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We’re Extending
Our Reach

What does a Believer do?

  • Provide guidance on our campaign plan and general fundraising efforts
  • Share their talents and expertise to guide the agency’s development
  • Open doors to people in their network who can help us achieve our goals
  • Make a commitment to support our financial goals

Our Growing Board of Believers:


Emma Cookson
Board of Believers
Branding/Communications Strategist

Emma is a branding/communication strategist who – as CEO, then Chairman – has helmed the New York office of one of the world’s most creative advertising agencies, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH). Her brand experience has stretched from jeans to luxury cars to deodorant to browsers, and along the way she has been recognized as one of the industry’s more prominent female leaders: one of AdAge’s ‘100 Most Influential Women in Advertising’ and Business Insider’s ’30 Most Powerful Women in Advertising’. Emma’s commitment to YGB! and her enthusiasm for her BOB role stem from witnessing the near-miraculous transformation of the lives of young people that YGB! brings about.


Christine deKlerk
Board of Believers
IT Professional / Adoptive Parent

Christine worked in Information Technology for 14 years at General Electric. During that time, she held a variety of IT roles including Director of Finance, Risk and Operations Systems. Christine graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Fairfield University and she completed her MBA at the University of Connecticut. Now Christine is a stay at home mom of two adopted sons. “I am so blessed to have my 2 sons and to be able to be home with them. I miss professional work and YGB allows me to give back to a cause that I am passionate about!”


Jon deKlerk
Board of Believers
Performance Equity Executive

Mr. deKlerk is the Chief Operating Officer of Performance Equity. Prior to joining Performance Equity, Mr. deKlerk was the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Vice President of General Motors Investment Management (GMIMCo). He previously served General Motors Investment Management as the director of investment, accounting, trade and plan sponsor operations. Prior to joining General Motors Investment Management in 1999, Mr. deKlerk worked for GE Investments Corporation in a variety of capacities, including as a Structured Equities Program Trader, Manager of Trading Operations, Regulatory Analyst and Mutual Fund Analyst. He attained a GE Master Black Belt and introduced Six Sigma quality control at GE Investments Corporation. He began his career in the financial services sector with State Street Bank & Trust. Mr. deKlerk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


William Reihl
Board of Believers
Marketing Executive

William (Bill) Reihl has been positioning, defending and supporting brands for more than 20 years. As managing director of the global brand marketing practice at Ketchum his charge is to drive agency growth by identifying market opportunities and addressing client needs, developing the expertise of the agency’s talent, establishing relationships with key influencers and differentiating Ketchum through innovative products and offerings and thought leadership. Bill joined Ketchum from Weber Shandwick where he served in a variety of roles including EVP, Global Client Services; EVP, Global Consumer Marketing and EVP and General Manager of the Los Angeles office. Specializing in cross-channel integrated planning, Bill has worked with brands such as Samsung, Nestle, Nespresso, MasterCard, General Motors, Weight Watchers, Excedrin Migraine, Arm & Hammer and Schick Razors, among others.

Diggi Thomson

Diggi Thomson
Board of Believers/Former Board President
Chief Connector – the Dot Connectors

Diggi is the owner of The Dot Connectors, a training and facilitation consultancy that specializes in marketing communications and client agency collaboration. Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland his father and mother were heavily involved in non-profit work in their spare time and so it was only natural that at some point it would play a large role in Diggi’s life as well. Initially he got involved with You Gotta Believe in 2010 through a friend of a friend who worked there and was looking for some marketing advice.

“It is tremendously rewarding work supporting the staff in the extraordinary and transformational work they do. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a close, loving family that has supported me through my ups and downs in life, so I’m passionate about doing what I can to help You Gotta Believe scale up its operations so that all youth in foster can have the opportunity of experiencing that too.”





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