Board of Directors

Marisol Thomas Marisol Thomas is Co-founder and President of Sidewalk Angels Foundation. In this capacity, Marisol is the driving force behind the foundation’s fundraising and advocacy initiatives in support of animal sanctuaries, homeless shelters, and children’s hospitals across the United States.Over the past few years, Marisol has overseen two successful, large-scale benefits, which raised over $500,000 combined. She also played an integral role in developing and launching the Sidewalk Angels Foundation – Summer 2010 Tour featuring her husband and GRAMMY Award-winning artist Rob Thomas. The 16-city, stripped-down acoustic affair raised an additional $500,000 for the foundation.Marisol serves on the Board of Directors of all three divisions of Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter with locations in Middletown, NY, Westchester, NY and Puerto Rico. A fervent advocate of animal rights, she has worked with Pets Alive and other animal advocacy groups to conduct major animal rescues throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Most recently, she played a vital role in the launch of Pets Alive Puerto Rico, a rescue project that is working with residents in moving the local culture towards progressive and lasting permanent change in the humane treatment of animals. Marisol and Rob made a personal gift of $125,000 and another of $225,000 through their Sidewalk Angels Foundation, helping to make the project launch possible.

Prior to her work with Sidewalk Angels Foundation, Marisol was a fashion and beauty model signed to Wilhelmina Models in New York City, having appeared on runway and in print. She has appeared on television as a guest correspondent for Extra; a guest vee-jay on VH1; and host of InStyle Weddings on ABC. She is also co-founder of Pendencia Films, Inc., which released the music documentary titled My Secret Record; or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Biz, and is currently developing several other projects.

A native New Yorker, Marisol holds a B.S. degree in Marketing from St. John’s University in New York. She currently lives in Bedford, NY, with her husband, Rob, and their two rescues, a Pomeranian named Samy and a terrier mix named Oliver, both of whom were preceded by the household’s “original angel,” Tyler, who’s life and spirit continue to inspire the work of the foundation.

Rob Thomas Rob Thomas is the Co-founder and Vice-president of Sidewalk Angels Foundation. Over the last few years, Rob has been a part of planning and also performed at two successful, large-scale benefits, which raised over $500,000 combined. He also hit the road for the Sidewalk Angels Foundation – Summer 2010 Tour. The 16-city, stripped-down acoustic affair raised an additional $500,000 for the foundation.Rob serves on the Board of Directors of all three divisions of Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter with locations in Middletown, NY, Westchester, NY and Puerto Rico. Rob and Marisol made a personal gift of $125,000 and another of $225,000 through their Sidewalk Angels Foundation, helping to make Pets Alive Puerto Rico possible.

Rob is a singer songwriter who has enjoyed success as the front man for the award winning, multi-platinum group Matchbox Twenty as well as a multi-platinum, Grammy award winning solo artist. He has written songs for many huge artists, including Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Mary J. Blige, Seal and Santana.

Originally from South Carolina, Rob has lived in New York with his wife Marisol for over 14 years. They share their life with their two rescues, Samy and Oliver, who make every day something to look forward to.

Maria Maldonado Maria Maldonado (Secretary) As Secretary, Mrs. Maldonado spearheads all donations and fundraising efforts and manages the relationships with all of the foundation’s beneficiaries. She also manages the foundation’s social network sites, Twitter and Facebook and all emails to the foundation. A lifelong New Yorker, Mrs. Maldonado worked for 21 years as legal secretary at Rucigay & Rucigay, Esq., in Queens, NY, and currently, spends a couple days of the week volunteering at Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, NY. Mrs. Maldonado resides in Katonah, NY, with her husband Gilbert and her dog, Fox. Her cat of many years (17yrs) Calvin passed away a year ago. She adopted a special needs/FIV+ cat named Gretchen from Pets Alive, but she too passed away a couple of months ago. Her biggest goal, as a representative of Sidewalk Angels, is to see this nation truly become a “no kill nation”.
Greg Prato Greg Prato (Treasurer) has the role of managing financial affairs for Sidewalk Angels. The owner and President of Prato Capital Management in White Plains, NY, Gregory uses his nearly twenty years of expertise to manage and best deploy assets of the organization.  In the not for profit world, Gregory has established his credentials through his volunteer work with such organizations as the Women’s Club of White Plains (New York), St. Pius X Church, Scarsdale, NY and the Veterans of Foreign Wars as past treasurer for a local chapter. A graduate of Pace University, New York with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, Gregory spent twenty-three years as an active and reserve duty pilot in the US Air Force, retiring as a Major after having been decorated for his service in the Persian Gulf War.  Prior to starting Prato Capital Management in early 2003, Gregory spent nearly 10 years as a retail broker and Vice-President with Merrill Lynch.  A native of Armonk, NY, he currently resides in White Plains, NY with his wife Bernadette, their three children (Christian, Juliette, and Dominique) 2 dogs (Banjo and Ruby ) and rescue cats Mittens and Marmalade.
Melissa Maldonado Melissa Lopez Maldonado (Director) co-manages social media marketing for the foundation. A six-year veteran of the publishing industry, Ms. Lopez Maldonado currently works as a production editor for global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. She has brought a number of titles to market by high-profile authors such as top-tier Wall Street traders and leading academics. She also regularly volunteers with New York Cares and consults as a mentor for the Teak Fellowship of New York City. Ms. Lopez Maldonado holds a B.A from the University of Central Florida and an M.A. from New York University. She resides in Edgewater, NJ, with her husband and fellow Director, Jeff Maldonado.
Jeff Maldonado Jeff Maldonado (Director) brings close to a decade of consumer marketing and business communications experience to Sidewalk Angels Foundation. He manages the marketing and communication strategy, and co-manages social media marketing, for the foundation. Mr. Maldonado is currently a public relations manager and digital strategist for Verizon Communications. Prior to this role, he served as a brand and multicultural marketing manager for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Mr. Maldonado holds a B.A. from Stetson University and an M.S. from New York University. He resides in Edgewater, NJ, with his wife and fellow Director, Melissa Lopez Maldonado.
Michael Lippmann Michael Lippman (Director) provides strategic and logistical leadership for all Sidewalk Angels Foundation events, spearheading all negotiating and deal making. Mr. Lippman’s management company, Lippman Entertainment, is positioned at the center of all aspects of the music business, boasting a diverse client roster that maximizes opportunity through ever-changing trends while minimizing the risk of being completely focused on one genre. Hailed as an innovator in negotiating entertainment contracts, his advice is often sought after by his colleagues. Mr. Lippman’s intuitiveness for brokering diverse talents and commitment to the success of a project is renowned and maintains his broad power base within the industry. In addition to representing top producers and songwriters, his current client list includes Rob Thomas, matchbox twenty, Bernie Taupin, and George Michael. Mr. Lippman and his wife, Nancy, own Great Oaks Ranch & Vineyard in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, where they produce award winning wine and Mr. Lippman fulfills his dream of being a cowboy by raising and competing championship quarter horses.

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