Our Board of Trustees

 2018 Board smaller pic
Pictured from left to right:  Paul Brubaker, Tom Blim, Jane Susswein, Diane Anglin, Liz Rich, Dylan Walsh, Melba Fidalgo, Reggie Valentine, Dana Nicholas, Nikki Jones, Don Zief and Sean Flynn.  Not pictured: David Placek

Sean Flynn - Chair

Sean Flynn is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in New York. He is Global Head of Investment Bank Strategy and Analytics. In this role he works with senior management to develop strategy for business in the Investment Banking division and assess overall performance.   This includes adapting the Investment Bank franchise to the changing industry landscape, optimizing individual business performance, and evaluating and assessing strategic acquisitions and investments. In 2011 Mr. Flynn helped to establish a Global Equity Capital Markets operating model and served as Global COO for ECM.

Mr. Flynn joined Credit Suisse First Boston in June 2004 from Deutsche Bank, where he worked in bank strategy. Mr. Flynn began his career as a Financial Economist at the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC, working on federal debt financing policy and financial markets initiatives. He also worked on the first redesign of U.S. currency in more than 60 years.

Mr. Flynn holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and undergraduate degrees in Economics and Business Administration from Benedictine College. He lives in Montclair with his wife and three daughters, all recent graduates of MCPK.

Reggie Valentine-Treasurer

Reginald (Reggie) Valentine joined the Montclair Community Pre-K Board of Trustees in 2017 as the Treasurer. He previously lived in Montclair during his "wonder years" between 1976 and 1986, and is a product of the Montclair Public Schools. He recently returned to Montclair with his wife Kara Romeo, and has a daugher, Lillian, currently attending MCPK in Salon 8 (ocho).

Reggie is a SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) Program Consultant leading companies through their portfolio budgeting and technology delivery for companies both small (e.g. Food Network) and Large (e.g. Thomson Reuters) and others in between.

Reggie enjoys applying Agile methodologies in his personal life – he scrummed his wedding, the birth of his baby girl and all family vacations, spending time with his family, contributing to social media, scuba diving, following Depeche Mode and being jolly.

Reggie's motto in life, which he borrowed from Walt "Clyde" Frazier, is "team work makes the dream work".

 Nikki Jones-Secretary

Nikki Jones (she/her) is the Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Konica Minolta, a pioneering technology company. Nikki evangelizes the power of diversity and inclusion to drive change and innovation at work. She is responsible for the diversity and inclusion strategy including the policies and processes that engage employees, elevate awareness and action about equity, and foster a sense of belonging and community at work. Prior to Konica Minolta, Nikki held a variety of marketing and communication leadership roles at publishing companies, partnering with the brightest minds in academia to elevate the brand expression and expand access to high quality learning tools for millions of learners.

Guided by a deep desire to level the playing field, Nikki is a frequent speaker on topics related to education, technology, the future of work, inclusion, and belonging. An HBCU advocate, Nikki is a second-generation graduate of Tuskegee University, where she earned a BS in Marketing. The Nashville, TN native resides in Montclair, New Jersey with husband, Glenn, and daughters, Reese and Maya, both MCPK alumni.


Henry Appiah

Henry Appiah is an experienced organizational leader in the nonprofit and education sector and currently serves in the Director of Operations role for a public charter school in Newark, NJ. Since graduating from Montclair State University and obtaining his Masters in Public Administration from New York University, Henry has remained committed to serving the Montclair Community for over a decade. He is the current Polemarch/President of the Montclair Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. where he has organized a variety of community service projects, directed the Kappa League Mentorship program for high school students and worked with different community stakeholders to facilitate events and activities for the Montclair Community. 


Henry was introduced to the MCPK in 2015 through a close friend and parent of current and former MCPK students. Since then, Henry has supported multiple MCPK initiatives and has facilitated professional development trainings for staff members and teachers. Henry joined the MCPK Board because he truly believes in the impact that MCPK has on children as they prepare to venture into K-12 education and beyond. Henry is excited to use his community building super powers to extend the reach of MCPK throughout the Montclar Community. Henry currently lives in East Orange with his wife, Brittany and their dog, Ollie.

