The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

— Mahatma Gandhi

The Half Percent Project

Our Devoted Team

Patricia Lenkov


Patricia Lenkov

President, Agility Executive Search LLC

Patricia Lenkov is widely regarded as a thought leader on board recruiting, corporate governance, composition, and succession. Patricia founded Agility Executive Search in 2008. She left the firm from January 2019 through May 2020 to become a Senior Managing Director at Teneo, a global CEO advisory firm. She recently returned to run Agility 2.0! Agility Executive Search specializes in corporate board and senior-level executive search. To date, Patricia has conducted over 350 board searches for corporate clients, as well as, having worked with some of the world’s leading activist investors to recruit board directors. In 2018, Agility Executive Search was named as one of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” by Forbes and was included in the Hunt Scanlon “New York Power 60” List.

Previously, Patricia was a member of the board of director’s practice at Spencer Stuart for four years, and prior to that, she spent six and a half years with Heidrick & Struggles where she conducted board and senior-level search assignments for Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to her work in the executive search field, Patricia worked for a Silicon-Valley based company, where she was the Regional Sales Manager for the province of Québec (Canada). Earlier in her career, she held the role of Assistant Director of the MBA Program at Concordia University where she was also an Adjunct Professor. During her time at Concordia University, the MBA Program was ranked 4th in Canada by Canadian Business Magazine.

Patricia is an active member of the Women and Leadership Advisory Council at Concordia University and is on the Advisory Board of, the world’s largest online boardroom community. Previously, she was a member of the Family Advisory Council of the Komansky Center for Children’s Health at New York- Presbyterian Hospital Weil Cornell Medical Center and the New York Steering Committee of 2020 Women on Boards. Patricia is an active contributor to She holds a BA, with distinction, in psychology from McGill University and an MBA from Concordia University.

Patricia has been a long-time advocate for animal welfare and has supported numerous animal welfare organizations since the 1980’s when she spent seven years as a Volunteer Adoption Consultant at the SPCA in Montreal. Her “fur children” are Milo and Stella who are Havanese and Egg, a Zebra Finch.

Board Members

Alissa M. Ahlman

Alissa M. Ahlman

Former Chief Merchandising Officer and Former Chief Design Officer at At Home Group Inc.

Alissa M. Ahlman has served as a Director of The Half Percent Project since September 2020. Ms. Ahlman also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, a national publicly traded retailer.

Ms. Ahlman was most recently the Chief Merchandising Officer and Chief Design Officer for At Home Group Inc., a high growth, national big box value retailer specializing in home décor, furniture and seasonal products. Ms. Ahlman joined Garden Ridge in March 2008, prior to its rebranding to At Home in 2014. Ms. Ahlman was responsible for the merchandise transformation at At Home and was part of the executive leadership team that rebranded Garden Ridge to At Home, including its IPO in 2016. Ms. Ahlman held various progressive roles in Merchandising & Merchandise Planning until her retirement from At Home in December 2018. 

Prior to At Home, Ms. Ahlman was the VP of Planning & Allocation for 99¢ Only Stores, a publicly traded off-price grocery and general merchandise retail chain. Prior to that, Ms. Ahlman held various roles in discount and off-price retail, including Financial Planning, Buying, Merchandising, Marketing, Transportation and IT.

Ms. Ahlman was selected to serve on our Board due to her 20-year experience retail, her extensive Merchandising, Marketing and Strategic Planning knowledge, as well as her strong overall financial business acumen.

Natalie Benderly

Natalie Benderly

Consultant, Accenture Strategy

Natalie is a Consultant for Accenture Strategy. Her focus has been on large scale, enterprise- wide transformations in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry. 

Natalie supports the Half Percent Project on their internal strategy. In addition, she supports their work to identify the best board members for their animal welfare clients. Natalie has been active for years in various non-profit organizations. Most recently, she has served as a member of The Forest, Robin Hood Foundation's Young Professional Advisory Council, for 3 years.

