Meet the North Fork Women Board of Directors
Click each name to view their bio:
Maria is from Long Island and has been here her whole life. She has shared her life with Laurie Olson since 1994 and got married in 2011 after the marriage equality law passed in NY. They have a home in East Marion within Gardiners Bay Estates that they bought in 2022 after having a condo at Cleaves Point for 17 years and enjoy both the peace and wonder of the North Fork!
Maria’s passion is to be on the water sailing and boating and taking boat trips all along the northeast coast throughout the summer, along with playing golf (or at least trying!) She spent over 28 years in the pharmaceutical industry, in sales, advertising, and medical education. She is currently devoting herself to nonprofit causes such as the Human Rights Campaign, where she helps raise funds for LBGTQ-equality and elect fair-minded local, state, and federal representatives to work for equality and other progressive causes, along with being on the North Fork Women’s Board over the last few years.
She is excited to be part of this wonderful North Fork Women’s group that is so critical to our North Fork lesbian community. This past year, she helped manage the inaugural NFW Golf Pride event bringing together our community, many local sponsors, and local partners, and she’s looking forward to helping with many more events and programs that positively affect our community on the North Fork!
Kikka grew up in Geneva, Switzerland and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BBA in International Business, a BA in French Literature and Special Honors.
Her career as a banker was split between Geneva and New York working for banks such as BNP- PARIBAS, Credit Lyonnais and UBS in their commodities department.
Back in Geneva in 2010, Kikka leveraged her experience to become the Chief Risk Officer at an oil trading company and risk manager at another before choosing in late 2018 to live full time in Cutchogue where she’s owned a house since 2001 with her then partner.
She currently works at Roanoke Vineyards.
Kikka has been involved with NFWFWF since 2001 and looks forward to working with the Board to give back to the community what she considers a unique “safety net” that assists women of the North Fork socially and financially when in need.
Bernadette D. Hoban is a Corporate Vice President with New York Life Insurance Company where she recently celebrated her 40th anniversary. In her spare time, Bernie enjoys spending time with her lovely wife Marianne Kristoff and travels between her hometown of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and Greenport, Long Island. They enjoy with their wonderful dog Nellie, gardening and sailing the east end waters of Long Island.
Bernie is an active member of her Brooklyn and Greenport communities and recently was voted President of the Peconic Bay Estates Homeowners Association in Greenport. She is also the past president of the Friends and Neighbors of Owl’s Head Park Community Group in Brooklyn and is an active member and past board member of the Knickerbocker Gay Sailing Association in NYC.
She has been a NFWFWF supporter for many years and now living in Greenport allows her to be more active with the group. She looks forward to helping advance its mission by being the president-elect of the organization.
Hilary is originally from Long Island and is now a full time resident of Greenport. She shares her home with her spouse, Beth, and two very pampered cats.
Hilary worked as an insurance broker for 25 years with two different companies but she has recently retired. In addition to holding down a corporate job she made time for making art. Hilary is proud to have her artwork in the permanent collections of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum as well as the New York Historical Society.
Hilary is looking forward to reaching out to the artists within our community to encourage their creativity and give them opportunities to shine.
Barbara is a proud native Brooklynite, dividing time between Park Slope and the North Fork with her wife Fran as homeowners since 2007, with continually more time out east.
Starting out as an orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance musician, Barbara later began to realize the importance of music education, particularly elementary level music education, which became her passion.
After 28 years of the joys and exhaustion of teaching in the NYCDOE, retirement led to teaching and inspiring future music educators at NYU Steinhardt and CUNY Queens College (Aaron Copland School of Music).
As president of the Music Educators Association NYC one of Barbara’s main objectives was to enlighten students as to the many facets of music’s true power—being “bringers of joy”, understanding the power of ensemble, music’s power to heal, bringing people together beyond barriers, etc. introducing them to organizations such as Ukulele Kids Club, Music and Memory, among many others. She also organized numerous events bringing colleagues and NYC organizations together in support of their music programs and students.
Barbara is currently a proud member of the steering committee for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, and principal flutist for the Jackson Heights Symphony.
She looks forward to supporting and moving forward with North Fork Women’s vision and great purpose, and collaborating with the truly amazing and dedicated women of the NFW Executive Board.
Chris worked for over 35 years in education, starting her career as a middle school math teacher and retiring as a superintendent of schools in a Nassau County school district.
After retirement Chris and her spouse, Clare Cooper, moved to Northampton, Massachusetts where Chris was an active supporter of The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. The Fund provided leadership development opportunities for women, enabling them to move into prominent roles in public and private organizations.
Chris was also involved with Grow Food Northampton, an organization that owns a 120-acre community farm and manages a large community garden. Chris was on the Board of the Giving Garden that was planted, tended and harvested by volunteers. Each summer the Giving Garden donated hundreds of pounds of vegetables to soup kitchens and food banks in the Northampton area.
Chris, Clare and their wonderful black lab Lily returned to Long Island this summer and purchased a home in Cutchogue. Chris enjoys traveling, cooking, golfing, swimming and is looking forward to buying a kayak in the spring.
Chris is delighted to serve the North Fork lesbian community as a member of the NFWFWF Board.
Kristen was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island. After starting her career on the west coast Kristen decided to come back to New York and has lived in NYC for the past decade. After spending a lot of time on the North Fork, Kristen and partner Jessica, and their pup Stevie, recently moved to Laurel full-time.
Kristen is a seasoned Casting Director and Development Executive with series credits on every major network. She now runs Watercooler Casting with her partner Jessica. At Watercooler, Kristen is responsible for finding, developing, and pitching talent to various networks and production companies as well as overseeing all contract negotiations on behalf of new talent and Watercooler business development.
Prior to casting Kristen was a voice-over agent in Los Angeles where she handled many voices you hear – from The Simpsons to Family Guy to the infamous movie trailer voices and celebrity commercial campaigns.
Kristen is excited to be a part of the NFW Board and hopes to assist the organization by building a safe and healthy community for women on the North Fork.
Eleanor L Thomas: Elly is a native of Long Island and grew up on the Sound. In recent years, she and her partner Rama have fallen in love with Orient and the rediscovery of the north fork spending summers enjoying the community, the sun, beaches and numerous outdoor activities.
Over the prior ten years, Elly and her colleagues work with investment businesses providing outsourced finance and compliance services. Her career has been in financial services in both large and small settings principally holding accounting and operational roles. Elly holds her MBA in Accounting from Bernard Baruch College. She earned her BA at Long Island University and is a CPA. She has held various Board roles over her career span, often in the role of Treasurer.
Elly has been a supporter of North Fork Women since discovering Orient and looks forward to working with a fabulous team of women and community in continuing the good works of the Foundation. Elly is the current President of North Fork Women.