Paul Brubaker

Paul Brubaker is a veteran of New Jersey's media and government arenas, having worked as a senior advisor to two members of Congress and as a news reporter for The Herald News, The Star-Ledger and The Montclair Times. Today, Paul is the creator and host of The Backgrounder Podcast, a weekly series of interviews with the people who make New Jersey the fascinating place that it is, and he works with corporations and nonprofits in using podcasting to reach untapped audiences and markets.

Paul is a lifelong proponent of public education who has taught high school in New York City and New Jersey's affluent suburbs, and he is a firm believer in the importance of early childhood education as a precursor to a child's future academic success. He and his wife, Lynette, have lived in Montclair for 20 years and all three of their children are proud graduates of The Montclair Community Pre-K.

Melba Fidalgo

Melba Fidalgo, mother of Chiara Colino in Classroom 9 this year, has been with Playworks since the inception of their New Jersey program.  She is currently an Engagement Specialist for New York and New Jersey.  Prior to this new role, she supported program for five years--supporting all program staff including the executive team, facilitating the hiring process, ensuring that her region was in compliance with Americorps guidelines and supporting Program events.

David Placek 

David Placek is the Managing Partner of BDP Holdings, his family investment company focused on real estate and restaurant investments. He is an experienced real estate investor/developer with more than 16 years’ experience investing in more than $3.5 billion of real estate throughout the United States. Mr. Placek’s expertise and experience includes the acquisition and development of millions of square feet of commercial property and thousands of units of residential property including developing, investing, financing and rehabilitating mixed-use, retail, office, industrial and multi-family properties in more than 30 states. Mr. Placek has substantial experience with properties having environmental concerns or complicated legal issues and structures. Mr. Placek started his career at Ernst & Young, working in the firm’s Irvine, CA; Sydney, Australia; and New York City offices. He resides in Montclair, NJ with his wife Bridget and their three children – all who have attended MCPK.

Jane Susswein 

Jane Susswein is a founding board member of the Montclair Community Pre-K. She taught kindergarten in Philadelphia and Washington DC, and when she moved back to Montclair served as the adjunct science teacher at Watchung School. She has been PTA co-president at Glenfield School, PTA Council co-president, and was a member of the Civil Rights Commission and the Montclair Board of Education.

Jane is a Montclair native. She and her two daughters went through the Montclair public school. She graduated with a degree in philosophy from Wellesley College and an MAT from Harvard University.

She and her husband, Harvey, have two daughters and four grandchildren. They lived in Montclair for almost 40 years and have recently moved to Verona. 

Dylan Walsh

Dylan Walsh joined the MCPK Board in 2015 after moving to Montclair with his wife, Justine, and oldest son, Jack. Kieran and Winnie arrived shortly thereafter. All three are now proud alums of MCPK and thriving in the Montclair public school system.


Dylan spends most of his time commuting to the City and leading the Corporate & Institutional Banking Practice at Oliver Wyman, a global strategic consulting firm. Before joining Oliver Wyman, Dylan spent several years working in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa as an election observer and program officer for a range of development projects. He developed a passion for early childhood education volunteering at a Head Start program in his native Boston many years ago.


He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington & Lee University and a master’s from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. 

Don Zief

Don Zief was elected to 3 consecutive 4-year terms to the Montclair Township Council and was a member when the Council established the Montclair Community Pre-K in 1997.  Don joined the MCPK board in 2005, after his service to the town ended.  Don is both an attorney and CPA, having graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in English, an MBA from Lehigh University, a JD degree from Rutgers Law School and an LL.M in Taxation from New York University Law School. 

Don started his career with Price Waterhouse and after graduating from law school worked at prominent New York City law firms.  He is now a Senior Consultant at Mazars USA LLP, specializing in the taxation of real estate transactions.  Don and his family have lived in Montclair for over 40 years and his children attended the public pre-K program prior to the established of MCPK in 1997.