Brett James was born and raised in Miami, Florida and moved to New York City in 1977. She immediately found a position with the accounting and consulting firm of Richard A Eisner & Co., (later EisnerAmper LLP) and remained there for 37 years. In those years, Brett became the Chief Financial Officer, member of the Executive Committee, and was directly involved in the national expansion of the firm. She headed the technology committee, the finance committee, and was an active participant in the EisnerAmper Women’s initiative, whose goal was to retain women in management positions. She brings a depth of knowledge of financial and general management to the board.
Brett and her husband Eric first came to Shelter Island in 1987 and fell in love with the island. When their daughter was born in 1988, they made Shelter Island their summer home for their children. In 1999 they purchased a home in Hay Beach. Both of their children spent every summer of their life on Shelter Island (until they became adults with real jobs) but, the family does spend most holidays on the island.
Brett left EisnerAmper in 2015 to pursue a personal life and personal interests. As a lifelong reader, (reading a book a week through working and raising children in the city) she started visiting the Shelter Island library regularly. Her appreciation of the library grew more with each visit and found that not only was the library well stocked with very good literature but that it provided a vital outreach to the community. When the trustee position was announced, Brett eagerly applied.
Brett is also a member of the board and Treasurer of her coop in the city on the upper West side. She is a graduate of New York University- Stern School of Business. She currently spends her time between New York City and Shelter Island.
Jody Geist began spending summers on Shelter Island with her husband Bill in 1997 driving out from Ridgewood, NJ for weekends. After their children left New Jersey to begin careers, Jody and Bill moved into Manhattan in 2002 and extended those weekends on the island longer and longer. This includes regular visits to the Shelter Island Library and its events; now, Jody's grandchildren have fallen in love with the island and spend happy hours either at story time or just checking out books. With Bill's retirement looming, they hope to enjoy much more time here and to contribute to the island's causes.
In Ridgewood, Jody served as President of Friends of the Library. Under her leadership, its Book & Author Luncheon program was launched in 1988 with Mary Higgins Clark as the first featured author; the program is still running strong. Before moving to Manhattan, she was an active volunteer in the Ridgewood community, including fundraising for the complete redesign of the Ridgewood Public Library expansion of its Red Cross facility and, as a member of the Woodlea/PATH group homes board, working to provide enrichment of its children. She spent many hours a week volunteering in her children's schools.
Jody has served on a variety of boards, most recently as a founding member of the New York Harbor Foundation for which she co-chaired the annual cocktail and auction fund-raiser held at the NY Yacht Club. During her tenure from 2003 to 2013, it was a sold-out event, providing much of the income for the school’s maritime theme courses.
A licensed Clinical Social worker, prior to her retirement, Jody worked as a school social worker for Catholic Charities in Newark, NJ and at the Harlem Academy in New York City. While living in New Jersey she spent eleven years as a residential realtor and still has an interest in houses, especially the lovely homes on this island.