Our Team

Jessica P. Zachs

Chair & Chief Executive Officer


Jessica is the Chair and CEO of Dignity Grows Inc., which she founded in 2019. 

An alumna and class officer of Cornell University, Jessica is a classically trained chef and entrepreneur. As a food editor at Mademoiselle Magazine, she brought her unique culinary stylings to the publication. She was also a stylist and consultant for numerous cookbooks, magazines and advertising campaigns. She later ran a successful NYC catering business. 

Her extensive experience as a dynamic community leader includes service on the boards of numerous educational and social service organizations, including that of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Jessica has served as Chair and President of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford and recently completed 8 years of service on the JFNA National Women’s Philanthropy Board.

Upon learning of the devastating impacts of Period Poverty, Jessica sprang to action, educating and motivating volunteers to make change for women and girls in her own community of Hartford, CT. Within a year and a half, her efforts had gained national attention and Dignity Grows chapters lept into action in cities across the USA. In addition to providing direct hygiene support for hundreds of thousands of Americans, Jessica recognized the need for Dignity Grows to take on policy and systemic change and the organization quickly evolved into the national leader in addressing trends in Period Poverty.

Jessica’s deep connections to giving back to the community stem from childhood traditions with her sisters, and their annual efforts to support individuals affected by Muscular Dystrophy. Along with her husband and three grown children, she continues to make community service a core value of their growing family. 

Jennifer Tolman

President & Chief Operating Officer


Jennifer is the President and COO of Dignity Grows Inc., where she oversees program, strategic growth and corporate relations for the national organization. Jennifer has been Dignity Grows’ operational lead since 2020.

Jennifer is an alumna of Boston University, where she undertook studies in both Religion and Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She has since been invited to return to her alma mater to guide students pursuing careers in social justice. Jennifer holds international certifications from the United Nations in food insecurity and health equity measures.

Jennifer brings over 20 years of experience in large-scale program development and management across the nation. She was the youngest member ever appointed to the Management Team of the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, where she began her career in education and camp management.

A master educator and curriculum designer, Jennifer was recognized as Atlanta’s “Teacher of the Year”. More recently, Jennifer has served as Director of Community Connections at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and authored the “WOW!” values-based STEM experiential education curriculum. She has been a featured presenter at NewCAJE conferences and is published in their journals.

Jennifer’s long standing commitment to volunteerism includes roles with the Play SAFE program and The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. She continues this tradition of giving back with her three sons by fostering dogs with special needs for local rescue groups.

Board of Directors

Paige Maehara

Head of Operations, Coterie

Sofie Brandt

Owner, Sofie Brandt Photography;
Student Activist

Maria Lino

Principal & Founder, The Latino Way

Michelle Strawder, MPA

Magnet Grants Coordinator, Goodwin University

Stacie Brockman

Co-Founder, Métier Creative

Board of Advisors

Lisa Chernikoff

Communications Advisor

Janice Hartnett, MD

Medical Advisor

Caren Hosansky

Resource Advisor

Thea Montanez

Policy Advisor

Marco Signorello

Logistics Advisor

Zoë Zachs, LCSW

Health & Wellness Advisor

Dignity Grows provides girls, women, and all menstruators with the human dignity that comes from having their most basic personal hygiene needs met, one month at a time.