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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Friendship Circle is guided by a 15-member Board of Directors, comprised of a diverse group of medical professionals, philanthropists, executives, and community leaders, each committed to the mission of the organization.

Julie Ostrovsky - Nevada Justice Association

Board Chair

Julie has been with NJA since January 2005. She runs the Las Vegas office and oversees all southern member activities, services, and CLE in addition to member services, recruitment, and retention. She is a community liaison, creating and maintaining relationships with our business partners and friends. She is also the Director for a local nonprofit Autism Community Trust.

Nechama Harlig – Director

Board Member

Nechama grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She went to school in Yeshivas Achei Temimim of Pittsburgh and continued her education in Beis Chana Teacher’s Seminary in Tzfat Israel. She is a dynamic teacher and educator connecting with her pupils from preschool through high school. She has been working with the special needs’ community since a very young age when her youngest sister Bracha was born with downs syndrome. Throughout the years, she has been involved with the Friendship Circle in Pittsburgh, helping at various programs including a head counselor for their winter camp. Her passion lies in reaching out to and advocating for families of children with disabilities. Through Friendship Circle here in Las Vegas she hopes to help create genuine and long-lasting friendships to last a lifetime.

Rabbi Levi Harlig – Executive Director

Board Member

Rabbi Levi was born in Las Vegas and received his education in Yeshivas in Chicago, IL & Detroit, MI. He commenced his Rabbinic studies and received his Rabbinic certification in Morristown, NJ. He went on to mentor students in schools abroad including London, England and Montreal, Canada. He is the Rabbi at the Chabad Center on Las Vegas Blvd. as well as the Director of Programming for Chabad of Greater Las Vegas. Rabbi Levi is also a chaplain at multiple Treatment and Addiction Centers as well as Behavioral Health Hospitals, providing supportive spiritual and educational services for clients in need. His passion and insight for the local special needs’ community helps him guide, lead, and raise the critical and necessary funds for the Friendship Circle.

Jill Applebaum-Strasfeld

Board Member

Jill Applebaum moved to Las Vegas from New York City in 2016. She’s had a 20 year career in nonprofit administration with expertise in finance, business development, event planning, and human resource management. She honed her skills at some of New York City’s premiere healthcare and academic institutions, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center, and New York University. Jill earned a B.S. in Health Policy Administration from The Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Public Administration from New York University. She currently lives in Summerlin with her husband Eli and their prodigy puppy Einstein.

Billy Bayne - Peccole Management

Board Member

William Bayne is a fourth generation Nevadan and long time real estate executive in the state. He is the president of Peccole Management and Consulting, a real estate holding and management company, as well as the current and former owner of several restaurants. He holds a B.S. in Economics from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He also serves as president of the board of Zion’s Youth Symphony and Orchestra. William is a happily married father of six children.

Sam Cherry – Cherry Development

Board Member

Sam is responsible for the transformation of downtown Las Vegas. Sam has purposefully built a company that is known not only for its innovation, but also for its honesty, integrity, and dedication to doing truly great work. This philosophy first took shape as SOHO Lofts, the first residential high-rise to redefine the Downtown skyline. Soho Lofts are comprised of a 16 story, 120 Unit solid concrete structure with elegant and modern art deco finishes. Some of his other projects include ShareDowntown with 63 residential units and retail on the ground floor, located in the heart of the Arts District. Newport Lofts, The Lady Silvia, Pop Up Pizza, Beer Garden, Resnicks Grocery and more.

Alexander Jariv - Sage Digital Agency

Board Member

Laurie Kelman – Odyssey Charter High School

Board Member

Laurie has a master’s in educational administration and has over 40 years of experience in teaching and education. She was an administrator in Broward County and has helped with professional development of teachers, a facilitator for special education projects as well as special education legal compliance in the Clark County School District.

Henry Lichtenberger - Sklar Williams Law

Board Member

Henry E. Lichtenberger practices primarily securities, corporate, real estate, and franchising law. Mr. Lichtenberger was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the “Red’s” restaurant chain, special securities counsel for AutoNation, Inc., and previously practiced law at Proskauer Rose LLP and as a staff attorney for the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lichtenberger is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Texas Southern University School of Law, where he was the Business Editor of the Texas Southern Law Review and received a B.S. Degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He is a member of the Nevada, Florida, and Pennsylvania bars.

Phil Patent – Coffee Bean Las Vegas

Board Member

Philip Patent is the former president and chief operating officer of a pair of synergistic franchise eateries — FC Juice Partners LLC and Las Vegas Coffee Investors LLC. He has been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years, previously serving in leadership roles with Cafe Tostino’s and Lyons Restaurants. Patent’s knowledge and expertise have helped to establish Jamba Juice and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf franchises throughout Las Vegas and into parts of California.

Michael Poura - Total Property Management

Board Member

Michael graduated from the National University School of Business and has over 25 years of experience in the retail and sales industry. He owns and operates high-end retail locations throughout the states of California, Nevada, and Washington. His entrepreneurship continued into property management as well as purchasing of residential and commercial properties. Michael and his family are very charitable and community oriented.

Steve Riback - Las Vegas Metro Police

Board Member

Steve Riback currently works as a Lieutenant for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. With over 23 years on the job, his assignments have included Patrol, Jail Corrections, DARE, General Investigations, Quality Assurance, Violent Crimes, Undercover Vice, and Sexual Assault. Steve is married with three children and resides in Las Vegas.

Rolando Rodriguez


For over 30 years, Rolando Damian Rodriguez has been leading fundraising campaigns and creating new revenue streams for humanitarian causes. He has created, launched and managed various Board of Directors and dozens of innovative programs while generating over $200 million in revenue for worthy causes.

Dr. Lisa Rosenberg – Southwest Medical Associates

Board Member

Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, MD is a Geriatric and Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialist in Las Vegas, NV and has over 25 years of diverse experiences in the medical field. She graduated from University of Florida 1992 and graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine in 1996. She currently serves as Medical Director of Southwest Medical Hospice and OptumCare Palliative Care and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area.

Mark Sherman – Mark Sherman CPA

Board Treasurer

Mark Sherman has owned Sherman CPA for 26 years. After graduating from the California State University at Northridge, Mark spent four years working for the nationwide accounting firm BDO Seidman. He then moved into industry handling corporate banking for Avery Dennison Corporation, managing the accounting of a nursery, and finally working as the Controller/CFO for Steel Engineers Incorporated. To keep up with the growing demand for his expertise, he opened his own accounting firm. He particularly enjoys structuring businesses to minimize what his clients must pay the IRS, and also represents them if they do receive an audit notice.

Steven Cohen - Sunder Energy

Board Member

Steven is the Co-Founder of Sunder Energy, one of the largest solar sales companies in the country. He is responsible for leading over 300 sales reps who are bringing renewable energy to homeowners across the country and helps aspiring entrepreneurs by providing opportunities to learn how to elevate their lives financially. Steven is currently living in Southwest Las Vegas with his girlfriend and two cats.