She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Neuroscience and Entrepreneurship. She now lives in New York City.

Joelle M. Denham

Joelle M. Denham

Chief Financial Officer, Bulfinch

Joelle brings 20 years of commercial real estate experience and prior to joining Bulfinch was a Vice President at AEW Capital Management L.P. overseeing accounting, performance measurement and reporting for retail, multifamily, office and industrial/development accounts worth $4.3 billion in gross property value. During her tenure at AEW, Joelle held an array of financial and leadership responsibilities working with various groups including acquisitions, asset management, treasury, accounting and financial reporting, to name a few.

Prior to joining AEW in 2008, she held positions at DiCicco, Gulman & Company, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen, all public accounting firms providing audit and tax services, where she was responsible for overseeing financial audits and tax returns of real estate clients. She is a graduate of Bentley University (B.S.) in Accounting and a minor in Computer Science. 

Recently, Joelle received the award of Outstanding Women of 2022 from the Boston Real Estate Times for leadership and mentoring in the Commercial Real Estate industry. 

Joelle has always been an animal welfare advocate and has been volunteering with Little Paws Dachshund Rescue since 2015. She lives just north of Boston with her husband and mini long-haired dachshunds, Eclair and Chase. During her spare time, she enjoys retro arcade games, golfing, skiing, gardening, cooking and watching the Patriots.

Robert Hetu

Robert Hetu

Managing Director and Head of Underwriting, GIP Credit, Global Infrastructure Partners

Robert Hetu is a Managing Director and Head of Underwriting for GIP Credit, the credit division of Global Infrastructure Partners, a global private equity firm specializing in infrastructure investment. He coordinates and leads all aspects of the execution process for investments by GIP Credit funds. Prior to joining GIP, he was the Head of the US Private Debt for Caisse de Depot et Placements du Quebec. Previous experience also includes Credit Suisse where he spent 20 years, most recently as a Managing Director in Corporate Lending.

He was Senior Manager, Structured Finance at Société Generale Canada in Montreal, and began his career in commercial banking at RBC in Quebec. Mr. Hetu has a Bachelor of Laws degree from Université de Montréal, as well as an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. Robert is a graduate of Ivey School of Business, Western University, and is an undergraduate of the University of Montreal in Canada.

Robert has been active for years in various non-profit organizations. Most recently, he was a board member and Chair of the Finance Committee for the New York Common Pantry, a food pantry and soup kitchen based in New York City. He was also a volunteer mentor for American Corporate Partners, an organization dedicated to assisting veterans in improving their careers after their military service.


Elisabeth Röhm

Actress, Director, Producer, and Author

Elisabeth Röhm was recently in the 2019 Roger Ailes biopic BOMBSHELL for Lionsgate and director Jay Roach, portraying Fox News host Martha MacCallum, and will be seen in the upcoming Ted Melfi Netflix film THE STARLING opposite Melissa McCarthy. Lis starred this summer in the Lifetime film SLEEPING WITH DANGER. 

Elisabeth just premiered her directorial debut, GIRL IN THE BASEMENT for Lifetime which broke records with extraordinary numbers and is streaming on all platforms currently. She has a slate of movies in development at the network. The second film that she directed SWITCHED BEFORE BIRTH premiered on October 23rd with AE networks. She is set to star and direct in a film based on the book Nurturing Healing Love by Scarlett Lewis, and is developing a project alongside Barry Josephson and Michael Chernuchin based upon Michael’s father, a clinical psychologist. Elisabeth is slated to direct her first feature for Netflix in 2022. 

Elisabeth previously co-starred in David O. Russell’s JOY opposite Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. This was her second collaboration with David following the huge success of AMERICAN HUSTLE in which she had a pivotal role opposite Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams (the film won numerous accolades for its ensemble cast including the coveted SAG Award and both films were nominated for Oscars.)

Elisabeth also had a key role in TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES opposite Jennifer Garner for IFC Films and Relativity Media. Other notable film credits include TRAFFICKED with Ashley Judd and GOING UNDER opposite Bruce Willis and Jason Momoa.

