DHIFI Board of Directors

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Meg Zucker

Meg Zucker is the Founder and President of Don’t Hide It Flaunt It (“DHIFI”).  Meg has a genetic condition called, “ectrodactyly” that she passed on to two of her three children.   A lawyer with over twenty years of experience in the field of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism on Wall Street, Meg found her DHIFI calling in 2009 when her oldest son of three children was bullied on the playground in elementary school because of his difference.  Deciding to make “lemonade from lemons,” that experience created an opportunity for Meg to speak to students, teachers and other faculty at schools about the importance of unconditional acceptance of one another.  Fast forward, DHIFI is now a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that, among other things, partners with Scholastic Inc. to create “Flaunt It” related programming in schools.  Also, sharing DHIFI’s mission of empowerment and empathy, Meg has been both published and featured in national magazines (e.g., Parents) and newspapers and featured on television including Today (NBC) and The Learning Channel.  According to Meg: “What makes me, me is that besides the fact I happen to have one finger on each hand, one toe on each foot and shortened forearms, and two of my three children share my condition, I am also allergic to Kiwi.”


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Jamie Engel

Jamie Engel is the VP/Publisher of Custom Content for Scholastic National Partnerships, a division of Scholastic, Inc.  In this role, Jamie oversees development and classroom distribution of standards based education programs designed to engage young students in a particular topic submitted on behalf of a non-profit, government or commercial organizations.  Jamie has spent more than 20 years in the content marketing and media industries working for major publishing houses such as Time Inc., Bonnier Publishing and Conde Nast where he was Associate Publisher of The New Yorker Magazine.  Jamie also serves on the board of ACLD (The Association for Children and Adults with Learning and Developmental Disabilities).  According to Jamie: “What makes makes me, me is the experience of having grown up as the youngest sibling of two mentally disabled  brothers and the ongoing relationship I have with them as adults.”


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Michael Kessel

Michael Kessel is an attorney with 20 years experience advising clients on all aspects of taxation, including not for profit and charitable issues. After leaving the practice of law, Michael joined an investment fund focused on real estate and lending. For the past 15 years, Michael has served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University Business School.  According to Michael:  “What makes me, me is that I am a first generation immigrant and allergic to sulfites.”


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Beth Manes Lax

Beth is an attorney with over twenty years experience whose practice concentrates in Special Education Law, Special Needs Planning, Guardianships and Estate Planning.  Beth frequently speaks at community group meetings and corporate seminars on topics relating to education law and special needs advocacy. Beth is also the Immediate Past President of Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey, Inc., an organization that provides lifetime advocacy for people with special needs.  In 2017, Beth was named a Super Lawyer for Education and Schools.  According to Beth: “What makes me, me is that I am painfully insecure and socially anxious. I live in constant fear of disappointing people, appearing less than competent, or failing in any perceivable way.”


Danielle Mirsky

Danielle Mirsky

Danielle is the Vice President of Marketing for Scholastic, Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leading provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-K to grade 12. Danielle joined Scholastic in 1998 focusing on marketing and strategy across several lines of business. In 2007, Danielle left to start her own marketing firm, DM Direct Marketing, and worked with clients ranging from startup web companies to large corporations. Danielle returned to Scholastic in late 2011 to oversee the marketing, product development and digital initiatives for several educational product lines. Danielle is passionate about the work at Scholastic, where the company’s core mission is promoting literacy and academic achievement. Danielle lives in NJ with her husband, two sons, and her beagle.  According to Danielle: “What makes me, me is my kids have a pronounced stutter. As a mother, you feel their daily challenge to communicate. I reinforce to them that what we say is more important than how we say it. And they have taught me how to talk less and listen more.”


Jill van Dyk

Jill van Dyk

Jill van Dyk moved to Southern California from Houstom, TX in 1983 and established a successful career in marketing and advertising.  She began at Chiat Day Advertising and subsequently worked for two subsidiaries of Interpublic Group, before spending a number of years at boutique agencies including The Motta Company, where she was an account supervisor serving in high end real estate development. Jill also actively volunteers in a number of capacities for local schools in CA, as well as supporting her husband’s efforts in outreach to patients battling blood cancer. When time permits, she can be found attending bootcamp on the beach or hanging out at the Santa Monica Pier with her kids.  She lives in west Los Angeles, CA with her husband Nick, daughter Parker, son Carson and two cats Jasper and Bullwinkle. According to Jill: “What makes me, me is I am a mother who is a passionate advocate of my daughter, a young lady who was born with a genetic retinal disorder called cone dystrophy, which has resulted in her near blindness.”


John Zucker

John Zucker

John is an attorney in New Jersey focusing on Elder Law (guardianship, long-term care planning and special needs).  Prior to joining a law practice, John worked in public affairs and crisis communications at an international public relations firm in New York.  He has a background in public policy having spent several years working as a policy advisor on Capitol Hill and later for the Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League.  His public policy experience focused on advancing human rights and promoting tolerance and respect for people’s differences, domestically and internationally.  According to John: “My difference probably lies more in my role as husband and father of individuals who wear their physical differences on their sleeves and therefore will have very different life experiences than I had. Oh, and I was born with only three lower front teeth instead of four. So there’s that. ”