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Advising Nonprofit Organizations 2016


Speaker(s): Amarah Sedreddine, Dennis J. Morrone, CPA, Jason R. Lilien, Pamela A. Mann, Sean Delany, Shveta Kakar
Recorded on: Jun. 3, 2016
PLI Program #: 150312

Amarah Sedreddine is a founding partner of Sedreddine & Whoriskey, LLP, a boutique law firm focused exclusively on serving nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and mission-driven businesses.  

Amarah represents and counsels a wide variety of organizations, including both public charities and private foundations, as well as mission-driven for-profit businesses, at all stages of development and operation. She provides comprehensive legal counsel and strategic guidance to her clients, advising on a wide range of tax, regulatory, governance, employment and general corporate and transactional matters.  She is informed in this work by her extensive expertise advising nonprofit organizations developed over the course of her career in the public sector.   Prior to her work as a founding partner of Sedreddine & Whoriskey, LLP, Amarah served as outside corporate counsel to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a philanthropic organization that administers over $200 million annually in grantmaking, worldwide, as special counsel and assistant general counsel at the Vera Institute of Justice, and as associate general counsel at The New York Community Trust. 

She commenced her legal career in private practice at Morrison & Foerster, LLP and Mann Legal Group, LLC, where she focused her work on tax-exempt organizations.

Amarah graduated from Princeton University in 1998 and New York University School of Law in 2004, and returned to NYU Law in 2012 to serve as co-faculty of its Business Law and Transactions Clinic, supervising the work of third-year law students providing pro bono legal services to tax-exempt organizations.  She is a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Nonprofit Organizations Committee and is admitted to practice in New York.


Dennis is the Partner-in-Charge of Grant Thornton’s National Not-for-Profit & Higher Education Audit Practices.  Prior to joining Grant Thornton LLP in May of 2002, Dennis was previously part of Arthur Andersen LLP’s Metro New York Not-For-Profit Practice.

Dennis has served the full spectrum of not-for-profit organizations, including institutions of higher education, foundations, cultural institutions, religious organizations, associations, and social services organizations, many of which operate on a national and international scale.

Dennis received his B.S. degree, cum laude, in Accounting from Villanova University.  Dennis has been a frequent speaker at various not-for-profit and higher education industry forums, including the AICPA, NJCPA, Practicing Law Institute, state societies of CPAs, NACUBO, and EACUBO. He has led and created numerous training sessions on a full range of not-for-profit accounting and auditing topics as well as OMB Circular A-133 (now Uniform Guidance) for firm staff as well as the not-for-profit industry. Dennis is a member of the FASB’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC) and has represented Grant Thornton on the AICPA’s Center for Government Audit Quality (GAQC). Dennis is a member of Grant Thornton’s National Not-for-Profit Leadership Team. He has written extensively for Grant Thornton’s Not-for-Profit Industry letters, the Not-for-Profit Times and several other industry publications. 

He is a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey, New York, and Washington D.C. and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. 


Jason Lilien serves as co-chair of the firm's Tax-Exempt Organizations Practice. He advises clients throughout the nonprofit sector on matters concerning corporate governance, compliance with state and federal nonprofit laws and regulations, internal investigations, regulatory enforcement actions, corporate transactions, nonprofit formation, charitable fundraising, and cause marketing.

A former Bureau Chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Mr. Lilien oversaw New York’s more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations and developed legislation and regulatory initiatives that serve as national models. As head of the largest state charities regulatory office in the country, Mr. Lilien was responsible for bringing nationally prominent enforcement actions. He also led efforts to resolve some of New York’s most high-profile and complex trust and estate matters, including the settlements of the hotly contested Huguette Clark and Brooke Astor estates, which collectively provided hundreds of millions of dollars to charities supporting education, the arts, and other causes.

Mr. Lilien was principal author of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013, which spearheaded the most comprehensive reform of New York’s nonprofit laws since they were enacted in the 1960s. In 2012, he drafted best practices for cause marketing that were adopted by some of the country’s most prominent charities and that have become a national model. Mr. Lilien also authored key provisions of the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (NYPMIFA) — the New York version of the national Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) — which governs how nonprofits can invest and utilize their endowments.

Mr. Lilien has worked on various initiatives that have furthered the development of corporate governance best practices. He has also been a national thought leader on these subjects, having written numerous articles and publications and having frequently appeared as a speaker at national conferences. He has served as a member of numerous boards, including on the board of directors of the National Association of State Charity Officials, and served as a commissioner on the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Blue Ribbon Commission on the Role of the Board in Corporate Strategy.

A lifelong New Yorker, Mr. Lilien was instrumental in the formation of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the not-for-profit entity established to finance, own, and operate the official Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. He served, pro bono, as its counsel to the board, treasurer, and secretary from the entity’s inception in 2003 until he was chosen to head the Charities Bureau. Mr. Lilien was also actively involved in the establishment of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the state-city agency charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, and served as pro bono counsel to the board.


Pamela A. Mann is Chair of the Tax Exempt Organizations Group in the firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, with a practice concentrated in the representation of tax-exempt organization.  She is counsel to numerous public charities and private foundations and advises clients in a wide range of governance, regulatory, tax, and general corporate matters.  From 1996 to December 2012, she was the principal in the Mann Legal Group, LLC, a boutique law practice serving tax-exempt organizations.  From 1985 to 1995, Ms. Mann was Chief of the Charities Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office, directing scores of important cases and initiatives and influencing the adoption of significant legislative changes affecting tax exempt organizations.  Her diverse background includes clinical teaching at Rutgers University School of Law’s Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the litigation of employment discrimination and other employment related matters at the National Employment Law Project.

Ms. Mann has been recognized in New York Magazine’s Best Lawyers in New York and in Super-Lawyers Magazine in the category of lawyers specializing in Nonprofit/Charities Law.  Ms. Mann was Chair of the Committee on Nonprofit Organizations of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1998-2001 and has served as President and Vice-President of the National Association of State Charities Officials.  She has written many articles for professional and lay publications and is a frequent lecturer on non-profit issues.  She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  More information about the Tax Exempt Organizations practice at Carter Ledyard & Milburn is available at www.clm.com.


Sean Delany is the Executive Director at Lawyers Alliance for New York, Inc., the leading provider of pro bono business legal services to community development organizations and other nonprofit groups in New York City.  Through a staff of in-house attorneys who are specialists in nonprofit law and a corps of more than 1400 volunteer lawyers from more than 100 leading law firms and corporations, the Lawyers Alliance provides business legal services each year to more than 600 community-based organizations. From 1997 to 1999 Mr. Delany served as the Legal Director of Lawyers Alliance.

Prior to joining Lawyers Alliance, Mr. Delany served as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Charities Bureau in the office of the Attorney General of the State of New York.  In 1996-97, Mr. Delany served as the President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO)

Mr. Delany is Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches the Business Law Transactions Clinic, teaching business lawyers to work with organizational clients by representing nonprofit organizations on transactional and corporate governance projects.

Mr. Delany serves on the Board of Advisors of the Frances L. & Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund, and as an Advisor on the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations. Mr. Delany serves as a member of the Government Relations Committee of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York.


Shveta Kakar is a member of Pryor Cashman’s Corporate and Litigation Group, among others. She has over a decade of experience representing clients in a wide range of commercial business disputes, as well as nonprofit organizations in governance disputes and government investigations. Shveta also conducts internal investigations and counsels not-for-profit clients in matters that could potentially ripen into government investigations or litigation and routinely advises nonprofit organizations on governance matters.