Elisabeth also has a rich body of work in the television space notably starring as “Serena Southerlyn” in the Emmy award-winning LAW &ORDER for five seasons and “Kate Lockley” on The WB series ANGEL. More recently, Elisabeth co-starred with Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q on STALKER for CBS and starred opposite Eric Dane on THE LAST SHIP for TNT and Michael Bay. She also had memorable arcs on Will Arnett’s Netflix series FLAKED, CBS's HAWAII FIVE-0, and The CW hit show JANE THE VIRGIN.

She currently hosts a weekly ‘Lunch with Lis’ chat on IGTV with a diverse set of celebrity guests that PEOPLE Magazine touted as the chat to listen to. Elisabeth is a philanthropist and activist and is the co-founder of THE RESPECT PROJECT which is a thought forum that elicits honest conversation between diverse panelists and attendees on the essential topics of the time with the goal of inspiring respect of others in a diverse and complex world all while building community. Visit

Elisabeth is in development with Lauren Grace Media on REDEFINING JUSTICE co-hosted by Detective Rod Dennery where they examine injustice in marginalized communities .

Elisabeth is the founder Rohm Glatzer Productions.

Dan Zelem

Dan Zelem

Former Chief Technology Officer, Johnson & Johnson

For over twenty-five years Dan Zelem has been a transformational leader in Health Care Technology. Dan was most recently with Johnson & Johnson where he served as Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO) until July 2018. As CTO, he had responsibility for Infrastructure Services and Application Development. He was instrumental in leading many large-scale breakthrough technology initiatives, including delivering one of the most significant Digital and Cloud transformations ever performed in life sciences.

At Medco, an industry leading Pharmacy Benefit Manager, he held positions of increasing responsibilities, culminating in being named CIO. During his tenure he delivered analytic products and platforms that were marketplace disruptors and differentiators for Medco. He was also led the build and deployment of, a $6B channel for on-line prescription ordering, and an industry first.

Dan is currently providing technology advisory services to corporations, technology vendors and service providers with focus on digital and cloud transformations. In April 2019, he was retained by McKinsey and Company as a Sr. Advisor in support of Digital and Cloud transformation engagements.

He is a past board member of National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and Mercy College and joined the board of Volunteer New York in June of this year. Dan is also an avid supporter of numerous Animal Welfare organizations.

Dan resides in Upstate New York with his wife Nancy and their two rescue dogs, Rudy and Effie.



Katie Duquette

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

Katie is a Stay at Home Mom who lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, two sons, and fur kids, Doug and Karl. She graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Health and Physical Education followed by a Masters's Degree in Childhood Special Education from The City College of New York.

Katie began her self-taught Social Media career in 2015 while working as a Sales Associate for The Care Connection. The Care Connection is an organization whose mission is to help new and expectant Mothers in Western New York through education, products, and services. Her Social Media role helped to bring awareness to families in need of support. By creating engaging and interesting content, Katie helped to bring more customers to the store as well as increase followers through various platforms.

Being a part of The Half Percent Project has been a very rewarding experience for Katie as it brings together two things she is passionate about; social media and animal welfare.  Katie is an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay and enjoys listening to audiobooks, photography, baking, and volunteering with Nickel City Canine Rescue.


Lydia Mitchelson

Digital Content

Lydia is a word-oriented, user-experience professional in Buffalo, NY. She graduated with a degree in Romance Languages and Linguistics from Middlebury College and a Masters in Specialized Translation from the University of Córdoba, Spain. She began her career in localization, providing translated software in the enterprise content and healthcare industries. These days, she uses her language expertise to help create people-centered experiences for M&T Bank.

Lydia has volunteered at shelters, as a paw pal and Foster mom. In 2017, she foster-failed her pup Ormond and has been having adventures with him since. In the summer of 2021, she began volunteering with the Half Percent Project, helping with their website content.

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