executive vice president of Pappas Consulting Group, Inc.

Cindy has a Master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Wellesley College.


Leadership Team

George A. Weiss is the chairman of Say Yes To Education, Inc., a national non-profit foundation committed to opening access to post-secondary education for high poverty youth.

Gene Chasin is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Say Yes to Education. He joined the national nonprofit organization in 2008.

Our Team

Dallas native Elizabeth Carlock Phillips graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs and French. She started a jewelry business in high school that became…

Jarmaine Ollivierre is a Senior Aerospace Engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since beginning at NASA in 2009, Jarmaine’s duties have included analyzing mission profiles and objectives…

Margot James Copeland is Executive Vice President and Director of Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based multiline financial services companies. In her role, Copeland…

Julie Franklin has devoted much of her time over the past 15 years in the not-for-profit arena. Her passion for education and social justice have dictated how she has spent…

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes? We invite you to reach out to the Say Yes National office or to a Say Yes chapter, to learn more about how you can get involved.