Experience Camps for Grieving Children Names Two New Board Members

WESTPORT, CT, August 10, 2023 – Rehan Choudhry, resident of New York City, and Lisa Tortolani, resident of Rumson, New Jersey have been named to the Board of Directors of Experience Camps, an award-winning national nonprofit that transforms the lives of grieving children through summer camp programs and innovative, year-round initiatives. 

As Board members, they will leverage their unique backgrounds and talents across a variety of industries to support the organization’s programming, branding, and strategy with the goal to further the mission and transform the lives of grieving children.

One in five U.S. children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18, and six million will mourn the death of a parent or sibling by age 18. Grieving children are at higher risk than their non-grieving peers for developmental disruptions, including relationship, academic, and career functioning; substance abuse; mental health challenges, including depression and suicide; and poverty.

Experience Camps programs connect grieving children to a community of peers who understand what they’re going through while normalizing the grief process and giving them hope for the future.

Rehan Choudhry

New board member Rehan Choudry

Rehan is the founder and CEO of Chptr, an app that helps people remember those who have died by enabling communities to connect, share, and build a central digital memorial for their person. They are a mobile-first, B2B video solution distributed by newspapers, funeral homes, nonprofits, and medical centers. 

Rehan joined the board because “Experience Camps is the very definition of a perfect organization: They’ve got a big problem they’re committed to, a deeply passionate and experienced team, and a community-driven experience that fully revolves around their campers. Their very existence helps ensure that children who have experienced one of the worst forms of trauma can still be hopeful for their future. It’s an honor to be a small contributor to such a meaningful mission.” 

As Rehan states, he has lived two lives: “first, as an eight-year corporate employee, and the last 10 years as an entrepreneur. The combination allows me to bring a grounded creative perspective that helps teams drive their organizations to meet and exceed their goals. I’d like to bring new ideas and resources to the table in that effort.”

Rehan received his BS in Computer Information Systems from University of Tampa and his MBA in General Management from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Prior to Chptr, he was the Founder of several organizations, including Emerge Impact + Music–a two-day conference and festival experience in Las Vegas celebrating the intersection of social justice, art, and music–and A Beautiful Perspective, a digital media platform featuring news coverage of social issues and live creative experiences that celebrate emerging perspectives.

Lisa Tortolani

Experience Camps new board member Lisa TortolaniLisa is a former researcher and educator-turned-edtech executive. After retiring from ABCya/IXL Learning in 2022, she began a career as an angel investor, with a focus on female-founded, sustainability-focused startups. She is a Co-Founder of 20Fund, a venture capital firm headquartered in Italy, which supports Italian female entrepreneurship both financially and through mentorship programs.

Lisa joined the Experience Camps board to support the millions of children who suffer tragic loss in their formative years. “The issue of childhood grief resonates with me,” she said, “as I lost my mother when I was 16 years old; my beloved husband Alan passed away when our children were ages three, seven, and nine. As a survivor of childhood loss, and a mother to grieving children, I have experienced the pain of losing a parent and watched my children on a similar journey through pain and towards peace. I remain steadfast in the belief that supportive and loving environments, such as the ones Experience Camps provides, are an integral part of mending a broken heart. The act of bringing grieving children together, allowing them to laugh and cry and heal together, is nothing short of magic. I want to be a part of that.” 

Lisa received her BA in Italian Studies from Villanova University, and her MA in Italian Language and Literatures from Boston College. After a decade spent teaching university students, translating books and articles from Italian to English, and researching medieval literary works, she pivoted to the field of educational technology. As CEO of ABCya, which curates educational games and activities for elementary school students, Lisa cornered the game-based learning market. She brings to Experience Camps both her personal story of loss as well as her strong background in education and digital learning. 

About Experience Camps

Experience Camps is an award-winning national nonprofit that transforms the lives of grieving children through summer camp programs and innovative, year-round initiatives. Through compassion, connection, and play, we allow grieving children to embody a life full of hope and possibility. By amplifying their voices, we are creating a more grief-sensitive culture.

Media Contact: Michelle Cove, michelle@experiencecamps.org

For more information about Experience Camps, visit http://www.experiencecamps.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

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