The PG Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Led by Jonathan Plutzik, retired Vice-Chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston, and Wall Street Executive Lesley Goldwasser, the Foundation collaborates on projects of critical import to under-served and marginalized communities, domestically and internationally.
Chairman and Co-President
Jonathan Plutzik retired as a Vice-Chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), in 2003, after a 25-year career. His responsibilities included oversight for the firms work with U. S. state and local governments, international privatization initiatives, investment banking activities in Washington, DC and global financial services. He also led the CSFB team that provided advisory services to the City of New York during the city's financial crisis. From 2003 to 2005 Jonathan served as Chairman of Firaxis Games, a leading computer game company and home of Civilization, the widely acclaimed strategy game.
Jonathan’s philanthropic work is considerable. He has a long legacy of charitable leadership as Chairman of the Board of the CORO New York Leadership Center, with additional Executive Leadership service to UJA-Federation of NY (including having served as a member of the Board and Executive Committee and Director of the Caring Commission, and he was Chair of the UJA-Federations Connect to Caring initiative.) He also serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae. Jonathan recently accepted a position on the founding board of Planet Word, a new Washington, D.C.-based museum that is dedicated to and focused on Language Arts, and was also just appointed by the Mayor of Miami Beach to Chair a Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of Ocean Drive. Jonathan received his B.A. from Brandeis University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jonathan is Co-President of the PG Family Foundation in NYC, and principal owner of The Betsy-South Beach, (www.thebetsyhotel.com), a hotel known for its community-based philanthropic work and its commitment to arts and culture.
Lesley Goldwasser and her family own and operate The Betsy-South Beach (thebetsyhotel.com), a boutique luxury hotel, located in Miami Beach, known for its community-based philanthropic work, and a deep commitment to arts and culture. Lesley has also made a considerable commitment to philanthropy including the establishment of Zara’s Center (zarascenter.org), an after school haven for AIDS-impacted children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Zara's Center has served thousands of children ages 5-18 and the surrounding community since 2007.
She is on the Board of Directors of the Miami Music Festival and the UJA Federation of New York. A Veteran Wall Street Executive, Lesley is a managing partner of GreensLedge, an investment banking firm headquartered in New York City with offices in London, Tokyo, and Seoul with over 25 years of investment banking experience, including previous executive positions at Credit Suisse and Bear Stearns. She currently serves as lead independent director of Tiptree Financial. Born in Zimbabwe, Lesley is a graduate of the University of Cape Town.
Deborah Plutzik Briggs
Deborah Briggs has provided leadership, as a staff member, professional mentor, and consultant, at various foundations and corporations, colleges and universities, public and private schools, and organizations providing direct services and advocacy. She has developed and delivered university-level coursework in cause-related marketing and public relations, nonprofit administration, program development and evaluation. In addition to serving as Executive Director of the PG Family Foundation in NYC, she is also Vice President for Marketing and Philanthropy at The Betsy- South Beach.
Deborah holds a Doctorate and Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, a Master of Science from the University of Illinois, a Bachelors Degree from the University of Rochester, and a certificate in Public Policy from the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC. In 2004, she was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women for her work connecting business and nonprofit enterprise, as organizational leader, mentor, and community volunteer.
US Program Director, Zara's Center
Jessica holds a Masters Degree in Human Rights from Columbia University (2015) and a Bachelors Degree in Religion from the University of Rochester (2010). Over the past five years, her role has grown from an internship during graduate school focused on managing Zara's Center's NYC Marathon Team to her current position. Jessica manages Zara's International Board of Directors, spearheads project fundraising, plans special events, and works directly with Zara's Center's Zimbabwe-based staff to assess program needs. Jessica also assists in the Foundation's literary endeavors.
Jessica previously worked as a Development Assistant at the Apollo Theater and at the University of Rochester Medical School.