Urban League of Essex County Announces New Board Members

The Urban League of Essex County announces the election of four new members to its Board of Trustees. The newly elected Board members were introduced at its Annual Meeting held on January 13, 2023, at the Urban League in Newark, NJ. The new members are Darnell Azeez; Diane Borradaile; David M. Feldman, MD; and Jason C. Grove.

The League’s President and CEO, Vivian Cox Fraser, announced “The League is delighted to welcome this new slate of extraordinary individuals. Their diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise are an asset to the Board and will help to strengthen the organization as a whole”.

Darnell Azeez leads Lord Abbett’s Value Equity team and contributes to the management of the firm’s Dividend strategies. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with experience as an Equity Research Analyst and Director of Public Fund Marketing. He has worked in the financial services industry since 2002, earning his BA in economics and business from Lafayette College.

David M. Feldman, MD is the Director of Advanced Cardiac Medical Therapies at Newark Beth Israel Hospital. An expert in the molecular mechanisms of heart failure, he has helped to set the global standard of care for Heart Failure and Heart Transplant programs. Teaching aspiring health providers at Morehouse College, Dr. Feldman has also conducted extensive research and authored numerous studies on healthcare disparities in cardiac care and their impact on African American communities. Prior to RWJ Barnabas Health, he helped establish the nationally ranked Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, The Ohio State University, and The University of Cincinnati.

Jason C. Grove is a native of Newark and currently serves as Sr. Policy Analyst at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in Government and Community Relations. He manages the Port Department Maritime Community Engagement Center, where he evaluates major capital projects and supports diversity and inclusion initiatives. Before joining the Port Authority, Jason served as Policy Advisor to Mayor Ras J. Baraka. He is a former President of the Urban League of Essex County Young Professionals who holds a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs from the City University of New York-Queens College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University.

The League’s 2023 Board of Trustees:


  • Sherkera S. Green; Board Chair; Executive Market Director, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Perren M. Thomas; Vice Chair; Managing Director, Oppenheimer& Co., Inc.
  • Mark A. Smith; Treasurer; Director of Sales, Bioventus
  • David Williams; Secretary; Director of Sales, Panasonic
  • Rosalyn Charles; Recording Secretary; RC Charles Esquire, LLC
  • Vivian Cox Fraser; President & CEO, Urban League of Essex County


  • Darnell Azeez, Managing Director | Portfolio Manager, Lord Abbett
  • Diane Borradaile, Community Development Finance Specialist
  • Juneisha Burrowes, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Rosalyn C. Charles, Esq.; Attorney at Law, RC Charles Esquire, LLC
  • David Feldman, MD/PHD, FACC, FAHA, Director of Advanced Cardiac Medical Therapies, Newark Beth Israel | RWJ Barnabas Health
  • Michael S. Fleming; Associate, Chasan, Lamparello, Mallon & Cappuzzo, PC
  • Jason Grove, Senior Policy Analyst | Government & Community Relations, Port Authority of NY & NJ
  • Robert T. Ross; Managing Director, Wells Fargo Private Bank
  • Alison T. Saling; Counsel, K&L Gates LLC
  • Mark A. Smith, Sr.; Director of Northeast Sales, Bioventus
  • Dr. Michael Straker, MD; Best Care OB/GYN
  • Perren Thomas, Managing Director, Oppenheimer & Co.
  • Charles Washington, ED.D, MBA, RT(T), FASRT Senior Director, Radiation Oncology. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • David Williams, Senior Sales Manager, Panasonic

About the Urban League of Essex County:

Our mission is to assist African Americans and disadvantaged residents in achieving social and economic self-sufficiency. Founded in 1917 and serving Newark and Essex County for more than 100 years, The League has put thousands on the pathway to quality education, economic opportunities, family financial stability, and their own American dreams.

Learn more at https://ulec.org